WEEKLY FAMILY FOCUS FEB 7, 2021

RICK MARCOTTE CENTRAL SCHOOL Principal Kathleen Kilbourne

DATES OF IMPORTANCE- MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Feb 12th- PTO sponsored Popcorn day at RMCS

NO Valentine Cards, Candies, or Foods from home due to COVID Restrictions (see below)

Feb 13th- FREE FOOD FOR ALL 10am -Noon at Vibrant Church "Truck to Trunk"- Open to ALL

Feb. 18th BLM Flag is raised at RMCS for the first time. It will fly year round. (see below)

Feb. 22nd- March 3rd Winter Break (NO SCHOOL)


March 3,4,5 will now be PK-5- in school on all three days (no remote time that week)

MS/HS - 3rd will be a gray pack day, 4th and 5th will be gray pack days.


April 1st and 2nd will be half days



Free Food, Saturday, February 13th 10 AM - 12 PM. Drive to Vibrant Church on Williston Road and they will put boxes of food from the USDA into your trunk! This is free and open to anyone!

PTO ZOOM LNK FOR 2/9/21 at 6:30 PM...join us!

Kathleen Kilbourne is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: RMCS PTO MEETING

Time: Feb 9, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting

https://sbschools.zoom.us/j/89774258705?pwd=RWNSUWg1U3ppWDZFT3JtK3QrUENHUT09

Report Card Updates From SB Elementary Administration

The purpose of a report card is to provide you with current information on your child’s growth in developing specific academic skills. The report will also include a narrative section so that teachers can speak to your child’s individual strengths and needs as a learner. If a skill hasn’t been taught and assessed this year, you will see “n/a” on the report card.


The reality of this year is that we celebrate each day we have your child in school, and we know that this trajectory could change by June. Every score on the report card will represent where your child is at currently. When you look at your child’s report card, we want to be realistic about the situation we have been faced with since March. These arbitrary benchmarks that we are again using this year do not take into consideration the fact that we were in school closure for 3 months, that we have not yet returned to a full week of in-person learning, that our in person days are shortened, and that many children have missed school days as we focus on the safety of our health during a pandemic.


The pandemic greatly impacted the way students received instruction and also what they learned these past months. Some of our report card standards are not applicable to the teaching and learning that has happened this school year, and this varies across classrooms. Your child has endured a year that is unprecedented, and much of their learning goes beyond traditional academics. They have learned to socially distance and how to connect with loved ones through phones and computers. They have learned how to stay home and explore their own backyards. They have learned how to cope with the sadness of not seeing their family and friends, and for some, how to grieve the death of a loved one. They have learned how to wear a mask and the importance of good hand washing. Depending on your family situation, their brains may have been focused on where their next meal is coming from, how to keep themselves entertained while their parents were working from home or how to navigate the complexities of new technology to access their distance learning. We want to celebrate the resiliency of our incredible children. We have spent time listening to their stories, and helping them identify as learners in our community, and also make sense of a world that changed suddenly and is still in flux with a deadly disease.


So, yes, we believe in these learning expectations that are on your child’s report card…and with all of the changes that we have been faced with, we decided that re-writing the entire report card to truly reflect on the unique learning experiences that children have had would be an impossible task. Instead, we want to be here for your children and take advantage of every moment of learning that we have…not to “catch them up” because the reality is that the typical school learning trajectory has been disrupted. As educators, it is our job to meet them where they are and to stretch their learning, and that might mean the numbers and letters on this report card look very different from past years. In many cases, we have prioritized content areas, choosing math and literacy over social studies and science given the time constraints we have been faced with.


We know this might cause some of you to worry. We share your concern. Please know that your child is learning and working very hard at school and at home, including many new skills that it takes to live through a pandemic, and we are here as partners to support that journey. We choose to not think of all of our children as being “behind.” We choose to celebrate and nurture their resiliency, focus on their social emotional needs, and continue to offer rigorous learning opportunities whenever we can. First, we are supporting our children in their health and well being as they navigate a world that was turned upside down in a very short time. We will continue to keep track of your child’s growth as a learner and address any needs that arise along the way.


So we ask when it arrives home on February 5th that you read your child’s report card with a lens of understanding and celebrate all of the skills that your child has mastered (like communicating with peers and teachers while wearing a mask for 7 hours!) that are not on the document. Please check in with your teacher if you have any questions or feel like you need more clarification about your child’s progress.


Thank you for your support of our school community and also the important role you play in your child’s development as a learner.


Principal Holly Rouelle

Gertrude Chamberlin School


Principal Mark Trifilio

Orchard School


Principal Kathleen Kilbourne

Rick Marcotte Central School

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Valentine's Day 2021: At all 3 South Burlington Elementary Schools

Valentine's Day 2021:

Dear SB Elementary Families:


In an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking for our students and staff to celebrate Valentine’s Day differently this year at school.


Please DO NOT send in any Valentine’s day treats or cards (homemade or store bought) to your student’s classroom (or school) this year. If your student's classroom teacher chooses to celebrate, all necessary materials and items will be provided. Thanks for your understanding.

Raising the Black Lives Matter Flag at RMCS

While the Black Lives Matter flag has been raised at SBHS during the month of February since 2018, the proposal to fly the flag year-round at all five of the District’s schools was presented to the South Burlington School Board back on December 16, 2020 by high school students who are members of the Student Justice Union. A recent additional proposal to fly the BLM Flag year round at all five schools was unanimously approved by the board at their January 6, 2021 meeting, where members also heard compelling testimony from middle school students who are involved with SOAR (Students Organizing Against Racism).

Superintendent David Young added, "We are grateful for the incredible leadership demonstrated by our students and staff to raise awareness around racial inequality and for the support we've received from our school board. We see the raising of the Black Lives Matter flag as a visible commitment to our students of color. It is also a powerful symbol of our work to dismantle structural racism, which is an important part of our democratic mission in public schools. We look forward to the courageous conversations about race that will continue to take place in our school community. We want the raising of the flag to be the start, not the end, of better conversations about racial justice in our school community."

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

This week, the flag was raised at the Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School. Before the February break, flags will be raised at Orchard and Rick Marcotte Central School. At RMCS, Feb. 18th is the date when we will raise the Black Lives Matter flag. This event will involve our 5th grade leaders and will be viewed by classes online. We will follow COVID guidelines with masks and social distancing, and this event will not be open to the public. In preparation, we will continue our focus on anti-racism during our class morning meetings and with restorative circles with fifth graders. This week Ms.Kilbourne will host circles with all three 5th grade classes to discuss "The 5 Love Languages" as we learn to share similarities and difference about ourselves. This will be followed Ms.Kilbourne and Lisa Bedinger, the Director of the Social Justice Center in SB, facilitating circles with our fifth grade students as well to begin conversations about the BLM flag raising that will be designed with fifth grader input. There will be continued conversations and work done in classrooms as we promote social justice year round. As families, here are a couple of articles that might be helpful as you have your own conversations about race and racism at home.

Nursing and Wellness UPDATES

​SAFER WAYS TO ENJOY THE SUPER BOWL!


Gather virtually (host a Super Bowl watch party) or watch with the people you live with...avoid multi-household gatherings! This year choose a safer way to enjoy the game.

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COVID-19 VARIANTS


Is there anything different that we should be doing?

Viruses change and mutate over time; some mutations persist and some disappear. Early studies of the COVID-19 mutations show these variants transmit more easily and rapidly. Therefore, it is especially important to continue mitigation strategies to limit the spread and protect our community:


  • Wearing a mask, hand hygiene, physical distancing
  • Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when available
  • Following quarantine and isolating guidelines


Should I wear a double mask?


The CDC encourages choosing well-fitting masks with “two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric" and does not recommend double masking.

Mask Reminders:
Non-medical disposable masks:

These are single use (they are not surgical masks) and should be thrown out after one use.

Masks with exhalation valves or vents:

These are not recommended as they do not prevent the wearer from possibly spreading COVID -19 to others.

Other face protection (shield, goggles):

Not recommended as a substitute for a face mask.

Please consider sending in 2 EXTRA MASKS in your student's backpack, as they are getting wet
at recess.

Click here for more information and translations.


COLD WEATHER GEAR


Wear your scarf, ski mask or balaclava over your mask

Scarves, ski masks and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks


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DAY TRIPS


Do I need to quarantine if I am making a quick trip out of state?

Per the health department, even if you leave the Vermont and don't have contact with anyone, you will need to quarantine upon return. The exemption to quarantine only applies to essential travel. Please see this link for more details.


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COVID-19 RESOURCES: Click on underlined below to follow the link.



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FREE STUDENT DESKS


Is your child in need of a desk? Some handy Wake Robin retirees are making student desks and donating them to those in need of a workspace. Call Wendy at 802-345-1452; view the background story here and desk size information here.


Be Well,


Nurse Farrell

BUDGET AND SCHOOL BOARD UPDATES from Superintendent Young


FY22 Budget

A change to the number of equalized pupils from 17 to 9 and an increase in the yield means that the tax rate we were required to warn in the budget book will change from a decrease of 4.15 percent to a decrease of 9.68 percent. This is a result of increased revenues at the state level. More information on this change will be forthcoming. Keep your eyes open for detailed ads in The Other Paper, information on the budget section of the District website, and Front Porch Forum.

Please note that this year, due to COVID restrictions, there will not be an in-person pre-town meeting day budget presentation, but rather a virtual meeting held via Zoom on March 1 at 7:00 pm. You can find the link to the virtual public hearing as well as the City’s annual meeting warning here. If you have questions about the budget or articles, please feel free to contact school board members or myself.

Ballots and Voting

This year, ballots will be mailed to all registered voters. According to City Clerk Donna Kinville, they should be in the mail February 10 and hopefully in mailboxes around February 12. There will be return postage affixed to the envelopes. The ballots can be brought to the polls, left in the City Hall night drop box before midnight March 1, or received in the mail no later than 4:00 pm on March 2. Residents can also vote in person at all regular polling locations from 7:00 am-7:00 pm Town Meeting Day March 2.

Candidate Forums Coming up on Channel 17

Five candidates will be on the ballot in March for two open board seats. You can get to know the three individuals running for the 2-year term Monday, Feb 15th at 5:30 pm via Channel 17's YouTube. The candidate forum for the 3-year term has been tentatively scheduled for February 15 at 6:30 pm.

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Farm to School with Common Roots

Hello South Burlington Families, Teachers, and Friends!


Common Roots is making great progress on our new Farm to School educational video series and want to make sure you all have the latest resources. Our first three episodes are available to view for free and are accompanied by curriculums packed with fun projects and recipes to explore at home. See the descriptions of each lesson and links to our content. We hope you will view these videos. If you like them, feel free to forward to anyone else who may benefit. Enjoy!


Episode #1: Apples Through the Seasons / Curriculum

Most Vermonters can tell you a story or two about the wonderful apple harvest traditions they have experienced. In this lesson we take a sensory walk through an apple orchard to learn about the hard work apple orchardists do each year to create a bountiful harvest in the fall. We explore the health and wellness benefits apples provide our bodies while we learn some of the best ways to get a big serving of Vitamin V for vitality. After that we take a trip through history and figure out how apples started to grow all across the United States. Finally, in our Digging Deeper section of this lesson we focus on reciprocity and consider how we might give back to our community during the fall harvest time.


Episode #2: Winter Squash and Abenaki Foodways / Curriculum

With gratitude for the Abenaki agricultural traditions our second episode about squash celebrates the gifts of today and yesterday. Journey with Farmer Fae into the fall harvest on the farm, discover the Seven Sisters, and enjoy a culinary lesson with Abenaki Chef Jesse and our own Chef Zack.


Learn how to carry on the tradition of seed saving and be surprised to learn that familiar squashes on our dinner table have been tended by the Abenaki for ten thousand years. Curriculum wellness support written for ages 4-7, 8-12, teen to adult, prenatal, and elders is available and invites you on a deeper journey into how to cultivate a community that caretakes our soil and ourselves.


Episode #3: Microgreens and Soil Health / Curriculum

Restoring Ourselves, Our Soil, and Sprouting Microgreens scratches the surface of soil, the heart of our continuing food journey through the year. Winter’s hush across the landscape inspires restorative immune support practices boosted by the amazing benefits of microgreens, holders of sunshine and deep nutrition. Follow along using our demos on composting food waste with earthworms, sprouting and making microgreen confetti recipes, and microgreen yoga.


Our accompanying wellness curriculum for ages 4-7, 8-12, teen to adult, pre-natal, and elders includes “Soil Hero” instructions for worm farms, microgreen kits for the Food Shelf, and desktop composting in repurposed soda bottles. Older Soil Heroes are encouraged to dig deeper into the soil microbiome, soil-less growing, and examine fashion industry practices that exploit rather than restore soil, water, and human resources.


Look for Episode #4: Cabbage & Fermentation, coming right up.


Nourish to Flourish!

Lauren Jones

Common Roots, Farm to School Educator


PS. If you know educators, community leaders or health coaches who may be interested in receiving our film episodes and curriculum, please email: Lauren@commonroots.org

Family Resources from Howard Center

Caregiving is hard enough without a global health pandemic! Now more than ever, it is CRITICAL that we encourage our caregivers to practice diligent self-care. Our health depends on it, and the health of our children depends on it. It is difficult for caregivers to put themselves first – and we know they are equally as deserving and in need of it. Please consider using these helpful resources.

The Importance of Care for Caregivers (National Association of School Psychologists)

Parenting During Coronavirus: You are Enough (PBS Kids)

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)

COVID Support VT (from 211)

Apps for Self-Care and Wellness

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Need Help with Technology? Use this link to access Tech supports!

Visit the RMCS website at sbschools.net or just click on this link for tech support!


https://sites.google.com/sbschools.net/sbsdedtechforstudentsfamilies/home