Estabrook Buzz

June 10, 2019

Coming Up

Wednesday, June 12

  • 9:00 am Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

Thursday, June 13

  • METCO Family Friends Day

Friday, June 14

  • 5:30 Gr. 5 BBQ

Monday, June 17

  • 9:00 Gr. 5 Moving On Ceremony
  • Gr. 1 Day of Fun

Tuesday, June 18

  • LAST DAY OF SCHOOL - 12:15 Dismissal

Are You Leaving Estabrook? Please Tell Us

If your family is moving and will be leaving Estabrook next year, please be sure to let us know in the office. It helps with planning for next year and will expedite getting student records to your new school. Call the office or email Administrative Assistant Terri Carfagno (

Beat the Rush: Check Your Parent Portal Log-in This Week

End of year report cards will be available in the parent portal on Aspen on June 18. We encourage you to log-in prior to that date to make sure you remember your ID and password. if you have any issues, email If you ask for help in early June, you will get a faster response than if you wait until all parents are trying to log in on June 18.

And you'll want the log-in again in mid-August when class assignments will be posted.

Parent Volunteer CORI Reminder

Please remember you must have an APPROVED CORI before you can volunteer and chaperone on field trips. It takes several days to get approval, so you cannot complete a form the day of a trip.

Principal's Corner

In Praise of Parent Volunteers

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
~Elizabeth Andrew

On Wednesday morning, we will gather to recognize and express our gratitude to the many parent volunteers who contribute to our school community in a myriad of ways.'

We know that high levels of parent involvement strengthen schools. Joyce Epstein, the director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships a professor at Johns Hopkins University identifies six types of parent involvement – each important in its own way.

1. Parenting: What parents do at home every day to love and care for their children helps them be ready to learn.

2. Communicating: Schools and home need to have effective modes of communicating with one another about school programs and children’s progress.

3. Volunteering: Parents support school endeavors.

4. Learning at Home: Schools share information regarding ideas for learning at home, as well what is going on in the classroom to support family-school alignment regarding education.

5. Decision Making: Parents have opportunities to be involved in school decision-making.

6. Collaborating with Community: Resources and services from the community are used to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning.

Joyce Epstein notes: “The way schools care about children is reflected in the way schools care about the children’s families. If educators view children simply as students, they are likely to see the family as separate from the school. That is, the family is expected to do its job and leave the education of children to the schools. If educators view students as children, they are likely to see both the family and the community as partners with the school in children’s education and development.”

This week, we focus on #3 and acknowledge and celebrate parent volunteers. Estabrook is blessed with an exceptionally high level of volunteerism that is indicative of a strong partnership with families and our school is stronger because of it. Here’s a breakdown of some of the many contributions made to our school community by parent volunteers:

Support School Programs & Operations

  • Room Parents: Over 100 parents are involved as room parents who support teachers and organize classroom celebrations.
  • Art Room & Library Volunteers: Each and every day, parents help out in the Art Room and the Library, enabling the Art teacher and Librarian to focus more attention on children.
  • Big Backyard is a valued part of our science curriculum. Each homeroom goes on three outdoor walks per year, each staffed by a small group of trained volunteers.
  • Green Team: Our Green Team makes Estabrook a more sustainable place. Most impressive is the recycling room at lunch which allows us to significantly reduce the waste created in our cafeteria. Other efforts include promoting composting and recycling and working toward “zero waste” family events.
  • METCO Family Friends: This program allows our students who reside in Boston to spend a Thursday afternoon each month in Lexington and helps make connections between families who reside in Boston and Lexington.
  • Field Day: Over 80 parent volunteers help run 13 stations at Field Day – one of the most fun days of the year.
  • Field Trip Chaperones: This popular way to volunteer helped make for safer trips.
  • Guest Speakers and Secret Readers: Many parents enjoy coming to their child’s class as guest readers or to share an aspect of their family’s culture with the class.

Fundraising & Community Building

Our two largest fundraising events play the dual role of also being important community building events:

  • EstaFest: This biannual event is our largest fundraiser and allows the PTO to provide many extras including teacher stipends for extras, teacher grants for new programs, and enrichment programming.
  • Run of the Mill: This family event for all ages is fun, promotes physical fitness and raises funds for the PTO.

Lexington Education Foundation: Several Estabrook parents serve on the town-wide Lexington Education Foundation that provides grants to schools and teachers to promote innovative and creative programs.

Community Building Events

Each of these events provides an opportunity for Estabrook families to interact and get to know one another:

  • Pizza Night
  • Movie Night
  • End of the Year Picnic
  • Estabrook Night at the Red Sox


  • Math Clubs, Chess Club & BOKS: Every week, parent volunteers provide before school enrichment programs in the form of Gr. 4 & 5 Math Clubs, Chess Club and BOKS (sports).
  • Math Nights: These popular evening events bring parents and children together to explore mathematics in fun ways.
  • Science Fair: Volunteers help organize this popular event that enables children to develop a science project of interest at home.
  • Maker Night: Children love to create using materials from our portable “Maker Space.”
  • ACT Programming: Six performances per year are supported by the PTO and scheduled and organized by volunteers. This year’s offerings included: a Cuban-American storyteller, Chinese Acrobatics, Indian classical drumming, hip hop dancing, American folk music and an African-American storyteller.
  • Book Fair: The annual Book Fair is staffed by parent volunteers and not only raises funds for the library, but provides children and families with the opportunity to select children’s books for reading at home.
  • Geography Bee: Parent volunteers help to organize Estabrook’s preliminary round.

Grade 5 Activities

Volunteers work to create meaningful memories for students in their final year at Estabrook. This include bake sales for funds, yearbooks, T-shirts, and the Fifth Grade Barbecue.

Decision Making

  • PTO Executive Board: Members of the PTO Board meet monthly to oversee PTO operations and make decisions about much of the work outlined above.
  • School Council: Three parent representatives serve on the School Council and meet monthly to provide input into ongoing school improvement work at Estabrook.

Special Thanks

Whether you were able to help out once at an event or you could volunteer weekly, please know that your contribution to our school is appreciated. Thank you, one and all.

I have intentionally not listed anyone by name due to space. However, I do wish to name two parent volunteers extraordinaire: PTO Co-Presidents Pauline Benninga and Cindy Reuter. Pauline and Cindy devoted hours behind the scenes making sure all of the above had people in place and frequently pitched in themselves to lead or work at events. On a personal note, I am deeply appreciative of the warm welcome, support and sage advice that they provided me throughout my year at Estabrook.

Rick Rogers

Dates for Next Year

  • Monday, August 12 - Class Assignments Sent Out via email
  • Tuesday, August 27 - First Day of School (K-5) - 12:15 Dismissal
  • Wednesday, August 28 - Full Day (Gr. 1-5) & 12:15 Dismissal (K Only)
  • Thursday, August 29 (and every Thursday) - 12:15 Dismissal (K-5)
  • Friday, August 30 & Monday, September 2 - NO SCHOOL
  • Thursday, September 26 - Elementary Back to School Night