•  Latest South Burlington School District Updates:


    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


    June 2, 2022

    Dear Parents/Guardian and Staff,

    I can never decide if this is my favorite time of the school year or the fall; both include endings and beginnings and are filled with so many moments to recognize students and staff for their hard work. This week, I had the chance to experience the joy of our students on stage at the  middle school choral concert. As I sat there, watching the excitement in our students’ faces, I felt so proud to be a part of our District. Especially after everything we have endured during these pandemic times, to see and hear this event in person filled me with gratitude. I plan on continuing to try to make it to even more celebrations in our schools as we enter our final week of the 2021-2022 school year.

    I wanted to give a shout out to the SBHS Scholars Bowl A-Team (Captain Matthew Vigneau, Sriram Sethuraman, Zach Klugo and Finn Zuccareno) that represented Vermont in the NAQT National Tournament in Atlanta on Memorial Day weekend. The team was 5-5 and finished 133rd out of a field of 288. Our students competed against the best teams in the country and their goal was to finish in the top half, which they did! Senior captain Matthew Vigneau finished in the top 50 among all individual scorers in a field of 1278 students, quite an achievement!

    Thanks also to our families for your patience as we navigated the bus driver shortage this week and for being so flexible with the delays and where possible, dropping off and picking up your student (s) from school. We’re almost at the finish line here, but in the meantime we could use some drivers! See more details on how to apply below. I’ll be sure to keep you posted this week if continued delays are anticipated. 

    Dates of Note:

    June 2, SBHS Academic Awards Night, 7-9pm, SBHS Auditorium

    June 3, Orchard School Grades 4/ 5 Concert 

    June 3 and 4, SBHS Senior car painting/decorating by volunteers!

    June 3, 6 and 7, RMCS Field Days

    June 6, SBHS Chorus, 7 pm at SBHS, but this will also be livestreamed!

    June 7, GCS Field Day

    June 8, FHTMS All Team Activity Day Field trips

    June 8, SBHS Jazz Band plays on Church St. as part of the Discover Jazz Fest, 2-3 pm

    June 9, GCS 5th grade celebration and 5th grade fun day

    June 10, SBHS Graduation at UVM’s Patrick Gym, 10 am

    June 10, Last day of school

    COVID Update

    Thanks to all of you for your continued efforts as we work to make it through the final week of the school year in person! 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 this year is June 10. Please continue exercising universal precautions so that our end of year celebrations can continue as planned.   

    We encourage all who are eligible to get the COVID19 vaccine and booster. On May 19, the CDC recommended a booster shot for 5- to 11- year olds who have completed their primary vaccine series at least five months ago. 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.

    Need an antigen, PCR, or LAMP test? Antigen tests continue to be available upon request at all of our schools. PCR, antigen, and LAMP tests are available from the Health Department at a number of state run testing sites until the end of June. If you have symptoms within 90 days of being infected with COVID, you can still test with antigen tests (not LAMP or PCR). Please check the District’s COVID dashboard for regular updates as well as the state’s weekly COVID surveillance report. You can find the June 1 COVID surveillance report here. 

    Superintendent Search Update 

    At the June 1 school board meeting, board member Dr. Michelle Boyer announced that the search committee held their second meeting Wednesday and of the seven applicants for the interim superintendent position, it was determined that four candidates will advance to be interviewed by the search committee. The committee will then select two to advance to interviews with the administration, faculty, and the community (via forums). Subcommittees were identified to facilitate each of these interview processes. Currently, the committee is targeting June 7 for the search committee interviews and June 8 for the administration and faculty interviews.

    Community forums are also being planned in the very near future. Keep your eye on our District website and Front Porch Forum for details. Dr. Boyer noted that the committee was thoughtful and engaged in their candidate evaluations. Boyer wrote, “Each took great care to consider all application materials supplied by the candidates, weigh them against community needs, the special circumstances of choosing an interim superintendent, and our long-term vision as a community. Their focus and dedication to this very important effort is commendable.”

    Nutrition Services Update: Summer P-EBT Information for Vermont Households

    The State of Vermont will be issuing Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) cards to help with students’ food costs over the summer months. P-EBT benefits are funds provided on an electronic benefit transfer card that a household may use to purchase food items at grocery stores, convenience stores, online retailers and farmers markets where 3SquaresVT (SNAP) benefits are accepted. For households receiving 3SquaresVT, P-EBT benefits will be added to existing EBT cards. Households who have already received a P-EBT card this school year or last year will have the Summer P-EBT benefit added to their existing card. You can find more details about this on the Nutrition Services page of our District website.

    Enrollment Committee Update: Presentation to the School Board

    At last night’s South Burlington School Board Meeting, two members of our enrollment committee, Bettina Miguez and Ethan Bellavance presented the committee’s draft recommendations to address the urgent enrollment capacity issues at RMCS and Orchard Schools. The document outlined the committee’s hard work over 15 meetings (!), as well as their rationale and reasoning behind their short, medium, and long term recommendations. In the short term, the draft proposal recommends ZEMs (zero energy modulars) be installed in the fall of 2022 at Rick Marcotte and Orchard Schools without compromising other affected areas. The number of ZEMs will be determined based on the allowable land and other space needs within each building. I will be looking for board action on this item at their June 15 meeting as these would need to be ordered as soon as possible in order to arrive by November 2022. I also plan on holding one of my Zoom Q and As specifically on this item soon. 

    We’re Hiring!

    The SBSD is hiring for a number of positions both short and long term and we’d love to have you join us! At the moment, we urgently need subs and bus drivers!

    Bus Drivers: Must have CDL with School Bus endorsement. Starting wage: $21.87/hr. 

    Substitute Positions: Daily substitute positions in all departments and locations. HS Graduate, previous experience with school-age children preferred

    Interventionist/Paraeducator: Provides K-12 instructional and personal support to students. Associates degree or 60 college credits preferred.

    K-5 Lunchroom/Recess Monitors: Supervise and assist elementary students during lunch and/or recess. Helps maintain a safe and respectful environment. HS graduate or equivalent.

    For more details on open positions, visit www.schoolspring.com Keyword: South Burlington School District, or contact Elissa Galvez, HR Coordinator, at 652-7247 or egalvez@sbschools.net

    School Happenings

    SBHS Japanese Student Inducted into Japanese National Honor Society

    On May 16th, SBHS Senior Kailey Palmer celebrated her induction into the Japanese National Honor Society Pre-College Chapter (JNHS). This organization “recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence in Japanese study by working with teachers and administrators to develop and maintain high standards of Japanese language education and promoting cultural activities.” (quote from the American Association of Teachers of Japanese).

    Palmer began taking Japanese at SBHS and continued her study all the way to Japanese 4. “In spite of the challenges of language learning in the pandemic era, Kailey’s determination to learn Japanese flourished as strong as ever,” stated Ms. Sinyoung Ra Evans, SBHS Japanese Language Instructor. “Starting from learning hiragana (one of the Japanese alphabets) to the level of real-life communication in Japanese or even creatively writing scripts for Japanese video projects, learning a non-western language for a native speaker of English takes patience and perseverance.”

    Since 2017, SBHS has inducted a total of 17 students into JNHS. Ms. Evans commented, “I hope our SBHS Japanese program legacy will continue to grow and keep on helping our students to become global citizens in the 21st century.” Well done!

    SBHS Science Teacher Phil Surks Receives in Person recognition for Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST)! 

    In 2020, teacher Phil Surks received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and at the time, a Zoom ceremony was held to honor the awardees. Finally, on May 24-26, Surks had the opportunity to be recognized in person along with 3 other Vermont science and math teachers who were invited to and attended a recognition event in Washington DC for 2019 and 2020 recipients of the award.

    Surks learned about the award at a local conference and then received a nomination which was the invitation to apply. The application was arduous and included several writing prompts as well as a video of a lesson and letters of recommendation.  Surks said. You can read more on Phil Surk’s profile page on the PAEMST portal. Congrats! 

    FHTMS 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony Coming Soon!

    Our 8th graders will soon be making the transition from middle to high school and to mark this milestone, they’ll participate in a moving up ceremony June 9 from 2-3PM in the SBHS gymnasium. Cookies and lemonade will be provided  in the lobby of Tuttle for parents and 8th graders immediately following the Move UP Ceremony. Then, afterward, the celebration continues with a free 8th grade social from 3:30-5:30! Congratulations and welcome to high school!

    RMCS  2nd Graders Take Field Trip to Common Roots

    Second graders visited Common Roots Farmstand last week to continue their hands-on learning about pollination and plants. Common Roots Land Educator, JoAnne Dennee, and her staff members Lauren and Morgan, led station work related to pollinator gardening, bee caretaking, and honey and herb healers. Students left the field trip in awe of honeybees and with a commitment to protect pollinators!

    Gertrude Chamberlin Students get a Visit from Lt. Governor Molly Gray!

    On Tuesday May 31, Lt. Governor Molly Gray had a visit with GCS students! Gray visited classrooms and read to students. Lt. Governor Gray wanted to spotlight the great work going on in schools, especially given the enormous stress of this school year. She has been visiting many Vermont schools this spring to reinforce the great efforts going on in Vermont schools.

    Orchard School’s DEI Initiative Reading to Raise Anti-racist Program Closes out Another Successful Year

    Librarian and DEI Committee member Donna Sullivan MacDonald offered that Orchard is excited to be wrapping up their second year of schoolwide monthly read alouds in their Reading to Raise Anti-Racist program. This year, Orchard sought to make their learning more visible as well as translate learning into action. Specific books inspired these four schoolwide projects: donating picture books to newly arrived Afghan families, creating and displaying paper footsteps that explained ideas students want to “stand up” for, designing classroom quilts based on traditions from the Black community in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and filling their lobby with paper doves that symbolize peace, love, and joy. Next year the program will take on a new name that captures the fullness of their learning- “Beginning with Books: Affirming Identities and Raising Voices”. Donna said, “We’re already looking forward to a fantastic group of books for Year Three!”

    Come Check out Orchard’s Free Sale Saturday!

    On Saturday, the Orchard PTO is helping the school clean out the stage and other storage areas. We are dividing the items as (1) to be saved (2) to be given away and (3) to be thrown out. All items for the giveaway will be free (donations appreciated). The gym doors will be open from 11:00-2:00.

    I hope you all have a great Friday and weekend and are getting excited for our final week of school!

    David