Weekly Family Newsletter

Burns Park Elementary

September 11, 2022

Dear Burns Park Families,

As we begin this letter, we want to take a moment to pause, acknowledge and remember the lives lost 21 years ago on September 11th. Our country and lives were forever changed.

Thank you.


It's been a wonderful two weeks watching students, staff and families build connections. Strong, positive communities are being established in our classrooms and we love seeing all of our old and new students coming together to become our Burns Park penguins.

This upcoming week is an exciting one! We will have our first PTO meeting on Wednesday, September 14th at 7pm via Zoom and the following evening we will host our 2022-2023 Curriculum Night in person- an exciting opportunity for families to learn more about what their student's day at school looks like and what they will be learning throughout the year. More information about both of these events can be found below.

We would also like to take this opportunity to shoutout all of the amazing grandparents for National Grandparents Day. We hope that your day is filled with family time, stories and creating memories.

We look forward to seeing you throughout the week.

Have a restful Sunday,

Heather & Leslee

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Curriculum Night

You're invited to Curriculum Night! We are excited to announce that this year Curriculum Night will be in person! Join us on Thursday, Sept. 15th starting at 6:00 PM. Teachers will host two identical sessions, followed by a presentation by the principals. Please note - this is an adult only event, no students. This is our schedule for the evening:

6:00 - 6:25 Presentation #1 by Classroom Teachers

6:30 - 6:55 Presentation #2 by Classroom Teachers

7:00 - 7:30 Principals Presentation

AAPS Masking Policy

As of today, September 11th, Washtenaw County is in the CDC HIGH/RED Community Level. Masks are strongly encouraged indoors.

Link to CDC Community Level page here.

For more detailed information about the AAPS Fall 2022 COVID and Health Guidance, please click here.


School meals will no longer be provided free of charge for all as they were in the 2021-2022 school year. Families will need to fill out free & reduced lunch forms to qualify: 2022-2023 Free & Reduced Lunch Application. Please note that families are responsible for the cost until the application is approved. If you need help, please refer to this document. Paper copies will be available in the main office once the school year begins.

For more information about this change and to learn how to load funds onto your child's account, please click here. Student ID information was sent home the first week of school. You may set up your meal magic account with that information.

Please have a conversation with your child if you would like them getting food from school or not. Families are responsible for the cost of food. We will ALWAYS feed children if they say they don’t have food. We will not question it. Make sure they know the plan.

Also, please make sure your child knows which item is their snack. This is helpful for the classroom teacher.

Items from Home

Personal belongings (i.e. toys, trading cards, etc.) need to remain at home. Burns Park staff will not be responsible for managing the care and safety of personal belongings. Students who bring sports items for recess have an understanding that they are agreeing to share with others. If this agreement is not the understanding, students should not bring personal sports items. Please check backpacks before your student comes to school.

Personal Devices

Last week, technology distribution for students began and will continue into this week. All students are expected to care for their school-issued devices. These devices will be transported to and from school daily. Students should charge devices at home so they do not need to bring their charger to school with them.

Students are to leave their cellphone in their lockers and should not use their smart watch to communicate with others. The office phone is the required method for communication between students and their families. Please call the office phone (734-994-1919) if you need to get ahold of your student. If your student needs to get ahold of you, they will call from the office phone.


  1. Volunteer iChat background check forms are required every year and must be completed and approved before you can volunteer in the classroom.

  2. We will be saving paper, time, and energy by asking you to sign one Burns Park Field Trip form. This form will grant permission for your child to go to all field trips throughout the 2022-23 school year within Washtenaw County. If the trip involves leaving Washtenaw County, we will seek your permission with a specific field trip for.

These forms were sent out by Kathy Cramer on September 6th. Please complete these forms as soon as possible.

From the PTO

Dear Fantastic BPE Families,

I hope that everyone had a spectacular second week of school as children and families begin to create or reestablish school time routines. Other school routines being reestablished include resuming in-person curriculum night, and a new school year of monthly PTO meeting on the second Wednesday of the month. Please join Wednesday, September 14th at 7:00pm on ZOOM to learn more about ongoing and planned PTO activities. We appreciate those who reached out regarding open volunteer opportunities and are looking forward to virtually connecting at this week’s meeting.

Another returning tradition is the Back to School Fall Picnic on September 29. The last time this event was held was on September 20, 2019, so we are excited to bring back this traditional community building event at BPE!

Who: Every family at BPE, whether you are new to the school community or interested in reengaging with old friends

What: 2022 Back to School Picnic

Where: BPE Grounds

When: Thursday, September 29 at 5:30 – 7:00

Why: To foster community engagement and provide an opportunity for families to interact with each other across classes, grade level and school wide.

How: Bring a picnic blanket and your dinner and enjoy catching up with old friends and meeting new ones! In addition to bringing back this tradition, we are looking to tweak it by working towards having an on-site food option. We are hopeful there will be more information in next week’s school email.

Also, below there is a letter from our PTO Volunteer Coordinator Sa’Keenha Hester with an introduction and request for Room Parent signups.


Dear Fantastic Burns Park Penguin Family!

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Sa’Keenha Hester the new PTO Volunteer Coordinator for the 2022-23 school year. My husband Anthony and I are the proud parents of two wonderful Penguin scholars here at Burns Park Elementary. Our son Odum is an optimistic 5th grader, and our daughter Ahsha is an adventurous 1st grader.

As Volunteer Coordinator I am requesting your service and participation in several volunteer areas at Burns Park Elementary:

  • Room Parent

  • Art Angels

  • Library support

An extraordinary educator and politician Shirley Chisholm coined the phrase, “Service is the rent we pay for living on this earth, for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not just something you do in your spare time.”

I encourage you to get involved and volunteer your talents, time, and a piece of yourself with us. I am certain your child would love to see you join them not only in their academic but social experiences at BPE as well. If you are already committed to volunteering in some capacity, you WADDLE and are greatly appreciated! If you have yet to sign up, please WADDLE with us and view the website for opportunities!

Recruitment for Room Parent volunteers for the classroom is currently underway. Information can be accessed via the PTO website. Individuals interested in volunteering are strongly encouraged to submit application and signup no later than September 20th. Some teachers have enthusiastically identified room parents for their class already and I applaud the initiative! However, official signup is requested via the Room Parent sign-up form so please reiterate your interest via the form. Completion of this form will afford the ability to communicate with volunteers and provide useful resources, ideas and or tips over the course of the school year. I will share volunteers who have signed up for Room Parents and support volunteers shortly after September 20th. Additionally, one to two room parents will be identified as each teacher's primary contact although there may be several volunteers.

While Room Parents will be asked to help coordinate classroom volunteers for various school-wide activities, the primary responsibility will be to help organize parties and other activities for the class as requested by the teacher. Teachers will share with parents their expectations of Room Parents and support areas on curriculum night. We will also have a Room Parent, Art Angel and Library volunteer information session following curriculum night at 7:30 in the Media Center where information will be shared with interested parents.

If you have any questions or specific needs, please feel free to share them to volunteering@bpepto.org

Your continued partnership and support through volunteerism is greatly appreciated.

Sa’Keenha Hester, M.Ed

BPE PTO Volunteer Coordinator



Thank you to all those new volunteers this year who have already joined the PTO Board, At-Large and related Committees this year, as well as those have volunteered as room parents. Please join the PTO meeting this week to learn about upcoming activities and additional volunteer needs in the BPE community.

Your Burns Park PTO Al Masias, President info@bpepto.org

Upcoming Dates

Wednesday, September 14

PTO Meeting, 7:00PM - 8:00PM

Thursday, September 15

First Day of Hispanic Heritage Month

Thursday, September 15

Curriculum Night, 6:00PM - 7:30PM

Tuesday, September 20

Early Release Day, Dismissal at 1:18PM

September 26-27

Rosh Hashanah

Friday, September 30

Picture Day

Thursday, September 29

Fall Picnic, 5:30PM – 7:00PM