The Core

July 17, 2020, Volume 11, Summer Edition

Principal's Notes

Hello Orchard School Community!

I hope your summer is going well and families are enjoying the vacation, even if we're all vacationing from home.

We are working extensively on our school district plan for re-opening and will have more specific information for you in the first week of August. Just this week, we received more guidance from the Agency of Education on hybrid learning, so guidelines continue to shift. As a result, we have a variety of models being considered. This includes monitoring the COVID 19 data in our state and community to provide us with the safest plan for re-opening our schools. We know that the start of the year will be very untraditional as we strive for the health and safety of students, families, and staff.

We also know that every student will need a cloth face mask (probably a few!). The Governor and Secretary of Education have been very clear that all students will need face masks as much as possible. If your child does not have one, this is a good time to get one and start practicing wearing. Students in our Schools' Out Program and Extended School Year Summer School are doing a terrific job wearing masks! We know students have lots of energy so we encourage students to wear one and save one in backpacks.

We are unable to purchase them for students (of course we'll have emergency ones available), but our PTO is creating an Orchard Clothing Line which will include face masks. It is still under construction so keep an eye out for it:

In the August Core, we will also be providing a system for families to purchase a face mask for a child who cannot afford one.

Every student will also need a water bottle. Our fountains (as you can imagine) will not be available so each student will need their own water bottle - preferably filled at home. Please remember to label your child's water bottle with their name.

More information will be coming out in August but here is a start!

Okay - back to summer: stay safe, stay well, and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Don't forget to vote!

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Budget Updates!

I am writing to encourage everyone to vote on August 11th. Besides being the primary voting day, it is also a third budget vote for the South Burlington School District. If you have not been following the school board budget discussions, here are some updates:

The current budget proposal is a 1.52% total increase with a 1.91% tax rate increase.

You may recall that we lost five (5) teaching positions at the end of the school year. This new re-worked budget brings four (4) of the positions back!

What does this mean directly for Orchard Students?

  • Grade 2 (approximately 64 students) - 3 classrooms currently with 21-22 students. If the budget passes, 4 classrooms with 16 students.
  • Grade 3 (approximately 72 students) - 3 classrooms currently with 24 students. If the budget passes, 4 classrooms with 18 students.

Whether you support the school budget or not, please make sure you vote and make your Orchard voice heard!

Click here for more information on the school district budget:

Click here to learn more about absentee ballots:

The polls will be open in person on August 11th. However, if you would like to vote by mail, please go to and request your ballot for the school board budget vote. Please note that school budget and state primary ballots will be mailed separately and that the school ballot is not ready yet. The City Clerk needs to print the ballots now that the school board has approved the new budget. You can review the latest, proposed budget information here.

Resources from our Library

Orchard families, would you like a few books to help fill some of your students' summer hours? If so, please use this online form for requests that will be filled on Wednesday mornings: We look forward to hearing from you!

Also, don't forget that the new Little Free Library is open 24/7 for book swaps! It's located near the bench in front of the school.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Macdonald

Photos of the Week - Safety Efforts in Action at Schools' Out!

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Summer Update from Farm to School

HI! My name is Kayli O’Donnell, I am the Farm to School Educator for your child as well as the Growing Gardens Educator/Gardener for Common Roots. If you have been to our Farm at South Village off Spear Street and walked around, you may have noticed the sweet 48 gardens tucked away near the yellow shed with children’s vibrant art. This is the educational heart of Common Roots Farm, Growing Gardens. It is a beautiful and fun place for children of all ages.

I am on-site from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and would be happy to show you and your family around the space in safe distance. We can make and enjoy some self-harvested sun tea!

Are you supporting your children’s learning with their teachers? If you are interested in getting your kiddo’s outside to learn about gardening, ecology, and nutrition, reach out to schedule a day for your children to play and learn with me at Growing Gardens. This will not be a group experience, instead your visit will be restricted to one family (siblings or housemates) per day so that we can all stay safe. The Garden is stocked with hand sanitizer, hand washing stations, and sanitation for tools.

Let’s make a plan! Email me at: Or Call: (603) 854-4411

  • New and fun features of the garden worth checking out:
  • Human sized bird’s nest! Experience the shelter and home of a bird! Do some bird watching, we have lots of beautiful sky-friends here.
  • Medicine Mound! Growing medicinal herbs in mounds is an old practice, one that Abenaki people who lived on the same land that the farm is now on once used! It is a sacred space for growth, like the belly of a pregnant mother. Come learn about herbal medicinal plants and take some home to try!
  • Pole Bean Tee-Pee
  • Clay making and shaping
  • Observational nature art

I hope your child has enjoyed their Farm to School lessons!

Come visit our urban farm at 55 Allen Road East. Simply follow the signs. Oh yes, feel free to bring a few fruit and veggie scraps to feed the chickens next to the red barn.

The Common Roots Farmstand at South Village is NOW OPEN an additional 2 days a week - Wednesdays and Fridays.

Announcing Expanded Hours

Tuesday thru Saturday

2 – 6:30 pm

2 People may enter the Farmstand

Masks on

Hands washed

Convenient Online Ordering - Curbside pick-up available

Farmstand Team, Common Roots Farm at South Village