Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter February 4, 2022 Volume 16 Issue 22


February 3rd - Report Cards Came Home

Tuesday, February 8th - Zoom PTO Meeting, 6:00 PM

Please join us for a presentation at the beginning of the meeting to learn about the proposed school budget!

The Gertrude Chamberlin PTO is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Time: Feb 8, 2022 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 7884 5334

Passcode: 597440

Friday, February 11th - Early Dismissal at 12:30 PM for Staff Learning

February 21st - March 1st - Winter Break, NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, March 1st - VOTE!

NEW Covid-19 Testing Protocols

Rapid Antigen Testing for Presumptive Contacts
These testing protocols are updates based on guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education.
GCS has made the following changes to its COVID-19 procedures effective 1/31/22.


  1. The school learns of a positive case in a student or staff member.

  2. The school notifies parents/caregivers that there is a case in their student’s class. Classmates are considered “presumptive contacts.” The notification includes the test kit request process and testing recommendations.


Students who are presumptive contacts from school exposure will be offered take home antigen test kits from GCS. Please note the AOE has stated that schools should not monitor compliance of test pick-up nor the use of test kits.

A google form link will be included in the school’s notification letter for a parent to request antigen test kits. Kits will be distributed based on the form responses and availability. A 12:30 pm daily deadline for form submission is requested, so staff can arrange for kit distribution (students’ backpacks).

Test availability: SBSD relies on the Agency of Education to supply test kits. Our strategy may shift if supplies are not available to keep up with the need.


Presumptive contacts receive a different number of kits depending on their vaccination status.

  1. If Fully Vaccinated (completed the Pfizer vaccine series and are 5-17 years old)

    1. Can receive 2 tests

    2. Tests should be used on the 4th and 5th days after learning of their presumptive exposure.

  2. If Not Fully Vaccinated:

    1. Can receive 5 tests

    2. Tests should be used for the next 5 consecutive days after receiving them.

  3. If Had COVID within the last 90 days:

    1. Testing is not recommended. If symptomatic, contact your healthcare provider.

Students who test POSITIVE: visit the Health Department’s website or SBSD’s link here.


Presumptive school contacts do NOT need to quarantine during their testing periods.

Individuals who are close contacts to a case outside of school are recommended to quarantine according to Vermont Department of Health guidance, but may attend school according to the above testing protocol. Test kits will be available from GCS based on supply.


If a student is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below they should stay home or leave school and get tested. Take 2 antigen tests as close to 24 hours apart as possible, or take a PCR test. If those are negative, the students symptoms have improved and they have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fever, the student can return to school.

  • Fever (100.4 F or higher)

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Chills

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • Sore Throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Antigen Tests From School

If you request more antigen tests, 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

If your student tests positive, please notify Mrs. Farrell

Report Cards

Your child came home with their report card yesterday. The purpose of this report card is to provide you with current information on your child’s growth in developing specific academic skills. This report card reflects your child's ability to meet mid-year benchmarks, knowing that they are working very hard in the extreme learning climate due to the pandemic. The report card also includes a narrative section so that your child's teachers can speak to your child’s individual strengths and needs as a learner. If a skill hasn’t been taught and assessed so far this year, you will see “n/a” on the report card. Please keep the report card, sign the envelope and return the envelope in your child's back pack so we can reuse it in June. Please see more information from our Executive Director of Learning:

Dear Families:

In our third year of modifications to student learning, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, student learning at SBSD continues to look different than in previous years. Although we have been conducting in-person learning this year, it has been another year of disruptions with continued positive cases, and many student absences due to illness and quarantine. Even with prolonged disruptions, our students continue to learn many new skills and make gains in their learning. Some of the new skills that our students are learning are not measurable by traditional report cards or Common Core State Standards.

Enclosed you will find your student’s report card, which communicates current progress toward grade-level Common Core State Standards. We have not changed grade level standards, however, we know that the learning pace for students has been disrupted due to the challenges of Covid. Many students are continuing to work towards grade level standards. You will also find narrative feedback from your child’s teachers regarding their individual strengths and opportunities for growth as a learner. Please note that if a skill has not yet been taught or assessed this year, you will see “n/a” indicated on the report. We encourage you to contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions about the report or your student's academic progress.

Report cards are one of many measures used to understand student learning at SBSD. These report cards provide current information regarding students’ skill mastery and opportunities for increased proficiency, just as we could expect to see in a pandemic-free year. I would like to thank you for supporting your students as we continue to navigate a pandemic-impacted school year.


Violet Nichols

Violet Nichols

Executive Director of Learning

Farm to School News

This month in Farm to School we are kicking off the New Year with a lesson on cabbage. Cabbage has provided people with beneficial nutrients throughout the cold winter months for thousands of years. Back then there was no such thing as refrigeration to help preserve the foods from the fall harvest. So thousands of years ago, beginning in China and Europe, people would preserve their cabbage through a process called fermentation. Students from Grades 1-3 may remember the sauerkraut lesson from last year. Through the process of fermentation, cabbage makes for a great storage crop delivering much vitality to help keep our bodies strong.

Thanks to our current day refrigerators, we enjoyed making a fresh Rainbow Cabbage Slaw, in the middle of winter! We wanted to especially thank Farmer Fae at Common Roots who grew the cabbage and Farmer Andy at The Intervale who grew the carrots last summer. The variety of ingredients in this slaw provide many nutrient dense benefits. We hope you will give this recipe a try at home!

Cabbage & Parsley: both are high in vitamin K, which helps support the growth of our bones and helps our wounds heal.

Carrots: they are full of vitamin A which we call glow foods! Vitamin A helps support our eyesight and ability to see when it is dark while also supporting the health of our skin.

Garlic: this food is especially important this time of year because of its immune boosting abilities from vitamin C.

Rainbow Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4-6

A colorful dish to brighten any meal!

Ingredients for Slaw:

● 1 napa cabbage (~2 lbs), thinly sliced

● ½ head of red cabbage (~1 lb), thinly sliced

● 2 carrots, grated

● ½ cup of parsley, roughly chopped

Ingredients for Dressing:

● ¼ cup Olive Oil

● 3 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

● 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

● ¼ tsp Salt

● 1 clove Garlic


1. Prep the cabbage by washing and drying it and then cutting it into quarters, coring away the heart and removing damaged outer leaves as needed.

2. Finely slice the red and napa cabbage.

3. After washing and drying the carrots, grate them.

4. Roughly rip or chop the parsley.

5. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

6. Grate the garlic using a garlic press or ceramic grater.

7. Add the the garlic to a clear glass jar with a screw lid

8. Add other dressing ingredients to the jar and close the lid tightly.

9. Shake to emulsify the ingredients.

10. Drizzle over slaw and combine well. Enjoy!

Please enjoy the photos that were taken at GCS this week during Farm to School in 1st, 2nd and 5th grade classrooms!

Till next time, Nourish to Flourish,

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

Nora Scully, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

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PTO Fundraiser...Mabel's Labels

The PTO has decided to use Mabel's Label's as a source of fundraising for our school!

Imagine how great it would be if your child's items had labels so they didn't get lost! It's easy to access the site and place your order to benefit our school.

The link to access the fundraising site is:

Simply type in "South Burlington" and up pops: South Burlington School District - Chamberlain PTO (we are working on getting the spelling error fixed - but it is us!). Please consider placing an order to help in two ways: 1) funds for our school 2) easier for the school to get your child's belongings back to them!

Thank you,


5th Grade Music News from Ms. Finlayson

In January music class, fifth grade spent the month composing and then setting those compositions to a video. We used the software BandLab to create our music, then uploaded our songs into the program Line Rider. Our students did a great job working with both programs! Here are some examples from Maddox B. and Connor.

Connor's Line Rider

Maddox's Line Rider

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Virtual Field Trips

If Coldvid (cold temperatures and Covid) have you feeling trapped—consider taking your students on virtual field trips around the world. Explore museums, zoos, National Parks, interesting landmarks, or even bring 3D virtual animals into your home! Check out these amazing resources for hundreds of FREE Virtual Field Trips and Virtual Animals!

Explore the Olympics, Antarctica, Space, Pyramids, Sharks, Volcanoes, National Parks, and virtually anywhere from any device or observe 3D virtual wolves, pandas, cheetahs, sharks, eagles, tigers, and more from any mobile device!

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

Click on the link below to see the latest news about Physical Education and Health classes with Mrs. DeGuise

Social Emotional Learning - Problem Solving

One of the skills that we work on at GCS is problem solving, using our Second Step curriculum. In our morning announcements, during Wolf Den, and in our classrooms, we teach and remind students how to think of solutions to solve problems. Our Wolf Pack Time this week was on problem solving. K-2 students worked in teams to create a boat out of tinfoil that could hold pennies, and 3-5 students worked in teams to try and create the slowest falling snowflake. Our problem solving process, using Second Step, is to remember to STEP: Say the problem, Think of solutions, Explore consequences and Pick the best solution. We used our restorative circle format to practice mindful "body melting" to get ready for the task, and then again to come back together and reflect on the process.

Second Step lessons specifically teach important social emotional skills. You’ll receive home links that describe why problem solving is important and include fun activities to do with your child. We hope the home links will give you tools to use together to help your child use STEP for solving any kind of problem!

See the photos below of our students in action: body melting, boat making and snowflake testing! It was a very fun Wolf Pack Time!

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Little Glove Project - FREE mittens from Gordini USA

Gordini Gloves, a local glove manufacturer of quality ski gloves and mittens, has donated 60 pairs of Mittens to Gertrude Chamberlin School through their Little Glove Project. You may request a pair of Mittens for your GCS student(s). Gloves will be given away on a first come, first serve basis. Our staff will try to best match gloves to students. If you would like your student(s) to receive a pair of gloves, please complete the form below or on the link here. There is a limit of 1 response per email address.

School Nurse Notes

For Individuals with Continuous Household Exposure:

(someone in the household has tested positive)

If Fully Vaccinated (14 days have passed from 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine):

It is recommended that they test every 3 to 5 days while their household contact is in isolation and for 5 consecutive days after the household contact ends isolation.

If Not Fully Vaccinated (has not received any COVID vaccines or has received only one vaccine):
It is recommended that they test daily while their household contact is in isolation, and for 5 consecutive days after the household contact ends isolation.

Please notify the school, if your student has household exposure and you need test kits, so that your student may attend school. We'll do our best to supply kits based on availability.

If an individual had COVID within the last 90 days:

Testing is not recommended. If symptomatic, contact your healthcare provider.

IF Your Student Has COVID-19 Symptoms:

  • Please continue to TEST!
    • Take 2 rapid antigen tests as close to 24 hours apart as possible OR

    • Sign up for State of Vermont Run Testing OR

    • Contact your student's primary care clinician who can order a PCR/LAMP test.
      • Please keep your student home while waiting for the PCR test results.

    • If test results are negative, please do not send your student back to school sick. They must feel better, with symptom improvement, before returning to school.

Be well,

Kerry Farrell

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

February 3rd Update from Superintendent Young

February 3, 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

I hope this note finds you well and perhaps eagerly anticipating our first true snowstorm of this winter. The forecast looks as though we will receive the heaviest snow beginning this evening and into Friday, therefore, I decided to cancel all after school events as well as school tomorrow, February 4. Enjoy the snow (and reading my updates of course!).

Dates of Note:

February 9: Kevin Downey and Nikki St. Mary are going to host a Zoom meeting 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

February 9: City Council candidate forums at 5:30 (3 yr seat) and 6:15 (2 yr seat) on Channel 17

COVID Updates

According to the latest state data, it appears as though we are seeing a hopeful downward trend in COVID19 cases. Our in school transmission data reflects this as well. Test-to-Stay, the program whereby unvaccinated close contacts received rapid antigen testing at our 577 Dorset Street location in order to stay in school if negative, ended yesterday. I know some may have thought I held onto this program a little longer than they would have liked, but until we began receiving a solid supply of antigen tests for students, I felt it was necessary and certainly served its purpose of keeping as many students learning in person as possible.

Last Friday, we began distributing rapid antigen take home tests to every student in grades PreK-12 along with directions regarding when to use them. This is part of our shift in protocol from test-to-stay to test-at-home. Our hope is to continue to provide families with these tests as supply allows. If you have questions regarding these tests, please contact your student(s) school directly. Currently, we do not have enough supply to offer them to staff (although our hope is that we will be able to at some point in the near future), therefore, next week, we will continue to offer free rapid antigen testing for asymptomatic staff Tuesday-Thursday from 3-4:15pm at 577 Dorset Street.

Hiring Updates on Key District Positions

As many of you know, our District is in the process of hiring for three key positions. The search for an Executive Director for Equity is being supported by Rhiannon Kim, who is consulting with SBSD for this hiring process and Karen Dantzscher, Director of Human Resources. A committee was formed for which there were 13 applicants and 8 were selected to serve. Candidates for the Executive Director of Equity are being assessed based on the following: leadership experience, training/coaching/changemaking experience, cross-disciplinary collaboration skills/experience, Pre-COVID DEI Experiences (anti-racism, LGBTQIA+, Disability Rights, immigrant rights, gender equality, etc.), clearly communicated their interest, experience, and intent for this position in their cover letter & resume, Cover letter and references in alignment, PreK-12 experiences, if no PreK-12 Experiences; do they have skills/experience in the other areas that would be transferable to this role in SBSD. At their next committee meeting, which will occur the week of February 14th, they will discuss the candidates selected to move to the next round, develop and refine the criteria for candidates, develop interview questions, and discuss the interview process.

Our Executive Director for Learning Violet Nichols is facilitating the process to hire our next Executive Director of Educational Support Systems after the recent retirement of longtime District employee Joanne Godek. The committee held the first round of interviews with candidates today with the hope of having a recommendation on a candidate to myself and the board in mid-February.

Finally, in terms of the search for our next FHTMS principal, after the sad passing of Karsten Schlenter, former SBSD administrator Pat Philips has come on board to facilitate that process. The search committee held their first meeting yesterday. The committee will be striving to get a sense of what all stakeholders are looking for in a new school leader and, once that is established, will review the applications the week of 2/28 and select those to be interviewed, conduct interviews the week of 3/7), then make recommendations to me the week of 3/14. Prior to interviewing finalists, a series of forums will be held in which finalists will meet with Administrators, Faculty/Staff, and Parents/Community Members (week of 3/21). Each of those groups will be able to provide feedback to me. Following interviews of finalists by myself at the end of March, I will make a recommendation regarding hiring to the board. Timelines are approximate and may be adjusted as needed.

Enrollment Committee Update

In order to help me and my administrative team determine next steps to address the emergent needs around enrollment at Rick Marcotte Central School and Orchard School, a dedicated committee comprised of board members, teachers, administrators, and community members, has been meeting monthly and sometimes bimonthly since November to discuss potential options to address this in the short and long term. Currently, our next meeting is scheduled for February 8th where we will work through a scoring matrix. Stay tuned for further updates.

FY23 Budget: Opportunities to Learn More

This week, I have been engaged in quite a bit of community outreach on our proposed FY23 budget. I had a fantastic meeting with residents of the Pines, our Orchard School PTO, and the SB Rotary this morning. I also held a budget Q and A Tuesday night. Thanks to all who attended and for your thoughtful questions! As a reminder, all of our budget related videos and slides are posted to our SBSD Budget webpage including the digital edition of our combined City and school budget book. I gave an overview of some of our upcoming budget outreach activities at the February 2 school board meeting. Also, Pre-Town Meeting will take place February 28 beginning at 6:30 pm on GoToMeeting (link provided soon) or you can join in person at 180 Market Street.

Early Voting: Ballots are In!

Early voting has begun! According to City Clerk Donna Kinville, ballots have arrived in her office and she has sent out 239 so far! You can request an absentee ballot in several ways: online at the Secretary of State's website, calling the clerk’s office at 846-4105, sending an email to or coming into the office during regular business hours. Voting will also occur in person at all regular polling locations Tuesday, March 1 from 7 am-7 pm.

All ballots must be received at City Hall in the mail by the close of business on election day. Those dropped off in the night drop box will be picked up Tuesday by 9:00 a.m. Anything in the night drop after 9:00 a.m. will not be delivered to the polls. Find more information on the city's website.

School Happenings

SBHS Visual Arts Students Prepare to Display Work

The Art for Healing Club has found a fantastic spot to display twenty of their paintings: The Pines in South Burlington! The Art for Healing Exhibit went up today and advanced art students as well as students in the Art for Healing Club contributed fabulous compositions to the cause. The work will be on display through February.

In addition, art and music students are preparing and selecting work to be displayed or performed at this year's Artmix, formerly known as the Arts Gala. The event takes place on March 12th at Higher Ground. It is put together by the South Burlington Friends of the Arts. It is an excellent opportunity for arts students to connect with arts enthusiasts in the community and to showcase their achievements!

FHTMS Spirit Week

The FHTMS Spirit Squad is at it again! This week, Yvette Amblo, Matt Guyette, and their team helped spearhead a Spirit Week for staff and students to help bring people together through these cold winter days! The themes include a crazy hair/hat day, PJs/comfy clothes day, a color theme by grade with neon/bright for staff, Wolf Day (wearing any school color, SB, or Wolf wear), and a sports/hobby day. Way to get in the spirit!

Gertrude Chamberlin Students WolfPack Time: Problem Solving!

Principal Rouelle reported that the theme of Wolf Pack Time this week was problem solving, which is one of the social emotional learning skills using their Second Step curriculum. K-2 students worked in teams to create a boat out of tinfoil that could hold pennies, and 3-5 students worked in teams to try and create the slowest falling snowflake. Their problem solving process, using Second Step, is to remember to STEP: Say the problem, Think of solutions, Explore consequences and Pick the best solution. They used their restorative circle format to practice mindful "body melting" to get ready for the task and then again to come back together and reflect on the process. Well done!

RMCS Students Blaze a Trail: Westward Expansion

RMCS 5th grade teacher Lizzy Appleby reported that the westward expansion unit has been done for several years at RMCS and students recently completed their expansion simulation. They "traveled" on wagon trains (teams of 3 - 4) along the Oregon Trail. They had decisions they had to make, fates that determined their train's success, and assignments that taught them about this time period. Out of 6 wagon trains, only 3 made it to Willamette Valley.

Orchard Students Celebrate Global Day of Play

Orchard Students have been having a lot of fun this week! Between celebrating World Read Aloud Day with virtual author visits and Groundhog Day, Global School Play Day was an added bonus! Orchard 2nd grade teacher Ryleigh McClane initiated the idea. She had celebrated it in her school in NY and loved the idea. She said she felt like her students who have a hard time on a normal day had a day where they were able to shine. That alone inspired her to incorporate more unstructured play into her classroom.

McClane said, “On Global School Play Day, all Orchard students had time for unstructured play with no interference from adults. Meaning, the children had to create, discover, and play by their own intuitive compasses. Some classes took advantage of the warm weather and went outside, while others had children building restaurants out of cardboard boxes in their classrooms, writing plays, and enjoying games brought in from home.”

Thanks for reading and stay safe!


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.