Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter March 18, 2022 Volume 16 Issue 26

Friday, March 18th - No School, Inservice Day

Friday, March 25th - 12:30 Dismissal, Professional Development for Staff

Thursday, April 7th and Friday, April 8th - 11:30 Dismissal for Parent Teacher Conferences

To schedule Parent Teacher Conferences this spring, Grades K-4 will be using the Pick-a-Time Scheduling tool. Parents will be asked to create an account, then using your student's name and birthdate link them to you. Directions are provided in the tool. Parents can see a visual schedule for multiple students. Students in grade 5 will have their conferences scheduled directly with the 5th grade team.

Here is the link to schedule a conference with your child's teacher:

Tuesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 13th - 11:30 Dismissal For Kindergarten Only - Incoming Kindergarten Screening

Kindergarten students will have lunch at school and then get dismissed at 11:30. We can now have our incoming kindergarten screening/registration process in person, so we will be using the kindergarten classrooms in the afternoon for this. With the growth in student numbers across the district, we don't have extra spaces to hold screening without having half days for our current kindergarten students. If your child goes to School's Out on these days, there will be a School's Out program offered to current families. If you have an incoming kindergarten student, please call Mrs. Baechle at 802 652-7403 to schedule your screening appointment.

These will be regular full days for grades 1-5 on April 12th and 13th.

April 18th - April 22nd - No School, Spring Break

Chamberlin Artists Featured in Two Upcoming Art Shows

Mark your calendars for these in-person art shows! You will see representation from GCS- as well as the entire district- at each show.

March 14th- April 18th: Champlain Valley Art Show at the University Mall.

April 13th: The Arts Festival at SBHS, 6:30pm. Displayed artwork from the entire district, elementary activities and musical performances.

Photos below are from the art show at the University Mall.

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School's Out Childcare Registration Information for Next Year

All families wanting to paticipate in School's Out, new or returning to any of our programs, can register for next school year starting April 4th. Current School's Out families are guaranteed enrollment. New families will be put into a lottery for remaining spaces and notified on May 6th of their enrollment status.

Allison Thomson

School's Out!

Program Administrator


We had a great all school celebration on Tuesday for filling the hive...dress up like your favorite movie or book character! We are kind, we are responsible, we are safe!

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Here is the link to schedule a parent teacher conference for grades K-4

Family Survey

Hello Chamberlin Families,

Our goal is to provide not just your children with a positive school experience, but to also make you feel like a valued member of our community. This has been especially hard to do during the pandemic! We would appreciate it if you took a few minutes to complete this survey so that we can continue to serve our families in the best ways possible. All submissions will be anonymous. Please submit one survey per household.

Survey Link

Thank you for your time!

Positive Behavioral Intervention Systems Team (PBiS)

Maple Moon Spring Festival - Postponed until the 26th


Common Roots, our Farm to School partners, have an exciting family opportunity for you and your family! Maple Moon is a Spring Festival at the Wheeler House

(1100 Dorset Street) with music, a scavenger hunt in the woods, maple sugaring, and cultural stations with taste tests. Dress for the weather.

The Maple Moon Festival will be held on March 26 from either 11 am-12:30 pm or 12:30 -2 pm (two shifts). The Event itself is free. Lunch tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children; children 2 and under are free, to cover the cost of lunch. The menu will be Flatbreads from our clay oven, and maple lemonade. Common Roots has provided some complimentary tickets for families who would like to attend, for whom the cost of lunch may be challenging.

Please visit to reserve your free event tickets (11-12:30 or 12:30-2), or call the Orchard front office (802-652-7302).

Complimentary lunch tickets are available at each school on a first come first serve basis. See the attached flyer.

Parking will be at the Islamic Society on Swift Street. There is a light at the corner and sidewalks all the way.

Get your family out on the land at our beautiful Wheeler Nature Park. We hope you can join the fun! Invite your friends!

(Maple Moon - brought to you by Common Roots, SB Rotary, and SB Park and Rec)


Carol McQuillen

Co-Founder, Director

Common Roots


NEW Updates on Covid 19 Mitigation Strategies

Students were very respectful about our shift to the optional wearing of masks. Masks are also now optional on the bus. It was very strange to see full faces...and wonderful to see some smiles again! One student said to me, "Wait, what's your name again? I haven't seen your face in two years, and now I can't remember who you are!"

Families can now come into the building if they have a meeting with staff (IEP meeting, 504 meeting, parent conferences, etc.). We are going to continue our current arrival and dismissal process through the end of the year, as it makes for a much quicker process and doesn't have lots of people congregating inside. We will also be holding our incoming kindergarten screening in person on April 12th and 13th! Our current kindergarten students will dismiss at 11:30 AM so we can use the classrooms for the screening in the afternoon. If your kindergarten child goes to School's Out on these days, there will be a School's Out program offered to current families. If you have an incoming kindergarten student, please call Mrs. Baechle at 802 652-7403 to schedule a screening appointment.

Classrooms can now begin to mix within a grade level for learning opportunities, as well as two grade levels getting together. We will continue to monitor Covid cases within our schools and community - this week, the dashboard reflects that we had 1 case at GCS. We are also on track to have our Fun Run, Field Day and 5th grade Fun Day and Celebration!

As grateful as we are about all of these returning things, we are also very aware of the psychological, academic and social emotional impact the last two years have had on our children. Getting to take our masks off is not a quick fix! We will continue to use our school resources to support students in all of these areas to the best of our abilities.

We are climbing the wall at GCS! Click on the link to read news about Physical Education Classes!

Kindergarten Registration, New Student Registration and Returning Student Registration

On March 7, 2022, the Registration Portal for 2022-2023 Kindergarten students and all Pre-K students will open. The portal can be accessed using your PowerSchool Parent Portal account.

All Kindergarten students will need to complete registration forms. If your student is already registered as a Pre-K student, please select “Returning Student”.

If you have not registered your student in the past, please select “New Student”. Registration will be a 2 step process.

Pre-K class placements are made on a first come, first serve basis.

Registration for all/any NEW 2022-2023 Grade 1-5 students will begin April 4, 2022.

The Annual Student Update (ASU) for all returning students will open on June 1, 2022.

The registration tool is NOT mobile phone friendly. Please use a laptop, or tablet to complete the forms. If you don’t have a device, please contact Lynne Baechle, 802-652-7403 or email for assistance. We now have a desk top set up in the office, pictured below, so families who need support or don't have access to a device can come in and get support to register.

Creating Animal Habitats in 3rd Grade Art

With Ms. Testone, 3rd graders are researching animals and learning about their adaptations and habitats. In art with Mrs. Goodrich, students are learning about warm colors, cool colors, landscapes, horizon, foreground and background, as well as some 3D techniques, to create a clay representation of their animal and a shoe box environment where they can live. Here are some creative 3rd graders working on their environments in art class!

School Nurse Notes

Symptoms include~ Fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, headache, chills, diarrhea, muscle/body aches, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, chills, loss of taste or smell.

  • Keep your student HOME.
  • Consider COVID testing*.
  • Return to school when symptoms have markedly improved or resolved and no fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

*Free COVID tests (LAMP & rapid-antigen) may be requested from the Vermont Department of Health’s testing site or an antigen test kit can be picked-up at school (contact the school nurse).
2 antigen tests should be taken as close to 24 hours apart as possible.

Has your student outgrown their pants and shirts? We are in need of stretchy pants / leggings and basic shirts (no big logos please). If you have some to spare, that are washed and in good shape, please send them in. Thank you!

For students in all grades, please consider keeping a spare set of socks, underwear, pants and shirt in your student's backpack.

Be well,

Kerry Farrell

Used Book Sale at the South Burlington Public Library!

Please click on the link below for information about a used book sale at the library on April 1st and 2nd!

PTO Un Fundraiser is Up to $1,100!

We are asking for your support for our 2022 Un-Fundraiser. Want to donate to the PTO, but don't want to purchase anything? You can participate in the "Unfundraiser"! Attached is the information and form...the form in paper copy will be coming home with your child. Simply put, an Un-Fundraiser is a way to donate money without having to sell or buy anything. Isn't that the best? 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes directly to the Chamberlin School PTO, and then it goes right to our kids, which is the best place to put it! Please make checks payable to “Chamberlin PTO” and either send in with your student or mail to: Chamberlin School, ATTN: PTO, 252 White St., South Burlington, VT 05403

March 17th Update From Superintendent Young

March 17, 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

It certainly feels like spring has arrived on a day like today! I hope you all have a chance to enjoy a little of this sunshine. Maybe you’re thinking of getting your home or countertop gardens going? If so, the South Burlington Public Library has a FREE seed library available. You can even check out what’s on offer online before dropping by in person!

Spring thoughts aside, I wanted to remind you that tomorrow, there is no school for students as our staff will be engaged in professional development. Thanks to our Executive Director of Learning Violet Nichols for coordinating the series, that this year has focused on antiracism. In the morning, the Pacific Education Group (Courageous Conversations) will offer a Virtual Introduction to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Part II - How to build culturally relevant schools post pandemic, using the work of Gloria Ladson Billings to focus on: Academic achievement/student learning, Cultural Competence, and Socio-political/critical consciousness. We’re excited for this session! Please see my additional updates below.

Dates of Note:

March 15-April 6: 2022 Champlain Valley Regional Art Show at the UMall (more on this below)

March 18: No School, Professional Development for Staff

March 17-19 Talent Night at SBHS

Now through March 21, Spring sports registration FHTMS and SBHS

March 25: Late Start at MS/HS, Early Release at ES

April 1: SBHS Career Expo

April 12 and 13, GCS and Orchard School Kindergarten Screening

April 12, 13, 14, RMCS Kindergarten Screening

Masking in Schools Update

This week marked our first where the District allowed for optional mask wearing in our schools. From the feedback I received from our administrators, this seems to be going well so far with a good number continuing to mask. At last night's school board meeting, a motion was made to amend the decision they made last week regarding making masks optional in schools effective Monday, March 14, but requiring them on buses through the end of this school year.

The new motion that was passed by the School Board last evening ​made masks optional on our school buses effective immediately. It will be important to continue to communicate to our students and staff that there are many who will continue to wear masks both in school and on our buses and fostering a culture of respect and kindness for individual decisions continues to be crucial as we take this step. Thanks to all for helping to communicate this message.

SBSD COVID Protocols

Based on school nurse clinical decision-making, LAMP or antigen tests may be used to test students who become symptomatic while at school. Parental/caregiver consent and registration are required (see online form links below). If you have already consented and registered for testing earlier this school year, repeating the process is not necessary. If you have not consented/registered, please fill out BOTH the Consent Form and the SimpleReport form (which is used to relay the results). Please contact the school nurse if you have questions about consent / registration or need assistance.

A reminder for staff, if you become symptomatic while at school, you can visit the school nurse to pick-up a rapid antigen test kit or contact Maura Sawtelle in HR and plan on leaving work for the remainder of the day.

COVID Dashboard

Our dashboard will continue to be updated. We will no longer be notifying families when a case arises in a classroom or grade-level. Instead, please check the dashboard often to help make personal decisions around testing, masking and attendance at work or school. The dashboard also includes testing recommendations and guidance.

Updates on District Positions

Executive Director for Equity Search Update

The Executive Director for Equity search team committee held a first round of interviews with seven candidates for the position March 10 and 11. The District received 38 applicants for the position. The committee unanimously selected two candidates to move to the second interview round. These interviews are being scheduled to occur with the administrative team by the end of March.

FHTMS Principal Search Update

Interviews were completed Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and the search committee will make recommendations as to which candidates to forward to the next stage. In that next step, Administrators will be meeting with finalists and then faculty, staff, students, parents, and administrators and will have an opportunity to participate in forums via Zoom. Dates for these next steps will be arranged once finalists have been determined.

Memorial Bench Fundraiser to Honor Karsten Schlenter

Several staff members at FHTMS have been meeting to create an on campus memorial bench to recognize Karsten’s kindness and devotion to our school community. The goal is to raise $3500 to install a VT granite bench with an inscription recognizing Karsten’s service to our community. The district business office is now accepting donations. The installation is currently planned to take place at the start of our Fall 2022 school year. If you would like to donate, checks can be made payable to the South Burlington School District, Karsten Memory Bench, 577 Dorset Street South Burlington, VT 05403. If you have questions regarding the memorial, please contact Matt Guyette, 652-7397.

Student Artwork on Display at the UMall

The 2022 Champlain Valley Regional Art Show is on! This show is hosted by the University Mall. and features the artwork of students in grades Kindergarten through 12 from the greater Burlington area. The exhibition opened Tuesday, March 15th and the artwork will remain on display until Thursday, April 6th. The South Burlington School District exhibits, including a sampling of artwork from each of the schools, is located near the Kohl’s Department Store. We encourage South Burlington community members to see this local art exhibition which is accessible during regular mall hours. Amanda Palmer, art teacher at Christ the King organized the show this year, but next year, our very own FHTMS art teacher Alison Treston will be taking the reins!

School Happenings

SBHS Student Gianna Morin Wins State Poetry Out Loud Competition!

SBHS student Gianna Morin took top honors at the Poetry Out Loud State Finals held at the Barre Opera House March 14. There were 18 other competitors and now, Gianna will move forward to the National Semi-Finals which will be held May 1st. You will be able to watch them here. Gianna read Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? by William Shakespeare, Mr. Darcy by Victoria Chang, and Stomp by Nikki Grime. Also as a part of Poetry Out Loud, the Vermont Arts Council partnered with the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center’s Scholastic Writing Awards program to hold the Original Poetry Awards. This year, three poems from three students were recognized with a $100 cash award. SBHS student Brooks Balkan was one of the winners for his poem “Their Pumpjack.” You can read more about the competition in this press release from VT Digger Congratulations!

FHTMS Community to Participate in Ukraine Assistance Effort

Liz Siddle is organizing the FHTMS effort to join forces with local pilots and The Salvation Army through a program called Operation Backpack4Kids to assist families and children fleeing Ukraine. Students at FHTMS have voiced concerns about these events and wanted to help. Operation Backpack4Kids was created by local pilots who have witnessed long lines of children with very few basic necessities. They will be collecting and flying these filled backpacks to Cologne, Germany and giving them directly to Ukrainian refugees. FHTMS peer leaders will be helping to organize and lead this effort Monday, March 21-until April 1st. In the FHTMS Lobby there will be a Peer Leadership table that will have more information and accept donations. Checks and money can also be donated/collected at the main office (label Operation Backpack4Kids). Have questions or want to get involved? Contact Liz Siddle at or Dave Hyatt at

RMCS Kindergarteners Learn Coding with Bee Bots

Teacher Brigid Kulhowvick shared that her Kindergarteners at RMCS have been using Bee Bots to learn beginning coding skills. Bee Bots are small robots resembling a bumblebee that can be programmed to move along a grid. The kindergarteners program the bots by pressing command buttons (forward, backward, right, left and go) in a sequence that determines how the bots will move within the grid. In addition to being highly motivating, these fun little robots provide opportunities for students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Recently, the kindergarteners used the Bee Bots to draw as they programmed the bots to move around a paper with a marker attached to the bot. They are having fun using their coding skills combined with their creativity to draw pictures!

GCS Water Conservation Lessons Wrap Up!

GCS 3rd graders are now experts in water conservation thanks to a series of lessons they took part in in collaboration with members with the SBHS Green Team! Their final lesson took place yesterday and SBHS science teacher Matt Dransfield shared a few soundbites. A 4th-grade teacher said, "It was amazing to see and hear how much the kids remembered from all the lessons during the final review." 3rd -grade teacher to student-teacher: "I'm really impressed with your confidence and teaching. I know that I couldn't have taught a whole class of students at your age! You did a great job." According to Dransfield, “Students know their stuff. They can identify parts of the water cycle, explain what a watershed is, explain where water pollution comes from, and give you some tips on how to conserve water in your daily routines.” And shout out to Stephanie Hyatt who coordinated the bussing and transportation to make this happen!

Orchard Book Buddies are Back!

The 4th grade team shared that Book Buddies are back at Orchard School! After two years of not having Book Buddies, fourth graders have had the chance to spend time with kindergarteners and first graders. Teacher Sarah Vachereau shared that, “Even though we call each other Book Buddies, we enjoy all kinds of activities. Fourth graders read to their buddies and the younger students practice reading to their older buddies with books from their book bags. Fourth graders teach math skills through games, drawing and building activities. We also enjoy activities outside like group games and building fairy houses. I’m so excited to have older students and younger students learning from one another, making new friends, and having so much fun!”

As you move into the weekend and it being sugaring season in Vermont, it’s a great time to check out a sugar house! Vermont Maple open house weekend is happening March 19 and 20 and March 26 and 27. Time for some sugar on snow.



Time to Order Your Yearbook!

It's time to order your 2021-2022 yearbook! It comes in full color with tons of pictures and are only $20.00! You can also order personalization for an extra $2 and $1 for each icon. You can order online at Deadline to order is April 22nd, 2022. All orders are online. This year, the cover will be artwork from our awesome 5th graders! If you have questions about the yearbook, please contact Heather Osborne at
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Meet Author Jason Chin at the South Burlington Public Library!

Saturday, April 2, 2022


Meet Jason Chin and listen to him read and share his story about Watercress.

Flying Pig Bookstore will be present to have Jason’s book for sale and signing at the library.

Please join us in celebrating Jason.

Thank you


Natacha Liuzzi

Children’s Specialist

South Burlington Public Library

180 Market Street

South Burlington VT 05403


We are open at our new location on 180 Market Street!


Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 7:00pm

Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm

The Book Drop is available at our new location. It is to the RIGHT of the City Hall Drop Box, around the corner.

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Does Your Child Need Milk for Their Home Lunch?

Milk is NOT free for students who need a milk for their home lunch. The cost of a milk is 50 cents and parents/caregivers can send in a check, made out to South Burlington Nutritional Services, to credit their child's account or have money taken directly from an account to credit to your child's account. or use our online payment option through MySchoolBucks.

If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Ketner