Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School February 2022

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 116 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!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”- Dr. Seuss


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for February

2/7 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.

2/9 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.

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

2/14 REACH (Virtual) Open House, 2:30 p.m.

2/21 Presidents' Day – No School

2/22 Professional Development – No School for Students

2/28 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.

3/2 Grades Close

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

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K-1-2 Scientists Are Hard At Work!

Kindergarten students are learning about structure and function.They have learned that structure is the way something is formed, and that function is what something does. They observed that although two items may have a different structure, they can have the same function. They listened to Jack and the Beanstalk and drew what the beanstalk looked like. Their task is to design the tallest freestanding beanstalk out of only ten pipe cleaners. They drew a model of their design after brainstorming possible solutions. We will measure and chart the finished beanstalk heights with cubes to see which are the tallest. Next they will attach a “golden egg” (plastic egg) to the beanstalk to see how strong it is. After that they will put some weights into the egg to see if the beanstalk will still support the egg. Future tasks will be to design and build miniature houses out of craft bricks, craft sticks and toothpicks, and to design and build a new paintbrush.

First grade students are learning about light and sound. They have learned how sound is made and how it travels. They played a game of telephone with plastic cups and string. They were able to observe how their voice vibrations traveled through the string to the cups. They have also learned about how light travels and how we see objects. Students observed different materials that light travels through and made their own “stained glass” flowers. Next, they will learn how to communicate messages to each other by only using light and sound.

Second grade students are learning about the form and function of plants. They observed and compared man-made objects (kitchen utensils) and nature-made objects (roses). They also learned about pollen and pollination by modeling how bees help to pollinate flowers using flowers, pipe cleaners, and flour. The scientists also made seed prototypes (glider seedpod, rotocopter seed pod, spinner seed pod) to model how seeds can move in the wind. At the end of the unit, students will create their own nature inspired model that can disperse seeds.

Parent Drop Off Reminder

A parent who wishes to drop off only without walking their student to the door can do so no earlier than 8:50 a.m. following the bus drop off. The student must exit the passenger side of the car and will be greeted by a staff member. The student will be directed to their classroom. Only one car at a time will be permitted to unload passengers. For safety reasons, please wait in the car line allowing for only one car at a time to depart. If your child requires more time, you may choose to park your car and walk your child to the front entrance.

Elementary Leadership Conference

Students are sometimes asked, “so, you’re a student leader …. now what? What kind of a leader might you be?” Providing opportunities for students to find his/her best way to develop leadership skills is our goal. The popular elementary leadership conference, sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Schools, is one way. This conference featured unique, interactive lessons in communication, problem solving, decision making and productive thinking. Students in fifth grade attended this Annual Elementary Leadership Conference, through Zoom, on Tuesday, January 11th. Elementary attendees from all over the state were present. Students had an opportunity to participate in several sessions while developing their leadership skills. All participants engaged in hands-on activities designed to foster 21st century skills.

Students enjoyed the special breakout sessions such as: Mindfulness with Kahana Hula, an animated video about gratitude and character strengths partnered with an art activity and Equity in Education with Bo Ryan. During the Equity in Education students reflected upon the following questions: What is your definition of equity?Why are you interested in learning about equity? and What are some actions that you can take in your school to make sure that it is equitable for all students?

Our school recognizes the following students who were chosen to participate in the conference and who display strong leadership skills. Congratulations to Chloe Brittingham, Natalia Cyr-Moyers, and Libby Planz.

News from the Art Cart with Mrs. Manley

Let’s face it, art making is fun but it can be a messy business to which an art room is perfect for. Wheeling the art cart from room to room has its challenges, especially when it comes to the amount of disruption art making can have in a regular classroom. Being mindful of classroom routines and COVID restrictions, one has to be, well, creative in presenting engaging art lessons. The transition from one discipline to another needs to be smooth and most importantly, purposeful.

So, to transition from, let’s say math or writing, a typical art class starts with a 5 minute warm up. These drawing prompts help students shift to a creative mindset, giving them a bit of time to refocus using imaginative thinking. These prompts range from design challenges to the silly. And, when the time is up, students are better prepared to work creatively on their art projects.


I am Mary Clarke, RN, BS, your new school nurse. I am so happy to be a part of the Burnham School family. I especially love watching the children learning in their classrooms and playing outdoors. I have 10 plus years experience in elementary and am so happy to be with this age group again.

We are inching along with this pandemic, but little pieces of normalcy keep coming back to our lives. Having the children in school is so important not only for their education and learning, but also for their mental health. Please continue reading for strategies you can do to help with our children's anxieties during this pandemic.

Feeling stress and anxiety about coronavirus is a common experience right now for adults as well as children. COVID 19 has had ripple effects into almost every aspect of our lives. Anxiety is a natural and sometimes helpful emotion in everyday life, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can do more harm than good.

Here are a few tips to support your child with signs of anxiety:

  • Reassure your child about how the spread of germs works and that we are following the advice of experts to protect ourselves and each other from the virus.

  • Teach children to notice what they are feeling. To pause and notice their emotion and label it and accept it as something that is “okay” whether it’s a “good” emotion or a “bad” emotion.

  • Assist your children to keep perspective by noticing the good/positive in their days. Practice gratitude with them.

  • Teaching your child to pause to a deep breath in a difficult moment can give your child skills and confidence to accept their feelings without overwhelming anxiety/reactivity. If you practice breathing “exercises” with them regularly, this becomes a wonderful “tool” in their self-help “toolbox”.

  • If you have concerns about the level of your child’s anxiety, contact your pediatrician to discuss a plan for support.

Below are some fun printable exercises to do with children found on this website:

Or you can access the printables right here!

Your Elementary School Nurses,

Mary Clarke, R.N.

Burnham School

860- 354- 9721

Terri Truczinskas, R.N.

Washington Primary School


Sandi Dibella, R.N.

Booth Free School


Winter Fun in the Snow!

School Closing Reminders!

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.

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

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 4:00 p.m. Our next meeting will be held on February 14th.


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

~Charmaine J. Forde

February is Black History Month: This month in library classes we will be reading and discussing books that focus on African American history and honoring the many contributions that African Americans have made to the world we live in.

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. Students in grades K-2 have SORA bookmarked on their iPads and Chromebooks, where they can find read-along books, eBooks, and 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)

Eragon Series (Grades 4,5)

The Maze Runner Series (Grades 4,5)

Spy School Series (Grades 4,5)

Percy Jackson Series (Grades 4,5)

The Baby Sitters Club Graphic Novel Series (Grades 3-5)

Critter Club (Grades 2-4)

Dragon Masters (Grades 2-4)

Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Grades 2-4)

The Bad Seed Series (Grades K-2)

Pinkalicious Series (Grades K-2)

Princess in Black Series (Grades K-2)

Arnie the Doughnut Series (Grades 1, 2)

A to Z Mysteries (Grades 2-4)

Junie B. Jones, First Grader (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) Read Across America theme for the month of February is: Explore Families and History. Students feel more comfortable sharing their own family stories when they’re exposed to books that build awareness about the diversity of families that make up our communities: both locally and on a larger scale. The featured primary book of the month is The Electric Slide and Kai by Kelly J. Baptist. The middle grade featured book is Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell it by Andrea Davis Pinkney.

Aftercare Enrichment Program (ACE)

The Aftercare Enrichment Program (ACE) is here to help students and families by providing care, homework help, and enrichment activities for students in kindergarten through fifth grade attending the Burnham School or the Booth Free School.

ACE’s after school program runs daily at the Burnham School. Students from the Burnham School dismiss directly to the ACE Program at 3:15 PM, while students from the Booth Free School ride bus 10 to the Burnham School following dismissal. After arriving, students have the opportunity to complete their homework with support from our caring staff members, many of whom are Region 12 staff members and members of the Bridgewater community.

ACE Provides care from 3:15 PM to 5:30 PM on regular school days, and from 12:45 PM to 5:30 PM on half days. Students in the after school program enjoy playing games, working on crafts, and going outside for extra time on the playground when the weather permits.

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