Belmont Public Schools
Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School
266 School Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5500
Home Contact Us School Info PTA News/Calendars For Families Departments
Welcome to Burbank Elementary School
News & Calendars
Home subsection School News subsection
title start School News title end
Burbank School Newsletter, January 25, 2019

We Strive for Love of Learning, Respect and Well Being

Learn      Think      Create      Serve 

Dear Burbank Families,

Happy Friday!  We’ve had a good week here at Burbank.  As we look forward to February, there are a few things to remember.   STEM Night is on the 13th in the gym.  This has always been a fun and exciting night for families at Burbank.  If you are new to our school, or haven’t attended STEM Night in the past, I strongly recommend it.  This is a great opportunity to partner with your student and present an interesting science concept, or to teach us all something new in math, or to display something you’ve designed. 

Also, keep in mind; we are having a drive for Cradles to Crayons, where students can bring in pajamas to donate on Friday, February 15th

Today report cards will be available.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Dr. Clifford

Dates to Remember

  • Friday, January 25: TONIGHT Skating Party 7:00pm - Skippy Viglirolo Rink- Concord Ave
  • Tuesday, January 29:  Talent Show Sign Ups – 1/29 -2/3
  • Wednesday, February 6: Winter Walk to School
  • Wednesday, February 6: Burbank Belmont Books Event (see below for more information)
  • Wednesday, February 13: STEM Night
  • Wednesday, February 15: Cradles to Crayons – Bring a $1 and wear your P.J.s to School
  • February 18-22: NO SCHOOL – February Break

Cradles to Crayons

On Friday, February 15th we will have our P.J. day for Cradles to Crayons.  If your child would like to wear their pajamas to school on that Friday they must either bring a $1 donation for Cradles to Crayons or a new pair of pajamas.  All the donations will go to Cradles to Crayons.


So, you’re looking at a Burbank report card and want to know what it means.  Report cards change over time, and today’s forms of measuring student progress come from a standards-based philosophy, which varies greatly from a traditional grading system.  Here is a quick reference guide that will help you navigate the report cards when they come.


The standards based report card adequately reflects curriculum and classroom instruction. When national standards were adopted by Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Belmont Public Schools recognized that it was the perfect time to update our reporting instrument so that we are providing clearer, more detailed information to you, the parents. Our report cards are now based on the standards articulated in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. They clearly reflect the curriculum which is addressed and the learning expectations at each grade level. Students will be evaluated in relation to their progress toward meeting January and June benchmarks.


The social skills grades are rated from 1 to 4.  4 on a skill would mean that the student consistently demonstrates this skill.  They meet expectations at all times, and do so without support.  3 means that they do this most of the time - this means there are times when the student needs some teacher support, but they are still mostly independent.  2 means they demonstrate the skill most of the time.  This is a behavior that can be difficult for them to manage at times, and that teachers are working with them on improving.  1 means it requires on-going support to develop this skill.  This would likely mean the behavior creates regular disruptions to learning for the student and, possibly, the class as a whole.


This system is very different than the one most of us grew up with.  Instead of A’s, B’s, and C’s, we now give out M’s, P’s, B’s, and NY’s.  Keep in mind that, due to the standards-based approach, there is no “exceeding expectations” category.

M: Meeting the Standard   This means the student has shown proficient growth for this point in the year.  Keep in mind that a student could theoretically meet a standard now (M) and be progressing later (P), as the rigor of certain standards increase between now and June.

P: Progressing to the Standard   This is given because they have not yet met the term’s benchmark.  It also means that there has been ample progress made.

B: Beginning to Progress Toward the Standard   Students receiving this score are still below expectations, but have made progress since the beginning of the year and may benefit from extra practice in order to meet expectations by the end of the year.

NY: Not Yet Progressing   This is a signal that a student is struggling to improve after beginning the year well below grade level.

/: Standard Not Addressed   The slash is typically used when the standard is not addressed during the semester that the report card covers.  Many comprehensive units happen later in the year, so January report cards will include slashes when the report predates instruction.  In addition, not all Art, Phys. Ed., and Music skills will be addressed in a given year.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It is unlikely any student would earn all M’s in January, but even if they do, it’s important to note that expectations for certain skills, like reading level and math fact fluency, rise between January and June.  An M only means that they have made adequate progress thus far, not that they have met the end of year benchmark early.  We have months of learning ahead of us still!

Feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher directly about any grade as soon as you have a concern.

When Students Are Absent From School More Than 15 Days

Due to the increase in families taking extended vacations from school we would like to remind parents of the Belmont Public School’s policy regarding absences.

              If a student is gone from Belmont Public Schools 16 or more days, they will be inactivated.  On return the parent must bring proof of residency to the school.  The student is not guaranteed placement in the same classroom or even in the same school.  Placement is determined by the Superintendent.  The family also should contact the Assistant Superintendent for home schooling plans while they are away.

Missing nearly a month of school has a great impact on a student’s learning.  It is very hard to make up three weeks or more of school.  Teachers are not required to put together packets of work for any students who will be out of school for an extended period. 

Openings for Crossing Guards

The town is currently seeking an individual as a Crossing Guard.  It is the Crossing Guard’s responsibility to ensure students’ safety at street crossing sites.  Resumes accepted at the Town of Belmont, Human Resources Office, 455 Concord Ave. or  The starting hourly rate is $16.50/hour.

The town also is looking for individuals to be on call as a Reserve Crossing Guard.  This position is not eligible for benefits but the hourly pay is the same at $16.50/hour.

The FBE’s Online Camp Auction is open for bidding!

From preschool programs to overnight camps, the FBE Online Camp Auction has something for every child. There are local, day-camp offerings for a variety of age ranges and overnight options perfect for those children who wish to venture out of the area for camp. 

Please visit the FBE’s Online Camp Auction  for detailed descriptions of each camp offering including dates and restrictions and start bidding!

The FBE Online Camp Auction will close on Tuesday, February 5th at 8pm

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to solidify your child’s summer plans and thank you for your support of the FBE!


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.

Wellness Reminder

The best ways to keep your children healthy and in school include:

  • Helping them get enough sleep (School-age children need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night). The immune system is repaired and the body restored during sleep--making sleep critical to good health.
  • Remind your children to wash their hands frequently—at least before eating meals. This is the best way to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Make sure your children start the day with breakfast and bring a nutritious snack. Children who miss breakfast have difficulty concentrating and participating fully in the classroom. Studies have shown that students who skip breakfast have lower test scores, poor memory and concentration, and are not as happy or well adjusted.
  • Please keep children home who have had a fever, vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours. When a child is sent home with a fever, they may not return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours.

Thank you, Heather Blake, RN

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



TONIGHT Friday January 25th, 7:00-9:00pm
Fun, free, and includes hot chocolate 

Join your classmates tonight for a fun and free evening of ice skating! The Burbank PTA is hosting our annual skating night at the Viglirolo Skating Rink (297 Concord Ave, on the Belmont High School campus). Skates are not available, so please bring your own. Helmets are strongly recommended. Questions? Contact Kristen Zecchi ( or Heather Brenhouse (

BURBANK LOVES BOOKS, and Belmont Books has them! 

Wednesday, February 6th, 2:00-7:30pm
Join us for an in-store celebration to delight our children and support the school, with celebrity readers, teacher wish lists, and books, books, books! Kids and parents can browse books with their friends. Families can support reading in the classrooms and school by shopping Burbank wish lists.

All in-store sales during these three hours will support the school, so encourage friends and family to shop, too! 20% of sales support the Burbank PTA. 

Love books and want to volunteer during the event? Contact Jessie Bennett at

Host an activity at STEM Night

Wednesday, February 13th, 6:30-8:00pm

Calling all STEM enthusiasts (parents and students alike) . . . start planning your STEM Night activities now! We need your help to make STEM Night a success, so please consider hosting an activity of your choice (register at, or helping as a volunteer before, during, or after STEM Night (sign up at

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Night at Burbank is an exciting evening of hands-on exploration for all ages! Mark your calendars now so you don't miss this fun night of discovery and wonder.

TALENT SHOW SIGN-UPS: January 29th-February 3rd
Is your Burbank student a budding actor? A dancer whose energy needs an audience and outlet? A magician with stuff to show or make disappear? A performer whose talent cannot be defined but must be shared? If so, they are invited to sign up for the 2019 Burbank Talent Show!

WATCH FOR AN EMAIL on January 29th with the sign-up link. The sign-up window is from January 29-February 3, and 40 available slots will fill up fast.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO GET READY. Follow the link below to help get your entry ready.

Questions? Contact Tara Smith ( & Mollica Manandhar (, Talent Show Co-Chairs

MA Winter Walk to School Day: Wednesday, February 6th

Wear a warm colorful hat and join your Burbank friends and other Massachusetts schools in walking to school on February 6th, whatever the weather! We'll have a dance party on the blacktop to celebrate being a walking school! 

Girl Scout Recruiting Event

Interested in joining Girl Scouts? Come find out what it's all about at the Hip-Hop and Jazz Dance Party Recruiting Event* this Sunday, January 27th from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Belmont-Watertown Methodist Church, 421 Common Street, Belmont.

Meet other girls at all scouting levels, current troop leaders and members of the Belmont Service Unit Team. Find out how to start your own troop or join an existing troop. We hope to see you there!

For more information, please contact: Kylia Garver, SU313 Service Unit Membership Promoter at or Amy Zuccarello, SU313 Service Unit Coordinator at

* Prospective Scouts and parents/guardians welcome. As this is not a drop-off event - all prospective Scouts must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Participants are encouraged to wear loose/comfortable clothing suitable for dancing.

posted: January 25, 2019 by webmaster
home | news & calendars | site map | contact us | school info | pta | for families | departments