The Core

May 6, 2022, Volume 13, Issue 34

From the Principal

Hello Parents,

Our 5th Graders have worked through our first week of SBAC (Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium) testing. Orchard students always do their best! 3rd and 4th graders start their SBACs next week. Parents - we need your help. Please make sure your child is rested and on time for school next week. A healthy breakfast and snacks are also really important. Thank you!

The Student Placement process will begin within the next couple of weeks. We need your feedback! If you recall, we moved to an electronic version two years ago and would like to continue with this system. Please complete the parent feedback survey for your child - and reopen the survey for each of your children. Please know that we cannot accept teacher requests and will delete any specific teacher requests. Thank you for this. Here is the link:

A BIG THANK YOU to our PTO! They treated us to a delicious lunch from Panera today. We all feel so appreciated and we are so grateful!

Happy Mothers Day to all of our Orchard School moms!

Mark T

Quote of the week:

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, make it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous being are we ...”

~Yoda, in honor of Star Wars Day

Gaga Ball is Here!

From the PTO

Artist in Residence: Master Lenny Yordan of Yordan's Black Belt Academy will be doing an Artist in Residency program at Orchard for the last two weeks of May. He will have time with students of each grade every day for those two weeks, ending in a performance. Of his work with students, Master Yordan notes: "[this program] brings students a sense of honesty, integrity, spirit and motion-- it is a safe, holistic approach to build body awareness and confidence. People who stick with martial arts in this approach show more confidence and build that 'I-can' attitude." He also notes that this is not an aggressive program, "it's never a me-vs-them". We are proud to sponsor and support this program that helps each student work their body to its individual ability. We hope your children love it!

Spring Fling: We are so excited to bring back an Orchard School spring tradition this year with the Spring Fling! Join other Orchard families on Friday, May 20th from 5:30 to 7:30 to enjoy good company and festivities! More details to come; please see attached flyer and start to get pumped!

Orchard Gardens: Bringing Butterflies to Orchard There is an effort under way to transform some of our flower beds at Orchard School into butterfly gardens! Creating habitats to attract these beautiful insects is not only fun to watch, but great for the environment. Like bees, butterflies are important pollinators that benefit nature and need to be conserved. We are looking for perennials to add to our garden such as Lupine, Lavender, Aster, or coneflower to name a few. If you happen to have any extra butterfly-friendly plants/flowers that can be transplanted or if you would like to donate from a local nursery, please contact Kasey Skidmore at

School Nurse Notes


This week's focus: Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne disease (infection transmitted to humans from insects) in the U.S.

  • Lyme is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected blacklegged (a.k.a. deer) tick.
  • Over half of the blacklegged ticks collected in Vermont tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease include:

Headache, fever, chills, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, & Erythema Migrans ("EM": Bull's Eye pattern) rash. Not everyone develops the rash.

  • Symptoms can occur 3-30 days after a tick bite.
  • Prompt treatment can help recovery.
  • If untreated, infection can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Diagnosis is made primarily by symptoms and physical findings (rash).
  • Most cases can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
  • Ticks don't jump, fly, or drop from trees. They wait for a host to walk by and climb on.
  • Deer ticks tend to live in wooded areas and fields with tall grasses.
    • Anyone who spends time in those habitats or who has a yard next to the woods
      may be at risk.

For more information, visit the Vermont Department of Health or the CDC.

Next week's topic: prevention of tick bites


FREE N95 Masks:

Are you or a family member at high risk for severe illness? You may want to consider extra protection with a N95 respirator mask. To find out where to find free N95 respirator masks visit here. To find out how to use a N95 mask, see the diagrams here.

FREE LAMP tests (similar to PCR, but results within 30 minutes) are available from the Health Department. Find sites here (walk-ins allowed) or make an appointment here for pick-up. FREE Rapid Antigen tests are available from the school. Please contact us and we can send them home with your student or you can pick them up at school.With symptoms, if the first antigen test is negative, use the second at least 24 hours later. If they are both negative, and you still have concerns, get a LAMP or a PCR test.

Be well,

Kara Cassani, RN & Darcy Mazlish, RN

Orchard School Nurses
SBSD Elementary Health Services
p. (802) 652-7303
f. (802) 652-7354

3rd Graders in Ms. Verrill's Class Teaching Fractions to their Classmates

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Ms. Evenson's 1st Grade Class Planting Seeds

Farm to School

Hello Orchard School Families and Friends!

In our final lesson of the year, we put our boots on and headed outside to the raised beds to plant some seeds! We chose to plant sunflowers, cucumbers, and spinach together in one bed - as companion plants - who will work together and support each other to grow as strong as they can be. The sunflowers can act as a trellis for the cucumber vines to crawl up. The spinach will grow well under a bit of shade provided by the large cucumber leaves. We are so excited to watch these seeds grow throughout the rest of the school year.

After all that hard work, we treated ourselves to a refreshing and nourishing green juice, including some of the ingredients that we just planted outside. Many variations can be made to this juice - add a little pineapple to make it sweeter or lemon juice for a refreshing burst of flavor. You can use whatever greens you have on hand - spinach and kale are our favorites. Be sure to leave the skin on your cucumber and apple - it’s where the most nutrients are hidden. For a fun summer treat, pour this juice in popsicle trays and freeze!

Many students enjoyed sharing why they thought Farm to School is important: “It introduces us to new recipes.” “We get to taste new and healthy foods.” “We learn how to take care of ourselves and the Earth.” We look forward to seeing you all in the Fall, and thank you for a great year with the Common Roots Farm to School program!

Green Juice!

Serves 2 (Makes ~4 cups of juice)


● A heaping handful of greens (spinach or kale are best!)

● 2 ½ cups water

● ½ fresh apple, skin on, cubed (about ½ to ¾ cup)

● 5” of cucumber, peel on, cubed (about ½ cup)

● 1 Tbsp ginger root, grated OR half a lemon zested and the juice (or both!)


  1. The night before, freeze the prepped apple, cucumber, and ginger/lemon.
  2. The next day, get out your blender and blend the frozen ingredients with the greens and water. Add some ice if you want to make a summer slushie, or freeze in popsicle trays!

News from the Common Roots Farm at South Village: Farmstand Opening Day is Friday May 6th! Hours throughout the season are Tuesday - Sunday, 10am-6pm. We look forward to seeing you and your children at the farmstand this summer! To learn more about our farmstand memberships:

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish!

Lauren Jones & Nora Scully

Common Roots - Farm to School Educators

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April's Read Aloud Book Raising to Raise Anti-Racists

A beautiful project for April's schoolwide read-aloud, IN MY MOSQUE is now on display on the ceiling of the school's lobby. On one of the last pages of the book is the sentence, "In my mosque, we pray for peace, love and joy.... just like my friends who worship in churches, temples, and synagogues." The schoolwide project focused on the words "peace, love and joy." These words are currently displayed high on the lobby wall as students walk into the building. In about the center of the book is a beautiful picture of a dive,

After hearing the book, IN MY MOSQUE, students were asked to use a media of the teacher's choosing to decorate a dove. It could have been using watercolors, markers, cut paper, or whatever. Completed doves were added to the lobby display of doves swooping to the words PEACE, LOVE and JOY. We now have quite a stunning and meaningful entrance to our school!

Happy Reading,


Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

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Please Respect Our Neighbors


Our Arrival and Dismissal routes are going much smoother these days so it is so important for parents to use our parking lot pick-ups & drop-off routes rather than dropping off your child on Baldwin Avenue. Our neighbors have been very patient with us and we need to keep off their lawns. It's also not safe so please support our neighbors like you support our school.

Thank you on this.