The Core

January 8, 2021, Volume 11, Issue 15

Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents,

Welcome back everyone! It's been a productive week with some awesome winter weather! Parents - our drop off and pick had been going well so this is a gentle reminder to please give yourself extra time in the mornings. Getting students dressed in their winter garb, getting out of a child-seat, grabbing a backpack and possibly a Chromebook, can take an extra minute or two. Though getting to work on time is important, student safety is everything - and we also want to avoid car accidents too. Let's all give ourselves extra time in the mornings.

Important News - The SBSD School Board unanimously approved for all of our schools to wave the Black Lives Matter flag for the extended future. This was an amazing moment, not just because of the sad news coming from Washington DC, but because middle schoolers (some from Orchard) along with high school students (some from Orchard) at the previous school board meeting spoke with compassion and eloquence on this subject.

This is an important time in history and Orchard School and the South Burlington School District must be active in seeking equity and inclusion. I am hoping to share more with you in the coming weeks. One step we are taking is at Monday's PTO Meeting two members of our DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Leadership Team, Kindergarten Teacher Rachel Barone and 1st Grade Teacher Abby Klein, will be presenting how PTO fundraising and enrichment activities affect our students of poverty and trauma. I hope you can join us, check the PTO article below for the zoom link.

And speaking of the insurrection at the Capitol, our teachers are working to figure out how to communicate and discuss this in meaningful and child-developmental ways. Our goal is to help students make meaning of the assault on democracy. This is tough stuff and teachers will appreciate your feedback.

Parents - check out the January calendar. Remember the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday is followed by a four-day school week, no virtual (green) day. See the calendar below.

Have a good weekend, take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Happy New Year!

Quote of the week:

This month’s Reading to Raise Anti-Racists selection is from the book, Separate is Never Equal, The story of Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh. The quote is from Sylvia's mother, "When you fight for justice, others will follow."

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School Nurse Notes

The FLU and COVID-19 have many symptom similarities, though there are some differences as well. See THIS CHART, from UVM's Health Network, to compare symptoms of Allergies, Cold, Flu, and COVID-19.

If you have not done so already, consider getting your flu vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones.

COVID-19 PCR Testing Sites:

  • If you/your student are sick, please contact your health care provider.
  • If you/your student are not sick but need a test, consider scheduling a test at a pop-up site on the Health Department's website: "Where to Get Tested" or call the Health Department @ 863-7240

Thanks for reading!
Nurses Kara & Darcy

Arts in Kindergarten Classes - below Ms. Susie Teaching Art

Ms. Susie teaching Art



For the month of February 2021, the Orchard School PTO will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Bag at the Shaw's store located at Shaw's 570 Shelburne Rd, Burlington VT.

So, in February, be sure to shop at Shaw's and pick up this reusable grocery bag! You will be supporting our school!


Despite the challenges of the pandemic we are committed to making this unprecedented year a fun and productive one! We support teachers and the whole school in creating a strong community. believe it is important to continue to show appreciation and support for our teachers and staff, so we would like to periodically provide Covid-safe treats. You can help by making a donation to the PTO! Please send a check to the Orchard PTO, c/o Suzanne Hebeler, 36 Cortland Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403 or donate online:

We will also be making Joy Bags! These bags will have sensory supplies, books, and other boredom killers and happiness givers that teachers can have on hand to tuck into the backpacks of students who seem to need a pick-me-up during these times.

And we need you to join us! We welcome new members! If you have a little room in your schedule, consider volunteering! Email Kristin at with thoughts, questions, and ideas.

Everyone is always welcome at meetings, and new energy and ideas are always appreciated! Our next meeting is MONDAY, JANUARY 11 at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. Just pop in! Here is the link:

Bolton Ski Program

Bolton Valley After School Program is coming up! Registration is due Thursday, January 14, 2021. Five Thursday evenings of ski or snowboard lessons starting Thursday, February 11, 2021 (skipping Feb 25th). Costs for 5 weeks of lessons is $60; lift tickets for the 5 weeks is an additional $90 (total $150). Children 6 & under lift tickets FREE. Kids Rental is $60 for ski or snowboard setup; $85 includes a helmet.

For additional information/registration please email (Bill Lammer). Please note families will be responsible for providing transportation to and from Bolton Valley.

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Winter Gear

We are seeking donations of winter coats, snow pants, and boots, especially in larger sizes (coats/pants age 8-14/ boots size 5-9). If families have any extra/hand-me-downs along these lines, please bring them to Orchard Office. Thank You!

Girl Scout Activities