Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter January 28 2022 Volume 16 Issue 21


Friday, January 28th - Early Release, 12:30 PM Dismissal for Staff Development

February 4th - Report Cards Come Home

Antigen Tests Are Coming Home With Your Child Today!

In your child's backpack, you will find a take home antigen test kit! If you have multiple children at GCS, tests will come home with your eldest child. Please use these tests when your student:

1. Has a COVID-19 symptom.

2. Is a presumptive contact at school. A presumptive contact is a person who shared a classroom with an individual with COVID.

3. Is a close contact outside of school.

Here are video links in a variety of languages to demonstrate how to use a rapid antigen test:

English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese

Tests for preschool students who don't attend school today will come home on Monday, unless they have an older sibling that can bring it home today.

More information will soon be provided for recommended use and requesting additional tests.

If your student tests positive, please notify Mrs. Farrell

4th Graders - NAEP Assessment

Chamberlin School will participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on January 28, 2022. 4th grade families were notified earlier in the month of this testing. NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students know and can do in various subjects. NAEP is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, within the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP is different from our state assessments because it is a common measure of achievement across the country. The results are released as The Nation’s Report Card, which provides information about student achievement to educators, parents, policymakers, and the public. 4th graders will take an assessment in mathematics or reading.

Play in Kindergarten - Sundae Fun Day Ice Cream Shop Had it's Grand Opening This Week!

Students in Mrs. Preska's class opened up their scoop shop this week! After a couple of weeks making "ice cream," "ice cream sandwiches," "toppings," etc. and creating menus and signs, in their classroom, they were ready to open for customers! Greeters, servers and scoopers enjoyed making ice cream treats for staff who made reservations. This is a wonderful way to incorporate math, literacy and citizenship skills into a dramatic play experience!

Check out the February Calendar of activities for the South Burlington Public Library!

Lost and Found - Please Call or email Mrs. Baechle at 802-652-7403 or if any of these items belong to your child!

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Continuous Improvement Team

Every VT school is required to create a Continuous Improvement Plan to make sure that we are monitoring student progress and looking to improve our systems to support all students. The Continuous Improvement Team meets right after school, typically once a month on Mondays. We are looking for a parent representative who could give us input on our goals for next year. Goals are aligned to our district goals in the areas of Safe and Healthy Schools, Social Emotional Learning and Academic Proficiency. If you are interested in being on our Continuous Improvement Team, please email me at or call 802-652-7401.

Job Opportunity at GCS

Chamberlin School is a great place to work! We are currently hiring for a BUS MONITOR. This would mean supporting a student riding the bus from 7:10-8:10 AM, daily. If you or anyone you know might be interested in this position, please call Mrs. Baechle at 802-652-7403 or email Ms. Rouelle at

Play in Kindergarten - Bahrenburg's Bakers also had a Grand Opening This Week!

With three food options in the kindergarten wing, we now have our own food court at GCS! Photos below show Mrs. Boudreau and Mrs. Routhier, first grade teachers, enjoying a trip to Mrs. Bahrenburg's class bakery! Patrons even got complimentary pretend coffee! Students enjoyed creating pretend bake items that they are now serving to staff who make a reservations. They are living up to their motto of "Those kids can bake!"

Time to Order Your Yearbook!

It's time to order your 2021-2022 yearbook! It comes in full color with tons of pictures and are only $20.00! You can also order personalization for an extra $2 and $1 for each icon. You can order online at Deadline to order is April 22nd, 2022. All orders are online. This year, the cover will be artwork from our awesome 5th graders! If you have questions about the yearbook, please contact Heather Osborne at

Jumping for Joy...We Filled the Hive!

Our hive is full thanks to the great work our students are doing at being kind, safe and responsible! We now have a suggestion box for all school celebrations and a frequent suggestion was to have a movie and stuffed animal day. Classroom teachers will let students know what day to bring in a stuffie to celebrate! Please let your child know that they are doing a great job following our expectations and helping to create a positive learning community!

School Nurse Notes

To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.

The best mask for kids is the mask they are willing to wear.

If Your Student Has COVID-19 Symptoms:

  • Test! If an antigen/rapid test is negative, follow-up with a PCR test.
  • If an antigen test is positive, there is no need to do a PCR test.
  • Please STAY home while waiting for the PCR test results.
  • Call us at GCS and let us know any updates.

Kerry Farrell

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Book Creation in 4th Grade...Creating a Virtual Library!

Fourth Grade students are learning to create interactive, multimedia books combining textured backgrounds, images, selfie photos, text, and voice recordings with Ms. Murphy and Ms. Courcelle, our IT Educator. Students are using Book Creator, a web-based book creation application to build “All About Me” books as a way to explore all the features and functions that are available. Upon completion, students will be able to browse other students’ creations in a virtual library. Students are having fun expressing their creativity in a new way with a new application. Later this year, students will apply their skills using Book Creator to showcase and share their knowledge on ­­­­non-fiction topics they have researched. See the photos below of some of our 4th graders hard at work!


We are grateful for the continued community support for our students and staff:

  • Thank you to Gordini USA for the generous donation of mittens!
  • Thank you to Vibrant Church for monthly care packages to staff...this month it was popcorn treats!
  • Thank you to the Barras and Osborne families for treating staff to bagels, cream cheese, coffee and tea one morning. It was a wonderful way to start our day!

January 27th Update from Superintendent Young

January 27, 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

We have made it through another chilly week here in Vermont! I hope you have all been staying safe and warm, but for the brave out there, maybe you’ve been able to check out the beautiful SBHS ice rink. As many of you know, this week we continued our Test-to-Stay program for unvaccinated close contacts Monday-Friday and optional staff testing for asymptomatic individuals Monday-Thursday. Please see further updates on our transition to test at home below.

Before January slips away, I didn’t want to miss a chance during school board recognition month to acknowledge the incredible work, dedication, and contributions of our school board members. They, like all of us, have been juggling so much during these pandemic times in addition to their normal board work load. Thank you for all you do!

Dates of Note:

January 28: Early release day for elementary school students and late start for middle and high school students

February 1: Zoom Q and A on the Proposed FY23 Budget 6-7 pm(more on that below)

February 2: School Board meeting at 7 pm (Link and agenda on District website tomorrow)


You can find the weekly cases by school on our District website. The reporting time frame remains the same: Thursday of the prior week to the current Thursday.

COVID Protocols Update

As many of you are aware from my previous correspondence as well as local news coverage, Vermont school districts have been directed by the Vermont Agency of Education to transition away from contact tracing, surveillance testing, and test-to-stay to a test at home strategy. While we awaited an adequate supply of antigen tests, I decided to continue our test-to-stay program Monday through Friday for unvaccinated close contacts and offered free rapid COVID19 antigen testing to asymptomatic staff Monday-Thursday.

Next week, as part of our transition to the new protocols, we will only run test-to-stay Monday, January 31-Wednesday February 2. However, students will have the option of testing at home rather than coming to 577 Dorset Street. Asymptomatic staff antigen testing will be offered Monday, January 31-Thursday February 3 from 3-4:15 pm. Staff can test every day the site (577 Dorset Street) is open. If it will be your first time participating, please register here. You only need to register once.

In terms of distribution of take-home antigen tests, this will begin tomorrow, January 28, for students in grades PreK-12. Directions on when to perform the test will be included with the kits. More details for both students and staff on this rollout will be forthcoming, but if families have questions in the meantime, please contact your school directly. Staff who have COVID19 related concerns, should contact Maura Sawtelle in Human Resources. Thank you for your patience as we shift to this new system.

FY23 Budget: Opportunities to Learn More

Last week, school board Chair Bridget Burkhardt, Director of Operations and Finance Gary Marckres, and our Executive Director for Learning Violet Nichols presented our proposed FY23 budget on Town Meeting TV. If you missed it, you can check it out on Town Meeting TV's YouTube Channel. We also had a steering committee meeting this week with the city where we presented our respective budgets. As a reminder, all of our budget related videos and slides are posted to our SBSD Budget webpage with our budget book coming soon. Our next Q and A on the budget for all will take place February 1 over Zoom from 6-7 pm.

Upcoming Zoom about SB Explore!

Kevin Downey and Nikki St. Mary are going to host a Zoom meeting February 9 from 6-6:30 pm (Meeting ID: 848 6022 8291 Passcode: yGMp1h) for parents/guardians about SB Explore flexible pathways. They will give an overview about offerings like Big Picture, Project Lab, Service Thesis Project, internships, and more with several students on the call to share their experiences.

City News

Looking for the latest city news? Check out their current and archived issues of the enews! In addition to information on their proposed budget, activities, and events, they also share upcoming meetings. The South Burlington Planning Commission has set up a volunteer Airport Rezoning Task Force to consider a possible zoning change to allow aviation-related uses and buildings on land east of Airport Parkway, in the vicinity of Kirby Road Extension. The Task Force is just getting underway, and is asking for community ideas and input as they begin their work to consider this change. If interested, you can join Virtually/Online: here or by phone: (872) 240-3311, Access Code: 919-877-869 or in person at City Hall, 180 Market Street. Unavailable? Drop them a line via email to with your thoughts on or before February 3rd. To learn more about the request, the area, and what the Airport Rezoning Task Force has reviewed in their first two meetings, visit the project website.

School Happenings

SB Big Picture Program’s Minelle Sarfo-Adu Garners Scholarship

SB Big Picture Program Senior Minelle Sarfo-Adu recently received two honors! One was an honorable mention for the Vermont Presidential Scholars Program and she also received a 2022 NIAAA/Vermont Student Scholarship (National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association). In addition to her studies at Big Picture, she is currently enrolled in early college through CCV with a focus on business courses. Minelle is a student athlete who participates in volleyball, indoor and outdoor track in addition to serving on the city’s affordable housing committee. Well done!

FHTMS Students Participate in GeoBee

Teacher Christine St. Clair let me know that 25 students representing all 6 teams participated in the school Geo Bee last week. While the national Geo Bee has been canceled due to COVID, the social studies department decided to hold the schoolwide competition anyway, as all grades in the middle school study geography in some capacity. All students participated in the first round, which consisted of 7 questions each, then the 10 students with the highest score moved on to the next round, then the final 2 competed against each other in the final. The winning question was "The Seikan Tunnel connects the island of Hokkaido to what other Japanese island?" The answer was Honshu. Sarah Meisenzahl and Christine asked the questions of the students. In pre-covid years, the winner would go on to a state competition and then that winner would go to a national competition in DC. St Clair noted, “Since none of that could happen, we just supplied prizes of candy, toys and gift cards to Barnes and Noble, plus little trophies. Sam Kelly of Polaris (6th grade) got 3rd place, Amos Foster of Dorset House (7th) got 2nd place and the winner was Ruben Touber of Dorset House (7th)!”

Gertrude Chamberlin Students Create Interactive Multimedia Books

Principal Rouelle reported that fourth grade students at GCS are learning to create interactive, multimedia books combining textured backgrounds, images, selfie photos, text, and voice recordings with Ms. Murphy and IT Educator Ms. Courcelle. Students are using Book Creator, a web-based book creation application to build “All About Me” books as a way to explore all the features and functions that are available. Upon completion, students will be able to browse other students’ creations in a virtual library. Students are having fun expressing their creativity in a new way with a new application. Later this year, students will apply their skills using Book Creator to showcase and share their knowledge on ­­­­non-fiction topics they have researched.

RMCS Students Compete in Online Chess Tournament

Mrs. Kavanagh's class had an online chess tournament celebration last week! Mrs. Kavanagh's student teacher, Ms. Caragher, built a bracket, and Mrs. Kavanagh did a live (random) drawing for the names. Opponents found each other online and battled to make it to the next round. All students participated in the tournament and had so much fun! The winner was Cyrus!

Orchard Students to Take Part in World Read Aloud Day

This coming Wednesday, Orchard students will be Zooming with some of their favorite authors as they take part in World Read Aloud Day. Connections will be made to the authors of "Red, White, and Whole," the "She Persisted" series, and "I Can Make Exciting Electronics," among others. We can't wait!

Thanks for reading and have a great Friday and weekend,


Girl Scout Robot Building Party and Information Night!

See the attached flyers for information about upcoming activities for Girl Scouts...join the fun!

South Burlington Youth Baseball & Softball

Click below to find information about registration for youth baseball and softball. Registration opens February 1st and the program is for children ages 5-12.
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Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet - Technicool Presentation for Parents

FREE for Vermont Residents

February 23rd 6:30-7:30pm

There are multiple kinds of digital risks for children today, such as internet pornography, online groomers, and sexting. It is important for caregivers and teachers to have the information and tools to respond. Adults in this workshop will: a) learn the digital risks for children and strategize ways to keep children and youth safe in digital environments and b) learn effective strategies for dealing with children exhibiting concerning digital behaviors. Please join us to learn how to support youth in digital environments!

We invite Vermont schools and childcare centers to share this digital invitation with all parents and caregivers within their community. Space will be limited, so please register to attend in advance.

Questions? E-mail Kirstie Grant

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Does Your Child Need Milk for Their Home Lunch?

Milk is NOT free for students who need a milk for their home lunch. The cost of a milk is 50 cents and parents/caregivers can send in a check, made out to South Burlington Nutritional Services, to credit their child's account or have money taken directly from an account to credit to your child's account. or use our online payment option through MySchoolBucks.

If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Ketner

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.