• September 2, 2021

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    Happy September! I think we were all relieved to have some cooler temperatures this week that were still warm enough to facilitate the use of our tents for all kinds of activities. It has been great to hear and see our students back together during these first couple of weeks of school, whether engaging in the arts or practicing sports after school. I am thankful we are having this opportunity. As we continue to navigate the beginning of the school year and of course, COVID, I will be sure to keep you updated on our policies, procedures, and my rationale for decision making. I’ll be hosting another one of my Zoom drop in chats soon, but in the meantime, see below for the latest! 

    Remote Learning

    We are not offering a remote learning option this year, however should a positive COVID case come up, we will follow this protocol: If an individual student needs to quarantine, families/students can access the missed learning using our normal absence procedures. If an entire class is instructed to go into quarantine, teachers will deliver instruction remotely. This may be a combination of virtual group work using SeeSaw and Google Classroom (at the elementary level) and Schoology (at the MS/HS level) as directed by their classroom teacher and self-directed work, depending on grade level and class responsibilities. 

    Contact Tracing 

    We will be following protocols outlined by the VT AOE and work closely with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member at a school. The district will only be notified by VDH if the individual with COVID-19 was in school while infectious. If someone tests positive but was not in a school facility while they were infectious, the school will not have a role in contact tracing or communicating with families.When the district is notified of a positive individual, the SBSD will use information including attendance records,classroom and bus seating charts, class schedules, activity or co-curricular participation records to identify who at the school had close contact with the positive individual. You can read more about what it means to be a close contact here as well as the PreK-12 School Guidance from the Vermont Dept of Health.

    Travel to Canada

    ​Students and staff must follow the after travel to Canada guidance outlined by the CDC. Please note the guidance indicates that unvaccinated individuals get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel (even if the test is negative). Visit the health department's travel page for more information.

    Music Guidance

    We are following the International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study Updated Guidelines, which recommends for indoor classes singing with masks on, using bell covers for instruments, and limiting rehearsal times to 50 minutes.

    Sports Update

    Volleyball will be the only indoor sport this fall. Other indoor sports will take place later this year. While there are no limitations on the size of spectators for volleyball this fall, masks are required to be worn by all spectators upon entering SBHS. If you are not wearing a mask, you will be asked to leave the facility.

    In addition, for those who cannot attend matches at SBHS, we will be streaming all volleyball matches through the NFHS Network. You can visit www.NFHSNetwork.com and search for South Burlington High School to subscribe and follow. The cost is $10.99/month or $69.99/year. 

    Connecting with the School Board

    School board members will once again be holding drop-in Zoom chats! Check out the School Board's Facebook Page and the District website for the latest dates and links! The board also held a regular meeting Wednesday, September 1. If you missed it, you can watch it on the Media Factory website tomorrow. The next regular school board meeting will take place September 22.You can find all of the board’s meeting minutes, agendas, and backup information on the District website.

    City E-News 

    The South Burlington City News is emailed to subscribers  twice monthly and includes information on municipal projects, services, and events. This includes recreation programs, community events, City Council meetings, and school board meetings. Visit the city website for the most current (and archived) issues.

    Nutrition Services Notes/Updates

    Although the USDA is covering the cost of complete meals of breakfast and lunch, milk to supplement meals brought from home is not part of this program and therefore not free of charge. The cost of a milk is 50 cents and parents/caregivers can send in a check, made out to South Burlington Nutritional Services, to credit their child's account or use our online payment option through MySchoolBucks  

    If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Ketner  rketner@sbschools.net

    Allergies and food sensitivities

    Nutritional Services is committed to providing access to nutritious meals to all students. If your child has food allergies or food sensitivities, please be sure to contact the nurse at your child's school to ensure we have the proper documentation on file to make any adjustments or accommodations necessary to our menu offerings so that your child has access to school breakfast and lunch. Please be aware that, in some cases, accommodations may take up to two weeks to implement. Nutritional Services staff are trained on food safety and sanitation including cross contamination and operate peanut/tree nut safe kitchens. We also offer dairy substitutes and gluten free items with advance notice. 

    Dietary and cultural preferences are not individually managed, though we make every effort to offer a variety of menu that would accommodate for most preferences.Please contact your school nurse or Rhonda Ketner, rketner@sbschools.net with any questions or concerns.

    Transportation Department: We’re Hiring!

    We have full time, benefit eligible positions that have flexible hours and part time positions with as few as 12 hours per week available. We will provide paid CDL training for both full and part time employees. Good opportunity for parents with school age children to work some mid-day shifts.

    We also have custodial positions available with benefits and flexible day, afternoon, and evening shifts. Interested? Contact Director of Operations and Finance Gary Marckres at gmarckres@sbschools.net

    VT PBS Kids and Education Resource 

    Vermont Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and the Agency of Education (AOE) continue their

    partnership to support learning for Vermont students and school communities heading into the new school year. This partnership provides access to free educational programming, curricular connections, offline kits, and distance learning tutorials through Vermont PBS Kids and Education. The Broadcast Schedule can be found online, continuing through the fall for in classroom or take home enrichment. 

    School Happenings

    SBHS Activity Block! 

    Activity block is happening at SBHS! What is it? On Fridays from 8:45-10:00 am, clubs and activities will meet on campus, thus removing barriers to participation like transportation or after school commitments. This program will kick off September 3 and you can learn more about it in this great video. Big thanks and welcome to our new Student Engagement Coordinator Stephanie Hyatt!

    FHTMS 7th Graders Dive into Engineering Design

    Dorset House (a 7th grade team at FHTMS) science teacher Lauren Bartlett reported that Dorset House has started the new school year in science learning about the engineering design process. Bartlett wrote, “Our first engineering design task was to build towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows. Students tackled this challenge with great enthusiasm and the tallest design reached a height of 72 cm!! These are free standing towers built out of 20 pieces of spaghetti, 20 small marshmallows, 1 large marshmallow and 1 foot of tape.” Impressive!

    Gertrude Chamberlin School Students Participate in Wolf Den

    Principal Holly Rouelle noted that on Wednesdays, Chamberlin has a special time designated to building school community and school culture. “This week, students had the opportunity to participate in Wolf Den. Each classroom teacher presented a lesson using the Second Step program during Wolf Den to explicitly teach social skills. Second Step promotes school success, school connectedness and a safe and respectful school climate. For the month of September, the focus will be on Skills for Learning. This month, our school-wide theme is our school as a welcoming place where every student feels like he or she belongs. In our morning announcements, we’ll be reminding students to welcome others and act and speak in safe, respectful, and responsible ways. To learn more about this program, visit www.secondstep.org. Wolf Den will happen 2-4 Wednesdays per month, depending on the school calendar.”

    Rick Marcotte Central 5th Graders Build BirdHouses

    This week, all the fifth graders at RMCS built birdhouses. Teacher Lizzy Appleby reported that students had to work cooperatively to plan and build a birdhouse. As a group, they then wrote a how-to. In addition to this fun, hands-on learning, the students were also introduced to many games in the last week that will be played throughout the year on their math menu. Yahtzee was a clear favorite!

    Orchard School Curriculum Night Tonight!

    Tonight, Orchard School will virtually welcome families during curriculum night. A Zoom link was provided to meet a student(s)class online. Teachers will be sharing about this year's curriculum and daily life in Orchard classrooms and answer questions. Families will also have the chance to virtually meet Orchard's school counselors, the arts team, as well as the pro-behavior team. Principal Mark Trifilio will give a brief presentation on Orchard’s Core Project with time for parent feedback.

    Pride Week!

    This week is Pride week and the FHTMS QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) and the SBHS GSA (Genders & Sexualities Alliance) are so happy to invite all to join in marching in the Pride Vermont Parade Sunday, September 5th. LGBTQ+ folks and allies are welcome to come and march together as a South Burlington community! Thanks to Erin Randall, Penny Pizer, and Scott Carlson for organizing! 

    As summer days fade and fall weather starts to emerge, be sure to get out and enjoy the weather this Labor Day weekend and if you’re looking for something to do tonight, check out the final SoBu Nite Out of the season up at Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 5:30 pm. I hear there will be fireworks! 

    David