WEEKLY FAMILY FOCUS August 22, 2021
RICK MARCOTTE CENTRAL SCHOOL Principal Kathleen Kilbourne
Please Note: Since parents are not able to be in the school at this time, due to SB School District safety precautions and guidelines; this edition of the Family Focus Newsletter will highlight photos of what is in our hallways and some classrooms as we prepare for Tuesday's opening.
Important Dates to Note:
Monday, August 23rd- Kindergarten Meet and Greet: Meet Under the tent
12:00 - Mrs. Amy Kelliher’s Class
12:30 - Mrs. Brigid Kulholwvick’s Class
1:00 - Ms, Lauren Dvorak’s Class
1:30 - Mrs. Deb Miller’s Class
Tuesday, August 24th - RMCS First Full Day of School
Monday, September 6th - No School, Labor Day
Friday, September 24th - 12:30 Dismissal Staff PD
Wed. Oct 6th - RMCS Picture Day
Stenciled on the Grade 5 Project Room Wall
Meet the RMCS STAFF as they introduce themselves via FLIPGRID (Video)
We know that we are not able to start the year with the traditional Tours, Open House, or Curriculum Nights as we had hoped for due to maintaining the safety and wellbeing for all our students, staff, and families. However, we recognize the need for parents and families to have an introduction to what their teachers look like and sound like. Please click below, enter the password, and then simply click on the staff member you would like to "meet". We hope this provides some comfort and takes away the mystery of who will my child be learning with this school year.
Click Meet RMCS Staff Flipgrid- VIdeo and audio introduction from each staff member
Click Join with your guest password and enter: RMCS2021
Kindergarten Meet and Greet by Class: AUGUST 23rd
Hello Kindergarten Families,
We are so excited to be starting the school year soon! We know that you may still have some questions or things you are wondering about. Due to our current health and safety precautions to keep us all in school, we are not able to have the traditional open house at this time. However, we still want to be able to offer a way to say hello and introduce ourselves and begin to get to know each of you!
To that end, we are offering a specific time for each K class to host a meet and greet under the tent on our RMCS playground on Monday August 23rd (the day before school starts). We have selected a 30 min time for students and parents/guardians to come meet your new teacher and have your questions answered.
This will look like meeting under the tent (masked for all students and adults). Your teacher will greet you all, then bring ONLY THE CHILDREN inside the school for a brief tour of the classroom, while the parents/guardians stay outside to ask questions of our school panel made up of : the school nurse, guidance staff, our admin. assistants, and the principal. Your children will only be in the school for approximately 15 minutes to find their room and get a sneak peak. They will have time to explore the room more fully on Tues. the 24th, our first full day of school!
12:00 - Mrs. Amy Kelliher’s Class
12:30 - Mrs. Brigid Kulholwvick’s Class
1:00 - Ms, Lauren Dvorak’s Class
1:30 - Mrs. Deb Miller’s Class
Please note your child’s time specifically, as we are hoping they can see their classmates for the first time as well. We recognize that this will not replace the traditional open house completely, but it will offer the opportunity for a beginning connection and relationship to help ease the transition of coming to school full time!
RMCS is filled with loving and nurturing staff who will support each child where they are, as they come to school for the first time.
We know that parents are their children’s first teacher and we look forward to collaborating and partnering with you all to make this a fun and exciting year with your child(ren).
If you are unable to make this time and planned event, we are also creating a FLIPGRID, that allows you to click on the staff member that you would like to ‘meet’ or hear an introduction from. This will come to you in our newsletter and in a separate email. These few minutes of introductions also help to take some of the mystery out of who will be supporting and teaching your child this school year. At RMCS we work in teams. Please feel free to listen/watch as many of the staff welcomes as you and your family wish.
Looking forward to a great school year in partnership with families and our larger SB community!
Welcome Back Families and Students,
Welcome to a new school year! I am very excited to be in my second year as the Principal of RMCS, and my 28th year in public education in VT! With continued challenges due to another wave of COVID 19 cases, we are working hard to think about all of the precautionary measure that will be in place to allow in person learning at school to continue. Our first priority is the safety of students, staff and families as we work together to start our school year. We are excited to have students back in our building, following state education and health guidelines, which will soon be updated for back to school. I know you have many wonderings about the school year, so I will use these newsletter formats to keep families updated when we have more information. We also use emails and the website to inform families throughout the school year. In addition, if you have not "liked" the RMCS PTO Facebook page please do so, as information is also shared through that media.
Please know that your child's teaching team took great care with the placement process in June and considered your input forms carefully. They looked at student assessment data, class dynamics and other information to create balanced classroom. Members of the placement team included teachers, special educators, behavior coaches, the school counselor and myself. If you are a new student, we used your registration information and also information from your child's previous school if we have received it.
Many things will be very similar to how we ended the school year in person at RMCS.
We will continue with same Parent Drop & Pick Up process at the curb, while parents remain in cars. The bus times will remain the same, and the drop off windows have been abbreviated to allow for more learning time (since we do not need to temp check or hand sanitize outside this fall). The RUVENA app is still required each morning for all staff and students.
AM DROP OFF:
Busses Only: 7:50- 8:00am
Parent Drop Off 8:00- 8:10 : Smaller Circle is for PRE K and K (and sibs) only
Larger Circle is for grade 1-5; Please pull all the way forward to allow for 7-8 cars to unload at one time, to expedite the timing needed. Thank You!
Busses only: 2:20-2:30...Please do not come early, as all busses must leave before we can begin parent pick up.
Parent Pick Up: 2:30- 2:45pm
Enjoy the waning moments of the summer break. ! I can't wait to see all of our families back at school on August 24th! Here is a to a wonderful school year together!
Common Questions and Answers ...as RMCS opens Tues. 8 24 21
Will recess be mixed classes (no zones)? Yes, we will be mixing grade level only pods at recess; meaning all 4 classes at one grade level will be outside and all have access to the entire playground. No zones at this time.
Will we be able to mix within grade levels (academic and community building)? In a limited and tracked way for specialized services, must document for contact tracing. NOT WHOLE CLASSES (like bus buddies, or reading buddies)
Will there be an Open House? Not in the traditional on site way...we are sharing the FLIPGRID Introduction Videos to meet the staff, hosting a Kindergarten Meet and Greet (8/23) and will hold a zoom around the room or prepared video like last year.
Will we be able to have school-wide assemblies? No not at this time, no large gatherings of staff or students in person. We are however, exploring how to a whole school assembly using technology, and sharing in each classroom...so we will not all be in the same room, but we will all be seeing the same information at the same time.
In the classroom, will students be able to sit on the carpets? Yes
In the classroom, will we need to use dividers? Dividers will be used in the cafeteria daily, where children will be sitting by classrooms, and with snack in class as available.
Will lunch be in the cafeteria? Yes, Dividers in the classroom for snack as available...eating outside for snack while the weather cooperates is highly encouraged
Can parents or vounteers be in the building? Parents , volunteers, and other adults are not able to be in the building at this time . The only people inside the building are staff and students; MASKED.
Can we plan and take Field trips? Field trips will sent to the building administrator and DY for prior approval and decided on a case by case basis. We are not having indoor field trips at this time. We do hope to plan a class by class walking field trip to the new town library just across the parking lot from us!
Will all staff and students be required to wear masks at this time? Yes, as we begin the school year we are doing so masked for all staff and students. We will be taking mask breaks out side as needed, and children are not required to be masked while outside for snack or recess times.
Register Your Student for the Upcoming School Year- REQUIRED
- Click on the big "P" icon in the blue ribbon on the top of the RMCS webpage.
- If you have forgotten your Username or need a password reset, please contact Mrs. Dattilio or Ms.Sanford at 652-7200 .
- If more than one student is linked to the portal account, choose the appropriate student at the top left corner
- Choose the Forms link from the left navigation bar
- Under the Annual Student Update category, click “Update A. Getting Started: Annual Student Update 2021-2022” to begin completing the forms packet
The Registration website (www.sbschools.net/register) has helpful, translatable, information for parents/guardians. Instructions to register their students, lists of required documents, and guides to creating parent portal accounts and linking student(s) can be found there.
What Do I Need For School?
- We do recommend that students have a pair of sneakers for Physical Education. These can be left at school in your child's cubby if they chose to wear other shoes to and from school.
- A lunchbox for a daily snack is also a good item for them to have. Each class has snack every day, and this is not provided by the school. We encourage healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit, crackers, popcorn, pretzels, etc. Please save the cookies, cakes, and candy for home. Your child's teacher will let you know in advance if there are any allergy restrictions in the classroom. It's a great idea to have your child practice opening any containers that they might be bringing to school with snack or lunch items...we encourage them to be as independent as possible! We also do not have access to a microwave or refrigerator for food, so consider having ice packs and a good thermos to keep things cold or hot.
- A water bottle that your child can refill is recommended. Pls write their initial on the bottom of it.
- A sturdy backpack that your child can carry, as well as open and close independently, will help keep them organized when they need to bring home papers and library books.
- We do like to have fun at RMCS, and sometimes there are spills and messy things involved in learning! Please provide an extra set of labeled clothes in case your child needs to change during the day. A large Ziploc freezer bag with your child's name on it is a great way to keep a spare set of clothing in their cubbies.
- A few permanent markers are a good think to invest in so you can label all of your child's belongings...the changing VT temperatures means that children are constantly taking their layers of clothing on and off, and our Lost and Found becomes a treasure trove of unclaimed items very quickly!
And most importantly...a positive attitude and a smile so we can make new friends, enjoy learning and have a great school year together!
RMCS HIRING- Current Open Positions
Paraeducators - Full time
Interventionists- Full time
Recess and Lunch Supervisors (3 hours a day)
Sub Caller (10 hours a week from home)
Substitute Teachers (2 full time floating subs, 5 days a week)
Substitute Teachers- Flexible scheduling
Please apply via SchoolSpring.com or call Kathleen Kilbourne for more information at 652-7200.
UPDATES FROM THE NURSE
We are writing to inform you that our illness procedures are remaining the same as last year:
Students must stay home with ANY illness symptoms (this includes a runny nose, headache and any other symptoms noted on the RUNVA app) and inform the school of the student's absence. If seasonal allergies are present, the school nurse must have documentation of the condition.
Nurses are following guidance provided by the Vermont Department of Health. Please reference this form: COVID-19 Information for Families Return to School Following Illness* to navigate the guidance.
Please keep the above document easily accessible in your home for times when your student shows signs or complains of illness. The fact sheet provides you with symptom-specific guidance of next steps. School Nurses are also making an effort to touch-base with parents/guardians, when a student is absent for illness reasons, to help guide those individuals as well.
State guidelines are constantly being evaluated and updated. Your efforts, understanding and compliance do not go unnoticed as we continue to navigate illness related protocols during this pandemic. Thank you.
Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions. Michelle Cannon, our school nurse, can be reached at 652-7208 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS FROM THE NEW SOUTH BURLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
We will also have new after-school programs that will start in September. A link to that info from our website is here: https://southburlingtonlibrary.org/594/afterschool-at-the-library-art-tinkering-and-play-for-ages-6-and-up . We will have a print calendar that will be available toward the end of August.
We are open at our new location on 180 Market Street!
Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
VISIT US AT: https://southburlingtonlibrary.org/
How to Get a Library Card at the South Burlington Public Library
1. If you are 5 years old or older, and want a library card, come to the library with a grownup. Make sure they bring a piece of identification that has your legal, permanent South Burlington address on it. This could be a driver’s license, a utility bill or a rent/lease agreement. It could be paper or on a device: phone, tablet or computer.
2. Go to the circulation desk and ask for a library card. You and your grownup will show the librarian your identification information, fill out a short form; (staff is available if assistance is needed), and be entered into our system electronically. You will then get a new library card! Having a library card shows that you are responsible and mature enough to take care of the materials that you check out. Take good care of your card, and always bring it with you to the library when you want to check out books.
3. You will also get a booklet of information about the library. It will tell you about our collection, how long you can borrow books, and other resources to find at the library.
4. Kids in grades 5 and up can come to the library by themselves, without a grown up. Kids in grades four and younger must come with a grownup. We expect all patrons, regardless of age, to follow our Patron Code of Conduct. The Patron Code of Conduct can be found on our website. Library Mission and Policies (southburlingtonlibrary.org)
From our website:
Any legal resident of South Burlington over the age of five may obtain a resident library card with identification that clearly shows name and current legal address. Any South Burlington resident in good standing may use this library card at any of the other local libraries that are part of the Homecard system. Non-residents (outside of the Homecard system) and temporary residents may purchase a card to check out physical items at the South Burlington Public Library. Please come to the Library to sign up.
We hope to see you at the library!
Kelly Kendall, Children’s Librarian
South Burlington Public Library
Daily Health Screening - Ruvna App
Families will again be required to complete the daily health screening questions about your child's health status through an email or text through an app called Ruvna. Please be sure to complete it daily before your child comes to school. Nurse Cannon follows up by phone with families who have not completed the health screening questions. Thank you!
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.
Food Allergies and Health Questionnaire for ALL Families
I am excited to welcome your family for the 2021-22 school year. Whether you are new to our school, or returning, feel free to drop in or give me a call with any questions or concerns about the health of our school and your child(ren).
Please complete the Annual Health Questionnaire. I depend on this information each year to inform my time with your student(s). In addition, the Department of Health relies on the schools to collect data yearly to help them with their work. If your child received any immunizations over the summer, please bring in a new record of those. If your child is new to RMCS, and you have not provided us with immunization documentation, this is required prior to the start of the school year. The fax number is 802-658-9047 if needed.
At the beginning of each school year, we require signed authorization from a parent/guardian and the prescribing health care provider for any prescription medication. Any over the counter medication, including cough drops, require written parent permission. All medication must be supplied in the original packaging and delivered to the health office by an adult. Please refer to the South Burlington School District’s Medication Administration Procedures should you have any questions.
In accordance with Vermont Law, routine vision and hearing screenings will be conducted with children in pre-k, kindergarten, first, third and fifth grades. I will notify you if your child does not pass so you can follow up with their health care provider. Should you have concerns and would like your child(ren) screened outside of the above schedule, let me know.
Finally, please find the SBSD’s Food Allergy Safety Information sheets and take a moment to review. You will receive a separate notice once school begins, if your child’s classroom is an allergen-safe room. If your child(ren) has a food allergy, and s/he plans to eat lunch prepared by the school district, please contact Rhonda Ketner at Nutritional Services (652-7160 or email@example.com). Rhonda works closely with families, providing detailed information on the school lunch ingredients, specific to the child’s needs.
Again, don’t hesitate to reach out, should you have any questions.
Michelle Cannon, RN
UPADATES from SUPERINTNDENT YOUNG Aug. 21, 2021
August 21, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,
This week brought some sad news for our District with the passing of FHTMS Principal Karsten Schlenter. Karsten touched the lives of so many in our District and throughout the wider South Burlington community. I had the immense honor of working with him for 10 years and his dedication for his profession and commitment to students and families always did and will continue to inspire me.
This past Thursday and Friday we welcomed staff, both veteran and new, back to school with an inservice day and convocation. We also recognized staff who have dedicated 10, 20, 30, and 40 plus years to the District! I offered words I hope will act as a guide as we enter this new school year together: kindness, respect, and belonging. I think we all respond better to kindness, in tone and actions, practicing mutual respect regardless of differences is paramount, and of course, fostering a sense of belonging through social connection is critically important to our collective well being. I look forward to seeing you all next week! .
Processing Grief: Honoring Karsten
When we received the news about the passing of Karsten Schlenter, we began working immediately to provide support for students and staff. We invited FHTMS staff to gather under one of our outdoor tents for conversation and to speak with a counselor if desired. On Tuesday, we offered counseling to FHTMS students and there will be further opportunities for students and staff to connect with a counselor at the beginning of the school year. Parents have been notified that FHTMS and SBHS Guidance Counselors and Howard Center Clinicians are available at both schools to meet any student (or groups of students) needing additional support
In addition, FHTMS School Service Clinician Donna Lemay shared these notes on grief that could be helpful during this challenging time and please remember to be compassionate to yourself and others. Over the coming days or weeks,
• You may notice an increase in irritability
• You may have trouble focusing/concentrating
• You may have difficulty with quality sleep
• Some people will never need to talk feelings out and may shy away from those of us who do benefit from talking it out. Be ready to give space to each other when/if sadness surfaces during the work day
• Unexpected death grief is harder and a longer grieving process
Lemay shared, “One of the key things I've found over the years that helps with grief is to share stories, laughs, memories of all kinds. When people walk around in fear of sharing stories because it might make someone else upset, then the grief process can get blocked up. Please, find your people to share and connect with. I know Karsten gave me a lot of chuckles over my few years here.” Thank you Donna!
Drop-In Zoom Chat for Families with Me!
I know this is an incredibly busy time for all, but I also know families will continue to have questions and concerns as we begin the school year. If you are able, please join me for my next Zoom drop in chat Monday, August 23 from 6:00-7:00 pm. I look forward to hearing from you!
All students and staff can expect to be masked inside until further notice. Masks are not required outside. The South Burlington School Board unanimously approved a Student and Staff Mask Mandate at their August 18 meeting. The District will require masks at all times for students and staff, subject to exemptions required by law or reasonably granted by the Administration.
Other Mitigation Measures
We will be continuing many of the measures we had in place at the end of the last school year. Ventilation will continue to be encouraged by opening windows and using the outdoor tents for classes and activities, frequent handwashing, and utilization of air purification systems in our classrooms and offices. We have also added air purification units in other areas of our buildings to increase air exchange. Staying home when sick is one of the best ways (in addition to frequent hand washing and masking) to slow the spread of COVID and other respiratory illnesses like colds and flu.
Please be aware that our custodial staff will be following traditional cleaning procedures to start the school year. Science has proven that surface transmission of all variants of the COVID-19 virus is rare and heavy use of industrial disinfectants may actually pose greater potential health risks. Our traditional cleaning and disinfecting procedures will provide protection for students and staff and we will continue to provide disinfecting wipes for use during the day.
For staff: Our best defense against aerosol spread of the virus is running our portable air purifiers. Please ensure that air purifiers in your spaces are always on (including the UV function) and that obstructions are removed from around the units.
Current Cafeteria/Plans Around Lunch
Currently, the plan at the elementary schools is to have lunch by grade level in the cafeteria, separated by class, assigned seats with space, and using dividers. The middle school will resume the practice used at the end of the school year. Students will have assigned seats, sitting 4 students per 6' round table. At SBHS, students will be able to eat in many locations like the auditorium, lobby and outside to reduce crowding in the cafeteria.
Thanks to all families who answered our one question transportation survey in the PowerSchool Parent Portal. As a reminder, busses will be at full capacity and transportation services still need to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for travel on school buses. This means that students and drivers are required to wear masks.
Bus routes have been posted to the District website. Please be aware that due to the increased ridership and a nationwide shortage of qualified bus drivers that is impacting South Burlington as well, some routes are longer and have more passengers this year. Some stop times have been reordered and won’t be what you have been used to in past years. Please be patient as we refine our routes over the first couple weeks of the school year to make them as efficient as possible. If you have specific concerns, please email Kathy LaRock, firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Vaccination Clinics: Upcoming Dates
Although Vermont continues to be a leader nationwide in our vaccination rate and indeed in Chittenden County, the percent positivity rate continues to climb. The state is continuing to offer vaccinations at a variety of sites throughout the state and we, like many of our fellow Districts, will be offering pop-up vaccine clinics for those ages 12 and above at the high school from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on the following dates:
Thursday, August 26
Thursday, September 16
Thursday, October 7
Recovery Planning: We want to Hear from You!
Over the next three school years, the South Burlington School District will receive federal funds for educational recovery in order to build back from the pandemic. These are one-time funds for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) provided for by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. This fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Education describes the funds and the differences between each type.The ESSER allocation received by each district is determined in part by the number of families living in poverty within the district. We want your feedback on our recovery plan! Check it out and fill out the brief survey on our SBSD Recovery Planning and ESSER Funds website. Survey closes October 1.
Summer Library a Huge Success at FHTMS and Orchard!
The FHTMS summer library program ran for 7 weeks this summer. Students enjoyed checking out the classics, new releases, caught up on Vermont Golden Dome Award winners and even enjoyed the AC for weekly Math tutoring group sessions. Janette Hasenecz said, “It was also nice seeing some transitioning 9th graders (one last time) enjoy reading from their SBHS recommended reading lists. It was slower sometimes but everyone was happy to gather in a familiar place. Please don’t forget to return any books the first week of school if you haven’t already! “
Orchard School Librarian Donna Sullivan-MacDonald reported that their Summer Library was extremely successful! “We actually hit a goal for the number of books checked out: a total of 1,094 over 8 weeks of only being open 3 hours each week. Many thanks to Orchard School's PTO for funding the summer library program for the past 20+ years. A big thanks also to Janette Hasenecz for ensuring that the summer fun ran smoothly. We can't wait to hear from students about all the great reading they did during summer vacation!”
And we’re off! With sports that is. Football held their first practice early this week and All other sport teams began on Thursday, August 19th. The only sports program that will have restrictions to start the season is volleyball. Volleyball is the only indoor sport this season, which means that all coaches and students must be masked for all practices and games.You can find schedules and more information at the sbwolves website.
Want to join the athletic Boosters? They need you! They meet the first Thursday of the month at 6 pm via Zoom for about an hour. You can even volunteer or come to meetings only during your athlete’s season. During the fall, they could use help with the concessions stand, the Ski Swap, and homecoming. Please reach out to any of the officers with questions.
Health Screening Tool Going Live August 24
The health screening tool we used last school year, RUVNA, will launch for all staff and students/families on Tuesday, August 24. Parents/guardians of student(s) in grades PreK-8 will be responsible for conducting health screenings of their student(s) at home prior to boarding our buses and/or dropping their student(s) off at our schools. Due to the delayed start, Gertrude Chamberlin students/families will receive notifications beginning August 30.
High school students will conduct their own health screenings. Using this tool is an expectation. As a reminder, you should receive a text, an email, or both, based on your contact information in PowerSchool, at 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM every weekday. If you have not answered the health screening questions by 6:30 AM, you will be prompted to answer the questions again. It is critical that you complete these questions prior to coming to school to help keep our schools safe!
If staff have questions, please review this Ruvna google slide presentation on the employee portal. If families have questions, they should contact their school's administrative assistant.
I am excited for the beginning of what is sure to be a wonderful school year! Have a great weekend!