Belmont Public Schools
Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School
266 School Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5500
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PTA News -- Oct. 3, 2017
PTA News

In this Week's Newsletter

  • BOKS Registration Open Now
  • Burbank PTA Community now on Facebook
  • Mark your calendars: October events
  • Gardens News
  • PTA Co-Chairs Still Needed

But first, a few quick notes...

We will officially launch the Annual Appeal on Tuesday, October 10th. Look for flyers in your child's folder after the long weekend. If you'd like to give right away, visit our Annual Appeal web page.

The Massachusetts PTA Health Summit is planned for November 16 in Waltham. If you are interested in issues of health and safety at school, learn more about the conference at the Mass PTA website. If you are interested in attending, email Jessie Bennett.

Big thank yous to the Library Committee for supporting our librarian and training new volunteers. Providing parent volunteers for library time helps our librarian Robin Hines spend more time reading to students and helping them find good books to bring home. This year's Library Committee is Hannah Fischer, Sonia Gulbankian, Rebecca Deane, Hyon-Jee Lee Voigt, Amitha Knight, Candace Webb, and Kylia Garver. The time they give helps all Burbank students enjoy the library and encourages a life-long love of books.

BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success)

Interested in having your child kick off the day with some healthy fun and exercise? If so, we hope you will join us for a new session of BOKS! BOKS is a before school exercise program that runs from 7:40-8:30 am on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in the Burbank gym. Activties and games are led by our all-star PE teacher, Katie Crow. The new session will start on Tuesday, October 10 and will run for 10 weeks through December 13.

A registration form came home in your child's backpack last week. Completed registration forms and payment are due back to the school by Wednesday, October 4.

If your kid will be doing BOKS, please sign up for parent volunteer slots. If you volunteer five times, you qualify for the participation discount.

Sign Up for Parent Volunteer Spots

The Burbank PTA is now on Facebook!

We invite all current Burbank parents, caregivers, teachers and staff to join us! Our group is called, you guessed it, Burbank PTA Community and we can be found by searching for the group name on Facebook or clicking below. Hope to see many of you there!

Mark Your Calendars!

Wednesday, October 4th

iWalk/Bike to School Day, the start of the Burbank Walk-It Ticket program, and the deadline to sign up for Walking School Bus Wednesdays

Early release day: school ends at 11:40am, Wednesday schedule

Monday, October 9th

Belmont Serves Day: help spread woodchips on the Burbank playground or do other needed projects around town. Register here.

Thursday, October 5th

School Picture Day

Friday, October 6th

Garden Harvest Table: stop by the veggie garden for a sampling of produce grown at Burbank.

Tuesday, October 10 - Friday, December 8th

Annual Appeal Drive

Garden News

Garden Harvest Table: Friday October 6, 2:30 - 3:10 pm

Stop by the Garden Harvest Table on the blacktop (near the veggie garden) at pick-up time this Friday, and take home a small sampling of fresh produce—grown and harvested by students in Burbank's organic vegetable garden! The Garden Harvest Table is a way to share the produce with our community. Quantities are limited, so first come, first served!

Garden Tastes were a hit!

Thanks to all who visited the Garden Tastes table at the Fall Social. Families enjoyed tasting fresh tomato salsa, kale chips, kale salads, herb bread, and pickled cucumbers! Thanks to the members of the Gardens committee, who made these goodies from the veggies and herbs planted by students and grown in Burbank's gardens. And thanks Chipotle for supporting our school gardens by donating tortilla chips to go with our salsa!

Class garden visits

We are currently working with teachers at each grade level to schedule class visits to the school gardens over the next few weeks. Please be on the lookout for messages from your room parent asking for parent/grandparent volunteers to help with garden activities. If you can make a little time during the day, it's fun to help students enjoy the gardens, and doesn't require any expertise.

Questions, or interested in helping out? Please contact Harriet Wong or Kim Foster.

Still in Need of Key PTA Co-Chairs

If you can commit to take on a leadership role next year, the following committees are in urgent need of motivated people to step up.

Fourth Grade Moving On: Yearbook

The yearbook team could use a couple more volunteers to help organize and collect pictures and edit the yearbook. InDesign, Photoshop, and organizational skills a plus!

Garden Classroom

We need at least one more co-chair to help maintain the beautiful Garden Classroom. This position involves managing the maintenance and development of the garden, as well as coordinating volunteer efforts in the garden, and collaborating with the Landscape, Veggie Garden, and Garden Curriculum co-chairs.

Garden Curriculum Integration

We need one co-chair for Kindergarten to help coordinate grade-level outings to Burbank's gardens. The co-chairs will coordinate with a grade-level teacher liaison and other garden committees to facilitate activities in the gardens related to curriculum. This position is not as big a time commitment as you might think, and involves fun trips to the gardens with students in fall and spring.

Burbank Walks

We need two co-chairs to help promote walking/biking/scooting to school. The co-chairs will organize Walk to School Days (October, February & May); organize “walking school buses”; and promote pedestrian and bike safety.

If any of these roles interests you, please email Katherine or Seetha. 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!

Community Postings

Greening Initiatives in the Belmont Public Schools and Lessons from a Neighboring Community: A Free Panel Discussion

Join members of the Belmont PTA/PTO Green Alliance as we share best practices and areas for expansion in recycling and sustainabilty within the Belmont Public Schools at the next Sustainable Belmont meeting. Learn about what we are currently doing; some new initiatives underway; and what our neighbor, Arlington, is doing in their schools. After the panel presentations, there will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Free and open to all, join us on Wednesday, October 4 at 7pm at the Town Hall, Selectmen's Room. Join us in this conversation and ongoing work and share your ideas on ways to make our schools more sustainable.


Registration Opens October 3rd

I'm sure you've heard the BUZZ -- it's Spelling Bee time!

The Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE) will hold its annual Spelling Bee at the Chenery Middle School on Saturday, November 4th. The Bee is open to all students in grades K-6 and is an exciting event for students, family, and friends. Kindergarten through fourth grade swarms are non-competitive. Spellers are asked to write a word on a white board - as a team - and are simply told if they are correct or not. Word lists are provided weeks ahead of the event, so there is plenty of time to prepare. To make this event the place to B-E-E, teams are encouraged to come up with creative names and attend the event in costume.

Online registration is available at and runs from Oct. 3rd – Oct. 20th. This event historically fills before the October 20th registration deadline, so start forming teams (teachers are always happy to help) and register as soon as possible. Please note that to register your child, you will need the team’s name and the names of all teammates. For more information, to register, and to view the 2017 word lists, please visit If you have questions or need assistance, please contact

It takes many volunteers to make the Spelling Bee “Buzz” along smoothly. Please sign up here to assist!

High School Building Committee
Community Engagement Meetings

Visit the Belmont High School Building Project website for information about the project, and attend any of the following in their series of community meetings about the new high school:

  • Friday, October 13th - 1:15 pm - Beech Street Center
  • Saturday, October 28th - 10:00 am - Belmont High School
  • Wednesday, November 15th - 7:30 pm – Town Hall
  • Tuesday, December 12th - 7:00 pm - Belmont High School

To sign up for email updates and to learn more about the Belmont High School Building Project, including project timelines, videos, meeting schedules, presentations, and more, please visit Questions?

Belmont Serves Day
Monday, October 9

The annual Belmont Serves event will be held on Columbus Day morning October 9. Come join your friends and neighbors for a morning of community service! There will be a variety of projects including the family friendly Food Drive, conservation land projects, and school garden projects. The event will begin at 8:30 with sign in and a light breakfast at First Church Unitarian Universalist on Concord Avenue. Projects will last until noon, when volunteers will gather for pizza and ice cream. School community service slips will be available. This event is sponsored by the Belmont Religious Council. Register here.

Junior League's Designer Show House
October 7th to November 5th
1853 William Flagg Homer House in Belmont, MA

The home is currently owned by the Belmont Woman's Club and was previously owned by William Flagg Homer, uncle of the painter Winslow Homer. The house has beautiful views of the Boston skyline and more than twenty soon-to-be renovated spaces by interior designers from all over the area - it will be a fantastic experience for anyone interested in interior design, architecture, and historic homes.

Individual tickets to the Show House are available for purchase for $35-40, discounted rates are available to groups of 10 or more (groups of 10-19 are $33/person and groups of 20+ are $30/person). All tours are self-guided and no reservations are needed beyond tickets - groups and individuals alike are welcome at any time during the Show House’s open hours. More information about the Show House can be found here, and tickets can be purchased here.

Burbank Elementary School PTA

266 School Street
Belmont MA 02478

PTA Co-Presidents

Katherine Poulin-Kerstien

Seetha Burtner

PTA Website

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PTA Calendar

Burbank Weather Station 


posted: October 4, 2017 by webmaster
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