The Core

August 7, 2020, Volume 11, Summer Edition 2

Principal's Notes

Dear Parents,

As you can see, the details of the school year are taking shape regarding the three options for families. We are currently ready to share three options for families. The options include:

  1. Attending School with a Hybrid Model
  2. Remote Online Instruction
  3. Home Study

Descriptions of each model are provided below. Of course, I am advocating for school to be open, we are working "around the clock" to get safety precautions in place. If things go well, the hybrid model is a temporary feature. To help us get a better understanding of who is attending school, we are asking parents to complete a very quick survey (one more!) to inform us of their intentions of which program they are thinking to pursue in the fall. Here is the link: Please respond by Friday, August 14th.

Childcare: The regional superintendents have been working with local agencies and childcare centers to maximize childcare for all working parents struggling to find childcare when students are not in school. I urge all parents to keep an eye out for or Superintendent, David Young's, Friday emails. I believe you will soon find information on that page.

Budget: Please don't forget Orchard School is open for voting on Tuesday. In addition to primary elections, the school budget vote is up for a third attempt. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we have the potential to bring back four of the five positions that were cut when the last budget vote failed. Please make sure to flex your democratic rights to come and vote.

Update on Orchard Student: One more important news item to share is that one of our students has recently undergone a series of brain surgeries. Alison Pyle is an awesome individual who just completed second grade here at Orchard and is spending the summer at Boston Children's Hospital. Alison is a very resilient little girl and continues to show progress but spending the summer in Boston is incurring a lot of expenses for the family. A friend started a GoFundMe account providing us with an opportunity to help, click on this link to contribute and learn about Alison's progress: .

The Pyles gave permission to post this request.

Enjoy August: stay safe, stay well, and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Don't forget to vote!

Option 1: The Hybrid Model

South Burlington students attend school in person at our elementary schools, on either Monday & Tuesday or Thursday & Friday, and engage with remote learning during the rest of the week from home. The first letter of the youngest child's last name (A-K on Monday-Tuesday and L-Z on Thursday-Friday) indicates which cohort all students in the family will attend.

Remote lessons will be prepared by teachers and the work reviewed when students are class. By dividing each class into two cohorts, all schools will be able to conduct in-person learning with physical distancing. Other pro-active steps are being taken to maximize everyone's health and safety.

Wednesday mornings will be the time that teachers follow up with students with targeted support for online learning and to check in as needed. On Wednesday afternoons, teachers will be engaged in professional learning, collaboration, and planning for online instruction.
During Hybrid Learning, students who need special accommodations in order to access their education will continue through our IEP or 504 Plan processes. Through this process, a team will meet to identify the supports and accommodations needed for the student to be successful in this model.

There is a hardship waiver request for all families who may need to change their cohort due to work and childcare. Here is a link to the hardship request:

Option 2: Remote Learning with the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC)

For families who cannot send their children to school during the pandemic, students would participate in this 5-day, online option. Students are assigned to a virtual class that may include students from South Burlington as well as neighboring districts. VTVLC prioritizes assigning students to an online teacher from their local district whenever possible; however, students may be in classes with a teacher and students who are not from South Burlington (though all teachers and students are from Vermont). Students participating in this fully remote program are still enrolled as students in South Burlington School District and can access support from our staff (e.g., guidance counselors and special educators) and co-curricular opportunities.
VTVLC is a well established online program where many Vermont high school students have taken high-quality online courses for over a decade. With the coronavirus crisis, VTVLC has partnered with the Vermont Agency of Education to provide a full-time online option for students of all ages with instruction from licensed Vermont teachers who already have or are working towards their Online Teaching endorsement. The program is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning offered through Canvas, an online learning platform. The k-5 curriculum is designed to be engaging for online learning and is based on online elementary program from Florida.
Students participating in VTVLC will be enrolled for a MINIMUM OF ONE SEMESTER with the option of returning to the Hybrid Model, if they choose to, at that time.
Students who need special accommodations in order to access their education will continue through our IEP or 504 Plan processes and work with South Burlington special educators from their school. Through this process, a team will meet to identify the supports and accommodations needed for the student to be successful in this model.

Option 3: Home Study

Families also have the option of homeschooling their child, however, this removes the child from enrollment in the South Burlington School District. The homeschooling option also requires parents & guardians to file an application to change their child’s enrollment status and follow related guidelines from the VT Agency of Education. Parents should contact the Agency of Education if they want to explore teaching their children. Here is a link to the Vermont AoE's website on Home Study:


Budget Updates!

I am writing to encourage everyone to vote on August 11th. Besides being the primary voting day, it is also a third budget vote for the South Burlington School District. If you have not been following the school board budget discussions, here are some updates:

The current budget proposal is a 1.52% total increase with a 1.91% tax rate increase.

You may recall that we lost five (5) teaching positions at the end of the school year. This new re-worked budget brings four (4) of the positions back!

What does this mean directly for Orchard Students?

  • Grade 2 (approximately 64 students) - 3 classrooms currently with 21-22 students. If the budget passes, 4 classrooms with 16 students.
  • Grade 3 (approximately 72 students) - 3 classrooms currently with 24 students. If the budget passes, 4 classrooms with 18 students.

Whether you support the school budget or not, please make sure you vote and make your Orchard voice heard!

Click here for more information on the school district budget:

Health Room Hints

More things to consider providing for your student, as you plan for returning to school:

  • Consider having a couple of water bottles for your student to use at school. The water fountains will not be available.
  • Provide an extra set of clothes to be kept at school and replaced as needed (including pre-kindergarteners to 5th graders!).
  • Consider various snack and lunch options that will not include the most frequent allergens, such as loose nuts, sticky nut and peanut-butter spreads, and nut milk. If your child has a nut or other food allergies in their classroom, you will get further information closer to the start of school.
  • If your child is having lunch from home, be sure they have reusable containers that they can open independently, to limit contact by others with their food items.
  • Have multiple facial coverings for your student. Extra facial coverings will be helpful to have at school in case your student(s) lick or suck the fabric, drop it on the ground, sneeze, or if it just gets misplaced when it's taken off for eating. Please see the pdf below about cloth facial coverings.

Kara Cassani, School Nurse
Orchard School
SBSD Elementary Health Services

Common Roots Community Survey

Hello Farmstand Patrons!

Our Common Roots Farm Team would appreciate hearing from YOU!

It's been a challenging time for small businesses. We value your input as we are about half-way through the farm season during this pandemic.

Please take a couple of minutes to answer 7 quick questions through this link:

The survey will close on Sunday, August 9th.

Each person who fills out the survey will have their name entered into a drawing for $50 Farmstand Dollars!

On behalf of the whole Common Roots Farm Team, thank you for supporting the Farmstand as well as our mission.

As you may know we have safe, COVID practices and our Farmstand is OPEN: Tuesday thru Saturday 2:00 - 6:30 pm.

Nourish to Flourish!

Be well in every way!

Lauren Drasher,

UVM Intern