• June 18, 2021

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    We made it! And we did it together. There are not enough words to convey my gratitude for our students, staff, families, and community for the collaboration, resilience, and sheer grit it has taken to get through this school year. I know it has been hard on all of us and I hope individually and as a district we will have time over the summer to reflect upon lessons learned and on new ways to move forward in our changed world. I know we will face challenges as we return to school in the fall, but how wonderful it will be to have everyone together once again. 

    Speaking of taking a break, while I have enjoyed providing you all with these weekly updates as another form of connection, I wanted to let you know, I’ll be adjusting the frequency over the summer. Look for a couple shorter updates from me and of course, another Zoom chat! There are a lot of exciting things happening in our District over the summer from the move of many of our offices to 575 Dorset Street to the noise mitigation project underway at Gertrude Chamberlin School. I’ll also closely be watching the COVID-19 vaccine trials in children under 12 and will be in touch as we solidify our plans for a return to school in person for all of our students! Please see some end of year highlights below. 

    First, a big shout-out to the SBHS Girls Lacrosse D1 state champions . What a way to end the season and year! 

    Graduations happened at all of our schools over the past week beginning with SBHS June 12 at the Essex Fairgrounds followed by the elementary and middle school graduations which were held yesterday. Congrats to all!

    Director of Equity Search Update

    I announced two weeks ago that I am excited that for the 2021-2022 school year we will be hiring for a new position in our District: an Executive Director of Equity. In terms of next steps, we have developed a request for proposals RFP for a consultant to help design and lead a recruitment and selection process to hire for this position. More details to come! 

    Don’t Wait until August! Annual Student Update Forms Are Open for the 2021-2022 School Year

    Get started today! Please register your student for the 2021-2022 School Year by completing the Annual Student Update forms before August 17th.  These forms help families verify and share important health and contact information as well as allow for permissions to be set for school technology devices. To start, click this link: Getting Started: Register a Returning Student. If you have questions or need assistance with this process, please contact your school directly.

    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! In July, they will only have one short meeting on July 7. Next week, Chair Bridget Burkhardt will be holding her Monday morning Zoom June 21 from 9:00-11:00 am, join Rebecca Day Tuesday, June 22 from 10:00-11:00 am and Brian Minier Tuesday, June 22 from 6:00-7:00 pm. In July, several board members plan to continue these chats. Be sure to check the District website over the summer for the latest dates and links. If you missed this past Wednesday’s regular school board meeting, you can watch it on the Media Factory website.

    School Happenings

    Highlights from SB Music

    Vocal Music Educator Aimee Bushey wanted to recognize the tremendous work and creativity of the SB music staff and students this year! “To the SBSD Music staff- thank you for continuing to work diligently to inspire and engage students during the last year and half!  To the students- THANK YOU for your resiliency, your dedication to the arts, your creativity, and your flexibility!  You have inspired your teachers so much!”

    Bushey also shared that SBHS Graduate (Class of 2021!) Taryn Turner received the VT All State Music Performance Scholarship for the second year in a row. You can watch her performance HERE along with all of the other scholarship recipients.

    For next year, Bushey wanted to remind families that it’s never too late to sign your child(ren) up for a music class at FHTMS or SBHS!  Students can expect to see vocal and instrumental ensembles in their daily class schedule next year. 

    FHTMS Summer Library

    Thinking of starting a book club?  Want to actually do the suggested reading from your teacher’s list?  The FHTMS library and Janette Hasenecz are happy to announce that the library will be open Friday mornings July 2-August 31 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. to check out books and socialize with friends.  

    In addition, Orchard School summer library will also be in full swing on Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. beginning June 23 and running through August 11. SBSD employee and former Orchard School parent, Janette Hasenecz, will be running this program as well!  For questions about either program, contact Janette at jhasenecz@sbschools.net

    Rick Marcotte Central Student Writes Letter to Johnson & Johnson and Gets Response! 

    In March of this year, rising 3rd grader Tucker Sutherland, a student in Stephanie Hockenbury’s class, wrote an opinion piece regarding a need for a COVID-19 vaccine for children. The piece was sent to Johnson & Johnson and a personal response letter to Tucker arrived today! Hockenbury wrote, “Their response was a supportive, positive end to our school year with encouraging words and hope of a vaccine and more normalcy for school in the fall.” Well done!  

    Gertrude Chamberlin Nifty Fifty Parade

    The weather has been fantastic for all sorts of outdoor activities from lunches to parades! Last week Kindergarten students at Chamberlin participated in a parade where they dressed in attire showing what they want to be when they grow up and this week, 4th graders held a nifty fifty parade where they showed off their creations celebrating fifty states. 

    *Please note that last week, a student who also served on the PBIS committee, Nour, was inadvertently omitted from the highlight of this great initiative. This has been corrected on the letter posted on the District website

    Orchard Students Create Civil War Presentations

    Students at Orchard School were busy recently, learning about and creating presentations on the Civil War. There were posters that explored the underground railroad, the Battle of Gettysburg, and women of the Civil War. You can see some of them on the Orchard School’s Instagram. The work that went into these presentations was noted by many 5th graders as one of their greatest accomplishments this year during the 5th grade celebration. These 5th graders were also treated to a live magic show  from Tom Verner through Magicians Without Borders. Other classes joined the fun via Zoom. 

    I hope you all have the chance to relax over the coming months and enjoy time with friends and family. We couldn’t have made it through this year without each one of you.

    Thank you!

    David