Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter September 3, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 4

IMPORTANT DATES:

Monday, September 6th - No School, Labor Day

Friday, September 17th - Picture Day

Friday, September 24th - 12:30 Dismissal for Staff Professional Learning

Thursday, September 30th 6:30 PM - GCS Circus Performance, South Burlington High School Turf Field

UPDATES for Arrival and Dismissal

THANK YOU FOR BEING PATIENT WITH THE ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL PROCESS! As parents and staff become familiar with the process and matching up students to cars, it will improve! On Tuesday, we will have our South Burlington preschoolers starting for the first time.


Everyone should now have a piece of colored cardstock with your child's grade level on it. Please display this on your dashboard during arrival and dismissal times to help us identify which station you need to go to. Please follow the directions of the staff in the parking lot, as there may need to be a change based on traffic flow.


Also, if you are trying to turn left out of the school driveway onto White Street, you will be backing up the traffic. If it's not clear right away to turn left, please turn right and make a loop to get to your destination. This will help us keep the flow of traffic moving.


We have a staggered arrival and dismissal process, to limit crowding in the hallways. At this time, parents/caregivers and volunteers will not be allowed in the building. There will be staff in the parking lot to direct you to the correct drop off and pick up location each day. Please arrive at your designated time...if you are early, we will ask you to leave the parking lot and return at the designated time so you are not blocking the pick up lane when your child is not yet dismissed. Please be ready to say a quick good-bye to your child. If you need to park, please pull out of the drop off lane and park in a designated parking spot. There will be staff at each drop off spot to help, and lots of caring staff inside to make sure your child gets to the correct classroom. Please see the schedule below for your child's grade level.


Arrival:

7:50 - busses out back

7:55 - 5, 3 and 1 (and siblings)

8:00 - K, 2 and 4 (and siblings)

8:05 - preschool

Announcements at 8:10 - students arriving after 8:10 will be marked tardy.


Dismissal:

2:20 - staff will pick up students from their classrooms who are going to the School's Out program

2:25 - busses in front and Pre-K students at the Kindergarten doors (Station 3)

2:30 - K, 2 and 4 (and siblings)

2:35 - 5, 3 and 1


Here is the link to the district transportation. We are thinking the bus routes will continue to be updated so check the transportation website on the district website for changes: https://www.sbschools.net/Page/1260

Having Fun At Recess!

GCS Current Positions - We have openings if you are looking to join our school team!

If you or anyone you know is looking for employment, we have the following job opportunities at Gertrude Chamberlin School:


Interventionist - full time position supporting students receiving special education services

Recess Monitor - 3 hours a day from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Substitutes - teachers, interventionists, paraprofessionals, recess/lunch monitors. We are looking for part day and full day subs.


Please call Mrs. Baechle at 652-7403 for more information.

Air Ventilation in Our Classrooms

In case you are wondering about the air filtration systems in our schools, all of the air filters in all of the rooms have been recently cleaned. The filters that we use are MERV-13 filters. These filters are recommended by the Center for Disease Control. In addition, every classroom has a plug in air purifier that has a mineral filter, a HEPA filter and a UVC light that kills particles.
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Free Books!

We have done lots of purging in our classroom libraries this summer, and we have many extra books available for students to take home. If you would like your child to have books available at home, please let your child's teacher know and we will help them pick out some that they can take to have at home.

What Does Homework Look Like For Elementary Students?

Our district has the following guidelines for homework:

Kindergarten through Grade 2:

● Reading with a “Just Right”* Book will be expected each evening.

● No other homework will be required.

Grade 3:

  • Reading with a “Just Right” Book will be expected each evening.

  • Homework will be optional for teachers/school though it will focus upon personalized learning, not on weekly routine work.

Grades 4 & 5:

  • Reading with a “Just Right” Book will be expected each evening.

  • Homework Assignments will focus upon Project-Based Learning and use Vermont’s Transferable Skills as a guide for student independent work.

  • Independent & Collaborative Projects will also put an emphasis on Organizational Skills. ● Homework assignments will focus upon personalized learning, it will not be weekly routine work.


You can find the answer to this question and many more in the GCS Family Handbook!

Snacks and Birthdays

There are no community snacks or birthday snacks in our school. Students are asked to bring in a daily snack and to follow any allergy guidelines that you received from Nurse Farrell and the classroom teacher. We do not share snack or lunch items. For more information, please refer to the GCS Family Handbook (linked above).

Wolf Den and Wolf Pack at GCS

On Wednesdays, we have a special time designated to building school community and school culture. This week, students had the opportunity to participate in Wolf Den. Each classroom teacher presents a lesson using the Second Step program during Wolf Den to explicitly teach social skills. Second Step promotes school success, school connectedness and a safe and respectful school climate. This focus on social skills will strengthen your child’s ability to learn, have empathy, manage emotions and solve problems. For the month of September, the focus will be on Skills for Learning. This month, our school-wide theme is our school as a welcoming place where every student feels like he or she belongs. In our morning announcements, we’ll be reminding students to welcome others and act and speak in safe, respectful, and responsible ways. In addition, we’ll be teaching students about expectations and routines in a variety of school settings. Support your child at home in welcoming others and acting and speaking in safe, respectful, and responsible ways. To learn more about this program, visit www.secondstep.org. Wolf Den will happen 2-4 Wednesdays a month, depending on the school calendar.



We are also continuing with Restorative Practices this year, including our Wolf Pack Time. Again this year, instead of multiage groups for this morning circle time, students will stay in their classrooms. Wolf Pack Time will happen once a month on Wednesday mornings. We are looking forward to this special weekly community time, especially since we can't move to other classrooms and have assemblies in the gymnasium!

School Nurse Notes

Kids and Delta:

UVM Children's Hospital Pediatric Intensivist, Rebecca Bell, MD talks about kids back in school. She suggests preparing for this school year by:


  • Stocking up on masks
  • Having a back-up plan for sick days
  • Be prepared for changing guidance
  • Look to your child's medical provider for guidance


See the full article here.



Illness Reminders:

Please fill out the Ruvna app each school morning and reference this form for any symptoms your student may be experiencing:
COVID-19 Information for Families Return to School Following Illness.*

*Please click here for translations and scroll to the "return to school following illness" heading.


Travel to Canada:

​Students must follow the after travel to Canada guidance outlined by the CDC. Please note the guidance indicates that unvaccinated individuals get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel (even if the test is negative). Vaccinated people test 3-5 days after travel. Visit the health department's travel page for more information.


Masks and Clothes:

Please consider sending in 2 EXTRA MASKS in your student's backpack and an extra pair of clothes.


Be well,

Nurse Kerry Farrell

Kindergarteners got to pick out their first books from our library this week! Ms. Balk taught them how to give their books a hug to keep them safe when they are carrying them back to class!

Donations

If your child needs a backpack, please let us know! We have had a wonderful donation from TCC South Burlington, a Verizon authorized retailer on Dorset Street as well as Vibrant Church and Sommers Chiropractic. We are grateful to our community businesses and organizations for supporting our GCS school students, staff and families!

Safe Use of Technology

Students are reviewing expectations on how to use technology in our district! In grades 2-5, each child has a chromebook that they use at school for learning. In the event that we have to quarantine a class/grade level, chromebooks will come home so students can access their learning online. Please view the SBSD Elementary Chromebook Responsibility Agreement below and have a conversation with your child about using technology safely and responsibly - and feel free to use the same expectations on devices at home.

Answers to Some of the Questions that You Might Have...

Will recess be mixed classes (no zones)? ​Yes, we will be mixing grade level only classes at recess; meaning all 2 or 3 classes at one grade level will be outside and all have access to the entire playground. No zones at this time. ​


Will we be able to mix within grade levels (academic and community building)? ​In a limited and tracked way for specialized services, and we will document for contact tracing. NOT WHOLE CLASSES, except for at recess, or across grade levels (like bus buddies, or reading buddies).


Will we be able to have school-wide assemblies? ​No not at this time as we will have no whole school gatherings of staff and students in person. We are however, exploring how to do a whole school assembly using technology, and sharing in each classroom...so we will not all be in the same room, but we will all be seeing the same information at the same time.


In the classroom, will students be able to sit on the carpets?​ Yes and we have returned our soft chairs and pillows to classrooms.


Will we need to use dividers? ​Dividers will be used in the cafeteria daily, where children will be sitting by classrooms, and with snack in the classrooms.


Will lunch be in the cafeteria?​ Yes, by grade level. Students will need to sit by class and we will use dividers.


​Can parents or volunteers be in the building? Parents, and volunteers are not able to be in the building at this time. We will have a small group of student interns from the University of VT. The only people inside the building are staff and students; MASKED.


Will there be field trips? We are not having indoor field trips at this time. Teachers can request to take field trips that are outside.


Will all staff and students be required to wear masks at this time? Yes, as we begin the school year we are doing so masked for all staff and students. We will be taking mask breaks outside as needed, and children are not required to be masked while outside for snack, physical education or recess times.

Girl Scouts for our Incoming Kindergarteners!

Cub Scout Information for Grades K-5

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The Circus is coming to Chamberlin School!

We will be having Troy Wunderle and his Big Top Adventures as our artist in residence from Monday, September 20th- Friday, October 1st. Students will be working with Troy to learn and practice a variety of circus skills such as: juggling, spinning plates, stilts, diablos, pogo sticks, unicycles, and rolling globes. Mark your calendars! We plan to have a show for our school community on Thursday, September 30th at 6:30pm on the turf field at South Burlington High School.


September 2nd District Update From Superintendent Young

September 2, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Happy September! I think we were all relieved to have some cooler temperatures this week that were still warm enough to facilitate the use of our tents for all kinds of activities. It has been great to hear and see our students back together during these first couple of weeks of school, whether engaging in the arts or practicing sports after school. I am thankful we are having this opportunity. As we continue to navigate the beginning of the school year and of course, COVID, I will be sure to keep you updated on our policies, procedures, and my rationale for decision making. I’ll be hosting another one of my Zoom drop in chats soon, but in the meantime, see below for the latest!

Remote Learning

We are not offering a remote learning option this year, however should a positive COVID case come up, we will follow this protocol: If an individual student needs to quarantine, families/students can access the missed learning using our normal absence procedures. If an entire class is instructed to go into quarantine, teachers will deliver instruction remotely. This may be a combination of virtual group work using SeeSaw and Google Classroom (at the elementary level) and Schoology (at the MS/HS level) as directed by their classroom teacher and self-directed work, depending on grade level and class responsibilities.

Contact Tracing

We will be following protocols outlined by the VT AOE and work closely with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member at a school. The district will only be notified by VDH if the individual with COVID-19 was in school while infectious. If someone tests positive but was not in a school facility while they were infectious, the school will not have a role in contact tracing or communicating with families.When the district is notified of a positive individual, the SBSD will use information including attendance records,classroom and bus seating charts, class schedules, activity or co-curricular participation records to identify who at the school had close contact with the positive individual. You can read more about what it means to be a close contact here as well as the PreK-12 School Guidance from the Vermont Dept of Health.

Travel to Canada

​Students and staff must follow the after travel to Canada guidance outlined by the CDC. Please note the guidance indicates that unvaccinated individuals get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel (even if the test is negative). Visit the health department's travel page for more information.

Music Guidance

We are following the International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study Updated Guidelines, which recommends for indoor classes singing with masks on, using bell covers for instruments, and limiting rehearsal times to 50 minutes.

Sports Update

Volleyball will be the only indoor sport this year. While there are no limitations on the size of spectators for volleyball this fall, masks are required to be worn by all spectators upon entering SBHS. If you are not wearing a mask, you will be asked to leave the facility.

In addition, for those who cannot attend matches at SBHS, we will be streaming all volleyball matches through the NFHS Network. You can visit www.NFHSNetwork.com and search for South Burlington High School to subscribe and follow. The cost is $10.99/month or $69.99/year.

Connecting with the School Board

School board members will once again be holding drop-in Zoom chats! Check out the School Board's Facebook Page and the District website for the latest dates and links! The board also held a regular meeting Wednesday, September 1. If you missed it, you can watch it on the Media Factory website tomorrow. The next regular school board meeting will take place September 22.You can find all of the board’s meeting minutes, agendas, and backup information on the District website.

City E-News

The South Burlington City News is emailed to subscribers twice monthly and includes information on municipal projects, services, and events. This includes recreation programs, community events, City Council meetings, and school board meetings. Visit the city website for the most current (and archived) issues.

Nutrition Services Notes/Updates

Although the USDA is covering the cost of complete meals of breakfast and lunch, milk to supplement meals brought from home is not part of this program and therefore not free of charge. The cost of a milk is 50 cents and parents/caregivers can send in a check, made out to South Burlington Nutritional Services, to credit their child's account or use our online payment option through MySchoolBucks

If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Ketner rketner@sbschools.net

Allergies and food sensitivities

Nutritional Services is committed to providing access to nutritious meals to all students. If your child has food allergies or food sensitivities, please be sure to contact the nurse at your child's school to ensure we have the proper documentation on file to make any adjustments or accommodations necessary to our menu offerings so that your child has access to school breakfast and lunch. Please be aware that, in some cases, accommodations may take up to two weeks to implement. Nutritional Services staff are trained on food safety and sanitation including cross contamination and operate peanut/tree nut safe kitchens. We also offer dairy substitutes and gluten free items with advance notice.

Dietary and cultural preferences are not individually managed, though we make every effort to offer a variety of menu that would accommodate for most preferences.Please contact your school nurse or Rhonda Ketner, rketner@sbschools.net with any questions or concerns.

Transportation Department: We’re Hiring!

We have full time, benefit eligible positions that have flexible hours and part time positions with as few as 12 hours per week available. We will provide paid CDL training for both full and part time employees. Good opportunity for parents with school age children to work some mid-day shifts.

We also have custodial positions available with benefits and flexible day, afternoon, and evening shifts. Interested? Contact Director of Operations and Finance Gary Marckres at gmarckres@sbschools.net

VT PBS Kids and Education Resource

Vermont Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and the Agency of Education (AOE) continue their

partnership to support learning for Vermont students and school communities heading into the new school year. This partnership provides access to free educational programming, curricular connections, offline kits, and distance learning tutorials through Vermont PBS Kids and Education. The Broadcast Schedule can be found online, continuing through the fall for in classroom or take home enrichment.

School Happenings

SBHS Activity Block!

Activity block is happening at SBHS! What is it? On Fridays from 8:45-10:00 am, clubs and activities will meet on campus, thus removing barriers to participation like transportation or after school commitments. This program will kick off September 3 and you can learn more about it in this great video. Big thanks and welcome to our new Student Engagement Coordinator Stephanie Hyatt!

FHTMS 7th Graders Dive into Engineering Design

Dorset House (a 7th grade team at FHTMS) science teacher Lauren Bartlett reported that Dorset House has started the new school year in science learning about the engineering design process. Bartlett wrote, “Our first engineering design task was to build towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows. Students tackled this challenge with great enthusiasm and the tallest design reached a height of 72 cm!! These are free standing towers built out of 20 pieces of spaghetti, 20 small marshmallows, 1 large marshmallow and 1 foot of tape.” Impressive!

Gertrude Chamberlin School Students Participate in Wolf Den

Principal Holly Rouelle noted that on Wednesdays, Chamberlin has a special time designated to building school community and school culture. “This week, students had the opportunity to participate in Wolf Den. Each classroom teacher presented a lesson using the Second Step program during Wolf Den to explicitly teach social skills. Second Step promotes school success, school connectedness and a safe and respectful school climate. For the month of September, the focus will be on Skills for Learning. This month, our school-wide theme is our school as a welcoming place where every student feels like he or she belongs. In our morning announcements, we’ll be reminding students to welcome others and act and speak in safe, respectful, and responsible ways. To learn more about this program, visit www.secondstep.org. Wolf Den will happen 2-4 Wednesdays per month, depending on the school calendar.”

Rick Marcotte Central 5th Graders Build BirdHouses

This week, all the fifth graders at RMCS built birdhouses. Teacher Lizzy Appleby reported that students had to work cooperatively to plan and build a birdhouse. As a group, they then wrote a how-to. In addition to this fun, hands-on learning, the students were also introduced to many games in the last week that will be played throughout the year on their math menu. Yahtzee was a clear favorite!

Orchard School Curriculum Night Tonight!

Tonight, Orchard School will virtually welcome families during curriculum night. A Zoom link was provided to meet a student(s)class online. Teachers will be sharing about this year's curriculum and daily life in Orchard classrooms and answer questions. Families will also have the chance to virtually meet Orchard's school counselors, the arts team, as well as the pro-behavior team. Principal Mark Trifilio will give a brief presentation on Orchard’s Core Project with time for parent feedback.

Pride Week!

This week is Pride week and the FHTMS QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) and the SBHS GSA (Genders & Sexualities Alliance) are so happy to invite all to join in marching in the Pride Vermont Parade Sunday, September 5th. LGBTQ+ folks and allies are welcome to come and march together as a South Burlington community! Thanks to Erin Randall, Penny Pizer, and Scott Carlson for organizing!

As summer days fade and fall weather starts to emerge, be sure to get out and enjoy the weather this Labor Day weekend and if you’re looking for something to do tonight, check out the final SoBu Nite Out of the season up at Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 5:30 pm. I hear there will be fireworks!

David

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Does Your Child Need Milk for Their Home Lunch?

Milk is NOT free for students who need a milk for their home lunch. The cost of a milk is 50 cents and parents/caregivers can send in a check, made out to South Burlington Nutritional Services, to credit their child's account or have money taken directly from an account to credit to your child's account. or use our online payment option through MySchoolBucks.

If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Ketner rketner@sbschools.net.

This school year ALL STUDENTS can have FREE Breakfast and Lunch! We would still ask everyone to fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch form. See the links below for the form and the breakfast and lunch menus.