The latest announcements from the Principal, PTO, and NPS...

The 2nd Annual Move-A-Thon!

Burr School Move-a-thon!

Friday, June 12th

Who: Burr students

What: A student fundraiser that both celebrates fitness and raises money for some continued improvements to our school.

When: Friday, June 12th (each grade will participate at time listed below)

Where: On the Burr School field

Why: Because kids can make a difference too!

The students at Burr School are taking up the challenge to both celebrate fitness and raise money for the Phase 2 of the playground improvements.  These include rubberized matting under the Tanenbaum, new benches and possibly improvements to the garden area

The entire Burr School will participate in the Move-a-thon on Friday, June 12th by “moving” around the Burr field.  Students can choose how they move (walk, jog, run, skip, dance, jump rope, etc.) with the goal of moving around the track the entire time. 

Sponsors can pledge an amount per lap or pledge a total amount for completing the event.  After the Move-a-thon, students will return to their sponsors with their results and collect their pledges.  If every student collects $25.00 in donations, the students could earn over $10,000!

Grade Level Move-a-thon Times:

9:00 AM Grade 4 & Ms. Espinal’s first grade

10:00 AM Grade 5 & Grade 2 & Ms. Golden’s first grade

11:00 AM Grade 3 & K (1/2 hr) & Ms. Fitch & Mr. Gaita’s first grade

All proceeds from this event will directly benefit Burr School Students.

Upcoming Creative Arts & Sciences Programs

Creative Arts and Sciences presents: Tsongas Industrial History Center’s Exploring the Immigrant Experience For 4th Grade classes
Thursday, May 28, 2015

A presenter from the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell, Massachusetts will bring in artifacts and oral histories of early New England immigrants for students to examine. 

The program covers themes of immigration such as the decision to leave, the journey, hardships in America, Americanization, and preserving culture. Students also explore how immigrant groups have helped to shape American culture.  The presenter distributes artifacts and information about a particular immigrant that relate to the above topics.  Students are asked to give a brief oral report about this immigrant and can create a “quilt” as a conclusion to the information they learned.

Classroom times:

Ms. Miller’s class    9:30am- 10:30am

Mr. Glode & Ms. Harrington  10:30am  – 11:30am

Ms. Robinson     1pm – 2pm 

Creative Arts and Sciences Welcomes New England Aquarium Tidepools Alive! Kindergarten Classes Friday, May 29th

Tidepools Alive! is an informative live presentation of sea life by the New England Aquarium.

Students use their five senses to imagine the beach, tidepools, and seagulls. They also learn about and interact with live seastars, snails, mussels, clams and hermit crabs.

Kindergarten Class Times In the Music Room:

Ms. Frail  9:00-9:45 

Ms. Rudek  10:00-10:45  

Ms. McMahon  11:00-11:45  

Creative Arts and Sciences presents: Sound Program
 For 4th Grade classes

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What is Sound? How is it made? How does it travel? Why do different objects make different sounds? Why do things sound different under water?

On Wednesday, June 3rd the Science Discovery Museum will visit Burr 4th graders and will answer these questions and MORE!

Presentations will be held in the classrooms and parents are welcome to attend. We are NO LONGER able to accommodate younger siblings at these presentations. Thank you for understanding.


Classroom Times:

Ms. Miller’s class    9am – 9:45am

Mr. Glode & Ms. Harrington 10am  – 10:45am

Ms. Robinson     11am – 11:45am

Creative Arts and Science programs are fully funded by the Burr School PTO.  Parents are welcome to attend, but no younger siblings please.  Thank you for your cooperation. 

From the desk of Ms. Johal – May 26, 2015

Dear Families,

I hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather during our long weekend. It is finally warm enough for me to send out my annual clothing and footwear reminder. I am particularly concerned about children wearing inappropriate footwear. Flip-flops in particular cause many falls, stubbed toes and can be uncomfortable on the wood-chipped playground. Spaghetti straps, bare midriffs, low cut pants, and very short skirts are also not appropriate dress for school. If your child is not meeting these guidelines we may call you to bring in something else for him/her to wear. Please help support our expectations for appropriate school dress.

I’d like to thank those of you who have supported our Student Council’s efforts to raise money for the victims of the earthquakes in Nepal. Last week, we were able to collect over $800.  The Student Council members voted to donate the funds to the Society of Ex-Budhanikantha Students (SEBS). This organization was recommended by a Burr family from Nepal. The following is a blurb from their website

Society of Ex-Budhanilkantha Students (SEBS)

SEBS was formed in 1982. We are a volunteer organization with the main aim to provide social service to the community of Nepal and help in its development. We organize various programs in the field of education and health like Nationwide Scholarship Program, health camps etc., to help the people who are in need. We are based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Our North American branch is based in Virginia, USA as SEBS-North America and is recognized by us as our sole representative in the region.

 Student Council will continue their efforts to raise money in two ways:

  1. A Burr family generously donated a pair of GREEN MONSTER Red Sox tickets for the game against the Oakland Athletics on Friday, June 5th. The Student Council will be holding a raffle with these tickets. The tickets are valued at just under $400.  Please look for the order form in your child’s backpack today, Tuesday, May 26th. Tickets will be $20 each. We have decided to limit the sales to 100 tickets. This means that $20 gets you a one in a hundred chance to win GREEN MONSTER Red Sox seats! The drawing for the winner will be at the end of the day on Friday, May 29th. I hope many of you will consider buying a ticket and helping the students with their quest to support the victims in Nepal.
  2. Students will set up a table outside the school during arrival and dismissal time to collect donations of cash or checks made out to SEBS-North America.


Have a wonderful week.


PTO Board Available Positions

Dear Families,

Next year’s PTO board is going through a major transition! We have 2 board members moving out of Newton and 3 members have completed their 2-year term!

We are looking for a Co-President and Education Support Coordinator. Board members are responsible for attending 4 board meetings (held in the evening at someone’s home) and 4 PTO meetings held at Burr. 

Being part of the PTO Board allows one to participate in major decision making for the Burr community. I have thoroughly enjoyed it! It has honestly been much less demanding than I expected.  

Co-President: It will be my final year; looking for 1-2 people to join! If there are 3 Co-Prez we can take turns attending various meetings, etc. 

Education Support Coordinator: Supports many of the committees that are self-sufficient- this individual will communicate with committees and help with scheduling dates, etc.

Please see the link below for a full description of PTO board positions:

Feel free to contact me or any current board member with any questions . 


Sloane Goldhagen

PTO Co-President

Burr Garden Classroom and Summer Help

11169868_10206932872266030_7837062402691373971_nSpringtime at Burr…’tis the season for our beloved Burr Garden Classroom. If you enjoy gardening (or have always wanted to learn more about it!), we invite you to join us for some good old fashioned fun in the dirt n’ sun.  Over the upcoming weeks, every class at Burr will visit the classroom and plant a garden with a different “theme”.  We’re always looking for parents to assist in their kids’ classes as they plant their gardens (especially in the younger grades–lots of little green thumbs require many helping hands on deck).  Please let Marlene Gibson know if you think you might like to join us.  Younger siblings are welcome–please come a few moments before your child’s class is scheduled. 

Here are the tentative dates/times for our gardening sessions:

Thursday, May 21

10:15 – 10:50 — K McMahon

1:10 – 1:40 — 1 Golden

1:45 – 2:20 — 1 Gaita

2:25 – 3:00 — 3 Canning 

Tuesday, May 26 

8:45 – 9:20 — K Rudek

9:30 – 10:05 — 2 Roberts

10:15 — 10:50 — 4 Miller

11:00 – 11:35 — 2 Field

11:50 – 12:25 — K Frail

Friday, May 29

8:45 – 9:20 — 4 Robinson

9:30 – 10:05 — 5 Moran

10:15 – 10:50 — K Fitch

11:00-11:35 — 4 Glode/Harrington

11:50 – 12:25 — 5 Cooley

12:30 – 1:00 — 2 Procaccini

1:10 – 1:40 —  1 Espinal

1:45 – 2:20 —  3 Collins

2:25 – 3:00 —  3 Oh

If you can’t make the planting sessions, but would like to join our Summertime Burr Family Garden Club we’ve got a sign up genius here for you. 

This is a flexible gig and you help out when it’s convenient for your schedule–after work, on weekends, whenever…it’s a great way to stay connected to Burr after school ends!  (The Burr garden is Auburndale’s de facto community garden–other community gardens have waiting lists for plots and then you have to make a full commitment.  Here, you are the garden keeper for just one week and someone has already done all the hard planting work for you!) 

Understanding Our Differences Program needs volunteers

The Understanding Our Differences Program is looking for parent volunteers to help present the upcoming programs:

Intellectual Disabilities to our 4th Graders from 1-2:30 pm on Thursday on May 21, 2015, and

Deafness/Hard of Hearing to our 3rd Graders from 1-2:30 pm on Thursday, May 28, 2015

 The goal of this citywide program is to increase information, understanding, and acceptance of people with disabilities and individual differences in our community. Volunteers do not need to have children in a specific grade, teaching experience, or a medical background.  We will provide the training and materials.  You provide the fun!  

Can you help out? Contact: Deanna Salemme: or 617-877-7576.

Announcing Walk and Roll Wednesdays!

Thank you all for making the Walk/ Bike to School Day so successful! Many kids and families walked, biked, rode the bus or carpooled to school with big smiles on their faces!  

This being such an inspiration, we would like to announce “Walk and Roll Wednesdays” which is organized and supported by the Burr Green Team.

We understand that some students don’t have the option of walking or biking to school. “Walk and Roll Wednesdays” will include walking, biking, riding a scooter, taking the bus and carpooling.  All of these options encourage being green.  Please support this endeavor in every way possible!  Your participation is greatly appreciated!

From the Desk of Ms. Johal, May 11, 2015

Dear Families,

What a glorious weekend we had for May Fair and to celebrate Mothers’ Day.  I hope all Burr moms were completely spoiled yesterday. It was a well-deserved day of pampering.

The Burr staff and I would like to thank you all for a wonderful Teacher Appreciation week.  We loved the daily treats that showed up in the staff room and the fabulous breakfast spread that was provided on Thursday.  Each staff member also received a beautiful rose.  The numerous homemade cards and notes of appreciation really made staff feel valued.

In school we have quite a few things going and preparations are underway for many more end-of-year activities. Be sure to check the calendar on the Burr School website to see what’s coming up.   

One important activity the Burr School Student Council has planned for the week of May 18th is a fundraiser to help the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. This tragic disaster has prompted so many of our youngsters to empathize with the people and want to do something to help.  Students have come in early or stayed late to make posters to post around the school informing everyone about the upcoming fundraiser. They will be reaching out to parents during arrival and dismissal next week. I hope you’ll come to school with some extra change to donate to this cause. There may be other activities to support this endeavor in coming weeks.

I have one unfortunate thing that I’d like to bring to your attention. Five Burr teachers, Mr. Gaita, Ms. Robinson, Ms. Picard, Mr. Glode, and Ms. Collins, volunteered to go in the dunk tank at May Fair. I’m sure you join me in thanking them for giving up their Saturday and being willing to be dunked in freezing cold water over and over again. Sadly, several children were overheard saying unkind things about teachers as they waited in line or watched the dunking. I am so disappointed. This has left the teachers feeling discouraged and having me rethink having such an activity at Burr. I spoke with children in grades 3-5 about this today and shared my disappointment. I hope you too will have a conversation with your child(ren) and use this as a time to reinforce the important messages of respect and compassion.

I hope many of you will be able to join me for our next Parent Principal Coffee on May 14th.



Teacher Appreciation Breakfast on May 7th

The Burr Teacher Appreciation and Staff Breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 7. Last week, a notice with a collection envelope was sent home with your child. You may submit a monetary donation or sign up to donate a breakfast item with the link below: 

Please contact Justine Fialkosky at with any questions.

Help put the finishing touches on our new playground!!

10806203_10153380417087178_311433997879042462_nWith warmer weather finally arriving, we hope everyone has begun enjoying our new playground. In the push to keep the project within budget and installed before winter, we left some accessory items out of the initial order, including benches for seating around the playground and mats to go under the swings and the O’Tannenbaum (merry-go-round) to keep the wood chips in place and maintain a safe play surface. 

To help fund these items, we’re offering a final round of personalized bricks before we submit the brick order for production. If you’re new to Burr or never got around to placing your order, this is your chance to leave your mark on our awesome new playground!

Look for brick flyers in folders or download a copy of the form at under the ‘get involved’ tab and return to school by our new deadline, June 12th.