April 30, 2021, Volume 11, Issue 29
Letter from the Principal
Parents & Guardians,
Wow, April is in the rearview mirror. This very long pandemic year seems to be moving quickly.
Two cool things this week - we celebrated the end of Poetry Month with poems in our pockets. It was a lot of fun. Congratulations to our fifth graders who were able to launch the rockets they built for Starbase. We had a great day for that event!
Big News - the PTO is about to make an incredible leap toward a playground upgrade - check out the news below!
We are making plans for the likely return of students to be back at Orchard five days per week. Please keep a careful eye on the superintendent's weekly message.
From David Young's April 16th message:
I wanted to let you know I have spent a good portion of my weekly meeting with administrators, reading parent/guardian feedback around reopening our schools to more in-person learning, and having conversations with my fellow Champlain Valley Superintendents. I have now had a chance to review the recently released Strong and Healthy Year Guidance. The safety of our students remains my top priority. We are currently planning for a May 10 return of elementary students to 5 days of in-person instruction. We will continue to watch the data before, during, and immediately after spring break and will communicate any changes as careful planning continues. This date is subject to change should cases continue their upward trajectory.
Our arrival and dismissal systems continue to be going very smoothly (we're thankful the tent came back). We are asking for one more detail - parents who drop off and pick up walkers on Baldwin Avenue: Please drive slowly and do not park on our neighbors' lawns. We appreciate our neighbors and want to be respectful. Thank you for your cooperation
It is SBAC season for our students in grades 3-5. The SBACs (Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium) are mandated assessments in math and literacy - and science (for grade five). Our staff is committed to honoring our students and families celebrating Ramadan and are postponing testing to mid-May. We will be providing more specifics soon.
It's time to think about student placement for next year. The Parent Feedback form is available electronically. Please complete the survey when you have a little time - also repeat for each student. Thank you and remember, requesting a specific teacher will not be accepted. Here is the link: https://forms.gle/HXMowBx17H4RmLhK7. Also please let us know if you will be moving or not sending your student to Orchard next year.
We are thinking of our Orchard Community Members who have family members in India and other countries struggling with high volumes of Covid cases. Please contact us if this applies to your family so we can provide support to your child.
Finally, if you watch the local news on WCAX, they interviewed yesterday one of our retired teachers, Carol McQuillen. For those who do not know Carol, she was an amazing teacher who contributed a lot (and I mean a lot) to Orchard School. I always think of Carol as Super, never as a Senior! Check out her interview below.
Have a good weekend, take some time to read to your child.
Happy Green Up Day!
LAST CHANCE TO ORDER A MEMORY BOOK
LAST CHANCE TO ORDER A MEMORY BOOK: Order by Friday, May 7th
We’re extending the deadline to order your child’s memory book until May 7th. To guarantee your child receives a book, please order by this date. After May 7th, we’ll only be able to sell the supply we have on hand on a first-come, first-served basis.
Books cost $14 each and can be ordered using the link below. If you are able, please consider donating an extra book for a family in need.
Order Link:: https://www.memorybook.com/online-pay/parent-pay/
School Code: 920771
You will need the school code above and then follow the directions on the screen to set up an account. If you donate a book, you can put it in your name or your child's name as the system requires a name be entered but we will be sure the book goes to someone in need. Thank you!
5th Grade Rocket Launches
Hi Orchard Parents,
The PTO is excited to announce that after a year of lockdown and restrictions, this summer the Orchard playground will be getting a major (and long overdue!) upgrade so that more outdoor play is possible!
Starting now, through the end of May, we will have a donation match happening!!
You can donate on Konstella - please go to: https://www.konstella.com . or you can send a check or cash into school with 'playground' on the envelope.
DONATIONS OF ALL SIZES ARE WELCOMED DURING THIS MATCH MONTH! T
hank you - we look forward to seeing you on the playground this summer!
Lost and Found - Everything Must Go, Our Deadline is Approaching!
School Nurse Notes
Some friendly reminders...
If you plan to travel to another state, quarantine is not necessary upon return to Vermont (or prior to returning to school, unless experiencing symptoms or a COVID positive test). Unvaccinated Vermonters must be tested within 3 days upon return to the state, though families may consider testing on the day they return to Vermont, if possible.
People who have returned from international travel should follow the "After International Travel" guidance from the CDC.
Return to School Following Illness:
We are continuing to follow the State's guidance for returning to school following an illness. Please continue to refer to this handout when symptoms arise (even a drippy nose) and continue to fill out the daily app and keep your student home if symptoms arise.*
*If your student is diagnosed with seasonal allergies or asthma, please consult with your student's healthcare provider, to assure that the conditions are being treated appropriately. Please provide the school nurse with any new information, along with a note from the provider, indicating the medically diagnosed allergies and follow-up medical treatment plan.
All Vermont residents age 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated.
College students and some residents of another state are now eligible for vaccines.
For information about making an appointment, visit "Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine" by clicking here.
Need help? Contact the call center at 855-722-7878.To speak with someone in a language other than English, call the above number, and then press 1.
Why can't children and adolescents get the COVID vaccine?
See the Vermont Department of Health's response here.
Find helpful information about tick bite prevention, identification, removal, and symptoms by visiting the CDC here.
Kara Cassani & Darcy Mazlish
Orchard School Nurses