March 13, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,
How fortunate are we to have had a welcome dose of spring weather this week! The sunny mornings provided the perfect backdrop for the Black Lives Matter Flag raising at Gertrude Chamberlin School Tuesday, March 9 and at Orchard School March 12. I am incredibly proud that the flag has now been raised at all of our District’s schools. This serves as a visual reminder for our students, staff, and community that we are committed to antiracism work on an ongoing basis District wide. Please see more updates below.
This week, the vaccine rollout began for K-12 staff. Beginning March 8, our staff were able to sign up to receive a vaccine either through the state website or via Walgreens and Kinney Pharmacies. The SBSD will hold our clinic March 15 and 16 at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center and more clinics are popping up statewide. We are pleased about this opportunity for our staff. It is important to remember though, that the virus is still among us and we must continue taking all precautions to combat transmission. Please keep up your masking and physical distancing. Spring is right around the corner!
In addition to K-12 staff, Vermonters with certain high-risk health conditions can now make vaccine appointments. Vaccine eligibility opened March 8 for those ages 55 and older with one or more high-risk health conditions (listed here) and March 11 for ages 16 and older with one or more high-risk health conditions.
Learn more 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. In addition, the Vermont Multilingual Coronavirus Task Force has posted new videos regarding how to register for the vaccine. You can also find information on the Vermont Department of Health Multilingual Resources page.
COVID-19 Staff Surveillance Testing
The South Burlington School District participated in our fourth round of COVID-19 surveillance testing March 9. We had many staff members participate in this round of voluntary testing. We are unsure if this will continue after vaccinations have been provided. You can read more about school staff surveillance testing here.
In-Service for Staff Next Week
There will be no school for students March 17 as our staff participate in in-service and have the opportunity to hear a keynote address from Dena Simmons. Some of our staff will also participate in Virtual Courageous Conversations: The Experience March 16 and 17 which provides organizations with a set of tools to talk about race, intentionally and effectively. We are proud to be able to have our staff take part in these trainings as our antiracist work in the District continues.
Registration is open for Incoming Kindergarten students. If you would like to register a student who will be 5 on or before September 1, 2021, please visit our district registration site.
SBHS Scholars’ Bowl Champs!
South Burlington captured the Vermont NAQT Championship for the first time since 2012 in a virtual competition held last weekend. The Scholars’ Bowl A and B teams competed and won 1st and 4th places respectively. According to co-coach Joyce Sheehey, March 20th is the final tournament before a national event for which the SBHS team has qualified. Read more about the VT-NEA Scholars’ Bowl here. Well done!
FHTMS Focuses on Mental Health and Mindfulness
It’s Mindful and Mental Health March at FHTMS! According to school clinician Kelly Tivnan, the counseling department has planned activities for the month that center on taking a pause from busy school days to focus on well-being and promote mental health. Each day, guest readers have been leading school-wide Mindful Moments in the morning and Movement Minutes in the afternoon. Tivnan wrote that “These activities promote school community while we practice pausing and building mindfulness and regulation skills together. In TA classes students are engaging in activities to address managing worries, stress, sadness, and how to help a friend. Week one has been a success, and we are excited for the progress we will make during this March journey!”
Gertrude Chamberlin School BLM Flag raising
Gertrude Chamberlin School raised the Black Lives Matter Flag Tuesday morning. While 5th grade leaders participated at the flagpole, the ceremony was streamed into classrooms so that all could participate safely. Principal Holly Rouelle opened the assembly, followed by 5th grade leaders sharing their thoughts, words, poetry and art. Students from each class then raised the BLM flag with the American flag with the help of Mr. Melen, while the song "Rise Up" by Andra Day played. Ms. Kane gave closing comments and appreciations. Photos from the assembly were taken by Bryan Yager and generously donated from Beltrami Studios.See photos and quotes from student speakers in Principal Rouelle's newsletter. We are so proud!
Central School 4th Graders Raise Trout Eggs
At Central School, 4th graders in Mr. Knepp’s class are raising trout eggs! The class is participating in the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) Program where the class receives 100 brook trout eggs and raises them until the end of the year. Then, the class has the opportunity to go on a field trip to release them. The program helps students learn about animal adaptations and the state of Vermont since brook trout are the state fish!
Orchard School Raises the Black Lives Matter Flag
It was a beautiful morning for the Black Lives Matter flag raising at Orchard School today! More information about today’s events will be included in Principal Mark Trifilio’s weekly letter to families which includes a recording of a rendition of “Rise Up” by music teacher, Amy Frostman with signing from Michelle Bissonette. Look for the mini-slide show of art work too.
Thanks for reading and have a safe and relaxing weekend!