Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter December 17, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 17


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

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

Monday, January 17th - No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Friday, January 28th - Early Release, 12:30 PM Dismissal for Staff Development

GCS made the news for our great work with PBiS!

We are proud to be featured as a model PBiS school doing good things for students on the local news, WCAX! Please check out our amazing staff and students who are working very hard to promote a positive learning environment at Gertrude Chamberlin School! Part 2 will air tonight on the 6:00 WCAX news.

Join our GCS Team!

Chamberlin School is a great place to work! Please call Mrs. Baechle at 802-652-7403 or email Ms. Rouelle at if you are interested in any of the following positions:

LIbrary Media Technician - We are so grateful to have had Mrs. Donahue in this position since 2015. She will be leaving the job as of December 22nd. We wish Mrs. Donahue the best of luck and thank her for all of her wonderful work in the library with students and staff. This position is 4 days a week from 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM.

Interventionist - This position is working 1:1 with students who have Individualized Education Plans and need direct support to access their learning.

Recess Monitor - This is the perfect part time job! You can get fresh air every day and have fun outside with our students during recess. This could be 5 days a week or a few days a week for a few hours each day.

Please let us know if you are interested in supporting students at GCS and joining Team Chamberlin!

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
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Farm To School

Hello South Burlington Families and Friends!

As the temperatures get cooler and the days get shorter, some of us take comfort in cozying up on the couch or by the fire with a warm cup of tea. In Scandinavian countries, people call this hygge (hyoo-guh). Hygge is a practice that helps us cope with the winter blues, and almost always involves drinking a warm beverage, evoking feelings of happiness and warmth.

This week in Farm to School, we brought hygge to the classroom with a warm cup of herbal tea. We practiced mindfulness through movement, breath, and activating our five senses. Your children can suggest some local herbal teas that they explored in Farm to School, including mint, lemon balm, and thyme. Loose leaf tea and coffee filters were used to make our own DIY tea bags. See the steps below to give it a try at home - what a great gift it would be for a friend!

DIY Tea Bag

Adapted from


● Coffee Filter (round, flat style)

● 1 Tsp Loose Tea

● 5" Piece of String or Heavy Thread

● Scissors

● Stapler


1. Flatten out a coffee filter and then cut a little bit off each side to make a more rectangular shape.

2. Put the teaspoon of loose tea in the center of the coffee filter.

3. Fold the coffee filter in half the long way, closing the tea inside.

4. Then fold the long sides back towards the middle, folding it over three times, making small folds.

5. Now that the tea is folded inside, you'll want to re-center things, kind of rolling the package so that the folded seam is going down the middle.

6. Next fold the filter package in half and cut about 3/4" off the top.

7. Fold in the two top edges so that the top now comes to a point.

8. Fold over the top point of your filter package just a little bit. Lay the 5" piece of string on top, and then staple. This will seal the package shut and also attach the string.

9. To make a little tab for the end of your string, fold your 1" x 2" piece of paper in half. Place the end of the string inside and then staple, centering the stapler over the string when stapling.

10. Your homemade tea bag is now complete!

If you’d like to practice some mindfulness with your young ones over winter break, see below for a few resources to check out!

● Five Senses Exercise:

● 25 Mindfulness Practices for Kids:

● 8-min Guided Meditation:

● Root to Rise Meditation:

● The Art of Mindful Tea Drinking:

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

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We Are Grateful To Our Community Friends For Their Support

We know that the holidays are again challenging this year, and we are coming together as a school and a community to once again support our families. We are especially grateful for the following people and organizations who have donated their time, talents, money, gift cards, and food baskets to our school. We have been able to support many families with winter clothing, food and gift cards to help make the holidays a little brighter. We thank these wonderful GCS friends for the love and caring that they show to our school community!






SOUTH BURLINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT - School Resource Officers Bri Williamson and Dennis Ward




BRENDA "MIMI" WELLS - our "shopping elf"

BRENDA MCDOWELL BEER - masks sewn for our school...with adjustable ear straps and nose pieces!

PEBBLESVTCRAFTS/CHATTERING HENS - Beautiful hand knit hats and scarves.

EES BOOK GROUP - donation of new children's books

THE COVER FAMILY - boxes of handwarmers for the staff outside at arrival and dismissal!


Winter Sing Along! We will be enjoying these videos at an all school Zoom assembly on December 21st. Here is each class singing in music! We hope you enjoy the GCS Winter Sing Along from the comfort of your home!

Lost and Found

If any of these items belong to your child, please call or email Mrs. Baechle - 802-652-7401 or

Free Parent Workshop

COVID Support Vermont is offering a free workshop for parents:

"Parenting to Promote Mental Health and Wellness in Children and Youth”
Wed. Dec. 22nd from 4-5pm.

This presentation will be facilitated by Dr. Cath Burns, Licensed Psychologist and Quality Director at Vermont Care Partners. It will highlight parenting/caregiver supports and strategies that promote children and youth mental health and wellness, followed by group discussion and brainstorming! We would be so grateful if school leaders could send this info and registration link through to the families in your community channels, to help get this information out to folks who would benefit from it. Copied below is the registration link:

Parenting to Promote Mental Health and Wellness in Children and Youth Tickets, Wed, Dec 22, 2021 at 4:00 PM | Eventbrite

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School Nurse Notes

Is your child fully vaccinated for COVID-19?

As of 12/16/21, over 91% of children in Chittenden County have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Along with the benefits of being less likely to be infected, to become seriously ill and hospitalized, and to spread the virus...being FULLY vaccinated means that a student DOES NOT need to stay home and quarantine or participate in Test to Stay, if they are determined to be a close contact, and feel well.

If your student has received two doses, please email us a copy of the vaccination card, or contact us, so we may update their health record. Email to:

Kids and the American Academy of Pediatrics President talk vaccines:
Watch the fun, short video HERE.

Thank you and be well,.

Kerry Farrell

Learning About Nutrition and Staying Active in Physical Education!

Vermont Food and Energy Programs

Click on the link below to find information about programs in VT to support families in need of food or energy/fuel resources.

December 16th Update from Superintendent Young

December 16, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

We are inching ever closer to our early winter break and that means that a number of culminating and celebratory activities have been taking place in our District. From concerts to CAP (Culminating Activity Period) week at SBHS to small, staff moments for seasonal connections such as the return of the annual holiday breakfast buffet at FHTMS, I am happy to hear of them all. I had a chance to make a few connections of my own this week when I helped direct traffic in our 577 Dorset Street parking lot as part of our test-to-stay program. That is one of the bright spots I have found in the midst of COVID, from the early days of checking in with students as they entered our buildings for temperature checks to now, through the return of much of our in-person activities, we have found new ways to check-in with one another and really, we have come so far thanks to all of you!

I have more information on COVID and holiday safety below, but please take note of this link to the recordng of my Zoom chat from December 13 (which also covered ESSER funding) as well as this compelling letter from local Dr. Leah Costello. We appreciate her expertise.

Dates of Note:

Zoom Drop-In Chat with David Young and School Board Members on Running for the Board: Tonight! December 16 at 6-7:00 pm (Meeting ID: 861 9635 6876 Passcode: 065224)

Jazz Ensemble: Tonight! December 16 in the SBHS Auditorium 7 pm (masks required). You can also livestream here

Late Start (10:35 am) at MS/HS and Early Release (12:30 pm): December 17

FHTMS BlackOut Day: December 17, SOAR (Students Organizing Against Racism) are sponsoring their first BlackOut Day of the year tomorrow. Please wear all black to show our strength as a community and in solidarity

Speech and Debate at SBHS December 18 (no spectators)

Early Winter Break - No School - December 23-December 31


These numbers cover Thursday December 9 at 5 pm-Thursday December 16 at 3 pm. Please note, we are only reporting cases that were infectious while in school.



GCS: 6


Orchard: 0


This week, we opened up TTS to PreK students in our District. This program will continue to be an important tool in keeping our unvaccinated students who have been deemed close contacts in school. Last week, 12/6 - 12/10, we conducted 46 tests. Thanks to our incredible families, staff, and volunteers!

COVID19 Vaccines and Boosters

This week, Gertrude Chamberlin School held their second COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Thanks to all of the staff for making this a seamless experience! As we continue to watch our Vermont case numbers and experience the post Thanksgiving surge, I encourage you all to get your vaccine and booster if it's time (6 months after a Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccine or two months after a J & J). Recently, it was announced that 16 and 17 year olds are now eligible for the Pfizer booster if it has been at least 6 months since their second dose. If you are looking for more information on vaccination for 5-11 years olds, see this page from the VT Dept of Health.

Questions about the COVID19 vaccine for children? Join local pediatricians for the following Zooms. All are held from 7-8 pm, will have an ASL interpreter and live captioning available:

Monday, December 20th with Rebecca Yukica, D.O. (Upper Valley/WRJ)
Click here to join Zoom meeting

Holiday Safety

In terms of holiday safety, please familiarize yourself with testing options, guidance on travel and quarantine, and consider keeping your gathering smaller than usual. If your student tests positive over break and they were in school during their infectious period, school nurses/school staff will not be available to contact trace. Please notify the Vermont Department of Health at 802-321-8330, Option 9. Also, if you or your student have symptoms, remember to stay home from celebrations and gatherings and get tested. We want you all to return to school and work after the break healthy and refreshed! Thank you!

FY23 Budget

At the December 15 regular school board meeting, I, along with my administrative team gave a thorough overview of our proposed FY23 budget as it currently stands. We received board and community feedback and will return with another iteration at the next meeting January 5, 2022. We will also have additional meetings featuring budget presentations and discussions January 12 and 19 with a joint steering committee meeting with the city January 24. If you missed last night’s meeting, you can watch it beginning tomorrow afternoon on the Media Factory website. We will be regularly updating the FY23 budet page on our District website so be sure to check back there for all of the presentations that have been made thus far. We will also be scheduling at least one more virtual community budget forum to hear from YOU in January. Details coming soon. In the meantime, if you have a budget related question, please email We want to hear from you!

School Happenings

SBHS Students Making Empanadas for CAP Week

Things are heating up in Spanish class according to teacher Graeme Saphier. Students will be inventing their own empanadas or making more traditional recipes from a Spanish speaking country and bringing them in for presentation and judging next week. The judging will be based on the same categories that are used at the national festival in Argentina. Saphier reported that, “This is the culminating activity of a unit on empanadas and how to describe food in general. We learned a lot of vocabulary that allowed us to describe food in terms of texture, taste, and mode of preparation. We learned about the origins of the food itself and how all cultures have some sort of version of an empanada. The students have also prepared a slide or poster that will accompany their empanadas in which they name it, describe it in glowing terms using vocabulary acquired through the unit, and write a slogan for the empanada. One of the imaginary prizes for this project is that the winning empanada will be sold in Hannaford’s region wide. They need a marketing campaign ready to go in case they are the winner.” Can’t wait to see and taste the results! Maybe I can be a guest judge?

FHTMS Students Take to the Ice!

The Why Not and Fusion! Teams will be enjoying some wintery indoor fun by heading to Cairns Arena for ice skating. Lori Centerbar of the Fusion! Team said her students will be gliding their way into the holiday break on Wednesday, December 22nd from 10-Noon for two hours of skating. This marks the Fusion! team’s final trip of the calendar year and is very much looked forward to. Centerbar wrote, :As always, we are so grateful to our amazing Fusion! team parents who support us so that we can make trips and celebrations like this possible!”

GCS Student Artists Featured in Calendar

GCS Art Teacher Jenny Goodrich wanted to extend her congratulations to fifth graders Maddox B., Naomi and Mojo, and fourth grader Lucy! All four of their artworks were chosen to be in the CBNA VASBO (Vermont Association of School Business Officials) 2022 Calendar. Each artist gets to take home their own copy. Their work ranged from drawings to sculpture to printmaking. You can view the wall calendar in the GCS staff room and spot these fantastic creations, as well as artwork from a former Chamberlin artist! Well done!

RMCS Paper Chains Display Love for the School

Social Emotional Learning Coach Ashley Wilson along with the RMCS PBiS team recently came up with and executed a fun project to help the school community feel connected: making a giant paper chain! Wilson noted that, “Every student was given a strip of paper and asked to use the prompt, "What do you love about RMCS?" Each grade level had their own color and at the end of the week we linked them together. Our students loved seeing the LARGE chain that is now hanging in towards the entrance of our school.” See some photos of the beautiful chain in Principal Kilbourne’s latest newsletter for families

Orchard Students Celebrate with a Game Day

Orchard students achieved their Core Project Goal of 100 classroom apples. That's a lot of great work! Last Friday, students celebrated with a school-wide game day. So much fun was had by all and we know there will be more to come. Check out some of the games played on Orchard School's Instagram.

Thanks for reading and next week, look for a note from me Wednesday, December 22. Then, I too will be taking a break from the letter December 30 with a return January 6. 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.