Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School - April 2022

A Note from the Principal:

Happy April, Happy Spring! 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 of 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.

Burnham students have participated in the 15th Annual Recycling Billboard Contest sponsored by HRRA, Take 2 Secure Electronics Recycling Oak Ridge Waste & Recycling, Union Savings Bank, Bay State Textiles, MXI Environmental Services, Curbside Compost, and Quantum Biopower. The 2021-2022 contest theme: Recycle Your Food Scraps! Compost! 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 each grade level’s first place winners have been submitted to the Regional Judging. We hope to have some Regional winners!

Budget season is upon us. The budget for next school 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 28, 2022. The Annual District Meeting will be held on May 2, 2022, and the Budget Referendum is scheduled to take place on May 3, 2022.

On April 21, 2022 incoming kindergarten parents/guardians and students are invited to attend a Meet and Greet Kindergarten Readiness Program. It will be held at Burnham School at 9:30 a.m. A parent presentation will kick off the program, followed by a visitation to the kindergarten classroom by students and a bit of outdoor play (weather permitting). The visit will focus on how to prepare incoming kindergarteners for school and for a successful first year. The staff and I look forward to welcoming our new students to the Burnham community.

As a reminder, students in grades 3-5 will take the Smarter Balanced Tests during the first two weeks of May, from May 3rd -May 13th. Grade 5 students will also be tested in the area of Science on May 25th and 26th. Please keep the testing schedules in mind as you plan activities for your family. It is important to have all our students in school during this time.

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

4/4 PTO Meeting, 3:30 p.m.

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

4/5 Ben’s Bells Tile Making for Students

4/6 National Moving More Day – Walk with Senior Center

4/6 School Wide Virtual Jam Session

4/6 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 PM

4/11-4/15 Spring Recess

4/21 Kindergarten Meet and Greet, 9:30 a.m.

4/26 Ben’s Bells Tile Painting for Students

5/9 PTO Meeting, 3:30 p.m.

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Celebrating Burnham School’s 
Administrative Professional, Claire Cavalea!

Mrs. Cavalea is our super star! She brightens our days with her warm, gentle, and caring greetings. She is recognized for her hard work, tireless effort, and every day enthusiasm. Let’s all wish Mrs. Cavalea a wonderful day on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

Thank you, Mrs. Cavalea, for the tremendous job you do for us!

“Happy Administrative Professionals Day!”

K-1-2 Writing Informational Works

K-1-2 are blossoming in writing as they are working on informational pieces.

Kindergarten writers are working on “All About” expert books. This is part of the information writing unit. Students write about topics they are “experts” about. Some of the topics they have chosen are trains, dogs, and colors. They then write chapters for different subtopics of their main topic. They have really enjoyed writing about topics they know a lot about and are developing their writing skills as well. Kindergarten students are working on sounding out words to sound spell, putting spaces between words, correct use of lower and upper case letters, and the use of ending punctuation. They enjoy sharing topics they are “experts” about!

First and second grade writers are also working on informational pieces. They each chose an animal to research. First graders selected animals such as, a giraffe, a panda, and a wolf. While second graders selected Arctic animals, such as, a polar bear, a penguin, and a walrus. After reading books and articles, students organized information by putting post-its in books based on the topic, such as D for diet and H for habitat. Each report contained information about the animal’s appearance, diet, habitat, babies, and other cool facts. First graders published their report in a book format and second graders published their reports using Google Presentation. They enjoyed learning about different animals from their classmates. Currently first graders are creating Expert Books about topics to teach others such as Go Karting and 3-dimensional Art. Second graders are collaboratively researching and writing reports about countries such as Brazil and France.

Trimester 2 in Music with Mrs. Doiron

Thank you to everyone who participated in our virtual “Bring a Friend to Music” Day! The students were so excited and so proud to show what they know. If you were unable to join us there is good news. You have a music expert who can tell you all about what we do in class and can demonstrate some of our songs and games! Check in with your student if you have more questions! :)

K students got to play instruments!! They learned to identify and safely play several including tambourines, sand blocks, and finger cymbals. We also continued moving in different pathways (space) while moving loose and stuck (flow), or heavy and light (weight). These movement activities help students successfully develop beat competence (time) as they continue to grow as musicians.

First and second graders built on their knowledge of chords to learn the blues! They learned the chord progression, improvised over the chord changes, and even wrote their own blues song! We recorded ourselves improvising our own melodies for our lyrics!

Third graders continued their hard work on recorders. They can play at least 3 songs with the melody and chord roots (and harmony parts on some songs too!). They improvised endings to a song and learned to play familiar tunes in more than one key! Mostly they worked on being stronger musicians.

Fourth & fifth graders were rocking out on bucket drums! They learned grooves to play along with fun songs (anyone familiar with We Don’t Talk about Bruno?) and then created grooves of their own! The tough part was putting multiple grooves together with other musicians.

Supporting UKRAINE!

Thank you families and friends for your very generous monetary support for Ukraine. Our school raised $826.50. Tremendous results!!! Your generous support has been given to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Students and staff wore blue and yellow to show support for Ukraine. Grade 345 painted rocks blue and yellow and placed them in the community, walking trails, recreation center, wherever they went to continue to show their support.

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March was an exciting month for the avid readers here at Burnham! Beginning at the end of February and through March, 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.

All students that have participated also had an opportunity to win the final prize, Principal for the Day! Our weekly lucky winners and the grand prize winner are as follows:

Week 1: Peyton Livingston and Evangeline Silver

Week 2: Natalia Cyr-Moyers and Lily Langanke

Week 3: Noah Tenreiro and Christopher Ligenfelser

Week 4: Isabella Bonomo and Sophia Langanke

Principal for the Day: Peyton Livingston

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!

Artifacts from Ukraine

The Bura family shared their family mementos from Ukraine with our school community. The students were amazed and enjoyed seeing such beautiful items such as the hand painted eggs, beautifully handmade embroidery, books, pictures, etc. A heartfelt thank you to the Bura family!


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.

Please keep in mind, students should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider.

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

Sandi DiBella, R.N. School Nurse Booth Free School


Mary Clarke, R.N. School Nurse Burnham School


Terri Truczinskas, R.N. School Nurse Washington Primary School


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

Spirit Week is back in full swing. The kids have been brainstorming daily activities to celebrate our Burnham Spirit. Some of the ideas are Western Day, Burnham Spirit Day, Crazy Hair or Hat Day, and PJ Day. Some surprises may also pop in. It will be held April 4th through the 8th, just before Spring Break. Our Ben's Bell Mural Goal has been met. We had a very generous donation that helped us across the line. We are very thankful. We have a schedule to have it completed by the end of the school year. We are all very excited. If you would like to suggest any ideas to our Student Council mission, we would love to hear from you.

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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 3-9 is National Library Week.

April is Celebrate Diversity Month

It is important to be aware of the diversity of the world around us. Opening our eyes to new cultures, new ideas, and new ways of celebrating is an important aspect of citizenship and character-building. 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

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 Eerie Elementary, 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: Nurture a Sense of Belonging. As April is National Poetry Month, the elementary title, Kiyoshi’s Walk by Mark Karlins, is particularly appropriate. The middle grade selection is Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh. These titles help students to explore how people and places shape their identity, their feelings about where they live, and how they connect with the world around them.

The 23rd Annual Elementary Celebration of the Arts

On March 15, 2022, six outstanding fifth grade students from Region 12 received recognition for their excellence in the arts during the 23rd Annual Elementary Celebration of the Arts. Despite being a virtual event for the second year in a row, it was a great cause for celebration! The Connecticut Association of Schools, through its Elementary Arts Recognition Festival, annually honors students who have excelled in areas of visual or performing arts, and who exhibit high levels of citizenship and cooperative skills. Every year, two award recipients are chosen from the highest grade level of each elementary school of our state - one for excellence in the visual arts and one for excellence in the performing arts. The program’s entertainment highlights were video presentations featuring State StoryTellers, Carol Glenn and Tom Callinan, who performed entertaining vignettes about colorful moments in Connecticut’s interesting history.

Congratulations to the following fifth grade students who were this year’s recipients from Region 12:

Booth Free School: Lyla Conway, Mackenzie Shramm

Burnham School: Libby Planz, & Natalia Cyr-Moyers

Washington Primary School: Neely Gritti & Finn Nettleton

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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 7th ten students showcased their inventions and judging took place. It was a week full of ingenuity and innovation. After the difficult task of choosing two winners, the judges chose the following winners: Madeline Toczylowski, Neat and Complete, Version 2.0 and William Hill, Ski Pole Carrier. The two winners 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!

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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 3:30 p.m. Our next meeting will be held on April 4th.

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