The Core

February 14, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 23

Principal's Notes

Parents & Guardians,

It seems like every year the February Break cannot come soon enough. We are at a peak time for students and staff becoming sick, so a vacation will be very helpful. Our nurses' advice is always timely about staying home when sick, continually washing hands and using tissue (or elbows) when sneezing. It pays off!

In previous editions, I have written about our concerns of students bringing in smart phones and watches. I additionally discussed the harms of our children watching scary, violent and inappropriate TV shows and movies. I also want to reach out to discuss the harm of our children playing online video games. We have students (almost all older ones) reporting they are gaming online late into the night, including school nights. Gaming can be a form of addiction and we believe it can compromising our children's health, growth and education. If you see this as a challenge in your family, please reach out - we are your educational partners.

Congratulations to our fifth graders for successfully completing the DARE Program with Corporal Brie. There's a photo of the celebration below!

Three more attachments included below. One on registering for our upcoming Science Fair, one for a Kids Night Out Fundraiser and the final for an informational evening.

Can you believe we are over 100 days? Have an awesome Valentine's weekend; take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Important Updates from our District

  • Budget Information Highlights are here.
  • Voting is March 3rd, but Early Voting is Underway at City Hall, for more information click here &
  • Master Planning and Visioning: Find the Latest Updates here

PTO News

Math Night: Math Night is this Tuesday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m.! Come play and learn with your kids! There will also be a raffle and you could win a great math game to take home! More details below.

Save the Date for Skate Night: Skate Night will be Friday night, March 20, at Cairns Arena. More information to come!

Next PTO Meeting: Please come to the meeting on Monday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are just an hour, but you can leave anytime. We'd love to see you and hear your ideas! It's a great way to find out what's going on and how the PTO helps make Orchard a Wonderful Place to Grow. Everyone is welcome!

Do you have PTO questions? Please find us online or ask Mr. Trifilio to put you in touch:





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Connecting Students One Book at at Time

Orchard School's library is always a busy place, but this has been especially true over the past couple of weeks. With the exception of the three classes that were scheduled on Friday's Snow Day, last week every other class Skyped with another class somewhere around the US for World Read Aloud Week. There even was a visit with high school students in London!! Student shared favorite books and made new friends in Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina and Texas. World Read Aloud Week calls global attention to the importance of celebrating the power of words and reading aloud. Five Orchard School classes were fortunate to be able to connect with four authors and/or illustrators who shared their books, as well.

This past week, we celebrated the first of two "I Love to Read and Write Weeks." In the library, kindergarten through third grade students played "Red Clover Bingo." This game was a celebration of Vermont's student choice book award program, the Red Clover Book Award. When a "Bingo" was achieved, students selected a free book as their prize. Luckily, EVERY STUDENT WON! We were also celebrating International Book Giving Day, as noted on the bookplate inside each free book. Fourth and fifth graders played a similar game, but with their Mock Caldecott choices. These twenty-four Mock Caldecott books had been evaluated by teams of fourth and fifth grade students for several weeks prior to the actual Caldecott Medal presentation on January 27th. Again, we played Mock Caldecott Bingo until EVERY STUDENT WON! It was so exciting to give away over 400 books during this first week of "I Love to Read and Write."

Next week's Core will have information about the second "I Love to Read and Write" week.

Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

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Math Night Rescheduled - Tuesday, Feb. 18th!

Family Math night has been rescheduled to Tuesday, February 18th from 6 - 7:30.

Join in the Orchard School gym for Family Math Night! Come play lots of fun math related games, such as building 3D structures with gum drops, Rubik’s cube mosaics, chess, art, Lego marble mazes, estimation, and many more games that even the most reluctant math student will enjoy! Please RSVP with the number attending to if you would like to attend.

We are looking for donations of math related games for the raffle at the end of the night. Please email if you are able to donate a game. Not sure of which game to buy? Here are some suggestions: Rush Hour, Sequence, Mancala, Shut the Box, Rumikub, Racko, Chutes and Ladders, Dominoes, Chess, Yahtzee or Farkel. Thank you and we hope to see you there!

Interested in Substituting for SBSD?

Are you looking to get more involved at your child’s school? Need a bit of extra income or additional work experience? Want to get out in the community a bit more now that your child is in PreK or Kindergarten? Apply to substitute now!

Seeking substitutes for:

  • Classroom Teachers (all subjects)
  • Paraeducators & Interventionists
  • School RNs and LPNs (Must have appropriate licensure and/or certifications)
  • Custodians
  • Nutritional Services
  • Bus Drivers (Must have current valid CDL with appropriate endorsements)

All SBSD substitutes are required to undergo a criminal record check and be fingerprinted for a VT public school District.

For more information and to apply, please contact Sarah McNally, SBSD HR Coordinator, at or 802-652-7255

Pre-School Registration

The South Burlington School District Pre-Kindergarten Fall Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is open.

We now have three STARS Accredited Licensed Programs, one in each of our three elementary schools. We offer 10 hours of Free Public Pre-Kindergarten Monday thru Thursday 8:00-10:30 and 12:00 to 2:30 throughout the school year.

Our classrooms provide a warm nurturing environment with a low student/teacher ratio.

We provide opportunities for purposeful play coupled with teacher-directed activities in an language-rich environment promoting social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth. The curriculum follows the Vermont Early Learning Standards and is taught by an Early Childhood Special Educator and Speech and Language Pathologist.

To register, your child must be a South Burlington Resident and 3 years old on or before September 1, 2020.

The Pre-Registration Form is located on our school district website and select the Pre-Kindergarten Quick Link. You might also want to take a sneak peek into our classrooms by visiting our school pages. For early placement, registrations should be received on or before February 7, 2020.