The Core

April 10, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 30

Principal's Notes

Dear Parents & Guardians,

We are sending our most positive wishes to all of our socially distant families.

We know all of you are working to find that balance of keeping your children busy, active and involved in their school work. Remember that next week we are all taking the next step in Governor Scott’s decree to develop Continuous Learning Plans.

Here are our first steps:

  • We are finally starting Teleconference Morning Meetings! Each classroom teacher will be experimenting next week with a Class Morning Meeting. This is a big jump for all of us so please be patient and help your child through our first go! After spring vacation, we will be having frequent Morning Meetings to help students feel they are part of their class and to keep them engaged.
  • Here is a guide for parents getting started on Zoom:
  • Please know that our teachers are required to take attendance every day (morning meetings can help with this). We are recognizing this is a challenge but it’s a mandate from the Agency of Education. We will appreciate your patience and support on this.

Additionally, our teachers will be providing mini-lessons so students maintain their current learning. I'm not sure if our community knows but our teachers and staff are working extensively to get these programs going!

I am including three new downloads right below my article. They are:

  • Our Student & Family Continuity of Learning Handbook, this will guide us through guiding families through educational components during the COVID-19 Crisis
  • Our Family/Student Guidelines for Video Conferencing (both of these are final drafts though may be updates
  • Also, hot off the press: the official school calendar for 2020-21!

We are loving the photos coming in for The Core. Please email them to me at

This time of year has religious significance form many of our families. We hope all of our families are making family connections in whatever ways possible during these holy days.

Have a good socially-distant weekend; be safe, be well and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Good luck everyone with their Morning Meetings next week!

Resources from our Library

Orchard Families,

I'm very excited to have added the following FREE Scholastic sites to Orchard's Cool Tools for Schools web page:

Families should be directed to the Cool Tools web page to most easily access these fine offerings.

If needed, the username and password are case sensitive - Username- Learning20 and Password- Clifford



Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

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Using face cloth coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19:

For examples of when to wear and when you don't need to wear face cloth coverings, as well as how to wear, clean, remove and even make face cloth coverings, visit the Vermont Department of Health & the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What does close contact mean?

For examples of what close contacts means and what to do if you are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, click here.

What is isolation, quarantine and self-observation?

Visit this fact sheet from the VDH.

Wash Your Hands and Stay Healthy!

With Care,

Kara & Darcy

Photos from the Bus - Bringing Education to the People!

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Thoughts from Our Guidance Staff

Greetings Orchard families,

As we come to the end of our second full week of school closure, it has become clear that we will all need to shift our normal routines drastically, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. With this ongoing stress and uncertainty in our daily lives, practicing self-care continues to be so important.

Ways to make physical distancing and the stay home order more manageable.

  • Keep routines - regular bedtime, wake-up time, school work time, mealtimes, etc., to help create some normalcy.

  • Create a daily schedule for predictability. This schedule can include fun and new activities, not just academics. Family games are a great outlet to look forward to.

  • Make time for daily exercise and fresh air. Be sure to do so in a safe manner that includes keeping at least 6 feet between your family and others. Regular exercise and fresh air are known protective factors for mental well-being and a great way to spend time as a family.

  • Limit exposure to media/news coverage. This is an important practice for both the adults and children in your family. It’s easy to lose focus and get stuck in the anxiety of all the information that is presented, some of it is not accurate or helpful to stay healthy, calm and guiding our families through this pandemic.

  • Use and monitor technology for social interaction. Regular phone and video conferencing connections with friends and family are important. We can stay connected even with the physical distancing. Balance screen time with non-digital media activities. This is a great time to explore creative interests (e.g. music/art/movement/language).

Know that this will end.

Although the state of the global pandemic feels endless, remind your child that the current life changes we are experiencing are not permanent. We all must do our part to help with this, including moving to our current plan of school closure allowing for social/physical distancing.

Please see the resources below. They are for YOU so you can provide self-care for yourself and your child(ren). Please take care.


Orchard School Counselors, Auriel Gray and Aili Beeli


Along with the helpful guidance above, the school counseling team in BSD kindly shared some resources they have put together for families to use to support their mental health. In addition to the information below, please know that you can always reach out to us by email with any concerns or questions.

In the case of a mental health emergency please contact Howard Center’s 24-hour crisis line, First Call, at (802)-777-3084, or 2-1-1 for assistance with other support resources.

Social Story for primary grade children re: COVID 19

NY Times- 5 Tips for Helping Teens Manage Anxiety about COVID-19

NPR article children and anxiety

4 Ways to Help Your Anxious Kid

Common Sense Launches Online COVID-19 Resource Hub for Families and Educators

Common Sense Media apps for mental health

Yoga for Classrooms (video)

Check out this free e-book for children discussing the Coronavirus

Joke of the Week

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