Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter October 16, 2021 Volume 16 Issue 10


October 20th and 21st Zoom Open House

Wednesday, October 20th - Classrooms, Guidance, Special Education 5:30-7:00 PM

Thursday, October 21st - Integrated Arts 5:30-7:30 PM

See information below for the links and specific times for each class.

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

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

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

Open House Information

Since we are not able to have our traditional, in person Open House this year, due to Covid 19, we will have a virtual format on Zoom! Families can join zoom times to get information about your child's learning, see their classroom and meet their teachers! We will have two evenings, one for classroom teachers and one for integrated arts classes. Our special educators, reading teachers and guidance teacher will be popping in to the classroom zooms to say hello. Here is the format for the two evenings. Please mark your calendars and join us on Zoom! We will also send home curriculum overviews for each grade level and integrated arts area on Friday, October October 22nd. You can also find the links to the Zoom meetings below.

Wednesday, October 20th

5:30-6:00 PM - Kindergarten and First Grades

6:00-6:30 PM - 2nd and 3rd Grades

6:30-7:00 PM - 4th and 5th Grades

Thursday, October 21st

5:30-6:00 PM Art

6:00-6:30 PM Music

6:30-7:00 PM Physical Education

7:00-7:30 PM Library Media

Second Grade Sunflowers

Inspired by real life sunflowers, second grade artists created their own in art class with Mrs. Goodrich. First they used dowel sticks to print the centers and then they added choice colored petals. Lastly, artists chose the length of their stem and added leaves. Each one is unique just like our artists themselves!
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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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Homecoming Weekend...Join the Wolf Pack Fun!

The SBHS Booster Club is looking for ways to get the elementary and middle school students excited about being part of the Wolfpack. This year for Homecoming, we are planning to provide SB Wolves Homecoming bracelets for all the students. These bracelets will act as a pass for the elementary and middle school students to get into any HOME GAME happening during Homecoming weekend for FREE. Of note, the Homecoming soccer game has been moved back to Saturday, 10/16.

The schedule of fun events includes:

Friday, 10/15

JV Field Hockey vs. Rice at 5:30pm

Varsity Field Hockey vs Rice at 7pm

Saturday, 10/16

JV and Varsity Girls Soccer vs St. Albans at 10am

JV Boys Soccer vs Colchester at 4pm

Varsity Boys Soccer vs Colchester at 7pm.

Monday night’s game is a WHITE-OUT, so wear white apparel if you can!

For more information about the SBHS Booster Club, visit and click on “Athletic Boosters”

Go Wolves!

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School Nurse Notes

Vision & Hearing Screenings:

Vision and hearing screenings are conducted annually on students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, 1st, 3rd and 5th grade. We have the opportunity to welcome the Vermont Lions KidSight program, to perform photoscreening on students in the recommended grades of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and 1st. We will use traditional vision screening methods for 3rd and 5th graders; vision and hearing screening in those grades, will begin later this fall.

Vermont Lions KidSight program uses a photoscreening digital device called a SPOT vision screener to objectively check for vision problems. The photoscreener is like special-purpose camera; it takes a picture of a child’s eyes and by detecting special light reflexes from each eye, the device produces images that can help identify potential eye conditions.

If an eye concern is identified, we will send you the results of the photoscreener along with a recommendation for further vision testing by a specialist. If you do not hear from us, your child passed the screening.

As always, please contact us if you have questions or would like follow-up vision or hearing checks.

My child is sick, what steps do I take?

  • With ANY COVID-like symptoms, even "just" cold symptoms, such as a runny nose and congestion, children need to stay home. Call your provider for next steps and/or obtain a COVID test.
  • Please follow these guidelines and fill out the RUVNA app each morning, even if your student is not attending school, and alert the school nurse of next steps.

Be well,

Nurse Kerry Farrell

Chipotle Fundraiser on Saturday, October 30th!

Our PTO 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 GCS!
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Featuring...4th Grade! Click on the link to see the highlights!

October 14th Update from Superintendent Young

October 14, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

This week, the central office began packing up some of our belongings for our much anticipated move over to 577 Dorset Street (the old City Hall). This will take time as various departments from HR to the Business Office gradually make the transition to our new, shared space. I am excited we will all be under the same roof for the first time ever! While I will miss popping out of my office in the middle school to see play practice in progress and students enjoying social time in the library, I’m thankful I’ll be just across the street from the high school and middle school. I’m looking forward to continuing building connections in our new space.

While there is always a lot happening in our District, the biggest event this week and weekend is SBHS Homecoming! Homecoming began this week on the 12th with spirit days Tuesday-Thursday and tomorrow will be Unitee Day when every SBHS student wears a student-designed t-shirt in addition to the pep rally which will occur outside on the turf field at the end of the day. Saturday is the Homecoming Dance as well as numerous athletic events throughout the day concluding with the varsity boys soccer game at 7:00 PM on Munson Field. You can find information about all of the games taking place on the SBWolves website.

Update on Surveillance Testing/Test to Stay

As many of you may know, the state recently unveiled a menu of COVID testing options that schools can choose to use. These are all optional. While we initially signed up to participate in surveillance testing and reached out to our community for support staffing this undertaking, we have decided to put this form of testing on pause and shift our energy toward the Test to Stay program. We hope that those who generously offered to assist us with surveillance testing, will be interested in shifting to this system (training required). We do not have a date or concrete details yet from the state on when we could begin implementing the test to stay program, but the idea is that it would help to decrease the number of days that students would have to quarantine should they be considered a close contact of a person with a positive test result. This could also reduce the amount of time and the impact of contact tracing on school personnel

We are not alone in our struggle to implement these testing programs; especially from a staff perspective. This Seven Days article highlights some of the challenges districts are facing in deciding whether and how to bring these methods on board.

If you would like more information on the testing methods proposed by the state, please click the link for the memo above or view this infographic. Each of these measures will require the permission of a parent or caregiver for the school to implement and a single consent form will cover all of these new testing options (separate from the surveillance testing form).

COVID Update

Two positive COVID cases were identified at the high school this week. Contact tracing is in progress and should be completed shortly. Thanks to all of you for continuing to follow universal precautions.

Executive Director of Equity Update

I wanted to give you an update on our work to hire an Executive Director of Equity for the District.

The District has hired Curtiss Reed Jr. to assist in the hiring process for this position. Curtiss is the Executive Director for Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity in Brattleboro. He also serves as the President of CRJ Consulting Group. Curtiss is a long time Vermonter who is devoted to advocacy related to inclusion, diversity, and equity in the public sphere. Last week, he did a walkthrough of all of our schools with me and he is examining our equity practices in the District including a review of our websites, our hiring practices and more. I will keep you updated as our work with Curtiss continues.

Board Appoints New School Board Member Laura Rowntree

In early September, school board member Rebecca Day tendered her resignation due to a move out of state. In order to comply with state statute, the board set to work filling the resulting vacancy within 30 days. The position was advertised through a number of channels and at their October 6 board meeting, four very well qualified candidates were interviewed. The board subsequently and unanimously appointed Laura Rowntree to the open seat on October 8. Laura will serve until March 1, 2022 when voters will choose someone to fill the remaining two years of the term. Laura will then have the opportunity to run for election for the remainder of the term if she so chooses. Laura is a SBSD parent and brings a wealth of experience to the board. Her professional career has included teaching English Language Arts at underserved high schools in the Bronx though NYC’s Teaching Fellows Program and she currently works as an assistant attorney general. Welcome Laura!

Next Board Meeting October 20

Join the board for their next regular meeting October 20 beginning at 7 pm. You can participate in person in the FHTMS library, via Zoom, or listen to the livestream on the Media Factory website and Facebook page. The agenda will be posted on the District website Friday afternoon. In addition, the South Burlington City Council and our school board will be holding their next Steering Committee meeting Wednesday, October 27 beginning at 6:30 PM and you can join virtually here.

Budget Season is Upon Us!

The SBSD School Board and district administration work on budgeting year-round, but the official "season" to develop the budget that will be presented to voters on Town Meeting Day in March begins in October. We invite all members of the SBSD community to join us and engage in the budget development process. There are many ways in which the larger community can get involved:

  • Attend a board meeting either in person or virtually! Our budget development timeline will be presented at the October 20 board meeting. The agenda and link will be posted on the District website tomorrow afternoon.
  • Join us for a virtual community budget forum, which like last year, will occur in place of in-person Citizens Budget Advisory Committee meetings. We will hold 2-3 forums during our budget work. We found that this method allows for broader community participation as opposed to the smaller groups of the past. Links will be posted in my newsletters and on our District website
  • We'll be updating the budget page of our District website to share links, dates, and more in the weeks to come. We look forward to your participation!

School Happenings

SBHS: Get Caught up with the Latest Howling Herald

It’s here! The latest issue of the Howling Herald! Featuring perspectives and news on COVID, homecoming, a feature on SBHS Director of Guidance and Counseling Meghan Sweet and much more! Bravo student journalists!

In addition, SBHS student Lauren McCabe will be teaching a virtual water photography class tonight! at 6:30 pm through the Young Writers Project (sign up for the workshop here). Lauren will take participants through a series of water photo shoots ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging with household materials.

FHTMS: 6th grade Verve Visit Button Bay State Park: It’s a Tradition!

Dave Bailey has been taking 6th graders to Button Bay State Park since 1998 as part of an on-going Zebra Mussel Population study. This past week his group of students collected nearly 3000 mussels to take back to the classroom to measure and put into age groups. They graph the data and compare it to past trends in the mussel populations and make predictions about future populations. In addition to the mussel project, they study the ecology found at Button Bay and hike around the park visiting various habitats. Stay tuned for pictures coming to the District website!

Gertrude Chamberlin School Staff Participate in Walking Wednesdays

Fall walking, safe outdoor connections and camaraderie come together on walking Wednesdays at GCS! Chamberlin’s PBiS team, coordinated by Lisa Finlayson, came up with the idea during their retreat with their Universal and Targeted teams. Walking Wednesdays was launched toward the end of summer and all staff are welcome to meet at 3:20 pm by the school gardens for a post work stroll. The weather has been perfect for it!

Rick Marcotte Central School Teacher Feature

All of our schools have been getting creative in how they foster connections between families and staff in a safe way due to COVID and one way RMCS has been doing so is by having a new teacher feature in Principal Kilbourne’s weekly newsletter. The feature involves a quick Q and A to help families get to know new staff! Last week it was 4th grade teacher Kesia Cope. Fun fact? She has a bearded dragon named Spike!

Orchard School 4th Graders Participate in ReadAloud (and Hide Fun Notes in Library Books)

Recently, Orchard School 4th grade classes participated in a read aloud of Vermont author Ann Braden’s book The Flight of the Puffin . Each student created several cards with inspirational phrases on them to secretly distribute and hide in a library book. There will surely be lots of smiles during book checkouts next week! Check out photos of this AND the amazing annual Orchard School Fun Run that was held October 8 on Orchard's Instagram.

It’s getting to be peak foliage time here in Vermont! This resource offers some great ideas for scenic drives, foliage maps, and of course places to stop for apple and pumpkin picking, to be enjoyed alongside some warm cider donuts of course.

Thanks for reading,


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.