The Core

March 20, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 27

Principal's Notes

Parents & Guardians,

I am sending out my best wishes to all of our families. I know we will all get through this and we are working to support families whenever and where ever we can. Here are a couple of things I want to share:

Meals: We are moving forward on delivering meals to students throughout the district via school busses and vans starting today. We began this process with pick-up stations but now had our first round of deliveries to bus stops. It should not be surprising if we miss a few families. Please call us if you are not getting the delivery and we can rework our communication plan to meet families’ needs. Additionally, some of our families may be experiencing economic hardship as businesses are shutting down and employees are being laid off. For families who are struggling, remember that free breakfast and lunch are available for students. Here is a link to the form to complete. If you cannot reach anyone at the Office of Nutrition, feel free to reach out to me, I will follow through for you. It is all confidential. I'm including the free breakfast/lunch application below and here is a link to our food service program:

School Work: We are moving forward with sending school work home starting on Monday, March 23rd. Our goal is to send out packets on Monday via our school bus routes. It is quite possible you might miss the bus drop-off but we can make other arrangements to get school work for your child. We could also arrange pick-up in our lobby or perhaps arrange for another drive-by/drop-off. We are anticipating the Coronavirus will be here through the Spring so we will plan to have school-work drop off each Monday.

What you will see?

  • Students in Pre-Kindergarten will receive early education “school readiness” activities.
  • Students in Kindergarten through third grade: A packet will be sent to you with materials and directions (we are also hoping to send the directions to your email as well).
  • Students in grades in 4th & 5th: Our older elementary students will be doing most of their work online. Though they may get some packets, we are prepping lessons to be completed through Google Classroom. In addition to packets being sent home, Chromebooks are being sent to all parents who have requested a tech device. Please let us know if there is a change and you want a Chromebook delivered on the school bus. Also note: we are asking students and parents to review the student technology agreement checklist. Teachers review this with classes at the beginning of each school year, it kind of makes sense students review again while working from home. A copy of the agreement can be found below, please review with your child.

Please note: we understand our parents are very busy, sometimes both working full time! The work being sent home is meant to be a balance. It is “mostly” meant to keep students engaged in subjects where they were already working. It is no way meant for parents to be acting as teachers. We sincerely appreciate it if you could supervise and spend quality time with the lessons – please do not stress over the work, it’s the last thing we want to be pushing on parents! We think there is going to be an extensive amount of time out of school so we need to keep students engaged with reading, writing, math and more. When you look at the weekly assignment page, you should also see a little science or social studies as well as some arts and healthy living choices. We hope to keep it fun and we are going to add downloads and videos at some point. We are planning to email you the weekly assignments as well.

Parents – this is a balance and it will be hard to get just right for all families. We are partners and always open to feedback.

Our office will do an email blast Monday morning when the busses leave the school with school work!!!

Giving Back: A number of families are contacting me asking how they can help to provide for Orchard families who are financially struggling. Though I am limited to request funds, I can say that our PTO hosts our Amelia Sperry Community Helpers Fund. This foundation was started to help students get access to enrichment activities and to help families, who have suffered setbacks, with such things as a food card or an emergency cell phone.

On the lighter side: I would love to post some photos (and comments) about what students and families are doing away from school. Please send me pictures and comments and I will try to get a few in the Core each week. You can reach me at Our plan is to continue to post The Core throughout the Spring!

Happy First Day of Spring Everyone! Take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Resources from our Library

There is an ever-growing collection of resources being shared online by authors and illustrators. These include everything from the first chapter and picture book read alouds (all shared with permission) to mini-lessons for drawing and writing. Some favorites include:

Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for Learning Anywhere - Spring 2020

This is an amazing resource from author Kate Messner's website. Favorite authors and illustrators share parts of their books.

Let's Keep Reading! Keep Thinking with Interactive Read Aloud

If you'd like to view a live visit with an author or illustrator, check out this list. So many talented people are sharing time through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or their websites.

Vermont librarians have been curating SO many resources that may be of interest to parents and teachers. You may access the Learning at Home list, which includes a helpful table of contents, here.

Finally (for now), Lightbox has made available all 788 of their interactive e-books until August 1st. Please click here to access them.

Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

Orchard School

PTO News

Hannaford Helps - 2 Ways!

1. The purchase and use of the Hannaford reusable bag contributes to $1 per use additional to Orchard.

2. The Hannaford Helps Schools program is being refreshed – and the timing is changing from fall to spring!

The 2020 program will run March 1 - May 16.

Since the program's inception, we've raised almost $13 million to help schools and schoolkids reach their goals. Moving the program to spring allows us to offer even more participating products, tally up the program over the summer, and send checks to you when you return to school in the fall. It's a win-win!

Please keep an eye out for your School Packet, which contains great tools to promote the program including posters and informational rack cards.

We look forward to a great spring and successful program!

Do you have PTO questions? Please find us online or ask Mr. Trifilio to put you in touch:





Champlain Valley Regional Art Show

This is an art show that features selected student art from all Chittenden County

elementary, middle and high schools. We hope that you take the opportunity to view the artwork in the mall along with hundreds of other art students from neighboring schools. March 10-April 6. Set up in front of Kohls.

Mrs. Ely and Mrs. Adamson