18 December 2020

Butler Family Newsletter December 18, 2020

From the Principal

Dear Families,

As we bid farewell to 2020, we can look optimistically towards the horizon of 2021.  While it has been an impossibly difficult year, I can honestly say that encountering these trials has allowed me the privilege of seeing so much good in this special community.  You have truly been the silver lining on an extremely gloomy cloud, and honestly every kind and thoughtful message I have received from you (particularly knowing how hard this has been on you) has been a true gift.  They say that trying times can bring out the best or worst in folks, and I know I have seen the best.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

Spirit Day

We have all been working really hard at being bucket fillers, and so will have a Spirit Day on Wednesday to celebrate. We had a school-wide vote and the majority chose: FAVORITE COLOR DAY! (wear as much of your favorite color as you can!)  

Butler Virtual Fun Run

What an amazing event! Thank you so much for helping us to raise over $23,910!!! I will be sending out a schedule next week for the movie lunches that will happen in January.  

Grace Lin Visit!

This afternoon, our third graders had a virtual visit with author Grace Lin!  She dropped in to a meet with all of our third graders and answered some great questions! It was especially exciting because our third graders had read her book "The Year of Dog," and were very curious about her ideas for writing.  She shared her podcast, which answers one question a week from kids: https://www.kidsaskauthors.com/



Cold Weather & Snow

Now that the snowy weather has arrived, please make sure your child has both snow boots AND snow pants.  Due to safety protocols, each class has a designated space outdoors for recess.  Your child's space might be in the field, which is full of snow right now.  In order to go in the snow, children must have both snow boots and snow pants.  If some children don't have snow boots and snow pants, the class needs to stay in because we don't have enough staff to supervise some children inside and some children outside.  

Virtual Participation:

As per the Superintendent's last email, I would like to remind everyone of the following attendance procedures:

  • Hybrid students who are sick (COVID or non-COVID) or quarantining can temporarily switch to remote.
  • Students who are attending school as remote-only students can continue to participate unless they do not feel well enough to do so. Please follow normal attendance procedures to notify school personnel.
  • If the hybrid student is absent on an in-person day for any other reason, they cannot switch to remote.

Teachers work very hard to plan their lessons based on the combination of in-person and remote/virtual participation students that are expected on that day. It adds an extra layer of challenge when students/families make changes, and this impacts the instruction for all students in the class.

These expectations are designed to provide as much stability as possible in an environment that is already very challenging.  Please note that if students are meant to be in school (in-person) and they do not come for an unexcused reason, they are marked absent for the morning.

Winter Assistance Drive

I'd like to thank you and our Social Worker, Molly Quinn, for helping to make our Winter Assistance Drive such a booming success.  Together, we were able to generate $2,000 to provide assistance to families who’d requested it.  This averaged out to be roughly $100 of assistance per child, with some variance dependent on the need for winter clothing, gifts, or both (i.e. in many instances this number was larger!). Thank you so very much for your incredibly generous contributions!

Morning Announcements

Our fourth graders are doing a great job helping me lead the Pledge and Mindful Moment for our whole school each morning.  This is livestreamed into the meetings of all classrooms every morning first thing.  We've added a new feature "Joke or Quote of the Day!"  Our fourth graders have been submitting jokes or quotes, and each day one is selected and shared.  Laughter and inspiration are a great way to get the day started as a school community.  Ask your child to tell you the joke or quote each day! 

With warm wishes for good health and peace,



Danielle Betancourt, Principal

From Our School Nurse


The Massachusetts Flu Vaccination Requirement states that all students provide documentation that they have been vaccinated by December 31, 2020. This requirement is for both hybrid and fully remote students. Any student who is not in compliance with state required immunizations is subject to exclusion from school. State requirements can be found HERE. If you have not yet done so, please send your child’s documents to our school nurse.


If you have any questions, please reach out to our school nurse via email lharteveldt@belmont.k12.ma.us or phone at 617-993-5556. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Lisa Harteveldt BSN, RN

Butler School Nurse