The Core

May 22, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 35

Principal's Notes

Hello Parents & Guardians,

Wow, it's amazing we've been gone for more than eight weeks and Memorial Day Weekend is here. As you can imagine, we have been removing student materials as we get closer to the end of the school year. We still have some Lost & Found items. Check the photos at the bottom to view all the items. If you see something familiar, check the number and contact us and we can make arrangements to get your child's items returned!

Last week I had stated that new learning was not expected during this time of remote learning. The point I was hoping to make was that we were not putting parents in charge of new instruction. We are working to follow state guidelines which include providing 90-120 minutes of asynchronous learning. I apologize for not being more clear on this. I believe we are following the state guidelines and should do a better job communicating this. I send my apologies for not getting this right last week.

One more note on this: We recently had an entire staff meeting with our trauma consultant, Joelle Van Lent. She has been working with us on moving forward into the end-of-school-year work load. We can see it probably makes sense to start giving students time to be outside and put in work assignments that include fresh air. It will be much healthier for students and families to take advantage of this beautiful May weather while going to school at home.

I continue to receive questions about teachers for next year. We still have a long way to go with this. As I mentioned, we are on hold waiting to hear if the budget passes. These results could impact our grade configuration.

Don't forget, Orchard School will be open for voting next Thursday. Details are being finalized but we will make efforts to have safe access to the gym for voting.

Almost every article in today's Core is new, I hope you will read through them.

This Memorial Day holiday is significant to all of us. We hope all of our families are staying safe and are well. Take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

School Budget Vote Information - Review

Voting on the revised proposed FY21 budget is still on track to occur May 28. Please see the latest information in a note from City Clerk Donna Kinville here. Even though our regular polling locations are planning to be open, we are strongly encouraging people to request absentee ballots through the My Voter page on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website. As of this writing, Donna Kinville has reported that ballots should be ready to go out by Monday, May 11th. You can find more information about the revised proposed FY21 budget here.

Need Assistance, Let Us Know

Has your family's income been impacted by circumstances related to COVID? Are the community resources available still not enough to meet your family's basic needs for food and other essential items? If so, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our counselors, as they are here to help and likely have resources to share that could help your family.

We are well aware that these unprecedented times are causing many families who have never needed help before to need help now. Please don't hesitate to let us know if your family has been affected in ways that are beyond your control. We are here to help each other get through this, and we want to hear from you! Please reach out by calling or emailing Aili Beeli (K-2), Auriel Gray (3-5) or Melissa McConnell (School Services Clinician).

Photos from the Week

New Memory Book News!

Hello Orchard Families!

The 2019-2020 Memory Book is on its way! The Memory Book is similar to a yearbook, commemorating the school year with pages for each class and photos of extracurricular and school events. New this year (and hopefully only this year…): adventures in homeschooling!

Memory Books cost $12 each.

This year each Orchard student will receive a Memory Book. If you are able to contribute to the cost of your child’s Memory Book or help cover the cost of a classmate’s Memory Book, your generosity will be much appreciated! To donate any amount, please visit

If you have any questions, contact Carrie Lyon at or Laura Smith at Memory Books will likely be sent out over the summer.

Thank you!

Carrie and Laura

Resources from our Library

Did You Know?

Since restrictions have been lowered somewhat for safe circulation of library books, until June 1st, families may use this form to request chapter books from Orchard School's library - Only chapter books will be checked out at this time due to the availability of thousands of picture books on the "Cool Tools for School" web page ( Books may be delivered either on Monday bus runs (or Tuesday, May 26th, due to Memorial Day) or by pick-up in the school lobby Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM.

Currently, there are over 1,900 books still checked out of Orchard School's library. You may return books to a bin in the school lobby Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM. Also, I'm delighted that books may now be returned on the Monday bus runs. Each bus will have a bin labeled, "Library Books." Thanks for your help with returning books to our library!

If you're not sure if your family members have books checked out right now, email reminders will be sent throughout next week.

Happy Reading!



Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

Lost & Found

Here are photos of our Lost & Found. If you see something that's yours, look closely to find the number so we can save it for you. Feel free to contact us so we can make arrangements to get the item(s) to you!

PTO News

Konstella - The Orchard School PTO will be retiring Konstella at the end of this school year. We will be replacing it with a simpler set of tools. We will also be retiring the Orchard PTO website as well. We are doing this to make things easier for everyone.

Parent Communication - Beginning in September, The Core newsletter will become the PTO's main tool for communicating with parents. In addition to PTO news, we will also include links to our new tools for easy reference. This will mean parents only have one place to go to find out what is going on at Orchard.

School Directory - Feedback from parents has been that they preferred our previous school directory to Konstella. We are going to go back to distributing a paper directory. The Orchard School office staff have very kindly offered to help us put this together. This will be distributed early in the new school year.

Volunteer Sign-Ups - None of the events and programs organized by the PTO could happen without our awesome parent volunteers. Moving forward we will be using Signup Genius for parents to use to sign up and help the PTO. We will populate as many volunteer opportunities in this tool at the start of the year to make it easier for everyone to plan when they will help out. The address for this tool is

Online Payments - We are going to start using Square to process online payments for field trips, play tickets, and donations. The address for the PTO Square store is

Room Parents - Room parents will communicate with class parents using a list of email addresses provided by their teacher.

What Else is the PTO Doing? - Aside from the events we usually sponsor that had to be canceled this Spring, the PTO usually sponsors a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. We also co-sponsor with the other SB schools a bus driver lunch. This year, as these events have had to be canceled, we provided gift cards to all teachers and staff at Orchard. Families were encouraged to make signs of gratitude for our bus drivers on Monday, May 18th. We are so appreciative of all their hard work and dedication!

Our goal in simplifying these tools is to make life easier for everyone.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to the PTO at if you have any questions about this.

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