The Core

May 15, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 34

Principal's Notes

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Our 2nd All School Morning Meeting - At Home Edition is here! Click below so you can watch it over and over. Four Corners really is one of our favorite games and it's fun to see students develop strategies for how to move from corner to corner. I hope your family has as much fun watching as we did making it. Hats off to our Arts Team and Ms. Abby! A Big Shout Out
To Mr. Hamlin for such a fine film production!

Hats off to parents! I know teaching at home is not easy and we want to acknowledge all the good work you are doing-especially helping your child feel connected and safe. One thing I want to re-emphasize is our learning expectations. We are not expecting new learning taking place, just a Continuance (Governor Scott's word). The work provided is designed to keep students engaged and productive. Our teachers are asked not to push too hard but to provide choices and keep conversations going. I am including our Coronavirus Family Handbook again to help with this.

Two cool notes - we are sending home library books. Yes, the superintendent has asked each school to make their library books available to provide books at home. They will start being delivered on the Monday bus runs but see Ms. Sullivan-Macdonald's article below.

Second note - parents are organizing a bus driver appreciation morning this coming Monday! See the article below for this as well.

Parents, don't forget to complete the Parent Feedback Form. It's your opportunity to provide feedback on your child's placement for next year. Don't forget to complete it for each child in your family and remember: we cannot accept teacher preferences. Your feedback will be shared with this year's teacher and our school counselors as they prepare for placement.

As mentioned last week, we do not have a definite plan for our teaching assignments and the number of grade-level teachers needed. We are on hold until after the budget vote. Please see the download right below here to get get a better understanding of how South Burlington is setting up the ballot places.

Check out the Social Emotional Learning Activity Calendar attached below. It's really good and should be hung on the fridge!

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

Mark Trifilio

New School Budget Vote Information

Voting on the revised proposed FY21 budget is still on track to occur May 28. Please see the latest information in a note from City Clerk Donna Kinville here. Even though our regular polling locations are planning to be open, we are strongly encouraging people to request absentee ballots through the My Voter page on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website. As of this writing, Donna Kinville has reported that ballots should be ready to go out by Monday, May 11th. You can find more information about the revised proposed FY21 budget here.

Parent Feedback Survey Form

Photos from the Week

Bus Driver Appreciation

Monday - May 18th - Bus Driver Appreciation Day - please help us say thank you to our amazing drivers on Monday. We asking Orchard families to make a thank you sign/card to hold up as your driver comes by the morning of Monday, May 18th. The PTO's have all contributed to purchasing gift cards for our drivers to treat themselves to lunch on that day. The drivers are going above and beyond for our families this year - help us to wave and say thank you.

Resources from our Library

Did You Know?

Since restrictions have been lowered somewhat for safe circulation of library books, until June 1st families may use this form to request chapter books from Orchard School's library - Only chapter books will be checked out at this time due to the availability of thousands of picture books on the "Cool Tools for School" web page ( Books may be delivered either on Monday bus runs (or Tuesday, May 26th, due to Memorial Day) or by pick-up in the school lobby Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM.

Currently, there are over 2,100 books still checked out of Orchard School's library. You may return books to a bin in the school lobby Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM.

Happy Reading!



Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

Orchard Morning Meeting- May 15th 2020

Emotional Health Ideas

Dear Orchard Families,

As school counselors, we have the opportunity to connect with many people each day. Recently, we are hearing from families that distance learning is not always fun or easy, any “honeymoon phase” is long over, and people are tired. Understanding this, we are reaching out to offer additional support and resources.

One resource is Joelle van Lent, a local psychologist and expert on resilience and stress. Joelle has consulted with the South Burlington School District for several years, and we truly value her as a trusted colleague and resource. We reached out to Joelle to ask what she felt might be most helpful for our parents and caregivers to know right now. Joelle had lots to say and created the attached document for families. In it, Joelle offers helpful reminders, tips, and new information.

Joelle has also offered to continue to consult with us and address specific concerns and questions from parents and caregivers. We invite you to email us questions or concerns related to supporting yourself and your child during this unusual time. Questions will be kept anonymous, and we will compile answers to report back to families in our next parent email. We welcome and appreciate all questions, knowing if one person is wondering it is likely more are as well.

We also want to remind you that we, Orchard School Counselors, are here to support you and your child. Knowing that parenting may feel more complicated than ever, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a conversation. We are happy to connect by email, phone, or zoom, whatever works best for you.

Thank you and take care,

Aili Beeli and Auriel Gray

PTO News

Konstella - The Orchard School PTO will be retiring Konstella at the end of this school year. We will be replacing it with a simpler set of tools. We will also be retiring the Orchard PTO website as well. We are doing this to make things easier for everyone.

Parent Communication - Beginning in September, The Core newsletter will become the PTO's main tool for communicating with parents. In addition to PTO news, we will also include links to our new tools for easy reference. This will mean parents only have one place to go to find out what is going on at Orchard.

School Directory - Feedback from parents has been that they preferred our previous school directory to Konstella. We are going to go back to distributing a paper directory. The Orchard School office staff have very kindly offered to help us put this together. This will be distributed early in the new school year.

Volunteer Sign-Ups - None of the events and programs organized by the PTO could happen without our awesome parent volunteers. Moving forward we will be using Signup Genius for parents to use to sign up and help the PTO. We will populate as many volunteer opportunities in this tool at the start of the year to make it easier for everyone to plan when they will help out. The address for this tool is

Online Payments - We are going to start using Square to process online payments for field trips, play tickets, and donations. The address for the PTO Square store is

Room Parents - Room parents will communicate with class parents using a list of email addresses provided by their teacher.

Hannaford Helps - Please bring any School Dollars you may have to Hannaford's by this Saturday, May 16. This is the last day to turn them in and get money for our school!

What Else is the PTO Doing? - Aside from the events we usually sponsor that had to be canceled this Spring, the PTO usually sponsors a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. We also co-sponsor with the other SB schools a bus driver lunch. This year, as these events have had to be canceled, we provided gift cards to all teachers and staff at Orchard. We are also encouraging families to make signs of appreciation for bus drivers to show on Monday, May 18 at the time that your neighborhood's bus comes by for lunch and packet deliveries. We will provide lunch to the drivers as a further show of our gratitude!

Our goal in simplifying these tools is to make life easier for everyone.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to the PTO at if you have any questions about this.