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, November 30, 2018

We Strive for Love of Learning, Respect and Well Being

Learn Think Create Serve

Dear Burbank Families,

It’s almost December, which seems unbelievable to me! It feels like September was just yesterday-but here we are. If you are thinking about purchasing your child any books for the upcoming holiday season, please consider some of the nonfiction books listed below. Many research studies have been conducted during the past several years that report elementary age students, in particular, students in grades K-2 often don’t have enough exposure to nonfiction books, either at school or at home. Often times when a student has the opportunity to engage with a high level nonfiction book, they become engrossed in the content, and discover that learning about “real things” is interesting and can sometimes spark a new interest. Here is a list of nonfiction award winners to take a look at:

Award-Winning Children’s Nonfiction Books

This list was published in the educator publication Language Arts. Mary Ann Cappiello and six colleagues share the winners of the annual Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction:

• Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (Roaring Brook, 2017) – A fully illustrated exploration of the Grand Canyon from the rim to the deepest depths.

• Chef Roy Choi and the Sweet Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, illustrated by Man One (Readers to Eaters, 2017) – The son of Korean immigrants learns high-end cooking and ends up running a successful food truck in Los Angeles.

• Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton, illustrated by Victo Ngai (Millbrook, 2017) – The story behind the Dazzle camouflage paint scheme used on allied ships during World War I and II.

• Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris (Chronicle, 2017) – The story behind the Statue of Liberty, including the torch, the seven rays in her crown, the inscription on the book she holds, the broken chains at her feet, and the reason one foot is striding forward.

• The Quilts of Gee’s Bend by Susan Goldman Rubin (Abrams, 2017) – The descendants of Alabama slaves come together each night to quilt, chat, laugh, and sing hymns as they stitch scraps of old shirts, dresses, and aprons into vibrant designs.

• The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane, 2017) – The life of an award-winning, convention-bending architect and the ideas, images, and dreams that shaped her life.

• Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de Mexico by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams, 2017) – The story behind choreographing and performing ballets based on the folklórico traditions of villages across Mexico.

• Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson (Peachtree, 2017) – This book lays out the “limitations, ambiguities, and flatly bad ideas” in the U.S. Constitution that have led to crises through the nation’s history.

• If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams (Roaring Books, 2017) – A smart and insightful child of color invites readers to consider the devastating implications of a planet without sharks.

• Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d by Mary Losure (Candlewick, 2017) – A narrative biography of the father of physics, beginning with his awkward and bookish childhood and drawing on his notebooks and diaries.

• Life on Surtsey: Iceland’s Upstart Island by Loree Griffin Burns (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) – The ecosystem of an island newly generated in 1963 and now home to myriad flora and fauna.

• Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands by Susan Goldman Rubin (Chronicle, 2017) – The life of the mastermind architect and activist (creator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.).

• The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori and the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (Atheneum, 2017) – Through trial and error, Cristofori crafted an instrument that can play piano (softly) and forte (loudly), and how the instrument unleashed the musical imagination of composers from Haydn to Joplin.

• The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin Sandler (Candlewick, 2017) – The discovery of the wreck of the Whydah off the coast of Cape Cod in 1984 has opened the troubling history of this ship in the 1700s.

I hope everyone enjoys a nice weekend!

Happy Reading,

Dr. Clifford

Dates to Remember

Friday, December 21: Winter Assembly in the gym

December 24-January 1: NO SCHOOL – Winter Break

Monday, January 21: NO SCHOOL – Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Friday, January 25: Burbank Skating Party

Lost & Found Reminder
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 is emptied at the beginning of every month. Please make sure to check the lost and found as soon as you notice something is missing.

Save the Date: Kindergarten Parent Information Night for School Year 2019-2020

We are pleased to announce Kindergarten Parent Information Night for parents and guardians of students entering kindergarten at Belmont Public Schools in 2019-2020 on Thursday, January 24 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Winthrop L. Chenery Middle School auditorium, 95 Washington Street (snow date Thursday, January 31).

This is a general information night with all four elementary schools represented; Mary Lee Burbank, Daniel Butler, Roger Wellington, and Winn Brook. Presenting is Superintendent John Phelan along with school and central office personnel.

New in March is Kindergarten Central Registration for families with kindergarten students entering in 2019-2020. More details will be presented at Kindergarten Information Night and information is also available on the Belmont Public Schools website at:

We hope to see you there!

(Please note Kindergarten Parent Information Night is for Adults Only)

Attention Parents of 4th Grade Students

An updated physical exam is required by Massachusetts law for 4th grade students. Please send in to the clinic a copy of your child’s annual physical that has been completed within the past 12 months.

Please contact me with any questions.

Thank you,

Heather Blake, M.Ed., BSN, RN, Burbank School Nurse

Fax: 617-484-2050, Phone: 617-993-5506

PTA News

Help us meet our goal!

We are at 90% of our goal of $30,000! To those who haven't yet contributed, this is your chance to push us over the finish line! Make a donation online at, or by sending a check in your child’s school folder. We ask you to contribute whatever you’re comfortable giving, and if you need a number, we suggest $125 PER CURRENT BURBANK CHILD. Your contribution directly helps enrich your child’s school experience. Every bit helps, so please join us and give what you can.

Examples of past partnerships between the Burbank PTA and the Burbank school include teacher grants, SMART boards, classroom supplies, grade-level enrichment activities, “Mathbrary” for Grade 2, Colonial Day for Grade 3, Kindergarten field trips, online enrichment subscriptions for Grades K-4, community-building events, school library and classroom library support, and teacher professional development.

Fall Landscape Clean-Up Day 2!

Saturday, December 1st, 8:00-11:00 a.m.

Due to the weather leading up to the previous fall clean-up, we were not able to finish the job. For our newly planted front lawn to thrive, we have to take special care of removing all the leaves this year. PLEASE join our community to care for our school grounds. We hope that the weather cooperates on our Burbank Fall Landscaping - Day 2 on Saturday, December 1 at 8am-11am.

posted: December 20, 2018 by webmaster
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