The Core

November 13, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 10

From the Principal

Dear Parents,

As we move through November, I would like to give you three reminders:

1 - We have Parent/Teacher Conferences coming up soon. You can see on the calendar they are in two weeks though your child's teacher might set it up earlier with you. Parents are not allowed in the building so all conferences will be online or through tele-conference. Contact your child's teacher if you have not heard from her/him. Also, teachers are sending out brief Curriculum Night videos (or zooms) to give you a heads up of what's going on in the classroom prior to the conference.

2 - There is so much information available about travel concerns over the holidays. Students leaving the state will require the one week mandatory quarantine and then testing - or two weeks quarantine. Please take this information seriously as you plan your Thanksgiving holiday. See the School Holiday Travel Toolkit (attached below) to assist you in decision making. Also, please communicate with us of your travel plans.

3 - And finally, with the uptick in COVID cases around the country, (including Vermont(!), I am wondering if you are prepared for your child to go to remote learning. I have no inside information and am not predicting what the state or district will be doing, but none of us would be surprised if we go back to the hybrid model (Stage 2) or fully remote (Stage 1). If this is the case, then I am hoping our parents are putting plans into place that such a thing could occur. Are you ready for this for childcare? For learning? For health concerns? Just something to think about.

Additionally - the elementary principals created two "short" videos in which we pose questions (from parents) to our trauma/resiliency consultant, Joelle Van Lent. I strongly recommend you listen to Joelle, she has some awesome insights about childhood development during the pandemic as well as thoughts about children's needs during the holidays. We made sure they are each under ten minutes, check them out below!

I've been out of the building this past week with a bad case of vertigo and am very thankful to the South Burlington School District for providing a sub for me. Few districts in Vermont do this! My sub, Joe O'Brien, is a retired principal who was previously an administrator at Tuttle Middle School and Rick Marcotte Central School. I have known him for over 20 years and feel very good when Joe is at Orchard.

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

Mark Trifilio

Big picture

Lost & Found - Check it Out!

Thankful Giving Reminder

If you would like to donate a gift card for an Orchard family, please send food cards by November 13, and department store cards by December 4. Cards can be returned to school in your child’s backpack in an envelope labeled “Front Office”. Or, you could drop the card off by driving up to the front of our school and calling the main office so someone can come out to get it from you. Opening this hyperlink will take you to our: Sign Up Sheet


Our Virtual Book Fare

Dear families,

You’re invited to shop our Scholastic Book Fair online only from November 16-29. All purchases benefit our school and connect kids with new books, favorite characters, complete series, and more.

You’ll love the NEW option to shop for Book Fair exclusives directly from the interactive booklist and enjoy these special online shopping features:

· Over 6,000 items, including new releases, best sellers, and value packs

· All orders ship directly to home

· FREE shipping on book-only orders over $25*

· All purchases support our school and earn 25% in rewards

Visit our Book Fair Homepage and click “Shop Now” to get started:

Happy reading,

Mrs. Macdonald

Orchard School Librarian

*Free standard shipping is available on book-only orders of $25 or more, after all discounts are applied. Free standard shipping (books) must be selected during checkout. Orders containing products other than books are not eligible for this shipping promotion.
Parenting During a Pandemic: Your Questions Answered Part 1
Parenting During a Pandemic: Your Questions Answered Part 2

Ski & Ride Program

Bolton Valley After School Ski and Ride Program 2020-2021
Snow is coming! Things will be different this year, but please join Orchard at Bolton Valley for 4 (Thursday) nights of ski or snowboard lessons starting Thursday, February 16, 2021. Costs for 4 weeks of lessons is $50; lift tickets for the 4 weeks is an additional $75 (total $125). Children 6 & under lift tickets FREE. Kids Rental is $50 for just ski or board setup; $75 includes helmet. For additional information please email (Bill Lammer). I would like to hear from families if you are potentially interested, and your level of comfort in participating in light of COVID.

Make Voting Fun Again!

The South Burlington Rotary is replacing the traditional “Ugly Sweater Run” with an Ugly Mask Competition! See rules and submit your entry HERE!

Elementary, Middle/High School, and Adult Categories!

Non-SB residents welcome to participate!

Vote for your favorites on the Rotary Facebook Page!

PTO News 2


As we all know, this year is very different for the Orchard PTO and for kids as far as activities go! We are doing our best to be creative and to continue supporting families and kids in our community.


Since we will not have our Fun Run this year (our fundraiser), we hope you can make a direct contribution:

Funds will be used to continue the good work we are doing to support our Orchard community.

Volunteer! We can use all the hands we can get (and right now we don't have very many!). We need a social media maven, a co-treasurer, and a bookkeeper. Any time you can offer will be valued - and it doesn't have to be time at school - in fact, this year we can't be in the building, so your volunteer time will be at home, and will require a zoom meeting once in a while.

If you are interested in volunteering please email

Big picture


We empathize and understand the challenges with the pandemic illness guidelines that are requiring you to keep your student home (with sometimes only slight cold symptoms) and often schedule a COVID test. We are messengers of the guidance and we appreciate all of the efforts, patience, and follow-through that you as parents/guardians are continuing to show. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to support one another and strive to keep our community safe.

Help Us Keep Our Schools Open!

What you do and how you behave in our community may impact if our schools can remain open. Please follow the Health Department's guidance by avoiding large gatherings and non-essential out of state travel. Please visit here for more Vermont Cross State Travel information.

Remember the 4 W's:

Wear Your Mask

Watch Your Distance

Wash Your Hands

When Sick, Stay Home


If you make a mistake on the app:

(For example, pressing an illness symptom when your student is not ill), please call the front office to report the mistake.

When your student is sick or staying home:

Please continue to fill out the Ruvna App and call the school's attendance line to report your student's absence. If you are emailing your student's teacher about an absence, please also phone in the absence.

As your school nurses are trying to reach out to parent/guardians when a student stays home due to illness, to assist with next steps; if you are unsure if your student should be attending school, please contact us.

When your student has a symptom, please follow the Health Department's fact sheet:

Information for Families: Return to School Following Illness

Click here for translations.


Be Well,

Kara & Darcy

School Nurses

Important Information from the Vermont Agency of Education and Department of Health

Students and staff who arrive from out-of-state must follow Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and Health Department guidance around quarantine before returning to school, which also applies to travel out-of-state at any point during the school year, including breaks and holidays. More information is available on the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 travel site and the ACCD website. School leadership is encouraged to remind families and staff of these travel requirements periodically to ensure they are taking the appropriate steps when planning for travel or receiving guests from out of state. Information about travel that is considered essential (which does not require quarantine) and daily border travel to and from neighboring states can also be found on these sites.