Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter December 3, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 16


Online order through December 12th - Scholastic Book Fair

December 17th - Early Release, 12:30 PM Dismissal for Staff Development

December 23rd - December 31st - No School, Early Winter Break

The Scholastic Book Fair Is Here!!!

This week, students had the opportunity to visit the Book Fair in the library! Although the in person book fair is over, you can still order online! Here is the link to our Chamberlin Book Fair Homepage and online shopping goes until Dec. 12. Some of the proceeds from the sales will support our library and online programs that we use such as Bookflix. Thank you for your support!

Time to Order Your Yearbook!

It's time to order your 2021-2022 yearbook! It comes in full color with tons of pictures and are only $20.00! You can also order personalization for an extra $2 and $1 for each icon. You can order online at Deadline to order is April 22nd, 2022. All orders are online. This year, the cover will be artwork from our awesome 5th graders! If you have questions about the yearbook, please contact Heather Osborne at

Winter Weather is Here

The cold weather is here! Please be sure you send your child with long pants, snow pants, boots, jacket, hats, and mittens to wear at recess every day. Remember to label your child’s outdoor gear. We go out to recess every day - see the pictures below for all the fun we had this week with the new snow!


  • Keep your hands and head covered to prevent heat loss
  • On really cold days, wear a scarf over your face and mouth
  • Wear a warm coat that deflects the wind
  • Wear warm, waterproof boots
  • Woolen clothing helps to retain the heat
  • Wear clothing or carry knapsacks with reflective material - it's important to be seen
  • If possible, change wet clothes at school - tuck an extra pair of socks and mitts into knapsacks

Below -13oF is considered too cold for walking--move your walk indoors, or select another day for outdoor activities and walking to school.

Conflict Resolution and Bullying Prevention

Mr. Melen, our school counselor, has added the Second Step Bullying Prevention curriculum to our new learning rotations (Health, Digital Citizenship, Guidance). In this rotation, he is using these materials to explicitly teach conflict resolution and bullying prevention to our 4th and 5th graders. The goals of the bullying prevention unit are to develop students' skills for recognizing, reporting and refusing bullying and foster a climate of safety and respect for all. Cyber bullying is also included in the weekly sessions. The lessons have consistent language with the social emotional skills that students are acquiring during their weekly Wolf Den and Wolf Pack times. Grades K-3 will have lessons on bullying prevention when they have their next rotation with Mr. Melen.

Practice Learning

With the challenges of Covid, we continue to have unexpected student absences. If your child needs to stay home for a few days, there is not a remote learning option as teachers are still in the classroom with students. We do have a menu of practice learning that students can engage in to keep their learning happening at home. Please let us know if your child needs a chromebook and we can set up a contactless pick up. These links can also be found at the end of the newsletter each week.

Link to grade K-2 Practice Learning

Link to grade 3-5 Practice Learning

Our Youngest Learners Hard at Work...and Play!

Sneakers Request for Physical Education

Dear Familes,

This is a note to remind people that sneakers are most comfortable on Physical Education days. Please help your children to remember to pack sneakers in their backpacks.

The sneaker collection at school is low. Chamberlin could use some donations of all sizes for students who forget or do not have them to wear.

Thanks for your help & cooperation!

Louise DeGuise

Health & Physical Educator

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School Nurse Notes

Home Antigen Testing:

Please report to the health department, a positive result from a self-test, or an at-home test. Fill out the Vermont COVID-19 Self-Test Result Reporting Form. Please also let your school nurse know of the positive test.

While we are providing antigen testing in our Test to Stay program, per state guidelines we do not accept antigen/rapid test results for a student to return to school, when the student has COVID-19 ​symptoms. Please continue to follow-up with your student's health care provider and obtain a PCR test if indicated.

Test To Stay (TTS):

Unvaccinated, asymptomatic students (ages 5 and up) and staff, who are identified as close contacts to an in-school COVID-19 exposure, are eligible to participate in TTS. Click HERE to view some TTS Frequently Asked Questions.

Please give consent and permission ahead of time by clicking on the links. If you need assistance, please call the school's main office.

Contact Tracing:
If you test positive for COVID-19, the health department is requesting that you isolate from other people and notify any close contacts immediately. Contact tracers are prioritizing who they call, so you may not receive a phone call. Visit this page, at the Vermont Department of Health, for detailed instructions.

Isolate--immediately notify close contacts--inform your health care provider

COVID-19 Vaccine: 5-11 Year Olds

Make an appointment HERE. Children will receive 2 doses of the vaccine, given 3 weeks apart. A child will be fully vaccinaged. A child will be fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the 2nd dose.

    • Any families without internet access or who other would like assistance to make their appointment should contact the Health Department call center at (855) 722-7878, Mon - Fri 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sat and Sun 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    • To speak with someone in a language other than English, dial the call center, and then press 1.
    • People who are Deaf or hard of hearing can make a TTY call to this number by dialing 711 or 1-800-253-0195.

American Sign Language (ASL): Vaccinations for Children 5-11 Years Old: VIDEO with Dr. Andrea Green.

Be Well,

Kerry Farrell

December 2nd Update from Superintendent Young

December 2, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

I hope you were able to take some time to rest and restore over the recent break and are enjoying getting back into school and work routines (for the next three weeks anyway!). As Thanksgiving wrapped up in my household and I began to sort through boxes of holiday lights and decorations, it made me think of how short and often rushed this time of year can feel. It was a reminder to me to slow down and really enjoy this season.

The City of South Burlington Recreation and Parks Department has the same idea. They are, once again, starting Spark in the Park beginning this Friday, December 3rd through early January. A lights display will shine at Veterans Memorial Park and will be turned on from 4:30-8:30 pm each night. The Department is also holding a holiday lights contest from November 24-December 13. The contest is free to enter and is open to residential homes in South Burlington. SBRP staff will travel around the city and judge all entries based on two categories: Traditional and Merry & Bright. You can learn more and register your home here.

Of course, I have updates of my own too. See more below.


Please note, these figures are for the week of November 29 (through Thursday December 2 at 4 pm) since there was no school the week of November 22 and we are only reporting cases that were infectious while in school.



GCS: 0


Orchard: 0

Like many, we are keeping an eye on the daily statewide COVID cases and will closely watch for further developments with the new omicron variant. If you gathered with others during the recent holiday, I would encourage you to get tested. Getting vaccinated and boosted will also continue to be an important mitigation measure as we make our way through the winter. Now that we have all grown a little weary as this pandemic has continued, it could be helpful to review these tips to protect yourself and others. Are you a caregiver of a 5-11 year old and have questions about the vaccine for that age group? Drop into a Zoom info session with local pediatricians hosted by the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. See dates and zoom links here. Thanks for all you continue to do to keep one another and our students safe!


The Test to Stay program continues to go well! Thanks to all of the families, students, staff, and volunteers who have helped to continue to make this a success. We have kept many students in school, learning with their teachers and peers as a result of this initiative. During the first two weeks of the program, we tested 259 students total! I won’t do the math here, but one can imagine the hundreds of hours of in-person learning that were recaptured as a result of this testing. We plan to keep this going as long as necessary.

FY23 Budget: Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

Our budget development process has been continuing. At last night’s school board meeting, myself along with Director of Operations and Finance Gary Marckres and Business Manager Krista Chadwick discussed currently known factors impacting the budget and proposed additions. You can watch the presentation tomorrow afternoon on the Media Factory website and it will also be posted on our SBSD Budget webpage soon.

Thanks to all who attended our first virtual community forum on the FY23 budget November 23! If you missed it, you can check out the video here. Our next Virtual Community Forum will take place December 7: Zoom link (Meeting ID: 878 7769 9289, Password: 771987. Please join us and bring your thoughts, questions, and ideas! Have a question you want addressed at the forum? Email

ARP ESSER Funding: We Need your Feedback!

On a related note, we need your feedback on proposed uses for our ARP ESSER funding! In response to COVID-19 and its impact on student learning, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) was signed into law by the federal government in March of 2021 and provides funds to support the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER). School districts across the State of Vermont have been asked by the Vermont Agency of Education to create Recovery Plans to outline how we will support our students using Federal ESSER funds.

For the third phase of funding, SBSD will be awarded $3,103,484. Federal guidance requires that all funds must be spent to address the ongoing impact of the pandemic specifically targeting three pillars: Social-Emotional Learning, Student Engagement, and Academic Success. We are seeking community input on how best to meet the needs of SBSD learners in these areas.

Please take a few minutes to provide us feedback on our proposed uses for these funds at our SBSD ESSER/Recovery website where the survey and further information can be found.

Heroes and Helpers Grant Applied for and Received

The 2021 Heroes and Helpers Grant was applied for and received. On November 30, the South Burlington Police Department and the school district received gift cards from theTarget Foundation totaling $1,200. The gift cards will be used to support purchases for children in need. Check out our website for a pic of SBPD Officers Dennis Ward and Bri Williamson displaying the cards.

School Happenings

SBHS (and FHTMS) Music Concerts are On!

Did you miss seeing and hearing musical ensembles last year? Well, you’re in luck! There are many upcoming opportunities to hear from our talented students this month! The South Burlington high school Jazz Ensemble will give its first winter concert in two years, Thursday December 16th, at 7pm in the SBHS Auditorium. Selections include those by Benny Golson, Herbie Hancock, Cannonball Adderley and Kenny Burrell, and Paul McCartney. Come hear a great band joined by three alumni saxophonists, Bryan Ford, Phillip Hampson, and Preston Grippo.

The following concerts are also coming up:

  • SBHS Band Concert, Sunday, December 5 at 2:00 pm

  • FHTMS 7th and 8th Grade Band Concert, Monday, December 6 at 7:00pm

  • SBHS Chorus Concert, Sunday, December 12 at 2:00 pm

  • FHTMS 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Chorus Concert, Tuesday, December 14 at 7:00pm

All concerts take place in the SBHS Auditorium and masks are required for all participants and audience members. There is also an event sponsored by the VT Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association on Friday, Dec 10 on the Church Street Marketplace where 14 High School Chamber Choirs will be singing from 6:00pm until 6:30/7:00 pm including SB students! Literally, music to my ears!

FHTMS Gaming Club

Gaming Club advisor Cam Basden, a social studies teacher on the Fusion team, kicked off the first meeting of the year of the gaming club this week. He reported that this year, “gaming club is going to be a safe place for FHTMS kids to come and hang, play some games, and we even have some 6th grade students who are going to work on coding and creating their own video game.” I look forward to checking out that student developed game!

Barnes and Noble Book Fair to Benefit Rick Marcotte Central

This Saturday, December 4, you can shop for friends, family, or yourself while helping raise funds for Central School! The Barnes and Noble Book Fair will take place from 9am-9pm and RMCS will get a percentage of the sales from that day from anyone who presents a RMCS Bookfair voucher or mentions RMCS book fair at checkout. A win all around!

Gertrude Chamberlin Scholastic Book Fair Underway!

It’s that time of the year, the Scholastic Book Fair began November 29. This week, students visited the library to book shop the in person book fair and create wish lists that they brought home. Students can then bring in money if they would like to purchase in person, or order online. Grades 1-5 are participating in the in person book fair, but anyone can order books and they will be shipped directly to their home! Online shopping goes until December 12th and a portion of the sales benefits the purchase of books for the library as well as some of GCS’ online platforms like Bookflix. You can explore the GCS Scholastic Book Fair at this link.

Orchard School Participates in Traveling Mural Project

Orchard students are once again taking part in the global traveling mural project! There are about 150 schools participating and Orchard School is in Group 1. The other 9 members of their team are from Mississippi, Kansas, South Carolina, Illinois, Texas and even China! Orchard’s Art teacher, Susie Ely, created Orchard's mural with multiple classes of students from assorted grades. There are lots of smiling flowers, representing their school motto of "A Wonderful Place to Grow." Pieces of Orchard’s mural started being shipped out this week and the school is looking forward to seeing artwork from other participants arrive at the school. I am too.

Thanks for reading and have a great Friday and weekend,


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Does Your Child Need Milk for Their Home Lunch?

Milk is NOT free for students who need a milk for their home lunch. The cost of a milk is 50 cents and parents/caregivers can send in a check, made out to South Burlington Nutritional Services, to credit their child's account or have money taken directly from an account to credit to your child's account. or use our online payment option through MySchoolBucks.

If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Ketner

This school year ALL STUDENTS can have FREE Breakfast and Lunch! We would still ask everyone to fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch form. See the links below for the form and the breakfast and lunch menus.