October 22, 2021, Volume 13, Issue 11
Notes from the Principal
Hello Orchard Parents,
We had a solid week of learning this week - many classes were also able to get outside to be with friends and classmates. The week started off a little shaky with an individual testing positive for COVID-19 but everything has gone well. I continue to be fascinated about how well Contact Tracing works. I'm also inspired by our community. Parents and staff jumped into action to make sure quarantining took place (as well as continued teaching & learning). I know keeping children home must present it's challenges, yet parents have taken this on very cooperatively - thank you for your support Orchard Community!
Some important notes about arrival and dismissal: the tent will be coming down soon but we will continue to use the teardrop parking lot for arrival & pick-up. We really need to have students here at school by 8:10. It is important for us to get our school day off on a solid beginning and classes are losing time when not everyone is here. Parents dropping off, please aim to have your child here by 8:10. Thank you!
Big News! - the Vermont Agency of Transportation is naming all of their snow plow trucks and are asking schools to help name them. Our students thought of some very creative names this week for a snowplow and the Orchard finalist is: --- Obi-Wan KenSNOWbi ---!!
Friday, October 29th - Early Release Day. Dismissal is at 12:30, bag lunch will be provided.
Monday, November 8th - Picture Retake Day.
Have a great weekend, take some time to read with your child.
Our abbreviated quote of the week is from October’s read-aloud book to raise anti-racist, A Journey Toward Hope by Victor Hinojosa and Coert Voorhees:
At the Nuevo Laredo camp in Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, they gaze at the United States for the first time. Tomorrow, they will cross the bridge and ask for asylum. The members of this new family formed during their journey will have to go their separate ways. But that is tomorrow. Tonight, they hope.
School Nurse Notes
Halloween and Holidays--Consider the Following Safety Tips:
- Wear masks in indoor public settings (do NOT put a mask on a child younger than 2)
- Avoid crowded indoor spaces and parties
- Trick or treat outside and limit crowds
- If you feel sick or have symptoms, don't attend or host a gathering
- Delay travel until fully vaccinated
- Get vaccinated if you are eligible
COVID Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know (click to view)
This John's Hopkin's article outlines important facts and answers questions for parents/guardians. Final approval for the Pfizer vaccine is upcoming, for ages 2-11, and we anticipate a Vermont roll-out to begin in early November. Vaccination is the best tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19!
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and others against the virus and its variants; the vaccine helps to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Getting vaccinated as soon as you can and wearing a mask indoors in public helps to maximize protection from the very contagious Delta variant and spread to others.
Take Back Day: VT's Prescription Drug Disposal System is this SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23rd!
Messaging from the health department:
Medications that are not properly stored in your home can be a risk to kids and pets who might accidentally ingest them. And, flushing medications or tossing them in the trash is a danger to our waterways and wildlife.
Find drug take-back sites or how to obtain free prescription medication mail-back envelopes by visiting this site.
Kara Cassani, RN & Darcy Mazlish, RN
Orchard School Nurses
SBSD Elementary Health Services
p. (802) 652-7303
f. (802) 652-7354
Lost & Found!
News from the PTO
Teacher Appreciation: The PTO would like to establish a Teacher Appreciation day each month to remind our teachers how much we appreciate all their hard work! Please consider donating snack items to stock the teacher's lounge. Sign up here: https://www.konstella.com/app/school/6053aecc105c0243ef2edbfa/recurring-signups/61689cb76afad907d5d4894e
Still not on Konstella? Konstella is a parent portal for people to connect with one another (e.g., to set up play dates), for community event reminders, and for committee sign-ups. Add your child to their classroom today! https://www.konstella.com/cd/YHHCGJ
Farm to School Lessons with Ms. Evenson's 1st Grade Class and Ms. Goodrich's 2nd Grade Class
We sometimes get questions about why we do not allow students to wear costumes to school on Halloween. Here are some reasons:
- Students come to Orchard from many cultures and many families do not celebrate the day.
- Many families struggle economically and cannot afford a costume. Dressing up can also become highly competitive ranging from extensive costumes to none.
- Gory costumes are on the rise and a number of students have worn them to school, not appropriate.
- The costumes get wet, muddy, or torn for trick-or-treating in the evening.
- Finally, costumes can be too much of a distraction for learning—what schools are really about.
A couple of schools still include costume parades but the vast majority have come to the same conclusion as us, thank you for understanding. We encourage all families to celebrate Halloween in the way they choose, thanks for your support!