Region In Review

January 11, 2019 | K-5 Focus

Cultures Around The World

Burnham School

On Wednesday, December 19th, Burnham School celebrated the Philippines at this year’s Cultures Around the World event. Our students had the opportunity to learn about a new culture and to work with other students from all different grades in a group setting. Students rotated through stations learning about various aspects of the Filipino Christmas Spirit. They learned about the use of star-shaped lanterns that are displayed along the busy streets of the cities, provincial islands, and small villages. These lanterns are an expression of shared faith and hope and symbolize the triumph of light over darkness, as well as Filipinos’ goodwill during the Christmas season. Students also engaged in an interactive memory game of the Philippines’ culture, craft activities, caroling, and creating instruments.

Booth Free School

On Thursday, December 20th, Booth Free School celebrated Brazil at this year’s Cultures Around the World event. This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about a new culture while working in multiage groups. Students rotated through stations as they learned about various aspects of Brazil. In one station students created Brazil flip books, and in two other stations they played Bingo and participated in a Secret Buddy activity. The day’s events culminated with a whole-school activity. It was a spectacular school event!

Washington Primary School

On Friday, December 21st, students at Washington Primary Primary "traveled" to Scotland and Thailand studying the unique culture and traditions of each country. Students explored each country through informational videos, traditional games and crafts. Learning about the Hairy Coo and playing a marble game from Scotland, while learning about mindful practices, creating flower lanterns and participating in a traditional Thailand dance, were highlights for the students. Washington Primary School thanks the parents as well as students from the Spartan Club for volunteering and making this event a successful educational experience for all.

Hour of Code

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The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. In December, our elementary students joined millions of students around the world celebrating Computer Science Education Week with the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. Students used their problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity to learn the basics of coding and computer programming through interactive games and activities. The goal was to have every student dedicate at least an hour to learn coding throughout the week. Many students enjoyed the activity and have gone on to create their own games using coding in their free time.

Staying Healthy Even During Flu Season

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Flu prevention is a priority at the elementary schools during the winter. Aside from closely tracking absences and illnesses and having open communication with our families and local health agencies, we prevent the spread of flu at our schools by promoting healthy habits and lifestyles.

Every grade level gets an annual “refresher” lesson on understanding germs, which leads to teaching proper hand-washing and cough etiquette. Students also routinely wash their hands before they eat their snack and lunch. Our schools promote healthy nutrition in the lunchroom through “incentive” healthy food pictures for the principals' newsletters. We also promote non-food celebrations. Staying healthy is more likely with plenty of fresh air and exercise. Our students bundle up for outside recess twice a day and thoroughly enjoy free time playing running games with their friends. We promote health as a community with our Walk to School event in the Fall. If the flu makes its way into our schools, we educate our families on best care practices and encourage staying home when sick. Promoting healthy habits and lifestyles are goals we strive for throughout the school year.

Sandi DiBella, R.N., Nurse Coordinator

Booth Free School

Lisa McQueen, R.N., BSN

Burnham School

Terri Truczinskas, R.N., MSN

Washington Primary School

Booth Free School Collaborates With Minor Memorial Library

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In an effort to further engage young students in their community and promote explorative learning outside of school, Booth Free School has collaborated with Minor Memorial Library and is offering students the chance to familiarize themselves with Roxbury’s public library. Beginning in January, first, second, and third graders will spend one of their weekly library classes at Minor Memorial Library. They will receive their public library cards, explore the amazing children’s section and check out books from the library’s extensive collection. Additionally, within the next two months, the collaboration between the school and public library will be expanded to include the entire student body. Fourth and fifth graders will begin monthly field trips and toward the end of the school year, kindergartners will visit and be given library cards as well as a tour of the building. The Minor Memorial Library collaboration opens up a world of possibilities to the students and their families for real-world learning opportunities and exploration. This is truly an exciting venture for the BFS community providing a plethora of resources and countless hours of out of school reading opportunities!

Helping Hands at Washington Primary School

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Creating a caring community must be done with intention. At the Washington Primary School, we provide many opportunities for students to cultivate a caring attitude through teamwork and by helping others. School-wide jobs offer a great way to practice helping one another as well as to support larger causes. Upper elementary students pair up with preschoolers and kindergarteners and forge lasting relationships while they assist with arrival and dismissal procedures. Fifth graders oversee ice cream sales and learn how to use sales and profits to support fifth grade activities. The Student Council organizes spirit days and activities to address community and outreach needs such as food and clothing as well as monetary support due to home fires or tragedies. Pre-schoolers through fifth grade support environmental efforts of recycling and composting.

Aside from jobs, students across the grade levels find ways to work together on projects that support academics and character development. Shared reading activities and project exhibits offer academic connections. Most recently, preschoolers, first and third graders collaborated on a character activity. Students presented a kindness theme at a school-wide assembly sharing real-life kindness examples and performed a song with signing for the school community. In addition, school-wide meetings with students serving as leaders who share academic learning and class goal achievements help students support one another and gain a deeper understanding of individual strengths.

At WPS, we continue to seek new and engaging ways for students to work together to build positive relationships. As students work with one another in a variety of situations, they grow new social skills, gain a greater respect for others and learn that their actions can have a positive effect on the greater community bringing rewards to others and self.

Burnham School Welcomes Guests From Cambridge Public Schools

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Burnham School welcomed guests from the Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts on December 7th. Principal, Mr. Williams, visited along with two teachers. They spent time observing and asking questions about our three-year multiage classroom model. Our guests were able to observe literacy and science instruction in action. They asked many questions as Cambridge is looking to incorporate our multiage classroom model in their schools. Topics included:

  • The transition to this model, including parent input

  • Two-teacher teams based on a strong culture of collaboration

  • The development of communities of learners amongst students, regardless of grade

  • Curricular developments that include both grade-specific and blended learning

  • Rotating three-year plans that target standards

Our guests marveled at the creative delivery of standards within classes of three grades as well as how the staffing teams approached instruction. They were impressed with the integration of collaborative opportunities provided to all students throughout the day and how grade-specific standards were addressed.

Lastly, our Burnham staff was proud to share our rich environment where students benefit socially and academically from shared learning experiences and where students and families have grown to truly love the learning environment.

Fliers & Upcoming Community Events

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On January 31, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut will be at Shepaug to present a Heroin and Opioid Awareness Event, that will take place in the auditorium at Shepaug from 9:40 am - 10:40 am. This event is for students in Grades 8 - 12, as well as for any community members that would like to attend.

Click here to RSVP!

Community members wishing to attend this presentation are asked to RSVP by filling out this Google Form. Anyone with questions should contact Matt Perachi at

Region 12 Calendar

Jan 14th - Burnham School PTO Meeting, 6pm

Jan 14th - Education Committee Meeting, SVS Library, 6pm

Jan 14th - Finance Committee Meeting, SVS Library, 6pm

Jan 14th - Board of Education Meeting, SVS Library, 7pm

Jan 16th - Swim-a-Thon Senior Project, SVS, 2:45pm

Jan 17th - Unified Elementary Concert, SVS Auditorium, 7pm

Jan 18th - WPS Geography Bee, WPS, 2pm

Jan 21st - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL

Jan 24th - Ready To Work Program, SVS Auditorium, 10:30am

Jan 25th - WPS 2nd Grade Non-Fiction Museum, 1:30pm

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for all updates!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

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