February 12, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardian and Staff,
It certainly feels like mid-February out there today, but I know spring will be upon us before we know it. One telltale sign is our upcoming mid-winter break February 22-March 2. As a reminder, we will not have a remote Wednesday for elementary students during the first week back from break. Please see this week’s updates below.
Black Lives Matter Flag Raising at the Elementary Schools
After the success of the raising of the Black Lives Matter flag at FHTMS in early February, our elementary schools will be doing so as well beginning with Rick Marcotte Central School, Thursday, February 18. Although the events will be livestreamed, it was agreed upon by all 3 principals that streaming will only occur into classrooms. RMCS will have all 5th graders outside (separated in pods) and that is who will participate in the ceremony. There will be student speakers (who have volunteered from 5th grade). The other grades will watch via live stream. This is not an open event to the public or families (due to COVID-19 and spacing).
Orchard School will hold their flag raising February 19 and Gertrude Chamberlin School will hold theirs March 5. Look to your principals’ newsletters for further details.
COVID-19 Update: Travel and Quarantine
Multi Household gatherings are still being prohibited and the health department discourages non-essential travel, even within Vermont. PLEASE ALERT THE SCHOOL OF YOUR PLANS if you plan to travel outside of Vermont for leisure (whatever the mode: train, plane, car, bus or other transportation means). Quarantining is required for 14 days in Vermont when you return. This includes day trips. Your day of return will be considered DAY 0; the next day will be considered DAY 1. For more travel and quarantine information, click here.
We remain hopeful about the vaccination program that has rolled out in Vermont and is currently available to Vermonters age 75 and older. Vaccination will open to those 70 and over beginning Tuesday, February 16! Appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccine can be made by visiting the Vermont Department of Health website. If someone you know in this age group does not have access to online registration, they can make an appointment by calling 855-722-7878.
Nutritional Services: Vacation Meal Ordering and New Order Form
Thinking ahead to winter break? Thanks to our amazing team, meals will be available February 22nd- March 2nd. Seven (7) days' worth of meals will be delivered together Monday, February 22nd via bus or pickup. Meals must be ordered by 1:00 PM Friday, February 19th. You can find the meal order form here.
In addition, Due to confusion and many ordering errors for the week of March 3rd-5th, all responses have been deleted. If you had already placed an order, you must re-enter it. Find instructions for placing your orders here. Fully remote learners can order for all 3 days. Elementary school will be in school all 3 days. Those students should not be ordering meals. FHTMS and SBHS are still running the hybrid model. The Blue pack is in person on Wednesday March 3rd, they may order for Thursday and Friday. The Gray pack is in person on Thursday and Friday, they should order for Wednesday.
FY22 Budget : Video Series!
Have questions about the budget? Check out our newly launched video series! More videos will be added in the days to come. You can always find detailed information on the budget section of the District website.
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. Ballots should begin arriving in mailboxes today. 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 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. If you plan on mailing the ballots back, do so no later than Wednesday, February 24 to make sure the ballots have time to be delivered by the post office.
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 3-year term candidate forum will follow at 6:30 pm.
COVID-19 Voluntary Surveillance Testing
The South Burlington School District will participate in our fourth round of voluntary staff COVID-19 surveillance testing this coming Tuesday February 16. We had 287 staff members participate in the last round of voluntary testing. During Phase 1, we had 270 participants and for Phase 2, 298 staff members took the PCR tests. Thanks to all who have taken part in this important data gathering. You can read more about school staff surveillance testing here.
Athletics: Changes Began Today February 12
It was announced last Friday at the Governor's press conference that games in basketball and hockey could begin on Friday, February 12th.
A few reminders:
- No spectators are allowed
- When the home team, once the JV game has been played, the SBSD team must leave the gym
- Officials now can use a whistle with a gaiter or an electronic whistle
- We will allow accredited media into games
Secretary Moore mentioned in the press conference, precautions will need to be taken. If the numbers of COVID cases increase, then there is a possibility of the season being put on hold. It is up to the students and parents/guardians to adhere to the guidance that has been given. See live streaming information here.
SBHS Students Shine in the Arts
Congratulations to Mollie Allen (SB ‘21) for taking 1st place in the Vermont Arts Council Poetry Out Loud Competition. Mollie will represent SBHS at the state competition March 15 beginning at 7:00 pm. Check out more information on the Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2021 competition page.
In addition, Alanna Nguyen-Kenney SB’22 and Burlington Tech Student was recently honored through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This is a prestigious national program that offers exhibition opportunities and scholarships to young artists and writers. See images on Flickr.
FHTMS French Class Explores Tech and Social Media
Eighth grade students in Fiona Connors’(Fusion and Dorset) French class have been working on a Tech/Social Media Unit this month. This week, they presented their social media infographic posters and expressed their feelings/justifications about certain apps and technology en francais.
Gertrude Chamberlin School Students Show their Perseverance
Perseverance spots have been showing up in the 3rd grade hallway at Chamberlin School. These are perseverance spots. Classes are reading A Little Spot of perseverance which goes through 10 ways to grow perseverance. When a third grader is seen persevering, they can be given a spot. Teachers write on the back how the student persevered and then have them tape it up to their dot. Over time, teachers and students will watch their perseverance spots fill up with color and perseverance! .
Rick Marcotte Central School- Kindergarteners Learn Programming with B-Bots
According to teacher Brigid Kulhowvik, there has been a lot of excitement in kindergarten at RMCS as the children were introduced to Bee Bots! Bee Bots are small robots resembling a bumblebee that can be programed to move along a grid. Kulhowvik noted, “We are using Bee Bots to learn beginning coding skills. The kindergarteners program the bots by pressing command buttons (forward, backward, right, left and go) in a sequence that determines how the bots will move within the grid. In addition to being highly motivating, these fun little robots provide opportunities for children to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”
Orchard’s I Love School Week!
The week of February 15-19 will be a busy week at Orchard School!. It includes I Love School Week. This will take place in lieu of the previous traditions of I Love to Read & Write Week and I Love Math Week. Our staff thought we should celebrate how much we appreciate school, there are a lot of activities being planned (including everyone getting a new book!). Each day will focus on activities related to subject areas such as reading/literacy, math, science, and social studies.
All weekm Principal Mark Trifilio will be Zooming into all classrooms with information about each special day during morning news and announcements. Also, Ms. Coppock and her students have shared a video with classes demonstrating how to sign the Orchard School song in ASL so that students and staff can enjoy it together each morning of I Love School week. Students will also be contributing to a mural organized by Ms. Susie. We can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Stay safe, warm, and have a wonderful weekend!