05 November 2019

Butler Family Newsletter November 5, 2019


  • Wednesday, November 6
    • early release @ 11:40 for parent conferences  
  • Thursday, November 7
    • Grade 3 MIT Trip - Mr. Tavares
  • Friday, November 8
    • Veterans Day Assembly 10:30am
  • Monday, November 11 
    • NO SCHOOL - Veterans Day
  • Wednesday, November 13
    • PTA Meeting with Math Curriculum Specialist Jessica DeFrances 8:45am
  • Monday, November 25
    • Grade 4 Field Trip to Harvard Museum
    • Wellness Committee Meeting
  • Wednesday, November 27
    • early release @ 11:40 for Thanksgiving
  • Thursday and Friday, November 28 & 29
    • NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Holiday

From the Principal

Dear Families,

It was quite exciting to be a Butler Community member at this weekend’s Spelling Bee, during which I got to host the grades 3 and 4 swarms, and our resource teacher Kate Bender was a superb panelist helping to call out words. We had so many teams of Butler students sharing their spelling skills and good sportspersonship. Not only was our children’s spelling impressive, but they also had some very clever team names and costumes!  Our Vocabulary Day at the end of October was pretty fantastic; check out the photos in the gallery of our creative children and teachers!

Safety Drills and Emergency Preparedness

We take safety very seriously, and I’d like to share some of the things we do to ensure our preparedness in case of an emergency. Primarily we focus on planning and practice.


Our school has an Emergency Response Team made up of various staff members, and we meet at the beginning of the year to review procedures and plan for the year. We also dedicate time during a staff meeting at the beginning of the year to review our plans.  


Discussing and reviewing procedures is one important part of the process. Another important part is practicing safety drills to help us both to know what to do and to evaluate how we do it so we can improve.

Here’s our plan for safety drills:

  • We have unannounced evacuation drills ("Get Out") with staff and students throughout the year, as led by the Belmont Fire Department.
  • We also have lockdown drills ("Stay Put") with staff and students as follows: the first one is announced with the date and time shared with staff, the second is partially announced with only the week (but not the day) shared with staff in advance, and the third is completely unannounced. The purpose of this graduated approach is to develop confidence and preparedness.

I will communicate with families when we have had a lockdown drill to keep you informed and to prepare you in case your child has questions or wants to talk about it. While we want children to be prepared for an emergency, we don’t want them to become anxious or fearful. We use reassuring and empowering language so that children feel safe knowing that the grown ups around them are prepared and confident:

     “Every day, we do things to keep ourselves safe. Let’s think of some examples. What do you put on when you ride a bike? What do you do before you cross the street? Another way we stay safe is by practicing for things that probably won’t happen, but it is good to be prepared just in case. One way we do this at school is to practice fire drills. We have not had a fire, but we practice getting out of the building anyway. When we do a fire drill, the first thing we do is stop what we are doing and listen for directions.

     One day soon, we’re also going to practice a drill with a different notice. Just like in a fire drill, what you need to remember is to stop and listen to my directions. If you are in the hallway or bathroom without an adult when you hear the message, go to the nearest classroom or office and an adult will tell you what to do.”

Here is a resource that might help guide you in conversations about violence: http://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers

Snacks & Candy

As I visited classrooms today, lots of children were enjoying the fruits of their labor from last Thursday’s trick-or-treating, and were eating bags and bags of candy. Please, please, send in only healthy foods for their mid-morning snack. It’s really hard to focus and concentrate when you have lots of sugar running through you, and we’d really like to help our children grow healthy minds and bodies. Vegetables, fruits, popcorn, granola bars, cheeses, etc are all much more helpful to keeping us learning.

Come Learn about Number Sense!

Our district Math Curriculum Specialist, Jessica DeFrances, will be joining our PTA meeting (beginning at 8:45am) on Wednesday, November 13 to help parents learn how and why we help build number sense in the early grades.  Wondering about why subitizing is important?  Want to dig into the essence of quantity!?  Curious about number composition!? Then this presentation is for you!  You'll get some tips for things to do at home to help build your child's number sense.  Can't wait to see you there.

With every good wish,



Last Call for the Fun Run!

Dear Butler Community,

Please note that tomorrow, Wednesday, November 6th is the final day to make a donation for the Fun Run.

Kind regards,

The Fun Run Committee