School History

The school, built in 1931, was given its name in tribute to a Belmont High School teacher who taught here for 42 years.  Born and raised in Kentucky and later in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, she came to Belmont and became a teacher in the two-room school in the old Town Hall.  The Belmont School Committee, in tribute to her long service as a teacher, voted 11 years after her retirement to name the school after her.

Burbank was completely renovated and enlarged from 1987-1989 and the school was reopened to students in October, 1989 as a school for children in grades K-5.

Mary Lee BurbankMary Lee Burbank was born in Paducah Kentucky on November 2, 1850. She had three sisters and three brothers. Miss Burbank began teaching at the Belmont High School (which is now the Wellington Elementary School ) in 1879. She saw the high school develop from a small two-room school house with a handful of students to a large school built in 1917 on School Street with 933 students. Miss Burbank taught under 8 principals. She was very helpful with her students. For example, one of her students wrote this about her in one of his letters, "I shall always be grateful for the evenings after schoolwork was done that she devoted to helping me prepare for the M.I.T. examinations."

Miss Burbank retired in 1921 after 42 years of teaching. Some people even wanted to name a street in Mary Lee Burbank's honor.

The Committee named the school "for a woman whose character and long record of distinguished service as a teacher merits the esteem and gratitude of all Belmont." Therefore, when our school was built in 1931, it was named the Mary Lee Burbank School.

The Mary Lee Burbank School was built because the other Belmont elementary schools were very crowded. The Kendall, Daniel Butler, Payson Park, Chenery, Winslow Homer and Roger Wellington were the other schools. Before there was a Burbank School, many Burbank students attended the Winslow Homer School.

The land to build the Burbank School was farm land and cost $35,000 in 1928. The school was built in 1931 and had 17 rooms. Mr. George E. Robinson was the architect and built the school in the Colonial Revised style.

When the school opened in 1931, there were many differences from what we have today. There were two classes at each grade, kindergarten to grade six. 

Burbank School Songs

In 1995, the Student council voted to have a school song. Students wrote poems about the school and one was voted to be the school song. Music was added by the two student writers with the help of the music teacher, Ms. Alix Pollack.

When we did our research, we learned there was a Burbank School song in a1942 Class book. The following two songs are the Burbank School songs.

Burbank School song writer unknown (In 1942 class book) Shared by Eva Sollmine.

O! Burbank to you now we sing,
And to you our praise we bring.
In work and in play and in all,
Our standards will never fall.
Three cheers for purple and gold,
And the Student council and Patrol,
And to you our rules will be so true.
O! Burbank School
O! Burbank School
Here's to you.

Poem By Douglas Fallon & Alyssa Levin-Scherz.
Music By Alissa And Doug, With Assistance From Ms. Alix Pollack, Music Teacher

Burbank School song (music) (1995)Come see a school named Mary Lee Burbank
A great, great place. It's in the top rank.
Come see the staff that work hard everyday,
Come see the children at work and play.
Rights, Respect, Responsibility-
These are the rules at this elementary.
Come see the teachers help us every day.
This school will send, send us on our way,
from Mary Lee Burbank.