Belmont Public Schools
Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School
266 School Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5500
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PTA News -- May 9, 2017
PTA News

What's Happening This Week

Join us next Monday, May 15 at 7:00 pm in the cafeteria for the final PTA meeting of the year.

Help us wrap up this year's projects and start to plan for the 2017-18 school year. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks for Helping Make Burbank Beautiful!

Thank you to all who came out on Sunday afternoon to help with Spring Landscape Cleanup! Thanks to our hard working volunteers, the playground has fresh woodchips, the gardens are weeded and preped for planting, and fresh mulch has been spread. We'd especially like to thank Mary Lewis, David Coleman, Harriet Wong, and Heather Barr for planning and leading the cleanup event.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the Staff Appreciation Luncheon!

Big thanks to our organizers--Heather Brenhouse, Steph Burt, Seetha Burtner, and Pam Cahaly--and to all of our volunteers and contributors.

Curious About the Space Crunch in the Belmont Public Schools?

There will be a presentation tonight at the School Committee Meeting (Belmont High School Auditorium, 7:00 pm) of the Space Task Force findings regarding placing modular classrooms at either Burbank or Butler for the 2018-2019 school year. All parents and guardians are invited to hear the presentation and provide feedback, and we encourage Burbank parents to attend. The School Committee will not vote on modular placement tonight, but will at a future date.

Congratulations to 4th Grade Teacher, Cliff Gallant, on receiving a 2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year award!

Cliff Gallant has given his all to so many students here at Burbank, bringing his energy and caring into the classroom every day. Congratulations, Mr. Gallant, on a well-deserved honor!

And Congratulations to John McClellan for receiving the S. Warren Farrell Award for Excellence in Teaching!

Mr. McClellan has guided countless Belmont students in their growth as musicians and as people, and his thirty years of service was honored with the first S. Warren Farrell Award. Read about the awards at the Belmont Citizen-Herald.


Have a great week!

Jessie and Katherine

Burbank is Community Strong Fun Run
May 18th at 4:30 pm

The Burbank is Community Strong Fun Run will take place on Thursday, May 18th at 4:30pm. Now in it's fifth year, this annual event was established in response to the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013 and raises money for two organizations, the Martin Richard Foundation (MR8) and an organization selected by the fourth grader class, this year Boston Children’s Hospital.

At the Fun Run students run/walk around the school as many times as they choose visiting the two checkpoints to have their marathon cards marked. It is a wonderful way for the school to come together for a great cause. More information and signups will be coming home in the backpacks next week. We will need parent volunteers to help with sign up and to manage the two checkpoints. Please email Katie Sbay ( to volunteer.

Make a big impact, with a time commitment that works for you… Be a PTA Committee or Event Co-Chair!

Share your time and talents to enhance the Burbank community. The PTA is building the slate of committee and event chairs for the 2017-2018 school year. This list has a brief description of each co-chair position. Use the form attached to the list or the online form to let us know how you might like to get involved. Expressing interest now does not commit you - if you let us know you are interested, we will give you more information. You can decide whether to take it on once you know what the commitment entails.

The PTA is a completely volunteer run organization, and the positive impact felt by students, teachers, and our community is immeasurable. Thank you for giving of your time and talents!

Volunteer Today!

Join the Fun of Walking Wednesdays

Leave the car behind (or park further away) and enjoy walking, biking, or scootering to school each and every Wednesday this spring. Sneaker Trophies will be awarded each Wednesday to the classes with the highest number of students walking/biking/scootering to school. Thank you Burbank families and BASEC for taking part in Walk to School Day last week! At least 238 Burbank students walked or biked to school, which is over 64% of the student body. Special thanks to the crossing guards, teachers, fire and police officers who were out greeting families and who made it a fun morning for everyone.

Walking School Bus groups have also resume and will continue every Wednesday morning through June. To learn more about the Walking School Buses and how to join, see the Burbank Walks page of the PTA website, and follow this link for a Walking School Bus parental consent form:

Happy spring!
Burbank Walks Committee

National School Nurse Day is Wednesday, May 10th

Many families have know what it's like to receive a call from Heather Blake. "Hi there, it's Heather Blake at Burbank. It isn't an emergency, so don't worry...." Maybe you've discussed a health issue with her: asthma, allergies, an injury, the fading effects of a bad cold. She is a calm, reassuring, and knowledgeable professional who helps dry our kids' tears and looks out for their safety. If you get a chance, read the fascinating essay she wrote for this week's Belmont Citizen Herald: School Nursing in Belmont, Then and Now. The PTA would like to take the opportunity of National School Nurse Day to give Mrs. Blake a big THANK YOU for the care she provides students every day at Burbank.

Spring Cleanup Thanks!

Thank you to the volunteers of all ages who worked hard on Sunday to spread wood chips and mulch, and weed and prep the gardens for the season. The playground and gardens look terrific!

We would like to acknowledge Cambridge Bark & Loam for the free delivery of mulch, the BPS Facilities Dept for arranging the playground chips delivery, and the Department of Public Works for collecting our yard waste.

There is still a bit more weeding and mulching to finish up! Please join us in the Garden Classroom this Wednesday, May 10 between 1-2:30pm to help out. Tools provided. Children are welcome to help along with an adult.

Students in the Gardens

Already this spring several classes have headed outside for hands-on science lessons in the school gardens.

  • Second graders investigated soil components, dug and tested soil samples, and figured out how soil helps plants to grow. They explored the compost, discovered worms and other decomposers, and added compost and peas to the garden beds to help our vegetables grow! Check out the sprouting peas, spinach, kale, and pumpkins in the Vegetable Garden! And keep an eye on the planter boxes in the Garden Classroom that students planted with salad greens and root vegetables.
  • Kindergarten students are exploring the gardens, looking closely and then classifying what they find as living or non-living. This question may not be as simple as it first seems!

These lessons, and more to come for other grades, help students connect their science and social studies learning to the natural world right here on the school grounds!

Help Burbank's Gardens Grow!

Volunteers are needed to help care for the gardens this spring! Sign up for a weekend or two this spring to water the seedlings in the vegetable gardens or the plantings in the Garden Classroom, and to help keep the weeds at bay. Regular spring watering will help protect our lovely gardens against summer heat! No experience necessary, and Garden Committee members are happy to show you what to do. Please pick a weekend or two in May-June; you can tend the garden any time Saturday or Sunday as suits your family's schedule. Sign Up for Spring Garden Care

Questions? Email Kim Foster at

We will also need families to water and tend the gardens for one week during the summer vacation. Watch this space for a sign-up for Summer Garden Volunteers, coming soon! Thanks for supporting the Burbank Gardens!

3rd Graders Explore Animal Adaptations


On May 2nd, Burbank’s third grade students were treated to an Animal Adaptations workshop led by the Museum of Science. Students expanded their understanding of biological adaptations by observing both skulls and live animals. Through a lively discussion, students learned about the specific adaptations of each of the live animals. In addition, they engaged in a hands-on activity in which they become scientists and examined skulls to determine how the animal may have adapted. Funded entirely by the Burbank PTA, this enrichment program compliments the life science strand of the 3rd grade curriculum.

Upcoming Events

May 15: Final PTA Meeting of the year

May 18: Community Fun Run

May 21: PMC Kids Ride

May 29: Memorial Day - School Closed

May 31: Early Release Day

June 1: Field Day

June 9: Spring Garden Party

June 21: Last Day of School - Early Release


View PTA Calendar



Community Postings


PMC Kids Ride - Registration Open

Calling all kids ages 3-12! Join your friends and neighbors at Belmont's Pan Mass Challenge for Kids Ride on Sunday, May 21st, at Belmont Hill School from 11:00 am-2:00 pm (but come late or leave early if needed), which will raise money for the Jimmy Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Trikes, big wheels and training wheels are allowed on the "Tot Lot” loop (and can have help from parents if needed), which will take place in the parking lot of the Belmont Hill School campus. Those without training wheels can head out on the "Adventure Loop" (1 mile route guided by volunteers). Children can do as little as one loop or as many as they can fit in an hour. After the ride there are free refreshments, music, bouncy houses, face painting and other fun activities, including a visit from Pat the Patriot!

For more general information about registration, route options, and the post-ride party, see:

You can ride alone, as a family, put together your own team, or join the "Belmont Bikers" team, which is made up of children from the Belmont Elementary Schools. The Yawkee Way store is donating $20 gift cards to all registered riders again this year!

If you are thirteen or older, come join the fun as a volunteer! Click on "register to volunteer" to help with anything from assisting riders on the courses to face painting. Parents, this also great opportunity to cheer your rider on from the route!

Feel free to contact Breda or Jim Zimkus (; with any questions that you may have.


Burbank Elementary School PTA

266 School Street
Belmont MA 02478

PTA Co-Presidents

Jessie Bennett

Katherine Poulin-Kerstien

PTA Website

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PTA Calendar

Burbank Weather Station 


posted: May 13, 2017 by webmaster
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