• April 28, 2022

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    I want to welcome our families, students, and staff back to school and work after our spring break! I hope you had a relaxing week and were able to spend some time recharging. This week brought many highlights, a new play structure and unveiling at Orchard School, autism allyship week at Central School, and the first in-person Buzz assembly in two years at Gertrude Chamberlin School where Principal Holly Rouelle was honored! Over at FHTMS, preparations for Shrek the Musical Jr. are being finalized and in the midst of a snow squall, our SB Girls Ultimate team continued their winning streak. 

    As we are nearing the end of National Poetry Month, it seems fitting that SBHS student Gianna Morin, who took top honors at the Poetry Out Loud State Finals held at the Barre Opera House March 14 will be competing in the National Semi-Finals May 1st! You can livestream the competition Sunday at this site. Best of luck Gianna!

    Dates of Note:

    April 29: Late start MS/HS, early release ES

    April 29: Deadline for Applications to Serve on the Superintendent Search Committee (see below)

    May 4, 7 pm Regular School Board Meeting

    May 6, 10-noon, Big Picture Program Open House in-person

    May 6 & 7, FHTMS Drama Presents Shrek the Musical Jr, Find tickets here

    May 7, Green Up Day in South Burlington and Statewide

    Executive Director for Equity Position: Welcome De-Dee Loftin-Davis!

    I am thrilled to announce that after a thorough search and interview process as well as community engagement, De-Dee Loftin-Davis (she/her) has accepted the District’s offer to become our first Executive Director for Equity. My recommendation went before the school board last night and they unanimously approved. De-Dee will officially begin her position July 1 and she looks forward to getting to know you all!

    De-Dee, who joined the school board meeting last night to introduce herself, shared “Equity in community is a much needed and sustainable strength. Via equity, communication, transparency and community, I look forward to partnering with, getting to know and making positive equitable impacts in the South Burlington School District community.”

    I want to thank everyone who participated in this process including facilitator Rhiannon Kim, HR Director Karen Dantzscher, RMCS Principal Kathleen Kilbourne who coordinated the Zoom Q and A sessions, and all of the committee members. 

    Superintendent Search Committee: Deadline to Apply Tomorrow! 

    Huge thanks to all who have expressed interest so far in taking part in the superintendent search process. The last day to apply is tomorrow, April 29 by 5 pm. The Board wishes to appoint a Committee that represents the diverse interests and perspectives of our community. Committee members will serve for a period of up to 6 months and will primarily be responsible for making hiring recommendations to the Board, as well as several support and interview activities. Interested? Please complete this application.

    SB Boys Lacrosse Game Tomorrow will Focus on Fighting Hate Speech

    In the fall of 2020, the SBHS Wolves girl's soccer program held an event called Stand Up. Fight Racism. Together.To continue the work that senior Josie Oliveira has started with the soccer program, tomorrow, the SBHS Boys Lacrosse team will host CVU at 7:00 PM (JV plays at 5:00) and the game will focus on fighting against "Hate Speech" with a brief student presentation at 6:50 pm. Hate Speech is abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, political views, and sexual orientation. 

    Last Day for Sports Equipment Donations

    Do you have old sports equipment that you’re looking to get rid of? Bring it to South Burlington High School! They are looking for gently used sports equipment for high school student athletes! You can bring cleats, sticks, shin guards, any pads, skates, golf clubs, jazz shoes, and much more! For hygienic purposes, please do not donate personal protection products! Tomorrow is the last day donations will be accepted from 8am-4pm! You can drop any gear off in the SBHS attendance office. Contact Ms. Weaver at dweaver@sbschools.net or 652-7529 with any questions! Anything is greatly appreciated.

    Time to Pick up your Bags for Green Up Day May 7!

    This Vermont tradition is one that I really enjoy. It builds community and fosters connections while helping our environment. Volunteers statewide will come together in their communities to tackle trash and litter along roadsides, in public spaces, natural landscapes and waterways. Vermont was the first state in the nation to designate one special day for cleaning the entire state.

    Green Up Day will take place May 7 but I wanted to give you the heads up that the process in South Burlington will look a little different this year. Instead of dropping by the former City Hall, home to our new District offices at 577 Dorset Street, both to pick up and drop off trash, there is a new dropoff location: 104 LANDFILL ROAD. You can pick up bags (maximum of 4 per household) at 180 Market Street at the Welcome Center, Monday-Friday, now through May 6th. On May 7th, bags will be available for pick up between 9:00–12:00 PM  at 104 Landfill Rd only. The May 7th drop off will take place from 9:00–1:00 PM only at 104 Landfill Rd.

    There will not be any roadside pickup, but abandoned roadside tires will be accepted. This year, participants will determine their own locations to collect trash. When dropping off the bags, the city would like to keep track of what road individuals picked up on and how many bags were filled. I look forward to seeing you out there!

    School Happenings

    SBHS Students Participate in the Super Bowl of Job Fairs!

    One of the largest job fairs ever was held this week at the Champlain Valley Expo and SBHS students took part. Coordinator of Career Development  Nikki St. Mary and Learning Center Coordinator Julian Barritt brought 30 students to the hiring fair while some older students drove themselves or attended with their tech center. St. Mary noted that “most of the students were ready with resumes, they were all great ambassadors of SBHS, and as I walked around, I saw them really engaged with employers. “ 

    There were over 150 employers there with full-time, part-time, summer, apprenticeship, and internship opportunities. St. Mary learned about some great apprenticeship programs, paid internships, and jobs with growth potential that students can get directly out of high school.  She also had a great conversation with a woman from the Dept of Labor about federal and state programs that can help recent grads obtain employment with the support of a case manager and funding to help if students need certain things to do the job (like work boots or specific clothing). Well done all!

    FHTMS Students Read The Giver and Participate in Simulation

    Lori Centerbar’s 7th grade ELA students are reading the classic dystopian novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry.  The story revolves around the protagonist, Jonas, who lives in a community that is highly structured, orderly, and very different from our own. Jonas’ community celebrates the ages of all children at the Annual Ceremony where each age is gifted a symbolic item or new privilege up until the age of twelve.  When the children become Twelves, they are assigned their jobs in the community.  This year, Centerbar’s students actually participated in their own Ceremony of Twelve Simulation.  As in the story, a great deal of time and thought was put into deciding which job would be perfect for which student.  

    Centerbar shared that Amy Blauvelt, (Assistant Chief Elder) and Chief Elder Centerbar then made the announcements of the assignments. Most students were really happy with their Assignments such as being the Chief Elder, Doctor, or Receiver of Memories, while others, such as fish hatchery attendant, were not as popular. Those who were satisfied would go on to complete a journal write explaining why they approved of the assignment.  If a student was not pleased with their assignment, they were able to write a letter of appeal explaining, with solid evidence, why they would prefer an alternative. All in all, the simulation was a really fun experience, and made the story come to life!

    RMCS Celebrates Autism Allyship Week

    April is Autism Acceptance Month and RMCS has been celebrating this week! They spent the week learning from autistic people and sharing facts and information about autism, the autistic community, and neurodiversity. Autism Allyship Week was an optional spirit week to foster growth, learning, and allyship around neurodiversity and the autistic community. 

    GCS Students Learn about Ramadan from Guest Teacher

    This week, guest teacher Reyhan Gungor came to Mr. Provost's and Mrs. Rogers' class to teach about Ramadan, which ends the evening of May 1. She provided helpful information and pictures about the holiday and how Ramadan is a month of fasting, empathy, charity and a special time to share and gather with friends and the community. Reyhan also provided each student with a bag of treats that are eaten and shared during Ramadan.

    Orchard Students get a New Play Structure

    The day finally arrived this Wednesday when Orchard’s brand new play structure was unveiled to excited students. Even the dreary weather couldn’t suppress the joy a new playground provides. Principal Mark Trifilio shared that he and the PTO had been working at updating the playground one piece at a time. It seemed like doing the entire playground was just too expensive for one fundraising season. During the pandemic, the PTO decided to make a go of putting in an order for a new "centerpiece" structure. The PTO had some savings but they did a full press in the spring to raise half the cost. They reached out to parents and local businesses and raised the money by the end of May! This included an anonymous generous donation. The structure was ordered with the hope it would arrive in late summer and installed before school started, but unfortunately it was delayed until just two weeks ago. On Wednesday, Trifilio took each grade out for a half-hour to check it out, review their recess-playground expectations and then take it "out for a spin!" Can’t wait to check it out for myself!

    Thanks for reading and have a great Friday and weekend. Looks like May is going to be off to a warm start!

    David