The Core

November 6, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 9

Principal's Notes

Dear Parents & Guardians,

What a week! Despite COVID, the election, snow, Halloween treats and the of daylight savings time, we survived! Maybe it was the warm weather but everything seemed to go well.

As mentioned last week, we have moved all of our temperature-taking stations indoors: (1) the tent came down, and (2) the thermometers will not work in cold weather. Because of this, parents do not need to wait around for temps to be taken. They can simply drop-off and pull away with extra care.

There are two small changes for drop-off:

1 - an extra side-door (south-side) is open for walkers/riders in grades 2 -5, mud, and snow permitting.

2 - we are hoping pre-school students can be dropped off at the front lobby. This will hopefully ease the lines on the side door.

We are hearing that a number of schools in the area have COVID cases. I'm sure our day will come but let's all stay vigilant to keep our masks on, keep a safe distance, and stay home when we don't feel well. Let's stay strong!

To that end, I am sharing Vermont's Holiday Travel Toolkit for Schools. I think it will be very useful for families who are traveling.

Don't forget, our annual Thankful Giving Program is starting up, please check the article below for how you can give to other Orchard Families during the upcoming holidays. Please keep in mind:

  • Please return gift cards to school by November 13th if you are donating a food gift card.
  • Please return gift cards to school by December 4th if you plan to donate department store gift cards

Have a terrific warm weekend!

Stay safe, stay well, and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Quote of the Week:

When I went to vote for the first time, I remembered what my granddaddy always said: "Patience, son, patience." He was right. The day finally came. And I knew that - just like my granddaddy - I would never take it for granted. With his picture in my hand, I put my ballot in the box, smiled, and said to myself, Not it's Granddaddy's turn.

~Michael Bandy & Eric Stein, authors of Granddaddy's Turn, A journey to the Ballot Box

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PTO News 2

Next PTO Meeting: Zoom (virtual) meeting Monday, November 9 at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome - please join us!

For the Zoom link, please email Sue Hebeler at


As we all know, this year is very different for the Orchard PTO and for kids as far as activities go! We are doing our best to be creative and to continue supporting families and kids in our community.


Since we will not have our Fun Run this year (our fundraiser), we hope you can make a direct contribution:

Funds will be used to continue the good work we are doing to support our Orchard community.

Volunteer! We can use all the hands we can get (and right now we don't have very many!). We need a social media maven, a co-treasurer, and a bookkeeper. Any time you can offer will be valued - and it doesn't have to be time at school - in fact, this year we can't be in the building, so your volunteer time will be at home, and will require a zoom meeting once in a while.

If you are interested in volunteering please email


We empathize and understand the challenges with the pandemic illness guidelines that are requiring you to keep your student home (with sometimes only slight cold symptoms) and often schedule a COVID test. We are messengers of the guidance and we appreciate all of the efforts, patience, and follow-through that you as parents/guardians are continuing to show. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to support one another and strive to keep our community safe.

Help Us Keep Our Schools Open!

What you do and how you behave in our community may impact if our schools can remain open. Please follow the Health Department's guidance by avoiding large gatherings and non-essential out of state travel. Please visit here for more Vermont Cross State Travel information.

Remember the 4 W's:

Wear Your Mask

Watch Your Distance

Wash Your Hands

When Sick, Stay Home


If you make a mistake on the app:

(For example, pressing an illness symptom when your student is not ill), please call the front office to report the mistake.

When your student is sick or staying home:

Please continue to fill out the Ruvna App and call the school's attendance line to report your student's absence. If you are emailing your student's teacher about an absence, please also phone in the absence.

As your school nurses are trying to reach out to parent/guardians when a student stays home due to illness, to assist with next steps; if you are unsure if your student should be attending school, please contact us.

When your student has a symptom, please follow the Health Department's fact sheet:

Information for Families: Return to School Following Illness

Click here for translations.


Be Well,

Kara & Darcy

School Nurses

Important Information from the Vermont Agency of Education and Department of Health

Students and staff who arrive from out-of-state must follow Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and Health Department guidance around quarantine before returning to school, which also applies to travel out-of-state at any point during the school year, including breaks and holidays. More information is available on the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 travel site and the ACCD website. School leadership is encouraged to remind families and staff of these travel requirements periodically to ensure they are taking the appropriate steps when planning for travel or receiving guests from out of state. Information about travel that is considered essential (which does not require quarantine) and daily border travel to and from neighboring states can also be found on these sites.

Thankful Giving Reminder

THANKFUL GIVING Reminder: If you would like to donate a gift card for an Orchard family, please send food cards by November 13, and department store cards by December 4. Cards can be returned to school in your child’s backpack in an envelope labeled “Front Office”. Or, you could drop the card off at our school by driving up to the front and calling the main office so someone can come out to get it from you. THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS!

Click here to sign up to give a gift card.

Farm-to School News

Hello Orchard Families and Friends!

Another fun and engaging lesson is underway this week, through Common Roots’ Farm to School program. This month, we are focusing on winter squash and seed saving. With such a wide variety of winter squashes available to us in Vermont, this is a great storage crop that continues to feed us hearty, nutritious meals through the fall and winter. As we continue to discuss minimizing waste, seed saving is a great way to use the whole squash - all the way from drying squash seeds to plant in the spring, to toasting with a bit of salt and oil as a yummy snack!

We used our detective skills in a fun Winter Squash Seed Matching game, and used all of our senses to determine what type of squash was the mystery ingredient in our pudding! To quote a Orchard student, “This pudding reminds me of pumpkin pie!”. You won’t regret making this one:


For the pudding:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed - save the seeds! (also works with pumpkin, acorn, delicata)

½ cup apple cider

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

½ tsp cinnamon

For the toasted seeds:

Butternut squash seeds, rinsed, drained, or soak overnight for easier digestion

Drizzle of olive oil

Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and get a large pot of water up to a boil on the stove.
  2. Peel and deseed the squash, setting the seeds aside in a bowl.
  3. Cut the squash into large cubes and add to the boiling water. Boil until soft when poked with a fork (about 10 min).
  4. Rinse the seeds and remove any strings of butternut. Pour the rinsed seeds on a clean towel and pat dry. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle seeds with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Roast until golden brown (about 10 min).
  6. Once the squash is cooked, transfer to a food processor or blender and add the cider, ginger, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
  7. Pour pudding into small bowls and top with toasted seeds for a little crunch!

Be sure to check out the Common Roots blog for additional lessons to do at home.

Come visit our Farmstand at South Village - there are lots of things to see and explore if you are looking for a weekend adventure that includes seeing so many varieties of squash for making Mystery Pudding recipes!

November Farmstand hours: every Saturday 9am-6pm

Stop by on 11/24 9am-12pm to pick up some Thanksgiving ingredients and a chance for you and your children to meet Farmer Fae!

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

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