SB School District Celebrates the Harvest

  • Time to Celebrate the Harvest

    Posted by Corey Burdick on 11/6/2019 11:15:00 AM

    It's hard to believe that November has arrived. Gardens have been put to bed and their bounty harvested. What better time to gather with one's school community to share an afternoon meal consisting of items harvested right in our region!

    The harvest meal has been taking place in various forms for well over 7 years! Carol McQuillen, founder of Common Roots (and retired SBSD teacher) was a key to its implementation prior to current Nutritional Services Director Rhonda Ketner coming on board. Ketner said, "It truly follows the 3C's of Farm to School: Classroom (students participate in preparing and serving. Their level of involvement depends on the school), Cafeteria (Nutritional Services plans, prepares, and organizes set up and serving the meals) and Community (people assist with setup, serving, and partaking in the meals with students). It is truly a joint effort!"

    This meal itself is an all hands on deck endeavor. The Kitchen Coordinator is the Coordinator for the event at their school. The staff at the middle school cook the turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes since the elementary schools do not have the equipment capacity to cook and store it. In addition, each school can also choose to offer extra salad or veggie items based on their distinct culture.

    Over the years, menu-wise, there have been significant upgrades, according to Ketner. "During the last 7 years, we have added more local produce, herbs, and veggies from school gardens when available, as well as local farmers both directly from the farm and through our distributor, Reinhart, who sources a lot of local produce. What is offered is tied to what is available that year."

    Not into turkey? Veggie lovers rejoice! There's a protein option for you too! Ketner noted that the roasted tofu option is housemade and is served with an herb gravy, most items are gluten free, and there is even a gluten free stuffing. Kenter is working on developing more dairy free items for future events as well.

    The harvest meal will take place at Central School Nov. 7, Chamberlin School Nov. 12, Orchard School Nov. 14, and SBHS and FHTMS Nov. 15. The cost is the regular lunch price for students and visiting children: $3.25 for elementary, $3.75 for middle and high school, and the adult cost is $5.00 across the board. Check out the menu here!

    Happy harvest!

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Community Art Project Engages Students, Alumni, and Residents!

  • Traversing South Burlington streets over the past year, you may have noticed the incredible artwork that has sprouted up on utility boxes (and under the interstate overpass) city wide. This community art project was spearheaded by resident Katie O'Brien Barritt and continues to gain momentum! Community members from parents/guardians and their children to teachers, staff, and residents have become involved.

    O'Brien, who was recently honored at a South Burlingon City Council meeting for her contribution to the city said of the project,

    "It's going great. I love it! I knew that South Burlington was a really talented community, they just needed to be coaxed into painting the town to show off what they've got. We have 30 paintings completed, and about 30 more to go. Don't stand still for too long on one of the street corners or you could get painted!"

    Keep your eyes open for more creativity bursting forth along city streets! Want to know where all of the boxes are located? Check out the Google map here

Elementary Students Participate in Dot Day

  • Dot Day Celebrations Build Connection

    Posted by Corey Burdick on 9/19/2019 12:00:00 PM

    International Dot Day was celebrated the week of Sept. 16 at both Orchard and Chamberlin Schools. According to Chamberlin, "Students learned how each of us can leave our "mark" and make a difference in the world we live in. Peter Reynolds' book, "The Dot," reflects one little girl's realization that believing in yourself and helping others can happen every day. This message and theme of "believing in yourself, everyone matters, and reaching out to each other" was embedded in lessons in the library, music room, art room, and gym." Dot Day was officially celebrated at Chamberlin School Tuesday, Sept. 17 by wearing dot clothing.

    At Orchard School, over 400 students contributed to the dot project in the hallways! And according to Donna Sullivan-MacDonald, "It's not done yet!"

    In addition, all 22 classes connected with others across the US through Skype and Google Hangouts. Some classes read Peter Reynolds' books to one another while others did a live taste test of foods from their respective states. Maple syrup and key lime pie! Here's to connection and leaving your mark! 


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School's Out 2019 Summer Camps: Making Learning Fun!

  • School's Out Summer Camps: A Time to Have Fun and Learn

    Posted by Corey Burdick on 7/3/2019 9:00:00 AM

    It's summertime in Vermont and if you have kids in grades PreK-8, chances are that you might be looking for fun ways to keep them engaged until school resumes in late August. Hiking Mt. Philo then grabbing ice cream at Vermont Cookie Love? Learning basketball skills from local pros? Maybe exploring theatre and performance at the Vermont Comedy Club is of more interest. These are just a few of the options the School's Out summer camps began providing this June.

    Not quite ready for your child(ren) to attend an overnight camp? Program Administrator Leigh Lamphere said, "These get as close to a real summer camp as we can and gives kids a camp like experience here at the schools."

    There are a variety of camps for all ages and interests: Core Camp, TREKS, and sports and skills. TREKS are offered at different grade levels and involve day long adventures. Older kids can explore the performing arts, end of summer water world swimming spots such as Lake Elmore, Sandbar, and Waterbury Reservoir. Young Artists Unite participate in painting at Red Rocks, photography at Shelburne Farms, and visit Shelburne Craft School. Grow, Cook, Eat is offered at older and younger grade levels and involves harvesting food to cook from local farms. Younger students can also participate in animal and nature camps, learn first aid skills as well as safe hiking practices to prepare them for future adventures.

    Registration for camps begins in late February and if parents/guardians get in before the deadline, all students get into the camps. After that timeframe passes, registration is based on available space. Lamphere noted that this year, the camps are completely full! With 100 more kids enrolled than last year. Typically, the camps have space for families who want to pick up a week here or there throughout the summer, but not this year. Some of the program's limitations include space and school bus capacity. At the moment, the camps are averaging close to 300 students per week.

    In addition to getting out in nature and having fun, preventing summer learning regression is a key component of the CORE camps. Initially, Lamphere tried to make reading time a scheduled part of the day and in a program that offers so much choice, students weren't very amenable to the idea. Not wanting to scrap the reading component altogether, options were developed that allow for more creativity and choice. Students can now choose DIRT time (daily independent reading time), reading aloud plus a project, comic book making and reading to one another, and turning a book into a play. The initiaitve is currently in year two and yes, there are prizes involved! Students log their reading hours in a chart in order to be eligible for a "mystery prize" at the end of the year. Throughout the summer, prizes (thanks TD Bank!) include free tickets to the fair and Ben and Jerrys cone coupons among others.

    Although hard numbers around outcomes haven't officially been tallied by Lamphere, the anecdotal evidence points to positive results! One 5th grade participant last year, for the first time in his life, didn't regress thanks to the summer reading program (according to the parent/guardian). In addition, a parent also reported that her daughter increased her reading level thanks to the initiative. She had been reading a few grades below her level, but now, not only is she able to read books she enjoys, but said she actually likes to read now!

    The last day of summer camp is August 9, which gives Lamphere and his staff time to regroup and plan for the upcoming school year. Happy summer!

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39th Annual District Fine Arts Gala a Night to Remember

  • District Fine Arts Night: Visual and Performing Arts Wow!

    Posted by Corey Burdick on 5/31/2019 1:00:00 PM

    As the school year comes to a close, numerous celebrations from concerts to field days as well as academic and sports awards nights are taking place district wide. This past Wednesday, May 29 marked the culmination of a year's worth of work in the visual and performing arts at the 39th annual district arts and music gala!

    From 6-7 pm parents, guardians, students, staff, and community members made their way through the art studios of SBHS, reveling in the talent of students in ceramics, painting, pointalism, and more. While all of the art teachers in the district put on the show, the high school art teachers, Kim Kimball and Lisa Divoll-Painter do much of the work, since it is held in their art rooms.

    There was face painting (done by high school students) and art activity stations to keep people of all ages engaged. Following the open studio portion of the evening, from 7-9 pm guests had the opportunity to enjoy musical performances by district wide music students. Director of Choral Ensembles, Aimee Bushey, Director of Jazz Ensembles David Grippo, and Director of Instrumental Ensembles Christina Toner gave context to each selection and at times, emotional tributes.

    "It isn't about me," Bushey said, "it's about them. I really do have the best job in the world."

    For the audience, the varied selections were a real treat and an eye opener for those who perhaps didn't know the district has an African drumming ensemble.The chamber singers performed, "Signs of the Judgment," arranged by Mark Butler. This A cappella piece is often performed at the collegiate level due to its level of difficulty, but these students were up to the task!

    The jazz ensemble's James Brown piece, "I Got the Feelin'" had people up and out of their seats or at a minimum, dancing while in their seats. The combined choruses also treated the audience to selections from popular recent films including "La La Land," "A Star is Born," and "Les Miserables."

    If this wasn't enough, rounding out the evening was a very true to the original rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" performed by the combined bands. Wow.

    Well done to all of the students, teachers, administrators, custodial and maintenance staff, parents and guardians! Can't wait for next year!

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