The Core

December 4, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 12

Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents,

The heavy rain at Monday's Dismissal Time was a good heads up for us to continue prepping for challenging weather. It won't be long before the snow will be here!

Orange Cones - The parking cones will have to be picked up prior to a snowfall - we get plowed! Because of this, we are asking drivers to continue following the drop-off/pick-up patterns we've been working on for the past three months, even if there are no cones!

Arrival Time - We have seen arrival time to be going along very well and are hoping to tighten up the drop -off time. We are asking parents to drop off prior to 8:20am.

Our favorite puppets, Puppets in Education, are providing special presentations to our students in grades 1 - 4 on Thursday, December 10th. The presentations are timely covering Worry and Anxiety. Shout out to our 3-5 School Counselor, Auriel Grey, for getting the grant funding and organizing the day.

We had two pediatricians join us today. Dr. Lee, a pediatrician, and Dr. Raszka, a pediatric immunologist specialist, consult on the state guidelines for schools. They came to see how we put guidelines into action. It was terrific to have them visit and see the things we do well and the things that need more work. Shout out to our librarian, Donna Sullivan-Macdonald, and the Vermont NEA for getting Orchard School to host these honored guests.

Don't forget to read the nurses' article each week, it is always being updated with new information. We've had a great week, thanks for keeping us safe! Have a great weekend, take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Quote of the week:

"Bravery resides in every heart, and yours is fierce and clear."

From the book, Joey, The Story of Joe Biden, by the author Jill Biden. The quote is a Bidenism, it's attributed to Joe Biden's mother.

Updates from our Medical Team

School Nurse Notes~


Click on the question to go directly to the link at the Health Department:

Social Gatherings:


PCR Test:

Only PCR test results are accepted at school when your student is being tested for COVID-19. Rapid antigen test results will not be accepted.

If your student needs to get tested, please contact their health care provider. There are a variety of places to get tested; see this link to find a COVID-19 test site.

Some local PCR Testing Sites:

  • NEW: Burlington City Arts Studio, 405 Pine Street, Burlington: by appointment through the Vermont Dept. of Health website.
  • UVM Drive-Through at Fanny Allen: #847-5440
  • Kinney Drugs, So. Burlington: #860-0714
  • ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care, So. Burlington: #448-8205

Be Well,

Kara & Darcy

School Nurses

PTO News


In lieu of our Annual Cookie Extravaganza, the PTO plans to order goodies to show our appreciation and support for our teachers. We would really like to make this a year-long/monthly practice, but we need you! Please consider making a donation for the PTO. Even a few dollars buys a couple of cookies or slices of pizza. You may send a check to the Orchard PTO, c/o Suzanne Hebeler, 36 Cortland Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403 or donate online:

Other funds will go to student Joy Bags! We would like to make bags with sensory supplies, books, and other boredom killers and happiness givers that teachers can have on hand to tuck into the backpacks of students who seem to need a pick-me-up during these times.

Other ways to help! We can always use volunteers to coordinate cookie or pizza deliveries, make Joy Bags, and various other tasks. If you have a little room in your schedule, consider volunteering! Email Kristin at with thoughts, questions, and ideas.

Square One Update

Last call for Square 1 Art orders! Only online orders are accepted at this time, until tonight! If you have misplaced your child's packet, simply go to and do a search using our school and your child's name. Artwork ordered by today will arrive in time for the holidays. If you order after today (Friday, Dec 4), they are not guaranteed to arrive in time. Email Kristin at the PTO email with questions:
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Farm to School News

Hello South Burlington Families and Friends!

As the temperatures get cooler and the days get shorter, some of us take comfort in cozying up on the couch or by the fire with a warm cup of tea. In Scandinavian countries, people call this hygge (hyoo-guh). Hygge is a practice that helps us cope with the winter blues, and almost always involves drinking a warm beverage, evoking feelings of happiness and warmth.

For this round of Farm to School, we brought hygge to the classroom with a warm cup of herbal tea. We practiced mindfulness through movement and shared the story of Shennong, a Chinese farmer who is credited with the discovery of tea itself. This was a well loved caffeinated tea yet folks around the world, including Vermonters, have been finding their way into the wild spaces to gather restorative herbs from fields and mountaintops that provide balance to our overactive lives. Your children can suggest some local herbal teas that they explored in the farm to school lesson or you can find an alternate sunshine land recipe below.

Mindfulness can be practiced at home as we celebrate a holiday season that may feel a bit different or strange this year. Try having a ‘mindful’ snack time by describing the smell, texture, and taste of the food. You can make this simple Lemon Ginger tea and get cozy on the couch for a moment of inner warmth, calm, and stillness.

Lemon Ginger Tea: Makes 1 cup


2 slices organic lemon, ¼ inch thick

1 inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1-2 tsp honey

8oz hot water


  1. Place lemon and ginger slices in your mug.
  2. Pour boiling water over the fruit and roots and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Once the water has cooled slightly, stir in the honey - letting the water cool first will preserve the honey’s nutritional benefits.
  4. Remove the lemon and ginger slices with a spoon or leave in your mug to enjoy the beauty!
  5. Get cozy with a blanket, feel the hygge as you sip, and enjoy!

Be sure to check out our first educational video, Episode #1 Apples, if you haven’t already! Our next episode is coming out very soon, featuring Winter Squash and Abenaki traditional foods. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on our new episodes.

Farmer Fae has the Farm at South Village all tidied up for the winter ahead. Although there is not much growing this time of year, the farm is still a beautiful space to take a walk in the fresh air. Come stop by and see what there is to explore! We hope to see you there.

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish!

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

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2nd Grade at Recess!

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Thankful Giving Reminder

THANKFUL GIVING Reminder: If you would like to donate a gift card for an Orchard family, we are still gratefully accepting any and all gift card donations. Department store cards are most versatile to meet needs at this time. Please try to hand them in by Monday, December 14 to give us time to get them out to families before the winter break, but know that we are happy to accept them after that date as well. Sign Up Sheet


Make Voting Fun Again!

The South Burlington Rotary is replacing the traditional “Ugly Sweater Run” with an Ugly Mask Competition!

Elementary, Middle/High School, and Adult Categories!

Non-SB residents were welcome to participate!

Vote for your favorites on the Rotary Facebook Page!

Ski & Ride Program

Bolton Valley After School Ski and Ride Program 2020-2021
Snow is coming! Things will be different this year, but please join Orchard at Bolton Valley for 4 (Thursday) nights of ski or snowboard lessons starting Thursday, February 16, 2021. Costs for 4 weeks of lessons is $50; lift tickets for the 4 weeks is an additional $75 (total $125). Children 6 & under lift tickets FREE. Kids Rental is $50 for just ski or board setup; $75 includes helmet. For additional information please email (Bill Lammer). I would like to hear from families if you are potentially interested, and your level of comfort in participating in light of COVID.