Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter August 27, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 3


Kindergarten Meet and Greet Under the Tent, Friday August 27th

Mrs. Bahrenburg’s Class - 12:30-1:00 PM

Mrs. Brown’s Class - 1:15-1:45 PM

Mrs. Preska’s Class - 2:00-2:30 PM

Monday, August 30th - First Full Day of School

Monday, September 6th - No School, Labor Day

Friday, September 17th - Picture Day

Friday, September 24th - 12:30 Dismissal for Staff Professional Learning

Thursday, September 30th 6:30 PM - GCS Circus Performance, South Burlington High School Turf Field

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NEW TIMES FOR DISMISSAL: Arrival and Dismissal


We will again have a staggered arrival and dismissal process, to limit crowding in the hallways. At this time, parents/caregivers and volunteers will not be allowed in the building. There will be staff in the parking lot to direct you to the correct drop off and pick up location each day. Please arrive at your designated time...if you are early, we will ask you to leave the parking lot and return at the designated time so you are not blocking the pick up lane when your child is not yet dismissed. Please be ready to say a quick good-bye to your child. If you need to park, please pull out of the drop off lane and park in a designated parking spot. There will be staff at each drop off spot to help, and lots of caring staff inside to make sure your child gets to the correct classroom. We will also give you a card with your child's grade level to put on your dash to help the parking lot staff get you to the correct station. This process went very smoothly last year, and students quickly acclimated to the process. Please see the schedule below for your child's grade level.


7:50 - busses out back

7:55 - 5, 3 and 1 (and siblings)

8:00 - K, 2 and 4 (and siblings)

8:05 - preschool

Announcements at 8:10 - students arriving after 8:10 will be marked tardy.


2:20 - staff will pick up students from their classrooms who are going to the School's Out program

2:25 - busses in front and Pre-K students at the Kindergarten doors (Station 3)

2:30 - K, 2 and 4 (and siblings)

2:35 - 5, 3 and 1

Kindergarten Meet and Greet

Hello Kindergarten Families,

We are so excited to be starting the school year soon! We know that you may still have some questions or things you are wondering about. Due to our current health and safety precautions to keep us all in school, we are not able to have the traditional open house at this time. However, we still want to be able to offer a way to say hello and introduce ourselves and begin to get to know each of you!

To that end, we are offering a specific time for each K class to host a meet and greet under the tent behind the building of Gertrude Chamberlin School on Friday, August 27th. We have selected a 30 minute time for students and parents/guardians to come meet your new teacher and have your questions answered.

Please meet us under the tent behind the school at the specific time for your child’s teacher if you are able to join us. As we are still putting rooms back together due to the construction, children will not be going into the school until the first day of school, Monday August 30th. On the 30th, parents/caregivers will be dropping their child off outside, as we are allowing only students and staff inside the building. We hope this Meet and Greet time on Friday the 27th will help you make a connection to your child’s teacher!

Mrs. Bahrenburg’s Class - 12:30-1:00 PM

Mrs. Brown’s Class - 1:15-1:45 PM

Mrs. Preska’s Class - 2:00-2:30 PM

Please note your child’s time specifically, as we are hoping they can see their classmates for the first time as well. We recognize that this will not replace the traditional open house completely, but it will offer the opportunity for a beginning connection and relationship to help ease the transition of coming to school full time!

GCS is filled with loving and nurturing staff who will support each child where they are, as they come to school for the first time.

We know that parents are their children’s first teacher and we look forward to collaborating and partnering with you all to make this a fun and exciting year with your child(ren).

If you are unable to make this time and planned event, please go to our “Meet the Teacher” FLIPGRID, that is on our website. This allows you to click on the staff member that you would like to ‘meet’ or hear an introduction from. These few minutes of introductions also help to take some of the mystery out of who will be supporting and teaching your child this school year. At GCS we work in teams. Please feel free to listen/watch as many of the staff welcome as you and your family wish.

Looking forward to a great school year in partnership with families and our larger South Burlington community!


Ms. Rouelle, GCS Queenipal

Welcome Back, GCS Staff!

We started our year together by having a delicious breakfast and by shopping at our free Teacher Store! Vibrant Church again donated $5,000 of school supplies for Gertrude Chamberlin School. Teachers took turns picking out supplies for their classrooms. This is a wonderful tradition and we are grateful to Vibrant Church for supporting our school!

School Nurse Notes

Welcome back to school! While school nurses were all not at all anticipating that we would need to follow the same illness protocols as last school year, we find ourselves readjusting and refamiliarizing ourselves with COVID illness guidelines, including testing, quarantining, and isolating requirements. We appreciate and thank you for your patience, support and understanding as we continue to navigate these unchartered waters.

A reminder to please fill out the Ruvna app each morning before arrival at school and continue to keep your students' home with ANY illness symptoms (this includes a runny nose, headache and any other symptoms noted on the RUNVA app) and inform the school of your student's absence. If seasonal allergies are present, the school nurse must have documentation of the condition.

Nurses are following guidance provided by the Vermont Department of Health. Please reference this form: COVID-19 Information for Families Return to School Following Illness* to navigate the guidance.

*Please click here for translations and scroll to the "return to school following illness" heading.

Please keep the above document easily accessible in your home for times when your student shows signs or complains of illness. The fact sheet provides you with symptom-specific guidance of next steps. School Nurses are also making an effort to touch-base with parents/guardians, when a student is absent for illness reasons, to help guide those individuals as well.

State guidelines are constantly being evaluated and updated. Your efforts, understanding and compliance do not go unnoticed as we continue to navigate illness related protocols during this pandemic. Thank you.

Please consider sending in 2 EXTRA MASKS in your student's backpack.

Click here for more guidance on wearing masks.

Be well,

Nurse Kerry Farrell

Preparing for a Warm Welcome!

Staff members have been very busy this week, putting our school back together after a major construction project. All of our classrooms now have air conditioning, which made for a much easier time in the building this week when the temperatures climbed into the 80's and 90's. Classrooms are set at 72 degrees. Here are some photos of our school so you can see what awaits your child(ren) as we begin another wonderful year of sharing, caring, learning together!
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Answers to Some of the Questions that You Might Have...

Will recess be mixed classes (no zones)? ​Yes, we will be mixing grade level only classes at recess; meaning all 2 or 3 classes at one grade level will be outside and all have access to the entire playground. No zones at this time. ​

Will we be able to mix within grade levels (academic and community building)? ​In a limited and tracked way for specialized services, and we will document for contact tracing. NOT WHOLE CLASSES, except for at recess, or across grade levels (like bus buddies, or reading buddies).

Will we be able to have school-wide assemblies? ​No not at this time as we will have no whole school gatherings of staff and students in person. We are however, exploring how to do a whole school assembly using technology, and sharing in each we will not all be in the same room, but we will all be seeing the same information at the same time.

In the classroom, will students be able to sit on the carpets?​ Yes and we have returned our soft chairs and pillows to classrooms.

Will we need to use dividers? ​Dividers will be used in the cafeteria daily, where children will be sitting by classrooms, and with snack in the classrooms.

Will lunch be in the cafeteria?​ Yes, by grade level. Students will need to sit by class and we will use dividers.

​Can parents or volunteers be in the building? Parents, and volunteers are not able to be in the building at this time. We will have a small group of student interns from the University of VT. The only people inside the building are staff and students; MASKED.

Will there be field trips? We are not having indoor field trips at this time. Teachers can request to take field trips that are outside.

Will all staff and students be required to wear masks at this time? Yes, as we begin the school year we are doing so masked for all staff and students. We will be taking mask breaks outside as needed, and children are not required to be masked while outside for snack, physical education or recess times.

Girl Scouts for our Incoming Kindergarteners!

Cub Scout Information for Grades K-5

Meet the Teaching Team at GCS for the 2021-2022 School Year!

Our teachers have created introduction videos, so your child can meet some of their teachers before they come back to GCS in August! You can use our FlipGrid videos to learn about what our teachers like to do and how excited they are to welcome you back to Chamberlin School! We hope you enjoy hearing about all of the fun things that will be happening in the new school year!

To view it, please…

  1. Click on the link
  2. Click Enter your guest password (see image below)
  3. The password is GCSTeachers
  4. Click the blue GO button
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What Do I Need for School?

Many families ask us what their child needs to start the school year. We will provide all of the school supplies for your child, so no need to go out shopping for materials such as pencils, crayons, markers, folders, etc. Here are some items your child will need:

  • A MASK, as well a a few spares in their backpack in case they break, get dirty, etc.

  • We do recommend that students have a pair of sneakers for Physical Education. These can be left at school in your child's cubby if they chose to wear other shoes to and from school.

  • A lunchbox for a daily snack is also a good item for them to have. Each class has snack every day, and this is not provided by the school. We encourage healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit, crackers, popcorn, pretzels, etc. Please save the cookies, cakes, and candy for home. Your child's teacher will let you know in advance if there are any allergy restrictions in the classroom. It's a great idea to have your child practice opening any containers that they might be bringing to school with snack or lunch items...we encourage them to be as independent as possible! We also do not have access to a microwave or refrigerator for food, so consider having ice packs and a good thermos to keep things cold or hot.

  • A sturdy backpack that your child can carry, as well as open and close independently, will help keep them organized when they need to bring home papers and library books.

  • We do like to have fun at GCS, and sometimes there are spills and messy things involved in learning! Please provide an extra set of labeled clothes in case your child needs to change during the day. A large Ziploc freezer bag with your child's name on it is a great way to keep a spare set of clothing in their cubbies.

  • A few permanent markers are a good think to invest in so you can label all of your child's belongings...the changing VT temperatures means that children are constantly taking their layers of clothing on and off, and our Lost and Found becomes a treasure trove of unclaimed items very quickly!

And most importantly...a positive attitude and a smile so we can make new friends, enjoy learning and have a great school year together!

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The Circus is coming to Chamberlin School!

We will be having Troy Wunderle and his Big Top Adventures as our artist in residence from Monday, September 20th- Friday, October 1st. Students will be working with Troy to learn and practice a variety of circus skills such as: juggling, spinning plates, stilts, diablos, pogo sticks, unicycles, and rolling globes. Mark your calendars! We plan to have a show for our school community on Thursday, September 30th at 6:30pm on the turf field at South Burlington High School.

Appreciation Award

Superintendent David Young presented Ms. Rouelle, GCS Principal, with an appreciation award for her 10 years of service to the South Burlington School District!
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August 26th District Update From Superintendent Young

August 26, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year and what a week it has been so far! I wanted to thank students and staff for tolerating the extreme heat as best as they could and we’re glad tomorrow will bring cooler weather. This week, school picture days took place at the middle and high schools and fall sports practices are underway on our fields. The tents we had last year have returned to all schools to facilitate increased air flow and provide additional space for learning, meetings, and activities. While new students joined us Monday August 23, the rest of our students returned to school Tuesday, August 24. Next Monday, Gertrude Chamberlin students will return as well. Families, students, and staff have been doing a great job navigating the rhythm of getting back to in-person learning, following our COVID mitigation protocols, and ultimately celebrating the joy of being together once again. Thanks to you all!

Thanks for Attending my Zoom Chat!

Thanks to all who joined me and special guests Dr. Denise Aronzon, Pediatrician at Timber Lane Pediatrics and Dr. Benjamin Lee, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist at the UVM Larner College of Medicine Tuesday night. We received a lot of great questions around the District’s COVID protocols, vaccines, and masking including their recommendations on materials and types of masks for younger students. I plan on scheduling another drop in Zoom chat soon!

Enhancing Communication: District SMS

In order to enhance our communication and engagement with families, we added SMS/text messaging to our SchoolMessenger notification system (the system the District uses to send phone and email communications to families and staff) this past spring. If you would like to receive text messages from the District, simply text the letter “Y” or the word “Yes” to the number 67587 to opt-in (you’ll also get a text reminder about my Zoom chats!).

Shout Out to our Custodial Team!

A big thanks goes out to the custodial team at Gertrude Chamberlin School! Diane Lampman, Jeff Hendee, John Wagner and Jamyang Sonam’s amazing effort has their school looking excellent after a summer-long construction project. Their support during and after the ventilation project will improve the environment and the learning experience at Gertrude Chamberlin for many years to come. Our entire custodial team district wide worked hard to prepare our facilities for the return of students and staff. Thank you!


As a reminder, all students and staff can expect to be masked inside until further notice. Masks are not required outside. The South Burlington School Board unanimously approved a Student and Staff Mask Mandate at their August 18 meeting. The District will require masks at all times for students and staff, subject to exemptions required by law or reasonably granted by the Administration. Mask wearing by all is a solid tool in our COVID mitigation toolbox in addition to staying home when sick, hand washing, and being aware of one’[s activities when outside of school as well. There is a large portion of our school population who are not yet eligible for vaccination. Thanks for helping to protect one another!

Daily Health Checks

The health screening tool we used last school year, RUVNA, launched for all staff and students/families on Tuesday, August 24. Parents/guardians of student(s) in grades PreK-8 are responsible for conducting health screenings of their student(s) at home prior to boarding our buses and/or dropping their student(s) off at our schools. Due to the delayed start, Gertrude Chamberlin students/families will receive notifications beginning August 30.

High school students conduct their own health screenings. As a reminder, you should receive a text, an email, or both, based on your contact information in PowerSchool, at 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM every weekday. If you have not answered the health screening questions by 6:30 AM, you will be prompted to answer the questions again. It is critical that you complete these questions prior to coming to school to help keep our schools safe!


Transportation is going very well so far! Thanks to our families for your patience as we fine tune routes to make them as efficient as possible. You can find bus routes on the District website. If you have specific concerns, please email Kathy LaRock, for assistance.

Out of State and International Travel Precautions

Vermont does not have any state travel restrictions, but there are federal rules that apply in Vermont, like testing for international travel. The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you travel to places with a lot of virus circulating or spend time with people who do, consider getting tested and following prevention steps, even if you are vaccinated. Travelers should follow the guidelines of the state or country they visit. These rules may be different state by state or country by country.

COVID19 Vaccination Clinics Launched Today!

The state is continuing to offer vaccinations at a variety of sites throughout the state and we, like many of our fellow Districts, are offering pop-up vaccine clinics for those ages 12 and above at the high school from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on the following dates:

  • Thursday, August 26

  • Thursday, September 16

  • Thursday, October 7

Recovery Planning: We want to Hear from You!

Over the next three school years, the South Burlington School District will receive federal funds for educational recovery in order to build back from the pandemic. These are one-time funds for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) provided for by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. This fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Education describes the funds and the differences between each type.The ESSER allocation received by each district is determined in part by the number of families living in poverty within the district. We want your feedback on our recovery plan! Check it out and fill out the brief survey on our SBSD Recovery Planning and ESSER Funds website. Survey closes October 1.

Thank you for your continued support!


Lacrosse Clinic at St. Michael's College

Hello! My name Is Morgan Barlow and I am the Assistant Women’s Lacrosse coach at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT. We will be hosting a morning clinic for all players in grades 2-8. Participants will have the opportunity to train and play with instruction from our current student-athletes and coaching staff. This is a great opportunity to work on skill-development and enjoy a little bit of fall lacrosse! The clinic will run from 8:30-11am on Duffy Field at Saint Michael's College on September 11th.

Registration link:

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This school year ALL STUDENTS can have FREE Breakfast and Lunch! We would still ask everyone to fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch form. See the links below for the form and the breakfast and lunch menus.

Link to