November 19, 2021, Volume 13, Issue 15
Notes from the Principal
Hello Orchard Parents,
Whew, we made it to our first vacation! Actually, teachers have two days of conferences next week. I think we all agree that we are ready for this break!
Vermont Plow Day was so much fun on Wednesday! Check out the photos below and you can see how much fun our adopted snowplow driver, Matt, enjoyed being at Orchard School. NECN news loved our name and we were well represented all over New England due to our awesome Orchard Plow: Obi-Won KenSNOWbi. Check out the news clip on NBC:
These past couple of weeks have been challenging with positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts. We will all work together to get through this. Our biggest concern is that we will have more COVID-19 cases as we return to school after Thanksgiving get-togethers. We all need to do our part, so that all of our students can return to school safely on November 29th.
Have a great break and Happy Thanksgiving! Take some time to read with your child.
Quote of the Week:
“Spirit Protectors of our past and present, we thank you for showing us ways to live in peace and harmony with one another.”
~from the book, Giving Thanks, A Native American Good Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swamp
Photos of Obi-Won KenSNOWbi with Driver Matt
School Nurse Notes
Celebrating Thanksgiving or just gathering with others? Here's how to do it safely:
VT data indicates that gatherings are a source for COVID-19 spread. The Delta variant is very contagious, so let's all do our part to keep one-another safe. If you plan to gather, please:
- Discuss ahead of time
- consider indoor mask wearing, when not eating, especially when gathering with those who are unvaccinated
- Keep your gathering small
- larger groups mean a greater chance of someone having the virus and exposing others
- Get tested
- schedule a PCR test by 11/22/21 and consider rapid (antigen) testing, on Wednesday and Thursday, prior to your gathering
- If you have symptoms, even mild ones, STAY HOME
- it may be difficult, but it's the right choice
- Test 5-7 days after your gathering
- even if fully vaccinated and without symptoms
The CDC recommends avoiding travel until you are fully vaccinated, to avoid risk of COVID-19 exposure. If you choose to travel internationally, please be aware that Vermont (and SBSD) follows the CDC's recommendations:
- ALL TRAVELERS: get PCR tested 3-5 days after travel.
- NOT FULLY VACCINATED TRAVELERS: stay home and quarantine for 7 days after travel, even if the test is negative at day 3-5. If not tested, stay home and quarantine for 10 days.
COVID VACCINE Resources for Parents and Kids:
CNN and Sesame Street have teamed up to help answer questions from kids and families (and they are not just for preschoolers!):
- Sesame Street and the ABCs of COVID Vaccine Video.
- Big Bird Talks About COVID-19 Vaccine Fears Video.
- Video for Children: How COVID Vaccines Work
- But Why? Podcast for Curious Kids: Why is it a shot? Kids Questions about COVID Vaccine.
Denise Aronzon, M.D., a local pediatrician and SBSD parent, provides some solid advice when considering the vaccine:
We are so excited that the Pfizer Covid vaccine has now been approved for the 5-11 year old age group! We are encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated as soon as possible. Here are some great reasons to have your child vaccinated:
- Vaccinated children are far less likely to become infected with Covid. If vaccinated children do get infected, they are far less likely to become seriously ill or need to be hospitalized. Children can and do become seriously ill with Covid.
- Vaccinated kids are less likely to infect their families and friends. Vaccinated kids protect vulnerable family and community members, such as infants and toddlers, the elderly, and those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health issues.
- Vaccinated kids do not need to stay home to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with Covid and continue to feel well.
- Vaccinated kids can travel and participate in certain activities where vaccination is required.
- Hundreds of millions of Americans, including many kids between the ages 12-17, have been vaccinated already and side effects have been extremely rare. In rare cases, some children have developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, following the Covid vaccine. Myocarditis occurs in Covid disease as well and we are learning that myocarditis in the disease occurs much more often and is typically more severe than following the vaccine. As for long-term side effects from the vaccine, research and monitoring on other vaccines show that side effects almost always happen within six weeks of getting a vaccine.
- Here is a great FAQ for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the Covid vaccine for kids. It answers questions about vaccine safety, side effects and timing.
And as always, please contact your child's pediatrician or family doctor if you have further questions.
Zoom Conversations: Join discussions with members of the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. See dates and zoom links here.
Vermont Department of Health: Answers for Parents
Make an Appointment: visit HERE. Children will receive 2 doses of the vaccine, given 3 weeks apart. A child will be fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the 2nd dose.
- Any families without internet access or who other would like assistance to make their appointment should contact the Health Department call center at (855) 722-7878, Mon - Fri 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sat and Sun 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- To speak with someone in a language other than English, dial the call center, and then press 1.
- People who are Deaf or hard of hearing can make a TTY call to this number by dialing 711 or 1-800-253-0195.
TEST TO STAY (TTS)
Unvaccinated, asymptomatic students (ages 5 and up) and staff, who are identified as close contacts to an in-school COVID-19 exposure, are eligible to participate in TTS. Click HERE to view some TTS Frequently Asked Questions.
Kara Cassani, RN & Darcy Mazlish, RN
Orchard School Nurses
SBSD Elementary Health Services
p. (802) 652-7303
f. (802) 652-7354
2nd & 3rd Graders Giving Thanks
Giving Tree Updated
Exciting news! There is now a third easy way to donate to this year's Thankful Giving project. In addition to being able to send in a check or gift cards, you can now also use the following link to make a quick donation to the Thankful Giving program through Konstella if that's easiest for you: https://www.konstella.com/open/donations/617bee706afad907d625f78f
Please see the attached flyer for more details. Thank you in advance from Orchard's Guidance and Clinical Team for your generosity.
Reminders from the PTO
December PTO Meeting: Please join us at our next PTO meeting on Wednesday, December 1 at 6:30 pm. Here is the Zoom link to join-- see you there! https://howardcenter.zoom.us/j/87026798588?pwd=TDBjcEd4YTFERkZ3dWZyVnlISlJpUT09
Teacher Appreciation Snacks: Thank you to those who brought in snacks for teachers during our October week! Sign up here for upcoming months: https://www.konstella.com/app/school/6053aecc105c0243ef2edbfa/recurring-signups/61689cb76afad907d5d48950
Still not on Konstella? Konstella is a parent portal for people to connect with one another (e.g., to set up playdates), for community event reminders, and for committee sign-ups. Add your child to their classroom today! https://www.konstella.com/cd/YHHCGJ
Questions or Comments for the PTO? Please email Orchardschoolvt@gmail.com