• SBSD School Reopening: The Steps and Learning Options for Families


    October 23, 2020

    We will be welcoming our Grades 3-5 students back to four days per week of in-person learning beginning Monday October 26. Wednesdays will remain at home learning days. Please note there will be no school Tuesday, November 3 due to voting. Look for details specific to your child(ren)’s school from your principals. Schools are anticipating a higher volume of traffic next week due to the return of all elementary students to four days of learning. Please be patient and anticipate a longer wait at arrival and dismissal time. You may want to plan for extra time for drop off and pick up.


    October 16, 2020

    Our PreK-2 students were welcomed back to four days per week of in-person learning October 13. Our plan remains to bring back Grades 3-5 October 26.

    As we have increased capacity in our schools, we continue to enforce protective measures such as mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. Physical distancing guidance remains at 3-6 ft.for students in Grades PreK-5 to the extent possible according to the current language in the state's Strong and Healthy Start Guidelines. The state task force is currently reviewing this language to allow for more flexibility within our schools. In addition, the District purchased 205 air purification units with grant support from Efficiency VT for all classrooms this year. Most large offices that support several people in the same space also have one. The purifiers have a true HEPA filter and UV-C lamps. Also, the District HVAC equipment has been serviced with 80 percent of filters having been converted to MERV-13 filters, the remaining 20 percent are on the way due to high nationwide demand.


    October 2, 2020

    Currently, the Strong and Healthy Start Guidelines from the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) have moved from Step II to Step III effective September 26. Therefore, in consultation with our administration, we have created a phased reopening plan to bring back our Grades PreK-2 students October 13 followed by our Grades 3-5 students October 26 for 4 days per week of in-person instruction. Since schools will be closed Monday, October 12, in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, during this first week, Grades PreK-2 will attend school 4 days (Tuesday-Friday), while grades 3-5 will attend with their current cohorts on either Tuesday and Wednesday or Thursday and Friday. The following week, grades 3-5 will return to their regular cohort schedule (Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday). Then, beginning Monday, October 26, all elementary grades will return to our schools 4 days per week. Wednesdays will remain remote (except for Grades PreK-2 the week of October 13) for now to allow for deep cleaning. 

    More detailed information on the elementary reopening plans will be coming directly from the school principals in the coming days. Please keep in mind that these dates and plans are subject to change based on evolving data from the Vermont Department of Health, the CDC, and guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education.


    August 7, 2020

    In order to provide clarity around the three steps to reopening our schools, as outlined in the Guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education, See a brief description of them below along with learning options for students in our District.

    Step 1: Remote Learning, with all teaching and learning taking place online

    Step 2: Hybrid Learning, with a combination of in-person and online learning.

    Step 3: Modified In-Person Learning

    When Vermont schools open September 8th, most will be operating at Step 2: Hybrid Learning, with a combination of in-person and online learning. If conditions relating to the containment of coronavirus improve, schools will return to full-time in-person learning with stringent safety procedures in place (Step 3) If conditions worsen, schools will move to Step 1: Remote Learning, with all teaching and learning taking place online.

    What follows are the enrollment options for South Burlington families as we begin the year at Step 2: Hybrid Learning. 

    After reviewing the options below, Parents/Guardians of elementary and middle school students are being asked to fill out surveys from their respective schools (Gertrude E. Chamberlin School Survey, Orchard School Survey,Rick Marcotte Central School Survey, and FHTMS Survey) indicating which option they plan to choose by Friday, August 14. 

    Option 1) Hybrid Learning in South Burlington Schools

    South Burlington students attend school in person on either Monday and Tuesday (A-L last name) or Thursday and Friday (M-Z last name), and engage with online learning during the rest of the week from home/childcare. By dividing each class into two cohorts, all schools will be able to conduct in-person learning with physical distancing and other safety precautions fully in place. Wednesday mornings will be the time that teachers follow up with students with targeted support for online learning and to check in as needed. On Wednesday afternoons, teachers will be engaged in professional learning, collaboration, and planning for online instruction.

    During Hybrid Learning, students who need special accommodations in order to access their education will continue through our IEP or 504 Plan processes. Through this process, a team will meet to identify the supports and accommodations needed for the student to be successful in this model.

    Option 2) Online Learning with Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC)

    Students participate in this 5-day, online option instead of attending school. Students are assigned to a virtual class that may include students from South Burlington as well as neighboring districts. VTVLC prioritizes assigning students to an online teacher from their local district whenever possible. Students participating in this fully remote program are still enrolled as students in the South Burlington School District and still access support from our staff (e.g., guidance counselors and special educators) and co-curricular opportunities.

    VTVLC is a well established online program where many Vermont high school students have taken high-quality online courses for over a decade. With the coronavirus crisis, VTVLC has partnered with the Vermont Agency of Education to provide a full-time online option for students of all ages with instruction from licensed Vermont teachers who already have or are working towards their Online Teaching endorsement. The program is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning offered through Canvas, an online learning platform. The K-5 curriculum is designed to be engaging for online learning and is based on an online elementary program from Florida.

    Students participating in VTVLC will be enrolled for a minimum of one semester, with the option of returning to the Hybrid Model, if they choose to, at that time. 

    Students who need special accommodations in order to access their education will continue through our IEP or 504 Plan processes and work with South Burlington special educators from their school. Through this process, a team will meet to identify the supports and accommodations needed for the student to be successful in this model.

    Option 3) Homeschooling

    Families also have the option of homeschooling their child, however, this removes the child from enrollment in the South Burlington School District. The homeschooling option also requires parents and guardians to file an application to change their child’s enrollment status and follow related guidelines from the VT Agency of Education.