Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter October 23, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 11


Sunday, October 24th - Chamberlin Gear Fundraiser for 5th Grade Fun Day Ends

Monday, October 25 to Monday, November 15 Meadow Farms Online Catalog Fundraiser

Thursday, October 28th - Picture Retakes from 10:30-11:30 AM

Friday, October 29th - 12:30 Dismissal for Staff Development

Saturday, October 30th - 4:00-8:00 PM - Chipotle Fundraiser for 5th Grade Fun Day

Tuesday, November 2nd - No School - Voting Day and Staff Inservice

Saturday, November 13th - 9:00-3:00, Blood Drive at GCS in Memory of Kathy Buley

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Good News at GCS!

Thank you to all of the families who joined us for Virtual Open House! It was a great place to "meet" your child's teachers and learn about how their days are going when they are engaged at school! We are so proud of all of the work students are doing at GCS! The hard work that students and staff do to create a positive school culture were recently recognized at the Annual VT PBiS Forum, where Chamberlin School was given a ribbon as a "School of Recognition." This recognition is for our continued work in implementing PBiS with consistency and having positive results. Pictured below is our PBiS Universal team: Ms. Balk, Ms. Rouelle, Mrs. McCarthy, Ms. Finlayson, student representatives Caylan and Sheebah, and Mr. Diamond. Mrs. Crawford is also on the team. Special thanks to our PBiS coordinator, Ms. Finlayson, who keeps us on track with PBiS systems at Chamberlin School!
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October Farm To School...Squash and Pumpkin!

Hello South Burlington Families and Friends!

October is Indigenous People’s Month here in Vermont so we are taking some time to acknowledge and celebrate the Abenaki in Farm to School. Did you know there are Native American squash and pumpkins currently growing in pumpkin patches and farms across Vermont? The Abenaki, a Vermont tribe, grow many varieties of squash. The most popular ones, you might recognize, are the big Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins (Connecticut Field Pumpkin) and sweet pie pumpkins. The Abenaki word for squash and pumpkins is “wassawa”.

Every tribe has seed guardians or seed carriers who take responsibility for the tribe’s precious seed. It’s impressive to think about the pumpkins we grow for Halloween and Thanksgiving are originally from seeds passed down through generations by the Abenaki!

We enjoyed this Pumpkin Apple Hash in class this month, with some ground sumac sprinkled on top for an immune system boost and a burst of flavor!

Pumpkin Apple Hash

Serves 2-4

This dish is great as a simple side, or take it up a notch with some sauteed kale, avocado, or a fried egg!


● 3 cups pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, and cut in ½-in cubes

● 2 apples, diced (leave skin on)

● 1 yellow onion, diced

● 2 Tbsp olive oil

● ½ tsp salt

● Sumac, to garnish (optional)


1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent - about 4-5 min.

2. Add the pumpkin and apple. Turn the heat up to medium high and stir every 3-4 min until pumpkin and apples get a bit caramelized on all sides.

3. Then turn the heat back down to low, season with salt (and pepper if you wish) and cook for another 10-15 min until the pumpkin is fork tender.

4. Serve warm with a sprinkle of sumac on top.

Come visit our Farmstand at South Village - and support the Farm to School program with your purchase. We are open Monday - Saturday, 8am-6pm. Friday October 29, 3-6pm is the Jack-O-Lantern Jamboree! Come by for free apple cider, donuts, pumpkin carving demos, and storytelling. See the link below for more information.

Photos below are of our 4th and 5th graders at GCS enjoying Farm to School this week!

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish

Lauren Jones, Farm to School Educator for Common Roots

Chamberlin School Gear Fundraiser

The CHAMBERLIN SCHOOL online store has been launched! Order clothing for your child or for yourself...these make wonderful holiday gifts! The direct link for the store is:

The sale will go through October 24th with an estimated delivery date of November 15th. We will reach out to you by phone or email to see how you would like to pick up your order, in case it's a gift! Proceeds from the sale will go to 5th Grade Fun Day.

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Name That Plow!

In VT, there are 250 snow plows and the Agency of Transportation decided to let elementary schools pick names for them! For our school snowplow, we had each kindergarten class go through a brainstorming and voting process (see the photo below of Mrs. Preska's class) to pick one name for class that we could vote on schoolwide. The three names that they chose were "Snow A Tronic," "Gertrude" and "Chamberlin Chomper." Students and staff used either a google form or a paper ballot to vote. We will find out the winning name at a Zoom Buzz Assembly next week! The Agency of Transportation will create a decal and assign the name to a truck in our area. The snow plow driver will come for a visit to GCS with the decal so we can see our newly named snowplow! It was a fun schoolwide event for us to learn about voting...and snowplows!
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Birthday Reminders

Snacks will not be able to be shared this year, including birthday snacks, due to Covid. We ask that you mail after-school party invitations if all class members are not invited. When they are handed out in school, feelings are hurt if not all are included.

New Garden Sign

For over six weeks, two of Mrs. Goodrich's art groups have been working to create a colorful and vibrant sign for the Gertrude Chamberlin Garden. On Wednesday they worked with Ryan Roberge, our parent volunteer for the garden, to install the sign. Students got the opportunity to use a power drill to attach the sign to the posts and helped fill and tamp the dirt around the posts. Lastly, like true artists, they signed their names on the back. Next time you walk by the garden, keep an eye out for the newest creative addition to our garden!

School Nurse Notes

Halloween and Holidays--Consider the Following Safety Tips:

  • Wear masks in indoor public settings (do NOT put a mask on a child younger than 2)
  • Avoid crowded indoor spaces and parties
  • Trick or treat outside and limit crowds
  • If you feel sick or have symptoms, don't attend or host a gathering
  • Delay travel until fully vaccinated
  • Get vaccinated if you are eligible

COVID Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know (click to view)

This John's Hopkin's article outlines important facts and answers questions for parents/guardians. Final approval for the Pfizer vaccine is upcoming, for ages 2-11, and we anticipate a Vermont roll-out to begin in early November. Vaccination is the best tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19!

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your loved-ones, and others against the virus and its variants; the vaccine helps to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. Getting vaccinated as soon as you can and wearing a mask indoors in public helps to maximize protection from the very contagious Delta variant and spreading it to others.

Take Back Day: VT's Prescription Drug Disposal System is this SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23rd!

Messaging from the health department:

Medications that are not properly stored in your home can be a risk to kids and pets who might accidentally ingest them. And, flushing medications or tossing them in the trash is a danger to our waterways and wildlife.

Find drug take-back sites or how to obtain free prescription medication mail-back envelopes by visiting this site.

Be well,

Nurse Kerry Farrell

PTO Catalog Fundraiser

Do you need wrapping paper for upcoming events? Looking for great gifts? The PTO is doing a contact free fundraiser through Meadow Farms. It will run from Monday, October 25 to Monday, November 15. The flyer is below and will also be coming home with your child today. Parents who want to participate will need to register their child(ren). It is all done online - you will not be receiving any physical catalogs. All orders will be done online using each child's seller code that you will receive when you register. Orders will be shipped as the orders come in, to the address given by the buyer. If an order is more than $89 there is no shipping fee. There is also a prize program for children who register. You can share the information and your child's seller code with friends and family and they can order from other towns and states! Funds from this will benefit fieldtrips and other enrichment programs for our children.
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Chipotle Fundraiser on Saturday, October 30th!

Our 5th Grade is doing a restaurant fundraiser this month...and hopefully more in the future! You will need to use code 6ZRLEHR for online ordering, or have a print out of the flyer if you are ordering in person for our school to get the credit. Paper flyers will come home with your child next Friday. We will get 33% of the proceeds, so we hope families will enjoy a night of take out or dining in to support 5th Grade Fun Day!
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See what's been happening in 5th Grade! Click on the link to see the highlights!

October 21st Update from Superintendent Young

October 21, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Our move to 577 Dorset Street got underway this week and, as with any move, we are taking some time to get settled into our new space. Thanks to you all for your patience! In addition, as many of us (me) don’t like to admit, winter will be here before we know it, with our dedicated city and state snow plows keeping our roads safe. Something a bit more fun about that this year is that the Agency of Transportation is letting elementary schools across the state name their 250 snow plows!

The Agency of Transportation will then create a decal and assign the name to a truck. Then the snow plow driver will come for a visit to the school that named it along with the decal, so students can see their newly named snow plow! Our creative students at all three schools are participating and brainstorming names and voting began this week. The hardest part will be agreeing on only one name submission for each school. With names like, The MESSner, Snow A Tronic, and the Chamberlin Chomper (just to note a few!) I’m almost excited to see that first snow fall.

Upcoming dates to note: October 29 will be an early release day for our elementary students. There will be no school on November 2 for teacher inservice. Please see more updates below.

My Next Zoom Chat Monday Night!

I’m really enjoying my monthly and sometimes bimonthly Zoom pop-in chats for families! My next one will take place Monday, October 25 from 6:00-7:00 pm (Meeting ID: 858 9435 4075

Passcode: 714806). Unlike others that have primarily focused on COVID-19 related topics, this session will begin with a presentation on the importance of caring for mental health by Donna Lemay, LICSW Howard Center School Services Clinician for Tuttle Middle School and Alice Scannell, LICSW, Howard Center School Services Clinical Supervisor. They will share a few ideas on how to think about family well-being in these times, with specific considerations to the mental health of students and ways caregivers can strengthen awareness of and communication around any concerns.

Next, I will give an update on enrollment with time for Q and A. Then, the evening will conclude with COVID topics such as test to stay status and vaccines for children aged 5-11. Dr. Breena Holmes, Dr. Ben Lee, and Dr. Becca Bell will be joining the session. Hope to “see” you there!

Enrollment Update

As some of you may know, I have concerns around the growing class sizes at both Rick Marcotte Central and Orchard Schools and am currently involved in conversations with administrators around ways we can alleviate this pressure in the short and long term. At last night’s school board meeting, demographer Jerry McKibben gave the board and public an overview of his enrollment projections. I wanted to let you know that the District will be pulling a committee together, inclusive of community members, to discuss our options. I will reach out again very soon with further details.

School Board Updates

The school board was pleased to welcome their newest member, Laura Rowntree to her first meeting and Dr. Travia Childs back at their October 20 meeting. This meeting was full of robust presentations and discussion including information on the math audit, an enrollment update with a presentation from our demographer Jerry McKibben, information on our budget development timeline and much more! If you missed it live, you can check out the recording on the Media Factory website (it is typically posted the Friday afternoon after a Wednesday meeting).

The city council and school board joint Steering Committee will meet next Wednesday, October 27 beginning at 6:30 pm. You can join in person at the 180 Market Street auditorium or virtually through GoToMeeting.


This week, we had one positive case of COVID-19 at Orchard School. All close contacts were identified and there is currently one class in quarantine. In terms of the test to stay program, we are still waiting for further details and guidance from the state in terms of supplies, consent forms, and of course, working out logistics including how to adequately staff this endeavor. In terms of vaccinations for children aged 5-11, we have heard that the CDC will be considering this October 26 and that the state is prepared to stand up vaccine clinics to prioritize this newly eligible age group, hopefully in early November. I will keep you posted!

School Happenings

Big Picture Students Launch Cupcake Business

Kevin Downey, Program Coordinator at the Big Picture Program reported that a group of Big Picture SB students are learning about how to start a small business, experientially. They’ve started a small bakery from scratch! Beginning with research on nutrition and food safety, students met with Rhonda Ketner, Director of Nutritional Services for the district. They also interviewed the Food Network star, Nancy Fuller, for tips on recipes. The business is now up and running with an online ordering system. Collaborative decision making, budgeting, marketing and, of course, baking is on the learning menu. Custom cupcakes with buttercream frosting are the signature product. Yum!

SBHS Wolf GRRRDen Bursts with Produce

This year, the Big Picture Program used the Wolf Grr-Den, as their community service project due to Covid. At SBHS, Reneé Gardener’s Life and Employment Skills class planted, maintained, and harvested tomatoes and other produce from the garden this fall. The class has donated 57 lbs. of produce to the South Burlington Food Shelf so far! They also have been using the produce grown to work on cooking and employment skills. Most recently, the class has been selling the bounty of concord grapes recently harvested. Grape jam on pancakes anyone?

FHTMS 7th Grade Art Parodies!

Recently, students in Alison Treston’s Art 7 discussed portraiture throughout art history, looking at some of the most iconic paintings like the Mona Lisa, American Gothic, and Girl with a Pearl Earring. Students then got to choose a famous portrait painting to create a parody. They were encouraged to take something from popular culture and incorporate it into the portrait parody. Check out photos @fhtmsart!

Gertrude Chamberlin School Universal PBiS Team Recognized

The hard work that students and staff do to create a positive school culture was recently recognized at the Annual VT PBiS Forum, where Chamberlin School was given a ribbon as a "School of Recognition." This recognition is for their continued work in implementing PBiS with consistency and having positive results. The PBiS Universal team includes Ms. Balk, Ms. Rouelle, Mrs. McCarthy, Ms. Finlayson, student representatives Caylan and Sheebah, and Mr. Diamond. Mrs. Crawford is also on the team. Special thanks toPBiS coordinator, Ms. Finlayson, who keeps GCS on track with PBiS systems! Orchard School also received a ribbon of recognition.

Rick Marcotte Central Students Earn an All School Celebration!

Central School students have filled their Marky Mark bin and earned themselves their first all school celebration of the school year! While the celebration was initially going to involve extra recess outside, due to the rain in the forecast, a game celebration took place instead. From traditional board games to virtual, a well deserved fun time was had by all.

Orchard School Classes Join FlipGrid Live Event: She Persisted

Students at Orchard School were excited to take part this week in a Flipgrid Live event. Amy Verrill reported that her 21 third graders heard stories from the authors about Ruby Bridges, Florence Griffith Joyner, and Clara Lemlich. They heard powerful messages about how each of the women from the She Persisted books proved to us what is possible and as Chelsea Clinton said, “they turned the impossible into possible.” Verrill said, “The most powerful takeaway for children was Clinton telling them to “See yourself in these stories.”

Joanna Pecor’s class also participated and shared that she will be extending the "She Persisted" idea to their celebration of Indigenous women who persisted or are persisting. Some examples include Deb Haaland, Wilma Mankiller and LaDonna Brave Bull Allard. Additionally, they are excited for their next Flipgrid live event with Amanda Gorman in November!

Thanks for reading and hope to “see” some of you at my chat Monday night!


Lost and Found

If any of these items belong to your child, please call Mrs. Baechle at (802) 652-7403 and we will send it home with your child. Please let her know the number to help us identify the item. Thank you!
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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.