Family Friday Focus Oct.2, 2020
Rick Marcotte Central School Princpal Kathleen Kilbourne
CALENDAR UPDATES WITH DAYS OFF...PLEASE NOTE
OCTOBER: In person learning at RMCS
5th- 6th (Mon/Tues) = blue
7th/8th (Wed/Thurs) = grey
13th-14th (Tues/Wed)= blue for grades 3-5
15th -16th (Thurs/Fri) =grey for grades 3-5
13th, 14th, 15th, 16th for all students in PRE K through grade 2 in person learning in school
Please read Superintendent Young's detail message included below for more specifics and information.
Update from Superintendent Young 10 2 20
October 2, 2020
Dear Parent/Guardians, Staff, and Community Members,
It finally looks and feels like fall has arrived in Vermont. Whether you have been heading to the orchards for apple picking, relishing the first taste of those delicious cider donuts, or have simply been enjoying watching the trees brighten our landscape, these are the moments that make Vermont so special this time of year. Our Farm to School programming has even jumped on theme with their focus on apples!
I have heard from many of you over the past couple of weeks about the frustration you have been experiencing during hybrid learning. While not our intent when we decided to open in Step II, I am hearing loud and clear the stress this model has caused you and your families; from juggling remote lessons to finding adequate childcare. With this in mind, I wanted to provide an update on our thoughtful plan for reopening our elementary schools for additional days of in-person instruction.
Currently, the Strong and Healthy Start Guidelines from the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) have moved from Step II to Step III effective September 26. Therefore, in consultation with our administration, we have created a phased reopening plan to bring back our Grades PreK-2 students October 13 followed by our Grades 3-5 students October 26 for 4 days per week of in-person instruction. Since schools will be closed Monday, October 12, in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, during this first week, Grades PreK-2 will attend school 4 days (Tuesday-Friday), while grades 3-5 will attend with their current cohorts on either Tuesday and Wednesday or Thursday and Friday. The following week, grades 3-5 will return to their regular cohort schedule (Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday). Then, beginning Monday, October 26, all elementary grades will return to our schools 4 days per week. Wednesdays will remain remote (except for Grades PreK-2 the week of October 13) for now to allow for deep cleaning.
More detailed information on the elementary reopening plans will be coming directly from the school principals in the coming days. Please keep in mind that these dates and plans are subject to change based on evolving data from the Vermont Department of Health, the CDC, and guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education.
In terms of bringing grades 6-8 and 9-12 back for more in-person instruction, we do not yet have plans to do this. When discussions occur, we will consider the same data as noted above.
As we have implemented the hybrid model of learning (Step II), I have heard concerns from parents/guardians around assessments; how, if, and when they will be conducted. We realize that for our youngest learners, online learning is the most challenging, social belonging the most critical, and transmission risk the lowest. Therefore, in terms of assessments, we have been initially concentrating our efforts on rebuilding a sense of community and ensuring that all families are connected to school and getting the resources they need for their children to be able to access a free and appropriate public education. As we transition to more in-person learning in the coming weeks, we will continue our important work with social emotional learning while also ramping up traditional academic subjects in the lower grades, starting with literacy and math assessments to identify our students’ strengths and needs.
In addition to receiving traditional grades on their report cards, all of our students in Grades 6-12 will receive proficiency scores in subject areas and on the South Burlington Student Learning Expectations (SLEs). The SLEs are transferable skills that apply across discipline areas and in both academic and professional settings. We are proud of the work that our teachers have done to identify clear, shared learning outcomes at each grade level and are pleased to be fostering the 21st Century skills that will serve our students well in the coming years.
We have been enjoying using our tents for classroom instruction, PE when it rains, Farm to School activities, outdoor lunch and snack times, and reading aloud, however our tent season will be coming to a close as the temperatures dip. The current plan is to remove the tents November 2.
It’s open house time! Virtually of course. The SBHS Virtual Open House will take place October 6 beginning at 6:30 pm with opening remarks from Principal Patrick Burke. All of the details are available at the SBHS reopening site linked above.
This fall, FHTMS will be putting on a production of the play Jane Eyre, based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë. Auditions (held outdoors under the tents!) wrapped this week and the current plan (subject to change based on COVID-19 factors) is to present Jane Eyre to a live audience. According to play director David Bailey, he has added 2 additional performances (for a total of 4) to allow for adequate spacing and appropriate numbers in the auditorium. The performance dates are currently set for Friday, January 8 - Sunday, January 10, 2021. We can’t wait to see how this amazing production comes together!
Last week, Gertrude E. Chamberlin School held their annual carnation ceremony to officially welcome kindergarteners to school. This tradition was modified this year to be held outdoors where adequate distancing could be maintained. Fifth grade students held signs welcoming their youngest classmates and each was given a carnation. A video compilation of photos from this event is in progress.Welcome to our youngest learners!
Has hybrid learning affected library book circulation? Not for the 400 plus students at Orchard School who love to read! According to Library Media and Instructional Tech Specialist Donna Sullivan-Macdonald, “First week results are in: 521 books were checked out in four days last week, including 171 Fiction titles and 132 Graphic Novels!” Way to go!
Rick Marcotte Central School artists have been busy in Kelsey Lewis’s art class. All students, K-5 engaged in a self portrait project involving masks. The K-2 students made simplified portraits with pre-folded paper and a face/mask template while grades 3-5 added descriptive language and more detail to theirs (see some of the portraits on the RMCS Art Facebook page). Lewis said, “I wanted the students to embrace the new normal of mask-wearing with a positive spin. It was fun for them to decorate the mask with designs of their choice. I also wanted the lesson to be a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) experience so the older students were encouraged to include positive words to describe their personality (Kind, Smart, Brave, Athletic, Helpful) on the inner fold of their portrait...the part that shows their smile.”
Distance Learning Resource
Have you heard? The Vermont Public Broadcasting System (PBS), DISH Network, and the Agency of Education (AOE) have expanded their partnership to support continuity of learning for Vermont students and school communities this fall.This partnership provides access to free educational programming, curricular connections, and distance learning tutorials through Vermont PBS Distance Learning. You can check out the schedule for October with programming for grades K-12 on topics ranging from science to language arts. It’s a great resource!
Elementary routes will be modified to accommodate increased ridership. Adjusted routes and times will be posted on the District website by Thursday, October 8th
The Step III guidance allows for more flexibility to use cateterias as intended with distancing and frequent sanitation in place. However, exact procedures will be determined and communicated by individual schools. The current meal pickup location at the concession stand in the Farrell Family Pavillion on Munson Field/Iverson Track from 9:00-10:30 am continues Monday through Friday. Delivery by bus for middle and high school students and remote learners will also remain the same. These meals need to be ordered weekly, in advance, via an online meal ordering system. As always, you can find the latest menus and information on the Nutritional Services section of the District website.
Part of the transition to Step III meant that interscholastic sports could resume competition (with health and safety measures in place) on September 26. Check out the updated co-curricular digest for 2020-2021 which includes what is expected of spectators and ticket policies for games. You can find the latest game schedules and results via Director of Student Activities Michael Jabour’s Twitter @sbwolfpack and the SB Wolves website. At FHTMS, the fall sports schedule will get underway Saturday, October 3rd!
Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we continue to transition to the next step. I am grateful to you for your support and continued adherence to COVID-19 precautions. It is making a difference in getting our students back to more in-person learning.
World Mental Health Day- FREE RESOURCES
Howard Center will be connecting to the global world mental health movement and hosting its first annual community-wide recognition and celebration of World Mental Health Day (WMHD) throughout the month of October 2020. This year WMHD is on October 10 and is an opportunity for community education and engagement to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and to connect to the global movement to ensure our communities have access to mental health supports when they are needed.
RMCS PICTURE DAYS ...Order forms are HERE!
After portrait day your child will bring home a personally customized order form envelope. There will be 5-6 different poses of your child printed directly onto your envelope for you to choose from. Prints or packages can be purchased of multiple poses. There is no need to pick just one! Envelopes will be due back to your school on a specific day, usually 10 days later. Order envelopes are the most economical way to purchase portraits. Images will also be available online for ordering. You will log in using your child’s student ID#, which can be found on their order form. Please note, when ordering online you are ordering as an individual and no longer receiving the benefits of volume ordering with the school. Prices online are higher than envelope pricing. We do offer a 25% discount for the first two weeks of online ordering to help offset this price increase. Please use your discount code: RMCS21. Online orders are mailed directly to your home. There are also additional products available online.
PICTURE RETAKE DAY AT RMCS IS OCTOBER 13th!
Common Roots at RMCS in Sept and Oct.
Hello From Common Roots,
We are pleased to share with you that Common Roots will be continuing our Farm to School lessons. Our lead educator is Lauren Jones. This fall is our 12th year and we are heartened to be welcomed back, though with a different format:
K/1 students will be outside in tents that are both weighted and staked into the ground. Kindly have your children dressed for the weather. This month's lesson is apples!!!
2-5 teachers will have access to our videos to assign to their students. September's lesson was filmed both at the Larkin Heirloom, Organic, Apple Orchard on Hinesburg Road, and the lovely Wheeler Homestead on Dorset Street.
Students K-5 will have samples of Organic, Heirloom Apple Cider from the Larkin Orchard. There is nothing added to this cider and samples will be prepared from our licensed kitchen in compostable sample cups with lids.
Our talented farmers, Fae and Reese, hope you will take your children to the Common Roots Farm at South Village. Come walk the farm, visit our 48 raised beds where we educate children, and feed the chickens (bring a few veggie and fruit scraps - no meat or bread please). Attached is a flyer with our updated fall hours of operation. We hope to see you at the Common Roots Farm at South Village.
Joyfully, Carol McQuillen, Director
Health Room Hints- From our school nurses
When your student is sick or staying home:
Please continue to fill out the Ruvna health screening questions and call the school's attendance line to report your student's absence. E-mailing your student's teacher, is not enough; please also contact the front office at 652-7200.
School nurses are reaching out to parents/guardians when a student stays home due to illness, to assist with next steps. If you are unsure if your student should be attending school, please contact the school nurse.
Vermont Department of Health: What families can expect when a student is sick
Health Screening Questions:
If you are not receiving the health screening questions, on the days your student attends school, please call the front office. And, be sure to fill out the health screening questions prior to your student entering the school building.
Help Us Keep Our Schools Open!
What you do and how you behave in our community may impact if our schools can remain open. Please follow the Health Department's guidance by avoiding large gatherings and non-essential out of state travel. Please visit here for more Vermont Cross State Travel information.
Remember the 4 W's:
Wear Your Mask
Watch Your Distance
Wash Your Hands
When Sick, Stay Home
K students painted rocks for "Dot Day"
New Titles in our RMCS School Library
Feel free to request any of these to read with your family!
K students created an "Art Tree" in our courtyard
SBSD Elementary Hybrid/Step II Attendance Procedures
SBSD Elementary Hybrid/Step II Attendance Procedures
In compliance with AOE guidance: A Strong and Healthy Start: Hybrid Learning During the 2020-2021 School Year, which states:
A school district in remote or hybrid mode may choose to record a student as in attendance if:
● On each day for which attendance is recorded, an educator makes contact with the student by video chat or telephone or the student logs into a Learning Management System (LMS) and engages in learning activities (e.g., completes asynchronous assignments, assessments, etc.); and
● Minimum instructional hours are met in any one of the following three ways:
○ The total hours of direct instruction and expected independent student work for the day equal the minimum daily hours set forth in State Board Rule 2312.1; or
○ The cumulative hours of direct instruction and expected independent work for the week equal the cumulative minimums set forth in State Board Rule 2312.1; or
○ The school board obtains the Secretary of Education’s prior approval of another method of counting instructional hours per State Board Rule 2312.2.
The purpose of tracking attendance is to ensure all students have access to and engage in learning, whether in person or online. When students are not physically present in school, their attendance will be determined by their learning activity online.
Parents, guardians, and caregivers are asked to call to report an absence if the student will be absent from in-person learning as well as online learning. Students are expected to make up the work when absent and teachers will allow a reasonable amount of time for the student to complete the work.
On in-person days, teachers will record accurate attendance each morning in PowerSchool. Administrative Assistants, will call parents, guardians, and caregivers to check on daily absences.
In PowerSchool, the default will be set so students are counted present each day.
Teachers will report in-person absences on a daily basis, as usual. PowerSchool will allow teachers to toggle between the Blue Pack or Gray Pack roster, as needed.
On Green Days (usually Wednesdays), teachers will use online Morning Meetings for attendance (e.g., Zoom or Google Meet).
For online learning days, attendance will be determined by student engagement in online learning activities and related communication. In order to provide flexibility to families, a weekend will be included in this time period before the determination is made each week.
Teachers may change learning attendance to “absent” if the student demonstrates no evidence of engagement (Typically on Wednesday for the Gray Pack and Monday for the Blue Pack).
What Counts as Present?
In-Person Attendance: The default is set to present. Teachers mark AB for students not present.
Blue Pack: In-person attendance in PowerSchool on Monday & Tuesday
Gray Pack: In-person attendance in PowerSchool on Thursday & Friday
Green Days on School Calendar (most Wednesdays): Both packs convene in online morning meetings on Green Days, which are typically Wednesdays. Teachers will take attendance in their online morning meeting and mark “absent” students who were unable to attend. Teachers will reach out to families whose students miss Morning Meeting.
Online Learning Days: See chart below for learning activities that qualify a student as “present” during online learning days. If students are engaged in any of the following activities, they will be marked present for their online learning days. If there is still no online learning activity recorded during the following weekend, students will be marked “absent” for both days. For Blue Pack, teachers will review students’ online learning activity on Mondays. For Gray Pack, students’ online learning activity on Wednesdays.
For online learning days, attendance will be defined by measures of engagement including but not limited to:
Student submission of an academic assignment - turned in during in person days or electronically through Google Classroom or SeeSaw
Student submission of an assessment - turned in during in person days or electronically through Google Classroom or SeeSaw
Documented student participation in Google Classroom, SeeSaw or some other online presence by a teacher
An email from the student/family or other documentation showing that the student/family initiated contact with a staff member.
Participation in a small group or 1:1 intervention through Zoom or Google Meet.
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, the student is present for the day. In Step II Hybrid, students will be counted present for both days of online learning each week. If no online learning activity is recorded, the student will likely be marked absent for both days.
What If Students Don’t Attend?
In the case of multiple absences, a teacher or other staff member will check in with the student during in- person days to offer ideas and support to engage the student in learning during Step II: Hybrid Learning.
If the absences persist, the teacher or other staff member will reach out to the family to set up a meeting with the school team and family to identify any barriers to attendance, either in-person or online, and work together to put steps in place to improve attendance.
LAST CALL: REQUIRED ANNUAL STUDENT UPDATES AND REGISTRATION
THESE ON LINE FORMS NEED TO BE UPDATED PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY THE STUDENT ATTENDS SCHOOL AT RMCS:
South Burlington School District is excited to complete hte Annual Student Updates and Registration for the 2020-2021 school year.
These online forms can be found within your PowerSchool Parent Portal and takes the place of the thick packet of papers that have previously been mailed home to families from the schools each summer.
Please take the time to complete these forms that:
- Register your student for the 2020-2021 School Year
- Verify and update emergency contact information
- Communicate important health information
- Sign student laptop/device agreements
To begin, please click this link to login to the PowerSchool Parent Portal: https://sbsdvt.powerschool.com. Once logged in, click “Forms” from the left navigation bar and choose “Update A. Getting Started: Returning Students.” The forms should take 5-15 minutes to complete, per student.
Trouble Logging in?
Please click “Forgot Username or Password?”
- Reminder: Please check your Junk box if a reset email is not received.
If you do not have a PowerSchool Portal Account or require more support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual schools can be contacted at:
PreKindergarten/Act 166: PreK_Reg@sbschools.net
Gertrude E. Chamberlin School: Chamb_Reg@sbschools.net
Orchard School: Orch_Reg@sbschools.net
Rick Marcotte Central School: RMCS_Reg@sbschools.net
Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School: FHTMS_Reg@sbschools.net
South Burlington High School: SBHS_Reg@sbschools.net
Thank you for your time. Completion of these forms will help ensure that we have the most current and accurate information for your students, allowing us to improve communications and better serve our families.
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL AT RMCS
PLEASE HAVE YOUR STUDENTS ON THE PASSENGER SIDE OF THE CAR TO EXIT ONTO THE SIDEWALK SAFELY, WITH THEIR BACK PACKS WITH THEM (not in the trunk)
Students riding the bus in the morning will be dropped off at the school, be greeted by our health screeners and walk to the front door of the school. Bus drop offs will be 7:50 to 8:10 AM.
8:10- 8:30 AM - Drop off for ALL Parent Drop Off (Cars, Bikers, Walkers)
Parents for drop off may line up at the curb AFTER all the buses have unloaded.
Drop off will be at the larger parking lot on the curb for grades 1-5.
Drop off in the smaller circle is for PRE K and K only (and siblings).
Since we know the greatest risk on contracting Covid is adult to adult, parents/caregivers must stay in their cars and will not be allowed in the building. Health screenings will be completed from your car. If possible, please have your child in the seat closest to the building. We ask that drivers not leave until the child(ren) have passed the health screening.We will be screening six cars at a time. Please be patient.
2:20 PM - Students riding the bus in the afternoon will be dismissed through the front doors.
2:30-2:45 PM - Dismissal for ALL students, along with their older siblings.
Parents may line up at the curb AFTER all buses have been load and have left the parking lot.
Please place the child's name and grade paper on your passenger side dashboard, or clipped to the passenger visor (flipped down) visible to the windsheild. Your child will be called by radio and meet you at your car, curb side. Adults must remain in their vehicles.
Bikers/Walkers Pick Ups: Please meet at the bike rack and form a line (with 6 feet apart). We will call you student by radio to walk over and join you at the fence...for the safety of our children and staff, please do not walk through the children to locate your child.
RMCS SUBSTITUTE OPENINGS- Open positions at this time!
We hope to work with you in the fall!!