• February 10, 2022

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    I hope you all enjoyed some fun in the snow last Friday and weekend! Shout out to our incredible facilities crew and the City that worked hard to keep our sidewalks, streets, and buildings clear of ice and snow. A hard task and one for which I am so appreciative. 

    This week, February 7-11, marks National School Counseling Week. It was established by the American School Counselor Association to focus public attention on the contributions of school counselors within U.S. school systems. The 2022 theme is School Counseling: Better Together. I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. Our school-based clinicians and HowardCenter team members have always been critical to supporting the mental and social health of our students and staff and during pandemic times, that work has only intensified. Our clinicians have helped us navigate the uncertainty of our lives over the past two years, especially. Better together? Without a doubt. 

    In addition, last weekend, a number of state sports competitions were held. Kudos to our SB students and coaches! 

    Girls Hockey won the CSB Cup   

    NVACs Cheer Competition: 

    SB Wolves Youth team 1st place

    SB Wolves Middle School team 1st place.

    SBHS Wolves 1st place

    Girls Basketball vs St. Johnsbury (JV) won, and (V) won as well.
    Boys Basketball vs Burr & Burton (JV) won, and (V) won as well. 

    Varsity Dance won Pom
    Indoor & Track - Both boys and girls teams finished in second place at the D1 State Meet. 

    Dates of Note:

    February 11: Late start at the middle and high school and early release for elementary

    February 15: Channel 17 School Board Candidate Forums at 5:30 and 6:15 pm

    February 16: SB Debate hosted School Board Candidate Forum (Access Code: 774-777-757) online and at the 180 Market Street Auditorium

    February 16: Regular School Board meeting 7 pm (agenda posted tomorrow afternoon)

    February 21-March 1: Winter Break - No School

    COVID Updates

    The latest COVID state data, indicates a hopeful downward trend in COVID19 cases. Our in school transmission data  reflects this as well. We have continued to distribute rapid antigen take home tests to every student in grades PreK-12 along with directions regarding when to use them. This is part of our shift in protocol from test-to-stay to test-at-home. Our hope is to continue to provide families with these tests as supply allows. If you have questions regarding these tests, please contact your student(s) school directly. Currently, we do not have enough supplies to offer them to staff (although our hope is that we will be able to at some point in the near future). Therefore, next week, we will continue to offer free rapid antigen testing for asymptomatic staff on Wednesday and Thursday from 3-4:15pm at 577 Dorset Street. 

    I also wanted to remind everyone that mitigation measures remain as important as ever. Please wear a well fitted mask at school and work, stay home when sick, and if you have symptoms, even mild ones, please get tested. Let’s keep up this positive trend! 

    Nutrition Services Update: P-EBT

    The federal government approved Pandemic-EBT benefits for the current school year from September 2021 to June 2022. These benefits are meant to replace the value of free school meals students would have received at school. They will be provided to eligible students who had an excused COVID-related absence or were impacted by COVID-related school closures during the school year. Getting free meals to eat at home during a closure or absence will not impact a student’s eligibility for P-EBT.

    For information on who is eligible to receive these benefits, please see this letter from Director of Nutritional Services Rhonda Ketner.

    FY23 Budget and Early Voting

    This week, I continued my budget outreach to our community with a meeting with the SBBA (South Burlington Business Association) and Violet Nichols and Gary Marckres assisted me with presentations to PTOS. If you are looking for detailed information, all of our budget related videos and slides are posted to our  SBSD Budget webpage including the digital edition of our combined City and school budget book. In addition, next week, two forums will be held for voters to get to know the candidates running for the school board. Channel 17 will host the first at 5:30 and 6:15 pm February 15 and these will be livestreamed on their YouTube channel. SB Debate will also host both the school board (Access Code: 774-777-757) and city council candidate forums (Access Code: 690-482-109) February 16 at 6:00 and 7:30 pm. Respectively. You can also attend the latter live in the Auditorium at 180 Market Street

    Pre-Town Meeting will take place February 28 beginning at 6:30 pm on GoToMeeting (link provided soon) or you can join in person at 180 Market Street. 

    Early voting has begun! According to City Clerk Donna Kinville, ballots have arrived in her office. You can request an absentee ballot in several ways: online at the Secretary of State's website, calling the clerk’s office at 846-4105, sending an email to dkinville@sburl.com or coming into the office during regular business hours. Voting will also occur in person at all regular polling locations Tuesday, March 1 from 7 am-7 pm.

    All ballots must be received at City Hall at 180 Market Street in the mail by the close of business on election day. Those dropped off in the night drop box will be picked up Tuesday by 9:00 a.m.  Anything in the night drop after 9:00 a.m. will not be delivered to the polls. Find more information on the city's website.

    School Happenings

    SBHS Green Team Students Teach GCS Third Graders About Environmental Issues

    The excitement has been apparent from SBHS and GCS students alike as they began their collaboration on teaching and learning about environmental conservation. Third graders had their first lesson today and there are five more sessions to come! Topics include the water cycle, watersheds, water use and conservation, aquatic food chains and webs, and stream health. SBHS students Brianna Jarvis, Sylvia Burkman, and Catie Palmer attended an intensive 1/2 day training session for teaching the lessons. This was taught by UVM Extension, 4H, and Try mentors. Sylvia had brought this program forward to the GreenTeam back in 2019/2020. After a brief hiatus, it is back in action!

    FHTMS: Getting into the Olympic Spirit

    School Clinician Kelly Tivnan let me know the Olympics have come to FHTMS! If you’ve been in the entryway recently, you have seen the awesome display.  Fellow Spirit Squad members Yvette Amblo, Carly Brassord, and Corey McKenzie have planned two weeks of school-wide activities to celebrate this world event. Their 2022 Olympics opened Monday with a decorated lobby and a staff torch run in lunches to generate excitement. The kick-off event of a school-wide online Olympic trivia challenge game sparked some friendly competition! Teacher Advisories (TA's) are now enjoying 2 weeks of fun activities, with events including “speed skating” on carpet squares, hunting for Olympic rings in the building and “Create your own Olympics Flag.”  A giant leaderboard is on display in the library for TA’s to track how many activities they can complete and see the progress of others. Let the games begin!

    Gertrude Chamberlin Students Mark the 100th Day of School with a Parade!

    Wednesday marked the 100th Day of School at Chamberlin. The tradition of a Kindergarten parade took place where students festively marched in and out of classrooms to celebrate the day! See a clip of this parade at Principal Rouelle's Twitter

    RMCS Students Celebrate the 100th (and 101st Day of School Dalmatian Style!) 

    Teacher Kelly Mahl reported that first grade classes celebrated the 101st day of school in all 4 classrooms at RMCS!  They counted to 101 in many different ways, made beaded necklaces with 101 beads, and did some 101 Dalmation crafts including making their very own puppy ears. So much fun! See photos in Principal Kilbourne's Weekly Newsletter!

    Orchard Students Latest Reading to Raise Antiracists Book for February

    February's "Reading to Raise Anti-Racists" book is THE ARABIC QUILT: AN IMMIGRANT STORY by Aya Khalil. It's a story of a family that has moved from Egypt to the United States. The story shows how beautiful it is to learn about other cultures, but also how similar we all are, no matter where we're from. Orchard’s Art teacher, Ms. Susie is doing a fantastic project with all classes that takes inspiration from the quilt design work of the Black community in Gee's Bend, Alabama. Here's the video  that students are watching in art class. Students will see screen shares of every classes' quilt designs in Orchard’s next All School Morning Meeting on February 18. Can't wait!

    Thanks for reading!

    David