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. 17, 2017
PTA News

In this Week's Newsletter

  • Support Annual Appeal Drive
  • Social-Emotional Learning: Open Circle Curriculum at Burbank
  • Mark your calendars: October & November events
  • Gardens News
  • Join Burbank PTA on Facebook
  • The PTA Needs Your Help

But first, a few notes...

The Burbank Book Fair – Friday, December 8th this year – is a fun event and a great fundraiser for the school library. Like all PTA efforts, it happens thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers. Would you like to join the Book Fair team and help make this event possible? The Committee is looking for one more volunteer to help co-chair the event, the planning for which is just getting underway. It's a great way to get to know fellow Burbank parents while being part of one of the PTA's biggest events of the year. Please email Katherine with questions or to volunteer.

It's time to send in your BoxTops! There will be two collection days - Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20 - on the black-top during morning dropoff. You can also drop BoxTops in the collection box in the main office, or send them in via your child's takehome folder.

This Halloween Burbank students can help children around the world who need food, clean water, or medicine by Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF. The Burbank class with the highest participation will be honored by the school and have their picture taken with Dr. Clifford! Watch for a UNICEF box and details to come home in your child's backpack soon. Additional boxes will be available for pickup in the school office. Please contact Breda Zimkus or Jim Zimkus with questions.

Thank you to the Garden Integration Committee – Kim Foster, Harriet Wong, Heather Barr, Jeanne Caldwell, Laurie Bufano, and Megan Palmer – for giving Burbank students hands-on experience in growing and harvesting food, and for working with teachers to integrate science and nature curriculum with our gardens. Thank you also to all the volunteers who have come out over the last few weeks to make the grade-level garden visits a success.

Support the Annual Appeal Drive

Help us reach our goal of 100% participation in this year's Annual Appeal Drive. Your contribution is tax-deductible and directly supports all Burbank students and staff throughout the year. It also supports numerous enriching and community-building events throughout the year:

  • the Fall Social
  • Library Night
  • Skating Night
  • STEM Week
  • The Geography Challenge
  • Movie Night
  • the Multicultural Fair
  • Field Day

Many parent organizations rely on fundraising activities and product sales that are time consuming and ineffective. We raise most of our funds directly though this one time annual appeal. Our suggested donation is $125 per child, but all we ask is for every family to contribute whatever is comfortable. Every bit helps our school community, so please join us and give what you can.

Give online to the Annual Appeal TODAY!

Social-Emotional Learning:
The Open Circle Curriculum at Burbank

Presentation at the next PTA Meeting
November 13, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

The Burbank school uses the excellent Open Circle Curriculum across grades and integrated into the school day, to support our children's Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Do you ever wonder what it's all about? Come to the Burbank cafeteria on November 13, right after morning drop-off, for a dialog with Tricia Clifford, Burbank principal, and Jeff Forti, Burbank school psychologist to learn more about SEL at Burbank. Get your questions answered and leave with tips on how you can support and extend your child's social and emotional growth across school, at home, and in the community.

Mark Your Calendars!

Tuesday, October 10th - Friday, December 8th

Annual Appeal Drive

Thursday, October 19th & Friday, October 20th

BoxTops Collection: on the blacktop before school

Friday, October 20th

Garden Harvest Table: on blacktop at dismissal time

Wednesday, October 25th

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

Wednesday, November 1st

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

Thursday, November 1st & Friday, November 2nd

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Collection: on the blacktop before school

Wednesday, November 8th

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

Monday, November 13th

PTA Meeting featuring a Social-Emotional Learning Presentation: in the Burbank Cafeteria from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Garden News

Student Learning in the Gardens

Second grade students enjoyed a scavenger hunt in the Garden Classroom, looking for signs of fall. In the vegetable garden they looked at vegetables and herbs still growing, and harvested kale. Students carefully observed various different seeds.


Third grade students harvested the "3 Sisters" -- integrated corn, pole beans, and squash. In the Garden Classroom they explored the herb garden, choosing lavender and other herbs to make a fragrant Colonial herb bouquet.

Garden Harvest Table


On Friday evening the vegetables harvested by students during their class garden visits were shared with BASEC families at pick up time. Families could take home a bunch of kale, or a big carrot dug up by Kindergartners! Thank you for stopping by the table, and thanks to Kim Foster for preparing the produce for display.

Look for the Garden Harvest Table again this Friday, Oct 20 at 2:50 pm dismissal time.

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

Stay on top of PTA news by joining the Burbank PTA Community on Facebook

It's an easy way to stay up to date on what's happening at Burbank. We can be found by searching for the group name on Facebook or clicking below. Hope to see you there!

PTA Volunteers Needed

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

Book Fair

We need one volunteer to help organize this December 8th all-day event. Draw upon extensive experience of past committees and work from a well defined event-plan to: liaise with Burbank teachers; organize entertainment and craft activities; and, promote the event at Burbank and throughout Belmont.

Fourth Grade: School Store

We need two volunteers to work with groups of 4th grade student volunteers to market and run the Burbank School Store (open selected Fridays after school). The proceeds from the school store support the Fourth Grade Moving On activities.

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.

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.

Many Fall walking programs are already set up and underway. We are looking for two people to begin coordinating with current co-chairs Jessie Bennett and Hyon-Jee Voigt to get walking/biking programs in place for spring, and transition into the co-chair positions.

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

Volunteer at the FBE Spelling Bee

The FBE Spelling Bee is right around the corner. It takes many many volunteers to run an event of this scale. Please join us! Volunteer! Many roles and shifts are available throughout the day. Go to to sign up!

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:

  • 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?

Halloween Pumpkin Party:Pumpkin decorating and carving

Date: October 27, 2017
Time: 4:00pm-5:30pm

Get READY for Halloween by decorating and carving your own pumpkins at the Beech Street Center. Grades K-3 will decorate and Grades 4-6 have the option to carve! Take them home and share with your family, friends, and neighborhood!

Bring your own pumpkin, size of your choice. Staff will be on board to help. RSVP BY PHONE (617)993-2760. Space is Limited!

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.

5th Annual Belmont Center Halloween Window Painting Contest

Saturday, October 28th, 2017 from 9am to 3pm
Open to kids in Grades 2-8
Rain date Sunday, October 29th 9am-3pm

Register at A Chocolate Dream 68 Leonard Street, (617) 484-4119

Register before 6pm Wednesday, October 18th, the fee is $10 per child/window

After the deadline, the fee is $15 per child/window Make Checks payable to: BCBA or cash

See the attached flyer for more details.

Burbank Elementary School PTA

266 School Street
Belmont MA 02478

PTA Co-Presidents

Katherine Poulin-Kerstien

Seetha Burtner

PTA Website

Support the PTA

PTA Calendar

Burbank Weather Station 


posted: October 19, 2017 by webmaster
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