• December 16, 2021

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    We are inching ever closer to our early winter break and that means that a number of culminating and celebratory activities have been taking place in our District. From concerts to CAP (Culminating Activity Period) week at SBHS to small, staff moments for seasonal connections such as the return of the annual holiday breakfast buffet at FHTMS, I am happy to hear of them all. I had a chance to make a few connections of my own this week when I helped direct traffic in our 577 Dorset Street parking lot as part of our test-to-stay program. That is one of the bright spots I have found in the midst of COVID, from the early days of checking in with students as they entered our buildings for temperature checks to now, through the return of much of our in-person activities, we have found new ways to check-in with one another and really, we have come so far thanks to all of you!

    I have more information on COVID and holiday safety below, but please take note of this link to the recordng of my Zoom chat from December 13 (which also covered ESSER funding) as well as this compelling letter from local Dr. Leah Costello. We appreciate her expertise.  

    Dates of Note:

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

    Jazz Ensemble: Tonight! December 16  in the SBHS Auditorium 7 pm (masks required). You can also livestream here

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

    FHTMS BlackOut Day: December 17, SOAR (Students Organizing Against Racism) are sponsoring their first BlackOut Day of the year tomorrow. Please wear all black to show our strength as a community and in solidarity and to show support for ending racism and denouncing prejudice

    Speech and Debate at SBHS December 18 (no spectators)

    Early Winter Break - No School - December 23-December 31


    These numbers cover Thursday December 9 at 5 pm-Thursday December 16 at 3 pm. Please note, we are only reporting cases that were infectious while in school.

    SBHS: 0

    FHTMS: 0

    GCS: 6

    RMCS: 2

    Orchard: 0


    This week, we opened up TTS to PreK students in our District. This program will continue to be an important tool in keeping our unvaccinated students who have been deemed close contacts in school. Last week, 12/6 - 12/10, we conducted 46 tests. Thanks to our incredible families, staff, and volunteers!

    COVID19 Vaccines and Boosters

    This week, Gertrude Chamberlin School held their second COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Thanks to all of the staff for making this a seamless experience! As we continue to watch our Vermont case numbers and experience the post Thanksgiving surge, I encourage you all to get your vaccine and booster if it's time (6 months after a Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccine or two months after a J & J). Recently, it was announced that 16 and 17 year olds are now eligible for the Pfizer booster if it has been at least 6 months since their second dose. If you are looking for more information on vaccination for 5-11 years olds, see this page from the VT Dept of Health.

    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:

    Monday, December 20th with Rebecca Yukica, D.O. (Upper Valley/WRJ)
    Click here to join Zoom meeting

    Holiday Safety

    In terms of holiday safety, please familiarize yourself with testing options, guidance on travel and quarantine, and consider keeping your gathering smaller than usual. If your student tests positive over break and they were in school during their infectious period, school nurses/school staff will not be available to contact trace. Please notify the Vermont Department of Health at 802-321-8330, Option 9. Also, if you or your student have symptoms, remember to stay home from celebrations and gatherings and get tested. We want you all to return to school and work after the break healthy and refreshed! Thank you!

    FY23 Budget

    At the December 15 regular school board meeting, I, along with my administrative team gave a thorough overview of our proposed FY23 budget as it currently stands. We received board and community feedback and will return with another iteration at the next meeting January 5, 2022. We will also have additional meetings featuring budget presentations and discussions January 12 and 19 with a joint steering committee meeting with the city January 24.  If you missed last night’s meeting, you can watch it beginning tomorrow afternoon on the Media Factory website. We will be regularly updating the FY23 budet page on our District website so be sure to check back there for all of the presentations that have been made thus far. We will also be scheduling at least one more virtual community budget forum to hear from YOU in January. Details coming soon. In the meantime, if you have a budget related question, please email budget@sbschools.net. We want to hear from you!

    School Happenings

    SBHS Students Making Empanadas for CAP Week

    Things are heating up in Spanish class according to teacher Graeme Saphier. Students will be inventing their own empanadas or making more traditional recipes from a Spanish speaking country and bringing them in for presentation and judging next week. The judging will be based on the same categories that are used at the national festival in Argentina. Saphier reported that, “This is the culminating activity of a unit on empanadas and how to describe food in general. We learned a lot of vocabulary that allowed us to describe food in terms of texture, taste, and mode of preparation. We learned about the origins of the food itself and how all cultures have some sort of version of an empanada. The students have also prepared a slide or poster that will accompany their empanadas in which they name it, describe it in glowing terms using vocabulary acquired through the unit, and write a slogan for the empanada. One of the imaginary prizes for this project is that the winning empanada will be sold in Hannaford’s region wide.  They need a marketing campaign ready to go in case they are the winner.” Can’t wait to see and taste the results! Maybe I can be a guest judge?

    FHTMS Students Take to the Ice!

    The Why Not and Fusion! Teams will be enjoying some wintery indoor fun by heading to Cairns Arena for ice skating. Lori Centerbar of the Fusion! Team said her students will be gliding their way into the holiday break on Wednesday, December 22nd from 10-Noon for two hours of skating. This marks the Fusion! team’s final trip of the calendar year and is very much looked forward to. Centerbar wrote, :As always, we are so grateful to our amazing Fusion! team parents who support us so that we can make trips and celebrations like this possible!” 

    GCS Student Artists Featured in Calendar

    GCS Art Teacher Jenny Goodrich wanted to extend her congratulations to fifth graders Maddox B., Naomi and Mojo, and fourth grader Lucy!  All four of their artworks were chosen to be in the CBNA VASBO (Vermont Association of School Business Officials) 2022 Calendar. Each artist gets to take home their own copy. Their work ranged from drawings to sculpture to printmaking. You can view the wall calendar in the GCS staff room and spot these fantastic creations, as well as artwork from a former Chamberlin artist! Well done!

    RMCS Paper Chains Display Love for the School

    Social Emotional Learning Coach Ashley Wilson along with the RMCS PBiS team recently came up with and executed a fun project to help the school community feel connected: making a giant paper chain! Wilson noted that, “Every student was given a strip of paper and asked to use the prompt, "What do you love about RMCS?" Each grade level had their own color and at the end of the week we linked them together. Our students loved seeing the LARGE chain that is now hanging in towards the entrance of our school.” See some photos of the beautiful chain in Principal Kilbourne’s latest newsletter for families

    Orchard Students Celebrate with a Game Day

    Orchard students achieved their Core Project Goal of 100 classroom apples. That's a lot of great work! Last Friday, students celebrated with a school-wide game day. So much fun was had by all and we know there will be more to come. Check out some of the games played on Orchard School's Instagram.

    Thanks for reading and next week, look for a note from me Wednesday, December 22. Then, I too will be taking a break from the letter December 30 with a return January 6. Have a great Friday and weekend,