The Core

October 16, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 6

Principal's Notes

Dear Parents & Guardians,

We had a very good week with all of our preK-2nd grade students together. The students have been very responsible wearing masks, keeping physically distant and using our window dividers in class. Please know this is such a big deal since we added over 80 more students!

I "think" the drop-off and pick-ups have gone fairly well adding the extra students. I couldn't resist this photo I took this morning for a background! At some point soon, we will have to readjust our systems; after all, our tent has to come down in early November! We will readjust and communicate soon but in the meantime, please help us by:

  • Stay in your car. Even if running late, please stay in your car.
  • Keep a lane open! Pull up and keep to the right so others can safely pass.
  • Have your child move with purpose, ready to go, upon arrival.
  • Also please think about having your child sit in the back seat on the "passenger side". This way we can check temps and children can exit the cars safely.

Thank you drivers!

I hope parents can see how serious we are taking safety within our school grounds. Check out the mini-calendars below remember to keep an eye out for the superintendent's emails for the latest updates.

Stay safe, stay well, and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Quote of the Week:

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to. you. You have to go to them sometimes."

~A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh

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Information for Families: Return to School Following Illness

We are sending home an updated version of this Health Department handout. Please reference the handout when your student is sick with COVID-like symptoms (including a runny nose!). Consider keeping it on your refrigerator or in the school folder.

What is the update? If your child is experiencing one symptom, as indicated in the yellow box, please keep them at home until they feel better for at least 24 hours (and symptoms are improved or gone).

Vermont Department of Health Resources:

Close Contacts and Contact Tracing Information:

  • Who is Considered a Close Contact and What does it Mean?
    • According to the Health Department, if someone tests positive for COVID-19, the Health Department will work closely with the individual (and if necessary, the school) to identify their close contacts. Timeframe, nature of contact, and other factors can influence who is determined a close contact. This is called contact tracing.
    • Close contact means being within six feet for 15 minutes or more, of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their infectious period. The infectious period starts two days before any symptoms began, or for people who haven't had symptoms, two days before they got tested, and continues until they are recovered. Close contact does not mean: being more than six feet away in the same indoor environment for a short period of time, walking by, or briefly being in the same room.
    • Click here to view a Timeline for People who are Close Contacts of Someone with COVID-19

  • What is Contact Tracing?
    The Health Department indicates that contact tracing is used to provide education, support and guidance to people who are diagnosed with an infectious disease. It’s also used to identify people who have been in close contact with them, so they can take steps to stop the disease from spreading to others.
    • Here's a video that shows how contact tracing for COVID-19 works in Vermont.

    • Click here for more information about close contacts and contact tracing.

This fall and winter, flu viruses and COVID-19 may both spread.
Get your flu vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Be Well,

Kara & Darcy

School Nurses

Do You Want to See What it's Like in School? Check out our 2nd Grade!

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News from the Library

Your 24/7 Orchard School Library!

Students in grades 3-5 have been introduced to Orchard School Library's online catalog, Destiny Discover. Here, students may search for library books at home or at school, whenever a computer is available! Please feel free to explore this new resource using this link: The link is also available from the Orchard School home page, in the "Students" menu. In addition to traditional search options, you'll see "Topics" and "Collections" are also available. Recently added is a collection of 85 book, e-books, videos, and other web resources related to COVID-19.

Speaking of the virus, it's certainly not stopping Orchard School readers from accessing books! Between 500-600 books are checked out of the library EVERY WEEK! When books are returned, they are placed into quarantine to ensure our students' safety. In the image, you'll see how book quarantine looks in our library. At the moment, there are 346 books waiting to receive clearance that they may be checked out again. I continue to be grateful for community support for the school budget. Thanks to you, our library collection remains current and engaging for Orchard's young readers.

Happy Reading!


Hello South Burlington Friends and Families!

My name is Lauren Jones and I am so excited to be a part of the Farm to School program through Common Roots this year. This October, we are focusing on sweet potatoes and garlic and how these two amazing foods help us go, glow, and give our immune systems a big boost of strength to keep us healthy during the fall and winter months. We got creative while making our very own compostable Mr. Potato Heads. We also tasted a delicious, garlicky sweet potato mash.

Here is the recipe so you can try it at home!


2 medium sweet potatoes

1 medium white potato, or sub another sweet potato

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Rinse potatoes to clean off any dirt from the skin. Dice into 1-in cubes and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat.
  4. Roast potatoes in the oven for about 30-40 min, or until soft and lightly browned, stirring halfway through.
  5. Once potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add minced garlic and toss with roasted potatoes.
  7. Mash by hand with a potato masher or the back of a fork, until you reach desired consistency. If you have a stand mixer or food processor, you can mash with these as well.
  8. Serve alongside your favorite protein and green vegetable for a nutritious meal!

Be sure to check out the Common Roots blog for the first episode of our video series and if you are in the area, come visit our Farm at South Village - there are lots of things to see and explore if you are looking for a weekend adventure! See you next month!

Lauren Jones, Farm to School Educator

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