Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School - April 2021

A Note from the Principal:

Although it is April, and spring is officially here, the challenges posed by this winter’s weather should be diminishing soon! The most recent warmer weather has allowed us to see our grass again and a few tips of crocus and daffodils beginning to peek through. With our opened windows the smell the spring air is indeed inviting. Keeping our students’ minds on the academics will be challenging as they too want to get outside and run around. The staff will use their wonderful creative talents to keep them focused on the tasks presented to them. With such dedicated and talented staff, I am certain that this challenge will be conquered.

Students are very excited about the new playground equipment that has been recently purchased for each cohort. Each group received a large sports bag filled with balls, bases, frisbees, wiffle bat and ball, etc. We are now allowing students within their cohort to share equipment. Safety measures are in place and students are adhering to procedures. All students must wash their hands before and after recess. Recess equipment must also be brought back to their own classrooms and no sharing beyond their cohort will be allowed. We have such happy active students!

Additionally, I am happy to report that our fifth graders are now in charge of our school flag, raising it and taking it down and morning announcements. Fifth graders are also selling ice cream one day a week to further support their Aloha celebration. An order form will be sent home monthly. All orders must be in by Wednesday of each week. Fifth graders will distribute the ice cream on Fridays. Our fifth graders have been looking forward to their new responsibilities and are beaming with pride.

Burnham students have participated in the 14th Annual Recycling Billboard Contest sponsored by HRRA, All American Waste, Oak Ridge Waste & Recycling, Union Savings Bank, Wheelabrator Bridgeport, MXI Environmental Services, LLC., Newtech Recycling Inc., and Bay State Textiles. The 2020-2021 contest theme: Recycle Right, prompted students to create a billboard that would help educate and convince the public to recycle only the items that are acceptable. There were many very thoughtful and creative entries. Local judging has been completed and Burnham School has sent the artwork of each grade level’s first place winners to the Regional Judging. They are the following: Lev Toczylowski, Sophia Langanke, William Knox, Madeline Toczylowski, Chloe Brittingham, and Victoria Gustavson. We hope to have some Regional winners!

Budget season is upon us. The budget for next year has been presented to the Board of Education and is available to the taxpayers. It can be located on the district’s website. The District Budget Hearing was held on Monday, March 29, 2021. The Annual District Meeting will be held on May 3, 2021, and the Budget Referendum is scheduled to take place on May 4, 2021.

Finally, as we move into warmer weather and longer hours of daylight, please continue to stress the importance of homework and time management. Homework continues throughout the year, and at times a child may need a bit more guidance in planning a busy afternoon or evening schedule. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for April

4/1 PTO Meeting, 6 p.m. - CANCELED FOR APRIL

4/2 No School – Good Friday

4/5 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.

4/12-4/16 Spring Recess

4/26 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.

4/28 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.

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Celebrating Burnham School’s 
Administrative Professional, Claire Cavalea!

Mrs. Cavalea brightens each day with her warm, gentle and caring greetings. She helps to make our days safe and productive. Let's all wish Mrs. Cavalea a wonderful day on Wednesday, April 21st! Thank you, Mrs. Cavalea, for all that you do for Burnham School!

“Happy Administrative Professionals Day, Mrs. Cavalea”

K-1-2 Science Adventures!

The K-1-2 boys and girls have been working hard in science. Kindergartners learned the key parts of the human body and where these are located. They identified the heart, lungs, brain, stomach, muscles, and bones. They watched a video showing all the bones in our hands, and then made paper x-rays of their hands. They had fun holding them up to the light! They enjoyed an audiobook about a young girl with a broken arm, and designed their own idea of a cast. They realized that a cast must be light but strong, comfortable and water resistant. Kindergartners are on their way to becoming great scientists!

First graders learned about transparent, translucent, and opaque light properties in science. They made “stained glass” flowers! Did you know that glass is made from melted sand that is cooled into sheets? Students are also learning about how sound is made and how it travels. They made tissue box guitars using different size rubber bands. They learned that the different thicknesses make different sounds. They will soon create telephones out of cups and strings to “see” how sound travels from one cup phone to the other.

Second grade scientists are learning about how Earth changes. They learned that there are fast changes that can affect Earth like tornados or earthquakes. There are also slow changes that cause erosion from wind, rain, water, and sun. Students created paper models of mountains and observed how rivers were formed. Students also created canyons out of cornmeal molds and observed how “rain storms” created deep, curvy crevices.

We look forward to more science adventures!

PE with Mr. Morgan

HEY TEAM! I am eagerly awaiting for the month of May because I will be back at Burnham. I'm hoping for some great weather because our spring PE program has a lot of outdoor units. Our students will be taking part in throwing activities with nerf footballs. Older students will enjoy ‘3 step football’ and maybe even some flag football. Our wiffleball/baseball will provide multiple opportunities to swing for the fences. I love introducing students to activities that may be new to them, such as lacrosse. We will be scooping, cradling, passing, and shooting. We will play games that incorporate distance running as well. All lessons will be modified for students depending their age and skill level. For example, one class may be talking about the awesome coach pitch game we played, while other classes continue to learn the basics with the batting tees.

When the weather keeps us indoors students will take part in our ‘net games’ unit. Badminton and volleyball (using beach balls) will keep students engaged and active. Our older students will participate in singles, doubles, and team tournaments while our younger students will spend a bit more time focusing on beginning skills.

Every class begins with a quick warm up utilizing the projector and large screen in the gym. Students find their own personal space and take part in a variety of fun challenges. We can link the video to our remote learners so they are taking part in PE class at the same time. When looking for a silver lining in this COVID world, I have found a strong sense of community from PE teachers across the United States who are developing and sharing terrific ideas via these videos.

The Connecticut Physical Fitness Test will be completed during the month of May. Third graders will be introduced to the test for the first time while students in grades four and five will give their best efforts. Results will be coming home via backpack express prior to my departure at the end of May. Across the state, students in grades 4, 6, 8, and 10 take part in this testing every year.

Looking forward to seeing you soon, be well - Mr. Morgan

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March was an exciting month for the avid readers here at Burnham! Beginning on March 1st, our school embarked on a four week long read-a-thon. Reading goals spanning from 40 - 80 minutes each week, depending on age, were set. To participate, students and their families were invited to gather sponsors and log their nightly reading. At the end of each week, students returned their logs and those who met their goal received a raffle ticket for prizes selected by our PTO and a special prize from the Burnham Library.

Our weekly lucky winners are as follows:

Week 1: Jacob Bunblasky & David Governale

Week 2: Sarah Potok & Max Ruppert

Week 3: Lukas Salvato & Ryan Bonomo

Week 4: Beckett Cardonsky & Natalie Orlestski

Special Burnham Library Prize: Aria Kelly

Thank you so much to all of our participants and donors. We hope that you have enjoyed this celebration of literacy as much as we have!


With spring allergy season upon us your doctor may recommend using allergy medications to prevent or manage symptoms. Symptoms of allergies should respond to allergy medications. During COVID-19 differentiating between allergies and illness is a very important consideration. Of course children with seasonal allergies can still get sick. It is more likely the school nurse will request a call to the pediatrician with the related symptoms, especially those not responding to allergy medication.

Here are some suggestions to manage seasonal allergies at home:

  • If your child has experienced seasonal allergies in the past, discuss the option of giving your child prophylactic allergy medication with your doctor rather than waiting for symptoms to arise.

  • Have your child wear a hat and sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting into their eyes.

  • Have your child remove their clothes as soon as they come indoors and wash them to remove pollen.

  • Leave shoes at the door so your family doesn’t track allergens through your home.

  • Have your child wash their hands and face as soon as they come in from the outdoors.

It is important during this pandemic to be vigilant about any symptoms of illness in your child and communicating with your health care provider and school nurse. Here is a helpful CDC symptom comparison of Covid-19 vs.other issues: Symptom Comparison. Our vigilance will get us through this difficult time healthy and safe.

If you have any questions at any time you can email or call your school nurse for advice.

Visit us at our Website!

Our web address is Once you are at the district’s home page you can visit Burnham School’s website. The staff will be adding information regularly. Please use it as an additional resource for information gathering.

Student Council

Join us for Spirit Week April 5-9! Bring all of your school spirit!

Monday - Spirit Wear

Tuesday - Game Day

Wednesday - Outside Day

Thursday - Pajama Day

Friday - Future Job Day

See the flyer below for details!

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April is certainly a month to celebrate. The month of April is: Celebrate Diversity Month, Arab American Heritage Month, National Poetry Month, and Reading Without Walls Month. April 2 is International Children’s book day as well as World Autism Awareness Day, and April 4-10 is National Library Week.

April is Celebrate Diversity Month

This year, more than ever, we have been putting emphasis on the beauty of the diversity in the world around us. Opening our eyes to new cultures, new ideas, and new ways of celebrating has been an ongoing theme for the school year. This month in our library classes, we will be focusing on titles that highlight diversity. Students will also have the opportunity to take these thoughtfully chosen books and express their own thoughts and feelings about diversity. These discussions will lead to them creating a quote that they feel best captures their feelings about what they’ve been learning

Spring Reading…Time to Start a Series!

Now that spring is officially here, we’re ready to shake off the winter chill, grab a book, and head outside. We have dozens of new books in our library, just in time for spring. Kids can come check out our selection of popular series, such as the Eragon, Gregor, and Guardians of Ga’Hoole series for the older students; and the Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Clementine, and Critter Club series for the students who are just starting to delve into the world of chapter books. We’re beginning to gear up for Summer Reading, so perhaps your child will find just the right book series to carry them through the spring and into the summer.

Read Across America: April

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America theme for the month of April is: Inspire Stewardship. As April 22 is Earth Day, this theme seems a particularly fitting way to help students see their place in the natural world. This month’s selected books will help students explore, interpret, and connect to nature. The elementary selection is We Are Water Protectors, by Carole Lindstrom. The middle grade selection is The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas.

The 22nd Annual Elementary Celebration of the Arts

Burnham School proudly recognized two fifth grade students at the virtual Connecticut Association of Schools Arts Celebration on March 30, 2021. Besides students, parents, administrator, our art teacher Mrs Manley and our music teacher, Mrs. Doiron were in attendance. This program recognizes students at the elementary level with outstanding ability in the performing or visual arts and who exhibit high levels of citizenship and cooperative skills in their school.

Congratulations to our recipients, Victoria Gustavson and Jack Toczylowski, for receiving this award and for their excellence achieved in the performing or visual arts.

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Invention Convention

Our Burnham inventors showcased many talents at our Annual Invention Convention. After eight weeks of problem-solving, experimenting, and working through the Engineering Design Process, students created unique and masterful inventions. During the week of March 15th seventeen students showcased their inventions and judging took place. It was a week full of ingenuity and innovation. After the difficult task of choosing three winners, the judges chose the following winners: Jack Toczylowski’s Remote Console, Liam Riendeau’s Sports Medi Pouch, and William Lillis’s The Mailbox Protector. All three are heading virtually to the final state competition.

We are so very proud of every inventor’s perseverance and creativity and know that next year will bring forth just as much, if not more excitement and inspiration!

Burnham School PTO

Parents are our partners in the important job of educating all our children. I urge you to attend and support the PTO and take part in helping your child to grow academically. PTO meetings are held monthly at 6:00 p.m. Our next virtual meeting will be held in May. The April meeting has been canceled.

Spring Door Decorating!

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Travel and Parking Safety Tips

Did you know that school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road. They are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries and in every state, stop-arm laws exist to protect children from other motorists.

If you are driving, remember these simple rules:

  • Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean slow down because the bus is preparing to stop. There are likely students waiting to get on the bus or parents waiting nearby to pick up children.

  • Red flashing lights mean stop and wait at least 20 feet behind the bus because children are getting on or off the school bus. Stay stopped until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving.

  • Even when lights aren’t flashing, watch for children, particularly in the morning or afternoon, around school arrival and dismissal. Be alert as you back out of a driveway or drive through a neighborhood, school zone or bus stop.

Let’s all work together to keep our children safe!

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Good Character Traits

(Referenced in Board of Education Policy #0210.3)

Region 12 is dedicated to strengthening the character of our students by encouraging a consistent set of ethical values that direct and guide behavioral choices. These universal values, which transcend political, religious, cultural, and the Golden Rule encompasses economic differences, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Therefore, good Character Traits are essential to the learning process. We work throughout the year in developing the following:

  1. Trustworthiness
  2. Respect
  3. Responsibility
  4. Fairness
  5. Caring
  6. Citizenship

Good conduct is synonymous with good citizenship. Students are expected to exercise good citizenship at all times while in school, attending school-related activities and after school activities conducted at the school. This includes showing respect for the rights of others and regard for personal and school property. Students should strive to contribute to the climate of the school by being courteous and well mannered.

Burnham School also utilizes The Second Step Program to promote social skills necessary to be a caring community. Additionally, grades three through five have access to a second program, Steps to Respect when needed.

It is our hope that the power and influence of the school-family partnership will provide consistent messages to our students regarding the development of positive student behaviors and thus, improve student learning.

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