• December 9, 2021

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    What a busy time of year in our District!  Among the flurry of activity, I love noticing the undercurrent of joy and the giving spirit that surrounds us. Taking note of these moments helps to keep me going when the world around us can seem daunting and uncertain. A few recent inspiring initiatives in our District have included food drives by Gertrude Chamberlin School and Rick Marcotte Central School students and staff. Collectively, they donated hundreds of pounds of goods to the South Burlington Food Shelf. The SBHS Key Club did the same. Orchard School collected gift cards for families in need to purchase goods through their annual Thankful Giving event while the SBHS career development center has been receiving similar donations.

    Then, just this week, I heard about the mental health club at SBHS seeking donations for care packages that students will be putting together for families in need. Whether it’s students, staff or a combination of both leading the way, I am heartened to see these selfless acts taking place. Thank you!

    Dates of Note:

    Zoom Drop-in Chat with David Young for Families: December 13, 6-7:15 pm (Meeting ID: 886 9396 2746Passcode: 894283)

    SB Rotary Annual Ugly Sweater Run to benefit the SB Boosters December 12

    SBHS Choral Concert: December 12, 2:00pm (in SBHS Auditorium) or livestream here

    FHTMS Choral Concert: December 14, 7:00 pm (in SBHS Auditorium): or livestream here

    Regular School Board Meeting: December 15, 7:00 pm

    SBHS Jazz Ensemble: December 16, 7:00 pm (in SBHS Auditorium)

    Reminder on concerts: masks are required for all participants and audience members.

    Zoom Drop-In Chat with David Young and School Board Members on Running for the Board: December 16 at 6-7:00 pm (Meeting ID: 861 9635 6876 Passcode: 065224)

    Late Start (10:35 am) at MS/HS and Early Release (12:30 pm): December 17

    Executive Director of Equity Search Update

    The district has contracted with Rhiannon Kim as an equity consultant to assist in the Executive Director of Equity (EDOE) hiring process. Rhiannon has previously worked in SBSD as a Speech Language Pathologist and is currently self-employed as an Equity Consultant.  She is highly regarded among her peers in her knowledge of equity and bias. She also brings with her institutional knowledge of the district. She will be doing an audit of our current hiring protocols, developing a timeline, and coordinating the hiring activities. As previously noted, our hope is to have an individual hired and on board for this position in February or March of 2022. 

    RFP for Audit Services

    The City of South Burlington and the South Burlington School District are soliciting proposals for audit services. The schedule for consideration of response to this RFP is below: For detailed information see this document.

    Due Date: January 15, 2022

    Interviews: Week of February 7, 2022

    Selection: Week of February 16, 2022

    It’s Winter Sports Season!

    Winter sports have begun! You can enjoy SBHS home indoor sports games in person (masks required) as well as through a livestream. See the details and latest information in these SBHS winter sports guidelines.

    Test-to-Stay

    Test-to Stay continues to be a great way to help keep our students in school. During the week of 11/29-12/3 the district conducted 177 antigen tests. Thanks for the continued support from our students, staff, amazing community, and volunteers.

    COVID in SBSD

    These figures cover Thursday, December 2 at 4 pm - Thursday December 9 at 4 pm. Please note, we are only reporting cases that were infectious while in school.

    SBSD: 0

    FTMS: 0

    GCS: 0

    RMCS: 1

    Orchard: 0

    COVID19 Vaccination for Children Q and A 

    Questions about the COVID19 vaccine for children? Join local pediatricians for the following Zooms. All are held from 7-8 pm, will have an ASL interpreter and live captioning available:

    FY23 Budget

    We held our second virtual community forum on the budget December 7. Thanks to all who joined us! If you missed it you can watch the video and review the pdf of the presentation here. We plan on holding another virtual community forum (date TBD but likely in early January).

    Our next budget presentation will be held this coming Wednesday, December 15 at the regular school board meeting which begins at 7:00 pm. The agenda and Zoom information will be posted to the District website tomorrow afternoon. As a reminder, you can always livestream the meetings via the Media Factory website. At this meeting, we anticipate having the equalized pupil figure from the state which will factor into our budget workshop sheet. Have a question you want addressed? Email budget@sbschools.net. We want to hear from you!

    School Happenings

    SBHS Launches Wolves PAS (Peer Academic Support)

    Meghan Sweet, Director of Guidance and Counseling noted that last week, SBHS kicked off an exciting new student program that they are calling Wolves PAS (peer academic support). Sweet said, “I am really excited about this new club and the opportunity for SBHS students to support each other. I already have 25 juniors and seniors who are volunteering to tutor and after just 1 day we have 17 students who have or will soon be matched with a tutor. I could not be happier about the response and I expect that we will continue to see it grow in terms of more tutors and more students asking for help.” Drop-in peer academic help is available during FACEtime every Monday-Thursday in the library Think Tank. Students can access peer academic support before school or during their study hall as needed as well!

    FHTMS: Fostering a Culture of Kindness

    School Counselor Matt Guyette reported that their Teacher Advisory program has been encouraging conversations around kindness for the past few weeks. Each TA made a heart for display in the FHTMS lobby. Students were asked to identify acts of kindness they have witnessed at FHTMS and thoughts on future acts of kindness they could do for others. Students also discussed how they could  help move FHTMS toward a greater culture of kindness.

    Gertrude Chamberlin School Writers to be Published!

    Wow! Twenty GCS 5th graders will be published authors! Teacher Dan Diamond had any student who wanted to enter the Young Writers Project writing contest, Ridiculous Writers - The Weird and Wonderful. Twenty students accepted the challenge to write a short story in only 100 words. Some of them worked together on their stories and some were individual compositions. The contest received over 3,500 entries and all 20 authors were chosen to be published in a book that comes out next year! With intriguing titles like “The Magical Pizza,” “The Freaky Foot,” and “Hi, my name is…Cheese Puff!” sounds like I’ll be in for some fantastic spring reading.

    Rick Marcotte Central School: The Mighty Moose Comes for a Visit

    As I’m sure many of you have seen in the news, VTrans ran a program in early winter, seeking the creativity of elementary school students in naming their fleet of plow trucks. All three of our elementary schools participated and received fun visits from a plow truck driver showing off “their '' named truck! While GCS and Orchard hosted visits prior to the Thanksgiving break, Central students received a visit from their truck last Friday. The Mighty Moose joins the Chamberlin Chomper and Obi-wan KenSNOWbi. Keep your eyes open for them on our roads this winter! 

    Orchard Students Take Part in Hour of Code

    Orchard Librarian Donna Sullivan-MacDonald reported that the entire school  joined the "Hour of Code" this week, which is Computer Science Education Week (December 6-12). More than 100 million students in over 180 countries have already tried an "Hour of Code." Last week, students got a preview of some coding activities that sparked their interest!! She added, “We live in a world surrounded by technology. We know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly depend on understanding how technology works.” Check out Ochard's Instagram for pics of the fun!

    I hope you can get out to enjoy the beauty of Vermont this December. Maybe a drive to check out some festive lights? The Burlington Free Press compiled this handy map of incredible light (and timed music!) displays throughout Chittenden County. Could be a good weekend for some hot cocoa and sightseeing.

    Thanks as always for reading,

    David