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

Gift for Burr Begins Today, October 1!

gift-redThis year’s GIFT FOR BURR campaign launches today, October 1, 2014!

As a community, we have promised to infuse
almost $40,000 into our school this year through
the PTO’s 2014-2015 Annual Budget. Since its inception in 2007, the GIFT FOR BURR has been the primary source of funds for the annual budget. These funds bring our children the new technology, enriching programs, and academic supports that the Newton Public Schools alone cannot provide.  Our goal is to raise $35,000 and achieve 100% participation from the Burr community by December 1, 2014.

How much you give is up to you!  If every family contributes $150, we will easily meet our budget. Families who are able and inspired to contribute more are encouraged to do so. Still, we wish to emphasize that our greatest desire is to have every Burr family make a contribution – whether it is at, above, or below the $150 mark.  Whether you can give $1 or $1000, we ask you to participate to help us meet our goal of EVERY family at Burr making a contribution.

EVERY child at Burr benefits from GIFT FOR BURR.
YOUR participation counts.

You may be asking – Why so much? Why should I contribute? The GIFT FOR BURR page on our website will answer these questions and more (you can make an online donation while you’re there, or send a check in to school in your child’s folder.) Burr School is a strong, involved, and vibrant community – one that relies on the essential academic support and enriching programs your donation provides. Your support is crucial. Please consider this a gift from you to your child.

Letter from PTO Co-Presidents September 29th

Dear Burr School Parents and Guardians,

What a terrific fall it has been already! The PTO has been busy in the first month of school with our Kindergarten and Back-to-School Picnics, and Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. It was great to see many familiar faces, as well as lots of new ones, last week at Curriculum night. The first parent-principal coffee is today, Monday, September 29th at 8:30 a.m.Our first PTO Meeting of the  year is this Thursday, October 2 at 7pm. If you can only make it to one PTO meeting this year, the first one is a must; you will meet other parents and find out how to get involved at Burr. Babysitting will be available.

We would like to introduce this year’s PTO board. Our new board members this year include Marlene Gibson (Co-President), Sloane Goldhagen (Co-President), Cherie Bosarge-Dutton (Community Building Coordinator), Susandra Pasaribu Ma (Education Support Coordinator), and Sharon Reilly (Communications Coordinator). They join standing members Jaye Schneider (Co-President), Heidi Bankmann (Secretary), Judy O’Neil (Treasurer), and Greg Thompson (Fundraising Coordinator). We would like to thank our outgoing board members Jason Wong, Tricia Bombara, Bijal Dalal, and Beth Tierney for the donation of their time and amazing efforts over the past two years.
If you attended curriculum night, you heard about the PTO volunteer challenge. We would like every family at Burr to volunteer at least once this year. There are opportunities for everyone, from running a game at Halloween night, or being the host of a Creative Arts and Sciences presentation, to writing emails from your home. We urge each family to get involved – it benefits everyone.

Thanks to all of the efforts planning and fundraising, we will be installing Burr’s new playground this fall. While we are waiting for exact dates, please plan to take part in the community build process in late-October/early November. We will need 150 volunteers to make this happen!

Please keep your eyes open for the red envelope in your child’s folder. It will contain all of the information for Gift For Burr, our annual fundraiser. This campaign is the primary way that we raise the funds for the PTO’s annual operating budget. Where does the money go?

  • Technology
  • Creative Arts and Sciences
  • Community Events, like World Cultures Festival, Halloween Family Fun Night and May Fair
  • Academic Support
  • Equipment

While the recommended donation is $150 per family, any amount is appreciated.  Our goal is to have 100% participation.

Questions, comments, feedback?  Please feel free to grab any board member to chat, or email us at  We look forward to seeing you on October 2nd!

Marlene Gibson, Sloane Goldhagen, and Jaye Schneider

Burr Flu Clinic: October 22

FluThe Health and Human Services Department is once again pleased to offer the influenza vaccine to all Newton students in Kindergarten through grade 12. The Burr School clinic will be on October 22. Both the flu shot and the flu nasal spray vaccine will be administered during the school day at no charge to families.  (Parents can choose either the flu shot or the nasal spray when completing the Consent/Screening form.)

The required forms and more information are available online at or in the school nurse’s office.  To sign your child up, you must return the two required forms to the school nurse no later than October 20th:

1. Consent/Screening Form
2. Student Vaccine Administration Record/Insurance Information Form

 Students who are not signed up will not receive the vaccine.

Curriculum Night for Parents/Guardians – Thursday, September 18 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm

curriculum nightOur Curriculum Night this year is Thursday, September 18, from 6:30-8:30 PM. Curriculum Night is a particularly important evening because it gives parents the opportunity to learn about the teachers’ philosophies, goals, expectations, curriculum, and procedures for the school year. During this evening, teachers make presentations, and parents have the chance to ask questions about the program of study. We have found that Curriculum Night is our most effective means of communicating relevant and valuable information concerning your children’s overall program for the year; we strongly encourage all parents to attend this informative evening. Participating in Curriculum Night is one of the most important ways that you can come to understand, and thus support, your child’s education this year.

Please remember that this is an evening for parents and teachers, not students. In addition, please remember that there is not enough time during this evening to have individual conferences with teachers; parent-teacher conferences will take place in October and November.

6:30-7:15 pm Grades K-2 teachers present to parents (in classrooms)
7:20-7:40 pm All meet in the cafetorium
7:45-8:30 pm Grades 3-5 teachers present to parents (in classrooms)

*Please note – Specialist will not be available on Curriculum Night. They will present their curriculum at the Parent Principal Coffee on October 17, 2014.

Link to Grade Level Curriculum:


Given the number of families with students enrolled at Burr (more than 320 at last count!), Curriculum Night draws a very large crowd. The streets around Burr are simply not able to handle this level of parking, so please walk or carpool if at all possible.

If you do park, please check all parking signs carefully and be sure to park legally and in a way that does not obstruct the flow of traffic or our neighbors’ driveways. You MAY park in the Blue Zones and Bus Zones, but please do not park in the “No Parking” zones on Pine St. and Washburn Ave.  (You can view/print a detailed map of the Burr School Zone which shows the No Parking areas  HERE.)  Even though it is technically legal after 4pm, the roads are very narrow; if cars line both sides of the street a dangerous and frustrating situation is created for everyone. Your cooperation will ensure that our neighbors are able to get to and from their homes safely, and that emergency vehicles are able to respond in case of an emergency.

In past years, residents have had to call the police to deal with traffic issues on Curriculum Night – please be a good neighbor to our neighbors (and avoid getting a ticket or tow!)

Thank you!

Burr Back to School Picnic! Monday, September 8 5:30 – 7:30pm

back to school picnicIt’s that time of the year again when we’re back to school, reconnecting with old friends and ready to make new ones!  Please join us at the Back to School Picnic on Monday, September 8 from 5:30-7:30pm on the Burr fields behind school. The picnic is open to all Burr families and staff.  To make it easier to meet your class, look for class areas marked by balloons in the following colors:

Kindergarten – Purple    1st Grade – Blue
2nd Grade – Green           3rd Grade – Yellow
4th Grade – Orange          5th Grade – Red

Bring your own picnic dinner, or purchase food from local vendor The Dining Car. The PTO will be selling Juice Boxes for $1, and for dessert, the kids can enjoy free popsicles donated by the Burr School PTO!

(Remember, this is an all-school event and it gets very crowded – please be sure to watch your child(ren) on the playground.) Continue reading


Open House

2014-2015 School Supply Lists & Amazon Shopping Links

school suppliesThe new Back-to-School Supply Lists for 2014-2015  for each grade level are available. These lists include the items that each child will need, and many also contain special instructions from the teacher as well as “Wish Lists” for classroom items.  First, click the Supply Lists link(s) to view and/or print a hard copy of the list(s) you need. Then be sure to check out our new Amazon School Lists Programeach list is available on for easy shopping - see below for more information!

2014-2015 Supply Lists:

Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5

Quick and Easy Shopping with Amazon School Lists!

Each Supply List above has been set up under Amazon’s new School Lists program.  You can get your back to school shopping done quickly and easily and support Burr at the same time by using our Amazon Shopping Link!  First, click our Amazon Shopping Link and log in to your Amazon account, then come back here and click this link to open the Amazon School Lists page.  Just enter our zipcode (02466) in the search box to find Burr School, and select the Wish List(s) you need. You can select individual items, or select the entire list with one click!

Remember, when you use our Amazon4Burr program, the school receives up to 6% for all purchases made through our special Amazon4Burr link. ( Combining these two programs could bring our school hundreds of dollars! (You can also click on the Amazon4Burr link just before checking out to ensure that Burr gets the credit.) Happy School Supply Shopping!

From Ms. Johal’s Desk – End of Year Letter

MindyDear Burr Families,

We had a fabulous last day of school on Friday. The students and teachers all gathered for our final All School Meeting of the 2013-2014 school year. We recognized and celebrated the growing we have all done this year, and said goodbye to staff members retiring and those moving on. We enjoyed watching a Color Day slide show that Tricia Bombara put together for us. The children loved reliving the fun they had that day. To wrap up our Meeting, the fifth grade class sang “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”, a song from Mary Poppins, the musical they performed this year. Ms. Tenney had taught the song to all of her classes so everyone joined in. It was a special time for us all to be together one last time.

To end the school year and celebrate our graduating class, we had our Fifth Grade Clap Out. The students K-4 lined the halls and cheered and clapped as the fifth graders walked out of the building for the last time as Burr Students. It was quite a moment!

We have had yet another wonderfully successful year at Burr. The Burr staff and I could not have done this alone! I’d like to thank the many parents, relatives and grandparents who have given us so much support, time, and assistance, throughout the school year. Your volunteering in both big and small ways not only moves the school forward, but it gives your children the message that school is an important place and that you and the teachers are working together for their benefit.

And of course, the year must not end without my taking this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to our wonderful PTO Co-Presidents, Jason Wong and Jaye Schneider, for the leadership they have provided this year. Jason is ending his two-year term. I have appreciated his thoughtful counsel and collaboration. I know he leaves us in good hands with Jaye who will be joined by two Co-Presidents next year, Sloane Goldhagen and Marlene Gibson.

As you plan for the summer months, please be sure to include daily reading and writing into your plans. Here is an article with some ideas to avoid ‘the summer slide’ or regression of skills that some children experience: Summer learning: Can parents prevent the slide and the burnout?

We look forward to seeing our returning families and students on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 1:30 – 2:30 PM for the Burr School Open House.

The teachers and I want to wish you all a summer full of rest, relaxation, and fun.



Burr Move-a-Thon and Playground Fundraising Update

Move-a-thon Raises $11,000!

Congratulations to all of the Burr teachers, staff, parent volunteers and especially students who participated in the Burr Move-a-Thon fundraiser. The students surpassed their fundraising goal and raised over $11,000 for the new playground! If you did not have a chance to submit your pledges at school, you can still mail pledges to Burr PTO- Playground P.O. Box 66275 Auburndale, MA 02466. It was a great day of fitness, fundraising, and fun!

Playground Fundraising 

The Burr Playground Project will continue fundraising through the summer to ensure the targeted fall of 2014 installation.  If you thought you missed your chance to make a difference, here are some ways you can still contribute:

  • Do you have expertise or local contacts that could contribute time or materials to the playground installation? Services we need include: landscape design, demolition, removal, excavation, landscape removal, new plantings, concrete, wood timbers for playground perimeter. Let us know – email the Playground Committee at
  • Give a tax-deductible donation to the playground at or mail a check: (payable to Burr PTO,with Burr Playground in memo/note) to:

Burr PTO 
P.O. Box 66275 
Auburndale, MA 02466

School Council Election Results

This year there were three candidates for two open School Council positions. The two candidates receiving the most votes were Laura Acosta and Christine Carey, who will join Rachael McCarthy and Barbara Brousal-Glaser on the Burr School Council.  Thank you to all three candidates for stepping up to run.  We also thank our two outgoing School Council members, Lisa Holahan and Sarah Sian, for dedicating their time and energy to our school and our students.

(More information on the Burr School Council.)