Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School-October 2020

A Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The students have settled in and I am pleased to let everyone know that our school community is a happy and joyful one! In an effort to continue to strengthen our school community, our school continues to use the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning to foster safe, challenging, and joyful classrooms and school. Morning Meeting, one of the practices of Responsive Classroom, takes place each morning in every classroom.Teachers and students crave a certain amount of predictability and routine in the school day, especially at the start. The format of Morning Meeting is predictable, but there is plenty of room for variation and change. Meetings reflect the style of individual teachers and groups, sets the tone for respectful learning and establishes a climate of trust. It also motivates students by addressing two human needs: the need to feel a sense of significance and belonging and the need to have fun. It merges social, emotional, and intellectual learning.

Morning Meeting is made up of four, sequential components that intentionally provide opportunities for children to practice the skills of greeting, listening and responding, group problem solving, and noticing and anticipating. The daily practice of these four components are developed through the following activities: a greeting such as an air high five, student or teacher sharing of some news of interest or ideas, group activity through active participation and lastly a a daily message. Morning Meeting is so powerful in such a productive way.

In addition to the classroom morning ritual, students and teachers have developed their classroom rules and identified students’ hopes and dreams for the year. These two important exercises help to build an understanding of expectations and to set a tone for the classroom and the year.

Now that we have completed the first month of school, teachers have had the opportunity to get to know their students on a personal level as well as on an academic level. Teachers have begun to assess their students’ performance level to ensure instruction meets their needs. Our beginning year assessments in the areas of language arts and mathematics should all be completed by the first two weeks of October. In addition to the assessments given, teachers have been working with the students closely and are using observation to further gain understanding of how each child performs. This information is valuable.

Our Virtual Open House was recently held and it was a success. The staff and I thank the families that attended. If you were unable to attend, please contact your child’s teacher for a recording of the event. I applaud my staff for their efforts in showcasing their classrooms and sharing of important information.

Lastly, I thank all parents and guardians for your compliance with all procedures. Your cooperation and support are greatly appreciated and recognized. I also thank our PTO for their support with playground supplies for our students. Each child has his/her own bag filled with individual play items. They are loving their recess time!


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for October

10/1 PTO Meeting

10/9 Professional Development Day – No School for Students

10/12 Columbus Day – No School

10/14 Picture Day

10/21-10/23 Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences – 12:45 p.m. Dismissal

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School Arrival Reminder

In person drop off: A parent who wishes to drop off their student in person is asked to park and then walk the student to the front door. A staff member will greet and receive your child. The parent is asked to remain until the temperature check is completed. The student is then directed to the classroom.

Car drop off: A parent who wishes to drop off only without walking their student to the door can do so no earlier than 8:50 a.m. following the bus drop off. The student must exit the passenger side of the car at the front door and will be greeted by a staff member. Parents are asked to remain in the vehicle and not to leave until the student is visually assessed for health and a temperature check has been completed. The student will be directed to their classroom.

Please allow adequate time in your morning routine to accommodate for these necessary safety measures.

Visit us at our Website

The website for Regional School District is From there you can access the district page as well as each school's websites. The link for The Burnham School website is The staff will be adding information regularly. Please use it as an additional resource for information gathering.

What school looks like during a pandemic...

K/1/2 OFF WE GO!

K-1-2 is off to a wonderful start as we work to grow our classroom community. It is amazing to loop with the first and second grade friends. They have made the kindergarteners feel welcome and included as they show/teach the ropes in our community. They are working hard to follow all of the new safety protocols such as social distancing, wearing masks, and frequent handwashing. The boys and girls created personal goals. Some of the goals were to learn to read, read 100 books, make new friends, and learn rainbow words. We also worked as a team to create our classroom rules.

Our rules are the following:

Be Safe

Be Organized

Respect everyone and everything

Always try your best

We look forward to a wonderful year of growth, fun, and new friendships.

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Meet the New Staff at Burnham School

A Note from the Nurse

Happy Autumn! We are delighted to see our students back together again! The children are doing an awesome job with wearing their masks, washing their hands, and social distancing. The adjustment to these things throughout the school day has been smooth. Here are some pointers to assist in discussions and plans with mask wearing and care:

  • The mask should fit snugly over their nose and mouth so they don’t have to keep adjusting it throughout the day.

  • If your child needs to change the mask for any reason, we do have an emergency supply at school.

  • Your child must keep their mask on throughout their bus ride to and from school.

  • Remember to wash the mask daily as they do get soiled after a full day of wearing. If you are choosing to use disposable masks, they can be stored in a brown paper bag for 24 hours and re-used up to four weeks.

  • There are many choices and styles of masks available on the internet and patterns for those that enjoy sewing. Have fun with your child choosing fabrics that inspire them.

  • A test for mask efficiency is whether a candle can be blown out through the mask.

Please let us know if you need any help with any of these new adjustments with your child. Also, here is a video from The National Association of School Nurses on masks: Wearing a Cloth Face Covering

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, become a member, volunteer, and take part in helping your child to grow academically. PTO meetings will be held virtually the first Thursday each month at 6:00 p.m. The 2020-2021 scheduled PTO meetings are as follows: October 1, November 5, December 3, January 7, February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, and June 3. We hope you plan to attend!

See you at our next meeting on October 1 at 6:00 p.m.

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Distance Learning Families:

Thank you to all our Distance Learning Families for supporting our students at home. Your commitment to daily lessons and practice work is helping your child learn and progress through a virtual platform.

The Parent Guide to Distance Learning is a publication developed by the Center for Public Research and Leadership in conjunction with Columbia University to serve as a helpful tool for families engaging in the distance learning option. The guide is rich with information and resources such as tips for setting routines and work stations, communicating with your child's teacher, and links to learn more about Google Classroom and other learning platforms.

Your careful attention to distance learning and the day to day learning experiences is very much appreciated. Please reach out to your child's teacher with any questions or concerns.

The New "Normal" at Burnham School....

The New School Lunch Program

As you all know, the elementary schools have become sponsor sites of the National School Lunch Program. Students started receiving bagged lunches on September 21, 2020. Students are enjoying them and it seems to be a big hit!

Lunch menus will be published the week prior and can be found at this website, The orders must be in by Thursday of each week for the following week. For families that only want milk can order it using Nutrislice on the “milk only” section of the daily menu. Payment for milk should be made online at

Just a reminder, Region 12 has obtained government waivers made available during COVID-19 Pandemic that allows us to provide lunch for all students free of charge. These waivers will remain in place until December 31, 2020. Until the expiration of the waiver, the only task that families must complete is to order lunch for your child.

A Note from the Library from Ms. Turney!

We’re FALLing for new books!

Welcome back! The new school year brings new additions to our library. There are many exciting new books to check out, as well as tons of new audio and eBooks on Overdrive/SORA! Do you have a request for something you’d like your child to read? Feel free to send me an email and I may just be able to add it to our next library order.

Check it Out!

Library visits are in full swing, but they look a little different this year. Our number one priority is to keep our students safe and healthy. To that end, rather than the students visiting the library, I am bringing the books to them. Students have been learning how to browse the Burnham School Library online catalog (KidZviZ or OPAC) to find and reserve books for checkout. Once returned, books remain in a special section of the library for a period of quarantine.

What is Overdrive/SORA?

Overdrive is the online database for Region 12’s digital resources- including audiobooks, eBooks, and even read-alongs. While most of our older students are already familiar with Overdrive and have the webpage bookmarked on their Chromebooks, this is new to our younger students. To make checkout of digital material even simpler for our younger students, Overdrive released an app called SORA. There, students can easily browse reading material at their age and interest level. The SORA app also makes checkout of digital materials easier. Students will be learning how to make the best use of this incredible app in the month of October.

Update on the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge: Even though this summer was very unusual, the one constant was student participation in the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. To those of you who already filled out the Google Form to document your child’s summer reading, thank you! If you have not done so already, please fill out the Google Form by Friday, October 30. Students and parents will be receiving an additional email with the link to the form, but it can also be found on the Burnham School website, under the “Library” heading.

Read Across America

Read Across America has a brand-new website, as well as a brand-new outlook on literacy. Rather than one just one week in March where we focus on literacy and reading nationwide, the National Education Association will now choose a book on a monthly basis to support a specific focus. October’s books focus on Activating Young Citizens. For primary grades, the book is Vote for Our Future! by Margaret McNamara. For middle grades, the book is Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice.


You will soon be invited to one of the most important occasions of the school year – a parent-teacher conference. This conference gives you an opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher virtually to discuss your child’s progress and to bring up any concerns or issues you may have. More importantly, you can talk about ways to work together to make this year as rewarding as it can be for your child.

You will receive a note from your child’s teacher regarding the scheduling of the conference. If for any reason you have difficulty making the scheduled appointment, we will try our best to make arrangements for a conference convenient to your schedule.

Here are some helpful tips for a successful conference with your child’s teacher:

Before the conference, talk with your child about school: likes, dislikes, and feelings. Write down your concerns: academic progress, problems at home, behavior, peer relations, and questions about the teacher’s discipline plan and/or homework policy.

During the conference discuss the concerns you have written down. Listen carefully to everything the teacher says and take notes for future reference. If you do not understand something, ask to have it explained. Ask for suggestions for things you can do at home to help your child. Assure the teacher of your continued support.

After the conference, talk with your child about the conference. Share any positive comments the teacher made about him or her and let your child know you are proud. Follow up with any suggestions you and the teacher agreed upon. Be sure to call the teacher any time you have a question or concern.

This year, make the parent-teacher conference time a worthwhile event for you as well as for your child. Together we can help your child to be a confident and successful student.


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Travel and Parking Safety Tips

As the opening of school is upon us, I am asking you to help keep our students safe. Please remember that it is a state law for all vehicles to STOP whenever a school bus has its red SOS lights activated. When the SOS lights are flashing, cars cannot pass the school bus. This means when picking up or dropping off students at their residence and even in the school parking lot. Violators are subject to a fine for each bus that a car passes.

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.

Notification Service

The Regional School District #12 Schools have a Notification Service to enhance parental communications. This service will allow us to send a voice message to ALL of our students’ parents on ALL of their contact numbers within minutes, if an emergency occurs at a school. The notification service will also assist the schools in reducing the recourses needed to pass along key information regarding school events or reminders.

The district will be utilizing this service for :

  • Emergency Notification
  • Inclement weather - early dismissals due to inclement weather
  • Rumor Control
  • Early-Release Reminders

Your child’s school may be utilizing this service for:

  • Attendance
  • Report Card Reminders
  • Grade level information i.e. field trip reminders
  • Notification of Open House/Parent Teacher Conferences/Parent Visitation Day
  • Art Shows and Concerts

The ability to deliver a message is only as successful as the contact information we have for our families, so please make certain we have the most up-to-date direct dial numbers. If this information changes, please let your child’s school know immediately.


  1. The service will leave a message on your voicemail or answering machine.
  2. If you have such things as Telemarketer Zapper or Privacy Director on your telephone lines, you may not receive the call.
  3. The service does NOT call extensions. If you have a direct dial number at work, you should provide your child’s school with the direct dial number not a main number plus an extension.
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