Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School February 2020

A Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

During the month of February, we will be preparing to celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Read Across America is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer and illustrator best known for authoring popular children’s books under the pen name of Dr. Seuss. Did you know that Dr. Seuss would be 115 this year? While he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in the pages of his books.

Dr. Seuss had written and illustrated over 60 books during his career. His first book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street was published in 1937. Other favorites include such books as Horton Hears a Who!, Happy Birthday to You!, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, and one of my favorites and the last book published in 1990, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Dr. Seuss’s books have been translated into more than fifteen languages and his works have provided the source for eleven children’s television specials, a Broadway musical, and a feature-length motion picture.

In preparation of March 2nd, the teachers are working on additional activities to continue to promote reading during the month of February, with a culminating celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday/NEA Read Across America. Please help us by encouraging your child to spend time reading at home which will also lead us nicely into our upcoming PTO sponsored Read-a-Thon which will start on March 2 Try choosing your favorite Dr. Seuss book!

Reading as a family is always an enjoyable experience and reading aloud to your child is the number one suggestion from reading experts across the country. Reading aloud to your child, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes literacy and language development, improves reading ability, and perhaps most importantly, fosters the love of books and reading. Reading aloud to your child requires only a book and your willingness to spend a little quality time with your child. While the sacrifices are few, the benefits are many. Your child will learn to read better, think better, imagine more richly, and become a passionate and lifelong reader. So take time with your child and share the enjoyment of a good book.

Once again, I thank you for your continuous support in helping us to build a caring and supportive school community. Our partnership makes a world of difference!

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

By Dr. Seuss


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for February

  • 2/6 PTO Meeting, 6 p.m.
  • 2/10 Bring a Friend to Music Day, Kindergarten, 11:40 a.m.
  • 2/10 Bring a Friend to Music Day, Grades 3 & 4, 2:15 p.m.
  • 2/10 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.
  • 2/10 REACH Open House at WPS, 2:30 p.m.
  • 2/11 CAS Celebration of the Arts Banquet
  • 2/12 Bring a Friend to Music Day, Grade 5, 9:15 a.m.
  • 2/12 Bring a Friend to Music Day, Grades 1 & 2, 1:30 p.m.
  • 2/17 President’s Day – No School
  • 2/18 Professional Development – No School for Students
  • 2/19 Dental Program
  • 2/24 Snow Date for REACH Open House
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K-1-2 Full of Wonderful Writers

Kindergarteners have been working on informational writing. During this unit, students learned to make diagrams in their writing to show what they know about a topic. After drawing a picture, they sounded out words to label their drawings. The kindergarteners also wrote about topics they are “experts” in. They chose a topic they knew a lot about and wrote about it. Many of them are experts about animals! They are learning to use a capital letter at the beginning of sentences, periods at the end of sentences, spaces between words, and sound out words while writing.

First and second graders are working on informational writing pieces. First grade friends are working on procedural writing (how-to). Together, they wrote a group procedural piece about about how to build a snowman. The introduction included a fun question and the materials needed. They then wrote about each step using transition words (first, next, finally) along with detailed and labeled illustrations. Students will then move into individual pieces about topics such as, “How to Get Ready for Ballet” and “How to Make a Pizza.” We can’t wait to learn how to do some new things.

Second graders have been working with partners in shared research. Each pair picked a country (Russia, France, Kenya, Mexico, Egypt, Brazil, Australia, and China) and will research it through books and other articles. The boys and girls were excited to choose topics within their countries that they would like to showcase. Students wrote introductions and are currently writing main idea paragraphs with details. The pairs will then work in Google Presentation to publish their reports. Along with writing, students will choose appropriate graphics and photos to enhance their pieces. The engagement and teamwork are amazing to see as the students work hard on their country reports.

¿Qué Pasa? Español News from Señora Granka

Our Burnham School students from Kindergarten through Grade 5 are consistently working hard to meet our learning targets during Spanish time!

Students in Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade have been learning winter vocabulary words for weather, clothing, animals and activities, and are using this vocabulary to listen to stories and express opinions.

Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders are almost at the conclusion of our “Perezosa Impaciente” (Impatient Sloth) story. It’s been exciting! While reading this story, students were introduced to the country of Colombia, and learned about endangered animals and illegal wildlife trafficking.


Flu Season is Here!!

Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with the flu virus on it and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose. People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick.

CDC recommends a three-step approach to fighting flu:

1. Get a flu vaccination each year

2. Call your doctor if you get the flu, there are prescription antiviral drugs that can treat your illness and might be recommended for you

3. Practice everyday preventive actions to prevent the flu like:

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Stay home for 24 hours after a fever is gone
  • While sick, avoid contact with others
  • Practice good cough and sneeze hygiene
  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
  • In case of an outbreak of flu, follow public health advice

There is more information on fighting the flu on the Region 12 School Nurse Website under “Important facts and information”. In the pictures below, the school nurse, Mrs. Lisa McQueen read “The Flu and You” by Geri Rodda, RN, to the students and talked about how to keep from getting the flu and also read "I am a Booger....Treat me with Respect" by Julia Cook.

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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

Student Council was hard at work fundraising for our Ben’s Bell Mural in 2019. We created holiday crafts that were sold at the Fall Festival. We had a week of fun fundraising with daily activities, and we raffled a GIANT Hershey bar. During the month of December, we had a giving tree with a variety of donation ornaments toward our mural. We are so pleased to have reached 50% of our $5,000 goal. Now, we are busy planning our fundraising efforts for the second half of our school year. All great ideas are welcome.

The Burnham School community continue to practice our mission of kindness. Boom-a-rangs of kindness are flying around the school. Children that are caught spreading acts of kindness earn a Boom-a-rang on the main lobby bulletin board. Happy New Year and be a model of Kindness.

Unified Concert

Elementary music in Region 12 is where students grow to become independent, creative, and confident musicians. This was evident on Thursday, January 16 when SVS hosted our Unified Concert! The event featured the combined choruses and bands from all three elementary schools. As a special treat, the 8th grade chorus and band also performed and then joined the elementary ensembles for their finales.

The students worked hard to prepare for the performance and with only one brief pre-concert rehearsal combined to make beautiful music! This was an incredible opportunity to prepare our students for a successful transition into middle school music. The elementary students were able to experience performing as a full ensemble, meet future classmates and teachers, and get a better idea of what music ensembles at SVS are like. The elementary students were also inspired as they listened to the 8th graders perform knowing that someday they too will reach that skill level. Thank you to everyone who helped make the evening a success and bravo to all our students who participated!

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 November meeting will be held on February 6 at 6:00 PM. We hope you plan to attend!

Leaders of Tomorrow!

Burnham and Booth Free Elementary Student Leaders in grades four and five recently attended the CAS Leadership Conference on January 8, 2020. Booth Free students, Wilson Benner, Grady Hughes, Frank Mariano, Rose Baker, Liam McGuire, Cameron Schell and Burnham students, Victoria Bargellini, Natalie Orletski, Liam Riendeau and Mason Romanoff traveled to Naugatuck Valley Community College with Mrs. Brooks to spend the day collaborating with peers from around the state, in some exciting leadership courses. Upon arrival they were encouraged to be independent and “ready to lead” at a moment’s notice. After they established their schedules, students excitedly headed off to participate in their classes.

The conference stressed the acquisition of four leadership skills: productive thinking, ethical decision making, creative problem solving, and communication. Students were divided into groups and assigned to breakout sessions that covered these skills with a variety of unique approaches. From collaborative games and art, to solving problems, communication activities, role plays, and “straight talk,” students couldn’t wait to share their learning with their friends and advisors. The day concluded with a poignant presentation which addressed bullying and highlighted the importance of being an upstanding person. Students left the conference excited and inspired to lead with assertion, creativity, and kindness.



“Though February is short, it is filled with lots of love and sweet surprises.”

~Charmaine J. Forde

February is National Library Lover’s Month- This is a month-long celebration of libraries of all types. Show your appreciation for our libraries this month by encouraging your child to make full use of our school library and our town library. Students in Grades 3-5 have access to Overdrive**, where they can use their student ID number to read eBooks or listen to audiobooks.


GET SERIOUS ABOUT A SERIES! Burnham School Library is small and mighty! We have dozens of different series for our students to delve into. All it takes is a peek into the first book of an amazing series for a kid to be hooked on books. That is why February is our Burnham School series month. Check out the list below to find your child’s new favorite series:

  • The Chronicles of Narnia (Grades 3-5)
  • The Shadow Children (Grades 3-5)
  • The Underland Chronicles (Grades 3-5)
  • Guardians of Ga’Hoole (Grades 3-5)
  • Land of Stories (Grades 3-5)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Grades 4,5)
  • Warriors (Grades 3-5)
  • Goosebumps (Grades 3-5)
  • The Maze Runner Series (Grades 4,5)
  • Spy School Series (Grades 4,5)
  • The Baby Sitters Club Graphic Novel Series (Grades 3-5)
  • Dragon Masters (Grades 2-4)
  • Pinkalicious Series (Grades K-2)
  • Amelia Bedelia Series (Grades K-2)
  • The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut Series (Grades 1, 2)
  • A to Z Mysteries (Grades 2-4)
  • Junie B. Jones, First Grader Series (Grades 2-4)
  • Ramona Quimby Series (Grades 2-5)
  • Flat Stanley Series (Grades 1-3)
  • Elephant and Piggie Series(Grades K, 1)
  • Dr. Seuss books (Grades K-5)

Not sure where to begin? Feel free to email me to ask for recommendations for your child.

Read Across America: February- The National Education Association (NEA) has shifted the focus of Read Across America to encourage literacy every single day of the year. So, while this year’s official Read Across America Day is still March 2nd, the NEA Read Across America theme for the month of February is: Explore Family and Communities. Hand in hand with African American History month, the book of the month is Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson. This month in the library we will be reading and discussing books that focus on African American history.


Now that we have begun to experience a taste of cold weather, it is a good time to review school closing procedures. When snow or ice creates unsafe driving conditions, school may need to be closed early, school opening may need to be delayed, or school may need to be closed for the day.

School closing information is available on our web site ( or may be heard over one of several radio or television stations. The Region-12 Notification System will also be activated for delayed openings and closings, and also when the decision to dismiss school early is made, so please be sure we have your correct telephone numbers.

The following stations broadcast our closing and delays:

WTIC AM 1080/WTIC 96.5 FM, WINE 940 AM/WINE 95.1 FM, WLAD 800 AM/WLAD 98.3 FM, WHCN 105.9 FM, WREF 850 AM, WKSS 95.7 FM, WZBG 97.3 FM, WVIT -TV 30, WTNH - TV 8, and WFSB –TV 3.

Delayed Opening Times for a 2 Hour Delay:

Please see our district website for additional scheduling information. For a delay, please be aware of the following:

  • Students should wait at their bus stop 2 hours later than the normal pick-up time.
  • Students in K through grade 5 may arrive at school at 10:40 a.m.
  • School will begin at 11:00 a.m

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.

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.

Travel and Parking Safety Tips

Please help keep our students safe. 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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