Friday, August 29, 2014


Dear Memorial School Families,

I apologize for any confusion regarding the school assembly on Tuesday.  We have a tradition of gathering on the first day of school to celebrate the new school year and share our excitement of  being together!  The students are excited to see their teachers and the teachers are excited to finally have their class all together. The focus of this assembly is to set high expectations and create a school family atmosphere.  The intent of my last post was to let you know that if your child would like to share a memory of Mrs. Siegel there is an outlet through the memory book but only if they feel the need to do so.  Please know that the first day of school will be about new beginnings, new friendships and new learning. I look forward to seeing your child on Tuesday morning!
Deb Dressler

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A New Beginning

Dear Memorial School Families,

Welcome back to a new school year! We are recharged, reenergized and ready to make your child's school experience a positive and productive one. As many of you know, we suffered the loss of a beloved second teacher, Mrs. Suzanne Siegel, this summer. We recognize that both adults and children grieve in many different ways. It is our hope that we meet the needs of all as we start a new beginning.  Supporting teachers so that they are ready to support your children was our main focus before school started. We have found strength in being together and sharing memories. Counselors from the Riverside mental health agency have been a wonderful partner with us, creating an outlet for group and individual discussions about loss.  On the first day of school, all Memorial students will start the day meeting together in the cafe.  We will acknowledge that we are sad Mrs. Siegel has died and that we miss her a lot. We will talk briefly about sharing your feelings in a positive way. Once children return to their classroom, each teacher will provide students will an opportunity to share their thoughts in a smaller setting. Students will be encouraged to share their memories of Mrs. Siegel. These thoughts and pictures will be put together in a Memory Book and shared with her family.  If your child has questions about death and is struggling with his/her feelings, please let Ms. Flaccavento, Mrs. Guttenplan and Ms. Sedovic know so they can assist your family.  You can reach them at 781-270-1721.  Please know, we honor the loss of Mrs. Siegel as we move forward to a new year and new beginning. We value our strong home school connection and wanted to make you aware of these sensitive conversations that your child will be a part of.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Welcome back!

It's hard to believe that a new school year is about to begin! I hope you have all had time to relax, rewind and replenish this summer, finding moments to laugh and share joy with your loved ones.  We look forward to seeing all of our returning families and want to extend a warm welcome to the many families who are new to Memorial School this year. We are fortunate to be a strong and supportive community who values the social/emotional and academic education of all our children.  We continue with the long tradition of having a highly talented group of professionals lead your child's instruction. Burlington is special in so many ways, but for me, as a principal, I am most proud of the quality of educators that we have at Memorial. You should rest easy knowing that your child interacts with highly skilled classroom teachers, experienced specialists, knowledgeable RtI interventionists and supportive special education and guidance staff on a daily basis.

The custodial staff has been busy all summer long cleaning, waxing and moving almost every piece of furniture in the building. Mr. Ganley, Mr. Marsh, Mr. Heartquist and their crew of summer helpers made the impossible possible!  Your children will start a new school year in a shiny new building that I know will be respected and maintained.

We have some new additions to Memorial this year.  I am grateful to Dr. Conti, Mr. Larkin, Mr. Robinson and the school committee for their support in improving the safety concerns we had in the playground area. A beautiful new fence now surrounds the space and allows for adults to watch and protect your children more securely.

A new stage curtain has been installed in the cafe.  Our choral students can enter and exit from behind the curtain for the winter and spring concerts. As you know, every seat is always filled at Memorial School events! The music and band teachers will also be able to use this space for instrumental/choral practice now that it is separated from the larger cafe area.

We also have a new RtI room at Memorial.  Students and teachers will now have one destination for all of the ELA and math interventions. It is centrally located and should prove to have a positive impact on student achievement.

Enjoy the last days of summer! See you September 2nd for grades 1 -5 and September 8th for kindergarten. Thank you sharing your children with us.

Together we are stronger,
Deb Dressler

Monday, August 11, 2014

Make Money for Memorial as you Shop for Groceries

    Memorial School and Stop and Shop
working together to make a difference 
ID #08912

Dear Family & Friends, 

Memorial School is participating in the Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards Program. Through  March 19, 2015, Memorial School can earn CASH through this exciting program.

You can help! Log on to and choose “Register Your Card” from the A+ menu on the left to register your card online.  Then, each time you shop at Stop & Shop using your Stop & Shop Card*, you will earn CASH for our school!  You can track the amount of points you earn for our school by checking your grocery receipt and online when you create an accountat Each month, the amount of CASH awarded will be updated on the Stop & Shop website.  Our school will receive a check at the end of the program. The money can be used for any of our school’s educational needs!

Taking just a minute of your time to register your Card can make a huge difference to our school. We need your support! Please be sure to register Memorial School using ID #08912 at Also, don’t forget to encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. It could mean the world to our children!
Marie                       *Phone numbers may not be used to designate.
If you do not know your 13-digit STOP & SHOP CARD number, call the

Card Hotline at 1-877-366-2668 and select OPTION #2.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

funeral arrangements for Suzanne Siegel

Suzanne A. (Wyrostek) Siegel

Suzanne A. (Wyrostek) Siegel, age 48, of Wilmington, formerly of Wilbraham, passed away unexpectedly on July 19, 2014. Suzanne was born on August 8, 1965, in Springfield, MA; she was the cherished daughter of John and Jean (Bojan) Wyrostek. Suzanne was raised and educated in Wilbraham and was a graduate of Minnechaug High School. Suzanne went on to earn her Bachelors Degree in Horticulture from the University of New Hampshire and her Masters Degree in Education from Lesley University in Boston. Suzanne was also in the process of finishing a second Master's Degree from AIC. At the time of her death, Suzanne was employed as a second grade teacher at the Memorial School in Burlington, MA. Suzanne loved her students dearly, she enjoyed spending time with them, teaching them new and exciting subjects, and watching them grow throughout the school year; she especially adored seeing her former students return to visit her. Suzanne was a well-respected educator, co-worker, and dear friend to many of her fellow teachers. In her spare time, Suzanne loved spending time working outside in her yard, she loved gardening, going on family camping trips, listening to music, reading, going to Cape Cod and walking on the beach, or just hanging out with family and friends and enjoying conversation. Suzannes most favorite thing to do was to spend time with her beloved daughter Josselyn, whether it was shopping, going out for lunch or dinner, taking in a movie, or just being there for each other, they were inseparable. Suzanne will be fondly remembered for her kindness to others and for her unconditional love and devotion to her family and friends. Suzanne was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all. Suzanne was the beloved wife of David E. Siegel, devoted mother of Josselyn Siegel of Wilmington, cherished daughter of John & Jean (Bojan) Wyrostek of Harwich, dear sister of Michael & Karen Wyrostek of East Granby, CT, loving aunt of Matt Wyrostek, daughter-in-law of Bette Siegel of Boston. Suzanne is also survived by many brothers and sisters in law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. The family will be receiving guests at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Saturday, July 26th, 2014 from 9:00 9:30 a.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 9:30 a.m. Committal Services will follow at 12:30 p.m. in the Island Pond Cemetery, Center St., Ludlow, MA 01056. Donations in Suzannes memory may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation, 540 Gallivan Blvd., 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02124. - See more at:

Monday, July 21, 2014

sad news for our community

Burlington Public Schools
FAX (781) 229-5751                 125 WINN STREET Burlington, MA 01803
Deborah Dressler July 21, 2014

Dear Memorial Family and Burlington School Community,

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I share the news of the passing of our beloved second grade teacher, Suzanne Siegel.   Mrs. Siegel has been a valued member of not only our  Memorial learning community but also to the Burlington School community as well. She taught second grade for the past eight years and positively impacted the lives of many young students, parents and colleagues. Her commitment to students and love for learning has touched us all. When we know the details of her funeral arrangements I will pass that along.
We encourage you to talk with your child. How we, as adults, manage ourselves serves as an important model for helping kids handle tragedies like this. It is important that they know they are loved and supported as they talk about their feelings.

You may want to consider the following when talking with your child:
  • Tell the truth. Talk about death vs. “going to sleep.” Explain the situation.
  • Allow for your child to talk about feelings. If this is the first loss your child has experienced, your child may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance.
  • Affirm all expressions. It’s okay to express feelings honestly. Tolerate the expressions rather than dismissing them or discouraging the expression of feelings.
  • Encourage written expressions such notes, letters, pictures to the family etc.
  • Reaffirm that your child is safe and that your child is loved.
  • Affirm that your child’s reaction is normal and you understand the way the child’s feels.
  • Watch for changes in behavior such as aggression, withdrawal etc.
  • Help the children return to as normal routine as possible.

If you want anymore information on how to talk to your child, please refer to We have connected with community mental health resources for the Memorial staff and will continue to work with the Riverside Trauma Center on an ongoing basis.
We will have counselors at school on Tuesday July 22, 2014 from 4-6 pm to provide emotional support for our students and parents. If you have special counseling concerns or would like additional support for your child, please call us at 781-270-1721.  Danielle Flaccavento, our guidance counselor, and Madeline Sedovic, our school psychologist, will be available to meet with her child/children at the beginning of the school year.  Our deepest sympathies go to the Siegel family as we mourn the loss of a talented and cherished member of our school family.

With peace and love,

Deb Dressler

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Principal of the Day

Paige M. was my third grade principal for the day today!
She brought her side kick, Alyssa to help out
Off to the library to give Mrs. Magliozzi the fifth grade class gift 

Then down to Kindergarten for their special days
Paige and Alyssa got to see the beautiful memory books the teachers made for each student
and listen to a wonderful Let Us Go song in Mrs. Percoskie's classroom

Then onto Mrs. Coates classroom for a special video presentation 
of all the events this year in kindergarten

We checked out Ms. York's new classroom and asked if she 
needed any help

We visited first grade classrooms and Paige found her
sister, Sydney

Doesn't every principal play games during school
My favorite…RushHour
Thank you Paige and Alyssa for a fun filled day!

Summer Exercise Ideas

Memorial Elementary School
Physical Education Summer Guide to Exercise

Exercise routines must be consistent in order to be effective.  Strength and cardiovascular endurance begin to decline after two days of inactivity.  With this in mind, as physical educators, we ask that our students continue on their quest to be physically fit for a lifetime by exercising throughout the summer months. 
Cardiovascular Endurance:
All of our students in grades 1-5 perform a daily fitness routine in class (running ¼ mile for grades 1-2 to ½ to 1 mile in grades 3-5).  We strive to get all children into the average fitness range as established by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. Running should be around 2 minutes and 30 seconds or less per lap for a pace to be average and 1 minute and 30 seconds to be advanced.  Cardiovascular exercise not only strengthens the heart and lungs but also improves brain function and learning due to improved oxygen levels in the brain.  Please take advantage of the new facility at the Marshall Simonds Middle School.  Four times around the track is a mile.
Game Plan:
Begin each workout by jogging one lap to warm up the body.  Stretch out:  hamstrings (back of upper legs) by touching toes with straight legs, quadriceps (front of upper legs) stand and pull one leg behind, groin (inside of legs) lean side to side, Achilles, foot half on half off a curb pushing heel down and toes up.
Work Out:
Run as far as you can be sure to pace yourself, use a watch to track your progress.  If you are unable to jog the entire lap, walk the remaining part.  Repeat this for 2 laps 3-4 times per week.  Children usually have trouble pacing themselves and will often run as fast as they can until they can’t run anymore.  Encourage your child to start slow and finish fast.  Continue on this routine until one lap is accomplished.  Now begin jogging 1 lap and walking 1 lap for a total of 4 laps.  Repeat this for 2 weeks.  Progress to jogging 2 laps walk 1, jog 1 for 2 weeks.  Once jogging 4 laps is easy, concentrate on improving overall time.  Try to run a little faster each work out.  We call this a personal record. 
Cool Down:
Remember to cool down by walking 1 full lap to allow the blood flow to return  from the working muscles in your legs to your vital organs so you do not feel dizzy and/or light headed.

Daily Strength Routine:
-       Sit-ups for one minute with someone holding feet
-       Push-ups as many as possible without letting body touch ground, elbows make box corners.
-       Agility-sprint 20 yards down and back as fast as you can touching the line each change of direction.
-       Sit and reach-hamstring flexibility, bending and touching toes and working on reaching past toes in a sitting position with legs together.
Drink water before, during and after exercise.  Remember, exercising in high heat and humidity or profusely sweating for 2 hours or longer is the ONLY reason to re-hydrate with Gatorade.
Tips for Success:
-       Establish a routine and make exercising a family affair
-       Exercise early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cooler
-       Record your progress. Motivation is essential to success.
-       Refer to the back of this sheet for standards for each grade level.

NATIONAL AVERAGE FITNESS STANDARDS:  A score below this level indicates that your child needs more moderate daily exercise.  Please encourage your child to be more physically active.

Age   Sit-ups   Sit and Reach   Push-ups     Pull-ups     1/4mile     ½ mile      1 mile     Shuttle
6          22               26c                 7             1           2:21                                  13.3
7          28               25c                 8             1           2:10                                  12.8
8          31                25c                           9             1                         4:22                    12.2
9          32               25c                12             2                           4:14                  11.9
10         35               25c               14             2                                        9:48         11.5
11         37               25c                15             2                                        9:20     11.1

Age   Sit-ups   Sit and Reach   Push-ups     Pull-ups     1/4mile     ½ mile      1 mile     Shuttle
6          23                27c                            6             1          2:26                                  13.8
7          25                27c                            8                  1                   2:21                                  13.2
8          29                28c                            9             1                         4:56                      12.9
9          30                28c                           12             1                           4:50                  12.5
10         30                29c                           13             1                                     9:48            12.1
11         32                29c                           11             1                                     9:20        11.5

NATIONAL HIGH FITNESS STANDARDS:  A score at this level or higher indicates that your child is maintaining a high fitness level.  Please continue to work hard.

Age   Sit-ups   Sit and Reach   Push-ups     Pull-ups     1/4mile     ½ mile      1 mile     Shuttle
6          33               31c                 9                  2                    1:55                                 12.1
7          36               30c                14             4            1:48                                 11.5
8            40                 31c                        17             5                         3:30         8:31     11.1
9          41               31c                18             5                           3:30         7:57   10.9
10         45               30c               22             6                                       7:32          10.3
11         47               31c                27             6                                       7:11      10.0

Age   Sit-ups   Sit and Reach   Push-ups     Pull-ups     1/4mile     ½ mile      1 mile     Shuttle
6          32                32c                            9             2           2:00                                  12.4
7          34                32c                           14             2           1:55                                  12.1
8          38                33c                           17             2                          3:58        10:02        11.8
9          39                33c                           18             2                            3:53         9:30  11.1
10         40                33c                           20                 3                                                9:19         10.8
11         42                34c                           19                 3                                                9:02            10.5