The Core

January 15, 2021, Volume 11, Issue 16

Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents,

Don't forget this is a three-day weekend to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. It's a significant day so I hope your family can appreciate the time together. Though we did not have the high school students join us for our annual workshops, classes did take time throughout the week to get a better understanding of the importance of MLK's work.

We continue to progress in our thinking about how we approach racial inequality. For many years elementary schools celebrated MLK Day, celebrated our diversity, and learned about Black History Month. Now we know that racism creates trauma and affects children as young as three years old. Because of this, we can no longer whitewash over the hard history of slavery, and our district is committed to finding teaching about racism through developmental practices.

Conversations at our PTO Meeting were very engaging as we discussed how some fundraising actives can impact our students of poverty. More discussions to come!

Did you know there are school board vacancies coming up in March? Yes, two school board members are stepping down after many years of service. Is it your turn? Are you interested? Brian Minier was the first Orchard parent to serve on the board in many years and we would love to have another Orchard rep. It's tough work but it would be worthwhile. Our schools need you!

Parents - check out the January calendar. Remember the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday is followed by a four-day school week, no virtual (green) day. See the calendar below.

Parents - are you looking for work or know someone who needs a job? SBSD is hiring, scroll down to see jobs available in our district. Have a good MLK Holiday, take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Happy New Year!

Quote of the week:

Both quotes are from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education."

From “The Purpose of Education” from the Morehouse College student newspaper, The Maroon Tiger, 1947.

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."

From Stride Toward Freedom, 1958.

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School Nurse Notes

Dear Families,

We continue to be so thankful and appreciative of your communication, understanding and follow-through as we press on with navigating through these sticky waters. We acknowledge that many symptoms mimic the common cold and yet we know of people who have experienced minimal symptoms who have also tested positive. Please continue to follow the Return to School Following Illness guidance. As nurses, we will try to follow-up with students who are absent to help families determine next steps for a safe return to school.

Click here to find out what to do when you are waiting for COVID test results. And click here for an outline of what isolating, quarantining and self-observing means.

COVID translations can be found here.

Click here to access the Vermont Department of Health's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions site. The site is filled with up-to-date information for commonly asked questions.

COVID-19 PCR Testing Sites:

  • If you/your student are sick, please contact your health care provider, to determine if testing is needed.
  • If you/your student are not sick, but need a test, consider scheduling a test at a pop-up site on the Health Department's website: "Where to Get Tested" or call the Health Department @ 863-7240.

Be well,

Thanks for reading!
Nurses Kara & Darcy

First Grade Identity Posters

PTO News

As we start the New Year during the pandemic, the PTO 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. 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 the Shaw's 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!

Farm to School Lessons


Hello South Burlington Families and Friends!

As we settle into winter, it may look like there is not much happening on the earth around us. There may be a layer of snow, and all of the plants seem to be at rest until they can come back up in the spring. However, the soil beneath our feet is alive and hard at work to regenerate and revitalize itself so it is ready to support all of the plants that want to start growing next spring.

When the earth takes time to rest and regenerate, we are reminded that we as humans need to do this too - by taking time to find some Hygge, drink lots of water, and continue to eat foods that will support our bodies and boost our immune systems. Growing microgreens is a great way to feed ourselves fresh green foods all winter long. They can also provide our bodies with up to 40X more nutrients than eating the fully grown plant! In Farm to School, we got to taste test sunflower and mixed green sprouts.

Growing Microgreens at Home

Follow these simple steps to grow some microgreens at home. Want to create a fun and rewarding project with the family? Donate your ready-to-harvest microgreens to your local food shelf to share that nutrient boost with others in need.

Materials needed: A cup or tray • Organic soil • Seeds (broccoli, peas, sunflower, mixed greens, etc.) • Small bowl with water • Fine mesh strainer • Towel or lid • Spray bottle


1. Soak your seeds in a bowl of water overnight - this will speed up the germination process.

2. The next day, drain water from the seeds using a fine-mesh strainer.

3. Spread a half-inch of very moist soil in your tray. Then take your seeds and evenly sprinkle them across the soil.

4. Gently press the seeds into the soil using a flat hand, making sure not to press too deep.

5. Cover your tray with a towel or other lid to block out the light for a day or two.

6. Peek at your seeds each day to look for a white root tip that will start to poke out of the shell. Once this happens, remove the covering and bring them out into the daylight by placing them on a sunny windowsill.

7. Check back each day to watch them grow, misting with water to keep the soil damp.

8. Harvest the sprouts when they are a few inches tall.

Lemon Maple Vinaigrette

We made a delicious Lemon Maple Vinaigrette to drizzle over our microgreens in Farm to School this month. See below for the recipe if you’d like to try it at home.


¼ cup olive oil

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 Tbsp maple syrup

¼ tsp salt

Pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar, cap tightly with a lid, and shake well to combine.

Be sure to check out our second educational video, Episode #2 Winter Squash and Abenaki Foodways, if you haven’t already!

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish!

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

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Substitute Openings in the South Burlington School District

Are you looking to get more involved at your child’s school? Need a bit of extra income or additional work experience? Apply to substitute now for one or more of the following:

- Classroom Teacher (all subjects and all levels)

- Paraeducator or Interventionist

- School Nurse (RN) or Nurse Assistant (LPN) (Must have appropriate licensure and/or certifications)

- Custodian

- Food Preparation/Cook

- Bus Driver

All SBSD substitutes are required to undergo a criminal record check and be fingerprinted for a VT public school District.

Current Job Openings in the South Burlington School District

Seeking a career change? Feel like your skills and abilities aren’t recognized enough at your current job? Looking for a job where you’re on the same schedule as your kids?

We are seeking candidates for the following positions

- Bus Driver (CDL, Class B with passenger, air brakes, and school bus endorsement preferred, training may be available to the right candidates)

- On-call Second Shift Custodian

- Interventionist

- Paraeducators

These positions will remain open until filled. For more details on open positions, visit Keyword: South Burlington School District, or contact Karen Dantzscher, HR Director at 652-7256 or

Interested candidates may apply through one of the following options:

1) Apply at Keyword: South Burlington School District.

2) E-mail a current resume, cover letter, and 3 references to . Please indicate which position(s) you are applying for.

Mail a current resume, cover letter, and 3 references to: South Burlington School District, Human Resources, 500 Dorset Street, South Burlington, VT 05403. Please indicate which position(s) you are applying for.

Winter Gear

We are seeking donations of winter coats, snow pants, and boots, especially in larger sizes (coats/pants age 8-14/ boots size 5-9). If families have any extra/hand-me-downs along these lines, please bring them to Orchard Office. Thank You!

Girl Scout Activities