Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter January 7, 2022 Volume 16 Issue 18


Tuesday, January 11th -Zoom PTO Meeting, 6:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 817 8347 2304

Passcode: 475824

Monday, January 17th - No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Friday, January 28th - Early Release, 12:30 PM Dismissal for Staff Development

February 4th - Report Cards Come Home

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Welcoming Our Students Back...2022 Is Off to a Great Start!

Coming back to school in 2022 has been interesting! Yes, we did have many concerns this week due to the dramatic rising of Covid cases in VT. I am so grateful for your patience as we continue to try and wrap our heads around the ever changing guidelines. Every change means reworking our protocols and communication and trying to figure out every possible scenario that we might encounter. Please know that our ultimate goal is to keep your children safe and to provide as enriching a learning experience as possible...even in the midst of the myriad of disruptions that we are faced with every day including contact tracing, Test to Stay, quarantining, staffing issues and student absences. I know getting the form email from me saying we've had another case of Covid makes your heart skip a beat...and then when you get the follow up email or phone call saying that your child is impacted, it causes much angst for your family. Mrs. Farrell, Mrs. Baechle and I are working day (and many nights and weekends) to try and keep you as informed as possible and make sure that you have all of the information that you need. Despite all of the challenges, GCS continues to be a warm and caring place where our children come to have fun and learn...which makes all of this hard work worth it!

Speaking of fun, that was the topic of our Wolf Pack Time this week! We want our students to have fun, work cooperatively and persevere when working together on a challenge. This means students need to have positive experiences to work together and reflect on what perseverance is and how they can work through an activity when they are frustrated or encounter a problem. This week's Wednesday lesson helped students understand how it feels to persevere and work together using two fun “Minute to Win It” activities, using cups, paper plates and card stock. Students worked on one of two challenges...or both if they had the time. In "Stack It!" they worked with their team on stacking 6 cups and 3 paper plates. In "Collapse the Stack," groups tried to stack the cups just right so they center on the paper, and then they pulled out the sheets of paper so the cups (hopefully) collapsed onto each other. They had a minute to try to complete the challenge! It was wonderful to see groups working together and trying different strategies for each round...and not getting frustrated when it didn't work every time!

After getting time to work together on the cup challenges, the class came back together to reflect using our restorative circle format: "For some this might have been something new and challenging. You may have even had to restart one or more times to complete the challenge. Why did you keep going?" "What tools or strategies did you use to keep from quitting?"

We closed our class circles with a quote from basketball player Kobe Bryant: “Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.” Covid is definitely teaching us all how to work hard and persevere! I wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to a year of learning and growing together at Chamberlin School in 2022! Enjoy the photos below of our beautiful students during Wolf Pack Time!

SBSD Community Engagement Survey

In response to COVID-19 and its impact on student learning, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) was signed into law by the federal government in March of 2021 and provides funds to support the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER). School districts across the State of Vermont have been asked by the Vermont Agency of Education to create Recovery Plans to outline how we will support our students using Federal ESSER funds.

For the third phase of funding, SBSD will be awarded $3,103,484. Federal guidance requires that all funds must be spent to address the ongoing impact of the pandemic specifically targeting three pillars: Social-Emotional Learning, Student Engagement, and Academic Success. We are seeking community input on how best to meet the needs of SBSD learners in these areas.

Here is a link to the presentation that will help you understand the proposed spending using these funds...supports in the survey directly linked to GCS are on slide 6.

Please take a few minutes to provide us feedback on our proposed uses for these funds below. You can also read more about how we have spent recovery funds so far and review more detailed information on our Recovery Plan on our SBSD Recovery Planning/ESSER website:

Survey Link:

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Thank You, Berlin City Auto Group!

Mrs. Rickard, our Reading Teacher, has been awarded a $2,200 grant from Berlin City Auto Group to purchase literacy materials! These funds will be used to purchase a Literacy Footprints intervention text set. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, they are not holding their typical luncheon for teachers and students at their facility. We are very grateful to the Berlin City Auto Group for supporting our literacy efforts!

Job Opportunity at GCS

Chamberlin School is a great place to work! We are currently hiring for a BUS MONITOR. This would mean supporting a student riding the bus from 7:10-8:10 AM, daily. If you or anyone you know might be interested in this position, please call Mrs. Baechle at 802-652-7403 or email Ms. Rouelle at

GCS made the news again for our great work with PBiS!

We are proud to be featured as a model PBiS school doing good things for students on the local news, WCAX! Please check out our amazing staff and students who are working very hard to promote a positive learning environment at Gertrude Chamberlin School! Here is the link to Part 1 and Part 2.

South Burlington Public Library

Click on the link below for our January events!

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

The Book Drop is available at our new location. It is to the RIGHT of the City Hall Drop Box, around the corner.

Natacha Liuzzi

Children’s Specialist

South Burlington Public Library

180 Market Street

South Burlington VT 05403


Vermont Snow Play Day - GCS Students Featured in the Video!

If you are interested in the story of VT Plow Day, check out the video! There is even a photo of Mrs. Preska's class deciding on one of our snow plow names, and a photo of our ballot! Such a great story of how the VT Agency of Transportation collaborated with our VT schools!
Vermont Plow Day - 2021

Girl Scout Informational Nights

Time to Order Your Yearbook!

It's time to order your 2021-2022 yearbook! It comes in full color with tons of pictures and are only $20.00! You can also order personalization for an extra $2 and $1 for each icon. You can order online at Deadline to order is April 22nd, 2022. All orders are online. This year, the cover will be artwork from our awesome 5th graders! If you have questions about the yearbook, please contact Heather Osborne at

School Nurse Notes


You should get a booster if you are 12 or older and you received:

  • your Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago or
  • your second dose of Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or
  • your second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least five months ago

Thank you and be well,.

Kerry Farrell

Parenting Supports from Prevent Child Abuse VT

Greetings from the Family Support Team at PCAVT!

Please see below for upcoming programs, ALL ON ZOOM. All programs are being offered over Zoom and are FREE to Vermont residents. Each of the sessions will run for between 60-90 minutes – on average, it takes 12 sessions to complete the program and receive a certificate of completion.

Please feel free to contact Michelle Richling, Family Support Programs Director, at or 802-498-0623, with any questions or be in touch with us at or 1-800-CHILDREN if you are interested in attending any of these programs.

Circle of Parents

Circle of Parents is a professionally facilitated, peer led

support group for parents and other caregivers.

Ongoing Groups:

• Circle of Parents with Children Identifying as LGBTQ (Weds at 6:30 pm)

• Circle of Parents for Single Moms - (Thursdays at 5:00 pm)

• Circle of Parents of Teens - (Mondays at 10:00 am)

• Circle of Support for Moms of Color (Wednesdays at 10:00 am)

• Circle of Parents in Recovery (Wednesdays at 5:30 pm)

• Circle of Parents (open to all) (Thursdays at 10:00 am)

• Circle for Adoptive & Post-Permanent Families (Thursdays at 5:00 pm)

• Circle for Adoptive & Post-Permanent Families (Thursdays at 8:00 pm)

Nurturing Parenting Programs

Nurturing Parenting Programs are curriculum-based, parenting education

programs for families experiencing stress.

Upcoming Nurturing Parenting Programs:

  • Nurturing Program for Young Parents - starting Jan 25, Tuesdays 4:30-6
  • Nurturing Skills for Families - starting Jan 10, Mondays 5:30-7:30pm
  • Nurturing Skills for Families - starting Jan 11, Tuesdays 10am -12pm
  • Nurturing Program for Families in Substance Use Recovery - starting Jan 19, Mondays 6-8pm.
  • Nurturing Father’s Program - starting Jan 12, Wednesdays 6-8pm
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Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet - Technicool Presentation for Parents

FREE for Vermont Residents

February 23rd 6:30-7:30pm

There are multiple kinds of digital risks for children today, such as internet pornography, online groomers, and sexting. It is important for caregivers and teachers to have the information and tools to respond. Adults in this workshop will: a) learn the digital risks for children and strategize ways to keep children and youth safe in digital environments and b) learn effective strategies for dealing with children exhibiting concerning digital behaviors. Please join us to learn how to support youth in digital environments!

We invite Vermont schools and childcare centers to share this digital invitation with all parents and caregivers within their community. Space will be limited, so please register to attend in advance.

Questions? E-mail Kirstie Grant

Vermont Food and Energy Programs

Click on the link below to find information about programs in VT to support families in need of food or energy/fuel resources.

January 6th Update from Superintendent Young

January 6, 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Happy New Year and welcome back to school and work! As one can imagine, a large focus of our time upon return has been on the ever evolving guidance around COVID19 vaccination, boosters, isolation and quarantine. In an effort to reassure families that schools are safe due to the universal precautions we have in place such as mask wearing, hand washing, and upgraded air filtration systems, I held a Zoom Sunday afternoon, January 2, with medical professionals Drs Becca Bell and Breena Holmes, prior to sending my note to families and staff outlining our current COVID guidelines. The purpose was to allow space for individuals to be heard and ask questions of our fantastic pediatricians. The recording has not yet been posted because some conflicting information around the time needed for quarantine was mentioned, but after hearing from some of you about how beneficial this session was overall, we will be sharing a link to this on our website soon.

Something we heard a lot on the call were concerns around masking, both the type of masks to wear and their proper use. The Vermont Agency of Education and Department of Health continue to encourage masking in indoor settings and masks are required in our schools and on our buses. Please make sure you (or your student) are bringing clean masks to school and wearing them properly (over the nose AND mouth). A well fitting mask is also key.

In terms of testing, while some were able to take advantage of the free rapid antigen tests made available by the state over the holidays and additionally to families with school aged children December 30 and 31 at various drive up sites statewide, I understand they are currently in short supply. To that end, Governor Scott announced today that beginning next week the State of Vermont will use a program developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to deliver 500,000 recently acquired rapid COVID-19 tests to households across the state. Participating Vermonters will need to provide their name and address for test kit delivery, which will not be shared. No additional personal information will be required to get a free rapid test kit. The State will announce details, and how to order, next week.

Thank you all for your patience as I continue to watch and respond to rapidly evolving conditions and guidance. I will be in touch as soon as I have additional items to report regarding any of our protocols.

Upcoming Dates of Note:

January 8: Holiday Tree Pickup Fundraiser for SBHS Music (details here)

January 12: Special Board Meeting on the FY23 Budget (look for agenda and link soon)

January 18: No School - Martin Luther King Jr.


Statewide, we are seeing a post holiday increase in COVID19 cases and according to the latest modeling from the VT Department of Financial Regulation, the Omicron variant is now the dominant strain in Vermont. We all have a role to play in keeping one another safe and healthy.I am encouraging everyone who is eligible to please get vaccinated and if it is time, get boosted. Some guidance around who can get a booster and when changed this week. You should get a booster if you are 12 or older and you received:

-your Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago or

-your second dose of Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or

-your second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least five months ago

Registration through the Health Department is now open for boosters for children ages 12-15. (approved by the CDC 1/5/22). A third dose for immunocompromised children aged 5-11 was also approved by the CDC 1/4/22. You can find a list of vaccine clinics here.

The cases below are from Monday, January 3-Thursday January 6 at 4:30 pm. Please note, we are only reporting cases that were infectious while in school.

SBHS: 30


GCS: 5


Orchard: 11

Our Test-to-Stay program for unvaccinated close contacts continues to go well thanks to families, staff, and volunteers who have been assisting. The program is serving its purpose of keeping students in school. For the week of January 3-January 6, we tested 99 students. For the moment, we are keeping the program open to only unvaccinated close contacts. Please note that the current definition of fully vaccinated is two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the J&J. We understand that this definition could change to include those who are boosted, but as of this writing, the current guidelines stand.

FY23 Budget

Our FY23 budget development process has continued as more state level data has become available. At last night’s school board meeting, myself, along with Director of Operations and Finance Gary Marckres, Business Manager Krista Chadwick, and Director of Learning Violet Nichols discussed currently known factors impacting the budget and proposed additions. You can watch the presentation at the Media Factory website and the slides are posted to our SBSD Budget webpage. Our next meeting on the budget will take place next Wednesday, January 12 beginning at 6:00 pm (agenda and Zoom link to follow). Our next regular board meeting will take place Wednesday January 19 with our annual budget presentation at Channel 17 occurring January 20 at 5:30 pm.

So far, we have held two community forums on the budget and after it is approved by the school board, we will host a Zoom Q and A February 1 from 6:00-7:00 pm. The link to join this session will be posted soon. We appreciate everyone who has attended our virtual sessions so far and submitted questions and feedback. Keep it coming!

Run for the School Board!

We are going to have three openings on our school board in March and we’d love YOU to join us! We held a Zoom Q and A recently with current and former board members as well as City Clerk Donna Kinville to give people a feel for what it’s like to be a board member. Ready to run? Petitions for local office are due by 5:00 pm on the 6th Monday before the election date. A petition requires at least 30 valid signatures of registered voters of South Burlington. We strongly encourage anyone who is considering running to please contact the City Clerk's office to get the appropriate forms and to get some guidance on filling out petitions and deadlines. You can find the forms here. You can also contact any current board member to learn more!

Executive Director of Equity Hiring Update

With the recent announcement of the search for an Executive Director of Equity, the District has engaged the services of Rhiannon Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP, Ed.D. Candidate, as educational consultant to coordinate the search process. Many of you may know Rhiannon from her past employment and trauma-informed equity work in the District and her present work with leadership and equity issues.

This position will be crucial to the District as we continue to work to support all of our learners and the South Burlington District as a whole in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Please be assured that the selection of this position is of utmost importance and we will be diligent in our efforts to involve as many people as reasonably possible. To accomplish this, we will use a process similar to that used by the District in the past, including the use of a steering committee, the engagement of selected administrators, teachers, staff, students, and community members.

The involvement of the school community is important to the success of this selection process and many opportunities will exist for involvement. Any staff member, student, family and/or community member who is actively interested in participating in the selection process for the Executive Director of Equity is encouraged to complete the Google Application form by Friday, January 14, 2022.

School Happenings

SBHS Student Journalist featured on VT This Week!

Do you ever listen to VT This Week Friday nights on VPR? It’s a great program that recaps Vermont happenings with local journalists and the December 24 episode featured local high school journalists including our very own SBHS Senior, Tanmayi Nazre! Take a listen to the recording here. And if that leaves you wanting to read/hear more, check out the latest edition of the SBHS paper the Howling Herald.

FHTMS Play Coming Up!

Tuttle Middle School, in association with the First Light Theatre Project, is bringing Peter and the Starcatcher to the SB community next week. This cleverly spun tale is the prequel to Peter Pan and gives us the origin of many of the Neverland characters. Not just for kids, this unique production offers ingenious stagecraft, scenic set designs and clever humor that will delight all ages. David Bailey and Wendy Valastro have teamed up to provide artistic and musical direction.The show will take place at the South Burlington High School Auditorium on Friday, January 14 and Saturday January 15 (livestream available for Saturday show only and will be posted soon). Both shows begin at 7 pm and tickets, which are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors, may be purchased at the door or in advance here. Masks are required for all attendees. We look forward to seeing you!

Gertrude Chamberlin Students Persevere in WolfPack Time (and life!)

Perseverance. It’s a skill we have all finely tuned over the past 18 plus months and our students are no exception! According to Principal Rouelle, this Wednesday’s WolfPack time lesson “helped students understand how it feels to persevere and work together using two fun “Minute to Win It” activities, using cups, paper plates and card stock. Students worked on one of two challenges or both if they had the time. In "Stack It!" they worked with their team on stacking 6 cups and 3 paper plates. In "Collapse the Stack," groups tried to stack the cups just right so they centered on the paper, and then they pulled out the sheets of paper so the cups (hopefully) collapsed onto each other. They had a minute to try to complete the challenge! It was wonderful to see groups working together and trying different strategies for each round and not getting frustrated when it didn't work every time!” Check out pics on Principal Rouelle's Twitter

RMCS Students Embrace Winter Weather on Skis

Students in all grades have been enjoying the wintery conditions in PE with teacher Doug Day for the much loved ski unit! Day wrote, “RMCS PE has been skiing in January and February for 25 years (+!). All grades K-5 come to see me for an hour a week and we put boots on and skis and go skiing. Kids truly amaze me as their skiing skills really improve in a short time. It is great to be known as Mr. "SNOWY" Day and as the School that Skis!”

Hat Day at Orchard School

Principal Trifilio (Mr. T!) reported that as part of the Core Project (PBIS program), Orchard School has core charts in each classroom and many offices. When students are acknowledged for good work, such as helping and cooperating, there is an apple card placed in their 100s chart. The principal’s office also has a 100s chart and students have been stopping in to fill up his chart with apples every day. They recently filled it up and Mr. T and his “crew” enjoyed their own celebration - a Hat Day together. Everyone who wore a hat (or hats) this past Wednesday was part of filling the apple chart in Mr. T’s office. A much needed moment of levity especially during these times.

Thank you all for reading and have a safe Friday and weekend,


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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

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.