The Core

February 5, 2021, Volume 11, Issue 19

Letter from the Principal

Hello Parents,

What a crazy week! I hope your family was able to combine the hybrid day with a snow day! I support the superintendent's call on a virtual day; after all, we have little room in the calendar for snow days since we are already pushed into the second half of June. We have to stick to this! The snow and sunny skies were also a welcome treat for our mental health.

Report cards go home today! Remember that it is not possible for all of our students to make the growth of a normal school year but we are playing the long-game here, I just want to give you this heads-up as you review the report card. Please see the attached letter from the South Burlington Elementary Principals regarding our unified thoughts on this. A BIG shout out to our teachers for all the work they did in prepping their report cards. Please contact your child's teacher with any questions. Don't forget, report cards can be seen on the Power School Parent Portal.

The week of February 15-19 will be a busy week for us. It includes I Love School Week. This is an upgrade of our previous traditions of I Love to Read & Write Week and I Love Math Week. Our staff thought we should celebrate how much we appreciate school, there are a lot of activities being planned (including everyone getting a new book!). Please see the article below for all the details!

We will end that week with the Raising of the Black Lives Matter Flag! Yes, we will be raising it on Friday, February 19th. The Orchard Staff is passionate that we advocate for every child and end racism and white supremacist practices. Check out the video below from our own High School's Social Justice Union, it's really impressive.

Have a great weekend; enjoy the snow and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Quote of the week:

From the book, Someday is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins by author Olugmebisola Ruday-Perkovich in reference to finally sitting in a desegregated cafe, "inside - it tasted so good! It tasted like hope and power and liberty and justice for all. They ate and drank and talked and laughed and read and dreamed. And then ... they prepared for the next segregated store. Someday was NOW."

Student Justice Union's Black History Month
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Celebrating with Free Books!

In celebration of World Read Aloud Day (February 3rd), International Book Giving Day (February 14th) AND the upcoming "I Love School Week" (February 15-19), Mrs. Macdonald will be playing either Red Clover or Mock Caldecott BINGO games with all students at Orchard School. When a student gets a "BINGO," they'll be able to select from a variety of donated books. Due to the library schedule, some students will be receiving their free books this week, but most receive them in the weeks to come. Eventually, ALL Orchard School students will be coming home with a free book. You'll be able to tell which book your child has chosen by the "I Love Schools" bookmark placed inside the book. Be sure to watch for it!

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Macdonald

Peeking into 1st Grade Classrooms!

School Nurse Notes


Gather virtually (host a Super Bowl watch party) or watch with the people you live with...avoid multi-household gatherings! This year choose a safer way to enjoy the game.

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Is there anything different that we should be doing?

Viruses change and mutate over time; some mutations persist and some disappear. Early studies of the COVID-19 mutations show these variants transmit more easily and rapidly. Therefore, it is especially important to continue mitigation strategies to limit the spread and protect our community:

  • Wearing a mask, hand hygiene, physical distancing
  • Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when available
  • Following quarantine and isolating guidelines

Should I wear a double mask?

The CDC encourages choosing well-fitting masks with “two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric" and does not recommend double masking.

Mask Reminders:
Non-medical disposable masks:

These are single use (they are not surgical masks) and should be thrown out after one use.

Masks with exhalation valves or vents:

These are not recommended as they do not prevent the wearer from possibly spreading COVID -19 to others.

Other face protection (shield, goggles):

Not recommended as a substitute for a face mask.

Please consider sending in 2 EXTRA MASKS in your student's backpack, as they are getting wet
at recess.

Click here for more information and translations.

Be well,

Thanks for reading!
Nurses Kara & Darcy

Virtual School Day with Mr. Schmidt's Class

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PTO News


The PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) continues to work to make this year a fun and productive one! We support teachers and the whole school in creating a strong community. We believe it is important to continue to show appreciation and support for our teachers and staff, so we would like to occasionally give some sweet treats! We are also thinking ahead to when things get back to normal and we can bring our events back (Skate Night, Spring Fling, Math Night, etc.) - even if they cannot happen until next year! Your support is still very important, especially since we could not host our major fundraiser, the Fun Run, last fall. If you can, please donate by sending a check to the Orchard PTO, c/o Suzanne Hebeler, 36 Cortland Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403 OR donate online:

We are also creating Joy Bags! These bags have 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.

And we need you to join us! We welcome new members! If you have a little room in your schedule, consider volunteering! Email Kristin at with thoughts, questions, and ideas.

Everyone is always welcome at meetings, and new energy and ideas are always appreciated! Meetings are once a month on Zoom. Our next meeting will be Monday, February 8th at 6:30pm. Join in and be a part of what's happening!


Join us in earning CASH for our school by using the Box Tops app. It’s an easy way to make a difference. All you have to do is buy Box Tops participating products (like Cheerios!) and scan your grocery receipt. Box Tops are worth $.10 each and they add up fast! Twice a year, our school receives a check to help pay for whatever we need - equipment, supplies or experiences the kids love!

Download the Box Tops for Education app at your App Store or here:


For the month of February 2021, the Orchard School PTO will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Bag at Shaw's Grocery Store located at Shaw's 570 Shelburne Rd, Burlington VT.

So, in February, be sure to shop at Shaw's and pick up this reusable grocery bag! You will be supporting our school!

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