Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter August 20, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 2


Kindergarten Meet and Greet Under the Tent, Friday August 27th

Mrs. Bahrenburg’s Class - 12:30-1:00 PM

Mrs. Brown’s Class - 1:15-1:45 PM

Mrs. Preska’s Class - 2:00-2:30 PM

Monday, August 30th - First Full Day of School

Monday, September 6th - No School, Labor Day

Friday, September 17th - Picture Day

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

Kindergarten Meet and Greet

Hello Kindergarten Families,

We are so excited to be starting the school year soon! We know that you may still have some questions or things you are wondering about. Due to our current health and safety precautions to keep us all in school, we are not able to have the traditional open house at this time. However, we still want to be able to offer a way to say hello and introduce ourselves and begin to get to know each of you!

To that end, we are offering a specific time for each K class to host a meet and greet under the tent behind the building of Gertrude Chamberlin School on Friday, August 27th. We have selected a 30 minute time for students and parents/guardians to come meet your new teacher and have your questions answered.

Please meet us under the tent behind the school at the specific time for your child’s teacher if you are able to join us. As we are still putting rooms back together due to the construction, children will not be going into the school until the first day of school, Monday August 30th. On the 30th, parents/caregivers will be dropping their child off outside, as we are allowing only students and staff inside the building. We hope this Meet and Greet time on Friday the 27th will help you make a connection to your child’s teacher!

Mrs. Bahrenburg’s Class - 12:30-1:00 PM

Mrs. Brown’s Class - 1:15-1:45 PM

Mrs. Preska’s Class - 2:00-2:30 PM

Please note your child’s time specifically, as we are hoping they can see their classmates for the first time as well. We recognize that this will not replace the traditional open house completely, but it will offer the opportunity for a beginning connection and relationship to help ease the transition of coming to school full time!

GCS is filled with loving and nurturing staff who will support each child where they are, as they come to school for the first time.

We know that parents are their children’s first teacher and we look forward to collaborating and partnering with you all to make this a fun and exciting year with your child(ren).

If you are unable to make this time and planned event, please go to our “Meet the Teacher” FLIPGRID, that is on our website. This allows you to click on the staff member that you would like to ‘meet’ or hear an introduction from. These few minutes of introductions also help to take some of the mystery out of who will be supporting and teaching your child this school year. At GCS we work in teams. Please feel free to listen/watch as many of the staff welcome as you and your family wish.

Looking forward to a great school year in partnership with families and our larger South Burlington community!


Ms. Rouelle, GCS Queenipal

Girl Scouts for our Incoming Kindergarteners!

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Daily Health Screening - Ruvna App

Families will again be required to complete the daily health screening questions about your child's health status through an email or text through an app called Ruvna. Please be sure to complete it daily before your child comes to school. Mrs. Baechle follows up by phone with families who have not completed the health screening questions. Thank you!

Transportation Updates

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Bus routes will soon be posted on our website! Look for Transportation Services under the Families tab.

We are looking forward to your student's return to full-time instruction this year! Student(s) living in the marked zone in the photo below have been assigned to walk to and from school due to the close proximity of their residence to the Gertrude Chamberlin School. The transportation department has reviewed the walking route and is confident that it is a safe method for your student to travel to and from school. We understand that this may be in an area that has been serviced by a bus in the past. Due to capacity and driver limitations, we have expanded walking zones for this school year. If you have concerns about this assignment, please contact Kathy LaRock at 652-7498 or Gary Marckres at 652-7052.

Thank you,

SB Transportation Department

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2021-2022 School Year

We are excited to introduce our new teaching teams for the upcoming school year! In grades 3, 4 and 5, students will have two or three teachers that specialize in reading and math and possibly science/writing. Ms. Kane, who was going to teach 3rd grade, was offered an assistant principal position in Barre, so we will be hiring a new teacher to join our 3rd grade team. We have created a "Meet the Teacher" Flip Grid so your child can meet their teacher over the summer! Our teaching teams are:

Kindergarten - Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Bahrenburg, Mrs. Preska

1st Grade - Mrs. Boudreau, Mrs. Gover, Mrs. Routhier

2nd Grade - Mrs. Custer, Mrs. Rogers

3rd Grade - Mrs. Simpson - math, Mrs. McCarthy - reading and Ms. Testone for science and writing

4th Grade - Mr. Provost - math, Ms. Murphy - reading

5th Grade - Ms. McKegney - math, Mr. Diamond - reading, Mrs. Zuchman - science and writing

Meet our new 3rd grade teacher...Ms. Testone!

Vermont Educator: Emma Testone

Meet the Teaching Team at GCS for the 2021-2022 School Year!

Our teachers have created introduction videos, so your child can meet some of their teachers before they come back to GCS in August! You can use our FlipGrid videos to learn about what our teachers like to do and how excited they are to welcome you back to Chamberlin School! We hope you enjoy hearing about all of the fun things that will be happening in the new school year!

To view it, please…

  1. Click on the link
  2. Click Enter your guest password (see image below)
  3. The password is GCSTeachers
  4. Click the blue GO button
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What Do I Need for School?

Many families ask us what their child needs to start the school year. We will provide all of the school supplies for your child, so no need to go out shopping for materials such as pencils, crayons, markers, folders, etc. Here are some items your child will need:

  • A MASK, as well a a few spares in their backpack in case they break, get dirty, etc.

  • We do recommend that students have a pair of sneakers for Physical Education. These can be left at school in your child's cubby if they chose to wear other shoes to and from school.

  • A lunchbox for a daily snack is also a good item for them to have. Each class has snack every day, and this is not provided by the school. We encourage healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit, crackers, popcorn, pretzels, etc. Please save the cookies, cakes, and candy for home. Your child's teacher will let you know in advance if there are any allergy restrictions in the classroom. It's a great idea to have your child practice opening any containers that they might be bringing to school with snack or lunch items...we encourage them to be as independent as possible! We also do not have access to a microwave or refrigerator for food, so consider having ice packs and a good thermos to keep things cold or hot.

  • A sturdy backpack that your child can carry, as well as open and close independently, will help keep them organized when they need to bring home papers and library books.

  • We do like to have fun at GCS, and sometimes there are spills and messy things involved in learning! Please provide an extra set of labeled clothes in case your child needs to change during the day. A large Ziploc freezer bag with your child's name on it is a great way to keep a spare set of clothing in their cubbies.

  • A few permanent markers are a good think to invest in so you can label all of your child's belongings...the changing VT temperatures means that children are constantly taking their layers of clothing on and off, and our Lost and Found becomes a treasure trove of unclaimed items very quickly!

And most importantly...a positive attitude and a smile so we can make new friends, enjoy learning and have a great school year together!

Arrival and Dismissal

We will again 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. We will also give you a card with your child's grade level to put on your dash to help the parking lot staff get you to the correct station. This process went very smoothly last year, and students quickly acclimated to the process. Please see the schedule below for your child's grade level.


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.


2:15 - staff will pick up students from their classrooms who are going to the School's Out program

2:20 - busses in front and Pre-K students at the Kindergarten doors (Station 3)

2:25 - K, 2 and 4 (and siblings)

2:30 - 5, 3 and 1

August 12th District Update From Superintendent Young

August 12, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It’s another hot one today! I hope you are all staying safe and cool. As we approach the beginning of the school year, I am excited to welcome you and our students back, for what we plan on being full time, in-person, 5 days per week, learning for all students. It is incredible how far we have come on this COVID journey and I am proud of how resilient this experience has made us as individuals and as a District.

I will admit that as the Delta variant continues to spread, I am concerned for the health and safety of all, therefore, I wanted to give you a heads up on a few key items related to protocols as we begin this school year. Please know that I, along with my team, are keeping a close eye on guidance from the CDC, the Vermont Agency of Education , and the Vermont Department of Health to help inform decision making and adjust course as needed.

Is School Starting Early?

We have received questions about why school seems to be starting early this year. It has to do with the number of instructional days required by the state and the five additional days we need to add. Last year, due to unknowns around COVID, the state pushed back our start date to after Labor Day. We usually begin before then. Each District varies slightly in that regard, although we do adopt a regional calendar annually that has 175 days. As a reminder, school begins for 6th, 9th, and new students August 24 and all other students August 25 except for Gertrude Chamberlin students who will begin classes August 30 due to the construction project that has been taking place over the summer.

Masking Required for All

All students and staff can expect to begin the school year masked when inside. Masks are not required outside. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use). They outline their rationale and reasoning for this which includes, not only decreasing the spread of COVID19, but other respiratory viruses as well. The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. I trust these recommendations and again, will let you know if universal masking changes.

The Importance of Staying Home When Sick

Given that there will be a continued need for contact tracing this year, the RUVNA app will be coming back online for both students and staff. We will let you know the precise date soon. I feel this will continue to be a valuable tool for all of us to stop and check-in with our student(s) each day to see if they really are feeling well. Staying home when sick is one of the best ways (in addition to frequent hand washing and masking) to slow the spread of COVID and other respiratory illnesses like colds and flu.

Other Mitigation Measures

We will be continuing many of the measures we had in place at the end of the last school year. Ventilation will continue to be encouraged by opening windows and using the outdoor tents (they’re coming back!) for classes and activities, routine cleaning by our amazing custodial services staff, frequent handwashing, and utilization of air purification systems in our classrooms and offices. We have also added air purification units in other areas of our buildings to increase air exchange.

Volunteers in Schools

At this time, I would like to limit the number of people entering our schools, therefore, we will not be allowing volunteers on site (this includes mentors and parents/guardians) I will let you know if this changes.

Protocols for Activities

While we are awaiting more guidance from the state and the VPA (athletics: p.s. registration for fall sports ends August 20) on how activities will look this year, what we do know is that singing will take place outside for now, art classes will be in arts classrooms, and field trips will need to be requested for a risk-assessment through me. Physical education will be held outside as often as possible with low impact activities encouraged indoors.

No Remote Learning Option this Year

This year, we are not planning on offering a remote learning option for students, even if a class needs to quarantine. More specifics will come from individual principals on what those days should look like for students.


Please note that our busses will be at full capacity and transportation services still need to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for travel on school buses. This means that students and drivers are required to wear masks. Bus routes will be posted to the District website August 19. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your student(s) transportation needs, please feel free to contact Kathy LaRock, Transportation Coordinator at, 652-7479 or 318-0435.

Nutritional Services Update

Our nutrition services team has been hard at work all summer providing meals to families both on site and by delivery. Amazing! The last day of this program will be August 19. For the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, all children will receive free breakfast and lunch at school, regardless of household income eligibility.

However, It is still very important for families to submit the Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals to track our community’s Free and Reduced Percentage which gives greater access to grant funds for schools and telecom reimbursements for the greater community.

Submitting an application could also make your family eligible for other benefits such as EBB, Emergency Broadband Benefit, and P-EBT, Pandemic EBT

You still have time to apply and become eligible to receive the Summer P-EBT benefit of $375 per eligible student, please complete and return the paper Free & Reduced-price meal application or apply through our online application system, MySchoolApps. Please make sure to fill out all the requested information, incomplete applications cannot be processed and could make you ineligible for the summer benefits. We will review the application to determine if you qualify. Please return the paper applications to Rhonda Ketner, 500 Dorset Street, South Burlington, VT or by August 16th ,

We're Hiring! Do you love working with children? Would you like a career that has working hours that follow your child's school schedule, NO nights, No Weekends, No Holidays? Several positions available including Full Time, with benefits, Part time and Substitutes $14.00- $20.00 per hour. No experience necessary, we are willing to train. Please contact Rhonda Ketner, Nutritional Services Director at: for more information.

Surveillance Testing

We will once again be participating in voluntary COVID19 surveillance testing for students (age 5 and above) and staff this year. More details and how and where this will be rolled out are forthcoming. In the meantime, the state continues to offer numerous options for getting a COVID19 test if you need or want one.


Although Vermont continues to be a leader nationwide in our vaccination rate and indeed in Chittenden County, the percent positivity rate continues to climb. The state is continuing to offer vaccinations at a variety of sites throughout the state and we, like many of our fellow Districts, will be offering pop-up vaccine clinics for those ages 12 and above at the high school from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on the following dates:

  • Thursday, August 26

  • Thursday, September 16

  • Thursday, October 7

I realize this is a lot to take in and I encourage you all, if you have the time during these days before school begins (and especially afterward), to take care of your mental well being. Going for a nature walk, reading, meditation, and checking out some of the resources offered by the state as well as COVID SupportVT are all great options.

As I said last week, I take my job as Superintendent very seriously especially where health and safety are concerned. I gladly abide by the “duty of care” enshrined in state law that requires districts to protect students “from being exposed to unreasonable risk.” COVID, for me, falls into that category. I know there will continue to be questions as we approach the start of school and I will be in touch frequently with updates. In addition, look for detailed information in the days to come from your student(s) school via email, school websites, and social media including an upcoming Instagram Q and A with Patrick Burke for high schoolers.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns and have a great weekend.



Please Register Your Student for the Upcoming School Year. This Is Required for Returning Students.

Annual Registration for all returning students is open in PowerSchool and OVERDUE. We ask all parents verify the registration of their student(s) for the 2021-2022 school year. To access the PowerSchool Parent Portal:
  • Click on the big "P" icon in the blue ribbon on the top of the Gertrude Chamberlin home page.
  • If you have forgotten your Username or need a password reset, please contact Mrs. Baechle at 652-7403 or
  • If more than one student is linked to the portal account, choose the appropriate student at the top left corner
  • Choose the Forms link from the left navigation bar
  • Under the Annual Student Update category, click “Update A. Getting Started: Annual Student Update 2021-2022” to begin completing the forms packet

The Registration website ( has helpful, translatable, information for parents/guardians. Instructions to register their students, lists of required documents, and guides to creating parent portal accounts and linking student(s) can be found there.

If you need assistance, please contact Mrs. Baechle at 652-7403 or

Lacrosse Clinic at St. Michael's College

Hello! My name Is Morgan Barlow and I am the Assistant Women’s Lacrosse coach at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT. We will be hosting a morning clinic for all players in grades 2-8. Participants will have the opportunity to train and play with instruction from our current student-athletes and coaching staff. This is a great opportunity to work on skill-development and enjoy a little bit of fall lacrosse! The clinic will run from 8:30-11am on Duffy Field at Saint Michael's College on September 11th.

Registration link:

The New South Burlington Public Library is Open! What a Great Way to Continue Your Summer Reading!

Come and see the new children's space at the South Burlington Public Library!

We will also have new after-school programs that will start in September. A link to that info from our website is here: . We will have a print calendar that will be available toward the end of August.

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


How to Get a Library Card at the South Burlington Public Library

1. If you are 5 years old or older, and want a library card, come to the library with a grownup. Make sure they bring a piece of identification that has your legal, permanent South Burlington address on it. This could be a driver’s license, a utility bill or a rent/lease agreement. It could be paper or on a device: phone, tablet or computer.

2. Go to the circulation desk and ask for a library card. You and your grownup will show the librarian your identification information, fill out a short form; (staff is available if assistance is needed), and be entered into our system electronically. You will then get a new library card! Having a library card shows that you are responsible and mature enough to take care of the materials that you check out. Take good care of your card, and always bring it with you to the library when you want to check out books.

3. You will also get a booklet of information about the library. It will tell you about our collection, how long you can borrow books, and other resources to find at the library.

4. Kids in grades 5 and up can come to the library by themselves, without a grown up. Kids in grades four and younger must come with a grownup. We expect all patrons, regardless of age, to follow our Patron Code of Conduct. The Patron Code of Conduct can be found on our website. Library Mission and Policies (

From our website:

Library Cards

Any legal resident of South Burlington over the age of five may obtain a resident library card with identification that clearly shows name and current legal address. Any South Burlington resident in good standing may use this library card at any of the other local libraries that are part of the Homecard system. Non-residents (outside of the Homecard system) and temporary residents may purchase a card to check out physical items at the South Burlington Public Library. Please come to the Library to sign up.

We hope to see you at the library!

Kelly Kendall, Children’s Librarian

South Burlington Public Library

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