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 15, 2019

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

Dear Burbank Families,

Thank you to all of the families who came out to support STEM Night on Wednesday.  The gym was alive with various presentations and families engaging in different activities related to science, technology, engineering and math.  I don’t have the exact number of people in attendance, but it seemed to me to be the largest turn out for STEM Night in recent memory.  It was also nice to see so many former Burbank students presenting at tables throughout the gym, and many who returned to participate and learn about various topics related to STEM, along with the younger students.  A big thank you to the PTA who organized this event.  The planning behind this event, starts in September, and requires many volunteers. 

We are supporting Cradles to Crayons today in collaboration with the Belmontian Club at Belmont High School.  Families have donated generously to this cause today, by either donating a dollar, or brining in pajamas for families in need. Our support of Cradles to Crayons has been a long standing tradition at Burbank, and it’s really great to see the students’ come into the office with their donations-they feel as though they are helping, and they are.  This is a great example of our core value of well-being for others.  

Have a great vacation week!  Enjoy time with family!


Dr. Clifford

Dates to Remember


  • Friday, February 15: Cradles to Crayons – Bring a $1 and wear your P.J.s to School
  • February 18-22: NO SCHOOL – February Break
  • Wednesday, March 6: EARLY RELEASE–11:40 dismissal–Parent Conferences (Tues. Sched.)
  • Friday, March 8: Burbank Movie Night – 6:30-8:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 13: EARLY RELEASE–11:40 dismissal–Parent Conferences (Wed. Sched.)
  • Monday, March 18: Coffee with the Principal – 8:45-9:30am
  • Wednesday, March 20: EARLY RELEASE–11:40 dismissal–Parent Conferences (Thurs. Sched)
  • Thursday, March 21: Geography Challenge grades K-2 9:00-10:30am
  • Friday, March 22: Geography Challenge grades 3 & 4 – 9:00-10:00am


Parent Conference Early Release Day – 11:40am Dismissal

March 6, 13 & 20th are early release days for fall parent conferences  Please mark these dates on your calendar.  On all early release days, all students are released from school at 11:40am.  No lunches are served.  BASEC (after school program) begins at 11:40am. On 

Early Release Day Schedule

Nearly all early release days are on Wednesdays.  In order for children not to miss the same specialist or program on these early release Wednesdays, another day of the week’s schedule sometimes replaces Wednesday’s schedule.  For example, if Wednesday is a Thursday schedule, then Thursday will be Wednesday’s schedule for Physical Education, Art, Music, Library and Computer lab.  Instrumental Music always follows the early release day schedule changes.

Check Dates to Remember for these changes.

MCAS spring 2019   Testing Schedule for Burbank School

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


Kindergarten Information Evening – Thursday, April 25, 2019

On Thursday, April 25th at 6:00 p.m. there will be an Informational Evening for parents who have completed the Kindergarten registration process and whose children have been assigned to the Burbank School. 

The meeting will take place in the gym.  Dr. Clifford will address parents and welcome them to Burbank School.  She will give a brief description of the Kindergarten Screening Process which will take place later in the spring.  Dr. Clifford will also give a brief overview of the Kindergarten Program.  

Heather Blake the School Nurse will also be there to discuss Health Information. 

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. 

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.  

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


Thursday February 21, 9:00AM – 4:00PM

Join members of the Burbank Garden Committee to discover ways to overcome challenges faced in new and established school gardens. Presentations and workshops will inspire and share garden models that address common issues in creative and simple ways.

Our very own Burbank Garden Committee members, Kim Foster and Harriet Wong, are presenting, Developing a Curriculum-based School Program (without overwhelming teachers). 

All Burbank teachers and parents can register at the discounted rate of $40 by using Burbank Elementary on the registration form in the place of member number.

Mass Hort’s campus, The Gardens at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley

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.  

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

posted: February 15, 2019 by webmaster
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