October 7, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,
And just like that, it was October. The leaves are starting to change, but the sun and warmth are hanging on, perfect for engaging in activities on our school grounds. Our outdoor tents are sure getting a lot of use! This week, we did not have any new COVID cases in our District. Thank you to families, students, and staff for your continued efforts! Having students back in school full time has been a welcome change from last year. I wanted to note a couple of important reminders: Friday October 8, the elementary schools will have an early release at 12:30 and the middle and high school will have a late start at 10:35. There will be no school Monday, October 11 in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Also, October 5 was World Teachers’ Day. Thank you to all of our amazing teachers who have shown tremendous resilience during these times!
I wanted to give a shout out to one of our South Burlington bus drivers Steve Rexford! He was featured in a recent episode of Seven Days’ Stuck in Vermont. (Psst, want to join the transportation team? Contact Kathy LaRock at 652-7479 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thanks also to everyone who attended my Zoom chat Tuesday night! A lot of valuable information was shared from Dr.’s Breena Holmes, Becca Bell, Ben Lee, and Denise Aronzon. I’ll be booking my next chat soon, especially as we anticipate more details on the potential emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11. Stay tuned!
Families, please visit the District transportation page often as routes are frequently being updated. Thank you!
World Mental Health Day is October 10
Taking care of one’s mental health is paramount and this month the Howard Center will be offering a World Mental Health Day (WMHD) Speaker Series. It’s virtual, free, and weekly during October. The sessions are designed to nurture and support. The sessions are free, but registration is required here.
In addition, last weekend at the SBHS girls’ soccer game, the team advocated for student-athletes mental health through the Morgan’s Message organization. “Morgan’s Message amplifies stories, resources, and expertise to confront student-athlete mental health, builds a community by and for athletes, and provides a platform for advocacy. Morgan’s Message strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community and equalize the treatment of physical and mental health in athletics. They aim to expand the dialogue on mental health by normalizing conversations, empowering those who suffer in silence, and supporting those who feel alone.” A donation box was on site at the game.
SBHS Athletics Supports Winooski
SBSD Athletic Director Mike Jabour organized, in collaboration with the Winooski athletic director, an event last weekend to show support for the Winooski soccer team. The boys soccer team invited the Winooski team onto the field at their game and a statement of support was read stating that South Burlington unequivocally condemns racism in all its forms and stands by the students of Winooski. Jabour said, “The reason why we invited the Winooski team was to show support to their team, coach, and AD. It was a great atmosphere Saturday night. Our team was excited to have Winooski cheering us on.” Check out the coverage by MyNBC5. Well done!
FHTMS Live Stream Recordings
In case you missed it, on October 5, Chris Johnstone and Interim FHTMS Principal Dave Hyatt livestreamed important information for families. Check out the recordings on the topics below!
Accessing Schoology and Better Understanding Proficiency Based Learning / Feedback: This video provided direct instructions to accessing the Schoology gradebook and assignments, along with a quick presentation regarding Proficiency Based Learning and the scales (feedback) provided to the parents.
Annual Title I Funding: Part A Meeting: Briefly examined how FHTMS utilizes Title I Federal Funding to improve the academic achievement of their disadvantaged students.
South Burlington Community Math Forum.
The South Burlington Community Math Forum: Review and Next Steps with Steve Leinwand will take place Thursday, October 14, 7-8 pm. There will be a quick, example-laden look at how and why middle and high school math must shift to best meet changing societal and workplace needs and address the impact of technology on every facet of our lives. This background will lead to a brief discussion of SBSD strengths and considerations for strengthening the math program. The session will end with an opportunity for questions and answers. For background on Steve see www.steveleinwand.com
SB Public Library Updates
South Burlington students have a new and unique resource this year: the new public library at 180 Market Street. The library staff and architects designed the building with all ages of children and adults in mind, incorporating comments made by youth and parents during the planning process.
The Marabella KidSpace has a Wiggle Room for playing and toddler storytimes, a Hangout for middle school students, the Katie O’Brien Activity Room for creating and collaborating, and lots of books to read in comfy corners. Children in fourth grade or lower must be accompanied by an adult, while those in fifth grade and up may attend the library unaccompanied.
On the second floor, The Loft, donated by a group of library supporters, includes a room for high school students, a study area, new Young Adult titles and reading steps. The adjacent Digital Lab is designed for instruction and will also be used afterschool for activities determined by a new Young Adult Advisory Board (apply here) to include gaming, crafts, training, book groups, board games and just hanging out.
SBHS Aviation Activity
New Career Development Center Director Nikki St. Mary noted that this Friday, some pilots from the National Guard will land a helicopter on the baseball field at 12:35-ish and will make themselves available to answer student questions about aviation. They will lift off and head back to the airport at 1:35. Students and staff are welcome to come outside and watch (the guard will mark off spectator space!) and connect with the pilots. It's supposed to be a beautiful day!
FHTMS Heritage Winooski Mill Museum Test Runs Exhibits with Tuttle Students
Language Arts teacher Edith Ainsley reported that the Heritage Winooski Mill Museum came to test run some new school exhibits with her TA students from Polaris last Thursday outdoors under the tent. “There was a student exhibits specialist who came to work with the director of this museum about refreshing their offerings and they wanted to test run them with my students because I bring my groups every year since we study the novel Counting on Grace about a girl facing the hardships of life at the now dismantled Pownal Mill. It's a very popular read for all my students, and we visit the museum to see firsthand some of the equipment used and to locate families who may be related from both the Irish and French Canadian immigrations to this area.
The kids were involved in asking questions about pictures of children at "work" in all kinds of occupations - newspaper sellers, farm work, mill work, and other industrial tasks. They guessed at their lives and then the realities were revealed to them. They were engaged, and even scandalized (!) by what they learned,” Ainsley said.
Gertrude Chamberlin Students Enjoy Virtual Author Visit
Recently, Mrs. Brown's class had a virtual author visit with Todd Parr. Todd Parr is the author of over 60 children's books, some of which Chamberlin has in its library. Last week held "Be Who You Are" day, which is a day Todd created to celebrate one of his books, Be Who You Are. Library Media Specialist Allison Balk wrote, “This book sends the message that we should embrace our differences and love ourselves for who we are! We've been reading some of his books in the library and the kids were so excited to get a chance to meet him on his live webinar. We had a great time celebrating, learning about his life, his dogs and why he started writing books. We even got to listen to him read his book Be Who You Are!”
Rick Marcotte Central Students Earn All Class Celebration
Ms. Cope's class earned an all-class celebration through RMCS’ PBIS framework. They voted to take a walking field trip to the new city library. Many students already had library cards and took out books. Those who did not yet have cards learned how to get one. We love having the new library so close to RMCS and look forward to many future collaborations with this community resource.
Orchard School Second Graders Make Catapults
Teacher Mrs. McLane reported that last week, her second-grade class made catapults as their Big Apple celebration. The children had a blast designing their catapults. They tested the strength of their catapults against cup towers and also tested the catapults for accuracy by shooting their cubes into a cup from one foot away!
Have a great weekend and hope you get outside to enjoy the sunny days! If you are looking for something to do, check out the Cannon 5k walk/run this Saturday, October 9! The fun begins at 9:30 am in front of SBHS. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person. Wear a superhero costume or the color green in honor of George's favorite superhero, the Green Lantern!