Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School-January 2022

A Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It is that time of year again, when the weather turns cold and our hearts begin to fill with warmth. Although the holiday season has come and gone, its magic lingers and with it brings a new year with brighter hopes for a healthy, happy 2022!

The winter season is always magical with the picturesque snowfall this time of year. Playing in the snow, whether building a snowman, skiing, snowboarding, or making snow angels, is invigorating and fun for all. Reading together can also be such a soothing activity for the whole family. Capture the feeling of the winter season by snuggling up to a good book with a warm cozy blanket. There are so many wonderful things we can do with our immediate family members that bring us joy, laughter, and sense of belonging. This is particularly important as we continue to battle the pandemic.

The Burnham School community was quite busy during the month of December. The Student Council continued their food drive throughout the month for our local pantry and they also sponsored PJ Day for the Kids. PJ Day for the Kids’ proceeds were sent to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to support children battling cancer. To show our appreciation to our community, our students made winter and holiday cards and festive wreaths for our local senior citizens. We hope these cards and wreaths brought them warm winter wishes. Lastly, what would the winter season be without celebrating cultures! This year our students studied four countries. For the boys and girls this was an impactful and fun-filled month.

As with any new year, it brings much excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead in the academic programming in grades K-5. Teachers are looking closely at the curriculum and are planning accordingly. They will be using mid-year assessments as well as their students’ daily work performance to gage where students are in their academic skill development. We are in full swing and moving ahead!

In closing, learning is so important and experts say that any learning must be a joint venture between school, parents, and children. Research indicates that children do better in school if parents place a high value on educating and reinforcing on-going learning. I thank you for your continued support and commitment to your child’s education. Together we make the greatest impact!


Cathy Colella




The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in adults and children and can look like other common illnesses, like colds, strep throat, or allergies. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in children are fever and cough, although there can be many others.

The CDC recommends monitoring your child for the following each day:

  • Fever (Temperature 100.4 or higher)

  • Chills

  • Cough

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath

  • Loss of smell or taste

  • Sore throat

With any change in your child’s health resembling the symptoms mentioned above, contact your healthcare provider and school nurse. Since it is not possible to differentiate between a cold/flu and COVID19, we are following our medical directors recommendations to contact your doctor for advice for testing and/or an alternate diagnosis. If it is an alternate diagnosis even with a negative COVID test, a note from a doctor is necessary to return to school when these symptoms occur. Your doctor will decide if a COVID test is needed.

Contact your school nurse with any questions or concerns regarding symptoms your child may be exhibiting.

Sandi DiBella, R.N.

Booth Free School


Mary Clarke, R.N.

Burnham School


Terri Truczinskas, R.N.

Washington Primary School

WPS- 860-868-6879

Dates to Remember for January

1/3 School Resumes

1/3-1/31 Online Kindergarten Registration

1/10 PTO Meeting, 3:30 p.m.

1/10 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.

1/17 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – No School

1/26 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.

2/14 PTO Meeting, 3:30 p.m.

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Burnham School has a new Nurse!

Burnham School is excited to welcome Mrs. Mary Clarke to Burnham School. She has a great deal of experience as a school nurse working in the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She loves visiting and working in classrooms and has a thorough understanding of the day to day operations of school nursing. Please help us to welcome Mrs. Clarke to our school community!

Kindergarten Registration 2022-2023

Registration for Kindergarten will take place from January 3rd through January 31st. Parents of children turning five years of age before January 1, 2023, are eligible and are encouraged to register. Please go to the Admissions/Enrollment portal at to register your child. Families will need to provide an official birth certificate and proof of residency as part of the registration process. Our school will contact families to complete the registration requirements.

3/4/5 Winter Solstice

As part of our study of indigenous people and our Cultures Around the World, 3-5 spent time learning about the science of Winter Solstice and the many wondrous creations and festivities inspired by the, “return of the sun.”

Our research led many to understand the impact the cycles of nature, Sun and Moon, had on indigenous cultures. Students also realized many winter traditions and customs are traced back to ancient times, intertwined with each other through nature, across cultures.

Students spent the “shortest” day immersed in solstice celebrating. They measured 23 degree angles and watched a simulation of Earth’s interaction with the Sun. Long Night Moon, an interactive read aloud, inspired magical chalk drawings and writing ideas. 3rd graders created ornaments with oranges and cloves, and strung popcorn and cranberries to decorate outdoors, while 4-5s analyzed Robert Frost’s “Snowy Woods.” They have quickly filled our bulletin board with original and masterful winter poetry.

At 10:58 am, many of us captured the Sun at its lowest point in the southern sky and saw some dramatic shadows. By the afternoon, with the sun close to setting, students painted their small glass lanterns and “trashed” their negative thoughts into the community bucket. 3-5 is grateful to spend time celebrating different cultures and traditions, as well as creating our own. We are all looking forward to the brighter days of 2022!


We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Thank you to all the families that participated in our Holiday Fundraiser. Also, a shout out to all the families that donated food to our Bridgewater Food Drive during the holidays. Student Council is anticipating an exciting New Year. We are brainstorming ideas to raise money for our Ben's Bells Mural. We are halfway there! Looking ahead, our February flower sale and Spirit Week in the Spring will be returning. We will keep you updated on other events along the way.

Happy New Year, 2022

Burnham Student Council

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PJ Day for the Kids!

Proceeds benefitted the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at Connecticut Children’s Hospital


Hey, do you make music?? We want to know!! Please take a moment to fill out the survey below to answer a few questions about how you, as an adult, continue to make music. Thanks!!

Family Musician Survey

The Burnham School Chorus is BACK!! Congrats to the chorus for a fabulous first performance in more than a year at the Bridgewater Tree Lighting! The students prepared two songs and then led the crowd in a festive sing along. Well done chorus! (Photo credit--see photo above: Joy Ruppert)

It’s hard to believe but we are already into our second trimester of music. The cold weather has made some things a little tougher but we are finding ways to safely keep moving, singing, improvising, and playing. Additionally, thank you to the anonymous Burnham community member for their donation of percussion instruments. Percussion is our jam!

K is working on a listening unit on the Carnival of the Animals. They learn how to sing the resting tone to new songs like Bim Bam. They sing patterns in different tonalities and improvise rhythms while learning songs and chants like One Little Elephant, The Turtle, Bluebird, and Five Little Muffins.

Grade 1 & 2 students build on their knowledge of rhythms by learning to read and write rhythms in duple and triple meter. They learn ‘enrhythms’, rhythms that sound the same but look different! Next they will create, compose, and perform their own rhythms! They will also deepen their understanding of chords (tonic, dominant, subdominant) and how they make up music. They do this using familiar songs from the first trimester like Dinosaur Diet and Sarasponda.

Third graders work on reading rhythm patterns as well. They also start reading tonal patterns. Most exciting of all, they are playing recorder! This is a BIG part of being a third grader and they don’t take their responsibilities lightly. The recorder is s beautiful instrument, not a toy (or torture device)! We have moved to playing inside with extra precautions in place. We all have a special mask for our face and one for our recorder (bell cover). We are spaced out 8 or more feet apart. Best of all, the 3rd graders are sounding great!

In Grade 4/5 we start bucket drumming! The students are doing great work. They learn how to hold the sticks and play using different parts of the drum (bucket). They play rhythms from notation (duple and triple meter), learn a few “grooves”, and rock out to some favorite popular tunes. If your student is working at home and is having trouble keeping their sound in control, a thick towel stuffed into the bucket or placed on top will help to dampen the sound.

Burnham School’s Cultures Around the World

Our Burnham students were so excited to learn about how other countries around the world celebrate different winter holidays! The students visited four different continents and explored traditions in Poland, Brazil, South Africa, and India. In Poland, the boys and girls learned about how families wait to eat dinner until the first star in the sky is visible. To represent this tradition, students made a star craft. Students also learned about Diwali in India. It’s known as the Festival of Light. Students made paper candles to represent light.Third, fourth, and fifth graders also made rangolis which are geometric patterns.

In South Africa, children enjoyed decorating for Christmas with colorful paper chains. The boys and girls made a two-toned paper chain out of crepe paper. Our final destination was Brazil. Did you know that in Brazil parents decorate the tree without children? The boys and girls enjoyed decorating paper trees with a variety of sequin, glitter, and poms. Learning about how the world celebrates special occasions gives students the opportunity to reach out and understand the world they live in just a little better.

The Joy of the Season Brought to Our Local Senior Citizens!

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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.

Congratulations, Natalia Cyr-Moyers and Peyton Livingston!

Each year, our students participate in Connecticut Fire Prevention Poster Contest. The contest is open to fourth and fifth graders. This year’s theme is “Fire Prevention - Everyone Everyday”. Our students worked with our art teacher, Mrs. Manley, to create an original poster with their own fire prevention message. Natalia and Peyton are our local winners and their posters will be moving forward to be judged at the county level. The winners at that level will then go to the state level for a chance at the grand prize.

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 January 10th.


New Year…New Books! Burnham’s school library just keeps on growing. We have dozens of new books to start off a new year of reading. Some exciting new titles include My Words Flew Away Like Birds, The Smart Cookie, and Negative Cat. In keeping with the multicultural theme for the month, My Words Flew Away Like Birds tells the story of a young immigrant girl who is learning a new language for the first time. Negative Cat teaches the power of positivity, while The Smart Cookie teaches a valuable lesson about how to grow and change as a person, as well as how to be open-minded and change your perspective about others. We also have much-anticipated sequels to beloved series, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot and The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race. There are also new and fun nonfiction titles for students to check out. Students should stop by the library to find their next favorite book!

Read Your World

January 28, 2022 is the 9th Annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Never before in history has it been more important for us to understand and learn about diverse cultures and customs. To that end, in library classes for the month of January, we will be focusing on books with multicultural themes. I encourage students to read books that widen their perspectives, celebrate diversity, and showcase the beauty of other cultures.

Read Across America

For January, the National Education Association has chosen books that encourage us to Try Something New. This month’s selected books encourage students to set goals and work to follow through on meeting them. For primary grades, the featured book is A Sled for Gabo by Emma Otheguy. For middle grades, the book is Measuring Up by Lilly LaMotte.

Do you or your child have a book request? Please feel free to email me at


As the winter season progresses, schools may be impacted by inclement weather. In the event of a delayed opening or school closure, a district phone call will be made through School Messenger by 5:30 AM to families. Announcements will also be posted on our district website, and with local news outlets.

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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