• June 12, 2021

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    Graduation day has officially arrived! Today, we will continue a tradition that began last year during our drive-in graduation ceremony: a car parade to the fairgrounds! (more on that below). In addition to high school graduation, next week our elementary grades and middle school will hold their celebrations for 5th graders, 8th graders, and really, everyone for making it through this school year. With so many events having occurred this past week (including the all sports awards) and coming up next, it is an exciting time. Below are just a few of the highlights. 

    Students Shine at Jazz Fest

    The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival was back this year and it always provides a fantastic opportunity for our students to perform live for a wider audience. Check out this video of some of our talented students playing on Church Street this week as well as this video and photos from VT Digger featuring our very own Dave Grippo!

    SBHS Second Ever “Parade of Graduates”  and Graduation Info

    The second year of this incredible parade is happening today! The Class of 2021 will be assembling at the High School on Dorset Street at 12:00 pm Saturday, June 12th. Students will remain in their cars and participate in the "Parade of Graduates!" The cars will be leaving SBHS at 12:00 pm and proceed down Kennedy Drive, crossing Williston Road, past the Airport, heading out Airport Parkway and on to Route 15.

    Graduation is only open to students and guests so it would be great to see community members, elementary and middle School students (physically distant as needed) as well as friends and neighbors along the parade route to support the Class of 2021. The parade will have about 200-250 (decorated) cars as well as a SB School Bus. You can check out the parade route here.

    Thanks to the generosity of The Media Factory, graduation will be livestreamed. The finished recording will also be available on that page for future enjoyment. SBHS graduation will air on the LEARN channel (Comcast 1094) at the following dates and times: June 16 at 8:00 PM, June 17 at 12:30 PM, and June 19 at 8:00 PM. 

    Zoom Chat  for Families with me Next Tuesday!

    Join me for my next Zoom Pop-In Zoom chat next Tuesday, June 15 from 6:00-7:00 pm. Come to share your thoughts, questions, concerns or simply listen in as we conclude the 2020-2021 school year and prepare for the next. I would love to hear from you!

    Reminder: We’re Still Masking at School

    We are inching ever closer to the state’s goal of having 80 percent of Vermonters vaccinated; the point at which the state of emergency and many pandemic restrictions will be lifted. I wanted to note, however, that if this occurs before the end of the school year, June 18, we will still be following the AOE’s prevention recommendations for the end of the year. This means we will continue to require all students and staff to wear masks at school/work through the end of this school year. The CDC has also recommended this masking policy

    IT Needs Your Devices! 

    For Staff: Remember that every staff member has to return their device (chromebook or laptop) to IT. Staff are welcome to begin bringing their devices to the Help Desk now, but Please make an appointment to do so by calling 652-7050. Please be sure to back up all of your files and folders as IT will be updating all of the software on all devices. This will wipe out everything on the device and anything on the device will be permanently lost and cannot be restored during this process. Staff who do not need their device over the summer, or are not returning for the 21-22 School Year should return their device to the District IT Help Desk on or before the last day of school. Reminder: Please do not leave your laptops at school without returning them directly to an IT staff member at the Help Desk. This helps them make sure they can be inventoried properly and aren’t categorized as lost or stolen. If you need your device over the summer, IT can reimage and update and get your device back to you. This will be a quicker process if you return it earlier before the last day of school.

    For Students: Someone from the IT Help Desk will be on stage in the Auditorium next week for collection of laptops from high school students. Walk-Ins should be directed to the Auditorium, Monday 6/14 through Friday 6/18 from 8:30 am to 3 pm.

    Nutrition Services Update: FREE Summer Meals

    Thanks to the efforts of our incredible nutrition services team, meals will continue to be available FREE of charge to students and community members under the age of 18 from Monday June 21st- Thursday August 19th, 2021. Daily household deliveries within South Burlington will occur between 9:30-11:00 Monday through Thursday with Thursday’s delivery containing meals for Friday-Sunday as well. Pickup time at the FHTMS main lobby will be from 9:00-10:00 AM, Monday-Thursday with Thursday’s pickup containing meals for Friday-Sunday as well.  Meals must be ordered weekly by Thursday at 1:00 pm via our online meal ordering system. Please do not order meals for days you will be away.

    Connecting with the School Board: Upcoming Opportunities

    Thanks to all of the community members who have been joining the board for their regular meetings and Zoom chats! Next week, Chair Bridget Burkhardt will be holding her Monday morning Zoom June 14 from 9:00-11:00 am, join Rebecca Day Tuesday, June 15 from 10:00-11:00 am and Brian Minier Tuesday, June 15 from 6:00-7:00 pm.

    The next regular school board meeting will take place June 16 at 7:00 pm. You can also watch the livestream on the Media Factory website. Find all of the board’s meeting minutes, agendas, and backup information on the District website

    VTVLC Teacher Edith Ainsley Launches Playwriting Program for her Students

    This year, FHTMS teacher Edith Ainsley taught 6th and 7th grade students remotely through the VTVLC program and petitioned them to allow her to offer an 8 week playwriting group for her students. One of them, a Winooski student, received an honorable mention recognition in the Dorset Theatre Festival’s Young Playwright’s Program. Very exciting! 

    School Happenings

    SBHS Student Created Yearbook Cover Wows  

    Have you seen the awesome cover for this year’s high school yearbook? It was created by rising senior Jasmyn Ikeda who was inspired by the idea of smaller individual geometric shapes working together to create a bigger picture, in this case, a wolf face mosaic. Ikeda, who this year was a student in Philip Galiga’s graphic design class, used Adobe Illustrator to make the shapes and create the layout of the design. We love it!

    FHTMS 8th Grade Celebration

    Moving on to high school! 8th graders at FHTMS will be celebrated as they make the transition from middle school to high school Thursday, June 17 at 2:00 pm at the SB stadium. Parents and guests will sit in the bleachers and chairs for students will be set up on the track. All parents and guardians are welcome to invite other guests such as siblings or relatives. The guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings have changed significantly. It is still recommended for individuals to wear masks and maintain a safe physical distance if they are not vaccinated. This event will be livestreamed! The link will be available early next week and will be posted on the District website.There will be a short gathering underneath the tent by the stadium after the ceremony for light refreshments.

    RMCS 5th Graders Complete DARE

    The DARE program, which takes place in all three of our elementary schools, was recently completed by RMCS 5th graders. According to School Resource Officer Brianne Williamson, “DARE is a ten-week program taught to 5th graders to help them resist pressures which may influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. The program also assists them in problem solving, personal responsibility, and helping make good decisions. By working with students in the fifth grade it is our goal to provide them with the education and tools on how to handle these situations before they actually start to occur in their young lives.” Essay winners were featured in Principal Kilbourne’s newsletter for families last week. 

    Gertrude Chamberlin Students Contribute to PBIS Committee 

    Principal Holly Rouelle reported that this year, student representation was added to their Positive Behavior Intervention Support system universal team! Rouelle writes, “Sidali, Tanis, and Nour joined us once a month after school, choosing to give up time from their afternoon School's Out program. The PBiS Universal Team looks at our monthly behavior referrals and makes plans to target specific areas in our school. This might be locations in the school, times of the day when students are struggling, or specific behaviors that we need to decrease with positive encouragement. Our student representatives gave us feedback on the data from their perspective, as well as input on our school celebrations. It was a great year and our behavior referrals decreased dramatically compared to last year! Our student representatives also helped us create our action plan for next year. Other staff team members include Ms. Finlayson (coordinator), Mr. Diamond, Ms. Balk, Ms. French, Ms. Rouelle, Ms. Ladieu, Mrs. Rogers and Al Monniere. Community member Noor Bulle also joined us as we examined some of our PBiS practices to make sure they are culturally responsive to our students and families.” Well done!

    Orchard Students Create Obstacle Courses in PE

    At Orchard, PE teacher Tommy Hamlin reported that students have been exploring the numerous ways they can remain active over the summer without the daily routine provided by the school setting. The students’ favorite? Creating their own obstacle courses! Hamlin wrote that, “Students were given a variety of mismatched equipment such as hula hoops, gymnastics mats, jump ropes, scooter boards, hurdles, cones, and balance beams, then worked as a team to arrange them in a way that they thought would be fun and challenging to maneuver under, over, around, and through. They come up with really creative ideas and love trying to outdo themselves the next day. Lots of kids come back and tell me about obstacle courses they made at home.” What a perfect warm weather activity.

    This weekend should be another great one for getting outdoors. You can be like the 4th graders at Chamberlin who hiked Mt. Philo this week by taking advantage of FREE access to Vermont State Parks and historical sites during Vermont Days June 12-13. There will be free fishing and the COVID-19 vaccine will also be available at multiple locations. Win win! 

    Thanks for reading and congrats to all of our graduates! We’re so proud of you!

    David