The Core

December 6, 2019, Volume 11, Issue 14

Notes from the Principal

Hello Parents & Guardians,

Hopefully you received our letter on Monday regarding our water samples. Nine of our taps tested slightly above the new state standards for amount of lead in our water, four ppb (parts per billion). I appreciate that our Vermont legislature is stepping up its game (did you know bottled water is allowed five ppb!) and our school district is making the necessary changes.

Several members of South Burlington's Rotary Club joined us on Tuesday for their annual tradition of giving each 3rd grader a dictionary. The Rotarians do an awesome job for the South Burlington Community and individuals around the world. We love having community members visit Orchard School and are grateful for the Rotarians contributions.

The Puppets in Education presentations went well on Thursday. We have frequently invited this amazing puppet troop to Orchard School to share important topics such as the recent topics of Bully Prevention (grades 1 - 5) and Sexual Abuse (grades 2 - 5). We had a number of parents join us and I think we all agree how well these topics were presented to our students. A big thank you to Auriel Gray for organizing the day.

Thursday evening was also Vermont's Outstanding Teacher of the Year Celebration at the University of Vermont. Both our high school principal, Patrick Burke, and I were honored to join two awesome teachers - our very own Kindergarten Teacher, Raechel Barone, and the high school teacher, Phil Surks, were honored along with outstanding teachers from all over the state.

By the way - are you getting my subtle photo hints ... our Lost & Found is exploding!

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

Mark Trifilio

Third Grade Students receiving their Dictionaries from SB Rotarians

Library News

  • Our library sure is a happening place! Here are a few items that may be of interest: On Monday, December 9th, one of our very favorite authors, Kate Messner, will be speaking with 3rd through 5th graders about the research and writing process for her newest book, CHIRP. This book won't be in bookstores until early February, but Kate will be giving us a very special preview. A pre-order form for CHIRP, with a 20% discount from Phoenix Books, is available for anyone interested.
  • Computer Science Education Week is December 9-13. During this week, schools across the globe celebrate learning the basics of computer science and take part in an "Hour of Code." This event reaches tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Orchard School Library has participated in this fun event since its inception in 2014! Students in grades 4 and 5 will be using Google's CS First to program either "Animate a Name" or "Code Your Hero." Second and third graders will be exploring's offerings of computer programming activities. Our youngest learners will be doing some "unplugged" coding. Please as your student how they coded over the coming week.
  • Orchard School Library was the recipient of a $300 mini-grant from Libraries Ready to Code, an initiative of the American Library Association, to help plan and implement coding activities during Computer Science Education Week. The funding was sponsored by Google.
  • Finally, a HUGE "Thank You" to the Orchard School community for supporting our Fall Book Fair. Here is some amazing news - at the fair, $7650 in books and merchandise was purchased with profits over $1700! These funds are shared between the library and Orchard's PTO.

Thanks again for your generosity.

Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

Puppets in Education presenting here to first and third graders

Two Outstanding Teachers - our own Kindergarten Teacher, Raechel Barone and SBHS Science Teacher, Phil Surks

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PTO News

Thank you to all who supported the Orchard School Book Fair!

Annual Cookie Extravaganza: Volunteers are needed to bake and contribute cookies for the beloved Annual Cookie Extravaganza next Friday. Please help share our appreciation for the hard work of the teachers and staff of Orchard School. Remember to bring your cookies in on December 13 at 8 am. Label your container to receive it back at the end of the day.

PTO Meetings: The PTO takes a break during this busy month. Our next monthly meeting is January 13, 2020 at 6:30.

Do you have PTO questions? Please find us online:





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3rd Grade Chorus at their First Rehearsal!

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