The Core

June 5, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 37

Principal's Notes

Hello Parents & Guardians,

Wow, here it is - the last week of school! This is so exciting! I'm sure we are all ready for a well-deserved summer vacation. Here are the updates for next week:

  • Wednesday, June 10 at 6:00 pm - 5th Grade Celebration, online of course
  • Thursday, June 11 - Bus Parade! Yes, it's our turn! We are committed to doing this as one staff altogether. The parade will be fairly long so please note that we are planning to go to most bus stops. We will contact parents about the route next week. We are planning to leave Orchard at 11:30 but keep your eye out for updates!
  • Friday, June 12 - Closing (Virtual) All-School Morning Meeting, the link will be sent Friday morning.

Two more things to know:

Chromebooks: We are asking all families to drop off student Chromebooks to Orchard. Please understand that Chromebooks and laptops are being collected Grades 2 - 12 and we do not have enough staff to collect that many on the buses. Here are the times we are collecting:

Thursday Morning, June 11 - 8:00 - 11:00 (lobby drop-off)

Friday Morning, June 12 (curbside drop-off)

  • PreSchool, Kindergarten and Grade 1 - 9:00 - 10:00
  • Grades 2 & 3 - 10:00 - 11:00
  • Grades 4 & 5 - 11:00 - 12:00

Teachers may be at Orchard during these times! Of course we can make arrangements for anyone who could not drop off at these times. Contact the Office 652-7302.

Report Cards: are being mailed home on Monday, June 15th.

In case you missed Wednesday's School Board Meeting, it appears we will be bringing a new budget to voters in July. Though the budget cuts will be deeper than before, we are hoping to still get at least one teaching position. Because of this, we will need to be flexible this summer in case we have any new positions. We will be holding off sending placement letters out until early August.

Have a great weekend, stay safe, stay well and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

We're Not Saying Goodbye, but ...

We are saying Happy Trails -

Deb Gurwicz - Deb has been teaching at Orchard since 1988! She is currently a 5th grade teacher, but has taught many grade levels throughout the school. Deb has decided to retire. Congratulations Deb for serving Orchard School for 32 years!

Deirdre Phalon - Deirdre joined us as a student teacher from UVM seven years ago and has had an awesome career teaching 2nd and 3rd grades since. Deirdre is moving back to Illinois to be closer to her family.

Brittany Brown - Brittany has only taught at Orchard for two years, one year in various long-term subbing positions and this year teaching first grade. She has been an excellent addition to Orchard School staff. We are losing Brittany due to the budget cuts. There is no doubt that there will be another teaching opportunity in Brittany's future!

We want to say special thank you to all of these awesome teachers and wish them well in their new journeys.

We are also Having Some Staff Moved to Other Positions

Kathy de Natalie - due to budget cuts, our awesome Math Coach is being moved to another position in the SB district.

Ann Knox - our Early Literacy Master (aka Reading Teacher) is also being transferred to another school in the district due to cuts in grant funding

Sarah Gladstone - Sarah has been an awesome para-educator for the past fourteen years. Sarah is retiring though we are anticipating Sarah coming back as a substitute!

I want to say thanks to these three individuals as well and hope they will be back at Orchard in future years.

Memory Book Updates!

Hello, Orchard Families!

The 2019-2020 Memory Book is on its way! The Memory Book is similar to a yearbook, commemorating the school year with pages for each class and photos of extracurricular and school events. New this year (and hopefully only this year…): adventures in homeschooling!

Memory Books cost $12 each. This year each Orchard student will receive a Memory Book. If you are able to contribute to the cost of your child’s Memory Book or help cover the cost of a classmate’s Memory Book, your generosity will be much appreciated! To donate any amount, please visit

If you have any questions, contact Carrie Lyon at or Laura Smith at Memory Books will likely be sent out over the summer.

Thank you!

Carrie and Laura

Talking About Racial Equity

Elementary Schools have traditionally addressed racial equality through various activities such as celebrating diversity and honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. In the past two years, we have learned we have more work ahead of us in addressing racial equity. Research shows that children learn at a very early age that the color of their skin makes a difference in how they navigate the world (including schools). The Orchard Staff is committed to moving this conversation forward by pushing our thinking and teaching on how we teach about race in America.

Parents are our partners and we want to provide you with resources to talk about race and racial inequality with your child. Here are some resources for you to look through:

Anti-Racisim for Kids 101:

100 Race Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child:

Also, check out this very helpful pdf (linked below) that shows they're not too young to talk about the perception of the color of our skin.

We also have this book, Something Happened in Our Town, in our library. The link below is an animated video about the book. I highly recommend it and ask parents to preview first. There are a lot of resources at the back of the book not found in the YouTube video.

Animation Series: Something Happened In Our Town (#AtlantisBuild)

Resources from our Library

Thank you to everyone who has returned library books. Currently, there are over 500 books checked out of Orchard School's library. If your family still has books, they may be returned to a bin in the school lobby Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM. Books may also be returned on the Monday bus run.

Remember that there are thousands of online books available on the "Cool Tools for School" web page ( Stay tuned for information about possible book check-outs during the summer.

If you're not sure if your family members have books checked out of the library right now, email reminders will be sent throughout next week.

Happy Reading!

Have a great summer!


Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

Art Work of the Week

Relaxing Sloth by Pavarti

Need Assistance, Let Us Know

Has your family's income been impacted by circumstances related to COVID? Are the community resources available still not enough to meet your family's basic needs for food and other essential items? If so, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our counselors, as they are here to help and likely have resources to share that could help your family.

We are well aware that these unprecedented times are causing many families who have never needed help before to need help now. Please don't hesitate to let us know if your family has been affected in ways that are beyond your control. We are here to help each other get through this, and we want to hear from you! Please reach out by calling or emailing Aili Beeli (K-2), Auriel Gray (3-5) or Melissa McConnell (School Services Clinician).