Family Friday Focus October 16,2020

Rick Marcotte Central School Principal Kathleen Kilbourne

Dates of Importance -MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Week of Oct 19th: Grades PRE K -2 attends 19,20, 22,23 (Wed. 21st is a remote learning day)

Grades 3-5 Blue pack and Grey Pack days (2 days in person, 3 remote, Wed. remote for all)

Week of Oct 26th: ALL students in Grades PRE K- 5 return 4 days a week

Attending in person 26, 27, 29, 30 (28th is a remote learning day)

Nov 3rd- Teacher Inservice (school in session Nov 2,4,5,and 6 that week for a 4 day week)

Nov 5th- Picture Retake Day at RMCS

Nov 23/24 -Parent Conferences

Nov 25, 26, 27 Thanksgiving break - NO SCHOOL


Below please click on the link to add your voice and priorities to the "Design a Principal" project!

As a way of best serving the community of South Burlington, I am asking all stakeholders (Parents, Students, Staff, Board, and Community Members) to select the top five important qualities they want displayed by the new administrator at Rick Marcotte Central School. This information will be collected now through Oct 30th. In a November "Family Friday Focus" we will share back the top five most selected characteristics. In February, this list will go out again to gain feedback on how well the top prioritize characteristics are being met and implemented. This will help me to make adjustments if necessary for the remaining part of the school year. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share what is important to you and your family!

You will see the SAME QUESTION 5 TIMES. Please choose one trait per question, for a total of 5 attributes. The last question asks your relationship to RMCS, but NOT for your name.

Principal Kilbourne Reading to Gr 4 Students

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Please be advised, that effective 10/15/20 we are no longer able to use the Mary Street entrance to gain access to the RMCS parking lot or drop off circles. Please use the main entrance off Market Street, and then drive to the smaller loop for PRE K/K drop off, and the larger curbside drop off for grades 1-5. This is also true for dismissal times. This is for all families, staff/faculty, and community members.


Please remember that if you are travelling out of state, you need to follow the state guidelines about travel and quarantine if you go to a yellow or red county on the cross state travel map. The map is updated every Tuesday. If you are travelling out of state, please contact our main office at 802 652 7200 if you have questions on your destination, or would like assistance in knowing the requirements upon your return. VT may only travel to GREEN areas without restriction. Areas that are RED/YELLOW require either a 14 quarantine or a 7 day quarantine with a negative COIVD test result.


Transportation Update from Superintendent Young 10/13/20

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As we have transitioned to Step III of reopening our schools, with our grades PreK-2 students returning to additional in-person instruction today, I wanted to send a brief note regarding transportation. Our operations and transportation teams have been working incredibly hard to develop bus routes that accommodate the increase in student need. With these changes, have come questions regarding the District's policies and protocols around transportation which I will address below.

First, I want to reiterate that the South Burlington School District is following all Vermont Department of Health (VDOH) guidelines around transportation and at Step III, that means there are no capacity restrictions on our buses. Currently, we are using a maximum capacity of 50 students per bus (2 students per bus seat) for our transportation planning purposes. At the moment, we have kept riders at the minimum number that our transportation resources will allow, while continuing to enforce universal precautions, including mask wearing on our buses.

I wanted to remind parents/guardians that the additional capacity only began this morning and ask for your patience as drivers remake charts for seating assignments. In the meantime, we are emphasizing the requirement that students sit in the same seat every day. In addition, since the school year began, we have been encouraging and continue to ask parents and guardians to transport their students, walk, or bike to school whenever possible.

Our drivers are performing very well under challenging circumstances and we wanted to gently remind parents and guardians to be respectful when communicating with them.

As always, we appreciate your feedback, are focused on transporting students as safely as possible, and ask that any concerns be communicated to Kathy LaRock, / (802) 652-7479 or Gary Marckres, (802) 652-7052.


David Young

Fifth Grade Students Sharing Math Strategies

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Message from David Young 10/16/20

October 16, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff, and Community Members,

The mid-October weather, although unseasonably warm late this week, offered us a few more opportunities to enjoy our outdoor classrooms before they are taken down for the season in early November. This week, we welcomed back our Grades PreK-2 students to four days per week of in-person instruction beginning Tuesday, October 13. We are so glad to have more of our students back in our classrooms. Thanks to all of the staff, students, and families who have helped make this happen safely!

Honoring Kathy Buley

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that our long time educator and friend, Kathy Buley, passed away after an incredibly courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Kathy was an educator in our District for over 40 years, primarily at Gertrude Chamberlin School. Today, to honor her memory, staff and students were encouraged to wear purple, the official color of pancreatic cancer awareness. Gertrude Chamberlin Principal Holly Rouelle wrote, “We are incredibly saddened by her loss and will remember her as a loving, dedicated teacher and a strong advocate for children and education. We are incredibly grateful to have had Kathy as a teacher and colleague at our school and as a resident of South Burlington. We know that she has positively touched hundreds and even thousands of lives and made a difference in our community.” I wish you all strength in the days and weeks ahead and please don't hesitate to reach out to your families, school principals, and colleagues for support as we process this loss in our own ways.

Reopening Update

I wanted to extend a warm welcome back to our PreK-2 students to four days per week of in-person learning which began October 13! Our plan remains to bring back Grades 3-5 October 26 and we are in preliminary conversations to bring middle school students (Grades 6-8) back to four days per week hopefully in November. I will keep you updated on these discussions.

I wanted to reassure families that even as we have increased capacity in our schools, we continue to enforce protective measures such as mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. Physical distancing guidance remains at 3-6 ft.for students in Grades PreK-5 to the extent possible according to the current language in the state's Strong and Healthy Start Guidelines. The state task force is currently reviewing this language to allow for more flexibility within our schools. In addition, the District purchased 205 air purification units with grant support from Efficiency VT for all classrooms this year. Most large offices that support several people in the same space also have one. The purifiers have a true HEPA filter and UV-C lamps. Also, the District HVAC equipment has been serviced with 80 percent of filters having been converted to MERV-13 filters, the remaining 20 percent are on the way due to high nationwide demand.

Travel Guidance

As holidays and vacations approach, families and staff may be considering traveling out of the area. This is a gentle reminder that the care and safety of our school community depends upon all of us following federal and state travel guidelines.Prior to traveling, be sure to check the cross state travel map from the State of Vermont which is updated every Tuesday. Areas that are in yellow and red require quarantines upon return to Vermont, so plan your getaways accordingly. You can find more detailed information about travel and quarantine at the Vermont Department of Health website. In addition, the CDC recently released a helpful guide for safely celebrating upcoming holidays.

All employees who plan to or who have traveled out of state are expected to fill out this FY21 Covid Travel Notification Form. Thank you all for your compliance!

School Happenings

Tomorrow, from 4:00-5:00 pm on the SBHS Munson Turf Field, the UVM Student-Athletes of Color, in conjunction with South Burlington and Burlington High School Athletic Departments, have invited coaches, teachers, administration, and community members to share their experiences and perspectives of being people of color in Vermont. This is a ticketed event and has SOLD OUT! However, the event will be livestreamed on the Burlington School District Athletics Facebook page. There will be no tickets at the door.

The evening will be capped off with a “Fight Racism” girls' soccer game vs Burlington High School under the lights at 7: 00 pm. The inspiration for the game came from SBHS junior and varsity soccer team member Josie Oliveira. Oliveira became motivated over the summer, after observing national events related to racism, to take action. “We live in Vermont, but not in a bubble,” Oliveira said, “This is a way to take a small step forward to let people know they are heard and not alone.” Please note that the SBHS athletics spectator policy, including physical distancing and mask wearing will be enforced. The game is not open to the general public. Read more about the event and see the speaker lineup in this Burlington Free Press article.

In a related note, the FHTMS group, SOAR (Students Organizing Against Racism), began meeting again (virtually) in late September.We look forward to continuing to support and be inspired by these middle school students’ antiracism work again this year!

Gertrude Chamberlin School(GCS) has received an award for their PBIS work! The school received their official certificate of recognition this week for maintaining and sustaining the PBIS framework during COVID-19 school building closures. GCS was one of nineteen schools that was recognized during the Annual Vermont PBIS Leadership Forum held October 7th and highlighted in the 2019-2020 VTPBIS Annual Report. In this video shown at the virtual PBiS Forum, you will see some familiar sights from Gertrude Chamberlin School. Principal Rouelle gave shout outs to Lisa Finlayson and the Universal and Targeted teams for supporting a positive climate at GCS, even during closure.“It is a beautiful video, highlighting the strength, love and perseverance we have shown to reopen our schools” Rouelle noted.

Rick Marcotte Central School students are looking forward to the next Common Roots Farm to School lesson on sweet potatoes and garlic next week. Yum!

At Orchard School, after an extended period of warm weather, it was finally time to put the school gardens to bed and it was truly a team effort. Check out the photos of staff hard at work (and having fun!) on Orchard School's Twitter.


Our transportation staff has been working incredibly hard during challenging circumstances to ensure students are transported to and from school in a safe manner. We have appreciated your patience during this time. The South Burlington School District is following all Vermont Department of Health (VDOH) guidelines around transportation and at Step III, that means there are no capacity restrictions on our buses. Currently, we are using a maximum capacity of 50 students per bus (2 students per bus seat) for our transportation planning purposes. At the moment, we have kept riders at the minimum number that our transportation resources will allow, while continuing to enforce universal precautions, including mask wearing on our buses.

In addition, since the school year began, we have been encouraging and continue to ask parents and guardians to transport their students, walk, or bike to school whenever possible.

Please communicate any questions or concerns to Kathy LaRock at or (802) 652-7479. If unable to reach Kathy, please contact Christa Chambers in the Office of Operations and Finance at or (802) 652-7053 for assistance.

National Principals Month

October is National Principals Month and I wanted to give thanks for our amazing school principals: Gertrude Chamberlin Principal Holly Rouelle, Rick Marcotte Central School Principal Kathleen Kilbourne, Orchard School Principal Mark Trifilio, Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School Principal Karsten Schlenter and Assistant Principal David Hyatt, South Burlington High School Principal Patrick Burke and Assistant Principals Lissa McDonald and John Craig. Read more about National Principals Month here.

Thank you all for your continued support and have a great weekend.



Health Information and Updates

Information for Families: Return to School Following Illness

We are sending home an updated version of this Health Department handout. Please reference the handout when your student is sick with COVID-like symptoms (including a runny nose!). Consider keeping it on your refrigerator or in your school folder.

What is the update? If your child is experiencing one symptom, as indicated in the yellow box, please keep them at home until they feel better for at least 24 hours (and symptoms are improved or gone).

Vermont Department of Health Resources

Close Contacts and Contact Tracing Information:

  • Who is Considered a Close Contact and What does it Mean?

    • According to the Health Department, if someone tests positive for COVID-19, the Health Department will work closely with the individual (and if necessary, the school) to identify their close contacts. Timeframe, nature of contact and other factors can influence who is determined to be a close contact. This is called contact tracing.

    • Close contact means being within six feet for 15 minutes or more, of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their infectious period. The infectious period starts two days before any symptoms began, or for people who haven't had symptoms, two days before they got tested, and continues until they are recovered. Close contact does not mean: being more than six feet away in the same indoor environment for a short period of time, walking by, or briefly being in the same room.

    • Click here to view a Timeline for People who are Close Contacts (of Someone with COVID-19)

  • What is Contact Tracing?
    The Health Department indicates that contact tracing is used to provide education, support and guidance to people who are diagnosed with an infectious disease. It’s also used to identify people who have been in close contact with them, so they can take steps to stop the disease from spreading to others.

    • Here's a video that shows how contact tracing for COVID-19 works in Vermont.

    • Click here for more information about close contacts and contact tracing.

Annual Flu Shot Reminder

Video from the CDC: Roll up your sleeve for your annual flu vaccine: