The Core

October 30, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 8

Principal's Notes

Dear Parents & Guardians,

There's a lot going on (for you) this weekend. Good luck with a physically-distant Halloween and the end of Daylight Savings Time. Maybe the extra hour on Sunday will give everyone an extra hour of rest - haha, no chance!

This week, I was totally impressed with parent drivers; for a couple of days now parents are arranging themselves very nicely in our teardrop station by the tent, Bravo, and Thank you!

Some Big Changes Next Week:

We are moving all temp-taking stations indoors starting on Wednesday, November 4th.

Rationale: the thermometers will not be working well outdoors in winter-like weather. Also, the tent is coming down on Tuesday.

What does this mean:

  • All Drop-Off Locations will remain the same.
  • Students will get out of cars from their usual drop-off station and walk to the front lobby where temps will be taken inside. Parents can simply drive away after drop-off, they do not have to wait for the temperature check.
  • Dismissal will stay the same for now.
  • Staff will be supervising students coming into the building safely and physically distant.

Our annual Thankful Giving Program is starting up, please check the attachment below for how you can give to other Orchard Families during the upcoming holidays. Please keep in mind:

  • Please return gift cards to school by November 13th if you are donating a food gift card.
  • Please return gift cards to school by December 4th if you plan to donate department store gift cards

We are working to have a "pre-recorded" Town Hall Meeting with our trauma consultant, Joelle Van Lent. There is a link below if you would like to ask a question. Joelle just wrote an article for Kids Vermont called

How to Encourage Kids' Resilience Amid a Pandemic. Here is a link :

I forgot to mention last week that we are not sending Unicef Trick-or-Treat boxes home this year. We felt that since we cannot endorse trick-or-treating, we should not be sending the boxes home. Please feel free to contribute directly, go to, it's a great cause! Good luck to all. Parents, don't forget to have your children keep their candy at home!

Stay safe, stay well, and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Quote of the Week:

"I write because our lives are stories. If enough of those stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details."

~Julius Lester, author of Let's Talk about Race

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PTO News 1

Back by popular, check out the Orchard Store!

Click here to check out children and adult clothing:

There is infant clothing too, for future Orchard School students!

Don't forget, the store closes in two weeks!

PTO News 2

Next PTO Meeting: Zoom (virtual) meeting Monday, November 9 at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome - please join us!

For the Zoom link, please email Sue Hebeler at


As we all know, this year is very different for the Orchard PTO and for kids as far as activities go! We are doing our best to be creative and to continue supporting families and kids in our community.


Since we will not have our Fun Run this year (our fundraiser), we hope you can make a direct contribution:

Funds will be used to continue the good work we are doing to support our Orchard community.

Volunteer! We can use all the hands we can get (and right now we don't have very many!). We need a social media maven, a co-treasurer, and a bookkeeper. Any time you can offer will be valued - and it doesn't have to be time at school - in fact, this year we can't be in the building, so your volunteer time will be at home, and will require a zoom meeting once in a while.

If you are interested in volunteering please email

2nd Grade Team in Book Characters

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We empathize and understand the challenges with the pandemic illness guidelines that are requiring you to keep your student home (with sometimes only slight cold symptoms) and often schedule a COVID test. We are messengers of the guidance and we appreciate all of the efforts, patience, and follow-through that you as parents/guardians are continuing to show. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to support one another and strive to keep our community safe.

Help Us Keep Our Schools Open!

What you do and how you behave in our community may impact if our schools can remain open. Please follow the Health Department's guidance by avoiding large gatherings and non-essential out of state travel. Please visit here for more Vermont Cross State Travel information.

Remember the 4 W's:

Wear Your Mask

Watch Your Distance

Wash Your Hands

When Sick, Stay Home


If you make a mistake on the app:

(For example, pressing an illness symptom when your student is not ill), please call the front office to report the mistake.

When your student is sick or staying home:

Please continue to fill out the Ruvna App and call the school's attendance line to report your student's absence. If you are emailing your student's teacher about an absence, please also phone in the absence.

As your school nurses are trying to reach out to parent/guardians when a student stays home due to illness, to assist with next steps; if you are unsure if your student should be attending school, please contact us.

When your student has a symptom, please follow the Health Department's fact sheet:

Information for Families: Return to School Following Illness

Click here for translations.

Halloween and COVID

Being safe during Halloween: the Health Department reminds us that when trick-or-treating or making plans, lower the risk of getting COVID by maintaining:


Be Well,

Kara & Darcy

School Nurses

Important Information from the Vermont Agency of Education and Department of Health

Students and staff who arrive from out-of-state must follow Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and Health Department guidance around quarantine before returning to school, which also applies to travel out-of-state at any point during the school year, including breaks and holidays. More information is available on the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 travel site and the ACCD website. School leadership is encouraged to remind families and staff of these travel requirements periodically to ensure they are taking the appropriate steps when planning for travel or receiving guests from out of state. Information about travel that is considered essential (which does not require quarantine) and daily border travel to and from neighboring states can also be found on these sites.

Family Input for a Recorded Presentation with Joelle VanLent, Clinical Psychologist

For four years, we have been working with Joelle VanLent, a clinical psychologist, on how to foster resilient learners in our district. Joelle has supported our work in social-emotional learning, including self-regulation, and trauma-informed practices. Each of our elementary schools has staff that has been trained by Joelle in resiliency strategies, and these "trainers" support other staff members in our schools. We know this is a very stressful time for families as well, and Joelle is able to create a tailored video to support our South Burlington elementary families. Instead of a live question and answer, we thought it would be best to get your thoughts and questions and then record Joelle answering them so you could access the presentation for whenever it works for your schedule. Here is a link to a (very quick) survey if you would like to ask Joelle a question:
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Daylight Savings Time ends

Don't forget ... turn clocks back an hour on Sunday Morning!