Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School - May 2022

A Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The sunny weather is finally here and students are enjoying their outdoor time. The school year is in its homestretch. We have a few things planned before we end our year on June 16th. Our fifth graders are planning their ALOHA, our students are getting our school garden planted. Mr. Morgan is planning a combined Field Day, Booth Free and Burnham students, for June 13, 2022 with a rain date for June 14, 2022. The school community looks forward to these events, and we enjoy ending the school year with a bang!

As a reminder, students in third, fourth, and fifth grade will take the Smarter Balanced Tests from May 3rd-May 13th. The students will be tested in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. Students in fifth grade will also be tested in the area of science on May 25th and May 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.

National Teacher Appreciation Week will be held during the first full week in May. National Teacher Day will be held on May 3rd. It is a wonderful way to recognize Burnham School’s staff. They make a difference in your child’s life every day. I feel fortunate to have such a caring and compassionate staff. They go beyond expectations in making personal connections, giving extra support when needed, and working to bring out the best in every child.

The staff and I will also be celebrating National School Nurse Day on Wednesday, May 4th. The day of recognition has been celebrated annually since 1972 to foster a better understanding of the role of the school nurse in the educational setting. The staff and I support and celebrate the contributions of our school nurse, Mrs. Mary Clarke, who works diligently to improve the health and welfare of our students. She often serves as the first-line provider of health care for our students, addressing their physical and emotional health concerns. She promotes health and wellness by providing health education, direct treatment for acute and chronic conditions, emergency care for students and staff, and collaboration and support for our families.

This time of year, is also the time that the budget for next year is voted upon. I remind you that the Annual District Meeting will be held on May 2, 2022, and the Budget Referendum is scheduled to take place on May 3, 2022.

With a busy month ahead, please encourage your child(ren) to take time to relax with a good book. Sitting under a tree on a warm sunny day there is nothing like reading an adventure and sharing it with others!


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for May and June


  • 5/2-5/13 Smarter Balanced Testing
  • 5/2 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.
  • 5/3 Teacher Appreciation Day
  • 5/4 National School Nurse Day
  • 5/4 K-2 to White Memorial
  • 5/9 PTO Meeting, 3:30 p.m.
  • 5/19 Elementary Art Display at Shepaug, 5:30 p.m.
  • 5/19 Unified Elementary 4/5 Chorus/Band Concert at Shepaug, 7 P.m.
  • 5/20 Spring AG Fair at Shepaug
  • 5/23 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.
  • 5/25-5/26 Grade 5 Science Test
  • 5/27 Fun Night for Grades 3-5


  • 6/6 Grade 5 Visit to Shepaug
  • 6/7 Grades 3-5 to Hartford Capitol Building and Old State House
  • 6/10 Grade 5 ALOHA
  • 6/13 Field Day
  • 6/13 PTO Meeting, 3:30 p.m.
  • 6/14 Rain Date for Field Day
  • 6/15 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.
  • 6/16 Last Day of School, Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.
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Congratulations to Dr. Rhew!

Your new principal has been chosen and I am truly delighted! Dr. Rhew will begin her leadership role on July 1, 2022. Dr. Rhew is no stranger to our school communities as she has served both Booth Free and Burnham Schools during her tenure in the district.

It is with great pleasure that I hand over the reins at the end of this school year. Her commitment to the both schools, proven track record of success and her focus on building a strong school climate at Booth Free and Burnham Schools will lead her to success. I am confident that Dr. Emily Rhew will be able to carry the torch of excellence.

3-4-5 Happenings!

The 3-5s have been enjoying their return from break with a variety of inspiring activities. The crew has spent time outdoors playing Fraction Cornhole and fine-tuning the rules of kickball at Morning Meetings. The bluebirds have been spotted in their house, and small groups of students have done some spring cleaning in the garden.

Inside the classroom, 3rd graders designed clay models of the layers of the Earth. They observed and recorded the fascinating process of germination and will be planting their own peas soon. The 4-5s have immersed themselves in their personal Geotowns, a project where students create unique representations of their geometrical learning. Students explore and represent math concepts such as perpendicular and intersecting lines, angles, and symmetry. It connects them to the real world and lets our students’ minds sparkle with creativity!

Students were also delighted to attend a Zoom session with Hip-Hop and spoken word artist, Kane Smego. He challenged them to make a positive impact in their communities through the use of the spoken and written word.

3-5 plans to keep busy building new ideas and perspectives as we all enjoy the gift of springtime at school!

Burnham School Students....

enjoying beautiful spring weather!

Art with Mrs. Manley - Upcoming Art Show at SVS

All year, K-5 students have been honing their art skills and testing out new creative ideas despite having art in their classrooms and delivered from a cart. After two years without an elementary school art show, expect to be knocked over by this year’s special art show opening celebration event - How Can Art Help Us Tell a Story? This narrative art theme runs parallel to how students learn about writing - both their own and that of others. In the visual arts as well as in the language arts, there are author or artist tricks, styles, and techniques. Students have learned different ways to express themselves visually at each grade level.

Every K-5 student will be represented by a piece of their artwork that will be hung alongside middle school and high school student work in the mall at Shepaug Valley School. This unique venue will provide you with a view into the articulation through the grades of the Region 12 art curriculum. The artwork will be on display May 15 through May 21, 2022.

K-5 Art Show Opening Celebration

The Mall @ Shepaug Valley School

Thursday, May 19, 2022

5:30 - 7:30 pm

To make your evening even more complete, enjoy a musical interlude at 7 pm in the SVS Auditorium that features a concert by the Grade 4-5 Band and Chorus.

The Burnham School Band Readies for its First Concert!

The Burnham School Band has been practicing very hard for their first concert. Please join us on May 19, 2022, at 7:00 PM at Shepaug School for a music filled evening. The students are very excited to show you what they have learned!!
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Kindergarten Meet & Greet

On Thursday, April 21, 2022 we welcomed our new families and students to our school community. Our incoming kindergarten students and parents visited to learn about the Kindergarten programming and to take a sneak peek of the classroom and playground. It was enjoyed by all!

Ben's Bells - Tree Mural

Our tree mural is in the works! Students have crafted tile pieces and have painted them. These tiles will be fired and will soon be ready for installation. The tree mural will be placed in the main hallway for all to see. Our school community looks forward to confirming our installation date and welcoming community members to participate in the installation.


Seasonal Allergies

During this time of year, differentiating between allergies and illness is a very important consideration. If your child has a diagnosis of seasonal allergies please have your doctor write a diagnosis so that we have it on file in your child’s school medical record. If they have been immunized for Covid 19, please send in a copy of the card as well. This information is important to giving your child the best care and advising next steps.

If you do have seasonal allergies, they will respond to allergy medication. If your child is ill with a “cold” or other symptoms, contact your school nurse so that she can give you the most up to date advice on what steps to take to keep our community safe. Some symptoms warrant testing, others a doctor’s note, and some just a day of rest. Keep in mind, students should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness, and your healthcare provider called if you are concerned. As your school nurse we can talk you through these confusing times. We are here to help.

National Walking Day

The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day and it encourages Americans of all ages to get out and stretch their legs and get their hearts pumping. The American Heart Association sponsors this day to remind people about the health benefits of taking a walk. Unfortunately our walk planned with the senior center was rained out, but we still encourage everyone to take a nice family walk.

The importance of living a healthy lifestyle which includes daily exercises and quality nutritional choice, is emphasized at our elementary schools. So why not put on your sneakers and take a walk!

Hartford Yard Goats & Pro Health Physician Most Improved Student

Burnham School students, Hunter Moyers grade K, Benjamin Collins grade 1, Aria Kelly grade 2, William Knox grade 3, David Governale grade 4, and Liam Hill grade 5 were honored at a pre-game ceremony at a Hartford Yard Goats game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on April 19th. Our students, along with other students from area schools were chosen by their teachers and honored as Most Improved Students of 2021-2022.

We are very proud of our students and give them a big congratulations for their very hard work. Along with their family and friends, they enjoyed a fun night of baseball after their special ceremony.

Your Elementary School Nurses:

Mary Clarke, R.N.

Burnham School

860- 354- 9721

Sandi Dibella, R.N.

Booth Free School


Terri Truczinskas, R.N.

Washington Primary School


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 May 9, 2022.

Student Council

Spirit Week was a great hit! Students and staff showed their spirit by wearing Burnham colors and favorite clothing to celebrate the day. Some of the other highlighted days included Sports Day, Twins Day, Elder Day, and be your Favorite Character Day. We had a huge turnout of Harry Potter characters roaming the halls! It was a fun way to journey our way into Spring Break. We hope everyone has a fun summer and we'll see you next year.

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Spring Forecast: It’s Raining Books!

Spring is here, and with it comes a heavy dose of spring rain! Do you know what’s a perfect rainy day activity? Reading! I have added some new books to our school library. Many of the new books are focusing on the diversity of the world around us, exposing students to different cultures and viewpoints. Some of the other new books include graphic novels, sequels to beloved series, and the first installments of new series for students to fall in love with. Curious about what’s new? Students should check out the list of featured books under the “What’s New” category in OPAC, Burnham’s online catalog. These new books are an excellent way to get students geared up for the books they’ll be reading over the summer. Have a recommendation? Feel free to send it my way:

Children’s Book Week

Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is a celebration of reading. This year, the Spring Children’s Book Week begins on Monday, May 2 and will go through Sunday, May 8. At Burnham School, we make it a point to celebrate reading all year long, but there are all manner of exciting activities that students can participate in to celebrate Children's Book Week this year. The activities can be found at

Read Across America: May

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America theme for the month of May is: Build Together . This theme gets students reading, talking, and sharing to build community together. It also encourages readers to build a movement to create change. The elementary selection is Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler. This free verse picture book tells the story of the diverse workforce of men and women who change the world through construction. The middle grade selection is Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame by Supriya Kelker. This historical novel tells the story of Meera, a young girl who takes control of her life in British-controlled India.

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.

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