• June 9, 2022

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

    We did it! We have arrived at the finale of the 2021-2022 school year. We’ve weathered a lot together and it is heartening for me to see just how far we have come. From test-to-stay, to running COVID vaccination clinics, to a full return of our students and staff to in-person work and learning. I won’t try to name all of the concerts and festivities that have been taking place this week since they are all crucial to the process of making transitions to new grades, schools, and in the case of our SBHS seniors, to the world at large. 

    I’ve never been good at goodbyes, so as I conclude my time as your superintendent I want you to know how grateful I am for all of you. I’ve always said that it’s important to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, who have different strengths, so that we can steer the ship together and pivot when needed. I was honored this week with a gathering at the Central Office  and a number of you were present to offer well wishes. This was a beautiful send off, but you know me, it’s never been about me. It has been about all of YOU, families, students, and staff. As of July 1, I’ll become David Young, community member. While I will miss connecting with you all in this way, if you see me out running with my dog, at the grocery store, or over at the Patchen Rd CSWD, please say hello. I’ll see you around. 

    Dates of Note:

    June 10: SBHS Graduation at UVM’s Patrick Gym, 10 am. You can livestream graduation via the Media Factory

    June 13, 6-8 pm Zoom Community Forum with Interim Superintendent finalists. Meet Lisa Cala Ruud from 6-6:45 pm (Passcode: 197623) and David Conrady from 7-7:45 pm (Passcode: 232785)

    June 14, 6:30-7:30 pm Zoom Q and A on Enrollment Committee Recommendations

    June 15: 7 pm, Regular School Board meeting (agenda and participation link on the District website tomorrow)

    COVID Update

    Thanks to all of you for your resilience in the face of yet another pandemic school year! The variants certainly kept us on our toes, but I’m so proud about how far we came in, what seems now, like a short time. Filling out the RUVNA app has been very helpful and I wanted to let you know that the final day this will be active for students and staff  is tomorrow June 10. 

    As we transition into summer, we are still encouraging all who are eligible to get the COVID19 vaccine and booster. You can get a booster shot through your child’s health care provider, pharmacy, or one of the walk-in clinics listed at the Department of Health website. If you have questions, please reach out to your provider. Read more about the CDC's recommendation here.

    Antigen tests have been made available to staff and students this week. Please note that there have been updates to the expiration dates printed on the boxes by lot number. The on/go expires in September and the ihealth tests in October. PCR, antigen, and LAMP tests are available from the Health Department at a number of state run testing sites until the end of June. On or after Monday, the District’s COVID dashboard will be modified to reflect only Summer School, District Staff and School's Out for COVID case reporting. If you would like regular, statewide updates, you can find the June 8 COVID surveillance report here.

    Nutrition Services Update

    The USDA area eligibility waivers that allowed the South Burlington School District to offer summer meals during the height of the COVID pandemic expires on June 30.  Without the area eligibility waiver, the South Burlington School District will not be able to operate a summer food service program this year. 

    We understand that there will be an open meal site starting June 20th at the Infinite Teen Center located in the University Mall, 155 Dorset Street, #D-25. Families may pick up both breakfast and lunch from 11:00AM-1:00PM,  Monday through Friday.  For more information on this meal site please contact Infinite Teen Center via email; dr.travia.c@gmail.com

    Additional food access resources include: the South Burlington Food Shelf and 3SquaresVT.

    The following sites are in the process of  being updated: Hunger Free Vermont summer meal site finder  and USDA Summer Meal Finder.

    Join me for my Final Zoom Q and A Next Week!

    I will be holding my final Zoom Q and A for anyone who is interested in popping in, Tuesday June 14 from 6:30-7:30 pm.(Meeting ID: 871 7325 2403 Passcode: 445863). The topic will be the District’s plan to address elementary school enrollment pressures in the near and long term as well as a tentative plan for the District as a whole. I hope to have some of the dedicated members of our enrollment committee on the call as well. I look forward to seeing you!

    Athletics Updates

    Mike Jabour shared with me that Girls tennis lost in the State Championship match yesterday to Stowe and they lost 4 games to 3. Boys Ultimate Frisbee has made it to the State Championships and they are playing Burlington this evening at 6:30 at Middlebury High School. The team is currently undefeated.  Softball is also in the State Championship game. They are playing BFA St. Albans Sunday at 3:00 at Castleton University. In addition to the State Championship game, Emilly Borrazzo was named Vermont's Gatorade softball player of the year!

    Also, way to go FHTMS Wolves Track on recent wins! The Boys Team won the State Championship on Friday! They earned 2nd Place, Runner-ups in the Combined Boys and Girls Team Scoring Title and the Girls Team achieved a strong 3rd Place Championship finish. This is the first time in school history that FHTMS has had top 3 finishes in ALL THREE scoring titles! Congrats students and coach Gary Russell!

    RMCS Staff Members Receive Recognition from VT Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

    Each year, the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired gets to choose one team or an individual to honor for their “Outstanding Educational Support” to a student with a visual impairment. Hope Watson, Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) wrote this week to let us know that this year, the AlKi Educational team which is led by Jess Taplin and Deb Miller received this honor. Kudos!   

    Superintendent Search Update: Join Us for A Community Forum

    Four candidates were interviewed for the interim superintendent position Tuesday and Wednesday this week and two finalists have been selected. Zoom forums will be held with each candidate on Monday, June 13. First, with administration, teachers, and staff (links sent via email) then in the evening from 6-8 pm with community members. Meet Lisa Cala Ruud from 6-6:45 pm (Passcode: 197623) and David Conrady from 7-7:45 pm (Passcode: 232785).

    Lisa Cala Ruud, Ph.D has over 20 years of experience in education. She graduated from the State University of New York at Potsdam in 1995 with a bachelor's in education and worked as a classroom teacher before continuing her education at the State University of New York at Albany, earning a Master of Science and Teaching in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology in 2000. She continued working in education focusing on curriculum and instructional technology. In May of 2020, Lisa completed her Doctoral Dissertation entitled:  "Secondary School Principals' Orientations Toward and Uses of Data for Improvement" and graduated from University of New York, Albany with a Doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership. Lisa is currently the Director of Academics at Chatham Central School District in Chatham, NY. 

    David Conrady, Ed.D has 17 years of experience as a building administrator for public schools in Kansas and Rhode Island. David graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. Biology and Secondary Education in 1997 and earned his Master's in Educational Leadership from the University of Kansas in 2002. David taught high school Science before continuing his career in school administration. In December of 2012, David received his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Kansas. He currently serves as the Principal at Mt. Pleasant High School in Provident, Rhode Island. 

    Summer Fun!

    From local park and trail exploration, to our very own summer library program at Orchard School (see below) there is a lot of fun to be had in our community during these warmer months. I wanted to share a couple of resources: Dolphins football will be holding a summer clinic, South Burlington Recreation and Parks offers ample programming, and the South Burlington Public Library is holding their Kick-Off Celebration for their Oceans of Possibilities reading program June 11! There’s also free music up at Veterans Memorial Park including a brass band concert tomorrow night from 7-8 pm as well as the famous SoBu Nite Out which begins in July! Hope to see you at some of these community events! 

    School Happenings

    SBHS Arts Students Complete their Independent Projects

    Students in Ms. Bolduc's Pottery II class completed independent projects this week. They were called upon to reflect on different building techniques and thoughtfully plan out a comprehensive series that included 3 or more unified components. Students began with sketches, notes, and investigative research. The results were detailed, expressive, personally relative, and visually appealing. The Coral Reef inspired pieces by Ava Jensen were elaborately sculpted with textures and glazed with care. The work is stunning and calls attention to the health of the oceans. Clara Margulius' game board inspired picture frame illustrates her life in Vermont. Izzy Laramee completed fabulous decorative coil pots designed to reflect her Brazilian heritage. Bravo students! 

    FHTMS Math Counts Team Successful at Final Competitions!

    At the State championships Tuttle students placed 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th to win the State Championships which were held virtually, with Evan Xia and Richard Jiang qualifying for the National Championships which were held in Washington DC. Well done team! Thanks to coach John Radimer for another successful year! 

    RMCS Super Reader/Writer Celebration

    Last week, kindergarteners celebrated their super reading and writing powers with a fun filled “Super Reader Day”. The kindergarteners each received their own superhero cape and mask.  We started the day dancing to a fun superhero song. The kindergarteners then recognized their snap work power by receiving a snap bracelet with a snap word written on it. A snap word is a word they know in a snap. To celebrate their pointer power, they were given a finger light to activate their pointer power as they read the books in their book bags. In the afternoon, students gathered with friends from another kindergarten class to use all of their powers to partner read.  It was a great day and a wonderful way to celebrate their learning!

    Gertude Chamberlin Students take part in Field Day Fun!

    Nothing says summer and the end of the school year quite like field days! On Tuesday, GCS students had the chance to cycle through  6  fun-filled stations, each class was at a station for about 9 minutes and a whistle sounded when it was time to move to the next station. Sponge tag, clamming for marbles, pass the sponge relay and pool noodle relay races were just some of the creative games played. Thank you to Mrs. Tan (special educator) and Mrs. Deguise (physical education teacher) for planning these events. 

    Orchard School’s Summer Library

    Looking for ways to keep your student(s) reading this summer? Come to Orchard School's library! SBSD employee Cara Johnson will be running the Summer Library program at Orchard School, and you'll surely find Mrs.Macdonald there, too. Thanks to the generosity of the PTO, the library will be open for nine weeks on Wednesday mornings from 9-12, beginning on June 15th and ending on August 10th. While at Summer Library, Orchard School students may play a game of checkers, build on the LEGO wall, code a robot and, of course, check out some books. Prizes will be awarded for those playing "I Spy." Families may come in each week for a different surprise. Ms. Cara will be changing activities weekly, so stop by on Wednesday mornings for some books and some fun! 

    Can't make it on Wednesday mornings? In addition to this, Orchard’s  "Little Free Library," located in front of the school, is a place where students may give and take donated books 24/7.  Please feel free to clean out your bookshelves for donations, as well as stop by to pick up a couple of "new to you" books over the summer.

    Thanks for reading all of my novel-like updates over the past couple of years. I think they were a great way for all of us to stay connected and I’m sure whoever comes after me will have their own way of staying in touch regularly with all of you. 

    Have a great summer!

    David