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

Two upcoming School Committee meetings

From Newton Public Schools:

As many of you are aware, this is an exciting time of elementary school facilities renovation and expansion in the Newton Public Schools. Because the new schools will have expanded capacity to address our enrollment growth, and we currently have elementary schools that are overcrowded, we have formed a Student Assignment Working Group that is examining elementary school boundary lines.

Over the past few months, the Student Assignment Working Group has developed a process to evaluate various student assignment scenarios. At the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 beginning at 7:00PM and held in the Education Center (room 210), the Student Assignment Working Group will present its latest scenarios and thinking as work continues. Additionally, there will be a Public Forum on May 11, 2015 beginning at 5:45PM and held in the Education Center (room 210), for community members to ask questions and offer comments.

The public is invited to attend both meetings as we are committed to engaging the community on this important decision. We will continue to keep you informed as the Student Assignment Working Group proceeds with its work. Please visit our Student Assignment webpage at district-initiatives/expandingcapacity/studentassignment.

Semenya McCord concert on Friday, April 10th

The Creative Arts and Sciences Committee is presenting a Semenya McCord concert on Friday, April 10th at the Newton North High School.

Semenya and her band are amazing. The students at Burr enjoyed her visit earlier this year.

Every year, one outstanding program is chosen by the Creative Arts and Sciences (CASC) department to perform at ALL the Newton elementary schools and middle schools, and Semenya McCord’s program highlighting the 400-year history of America’s black community through song was chosen this year.

 This concert gives parents and the community an opportunity to see an example of the quality of performers that Creative Arts and Sciences brings to our schools. All the proceeds from the event will DIRECTLY benefit the students. The unparalleled work that the citywide Creative Arts and Sciences (CAS) director does enables the CAS Committees at the individual schools to make sure the funds are spent wisely and to continue to bring great enrichment programming to our children.

Hope you can make it!!

Click here to buy tickets

Semenya Concert Poster




For more info, check out the [ ]Spring into Swing FB Page.


Understanding Our Differences needs you!

Understanding Our Differences needs you!

March 30, 2015

Dear Parents,

Understanding Our Differences is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Newton Public Schools for over 35 years to teach elementary school children an understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities in our schools and in our community. The Understanding Our Differences Physical Disabilities unit will take place in your child’s classroom on April 2, 2015, and we invite you to join us in the classroom.

The class will learn about the causes of various physical disabilities. Students will explore barriers that people with physical disabilities encounter in our society: architectural and attitudinal.  Architectural barriers are those that can be seen and touched, like stairs or a door that is heavy and too difficult to open.  Attitudinal barriers are those that can be heard and felt, such as when a person assumes someone who uses a wheelchair can’t drive or play basketball, so he or she is not invited to join.  Students will learn that universal design strives to eliminate barriers, and will see the video, Kids Just Want to Have Fun, which illustrates a barrier free playground designed so that everyone can be included.

They will participate in a variety of hands-on activities with adaptive equipment and assistive technologies that enhance independence and participation.

For many students, the high point of each unit is the speakers who share their personal experiences and answer the students’ thoughtful questions about living with a disability.

There are several themes central to this unit:

ï Universal design strives to create a world that fits everyone whether you are elderly, a mother pushing a stroller, or a person who uses a wheelchair or crutches for mobility.

ï Assistive technology helps to level the playing field for people with disabilities in school, at work, while playing sports, or just getting around the neighborhood.

ï Some people with disabilities will take extra time to complete a task or will perform it in a different way.

ï Communication helps prevent isolation and brings people together so that they are better able to share experiences.

ï Learning to ask for help or wanting to offer assistance can be difficult and can bring up uncomfortable feelings.  This is true for both people with disabilities and people without disabilities.

ï It is natural to feel uncertain how to interact with someone who has a disability.

The Understanding Our Differences program is presented by parent volunteers. Many parents find the experience of helping to implement the program to be very rewarding. Please contact Deanna Salemme at or 617-877-7576 if you would like to join the volunteer team or if you have any questions or concerns.


Jenni Acosta, Program Director

Understanding Our Differences

cc: Maura McLaughlin Tynes, M.Ed, C.A.G.S

CASC – Michael LaFosse’s Origamido Monday, March 30th

origamiMr. LaFosse is widely recognized as one of the top origami masters working today. His works have graced museums worldwide. Michael LaFosse will present an Origami Math and Art enrichment program to 5th graders. Students will learn to make three-dimensional geometric origami designs while discovering the math connection in this amazing art form. 

Michael LaFosse is featured in the Peabody Award-winning film Between the Folds about origami masters, artists and engineers.

Parents are welcome to attend, but no younger siblings please. Thank you for your cooperation.

You can see his work here –


Ms. Cooley’s class 8:50am 

Ms. Moran’s class 9:50am

Ms. Roberts’ class 10:50am

Creative Arts and Science programs are fully funded by the Burr School PTO.


Burr Community Free Skate at Daly Rink


March 29th from 4:00pm – 4:50pm 

At Daly Ice Skating Rink

4 Nonantum Road, Newton

 Who: Everyone is welcome – bring the entire family! Call your Burr

Alumni friends and invite them along!



Bring your own skate or skate rentals available:  $5.00 per


Why: Why not? Just a fun, free community-building event! And did we

mention – it’s FREE!

Questions? Contact Susandra Pasaribu Ma at or call 617-620-4783.

Burr International Potluck Sunday, April 12

International Potluck DinnerAll Families: plan to attend this free event! Burr International Potluck
Sunday, April 12 4:30-6:30 pm

Mark your calendars now to attend this celebration of the diversity at Burr!

Every two years, our Burr families gather together to share tasty entrees and desserts from many different countries, some international crafts and games, a participatory performance and more. (In alternate years, we host the Burr World Cultures Festival in the classrooms at school–this popular “sister” event will be back in March 2016!)


What is an International Potluck Dinner?

“Potluck” is an American expression that means every family brings some food to share. This is a chance for all of us to relax and enjoy ourselves, share a meal, dance and have fun together, and celebrate the unique diversity that makes Burr so incredible!

Notes about sharing your food:

We look forward to tasting your delicious food!  Due to allergies, no peanuts please.  At our last potluck many Burr families were interested in the history of the food and wanted to know more about the food. (Is it for a special holiday? Does it come from a certain region? Does the dish have a special meaning for your family?)

Traditional American dishes welcome, too!  (If you are having a hard time thinking of an item, desserts are always great.)

The Burr International Potluck Dinner will be held at Newton North High School on Sunday, April 12th from 4:30-6:30. Please RSVP and sign up to help:

If you’d like to become more involved, please contact Cherie Bosarge-Dutton at

Summer Camp Auction to benefit the PTO

2015 Burr Elementary School Online Auction – March 13th – 22nd.

Auction items include Summer Camps, Birthday Parties, and more. Preview starting March 6th!

Tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin!

Proceeds go directly to our Burr School PTO!

Auction PreviewFlyer2015

Parent Principal Coffee Today 3/13/15

Parent Principal Coffee


The next Burr Parent-Principal Coffee is coming up this week: 

Friday, March 13, 2014

8:30-9:30 AM

Burr School Cafetorium

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Skiing, snowboarding, basketball, swimming, football, cheerleading, bicycling, roller-blading, and even jumping on the bed are among the many activities youth engage in where there is a risk of brain injury.

Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.

Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. All coaches, parents and students should know the signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.

Symptoms of a concussion may include:

 Dizziness or balance problems

 Sensitivity to light or noise

 Trouble concentrating or remembering

Parents and caregivers may notice additional concussion symptoms:

 Appears dazed or stunned

 Shows behavior or personality changes

 Is unsure of game, score or opponent

 Can’t recall events before or after hit or fall

When a concussion is suspected, seek medical attention right away. A health care provider will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe to return to sports and recreation activities. Children who return to sports and activities too soon risk a greater chance or having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can cause permanent brain damage.

To prevent a concussion, ensure youth follow the rules, whether they’re the rules of the game or the rules of the road. Make sure children wear the right protective equipment for their activity such as helmet, padding, eye and mouth guards or shin guards. Parents should learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and shouldn’t hesitate to keep their child out of a sports game or activity after a concussion. Remind children that it’s better to miss a game or two than the whole season.

Concussion recovery takes time, and varies significantly person to person. While some students may be able to return to academic work and physical activity after a short time, it may take others weeks or months. Parents and caregivers of children who have had a concussion can help them recover by taking

Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For more information, contact the school nurse.

Important Meeting on Traffic Improvements in Auburndale – Thursday, March 12 at 7pm at City Hall

The City has initiated a project to implement specific transportation and traffic improvements in the Village of Auburndale. Although the primary goal of this project is to upgrade traffic signals at key intersections, it may be necessary to incorporate specific geometric improvements at intersections and driveways in order to improve overall vehicular and pedestrian safety.

Auburndale_Concept_Traffic Lights

Specific improvements may include traffic signal upgrades at the intersection of Commonwealth Ave and Lexington St, Commonwealth Ave and Melrose Ave, Lexington St and Wolcott St; new traffic signals at the intersection of Lexington St and Auburndale Ave; geometric improvements at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Lexington Street, installation of new granite curb, minor stormwater improvements, driveway and sidewalk reconstruction and other miscellaneous items of work.  You can download a copy of the conceptual plan HERE

The City is eager to engage the community and present the project as part of a public workshop scheduled to be held at City Hall in the Aldermanic Chambers on March 12, 2015 beginning at 7:00pm.