Belmont Public Schools
Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School
266 School Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5500
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PTA News -- Feb. 7, 2017

What's Happening This Week

We had a good turnout at last night's PTA Meeting where we discussed a pressing issue at the school: the need for Chromebooks to improve access to technology in Burbank's classrooms. The meeting inspired the PTA to launch a campaign to put these inexpensive and versatile machines into the hands of our students, but we'll need your help. Please watch this space next week for information on how you can contribute. We thank everyone who came to the meeting, and especially Dr. Clifford, Jess Ames, and Patrick Mongeau for their informative presentation.

Burbank apparently has a lot of eager performers, because the Talent Show signup filled up in record time. Thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm!

Theres's still time to sign up for STEM Night. A few tables remain in what is sure to be a repeat of last year's amazing night of hands-on experiments and fun.

Have a great week!

Jessie and Katherine

Burbank STEM Night next week!

We need YOUR help to make STEM Night on Feb 15th a success! We still have a few tables left, so sign up to host an activity of your choice (you don't need to be a scientist or mathmetician to share a fun activity!). It's a great chance for families to share a fun STEM activity. We also still need volunteers to help run the event.

Click here to host an activity Click here to volunteer ahead of time/during the event

Questions? Contact one of the STEM Committee Members: Sarah Olken (, Jerome Dubois (, Adam Poulin-Kerstien (, or Steve Sears (


There is more traffic around Burbank during the winter months as more families commute to school by car. We ask everyone to please drive slowly and carefully, park safely, and follow all posted signage when driving to and from Burbank (more info available on PTA website). Specifically:
* do NOT park in No Parking areas (indicated with signs and safety cones)
* do NOT block crosswalks, sidewalks, or driveways
* DO use the designated drop-off areas on Gale Rd and Sharpe Rd
* do NOT leave your car in the drop off areas
* LEFT TURN only from Sharpe Rd onto School St in the mornings (protects crosswalk across School St)
* DO obey the one-way only traffic designation on Gale Rd and Sharpe Rd during school hours

Thank you for helping keep our students SAFE!

Geography Challenge Registration
Register before February 15th

The 22nd annual Dr. Feinberg Geography Challenge is fast approaching! This year’s Challenge will be held on Thursday March 23rd and Friday March 24th 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 1 through February 15th.

Please note an important scheduling change from previous years. Due to increased enrollment throughout the school, the schedule for the Geography Challenge will be as follows:
Grades K-1: 9-9:50am, Thursday, March 23rd
Grade 2: 10-10:30am, Thursday, March 23rd (after the K-1 students depart)
Grades 3-4: 9-10am, Friday, March 24th

The Geography Challenge is a non-competitive display of students’ knowledge and 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.

This year, registration will be conducted online. Registration will open February 1 and will close February 15th. Stay tuned for a link to online registration and FAQs about the event on February 1. If you have any questions, please contact one of the Geography Challenge co-chairs. We hope that your child decides to participate this year!

PTA Geography Challenge Co-Chairs: Clare Crawford (, Kathy Collins DerKazarian (, Elizabeth Dustin (, and Aida Parnagian (

Safe Routes Committee Update

The PTA Safe Routes to School Committee is working with town departments to promote safety for students and families walking to school. The immediate priority was to address the crosswalk at the front of Burbank on School Street, where the crossing guard was hit by a vehicle in January. To this end, the police dept and DPW provided a portable reflective "Yield" sign in the middle of the crosswalk in front of Burbank. Director of Community Development Glenn Clancy confirmed that two "Your speed is" detection/display signs will be installed on School St this spring, thanks to contributions of FY17 funds from several departments including the School Department. Additional improvements are under discussion to be part of a request to the Capital Budget Committee. Many thanks to the town for taking vital steps towards improving safety around Burbank.

We are also trying to create a group that would advocate for pedestrian safety concerns town-wide. If you are interested in joining us in this effort, please contact Mary Lewis (

A townwide Safe Routes to School Meeting will be held Monday, February 27th from 7PM-8PM at the Town Hall (Conference Room #2), 455 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478. For those of you who would like more information regarding Safe Routes to School, this meeting would be a perfect opportunity to learn more about it. IThis meeting will be used as opportunity to talk about Belmont’s Safe Routes to School updates and initiatives as a community – the PTA/PTO representatives, town departments, Belmont residents, groups and constituencies, to share information, collaborate, and pursue town-wide initiatives. It is my understanding that we are re-convening Belmont's SRTS Working Group, which was established in 2014 and to which many have contributed. During our meeting, one of the potential town-wide initiatives we will discuss is the Complete Streets program, and if/how the SRTS Working Group could help advocate for its adoption in Belmont. A representative from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will do a presentation on Complete Streets.

If you live on School St or another busy street and want a "Slow Down!" yard sign, please contact Heather Barr (

School Store Open on Fridays!

Help the Fourth Graders learn about entrepreneurship and raise funds for their Moving On Ceremony by visiting the student-run school store. The store is open every Friday outside of the gym from dismissal to 3:30 pm.

Questions? Please contact Tatiana Pantazopoulos (

A Way to Support the PTA While You Shop

If you shop at Amazon, you can support the PTA in a very easy way. Click the link below to designate the Burbank PTA on Amazon Smile, and Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases to us!

Go to

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, January 31st: Talent Show Sign-Up Opens

Wednesday, February 1st: Winter Walk to School Day

Wednesday, February 1st: Geography Challenge Sign-Up Opens

Monday, February 6th: PTA Meeting @ 7:00pm

Wednesday, February 15th: STEM Night

February 20-24: February Break

March 10: Movie Night

March 23-24: Geography Challenge

View PTA Calendar

Community Postings






A Community Responds: Three Films on the Global Refugee Crisis is a film series presented by the Belmont Public Library, Belmont World Film, Beth El Temple Center, and the First Church of Belmont. The films will be screened on three Thursday nights in February: February 2 and 9 at West Newton Cinema, and February 16 at the Belmont Public Library (336 Concord Avenue). All screenings begin at 7 PM, and will be followed by discussion. Tickets are available online.


International Valentine’s Celebration

Saturday, Feb 11th 12-2 PM

Come to Belmont Library’s Assembly Room for a fun all-ages lunch time celebration. Meet new and long time Belmont neighbors. Free, drop-in.

Make Valentine’s Day cards, learn about Valentine’s Day in America and similar traditions around the world. Enjoy cold cuts and cookies!

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Belmont Public Schools and Belmont Against Racism.

Drop-in, no sign up necessary, for kids, teens, and adults.


Save the Date: FBE Spring Dinner
March 18th, 2017 from 6:30-11:00 pm

The Annual Foundation for Belmont Education Fundraiser is only three months away! It’s time to SAVE THE DATE and help the FBE get ready for its largest fundraising event of the year.

There are many ways to help the FBE prepare for this fantastic event:
Learn About Volunteer Opportunities
View and Donate items from our Auction Wish List
Learn about the FBE and what we do to support the Belmont Public Schools

Questions? Contact

Thank you for your support of the FBE!

Burbank Elementary School PTA

266 School Street
Belmont MA 02478

PTA Co-Presidents

Jessie Bennett

Katherine Poulin-Kerstien

PTA Website

Support the PTA

PTA Calendar

Burbank Weather Station 


posted: February 8, 2017 by webmaster
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