Estabrook Buzz

News and Notes from Estabrook School | November 17, 2016

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Principal's Message

Dear Estabrook Families,

The best part of my job is being in classrooms, watching students learn and witnessing the masterful instruction delivered by our teachers. When I do observations, I sometimes will pull a student aside and ask him/her to tell me about what the class is learning or doing, and why the teacher thinks this learning is important.

During a recent observation, I did just that. Students in this particular primary classroom were practicing independent reading by reading quietly, out loud, to themselves, while their teacher conferred with students individually. I asked the student why the teacher was asking them to do this. "To make our brains grow if we make a mistake," he responded. To be honest, it wasn't the response I was expecting. I asked him if it was okay to make mistakes. "You have to make mistakes to help your brain grow," he explained. "When I make a mistake, I feel like I'm growing my brain a lot." Finally, I asked who said it was okay to make mistakes. Without hesitation, the student pointed at his teacher across the room. "She told me."

As we begin preparations for Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, we often reflect on how thankful we are for all that we have. I am thankful for all the educators at Estabrook who make our students believe that mistakes are not only okay, but expected, and that learning from them is one of the most powerful things they can do, and for our supportive parents who put their trust in our work and entrust their children to us each day.

On behalf of the entire Estabrook School faculty and staff, I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Jeff LaBroad


PICTURED ABOVE: Our "Turkey Trot" turkey from Safe Routes to School Day November 9. Participating students were asked to insert a feather into the turkey.

Estabrook Staff compete in the LEF Trivia Bee!

Two staff teams competed in the Annual Lexington Education Foundation's Trivia Bee on November 9, and one of our own students served as a questioner!

Question 3 passes by a wide margin at Estabrook

The Estabrook library was transformed into a polling place on Monday, November 7 as fourth and fifth graders went to the polls to vote their choice on Massachusetts Ballot Question 3, related to changing regulations about how animals are caged. Voting followed several days of instruction around the election and voting process, as well as research on the topic about which the students would vote. Students explored the importance of being an informed voter, and used skills learned in reading workshop to understand the important points and will use their debating skills to discuss and weigh the important points. On "Election Day," students checked in with full name and "address" (room number), were provided ballots and even received "I voted" stickers once their vote was cast.

Lexington Learns Together Features Estabrook Staff

In addition to being Election Day, November 8 was also Lexington Learns Together, the annual systemwide professional learning day for all Lexington faculty, staff and administration. Professionals engaged in three self-selected workshops that focused on everything from technology and art integration in the classroom to learning about culturally responsive teaching--and everything in between! Estabrook is proud that several of our teachers led workshops for the district. Presenters from Estabrook include Amy Burk, Amy Royal, Annie Roche, Elizabeth Thompson, Erin Affronti, Jen Kuhn, Kate Glenn, Lauren Wehrli, Laurie Barnhart, Lori Verity, Matthew Willis, Rachael Quebec and Dani Turner.

Estabrook adds additional bus route and seats

On Monday, the Lexington Transportation Department added an additional bus to accommodate the increasing demand for bus transportation. Estabrook has the highest rate of bus ridership in the district, significantly reducing traffic congestion in and around Grove Street and helping to support our effort to go green. The new bus and route allow for more room on busses, and open up more seats for those waiting to ride the bus home or to an after school program. For more on Lexington's school buses, click here.

Teachers share how to support math learning at home

Our November Principal Coffee featured an exploration of how parents can support math learning at home. Some of the resources shared are available on Estabrook Math Specialist Amy Burk's webpage, here.


Submitted by Math Specialist Amy Burk

It’s always great to read at bedtime, and now there is also Bedtime Math! Bedtime Math is a site developed by the University of Chicago, as well as a free app, where parents can engage in recreational and routine math thinking with their children. When you sign up, you will receive a daily problem good for all elementary aged children. Parents who use this site with their children find that the daily problem is just the beginning to asking more math questions and exploration. Check it out here:

Book Fair is Back!

The Estabrook Book Fair returns to Room 105 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28 – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4. Book Fair proceeds support the Estabrook School library. Books will range in price from about $5–8 for paperbacks to about $15–20 for hard covers.

Book Fair Dates & Times

Monday, November 28 11am – 4:30pm

Tuesday, November 29 8:30am – 4:30pm

Wednesday, November 30 8:30am – 4:30pm

Thursday, December 1 8:30am – 1:00pm

Friday, December 2 8:30am – 4:30pm

Sunday, December 4 2pm – 4:30pm (Holiday Marketplace)

Parents are also welcome to come in and shop any time during the Book Fair. We will have a selection of adult titles available as well. See flyers sent home with your student for more information and your child's schedule visit time.

As in years past, you can buy gift certificates for your child to use at the book fair. Book fair gift certificates also make great gifts for teachers! Gift certificate order forms and details can be found HERE, or by contacting April Maloney at

PTO Winter Holiday Marketplace

The Holiday Marketplace, featuring homemade crafts, treats, and holiday gifts made by your children and their friends, is coming to the Estabrook School Sunday, December 4th from 2-5pm! Students are invited to set up at stall, alone or with a friend, to sell goods. Deadline to reserve a stall is November 23, but space is almost full. Volunteers are also needed to set up for the event; please contact Come and do some holiday shopping, supporting local vendors and Estabrook students.

Plan to host a PASSPORT NIGHT table

Submitted by the Estabrook Passport Night Committee

Passport Night returns to Estabrook on Thursday, December 8. We are looking for volunteers who are eager to host a table and share what they know about a country. Have you lived in another country? Have you studied abroad or visited another country and have a lot to share? We would love for you to share your knowledge with us! Please sign up to host a table by November 18th. Go to Thank you in advance for continuing this special Estabrook tradition!

Maker Space continues to welcome donations

Submitted by Mark Taggart, Maker Space Coordinator

After just a week, donations are already flowing in for the Estabrook Maker Space. From extra PVC pipes from a local plumber to an old kitchen mixer in our Demolition Zone, a wide range of materials are starting to fill our shelves. Old K'nex sets, duct tape, and batteries are building the foundation for a creative space for all Estabrook students to explore and invent. Items range from craft supplies to electronic components, to recyclables of all kinds. We continue to be in need of ALL types of donations, especially hand tools (screw drivers, pliers, wrenches, etc.). If you have a question about the appropriateness of a donation, simply email Mr. Taggart here. Donations can be sent in with students or dropped off at the front office. Thanks for your on-going support of this exciting new endeavor at Estabrook.

REminder about Dogs

Per the Lexington School Committee, dogs are not allowed on school grounds at any time. Thank you for your cooperation with this policy.



Click here for the complete Estabrook School Calendar

Click here for the complete 2016-2017 Academic Calendar

EARLY DISMISSAL | Wednesday, November 23

Students are released at 12:15 p.m. today.

NO SCHOOL | Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25

Happy Thanksgiving!

SCHOOL COUNCIL | Monday, November 28, 3:45-5 p.m.

BOOK FAIR | Monday, November 28-Friday, December 2, Room 105


PICTURE RETAKE DAY | Tuesday, December 6

PASSPORT NIGHT | Thursday, December 8

Estabrook BUZZ

Estabrook Buzz is the parent and family newsletter of Estabrook School, published regularly and distributed to families via email and shared at