WEEKLY FAMILY FOCUS August 15, 2021
RICK MARCOTTE CENTRAL SCHOOL Principal Kathleen Kilbourne
Important Dates to Note:
Tuesday, August 24th - RMCS First Full Day of School
Monday, September 6th - No School, Labor Day
Friday, September 24th - 12:30 Dismissal Staff PD
Wed. Oct 6th - RMCS Picture Day
Welcome Back Families and Students,
Welcome to a new school year! I am very excited to be in my second year as the Principal of RMCS, and my 28th year in public education in VT! With continued challenges due to another wave of COVID 19 cases, we are working hard to think about all of the precautionary measure that will be in place to allow in person learning at school to continue. Our first priority is the safety of students, staff and families as we work together to start our school year. We are excited to have students back in our building, following state education and health guidelines, which will soon be updated for back to school. I know you have many wonderings about the school year, so I will use these newsletter formats to keep families updated when we have more information. We also use emails and the website to inform families throughout the school year. In addition, if you have not "liked" the RMCS PTO Facebook page please do so, as information is also shared through that media.
Please know that your child's teaching team took great care with the placement process in June and considered your input forms carefully. They looked at student assessment data, class dynamics and other information to create balanced classroom. Members of the placement team included teachers, special educators, behavior coaches, the school counselor and myself. If you are a new student, we used your registration information and also information from your child's previous school if we have received it.
Many things will be very similar to how we ended the school year in person at RMCS.
We will continue with same Parent Drop & Pick Up process at the curb, while parents remain in cars. The bus times will remain the same, and the drop off windows have been abbreviated to allow for more learning time (since we do not need to temp check or hand sanitize outside this fall). The RUVENA app is still required each morning for all staff and students.
AM DROP OFF:
Busses Only: 7:50- 8:00am
Parent Drop Off 8:00- 8:10 : Smaller Circle is for PRE K and K (and sibs) only
Larger Circle is for grade 1-5; Please pull all the way forward to allow for 7-8 cars to unload at one time, to expedite the timing needed. Thank You!
Busses only: 2:20-2:30...Please do not come early, as all busses must leave before we can begin parent pick up.
Parent Pick Up: 2:30- 2:45pm
Enjoy the waning moments of the summer break. ! I can't wait to see all of our families back at school on August 24th! Here is a to a wonderful school year together!
Summer Students Enjoy an Outdoor Visit from Jeh Kulu, West African Dance and Drum
Register Your Student for the Upcoming School Year- REQUIRED
- Click on the big "P" icon in the blue ribbon on the top of the RMCS webpage.
- If you have forgotten your Username or need a password reset, please contact Mrs. Dattilio or Ms.Sanford at 652-7200 .
- If more than one student is linked to the portal account, choose the appropriate student at the top left corner
- Choose the Forms link from the left navigation bar
- Under the Annual Student Update category, click “Update A. Getting Started: Annual Student Update 2021-2022” to begin completing the forms packet
The Registration website (www.sbschools.net/register) has helpful, translatable, information for parents/guardians. Instructions to register their students, lists of required documents, and guides to creating parent portal accounts and linking student(s) can be found there.
Superintendent Young's Welcome Back
August 12, 2021
It’s another hot one today! I hope you are all staying safe and cool. As we approach the beginning of the school year, I am excited to welcome you and our students back, for what we plan on being full time, in-person, 5 days per week, learning for all students. It is incredible how far we have come on this COVID journey and I am proud of how resilient this experience has made us as individuals and as a District.
I will admit that as the Delta variant continues to spread, I am concerned for the health and safety of all, therefore, I wanted to give you a heads up on a few key items related to protocols as we begin this school year. Please know that I, along with my team, are keeping a close eye on guidance from the CDC, the Vermont Agency of Education , and the Vermont Department of Health to help inform decision making and adjust course as needed.
Is School Starting Early?
We have received questions about why school seems to be starting early this year. It has to do with the number of instructional days required by the state and the five additional days we need to add. Last year, due to unknowns around COVID, the state pushed back our start date to after Labor Day. We usually begin before then. Each District varies slightly in that regard, although we do adopt a regional calendar annually that has 175 days. As a reminder, school begins for 6th, 9th, and new students August 23 and all other students August 24 except for Gertrude Chamberlin students who will begin classes August 30 due to the construction project that has been taking place over the summer.
Masking Required for All
All students and staff can expect to begin the school year masked when inside. Masks are not required outside. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use). They outline their rationale and reasoning for this which includes, not only decreasing the spread of COVID19, but other respiratory viruses as well. The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. I trust these recommendations and again, will let you know if universal masking changes.
The Importance of Staying Home When Sick
Given that there will be a continued need for contact tracing this year, the RUVNA app will be coming back online for both students and staff. We will let you know the precise date soon. I feel this will continue to be a valuable tool for all of us to stop and check-in with our student(s) each day to see if they really are feeling well. Staying home when sick is one of the best ways (in addition to frequent hand washing and masking) to slow the spread of COVID and other respiratory illnesses like colds and flu.
Other Mitigation Measures
We will be continuing many of the measures we had in place at the end of the last school year. Ventilation will continue to be encouraged by opening windows and using the outdoor tents (they’re coming back!) for classes and activities, routine cleaning by our amazing custodial services staff, frequent handwashing, and utilization of air purification systems in our classrooms and offices. We have also added air purification units in other areas of our buildings to increase air exchange.
Volunteers in Schools
At this time, I would like to limit the number of people entering our schools, therefore, we will not be allowing volunteers on site (this includes mentors and parents/guardians) I will let you know if this changes.
Protocols for Activities
While we are awaiting more guidance from the state and the VPA (athletics: p.s. registration for fall sports ends August 20) on how activities will look this year, what we do know is that singing will take place outside for now, art classes will be in arts classrooms, and field trips will need to be requested for a risk-assessment through me. Physical education will be held outside as often as possible with low impact activities encouraged indoors.
No Remote Learning Option this Year
This year, we are not planning on offering a remote learning option for students, even if a class needs to quarantine. More specifics will come from individual principals on what those days should look like for students.
Please note that our busses will be at full capacity and transportation services still need to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for travel on school buses. This means that students and drivers are required to wear masks. Bus routes will be posted to the District website August 19. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your student(s) transportation needs, please feel free to contact Kathy LaRock, Transportation Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, 652-7479 or 318-0435.
Nutritional Services Update
Our nutrition services team has been hard at work all summer providing meals to families both on site and by delivery. Amazing! The last day of this program will be August 19. For the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, all children will receive free breakfast and lunch at school, regardless of household income eligibility.
However, It is still very important for families to submit the Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals to track our community’s Free and Reduced Percentage which gives greater access to grant funds for schools and telecom reimbursements for the greater community.
You still have time to apply and become eligible to receive the Summer P-EBT benefit of $375 per eligible student, please complete and return the paper Free & Reduced-price meal application or apply through our online application system, MySchoolApps. Please make sure to fill out all the requested information, incomplete applications cannot be processed and could make you ineligible for the summer benefits. We will review the application to determine if you qualify. Please return the paper applications to Rhonda Ketner, 500 Dorset Street, South Burlington, VT or email@example.com by August 16th ,
We're Hiring! Do you love working with children? Would you like a career that has working hours that follow your child's school schedule, NO nights, No Weekends, No Holidays? Several positions available including Full Time, with benefits, Part time and Substitutes $14.00- $20.00 per hour. No experience necessary, we are willing to train. Please contact Rhonda Ketner, Nutritional Services Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We will once again be participating in voluntary COVID19 surveillance testing for students (age 5 and above) and staff this year. More details and how and where this will be rolled out are forthcoming. In the meantime, the state continues to offer numerous options for getting a COVID19 test if you need or want one.
Although Vermont continues to be a leader nationwide in our vaccination rate and indeed in Chittenden County, the percent positivity rate continues to climb. The state is continuing to offer vaccinations at a variety of sites throughout the state and we, like many of our fellow Districts, will be offering pop-up vaccine clinics for those ages 12 and above at the high school from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on the following dates:
Thursday, August 26
Thursday, September 16
Thursday, October 7
I realize this is a lot to take in and I encourage you all, if you have the time during these days before school begins (and especially afterward), to take care of your mental well being. Going for a nature walk, reading, meditation, and checking out some of the resources offered by the state as well as COVID SupportVT are all great options.
As I said last week, I take my job as Superintendent very seriously especially where health and safety are concerned. I gladly abide by the “duty of care” enshrined in state law that requires districts to protect students “from being exposed to unreasonable risk.” COVID, for me, falls into that category. I know there will continue to be questions as we approach the start of school and I will be in touch frequently with updates. In addition, look for detailed information in the days to come from your student(s) school via email, school websites, and social media including an upcoming Instagram Q and A with Patrick Burke for high schoolers.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns and have a great weekend.
What Do I Need For School?
- We do recommend that students have a pair of sneakers for Physical Education. These can be left at school in your child's cubby if they chose to wear other shoes to and from school.
- A lunchbox for a daily snack is also a good item for them to have. Each class has snack every day, and this is not provided by the school. We encourage healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit, crackers, popcorn, pretzels, etc. Please save the cookies, cakes, and candy for home. Your child's teacher will let you know in advance if there are any allergy restrictions in the classroom. It's a great idea to have your child practice opening any containers that they might be bringing to school with snack or lunch items...we encourage them to be as independent as possible! We also do not have access to a microwave or refrigerator for food, so consider having ice packs and a good thermos to keep things cold or hot.
- A water bottle that your child can refill is recommended. Pls write their initial on the bottom of it.
- A sturdy backpack that your child can carry, as well as open and close independently, will help keep them organized when they need to bring home papers and library books.
- We do like to have fun at RMCS, and sometimes there are spills and messy things involved in learning! Please provide an extra set of labeled clothes in case your child needs to change during the day. A large Ziploc freezer bag with your child's name on it is a great way to keep a spare set of clothing in their cubbies.
- A few permanent markers are a good think to invest in so you can label all of your child's belongings...the changing VT temperatures means that children are constantly taking their layers of clothing on and off, and our Lost and Found becomes a treasure trove of unclaimed items very quickly!
And most importantly...a positive attitude and a smile so we can make new friends, enjoy learning and have a great school year together!
RMCS HIRING- Current Open Positions
Paraeducators - Full time
Interventionists- Full time
Recess and Lunch Supervisors (3 hours a day)
Sub Caller (10 hours a week from home)
Substitute Teachers (2 full time floating subs, 5 days a week)
Substitute Teachers- Flexible scheduling
Please apply via SchoolSpring.com or call Kathleen Kilbourne for more information at 652-7200.
SUMMER MEALS SERVICES
The 2021 USDA Summer Breakfast and Lunch Program will be available to all students and children in the South Burlington Community until Thursday August 19th. The USDA Summer Food Service Program is free to all children under 18 yrs. old. Meals are available via pickup or delivery Monday-Thursday.
Household deliveries within South Burlington will occur between 9:30-11:00 Monday-Thursday with Thursday's delivery containing meals for Friday-Sunday as well.
Pickup time at FHTMS main lobby is from 9:00-10:00 AM, Monday-Thursday with Thursdays pickup containing meals for Friday-Sunday as well.
Meals must be ordered in advance on a week-by-week basis via an online meal ordering system.
Rhonda L. Ketner
Nutritional Services Director
South Burlington School District
500 Dorset Street
South Burlington, VT 05403
NEWS FROM THE NEW SOUTH BURLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
We will also have new after-school programs that will start in September. A link to that info from our website is here: https://southburlingtonlibrary.org/594/afterschool-at-the-library-art-tinkering-and-play-for-ages-6-and-up . We will have a print calendar that will be available toward the end of August.
We are open at our new location on 180 Market Street!
Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
VISIT US AT: https://southburlingtonlibrary.org/
How to Get a Library Card at the South Burlington Public Library
1. If you are 5 years old or older, and want a library card, come to the library with a grownup. Make sure they bring a piece of identification that has your legal, permanent South Burlington address on it. This could be a driver’s license, a utility bill or a rent/lease agreement. It could be paper or on a device: phone, tablet or computer.
2. Go to the circulation desk and ask for a library card. You and your grownup will show the librarian your identification information, fill out a short form; (staff is available if assistance is needed), and be entered into our system electronically. You will then get a new library card! Having a library card shows that you are responsible and mature enough to take care of the materials that you check out. Take good care of your card, and always bring it with you to the library when you want to check out books.
3. You will also get a booklet of information about the library. It will tell you about our collection, how long you can borrow books, and other resources to find at the library.
4. Kids in grades 5 and up can come to the library by themselves, without a grown up. Kids in grades four and younger must come with a grownup. We expect all patrons, regardless of age, to follow our Patron Code of Conduct. The Patron Code of Conduct can be found on our website. Library Mission and Policies (southburlingtonlibrary.org)
From our website:
Any legal resident of South Burlington over the age of five may obtain a resident library card with identification that clearly shows name and current legal address. Any South Burlington resident in good standing may use this library card at any of the other local libraries that are part of the Homecard system. Non-residents (outside of the Homecard system) and temporary residents may purchase a card to check out physical items at the South Burlington Public Library. Please come to the Library to sign up.
We hope to see you at the library!
Kelly Kendall, Children’s Librarian
South Burlington Public Library
RMCS School Garden
Did you know RMCS has a lovely vegetable and fruit garden tucked in the courtyard behind the gym. Your children may have already planted spinach and peas in it last week with Farm to School, or will be going out in the next few weeks to plant potatoes, carrots, or squash with their classes. The garden belongs to the whole school community and I encourage you to visit this relaxing (and delicious!) space with your children. The strawberries will soon be ready so please pick and enjoy! All excess produce will be donated to the South Burlington Food Shelf, as we did last summer. If you would like to know more, or would be willing to help with watering over the summer, please contact me at email@example.com or (802) 343-3660. Thank you! Amy Simone, UVM Extension Master Gardener
Moving or Transitioning? Let us know ...
FALL 2021 Kindergarten Registration
Registration will open for Incoming Kindergarten students on March 1, 2021. If you would like to register a student who will be 5 on or before September 1, 2021, please visit www.sbschools.net/register .
South Burlington School District Online Registration link