The Core

April 29, 2022, Volume 13, Issue 33

From the Principal

Hello Parents,

Wow! We had a great first week back after the break. Despite a few delays, the new playground structure opened on Wednesday. We had each grade come out prior to their recess time to review the "Tower of Power", go over the playground expectations with Ms. Abby and me and then try it out! Everyone was thrilled. We still have more upgrades to make but having the new structure installed has been an awesome first step. A BIG Shout Out to our Orchard PTO!

Speaking of the PTO, we have an Artist-in-Residence coming for two weeks at the end of May. We're excited to be welcoming martial arts instructor Master Lenny Yordan who will be teaching us all the introductions of Taekwondo. More information to come.

Our students are taking SBAC assessments in May. SBACs (Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium) are federally mandated assessments for students in grades 3 - 8 & 11. The SBACs include three rigorous online assessment sessions in both Literacy and Math. 5th graders will start this coming week since they have Science Assessments as well. 3rd & 4th graders will start the following week.

The Student Placement process will begin within the next couple of weeks. We need your feedback! If you recall, we moved to an electronic version two years ago and would like to continue with this system. Please complete the parent feedback survey for your child - and reopen the survey for each of your children. Please know that we cannot accept teacher requests and will delete any specific teacher requests. Thank you for this. Here is the link:

Scroll down to the PTO article, there's so much to check out! Have a wonderful weekend; take some time to read to your child.

Mark T

Quote of the week:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

~Abraham Lincoln

Photos from Playground Wednesday, Scroll Down to See Rows Kindergarten through Grade Five!

School Nurse Notes

You-Ology: A Puberty Guide for Everybody is a new guide published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which teaches kids about changing bodies and gender diversity. See the review on NPR here.

Take Back Day: VT's Prescription Drug Disposal System is this Saturday, April 30th!
from the health department: Medications that are not properly stored in your home can be a risk to kids and pets who might accidentally ingest them. And, flushing medications or tossing them in the trash is a danger to our waterways and wildlife.

Find drug take-back sites or how to obtain free prescription medication mail-back envelopes by visiting this site.


FREE LAMP tests are available from the Health Department. Find sites here (walk-ins allowed) or make an appointment here for pick-up.

FREE RAPID ANTIGEN tests are available from the school.

If the first antigen test is negative, use the second at least 24 hours later. If they are both negative, and you still have concerns, get a LAMP or a PCR test.

Testing is recommended for people with symptoms, for people who are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and not up to date on COVID vaccines, and for individuals who have travelled internationally.

A symptomatic student should only return to school when symptoms are resolved or markedly improved (and they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication).

Please continue to check the SBSD COVID-19 Dashboard for case updates, testing recommendations and illness guidelines, as we are no longer sending email notifications.

Be well,

Kara Cassani, RN & Darcy Mazlish, RN

Orchard School Nurses
SBSD Elementary Health Services
p. (802) 652-7303
f. (802) 652-7354

Three Cheers to Sue O'Brien and Allyson Yandow & Thank you to our PTO for Helping Us Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day

Big picture

From the PTO

PTO Meeting: The next PTO meeting will be held via Zoom on May 4th at 6:30 pm. Join us to get involved!

Artist in Residence: Master Lenny Yordan of Yordan's Black Belt Academy will be doing an Artist in Residency program at Orchard for the last two weeks of May. He will have time with students of each grade every day for those two weeks, ending in a performance. Of his work with students, Master Yordan notes: "[this program] brings students a sense of honesty, integrity, spirit and motion-- it is a safe, holistic approach to build body awareness and confidence. People who stick with martial arts in this approach show more confidence and build that 'I-can' attitude." He also notes that this is not an aggressive program, "it's never a me-vs-them". We are proud to sponsor and support this program that helps each student work their body to its individual ability. We hope your children love it!

Spring Fling: We are so excited to bring back an Orchard School spring tradition this year with the Spring Fling! Join other Orchard families on Friday, May 20th from 5:30 to 7:30 to enjoy good company and festivities! More details to come; please see attached flyer and start to get pumped!

Orchard Gardens: Bringing Butterflies to Orchard There is an effort under way to transform some of our flower beds at Orchard School into butterfly gardens! Creating habitats to attract these beautiful insects is not only fun to watch, but great for the environment. Like bees, butterflies are important pollinators that benefit nature and need to be conserved. We are looking for perennials to add to our garden such as Lupine, Lavender, Aster, or coneflower to name a few. If you happen to have any extra butterfly-friendly plants/flowers that can be transplanted or if you would like to donate from a local nursery, please contact Kasey Skidmore at

How 'bout That Playground?!: After a whirlwind spring of fundraising last year, our efforts are finally rewarded with a new main play structure for the Orchard School playground. The structure that was chosen allows for additions to be made as we continue our efforts in the coming years to make the playground even more fun. Stay tuned!

High School Musicians Demonstrate all the Possible Music Opportunities in Middle and High School

Members of the various South Burlington High School Music Ensembles stopped by on Thursday to teach and demonstrate all the opportunities for our 5th Graders transitioning to the middle school. They also got us off our feet to take part in the preformance. It was awesome to see many Orchard alumni performing for us!
Big picture

New Arrival Time

Parents, we want to get our school day started earlier in an additional step to move forward as fully reopening. We want to start our day at 8:05. If you are dropping your child off and want to avoid the busses, feel free to use the "teardrop" parking lot. To help us reclaim a little more of our school day, doors open at 7:50 AM.

  • Most Busses Arrive at 7:50
  • Walkers Arrive at 7:50-8:05
  • Drop Off in the Teardrop Parking Loop at 7:50-8:05

Please Respect Our Neighbors


Our Arrival and Dismissal routes are going much smoother these days so it is so important for parents to use our parking lot pick-ups & drop-off routes rather than dropping off your child on Baldwin Avenue. Our neighbors have been very patient with us and we need to keep off their lawns. It's also not safe so please support our neighbors like you support our school.

Thank you on this.