The Core

September 2, 2022, Volume 14, Issue 4

Notes from the Principal

Best Start Ever!

Hey Parents,

Maybe it only seems like it but we had one of the best starts to the school year. COVID is still a thing but I think everyone is excited to get the school year close to a pre-pandemic start. The students have been terrific, you've got great kids!

Shout out to the neighborhood families who stopped by Monday evening and decorated the sidewalks with gorgeous chalk artwork with kind and supportive messages. The whole school, students and staff, arrived to these inspirations Tuesday morning. It was terrific, thank you!

Heads Up - next Thursday evening is our Curriculum Night! Come join (without students please) other parents to learn about the curriculum and what daily school life looks like!

  • 6:00 - 6:30 pm Kindergarten and 1st Grade Classes
  • 6:30 - 7:00 pm Grade 2 & 3 Classes
  • 7:00 - 7:30 pm Grade 4 & 5 Classes

Don't be late, the half-hour goes quickly!

Arrival & Dismissal - things have gone very well, even with fewer busses. The Round-About is also going well, it is very helpful if parents stay at their cars and let us walk students over.

Kindergarten Parents - Please know that your children are getting off the busses and getting right to class. Nobody's been lost and they are figuring out the school day very quickly.

Parents note: we are back to pre-pandemic school hours, the school day starts at 8:05.

We closed out the week with our first All School Meeting where we restarted our tradition of giving an Orchard Apple Wristband to each kindergartner and new student.

Have a good Labor Day (three-day!) weekend; take some time each day to read with your child.

Mark T

Feeling Very Welcomed on our First Day of School!

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News from Our Medical Team


Parents and caregivers often ask us when they should keep their student home for illness reasons and when they should send their student to school. In general, we encourage parents/caregivers to ask themselves, "Is my child ready to be a student today?" If their illness is preventing them from being a productive member of their class, then staying home is best. Also, please keep in mind that a sick child can spread illness to their classmates, so staying home is also important for others' health as well.

In an effort to help facilitate a healthy learning environment, please keep your child home when they are experiencing the following:

  • Fever of 100.4 F or higher*
  • Vomiting, nausea or diarrhea (currently or within previous 24 hours)
  • Persistent sore throat*
  • Red, itchy eye(s) with drainage
  • Illness requiring antibiotics (treat for 24 hours before returning to school)
  • Widespread (undetermined) rash
  • Productive cough and frequent nose blowing
  • Symptoms that impact school participation, such as:
    • Excessive tiredness or lack of appetite
    • Headache, body aches, earache
    • Pain from an injury


Keep your child home until their fever has been gone for 24 hours (one full school day), without the use of fever-reducing medication. Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose others unnecessarily to illness.

*Sore Throat

A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat even if there is no fever. Please notify the school nurse if your child’s throat culture is positive. Once your child has been on antibiotic treatment for twenty-four hours and does not have a fever, they may return to school.


You can find our illness procedures, COVID-19 testing recommendations, how to request/find a test kit, and guidance for close contacts on the SBSD COVID-19 page. Here is the link.

Please reach out with any questions.

Children learn their best when they are rested, feel well, and have eaten a healthy meal.

Be well,

Kara Cassani &

Sarah Pineda, School Nurses

An Orchard Tradition, 5th Graders Giving Orchard Wrist Bands at the First All School Meeting!

Updates from our Director of Nutritional Services

Create a Lunch Account

Orchard students can receive a free breakfast and free lunch at school each day.

  • Extra meal items and a la carte items, including milk, are not part of the USDA Free & Reduced meal programs. If your student brings lunch from home and wishes to purchase milk, the cost is $.50.
  • Extra meal items and a la carte items may not be charged; a student must have funds in their account or pay cash at the register.
  • All students will be assigned a pin # to be used for making a purchase from their lunch account. Don't worry! if your child can't quite remember their pin # yet, we can credit the account by name.

MySchoolBucks is an online payment service that provides a quick and easy way to add money to your student’s meal account using a credit/debit card or electronic check. You can also view recent purchases, check balances, and set up low-balance alerts for FREE!

Enrollment is easy!

  1. Go to or download the mobile app and register for a free account.

  2. Add your student(s) using their school name and student ID.

  3. You will find the student ID, listed as Student Number, in the PowerSchool Parent Portal.

  4. Make a payment to your student's accounts with your credit/debit card or electronic check.

Already have an account?

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News from Common Roots

2022-23 Common Roots - Farm to School Program Overview – Year 14

Students in South Burlington Elementary Schools will be guided, through hands-on experiences with food, plants, and knowledge related to Vermont agriculture, towards promoting knowledge related to their health. Children will be introduced to the tastes of locally grown foods, culinary skills, plant biology, nutrition, agriculture practices that promote best land stewardship, ecology, and seasonal eating.

Our Common Roots educators will come to each classroom K-5 and support as many preschool classes as possible.

Parents will find a monthly overview of each of the 9 lessons we teach with the recipe that accompanies each lesson.

Please Visit our Common Roots Farmstand at South Village so your child can see and taste the foods that are seasonal in Vermont and witness how they are grown.

Feel free to walk past the Farmstand and the 3 hoop houses on the left. Walk down the gravel road next to the Willow Row and enter our educational site with over 30 raised beds and perennial gardens. Feel free to taste and smell some herbs. Nibble on some veggies too!

Our Common Roots Farmstand is located off Spear Street and Allen Road East.

Open Tuesdays - Sundays 10 - 6.

We have non-GMO corn coming in today (9/2) from River Berry Farm along with 20 veggies, herbs, and other local Vermont products.

Nourish to Flourish! Your Common Roots Team

Feel free to bring your forms and payments to the front office with Sue or Allison

Thank YOU!


Carol McQuillen

Co-Founder, Director

Common Roots


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Building Bright Futures

Hello Orchard parents!
We have an opportunity as caregivers to share our thoughts and experiences on raising young children in Vermont through the Building Bright Futures Family Needs Survey.

You can complete the survey online by clicking on this link or request a paper copy from the school office.
The survey is designed to gather information and feedback on up to 3 supports and services (you choose) that families with young children prenatal through age have received. Responses to this survey are anonymous and will be used to inform policy and decision-makers on how families are feeling about services and supports in Vermont.

Those who complete the survey will be entered to win a $50 gift card.
Here's to a great year, and thank you for considering adding your voice to the survey!

Leigh Jaschke,
Orchard Parent and member of the BBF Families and Communities Committee

Building Bright Futures (BBF) is Vermont’s early childhood public-private partnership, charged under Vermont Title 33 § Chapter 46 and the Federal Head Start Act (Public Law 110-134) as Vermont’s Early Childhood State Advisory Council (SAC) and Network.

Curriculum Night!

Thursday, Sep. 8th, 6-7:30pm

Orchard School

6:00 - 6:30 Kindergarten and Grade 1

6:30 - 7:00 Grades 2 & 3

7:00 - 7:30 Grades 4 & 5

Registration is Still Open For SB Youth Football!

Do you have a child who is interested in football? The South Burlington Youth Football organization offers both flag (grades K-8 as the Jr. Wolves) and tackle, as there is a team made up of fifth and sixth graders, as well as a team of seventh and eighth graders.

The Jr. Wolves NFL Flag team will practice once a week (Wednesdays from 5:30-7 p.m.) at Farrell Park starting on Wednesday, September 7, with a focus on fundamentals, having fun, and learning the game. The Jr. Wolves will also have one game per week.

For kids in grades fifth through eighth, there is also a tackle option. That team practices four nights a week from 5:30-7 p.m.

Learn more and register online by visiting:

You can also direct any questions that you may have to:

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Required Annual Student Update for 2022-23

Get started today! Please register your student for the 2022-2023 School Year by completing the Annual Student Update forms. These forms provide the District with updated contact, medical, and transportation information, for the health and safety of our students. To complete your Annual Student Update, please log into the SBSD PowerSchool Parent Portal, click Forms, then click "Welcome! New Registrations and Annual Student Updates Start Here..." to get started. If you have questions or need assistance with this process, please contact your school/program directly.

We are Hiring!

We have been hiring new staff throughout the summer though there are still lots of employment opportunities. The pay is good (with health insurance benefits) and you would be working during your child's school schedule. Most importantly, the work is very rewarding and you will make a difference in the lives of students. We have lots of support staff openings ranging from para-educators and interventionists to lunch/recess supervisors. Contact me with any questions at