March 24, 2022
Dear Parents/Guardian and Staff,
This past Tuesday night, we held a Family Information Night at the South Burlington Public Library as a way for families to connect with our English Language teachers and administrators about supports offered by our schools. This event was a collaboration between the school district and library and also served as a great way to introduce families to our new library and its resources!
Big shout outs to EL Coordinator Carol Blakely, Executive Director of Learning Violet Nichols, Meg Collins, and the librarians who helped set up and sign up families for library cards! Children in attendance had the opportunity to choose a book to take home with them and everyone left with delicious Kismayo Kitchen samosas! We had over 30 families recorded on our sign in sheet. We also had 9 interpreters available and the librarians provided activities for our young learners. This was a phenomenal night and I look forward to these continued partnerships!
In addition, yesterday, the College of Education and Social Services (CESS) at UVM, together with Vermont supervisory unions and school districts, the Vermont Agency of Education, and the Vermont NEA, joined to honor the accomplishments of our state’s outstanding educators.
Outstanding Educators Day was celebrated virtually this year and I am so proud that two members of our team were honored: Instructional Coach at Rick Marcotte Central School Paula Jensvold as our elementary school teacher of the year and SBHS Nurse and Educator Caryl Davidson as our high school/middle school teacher of the year. Check out the program here that includes brief bios of our SBSD and all award recipients. I am grateful to ALL of our SBSD educators who go above and beyond every day for students and families. Thank you!
Dates of Note:
March 24 at 6:00 pm, Zoom (ID: 892 9553 7546/Passcode: 430717) meet and greet for families and community members with FHTMS Principal finalist Scott Sivo
March 25: Late Start at MS/HS, Early Release at ES
March 27, 3:30 pm SBHS bands concert in the SBHS Auditorium and livestream
March 28, 7:00 pm, FHTMS 7th and 8th grade band concert in person and livestream
March 31, 10-noon, in-person open house at Big Picture, room #125, sign up to attend!
April 1: SBHS Career Expo
COVID Update and Dashboard
We are rounding out week two of being mask optional in our schools and I want to thank everyone for your continued displays of kindness and respect for individual choices around masking. Keep it up! At the latest press conference from the Governor Tuesday, Dr. Mark Levine noted that the state would be winding down its state-run vaccine clinics soon, and instead will shift to individuals receiving them at their pharmacy or at their doctor’s office. Likewise, state run testing sites have also seen a shift where individuals who go for testing can request a PCR or pick up a LAMP or antigen test. Here in SBSD, we are still offering tests for students and staff on an as needed basis. We, like the state, will keep our eye on the BA.2 subvariant through the latest data from the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation and the Department of Health.
I wanted to remind everyone that our dashboard will continue to be updated. We will no longer be notifying families when a case arises in a classroom or grade-level. Instead, please check the dashboard often to help make personal decisions around testing, masking and attendance at work or school. The dashboard also includes testing recommendations and guidance.
A reminder for staff,please continue to fill out the RUVNA app daily. If you become symptomatic while at school, you can visit the school nurse to pick-up a rapid antigen test kit or contact Maura Sawtelle in HR and plan on leaving work for the remainder of the day.
FHTMS Principal Update
Today, we welcomed FHTMS Principal finalist Scott Sivo to our school for a busy day of meet and greets with our administrators, students, staff, and me. Tonight, beginning at 6 pm, we’ll be holding a Zoom Q and A for families and community members to meet Mr. Silvo. Please join us!
SBHS Robotics Team Headed to the World Championship!
Congrats to the SBHS Robotics Team and Coach Mr. Estes for their qualification for the World Championships! Robotics finished in second place out of 14 teams at the Vermont FTC competition last weekend. and earned their spot at the world championship which will take place April 20-23. SB joins CVU as the only two VT high schools to qualify for this prestigious competition!
In addition, the SBHS Math League Coach Jean Ohlson reported that the league has 5 meets per year and this year for the first time ever, they won all 5 meets as well as the year overall. YuYang Zhang placed first in three categories (including overall individual performance) and Sriram Sethuraman, Saksham Bhardwaj and Kenny Chamberlain all placed in the top ten in the league for individual awards. Students who actively participated this year were Hammad Ali, Hiba Ali, Trent Biazza, Saksham Bhardwaj, Simon Cafiero, Harrison Chamberlain, Kenny Chamberlain, Luke Fitzgerald, Jackson Goodman, Josie Kummer, Deepika Muthuswamy, Siddhant Nazre, Ranjani Sethuraman, Sriram Sethuraman, Emma Xia and Yuyang Zhang. Math league was co-captained by Sriram Sethuraman and Kenny Chamberlain this year. Well done!
FHTMS Students to Participate in Peer Leadership Day
QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) Advisors Penny Pizer, Scott Carlson, and FHTMS students are getting excited to participate in peer leadership day March 31. The plan is for students to have a half day in-school "field trip" for this virtual event. Outright Vermont is offering this virtual gathering with youth leaders sharing their experiences from around the country. There will be a legislator panel with LGBTQ+ state representatives and senators as well as a National Youth Speakers Panel with youth leaders from around the country talking in a fishbowl-style discussion and much more!
RMCS Students Learn about Neurodiversity
For the next two weeks, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades are celebrating neurodiversity! Neurodiversity is the viewpoint that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits. Different neurodiversities include autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and Tourette Syndrome. Students are learning about neurodiversity from a strengths-based perspective, which includes highlighting skills and talents like creativity, memory, concentration, compassion, attention to detail, empathy, and self-advocacy among many others. This learning is being facilitated by Special Educator Kait Hale and Speech Language Pathologist Anna Patterson.
Gertrude Chamberlin Students and Staff Dress Up as their Favorite Book and Movie Characters
Gertrude Chamberlin students did it again! They filled their hive and earned an all school celebration. Students and staff dressed up as their favorite book and movie characters for this latest PBiS activity. The school was filled with Harry Potter, Waldo, dinosaurs, and even a minion! You can check out some of the photos on Principal Rouelle's Twitter. Also, Chamberlin’s PBiS team is conducting a school climate survey at the moment. Please feel free to share your thoughts!
Orchard School to Produce the Play Moana
Orchard students have been busy preparing for their production of Moana! Auditions began the week of March 7 and rehearsals have been in full swing ever since. The production is a collaboration with a Very Merry Theatre Company and dates for the performance are April 8th and 9th. There will be a school show and then an evening performance Friday and Saturday night. Thanks to the organizing team of Meg Krueger, Don Wright from A Very Merry, Robyn Kummer, Caitlin Gervais, Stefanie Gallant, Emily Bieber, Anna Leavey, and Sarah Gordon. Can’t wait to see it!
It looks like we might get the last (hopefully) blast of winter temperatures this weekend as we continue our typical Vermont spring mix of mud, light snow showers, and hints at warmer days to come. I hope you are able to get out and enjoy it!.
Thanks as always for reading,