Belmont Public Schools
Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School
266 School Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5500
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Burbank School Newsletter, December 8, 2017

We Strive for Love of Learning, Respect and Well Being
Learn Think Create Serve

Dear Burbank Families,
The Burbank Book Fair is today! Parents are encouraged to drop by and visit the fair between 12:00-6:30 p.m. The Magic Show starts at 3:15. Thanks to everyone who helped put this event together, and thanks in advance for helping to support Burbank through the Book Fair.
Here at Burbank we focus on reading, writing, math, science and social studies, among many other things-but we also focus on art, music and physical education. There is colorful and interesting art work on display throughout the first floor-so if you get a chance take a look at the bulletin boards by the art room and by the gym. We are lucky here at Burbank to have a focus on physical education too-and I am always impressed with the skills that are being developed throughout the grade levels during PE class. On December 22nd families will be able to enjoy all that students have been learning in music class at our Winter Assembly, starting at 9:00 a.m. for grades K-2 and 10:00 for grades 3 and 4; I hope you’ll be able to join us. Have a wonderful weekend!
Dr. Clifford

Dates to Remember
Friday, December 8: TODAY Burbank Book Fair
Friday, December 22: Winter Assembly – K,1, & 2 - 9:00-9:30 3 & 4 - 10:00-10:30am
December 25 - January 1: NO SCHOOL – Winter Recess
Monday, January 15: NO SCHOOL – Martin Luther King Day
Friday, January 12: Burbank Skating Party at the Belmont Skating Rink on Concord Ave.
Notice To Student Council Members
The next Student Council Meeting which was originally scheduled for November 29th has been changed to Wednesday, December 13th in the Library at 1:40 immediately following dismissal. The meeting will end at 2:40 and Dr. Clifford will bring the students to the black top area behind the school.

New Lost & Found Procedure
Due to the large volume of items in the lost and found and the fact that we don’t have the space to accommodate all of these items, the lost and found box will be emptied at the beginning of every month. Please make sure to check the lost and found as soon as you notice something is missing.

Children’s Hospital Toy Drive
Save the date for Burbank giving days. Please consider donating a toy to our annual toy drive. Toys collected will be given to patients at Boston Children’s Hospital who are spending the holidays in the hospital. Students may bring in a new, unwrapped toy on Thursday December 14 or Friday December 15th. Toys appropriate for ages 0-18 are welcome. They are especially in need of gifts for teenagers including gift cards and video games. Children’s hospital requests that we do not donate soft/plush toys. Games puzzles, Legos, books, craft kits, art kits are always appreciated!
Any questions, please contact Carrie Palmer -
Morning Arrival on the Blacktop
A wonderful tradition that has existed at Burbank for a very long time has been the opportunity families have to meet each other and talk during the morning drop off, from 8:25-8:35 a.m. This tradition has helped build a nice community feeling at Burbank, and is one that I really enjoy, as I know many families do too.
As our school has grown and changed, there has been an increased number of people on the blacktop during this time. Due to this increasing number of classes at Burbank, and volume of people on the blacktop in the morning, I’ve asked that only “soft balls” be played with during that timeframe-this would include any nerf-type balls which should be played with in the basketball area by the gym.
Children have the opportunity to bring other balls to school (basketballs, kickballs, etc.) and play with them during their snack recess or lunch recess, when there are fewer people on the blacktop. Please help us ensure that all of our Burbank community members are safe during these ten minutes before school, thank you for supporting this!

No Dogs Allowed On School Grounds
The town by-law reads: “No dogs will be allowed under any circumstances in the following areas of town: all cemetery land, all public school playgrounds and athletic fields and all recreation department playgrounds and athletic fields.” At the Burbank School, the “playgrounds” include the area around the play structures and the entire blacktop area. In addition, we request that dogs be kept away from all entrances and pathways during morning arrival time, throughout the school day, and during afternoon dismissal time.
Winter Assemblies & Our Growing Community!
Each school year brings new opportunities to learn and grow for students, families,
and educators. One way our music program will change this year includes our
format for the Winter Assemblies.
2017-2018 Burbank Winter Assemblies Friday, December 22 Burbank Elementary Gym
Kindergarten, First, & Second Grade - 9:00-9:30 a.m.
Third & Fourth Grade - 10:00-10:30 a.m.
With our increased student enrollment and limited space at school, there will be separate
assemblies on Friday, December 22nd at 9 a.m. for students in kindergarten through
second grade, and then a program for third and fourth graders at 10 a.m.
As this is the school day before winter break and considering available space in the gym, students will only be able to attend the program in which they are performing . Students will work with their homeroom teachers before and after their respective assembly to prepare for the winter break, and will not be able to leave their homeroom to watch the alternate program. We encourage families with siblings in both assemblies to share stories and reflections about favorite parts of each assembly at home over the break.
One tradition for our Winter Assemblies that we are planning to continue for both programs includes singing Aline Shader’s partner song composition, Here In My House . We hope you and your family will be practicing at home to join in music-making together at the assemblies. You can listen to a recording and see lyrics for this song at
Nursing Notes: Tobacco education
I have recently completed the tobacco education program in all four third grade classrooms. The third graders learned about the anatomy and physiology of breathing. They learned about the chemicals contained in tobacco and the harmful effects they can have on the body. This included a discussion of chewing and smoking tobacco. We calculated the monetary cost of cigarettes and brain-stormed alternative uses for that money. I was impressed by their questions and enthusiasm. Please ask them about what they learned.
Heather Blake, M.Ed., BSN, RN
PTA News
Friday, December 8th, is a busy day at Burbank: Book Fair. Spirit Day, and Culmination of Annual Appeal
• Burbank Book Fair – 12:00-6:30 p.m.. Great books, tasty treats, crafts, AND a magic show!
• Burbank Spirit Day – wear your spiritwear or Burbank blue & gold
• Culmination of Annual Appeal Drive – give now, before it ends! Last minute contributions will be accepted at the PTA table during the Book Fair.
Directory is Delivered
The Burbank Directory is complete and copies were sent home in backpacks last week (1 per family). If you did not receive one, please see Mrs. Sacca in the main office for a copy. Many thanks to Directory Co-Chairs, Sonia Gulbankian and Julie Sheffield, for their hard work!
Walk-It Prizes
The Burbank Walks Walk-It Ticket program ends this Wednesday, December 6th. Students who participated can trade in their Walk-It Tickets for a small prize. To do so, they should bring their ticket to Nurse Blake between Wednesday and Friday this week, or to the PTA Table at the Book Fair on Friday. Thank you to Burbank Walks Co-Chair Hyon-Jee Voigt for coordinating this fun, environmentally-friendly activity.
PTA Committee Leadership Needed
1) Green Team: Green Team activities are underway district-wide! We need Burbank parent leaders to step up to represent us in these initiatives. One co-chair needed to re-establish the Burbank Green Team. This volunteer will work with the Green Team volunteers from the other Belmont schools and the community to promote environmentally-friendly initiatives. If you can commit to take on a leadership role this year, the following committees are in urgent need of motivated people.
2) Landscape Committee: One co-chair needed to keep the Burbank grounds beautiful in fall and spring. The landscape committee co-chairs coordinate beautification and clean-up projects to keep our school accessible, safe, and pleasant for the entire Burbank community. This role will be particularly important when the modulars arrive and the landscape changes.
3) Burbank Walks: We are still looking for one co-chair to help promote walking/biking to school. The co-chairs will organize Walk to School Days (February & May); organize “walking school buses”; and promote pedestrian and bike safety. The fall walking programs are already underway, so new volunteers will work with current co-chairs to get walking/biking programs in place for spring.
4) Garden Classroom: We need at least one more co-chair to help maintain the beautiful Garden Classroom. This position involves managing the maintenance and development of the garden, as well as coordinating volunteer efforts in the garden, and collaborating with the Landscape, Veggie Garden, and Garden Curriculum co-chairs.
If any of these roles interests you, please email Katherine or Seetha. The PTA is a completely volunteer run organization, and the positive impact felt by students, teachers, and our community is immeasurable. Thank you for giving of your time and talents!
Belmont Green Corner
Did you know that Americans throw out an extra million tons of trash per week from Thanksgiving to Christmas? During this time I hope that Belmont residents will be mindful of this fact and make an effort to reduce their trash. Below are suggestions for your convenience:
Wrapping paper and gift bags can be reused and recycled.
Please do not use wrapping paper or gift bags made out of glitter or foil. These items look pretty, but can not be recycled.
Holiday cards can be reused and recycled.
Just as foil or glittered wrapping paper can’t be recycled neither can cards. Holiday cards can be saved and used as gift tags for the following year. Or try sending holiday cards electronically as a paperless option this year.

Be conscious of the packaging that gifts come in.
If your purchase comes in excessive packaging look for a different brand or send an email to the company expressing your disappointment with the amount of natural resources, energy and money wasted on ineffective packaging. Please do not put cardboard boxes curbside with the inside packaging inside. Empty the box and flatten. Styrofoam can be placed in the trash and plastic film can be brought to the supermarket and recycled with plastic grocery bags.
Cardboard and catalogues can be recycled.
With online shopping gaining in popularity more households are being inundated with cardboard boxes. According to 90 % of all products are shipped in cardboard. Please recycle by breaking down boxes no larger than 3’ x 3’ sections and placing under the bin or bundling together (no higher than 9 inches). When in doubt about placing it curbside, consider if the recycling crew can easily grip and fit it in the truck. All catalogues and junk mail can be recycled and if you want to reduce the amount arriving to your home go to the websites or for instructions.
Lastly, think about buying a gift that is environmentally friendly.
A reusable coffee mug or water bottle will help cut down on plastic water bottles and disposable coffee cups for commuters. Some coffee shops are offering a ‘bottomless mug’ program that can be purchased as a gift. Reusable lunch bags and sandwich bags are great gifts for school-age children that will save on money and natural resources. Decorative reusable grocery bags can be used as a gift bag and then later to hold groceries. Other gift ideas that require little packaging include tickets to the movies, theater, passes to a museum or gift cards.
Happy Holidays and please remember to reduce, reuse and then recycle during this time as well as throughout the year. Thanks for recycling, improving the environment and quality of life for all!
Also, there will be a cardboard recycling event.
For those cardboard boxes that are larger than 3feet please store until the end of December. The DPW will collect cardboard from 9:00am to noon on Saturday, December 30th at the Town Yard, 37 C St. All you have to do is flatten, no cutting down.
Wishing you a healthy and green holiday!
Any questions or suggestions, please contact Mary Beth Calnan/Belmont Recycling Coordinator at or 617-993-2689.
posted: December 8, 2017 by webmaster
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