The Core

February 12, 2021, Volume 11, Issue 20

Letter from the Principal

Hello Parents,

Hurray! We are almost ready for our last week prior to the February vacation. Remember that we have lots of activities planned for the upcoming I Love School Week. Please see Mrs. Macdonald's article about everything that is planned. I am especially looking forward to the daily zooming of my Morning Announcements. In addition, we are teaching students how to sign the Orchard Song (since we cannot sing due to COVID regulations). Check out the link if you are interested in learning to sign the Orchard Song:

As previously mentioned, we are planning to raise the Black Lives Matter flag on Friday, February 19. Our goal will be to share a slideshow of our ceremony sometime after the vacation.

Flying the flag year-round at all of our schools serves as part of a wider District initiative indicating support of and solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students, staff, and community. Our intentions around this action include:

  • ·That this becomes a symbol of our school's pledge to fight racism and racist acts
  • · For students of color, demonstrates our school's commitment to their well-being
  • · Shows that we denounce any form of racism and discrimination of our BIPOC students
  • · Communicates our pledge toward being an anti-racist school
  • · That talking about social justice is part of our democratic mission as a public school
  • · Raising the flag is the start, not the end, of conversations about racial justice

Have a fun Covid-safe Valentine's Day; enjoy the snow and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Happy New Year to all of our Asian families!

Quote of the week:

This week's quote is from Amanda Gorman's poem, The Hill We Climb, from the presidential inauguration.

And yes we are far from polished.
Far from pristine.
But that doesn't mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge a union with purpose,
to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.

Student Justice Union's Black History Month
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I Love School Week!

We are so excited to be celebrating I Love School all next week! Here’s a snapshot of what students will be experiencing:

Mr. T will be Zooming into all classrooms with information about each special day during morning news and announcements. Ms. Coppock and her students have shared a video with classes demonstrating how to sign the Orchard School song in ASL so that we can enjoy it together each morning of I Love School week. Students will also be contributing to a mural organized by Ms. Susie.

K-2nd grade classes will be Zooming with author/illustrator (and Orchard School parent) Jason Chin. He’ll be talking about his fabulous book YOUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE and perhaps playing a drawing game, too.

3rd – 5th grade classes will be Zooming with author (and Orchard School parent) Dayna Lorentz. Her new book OF A FEATHER just had its “book birthday” last Tuesday. Dayna will be reading a passage from her book, as well as sharing some of her research and writing process. Students may have an opportunity to do some writing themselves, too.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of either or both of these fine books, an order form from Flying Pig Bookstore, with a 20% discount, is available.

Remember to be watching for the free book that your student(s) chose after playing either Red Clover BINGO or Mock Caldecott BINGO with Mrs. Macdonald! It will have the I Love School bookmark inside.

Our District Math Coordinator, Kathy de Natale will be Zooming with grade-level groups making origami heart bookmarks.

The whole school will have the opportunity to conduct a Mystery Science experiment! This should be so much fun!

We will proudly raise the Black Lives Matter flag.

In addition, Mr. Hamlin will be leading the school in a “Drop Everything and Dance” to cap off our weeklong celebration of school.

Farm to School - Cabbage to Sauerkraut!

Farm to School

Hello South Burlington Families and Friends!

This week in Farm to School, we found a wild way to use up the extra cabbage that Farmer Fae grew for us at the Common Roots Farm last summer. We used all of her cabbage to make some fermented sauerkraut! Fermented foods are such a great thing to incorporate into our diets, especially during a pandemic when we want our gut microbiome and immune systems to be as strong as they can be.

The sauerkraut we made is PACKED with good bacterias (or we liked to call them invisible helpers) that will keep our bodies strong and healthy. Humans are actually made of billions of good bacterias that we cannot survive without! The recipe below is super fun to make at home with your family. All you need is a cutting board, knife, grater, mixing bowl, a clean jar with a lid and a space to keep your kraut at room temp and out of direct sunlight. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Sauerkraut Recipe

Makes 1 quart-sized jar (or 2 pints)


● 2 lbs cabbage, (about 1.75lb green and 0.25lb red) - a medium-sized cabbage is about 2 lbs, really large ones can be up to 4 lbs.

● 20 g sea salt, (about 2 Tbsp)

● ½ apple, grated

● ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated


  1. First, pull the two outer leaves of the cabbage off of the head and set them aside. You will use these later! Amazingly the cabbage leaves are full of beneficial bacteria. Who knew?
  2. Then, cut your cabbage into quarters to expose the core.
  3. Cut the core out with your knife angled away from you.
  4. Then laying the cabbage on its flat side, slice into thin ¼ inch strips.
  5. Place your sliced cabbage in a large mixing bowl and add the salt - In case you have more or less than 2 lbs of cabbage, a good rule of thumb to go by is 10g (~1 Tbsp) of salt for every pound of cabbage.
  6. Massage the cabbage and salt with your hands for several minutes.
  7. Listen to the sounds - starts out squeaky and crunchy. As we massage, the sound will change. As water releases from the cells of the cabbage, it will start to sound sloppy… like walking through slushy snow!
  8. Once your cabbage is soft and a lot of water is released, add your grated apple and ginger. Mix to combine.
  9. Pack your kraut tightly in a jar, making sure there are no air bubbles. You will see the liquid rising to the top as you compact!
  10. Place a clean cabbage leaf on top to keep the kraut submerged under the liquid. You can also top with the remaining juices in your mixing bowl to make sure there is enough liquid in the jar.
  11. Place your jar in a space that is at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. It will take about 2-4 weeks for your kraut to ferment. Check regularly to be sure massaged cabbage is below the surface of the brine water at all times.
  12. Once your kraut has reached the desired level of fermentation (some people may like it crunchier than others - it will get softer the longer you leave it out), store your jar in the fridge and it will last for several months. Enjoy!

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish!

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

Memory Book!

Hello Orchard families! It’s time to start collecting photos for the Orchard Memory Book. We know this year has been very different and we have unfortunately missed out on many of our favorite Orchard events, but we’re hoping to gather some great photos of our students participating in classroom activities or remote school. Please send any photos you have to And please send photos in large or actual size for optimal resolution.

Fifth Grade Fun Day:

A few fifth-grade parents are starting to plan for the possibility of having a Fifth Grade Fun Day. If you would be interested in helping organize, please contact Aimee Hutton at"

School Nurse Notes


The health department discourages non-essential travel, even within Vermont. PLEASE ALERT THE SCHOOL OF YOUR PLANS if you plan to travel outside of Vermont for leisure (whatever the mode: train, plane, car, bus, or other transportation means), and please include the date your student will return to Vermont.

Quarantining is required for 14 days in Vermont when you return. This includes day trips. Your day of return will be considered DAY 0; the next day will be considered DAY 1. Your student may return after DAY 14.

If your student does not have symptoms of COVID-19, your student has the option of getting a PCR test on day 7 and can end quarantine with a negative test result. The test must be a PCR test.

The exemption to quarantine only applies to essential travel. Please see this link for more details.

For more travel and quarantine information, click here.

Help to keep our COVID rates low and our school attendance HIGH!

Be well,

Thanks for reading!
Nurses Kara & Darcy

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SB Youth Baseball & Softball

South Burlington Youth Baseball & Softball has been providing a safe, healthy way for kids to make friends and stay active for 40 years.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for ages 5 to 12, best of all T-Ball is now being offered free of charge!

Sign up today at

  • Scholarships available for all league ages
  • State and local safety and social distancing recommendations are strictly enforced
  • Your child will improve their game and learn important life skills.

Now Open Through February!

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PTO News


The PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) continues to work to make this year a fun and productive one! We support teachers and the whole school in creating a strong community. We believe it is important to continue to show appreciation and support for our teachers and staff, so we would like to occasionally give some sweet treats! We are also thinking ahead to when things get back to normal and we can bring our events back (Skate Night, Spring Fling, Math Night, etc.) - even if they cannot happen until next year! Your support is still very important, especially since we could not host our major fundraiser, the Fun Run, last fall. If you can, please donate by sending a check to the Orchard PTO, c/o Suzanne Hebeler, 36 Cortland Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403 OR donate online:

We are also creating Joy Bags! These bags have sensory supplies, books, and other boredom killers and happiness givers that teachers can have on hand to tuck into the backpacks of students who seem to need a pick-me-up during these times.

And we need you to join us! We welcome new members! If you have a little room in your schedule, consider volunteering! Email Kristin at with thoughts, questions, and ideas.

Everyone is always welcome at meetings, and new energy and ideas are always appreciated! Meetings are once a month on Zoom. Our next meeting will be Monday, February 8th at 6:30pm. Join in and be a part of what's happening!


Join us in earning CASH for our school by using the Box Tops app. It’s an easy way to make a difference. All you have to do is buy Box Tops participating products (like Cheerios!) and scan your grocery receipt. Box Tops are worth $.10 each and they add up fast! Twice a year, our school receives a check to help pay for whatever we need - equipment, supplies or experiences the kids love!

Download the Box Tops for Education app at your App Store or here:


For the month of February 2021, the Orchard School PTO will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Bag at Shaw's Grocery Store located at Shaw's 570 Shelburne Rd, Burlington VT.

So, in February, be sure to shop at Shaw's and pick up this reusable grocery bag! You will be supporting our school!

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