The Core

October 25, 2019, Volume 11, Issue 9

Notes from the Principal

Dear Parents & Guardians,

I am at a conference this week so I am reprinting our rationale for requesting students not to wear costumes to school for Halloween activities. We made the switch over ten years ago but the Halloween Costume discussion is still timely.

We sometimes get questions why we do not allow students to wear costumes to school on Halloween. Here are some reasons:

  1. Students come to Orchard from many cultures and many families do not celebrate the day.
  2. Many families struggle economically and cannot afford a costume. Dressing up can also become highly competitive ranging from extensive costumes to none.
  3. Gory costumes are on the rise and a number of students have worn them to school, not appropriate.
  4. The costumes get wet, muddy or torn for trick-or-treating in the evening.
  5. Finally, costumes were too much of a distraction for learning—what schools are really about.

A couple of schools still include costume parades but the vast majority have come to the same conclusion as us, thank you for understanding.

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

Mark Trifilio

News from the PTO

International Night: This event will take place November 7th from 6-8pm. This biennial event is great way to share cultural ties and helps our community learn about each other. October 30 is the deadline to register for a country table, so if you have not turned in your form, there is still time. Please contact Merin Maxwell at for more information. We hope you will consider doing a table, or just coming to celebrate our wonderful community at Orchard School.

Fun Run: A list of raffle winners is listed below. Thank you to all participants for another successful event!

Square 1 Art Project-Student Artwork coming home-check backpacks! Students have been working hard with Mrs. Ely and Ms Adamson on creating a unique piece of artwork for this year's Square One Project. Your student's custom art catalog will be coming home on Friday. Instructions for ordering keepsakes will be included. Watch for more details about ordering deadlines. Free shipping to Orchard School for all orders placed before the deadline. Orchard School receives a % of sales from Square One.

Lake Monsters Volunteer needed: We need a volunteer to take over the Lake Monsters Orchard School Night at Centennial Field. Contact Lianne Cleary at for more information.

Box Tops for Education—New Format! As many of you are aware, Orchard School participates in Box Tops for Education. Many products from General Mills have special labels on them, and each one is worth $0.10 (See complete list of products here: Last year, our school earned $280 from this program. Hopefully this year we can increase that number! In their efforts to modernize the program, they have created an app to redeem the money for our school and will be phasing out the traditional Box Top clips. Instead of clipping the box tops and mailing them in, you can now download the app and simply scan your receipt. The app will automatically add earnings to our school account. *Please note: receipts must be scanned into the app within 14 days of purchase!* Traditional box tops that are on packages will continue to be accepted, so please keep cutting them out and putting them in the jar in the lobby! They will be collected periodically throughout the year.

Orchard Drama Update - Thank you to the Grade 3 parents who attended Parent Info Night! For those who were not able to make it, please find important Chorus information attached. The registration for Grade 3 Chorus will open November 1!

Do you have PTO questions? Please find us online:






It’s almost Halloween... That means it is almost time for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF! Orchard students will have the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Keep your eyes open for the little orange boxes that will be coming home early next week!

UNICEF helps children around the world providing:

  • clean water

  • food

  • medicine/vaccinations

  • schools

Please help our students help other children. No amount is too little to donate. Thank you for your support in this important campaign. For questions or more information, you can reach Lisa Charlebois at

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Hello from Common Roots!

Here is an updated message of our Community Food Shares program as the new SB Food Shelf plans to open November 1st.

Common Roots

“Nourishing our community through healthy foods”

Our 11th year of the Community Food Shares program

intersects and transitions with the opening of the

South Burlington Food Shelf!!!

Our Common Roots Community Food Share program enters our 11th year, as the South Burlington Food Shelf will open on November 1st. This larger Food Shelf is a huge and important step for our community if we want food justice and a more dynamic community! For 11 years, Common Roots has grown fresh, organic food for families to select. We have partnered with Trader Joe's and offered over 1,200 cases of food each year and breads from Panera.

As this transition occurs with the opening of the SB Food Shelf, Common Roots will continue to grow organic food and:

  • overlap for one month with the South Burlington Food Shelf so we have time to transition the families we serve with the support of school social workers and our core volunteers
  • educate our families about the new South Burlington Food Shelf, 356 Dorset Street, opening November 1st with the following hours:
Thursday 6-8 pm
Friday 8-10 am
Saturday 8-10 am





Common Roots is forming community teams to double the amount of organic food we grow for families to select at the new South Burlington Food Shelf. Each team sets its own annual goal with support from Common Roots.

Our Common Roots goals for 2020 and in the future are to:

  • continue to grow an increasing volume of fresh, certified organic food for the SB Food Shelf
  • prepare taste tests and recipes for the food shelf that matches what is in season
  • offer families and community members a chance to grow food with the Common Roots team
  • engage folks in financial literacy - how to shop smarter and more local with their food dollars.

If you would like to become involved as an individual, family, school, club, team, business or PTO, please call Carol McQuillen at 999-4270 or e-mail

Together we can strengthen the wellness of our community!


Carol McQuillen

Co-Founder, Director

Common Roots


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