The Core

May 7, 2021, Volume 11, Issue 30

Notes from the Principal

Parents & Guardians,

We are back at school full-time next week. The superintendent gave the directive a couple of weeks ago and we are preparing for five-day school weeks starting Monday, May 10th. I took an informal straw poll among 4th and 5th graders this week and almost all are excited to be at school on Wednesdays. Students will still need to be in pods for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, staffing will continue to be a challenge. Substitutes continue to be in short supply but we will power through these last six weeks. It's true - we're in this together!

Big News - the PTO is about to make an incredible leap toward a playground upgrade - check out the news below!

Speaking of the PTO, they treated out entire staff to a Panera's Lunch today - thank you for all the appreciation from the PTO and across the school community for showing our staff appreciation during Teacher Appreciation Week!

Our arrival and dismissal systems continue to be going very smoothly (we're thankful the tent came back). We are asking for one more detail - parents who drop off and pick up walkers on Baldwin Avenue: Please drive slowly and do not park on our neighbors' lawns. We appreciate our neighbors and want to be respectful. Thank you for your cooperation

It is SBAC season for our students in grades 3-5. The SBACs (Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium) are mandated assessments in math and literacy - and science (for grade five). Our staff is committed to honoring our students and families celebrating Ramadan and are postponing testing to May 17th.

Happy Mother's Day to all of our Orchard Mothers!

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

Mark Trifilio

Quote of the Week:
"Life for Aidan, and for all different kinds of kids, will be full of growth and change. I don't know what the future holds for him, but I hope he lives in a world that supports and believes in him. Thank you for helping to create that world."

Kyle Lukoff, author of our May read-aloud book, When Aidan Became a Brother (a book about growing up trans-gender).

Student Placement Feedback

It's time to think about student placement for next year. The Parent Feedback form is available electronically. Please complete the survey when you have a little time - also repeat for each student. Thank you and remember, requesting a specific teacher will not be accepted. The link is right below. Also please let us know if you will be moving or not sending your student to Orchard next year.

Enhancing Communication: Texting Coming Soon!

In order to enhance our communication and engagement with families and staff, we will be adding SMS/text messaging to our SchoolMessenger notification system (the system the District uses to send phone and email communications to families and staff) with a target start of the end of May. Further details regarding the precise date and time this will "go live" as well as where to send questions/concerns will be shared over the coming weeks. Ready to opt-in now to receive text messages when they become available? Text the letter “Y” or the word “Yes” to the number 67587.

PTO News

Hi Orchard Parents,

The PTO is excited to announce that after a year of lockdown and restrictions, this summer the Orchard playground will be getting a major (and long overdue!) upgrade so that more outdoor play is possible!

Starting now, through the end of May, we will have a donation match happening!!

You can donate on Konstella - please go to: or you can send a check or cash into school with 'playground' on the envelope.


hank you - we look forward to seeing you on the playground this summer!

School Nurse Notes

Vermont's Easing of Mask Requirement:

Masks are only required outdoors in situations* where a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained. According to Dr. Levine with the health department: “This is why, now when you’re outdoors, masks will only be required when you’re in a crowd or with multiple households, where you can’t keep a 6-foot distance from others. This is regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not.”

Examples of when you do not need a mask include:

  • if you’re outside on a run, your family is on a hike or out for biking,
  • if kids are having an outdoor playdate,
  • if you’re on the sidelines watching a baseball game or
  • if you are heading to the beach with plenty of space around you.

*Students and staff will continue to wear masks while on school property.


If you are unvaccinated (including children) and traveled outside the state, you must have a COVID-19 test within 3 days of returning to Vermont. For more details, visit COVID-19 "Frequently Asked Questions" on the health department's website.

People who have returned from international travel should follow the "After International Travel" guidance from the CDC.

Symptoms and Testing:
A message to parents/guardians: if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, such as a headache, cough, fatigue, or a runny nose, it’s best to get tested. It’s also important to avoid going to work, school, or other places until you receive a negative result. COVID-19 is a highly transmissible virus, and this is how we can each protect our loved ones and our communities. If you have symptoms, talk to your health care provider. They can refer for testing.

COVID Vaccine:

People 16 and older can make appointments. Part-time Vermont residents, including college students, are also eligible to get vaccinated. The health department is arranging for more walk-in clinic opportunities. Visit the "make appointment" link above to find a walk-in near you!

Be Well,

Kara Cassani & Darcy Mazlish

Orchard School Nurses

Farm to School!

Farm-to-School News

Hi South Burlington Families and Friends!

Wow, what a year this has been! It was so wonderful to work with the Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades throughout this school year, and I look forward to what the next season brings. The films and curriculum will remain on our website HERE, if you haven’t checked them out already.

This summer, I will be coordinating our Farmstand at South Village, which opened this Saturday, May 1st, 8 am-6 pm. Please stop by to visit - I would love to see you all at the farm with your children! I will be working Tuesdays - Saturdays 2-6 pm.

In our final Farm to School lesson, we took it back outside to appreciate the wonderful nutritional benefits and versatility of Spinach. We planted some spinach and pea shoot seeds in the raised beds to celebrate the beginning of the growing season. I encourage you all to check back to see how your veggies are growing throughout the rest of the school year!

Our recipe this month is a simple Spinach Salad with a Ramp Dressing. Such a delicious springy taste you will have to try.

Spinach and Pea Shoot Salad with Ramp Dressing

For the salad:

● Spinach

● Pea shoots

● Any of your favorite salad toppings

For the dressing:

● ½ cup olive oil

● 2 Tbsp honey

● ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

● ¼ cup ramps, finely chopped (can sub 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced)

● ¼ tsp salt

● Pinch of pepper


1. Starting with the dressing, combine all ingredients in a mason jar. Cap with a lid and shake vigorously until dressing is blended and smooth. If you have a food processor, you can skip chopping the ramps/garlic and let that do the blending!

2. Assemble your spinach and pea shoots in a bowl. You can keep your salad simple, or top with some of your favorite toppings - some thinly sliced radishes and diced avocado would go great on this.

3. Lightly drizzle your dressing over top and enjoy!

Message from Carol McQuillen, Common Roots - Director:

I hope your child has enjoyed our monthly lessons and taste tests. We hope you will take a walk at our Common Roots Farm at South Village and see our organic fields producing nourishing foods (55 Allen Road East - off Spear Street). Farmstand Memberships are available at the Farmstand.

Perhaps come by the Wheeler House for our Friday Flatbreads from our amazing clay oven! Bring your picnic blankets and enjoy live music and have dinner - Every Friday from 4:00 - 6:30 (1100 Dorset Street).

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish!

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

Lost & Found - Check it Out!

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News from the South Burlington Public Library


Our temporary location at the University Mall is now open for browsing, using computers and checking out materials. Curbside pickup will continue, but we hope to see many of you inside the Library. We’ve missed you!

This is a great time to renew your library card, or even better, to get library cards for everyone in your household. 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. We encourage each household member to get a card, as we do not have “family” cards. Please come to the library to sign up.

We plan to be open at the Mall location through Friday, June 11th and then, re-open in mid-to late July at the NEW LIBRARY on 180 Market Street at the New City Center. We can’t wait to share this amazing community space with our patrons. Our updated policies regarding behavior and safety at the library will be available on our website in June.

In the meantime, we have exciting events planned in preparation for this move.

Our 2021 Summer Reading Program, designed to encourage and celebrate reading throughout the summer, features all kinds of animals. “Tails and Tales” begins on June 1 with Summer Reading Kits available through curbside or by visiting the library. Readers of all ages can log their reading through a new online tracking program called BEANSTACK. Read for fun and earn digital badges; once the library has reopened, enter your raffle tickets for the chance to win prizes. More information is coming soon, so keep checking the library website. This program is FREE and open to readers of all ages.

On Sunday, June 13 at 10am, we will kick off the move to our new library with a “Bag 'n Wagon Parade” It’s your chance to say “Good-bye!” to the old, and “Hello!” to the new, as we begin our move to the new library. After grabbing a bag of books, we will parade across Dorset Street led by Mike Randall’s “The Big Blue Train.” Readers can also pick up their Summer Reading Kits at the end of the parade. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Check out our library website for more details.

Celebrate with us at the official ribbon cutting and Open House on July 23rd. Stay tuned for more information. We look forward to seeing you soon!

For more information, please contact us at 846-4140 or email .

Open hours

Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11 am – 3 pm

Tuesday & Wednesday 2 - 6 pm.

Rocking it in Pre-School!

May 7th is National School Lunch Hero Day!

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Kindergarten Registration

Registration is open for Incoming Kindergarten students as of March 1, 2021. If you would like to register a student who will be 5 on or before September 1, 2021, please visit .