Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter August 6, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 1


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

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Welcome...or Welcome Back!

Dear Families,

Welcome to a new school year! I am very excited to be the lead learner and designated “Queenipal,” at Gertrude E. Chamberlin School for an 11th year. With continued challenges due to another wave of COVID 19 cases, we are working hard to think about all of the challenges we have as wonderful learning opportunities! Our first priority is the safety of students, staff and families as we work together to start our school year with the wrap up of a whole school construction project and rising cases of COVID 19. We are excited to have students back in our building, following state education and health guidelines, which will soon be updated for back to school. I know you have many wonderings about the school year, so I will use these newsletter formats to keep families updated when we have more information. We also use emails and the website to inform families throughout the school year.

We are changing our format this year for notifying you of your child's classroom teacher. Since every family has to annually register their student through a "parent portal" in our online system, Power School, this is where you will be able to find your child's placement information on or after August 6th. If you haven't done the annual registration, please see the directions below. If you can't find your password, you can call Mrs. Baechle beginning on Monday, August 9th when she returns full time and she can help you.

Please know that your child's teaching team took great care with the placement process in May and considered your input forms carefully. They looked at student assessment data, class dynamics and other information to create balanced classroom. Members of the placement team included teachers, special educators, behavior coaches, the school counselor and myself. If you are a new student, we used your registration information and also information from your child's previous school if we have received it.

If you are the parent of a 3rd grader, we still have a teacher to hire at this grade level. Olivia Kane, who was going to teach with us this year, has accepted an assistant principal position in Barre and has resigned her teaching position. Many of you know that Ms. Kane was interning as a principal while teaching at GCS last year. We are excited that she will be a strong advocate for staff and students as an administrator. We are also sad to have her leave our school after being a fantastic teacher for the past 2 years. The position is posted and we have a committee ready to find another fantastic teacher to join our 3rd grade team. This means that one class of students in 3rd grade will have "TBD" (to be determined) listed as their child's teacher instead of a name.

There is still much of the summer to enjoy! I hope you take the time to benefit from our beautiful state by hiking, biking, sightseeing and swimming in the next few weeks. Don't forget to read some good books and play some fun math games to keep up with those school skills! I can't wait to see all of our families back at school on August 30th!


Ms. Rouelle

Summer Happenings at GCS

Our school is a very busy place this summer...for construction! A $2-3 million upgrade will be happening, to install a heating and cooling system in every classroom. This means that our school will be closed for the entire summer and have a delayed opening, as construction crews work a very tight deadline to get this installation completed. The main office is unavailable for most of the summer - the best way to reach us is through email. Remember that registrations can be completed online, and every student returning needs to complete the online updates for registering for the 2021-2022 school year. (see directions below). Feel free to reach out to Ms. Rouelle or Mrs. Baechle if you need assistance over the summer.

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 a teacher to be hired 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 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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Our Gardens are Growing!

In the spring, students helped to plant many vegetables in our garden beds behind the school. All of the rain and sun have kept them growing strong through the summer! Many thanks to parent Ryan Roberge, who has helped to plan, plant and maintain our garden during the growing season. Feel free to stop by the school this summer to play on the playground and take a look to see what is growing! You can do some weeding and help yourself to any vegetables that are ripe before we are able to have students do some harvesting in August and September.

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:

  • 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!

July 31st District Update From Superintendent Young

Dear Parents/Guardian and Staff,

How are you? I wanted to let you know I’ve been thinking about you all and hoping that you have been able to take some moments to recharge this summer. I know the weather has been a little different than our typical Julys, but in between those rain showers, maybe you’ve been out to explore one of South Burlington’s parks, the bike path, or SoBuNight Out! Here in the District, things have been as busy as ever. With projects and summer school and of course, preparing for next school year, I wanted to provide you with some brief updates below.

Back to School COVID Protocols: Awaiting Guidance

I’m sure you are all wondering what school will look like in the fall. I wanted to let you know that while unknowns remain about whether masks will be required for some or all students and staff, we do know we are planning for full time, full day, in-person learning for all students beginning August 23 for 6th, 9th and new high school students and August 24 for all other students with the exception of Gertrude Chamberlin School students who will begin classes August 30 (See more on that below as well as our 2021-2022 school calendar). Families will receive specific information from individual schools in early August.

I, along with my fellow Champlain Valley Superintendents are closely watching recommendations and data around COVID-19 including the CDC guidance released July 9 for prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in schools which recommends masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors regardless of vaccination status. As well as the updated guidance for fully vaccinated individuals released July 27. We are also monitoring community transmission, state vaccination rates, and awaiting further guidance from the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Agency of Education which we have heard is forthcoming.

Currently, the Vermont Department of Health is still recommending that unvaccinated people over the age of two wear masks indoors. It also recommends other ways to remain safe, even though Vermont does not have state COVID-19 restrictions or requirements for Vermonters or visitors to follow at the moment. You can keep up with Vermont’s current COVID19 activity here and tune into the Governor’s weekly press briefings which take place Tuesdays at noon and are broadcast live on local news stations. Please know that the safety of our students, families, and staff is a top priority. I will be in touch when guidance from the state is solidified.

Transportation Survey and Annual Student Update Forms

The SBSD Transportation Department is in the process of planning for the upcoming school year and would like to know if your student (s) will be riding the bus. Please respond to this one question 2021-2022 transportation survey by logging into the SBSD PowerSchool Parent Portal and clicking Forms by Tuesday August 3. If you haven't filled out your annual student update forms yet, you'll also have the option to do so once you submit the survey. Thank you!

Nutrition Services Providing Meals All Summer!

Our incredible nutrition services team has been providing meals to our community members all summer! The program has been averaging 800 meals per day! The last day for the summer program deliveries is August 19th, but the team will continue to offer meals to community members via pickup only at the middle school. Pre Ordering online is still required via the meal order forms on the District website. In additional exciting news, the USDA has extended free meals to all children under 18 yrs old until the end of the 2021-22 school year. Stay tuned for more information on this and what our meal program will look like in the coming school year.

Next Board Meeting August 4

The next school board meeting will take place this coming Wednesday, August 4 at 7:00 pm. You can join via Zoom, by telephone, or in-person. You can also livestream the meeting on the Media Factory website and on their Facebook page. In addition, Board Chair Bridget Burkhardt has continued offering Monday morning pop-in chats via Zoom this summer! Have a question, thought, or concern? Join her Monday, August 2 from 9:00-10:00 am.

SB Students Active in the Arts

This August, you likely have a lot of options in terms of checking out outdoor music and festivals, but what about a musical inspired, written and performed by Vermont teens? Enter the Listen Up Project which begins touring in early August. Bonus: rising SBHS freshman Avery Cutroni is a member of the cast. According to the website, “the musical is based on eight months of interviews, workshops, conversations and listening sessions with more than 800 teens across Vermont. “Learn more about the Listen Up Project and find tickets here.

Also, if you enjoy poetry, check out “Lost Opportunities” by SB student Eva Corbett. This poem was featured in the Young Writers Project late June edition. Well done!

FHTMS Summer Wolfpack Experience

Librarian and FHTMS summer school coordinator Amy Blauvelt reported that the FHTMS Summer Wolfpack Experience began July 6th and will run through August 6th. “Over forty-five students participated in this experience. Students attended field trips to Echo Aquarium, Mt. Philo, Sparetime, and North Beach playing, hiking, and learning. The district's food service provided both breakfast and lunch for our students.The transportation department worked diligently to get students to and from school and field trips in a timely manner. Three teachers and a paraeducator worked to create fun learning experiences in math and literacy for the students, as well as opportunities to play and socialize with their peers. Incoming sixth graders were given the opportunity to meet the teachers and get acclimated to the building, trying their lockers and getting their schedules for next year. FHTMS Wolfpack Summer Experience has been a great success!” Thank you to Amy Blauvelt, Elizabeth Stockbridge, Hailey Reilly, and Paula McMackin for making the experience fun and educational for all the students.

FHTMS Summer Library Going Great!

For the first time, this summer, students have had a chance to enjoy the library at FHTMS on Friday afternoons and the response has been fantastic! SBSD employee Janette Hasenecz runs the program (as well as Orchard School’s summer library with Orchard Librarian Donna Sullivan-MacDonald). Janette said, “People are loving this. We are getting such gushing gratitude from parents and happy middle school faces. Our email this week reached new 6th graders coming into the school for the first time! Parents were appreciative to have the opportunity to get their students familiar with the new school/space.” The library is open Friday mornings through August 31 from 10 am-12 pm to check out books and socialize with friends. For questions about either program, contact Janette at

Rick Marcotte Central School Students Help with New Market Street Sculpture

The grand opening of our city’s new library, senior center, and city hall occurred July 23 with a festive lineup of speakers, a bounce house, and other events along Market Street. If you haven’t had a chance to tour the new space, I hope you will take a moment to do so and pause to appreciate the pencil sculpture near the front of the building! It is the work of resident Katie O’Brien Barritt, the creative mastermind of the painted utility box project! Five Central School students Sage, Cora, Anita, Emil, and Phillip helped paint the sculpture and now have their names on it as well!

Chamberlin School Noise Insulation Project Update

The FAA funded Chamberlin School noise mitigation project is well underway. The project is designed to eliminate the exterior penetrations that were required to bring in outside air with the original heating system. Closing these and installing a new heating and cooling system will allow windows to remain closed and remove the exterior vents to reduce noise inside the building. This is a BIG project to complete in one 6-week summer break construction period and the District has been proactive with project managers and contractors to do everything possible to remain on schedule. We will use all available resources to make sure that GEC is ready, clean and welcoming for the August 30th start date. Also, it will be climate controlled and cool on those hot September days! School’s Out is working to provide a camp experience for children due to this delayed start.

Orchard Summer Library Busier than Ever!

Exploring new books, gathering with friends for a round of global Twister, and Olympic Games themed BINGO are just a few of the reasons Orchard’s summer library program continues to be a huge success! According to Donna Sullivan-MacDonald, “In the six weeks of being open for just three hours each week, we've checked out 852 books! Since there are two more weeks of Summer Library, could our summer total of books checked out reach 1000? With an average of 142 books checked out each week, it's a real possibility.”

Just how many visitors do they have weekly? While it varies, the average is about 70, although one day there were so many visitors, they actually lost count! You still have two weeks to visit on Wednesdays from 9:00 am-noon! Check out Orchard School's Instagram for the latest photos!

Thank you all for your continued support and for being a part of our amazing school community.

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 due by August 17th. 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 Mrs. Baechle works on Wednesdays until she is back to full time the week of August 9th.

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


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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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Meal Delivery for the Week of August 23rd

Nutritional Services will continue to offer home delivery of meals for Gertrude Chamberlin families for the delayed opening week, August 23rd. This order link is specifically for Chamberlin families and will not be posted online. If you wish to have meals delivered to your home for the week, please use this link to pre-order before August 19th at 1:00 PM.

If you have questions, please call or email our Nutritional Services Director, Rhonda Ketner - 652-7160 or

Summer Meals

The 2021 USDA Summer Breakfast and Lunch Program will be available to all students and children in the South Burlington Community until Thursday August 19th. The USDA Summer Food Service Program is free to all children under 18 yrs. old. Meals are available via pickup or delivery Monday-Thursday.

Household deliveries within South Burlington will occur between 9:30-11:00 Monday-Thursday with Thursday's delivery containing meals for Friday-Sunday as well.

Pickup time at FHTMS main lobby is from 9:00-10:00 AM, Monday-Thursday with Thursdays pickup containing meals for Friday-Sunday as well.

Meals must be ordered in advance on a week-by-week basis via an online meal ordering system.

Rhonda L. Ketner

Nutritional Services Director

South Burlington School District

500 Dorset Street

South Burlington, VT 05403

Office: 802-652-7160

Fax: 802-652-7288