Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School-September 2019

A Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! We are off to a fantastic start!

Our first day of school was filled with excitement! The students arrived to school ready to begin the school year and have embraced new friends and reconnected with familiar friends. There is a wonderful feeling of care and pride among the students and this was especially evident the first few days as students helped one another adjust to their new classroom environments.

The teams of teachers have worked very hard to develop schedules that maximize classroom instruction. This is particularly important in our multi-grade classrooms. Our goal is to provide our students with a school community committed to providing appropriate and challenging learning experiences for all students. The district joins me in this challenge in their belief in strong educational programming that is essential in ensuring that students develop the skills they need to become successful learners. This is an ongoing effort by all staff members and throughout the year we will continue to assess student performance in major areas of the curriculum to ensure all students are reaching their potential.

The elementary teachers began this school year reviewing and revising our school’s Success Plan and Safe School Climate Plan. There is a positive energy and excitement among the staff as they embark upon this new school year.

Each month you will receive a newsletter that will contain information that is pertinent to Burnham School as well as any district information deemed necessary. This newsletter will emphasize the Burnham School’s individual events and celebrations. This particular issue is intended to assist you in a smooth transition from the timeless summer joys to the more structured educational world.

Partnership between home and school is such a key component of a successful program. The school staff and students are fortunate to have such a strong school community. We have an additional upcoming event that will provide you with an opportunity to become familiar with the staff. In addition to the recently held Ice Cream Social, our Annual Open House for parent/guardians only will be held on September 18th. This Open House will provide you with information about your child’s programming. A reminder will be sent home.

Each year opens a new chapter in the book of education. This year is no exception. With a motivated group of students, supportive parents, a dedicated staff of teachers and faculty members, and a focused goal, we will blend the best from all and we will experience a triumphant year!


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for September

9/2 Labor Day – School Closed

9/4 Ice Cream Social, 6 p.m.

9/9 Board Of Education Meeting/Business, 7 p.m.

9/12 PTO Meeting, 6 p.m.

9/18 BS Open House, 6:00 p.m.

9/30 Board of Education Meeting/Education, 7p.m.

10/3 PTO Meeting, 6 p.m.

Recognizing Bridgewater Board of Education Members:

Dr. Michael Sinatra

Ms. Julie Stuart

Mr. Alex McNaughton

The Burnham Family welcomes new members of our staff :

First Day of School!

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Burnham School Kindergarten Orientation

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.

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Ice Cream Social!

Important Procedures to Follow

The following procedures further insure the safety of your child. You are kindly asked to assist us with the following:

  1. Please send your child to school with a note if he/she is not going home in their usual fashion. It is imperative that you include your child’s full name, grade, date, phone number where you can be reached during the day, and whether your child needs to take a different bus or is being picked up. If your child must take a different bus, please indicate the number of the bus and where your child is getting off on that route. Due to the number of students on some of our buses, prior approval must be made before allowing students access to a different bus.
  2. If it becomes necessary to phone in dismissal information for your child, please call by 11:00 a.m. In order to protect your child’s instructional time, we will deliver messages and all other deliveries to students and teachers at lunchtime.
  3. Parking is extremely limited a Burnham School. The town has requested that parents refrain from parking along the circle. During the day the circle is reserved for bus drop-off and pick-up. Having a vehicle in this location will restrict traffic flow. Additionally, during night activities the Fire Department has asked that parents look for areas that they have designated as restricted and avoid parking in those areas. They fear that if cars were in their way during an emergency, fire trucks and emergency vehicles would have difficulty exiting the premise.
  4. If you are driving your child to school in the morning, please walk your child into the school while buses and other forms of transportation are visible. This will help to prevent children from walking in the path of vehicles. No child is to be dropped off before 8:30 a.m. as supervision begins at that time.
  5. If it becomes necessary to pick up your child early from school, please report to the Main Office and our school’s secretary, Mrs. Claire Cavalea, will call for your child. You must sign him/her out at the time of dismissal. If you’re picking your child up at dismissal time, parents are asked to meet their child in the school foyer. All pick-ups must be signed out. Dismissal is at 3:15 p.m. for all students in grades K-5. However, please remember to check for early dismissal days!
  6. All volunteers and visitors must sign in at the office. All visitors must bring a photo ID and have a badge printed to be worn while in the building. Again this is a safety issue and must be followed at all times.

Please feel free to contact the school should you have any questions or concerns about school procedures.

Booth Free and Burnham School's Summer Garden Harvest

Thanks to the students of Booth Free and Burnham Schools and the Roxbury-Bridgewater Garden Club Members, especially Joe and Adrienne Caruso, a huge shipment of assorted lettuce and peas were brought to New Milford Hospital for use in the cafeteria for patients and staff. Food Director, Kerry Gold, was extremely delighted with the donation. Beautiful heads of lettuce and peas were artfully arranged in large boxes and they looked so healthy and appetizing. This year’s raised beds were filled with good soil and organic matter and certainly made for an impressive yield. It is wonderful to see the students’ hard work paying off in such a good way.

The students will enjoy the fruit of their labor with a “Potato Palooza” event. Their potatoes have been growing all summer. After harvesting, New Milford Hospital will work with us to make this event an interesting and enjoyable food adventure.

Well our farmers at Booth Free and Burnham Schools were quite successful this year. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Roxbury-Bridgewater Garden Club and hope that next year’s crop will yield the same or better results.

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.

Wellness Policy

A change took place in the past few years regarding Region 12’s policy #6142.101 which can be accessed through the district website, under food celebrations. Celebrations are special times in all our lives and we recognize that it is important to celebrate important events with children.

There are a growing number of students with obesity issues and life threatening food allergies in this country and in our community. Prepared foods as well as home-cooked foods may include ingredients that could be directly or indirectly harmful to some children. These realities are reflected in a new statement within the Region 12 Wellness Policy. It has been decided that the use of non-food rewards is a healthier and safer alternative for students.

We will continue to celebrate important events, including birthdays at school, but will find ways to recognize these occasions through non-food ideas. Regarding birthdays, we request families find ways to recognize these occasions through nonfood ideas. Suggestions for non-food celebration ideas have been sent home in our summer mailing. If you would like an additional copy, please contact our school nurse, Lisa McQueen, R.N.

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.

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.

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 each month at 6:00 p.m. The 2019-2020 scheduled PTO meetings are as follows: September 12, October 3, November 7, December 5, January 2, February 6, March 5, April 2, May 7 and June 4. We hope you plan to attend!

Recognizing Burnham School's 2019-2020 PTO Board


Danielle Livingston

Greg Bura

Vice President

Cindy Meglio


Alix Gustavson


Joy Ruppert

Rhei C. Gordon

Responsive Classroom

To further strengthen our approach to creating safe, challenging, and joyful classrooms and school, teachers have prepared for the implementation of the Responsive Classroom approach. This approach is a way of teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal of the Responsive Classroom approach is to enable optimal student learning. It is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social skills. The approach consists of classroom and school-wide practices for deliberately helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies day in and day out, through the year.

Once again this year you will hear teachers talk about implementing a Morning Meeting, a gathering as a whole class daily to greet one another, share news, and warm up for the day ahead. Additionally, each class will develop rules that allow all class members to meet their learning goals. There will be lots of interactive modeling, teaching children to notice and internalize expected behaviors through a unique modeling technique, positive teacher language, choices, collaborative problem-solving, and logical consequences.

It is our hope that as we continue to evolve in this approach, it will foster, among adults and students, a sense of community that’s consistent in approach and encourages independence, cooperation, and productivity among our students.

School Spirit starts with knowing your school Mascot, Burnie.

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