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, February 1, 2019

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

Dear Burbank Families,

It’s been a cold week! The PTA is hosting a STEM Night on Wednesday, February 13th, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the gym. This is a fun night, and is a good opportunity to get out and see everyone during these cold winter weeks! February vacation begins on Friday, February 15th. We return to school on Monday, February 25th. Have a wonderful weekend!! As always, thanks for your support and for sharing your children with us!


Dr. Clifford

Dates to Remember

  • 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.

MCAS spring 2019

Testing Schedule

  • April 2019 ELA
  • Tuesday April 23rd: Grade 3 ELA session 1
  • Thursday, April 25th: Grade 3 ELA session 2
  • Monday, April 29th: Grade 4 ELA session 1
  • Tuesday, April 30th: Grade 4 ELA session 2

May 2019 Mathematics

  • Tuesday, May 14th: Grade 3 Math session 1
  • Thursday, May 16th: Grade 3 Math session 2
  • Monday, May 20th: Grade 4 Math session 1
  • Tuesday, May 21st: Grade 4 Math session 2



So, you are 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 As, Bs, and Cs, we now give out Ms, Ps, Bs, and NYs. 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.

Head Lice Information

I thought I would share some information before you head off on your February Vacation. Head lice are common in the elementary school population and are not health hazard, but can be a nuisance. Vacations are often a time when we visit relatives and children snuggle together for movies, sleepovers, or share pillows to read a book together. These are times during which head lice can travel to your child’s head. Although head lice do not jump or fly, they can be transmitted by direct head to head contact.


Before you head off on vacation, you may want to take the time to inspect your child’s head thoroughly. To check your child’s head, use a good lice comb and some conditioner. Instructions for inspecting and treating head lice are available in my office or on the Belmont Public School’s website under, “Health Services”. If you do find head lice or have treated your child for head lice, your child must be seen by the school nurse prior to returning to school. Feel free to call me at 617-993-5506 with any questions.

Best, Heather Blake, M.Ed., BSN, RN

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.

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

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 25th Annual Community Breakfast

Monday, January 21 from 8:45am to 11:00am at the Belmont High School Cafeteria. Tickets are $5/person or $10/family. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Emmett Price.

Cradles to Crayons

The Belmont Police Department along with Cradles to Crayons will be holding a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Collection Drive. They will be collecting new or like new warm winter essentials for children up to age 12.

Items most needed are:

Winter Coats: boys and girls sizes new born to adult medium

Winter Boots: boys and girls sizes child 0-13 and adult 1-10

Winter clothing: boys and girls sizes newborn to child 18/20

A collection bin will be in the Belmont Police Department Lobby. Items can be dropped off starting on Friday, January 11th at 4:00pm. through Monday, January 21st at 1:00pm.

Items can also be dropped off at Belmont High from Monday, January 14th thru Friday, January 17th 7:30am to 2:30pm and Monday, January 21st at 9:00am.

If you have questions please call Lt. Kristin Daley at 617-993-2554.


PTA News

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.

The 24th annual Dr. Feinberg Geography Challenge is fast approaching!

This year’s Challenge will be held on Thursday March 21st (junior division: grades K, 1, and 2) and Friday March 22nd (senior division: grades 3 and 4) in the Burbank cafeteria.

Registration is now open and will be conducted online.

Please visit when you are ready to sign up. Please only register once per team. Registration will be open from February 1st through February 13th.

The schedule for the Geography Challenge will be as follows:

Grades K-2: 9-10:30am, Thursday, March 21st

Grades 3-4: 9-10am, Friday, March 22nd

The Geography Challenge is a non-competitive display of students’ knowledge. As in past years, students form teams of 3 or 4 members and answer questions found in the Dr. Feinberg Geography Challenge Study Book, which will be distributed before the event. Students who participate will have the opportunity to learn basic geography facts and terms. Participation in the Geography Challenge tends to be high, with about two-thirds of all Burbank students electing to take part. The Geography Challenge is unique to Burbank - we are the only elementary school in Belmont that hosts this fun, educational activity. All students attend the Geography Challenge regardless of whether they are on a team.

Attached are FAQs about the event. Fun, teamwork, learning, and enrichment are all part of the Geography Challenge! If you have any questions after reading the registration materials, please contact one of the Geography Challenge co-chairs. We hope that your child decides to participate this year.


Kathy Collins DerKazarian,

Aida Parnagian,

Irina Zhygalko,

Heather Rubeski

Geography Challenge 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!

posted: February 1, 2019 by webmaster
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