Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School-November 2020

A Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The teachers have just completed their virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences. I am pleased to report that 100% participation took place. The staff and I are fortunate to have you as our partners in the learning process. These conferences have given the teachers an opportunity to share the progress of your child(ren) and to help you gain an understanding of the expectations for future learning and improvements. It was also a time for teachers to gain assistance from you in establishing goals for home and for school.

Picture Day was recently held and even with COVID we were able to have a successful event. Students were kept at a safe distance from one another with only one student at a time entering the location. One cohort was photographed at a time allowing for additional time inbetween each cohort. The staff and I were thrilled to see this tradition continue especially during this time.

On October 14th our Superintendent, Megan Bennett hosted a Zoom Parent Conversation. This conversation provided an opportunity for questions to be answered and to receive updates. Mrs. Bennett and I thank the BS school community for attending.

Unity Day was recognized on October 21st. Unity Day is typically held during National Bullying Prevention Month in October. The goal of the day was to bring together youth, parents, educators, and community members to emphasize the message that bullying is not acceptable and that all students need to be safe in their school and in their community. Our school community wore and shared the color orange - as a visible representation of the supportive, universal message that our society wants to prevent bullying and that we are together against bullying, and united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

The Governor’s Reading Challenge are now in! I am pleased to inform the school community that we had impressive results with a total of 982 books read. Thank you parents and guardians for all of your efforts in encouraging our young readers to read during the summer months. It is a wonderful and worthwhile activity to engage in, not only in the summer but all year long. The staff and I are looking for 100% participation rate which I am confident we can reach again next summer.

As the colder weather approaches us, I want to remind you that windows will continue to be open and we will utilize outdoor learning as much as possible. As noted in our reopening plan, ventilation in the schools is an important part of maintaining a healthy building. Students should be dressed in layers to accommodate the colder temperatures.

As I look ahead, I want to remind parents and guardians that the marking period will end on November 24th. Report card distribution will take place on December 11th. Your efforts at home are so helpful. Keep reading to and with your child(ren). Review papers that come home and remember to contact your child’s teacher should you have a question or concern. Working together will result in your child(ren) becoming successful learners.


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for November

11/3 Professional Development Day – No School for Students

11/5 PTO Meeting, 6 p.m.

11/11 Veteran’s Day - School Closed

11/16 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.

11/18 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.

11/24 Grades Close

11/25-11/27 Thanksgiving Recess – No School

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Symptoms and Guidelines Related to School Attendance and COVID-19 Symptoms

While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, they still can be infected, get sick, and spread the virus. They can have no symptoms, mild symptoms, or get severely ill. Along with wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing, vigilance in monitoring your children each day is an imperative part of keeping our school community safe.

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)

  • Sore throat

  • New uncontrolled cough (for a child with chronic asthma/allergic cough, look for a change from their usual cough) and/or trouble breathing

  • Diarrhea, vomiting, stomachache

  • New onset of severe headache, especially with fever

  • Loss of smell or taste

With any change in your child’s health resembling those symptoms mentioned above, contact your healthcare provider. Since it is not possible to differentiate between a cold/flu and COVID19, our medical director recommends seeing your pediatrician for testing or an alternate diagnosis. A note is necessary to return to school when these symptoms occur.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that a flu vaccine be given to any child over 6 months of age, this season more than ever.

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

Lisa McQueen, R.N.

Burnham School

860- 354-9721

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.

Fire Prevention Day at Burnham School

Fire is everyone’s fight! It is a national effort led by the U.S. Fire Administration to lower the number of home fires and home injuries in America. Along with USFA, each fire community is speaking out with a unified message of fire prevention and safety to the public. A great way to assist in accomplishing this goal is to teach our youngsters how to stay safe and prevent fires happening in their homes.

We thank the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department for a wonderful Fire Prevention Day held on October 8th. Students learned how to stop, drop, and roll. Students were taught some safety measures such as identifying a meeting place should a fire start in their homes. They also witnessed how far the fire hose can spray! The Fire Department even got a call during the presentation and our students saw our local firefighters in action!


Happy November!

“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.”

~ Clyde Watson

Crisp fall days and cozy fall nights are perfect for reading. The seasonal books are out for the students to enjoy. Students can also enjoy an assortment of new graphic novels, new middle grade novels for our upper grade students, and new picture books.

Kindergarten and First~ Our kindergarteners and first graders enjoy a new read aloud each week. For the month of November, we are focusing on kindness in our read aloud books. We will be reading books that build character, encourage children to be kind, and teach them the results of every kind act that they perform for someone else.

Second~ Our second graders are reading all about the hilarious second grader Gooney Bird Greene. With her hilarious tales- that are all completely true- and her unique sense of fashion, our second grade read-aloud time has never been so interesting.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade~ Our upper graders are all reading Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. We have all been enjoying this read aloud immensely, with plenty of class discussion, laughter, and predictions about what’s coming next. The students are also learning that a book often has a lot more to offer than the movie.

Update on the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge: I am thrilled to announce that we once again enjoyed 100% participation in the program. Our students are to be commended for all of the amazing reading that they did over the summer months. Thank you, parents, for supporting them in this endeavor.

Read Across America: As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the National Education Association will now choose a book on a monthly basis to support a specific focus. November’s books encourage us to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples. For primary grades, the book is Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard. For middle grades, the book is I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day (Harper).

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 virtual meeting will be held on November 5 at 6:00 PM. We hope you plan to attend!

Cold Weather Reminders

As the cold weather is upon us, the staff and I wish to remind everyone about the need for jackets, mittens, and hats. Unless it is too wet, the students will go out at recess. When the snow arrives, students will also need snow pants and boots so that they can enjoy the snowy outdoors.

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury Visited Burnham School

Durning the month of October, the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury held Zoom visits with each classroom. They offered a variety of programs and each program was presented with age appropriate language and materials. Kindergarten and first graders learned about care, kindness, and respectful boundaries of self and others. Second graders learned about empathy and identifying others feelings. Grade 3 focused on bullying and mean behaviors. Fourth and fifth graders learned about personal boundaries, empathy awareness, and taking care of oneself.

Our partnership with the Women’s Center has been long standing. Their presentations were informative and provided our students with strategies to promote the development of positive relationships.

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

I am asking you to please 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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