Friday, December 21, 2012

bulletin 12/21/12

MEMORIAL SCHOOL NEWS
December 21, 2012
(Memorialprincipal.blogspot.com)

IMPORTANT DATES
DECEMBER 21 - Last Day before Vacation (Full Day)
DECEMBER 24 - JANUARY 1st - No School - Winter Vacation
JANUARY 2 - First Day Back
JANUARY 21 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Day

LUNCH MENU- MAIN ENTRÉE CHOICES (SEE MENU FOR MORE DETAILS)
Dec. 31st  - Jan. 4th
Monday – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday – NO SCHOOL
Wednesday – Pasta with Choice of SauceThursday – Grilled Cheese with Homemade SoupFriday – Pizza
From All of Us at Memorial School
We wish each of you a peaceful holiday season and a relaxing early-winter vacation.  Whether you have already celebrated your holiday, or are looking forward to it still, may it overflow with special moments for you and your family.  And may the year ahead be a bright one, filled with good health, gladness, and peace!


MEMORIAL Families Care
$1 Donations for Hurricane Sandy victims.  With the holidays upon us, the effects of Hurricane Sandy are felt even more intensely by the many families in her wake.  We have been collecting dollar donations to support victims of this superstorm; donations will be sent to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.  Thank you for your generosity!

Coats for Kids Drive will run until January 12, 2013.  All sizes are needed -- for kids, moms, and dads too.  There will be a box for donations outside the Memorial School office.

Thank you for helping to make the holidays brighter and the winter warmer for the many who are in need!  Giving in this way helps our children to learn that giving to others truly is receiving!

PTO
Save the date! Memorial Pizza Movie Night will be held on January 25, 2013! This wonderful Memorial tradition is sponsored by the PTO.  We will be offering 2 sessions, Session 1 at 5:00pm and Session 2 at 6:00pm. One movie will be shown at each session.  Please look for more information in January.  Registrations will be due January 18, 2013; space is limited.  Happy Holidays to all!

FROM THE CAFE
It is the policy of the Burlington Public Schools to limit the amount of money a child can owe the Burlington School Lunch Program. When the limit is reached, the child is given a cheese sandwich and a carton of milk for a charge of $1.50 for lunch for the duration of their negative balance.  To enable your child to continue to receive a full school lunch, you must deposit the missing funds into his/her lunch account. This can be done either online through the PayPams System or by sending in a check to your child's school cafeteria made out to 'Burlington Public Schools Lunch".


“BRIDGES TOGETHER”
Burlington Elementary Schools and Council on Aging Looking for Adult Volunteers for New Program
The Burlington Elementary Schools, under the direction of Dr. Eric Conti, and the Burlington Council on Aging (Marge McDonald, Director), are looking for adults age 55 and older to participate in an intergenerational program called “Bridges Together,” which unites elementary school students with senior members of the local community in an effort to promote mutual respect, understanding, and friendship between generations.

The commitment from volunteers would involve one hour each week for a total of six consecutive weeks. This new program will begin in January 2013, and will be held at two Burlington elementary schools.  Beginning January 8th, volunteers can participate on Tuesdays from 1pm - 2pm at the Francis Wyman School, and on Thursday, January 10, from 8:45am - 9:45am at the Pine Glen School. Training for volunteers will be held January 3, 2013 at 10:30am at the Burlington Library. Another six week session is planned for March through April at Memorial and Fox Hill Schools.

If you know of someone who might be interested (grandparents? aunts/uncles?  friends?) please tell them about this wonderful opportunity to ‘build bridges together!’

BURLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL CHILD DEVELOPMENT PRESCHOOL
Send your preschool child to High School--that is, the Burlington High School Child Development Preschool!  We are accepting applications for January and September enrollment.
January to May Openings
Afternoon Session – 3 year olds
Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri     12:30-1:55 pm
Tuition $180
September 2013 Openings
Morning Session – Age 4 by 8/13                          Afternoon Session – Age 3 by 8/13
Mon/Wed/Fri     8:30-11:00 am                   Mon/Wed/Fri     12:30-1:55 pm                  
Tuition $480                                                   Tuition $360
Please contact Sheila Kennedy for more details at 781-238-4629.  Thank you.

PAC: Burlington Special Education PAC will be holding an Open House on Monday, January 7th in the BHS Library, where you will have the opportunity to consult with a wide variety of special education experts. These experts include Special Ed Attorney Lillian Wong, Neuropsychologist Kaaren Bekken, Special Ed Consultants Sue Terzakis and Melody Orfei, and Marilyn Weber, Advocate/Transition Specialist.  Dr. Conti, Supt. of Schools, and Louise D’Amato, Special Education Director, will also be available to speak with parents. This is a unique opportunity to have your questions answered in a low-key, informal environment, and will prove useful for parents of general education students as well.  After brief introductions in the library, the professionals will be available for private 1:1 consultations. Take advantage of this informal, free opportunity to meet highly qualified professionals.

Celebrate the New Year at Flatbread Pizza! January 1st from 5-9PM come celebrate a New Year with friends, family, raffles, and pizza.  Proceeds benefit Cradles to Crayons (www.cradlestocrayons.org).  If you have any questions, please contact Emily Kiehl at (781) 221-8581.


See you next year!
      (January 2nd to be exact!)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Monday Morning



Dear Memorial Families,
Since Friday evening, I have found myself returning again and again to the horrific tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families grieving the loss of precious loved ones, to the children and staff who experienced the horror but were fortunate enough to survive it, and to the entire school community as they cope with this unthinkable loss. 

I can only imagine the overwhelming feelings you are experiencing as a parent – trying to comfort, support, and reassure your child even as you struggle with your own fears and sadness.  I can’t be sure about how you addressed the tragedy within your own family, but to relieve any anxiety you may have about sending your child to school in the morning, I want you to know how we will handle it here at school.  

First off, staff will gather before students arrive to go over developmentally appropriate conversation structures for kindergarteners through fifth graders. We will also review the school safety protocols that are in place.
  
As children arrive, we will welcome them as we always do - with a caring smile and a nod of encouragement to settle in and begin their day. Please know that we will not initiate discussion of the topic with students, but we will be ready to provide support should they need it.  We will reassure them that their feelings are normal and that they are safe.  We will explain that we have a safety plan, that our doors are locked, and that it is unlikely that an event like this will ever happen to them.  

Our guidance counselor, Ms. Flaccavento, and school psychologist, Ms. Sedovic will be available to those students who need additional support. They are available to you too.  Please do not hesitate to call the school to speak with them.  They are ready to provide help and support in any way that they can.  

The Memorial Family – home and school - has always worked together to provide an environment that nurtures our children and keeps them safe.  This time is no exception.  A blessing, indeed. 

Sincerely,
Karen Rickershauser

Talking with Children about Violence from the National Association of School Psychologists


Talking to Children About Violence:
Tips for Parents and Teachers


High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

1. Reassure children that they are safe. Emphasize that schools are very safe. Validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.

2. Make time to talk. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient. Children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.

3. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
• Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day.
• Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools.
• Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines (e.g. not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to the school safety made by students or community members, etc.), communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.

4. Review safety procedures. This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.

5. Observe children’s emotional state. Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort. In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time. However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.

6. Limit television viewing of these events. Limit television viewing and be aware if the television is on in common areas. Developmentally inappropriate information can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children. Adults also need to be mindful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children, even teenagers, and limit their exposure to vengeful, hateful, and angry comments that might be misunderstood.

7. Maintain a normal routine. Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Suggested Points to Emphasize When Talking to Children
• Schools are safe places. School staff work with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.
• The school building is safe because … (cite specific school procedures).
• We all play a role in the school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened.
• There is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping. You can provide important information that may prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what you know or hear.
• Don’t dwell on the worst possibilities. Although there is no absolute guarantee that something bad will never happen, it is important to understand the difference between the possibility of something happening and the probability that it will affect our school.
• Senseless violence is hard for everyone to understand. Doing things that you enjoy, sticking to your normal routine, and being with friends and family help make us feel better and keep us from worrying about the event.
• Sometimes people do bad things that hurt others. They may be unable to handle their anger, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or suffering from mental illness. Adults (parents, teachers, police officers, doctors, faith leaders) work very hard to get those people help and keep them from hurting others. It is important for all of us to know how to get help if we feel really upset or angry and to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
• Stay away from guns and other weapons. Tell an adult if you know someone has a gun. Access to guns is one of the leading risk factors for deadly violence.
• Violence is never a solution to personal problems. Students can be part of the positive solution by participating in anti-violence programs at school, learning conflict mediation skills, and seeking help from an adult if they or a peer is struggling with anger, depression, or other emotions they cannot control.

NASP has additional information for parents and educators on school safety, violence prevention, children’s trauma reactions, and crisis response at www.nasponline.org.
©2006, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway #402, Bethesda, MD 20814

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bulletin December 14, 2012

MEMORIAL SCHOOL NEWS
December 14, 2012
(Memorialprincipal.blogspot.com)

IMPORTANT DATES
DECEMBER 20 - Kindergarten Field Trip
DECEMBER 21 - Last Day before Vacation (Full Day)
DECEMBER 24 - JANUARY 1st - No School - Winter Vacation
JANUARY 2 - First Day Back

LUNCH MENU- MAIN ENTRÉE CHOICES (SEE MENU FOR MORE DETAILS)
Dec 17th - 21st  
Monday – Chicken Nuggets
Tuesday – Beef Nachos 
Wednesday – Hamburger or Cheeseburger 
Thursday – Macaroni & Cheese
 Friday – Pizza

FROM THE OFFICE The Memorial Community was treated to a wonderful Winter Concert on Wednesday - earlier in the day for the entire school, and later that evening for families and friends.  Entitled “Food, Glorious Food!” it was a treat for everyone in attendance!  THANK YOU to the Band and to the Chorus, and to individual performers too -- singers, dancers, and instrumentalists; to music teachers Mrs. Niu, Mrs. Rzasa, and Mr. Napierkowski for their hard work and energy in preparing 4th and 5th graders for the show; to classroom teachers for their support and flexibility in scheduling rehearsal time; and to families for their support and encouragement of their children’s involvement in these enriching activities.  THANK YOU also to Mrs. York and to students in grades 1 through 5.  Their beautiful winter art projects transformed the foyer and hallway into a land of sweet treats, a perfect introduction to the ‘tasty’ concert awaiting us!  THANK YOU, THANK YOU ONE and ALL!  

Welcome Winter Sing-a-Long! Memorial voices will fill the halls with song during the day from Wednesday through Friday, December 19-21.  Sing-a-longs will be held in the foyer of the school, just inside the front doors.  The schedule is based on regularly scheduled music classes.  Please join us!

Wednesday, December 19th:
8:30 Gr. 5 - Rabazzi, Wiernicki
9:30 Gr. 4 - Coutu, Weinberg
10:30 Gr. 3 - Keating, Kippenberger
11:30 Gr. 2 - Farrand, McLaughlin
1:15 Gr. 1 - Burnham, Panagiotopoulos


Thursday, December 20th:
8:30 Gr. 5 - Burns, Rabazzi
9:30 Gr. 4 - Gonzalez, Coutu
10:30 Gr. 3 - Cyr, Kippenberger
11:30 Gr. 2 - Siegel
1:15 Gr. 1 - Calandrelli, Panagiotopoulos

Friday, December 21st:
8:30 Gr. 5 - Wiernicki, Conceison
9:30 Gr. 4 - Weinberg, Olshaw
10:30 Gr. 3 - Ferullo
11:30 Gr. 2 - Nelson, McLaughlin
1:15 Gr. 1 - Burnham, Gearin

GRATITUDE - FILLING “THEIR BUCKETS” HELPS FILL OURS TOO
Memorial Helping Memorial  Once again, Memorial School is sponsoring “The Giving Tree.”  If you know of a family in need of assistance during the holiday season, please contact the Guidance Counselor, Danielle Flaccavento @ (781) 238-6825 by Monday or at Flaccavento@bpsk12.org by Monday, December 17th.

$1 Donations for Hurricane Sandy victims.  As the holidays approach, the effects of Hurricane Sandy are felt even more intensely by the many families in her wake.   Memorial is collecting dollar donations to support victims of this superstorm.  Donations will be sent to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.  If you and your child would like to help support people affected by this storm, please send your donation to school in an envelope marked “Hurricane Sandy Relief.”

CANS FOR CARE!  Many people this holiday season are struggling to put food on the table, and fifth grade students at Memorial have organized a canned food drive for the Burlington Food Pantry to help them out. Each grade has been given a box to fill with cans of a particular food group:  Gr. K & 1 - canned vegetables; Gr. 2 canned fruits; Gr. 3 canned or boxed grains; Gr. 4 canned meats; Gr. 5 boxed mixes for dessert. Students who bring in a non-perishable food item will be allowed to wear a hat in school on the 18th!  -- 5th Grade Organizers

5th Graders have initiated a Canned Food Drive here at Memorial to help stock the Burlington Food Pantry for the holidays.  The Memorial School PTO is collecting donations for our Family Fund, established to assist Memorial families in need. Any amount is welcome.  In conjunction with the Memorial School Staff, we would like to help a number of families this year. If you are able to help, please send in your donation with your child in an envelope labelled “PTO Family Fund.” Checks can be made out to the Memorial School PTO, and in the memo section: Family Fund. Donations may also be made at the Winter Concert on December 12th. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Coats for Kids Drive will run until January 12, 2013.  All sizes are needed -- for kids, moms, and dads too.  There will be a box for donations outside the Memorial School office.

Thank you for helping to make the holidays brighter and the winter warmer for the many who are in need!  Giving in this way helps our children to learn that giving to others truly is receiving!

The Burlington Elementary Schools and COA Looking for Adult Volunteers for New Program that Unites Students and Adults in the Community The Burlington Elementary schools under the direction of Dr. Eric Conti and the Burlington Council on Aging (Marge McDonald, Director) are looking for adults age 55 and older to participate in an intergenerational program called “Bridges Together,” which unites elementary school students with senior members of the local community in an effort to promote mutual respect, understanding, and friendship between generations.

The commitment from volunteers would involve one hour each week for a total of six consecutive weeks. This new program will begin in January 2013, and will be held at two Burlington elementary schools.  Beginning January 8, volunteers can participate on Tuesdays from 1pm - 2pm at the Francis Wyman, and Thursday, January 10, from 8:45am - 9:45am at Pine Glen. Training for volunteers will be held January 3, 2013 10:30am, at the Burlington Library. Another six week session is planned for March through April at Memorial and Fox Hill Schools.

PAC: Burlington Special Education PAC will be holding an Open House on Monday, January 7th in the BHS Library, where you will have the opportunity to consult with a wide variety of special education experts. These experts include Special Ed Attorney Lillian Wong, Neuropsychologist Kaaren Bekken, Special Ed Consultants Sue Terzakis and Melody Orfei, and Marilyn Weber, Advocate/Transition Specialist.  Dr. Conti, Supt. of Schools, and Louise D’Amato, Special Education Director will also be available to speak with parents. This is a unique opportunity to have your questions answered in a low-key, informal environment, and will prove useful for parents of general education students as well! After brief introductions in the library, the professionals will be available for private 1:1 consultations. Take advantage of this informal, free opportunity to meet highly qualified professionals.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Updated Schedule for Memorial Welcome Winter Sing-alongs!


Welcome Winter Sing-along! 
 
As posted in our bulletin on Friday, Memorial will "welcome winter!" with a series of sing-alongs on Wednesday, December 19th; Thursday, December 20th; and Friday, December 21st. Memorial voices will fill the foyer area with song (just inside the front door) during students' regularly-scheduled music classes (the reason behind some classes singing twice).  Please note that there have been some changes made to the schedule posted on Friday, which are indicated in bold italics below.  We hope you will come by and join us!!! 

Wednesday, December 19th:
8:30 Gr. 5 - Rabazzi, Wiernicki
9:30 Gr. 4 - Coutu, Weinberg
10:30 Gr. 3 - Keating, Kippenberger
11:30 Gr. 2 - Farrand, McLaughlin
1:15 Gr. 1 - Burnham, Panagiotopoulos

Thursday, December 20th:
8:30 Gr. 5 - Burns, Rabazzi
9:30 Gr. 4 - Gonzalez, Coutu
10:30 Gr. 3 - Cyr, Kippenberger
11:30 Gr. 2 - Siegel
1:15 Gr. 1 - Calandrelli, Panagiotopoulos

Friday, December 21st:
8:30 Gr. 5 - Wiernicki, Conceison
9:30 Gr. 4 - Weinberg, Olshaw
10:30 Gr. 3 - Ferullo
11:30 Gr. 2 - Nelson, McLaughlin
1:15 Gr. 1 - Burnham, Gearin