Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hazardous Waste

  • Household Hazardous Waste Collection day is Saturday, April 23, 2010 from 8:30 am to Noon at Francis Wyman Elementary School.  For more information, please visit the Board of Health website at or call 781-270-1955.

Food Drive

The will be an Election Day food drive on April 9 at the high school to benefit the Burlington Food Pantry. Unopened boxes and undented cans that are within the expiration dates would be great. Canned soups,beef stew, jelly, tuna and vegetables, especially peas and green beans are always needed. There will be a box available for cash or check contributions. Checks may be made out to the Burlington Food Pantry. 


Adopt-A-Class 2019 Spring Gala/Casino Event - Tickets on Sale NOW:  Buy your tickets now for the event on 4/29/11 at the American Legion in Burlington!   Flyers went home with payment info or you can go to and use paypal.  Email us at  with any questions.   If you have a 4th grader and want to volunteer and earn scholarship points, contact Parent Coordinator Denise Griffin at .


Burlington Pop Warner Football & Cheering Open Registration - Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 from10:00am – 12:00pm at Marshall Simonds Middle School Cafeteria, 114 Winn Street

Payment of registration fee is due at signup. Football players (between the weights of 45-135 pounds) ranging from ages 7-13 years old (as of July 31st, 2011), are eligible to participate at four different age groups/teams(Junior Midget, Peewee, Junior Peewee and Mitey-Mite).

New Middle School Team - Patriot Division Football (11, 12, 13, 14 year olds in Middle School as of July 31st, 2011) – weight range 105 pounds  to no weight limit or 14 year olds in 9th grade – weight range 105 pounds – 165 pounds

Cheerleaders ranging from ages 7-14 years old (as of July 31st, 2011) are eligible to participate at five different age groups/teams.

Roster sizes are limited, it is strongly recommended to register now to avoid being placed on a waiting list. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Note from the Principal: Attendance and Instruction

Last night my wife and I got a call from my parents who wanted to take my daughter in first grade to the Big Apple Circus which is currently in Boston.  They were hoping to take her on an early release day, and have her be absent from school.    My wife and I both love that all four grandparents make time to see our daughters and play an active role in their lives.  However, we had to decline.   We asked that instead they could take her at a time that does not interfere with her missing any instruction.   
As a principal and as a parent I value instructional time to the highest degree.  I am a firm advocate that if a child is not healthy to go to school they should of course stay home, get better and seek medical assitance if necessary.  My wife, who is also an educator, shares this value as we both have seen the incredible instruction students regularly and constantly receive.  
  If you have not had the chance to read the book The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Friedman (New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist), I highly recommend it.   Students competing to get into colleges today are not just competing with other students from the United States but, students from a global stage.  Furthermore, students graduating from college are competing for jobs not just with other graduates but, graduates from all over the world.  
Children and human beings in general learn by receiving instruction and the more instruction we receive the more we learn.   Students that have poor attendance and/or are frequently tardy often see this reflected in MCAS performance.  The number of exposures students have to a subject or skills results in a higher degree of the material or knowledge of how to do a particular skill staying in students long term memory.   In a recent JESPAR article, “Improving Attendance and Engagement in a San Diego High School” (March 2011: Journal of Education for Students At Risk :University of Louisville), Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Diane Lapp write, “Simply stated, it’s hard to learn when you’re not in school.” 
Thank you so much to everyone in our Pine Glen Community for making every effort to ensure that students are not tardy and come to school if they are not sick.  I can relate to how challenging this can be at times especially when a fun activity like the circus is involved.   

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Note from the PTO

The Annual Pine Glen Carnival sponsored by the PTO was a great success again thanks to the efforts and teamwork of many.  We would like to thank all members of the Pine Glen Community who helped to make the Carnival a major spring attraction in the town of Burlington.  The event took place with the generous assistance and donations of many parents, high school/former students, teachers, staff, and administration.

Countless thanks go to Carnival Co-Chairs Jolene Fogarty, Michelle Grossman, and Deb Murphy who took care of the many details that needed attention to run a grand-scale event.  We sincerely appreciate all their efforts.  Many thanks go to Cathy Carney for organizing the Cake Walk and to Principal John Lyons and secretary Julie Gosselin for their support of the Carnival Committee.

Over fifty local businesses participated by donating gift cards/certificates, merchandise, and services to the stage raffle.  Please thank them when using their business.  Thank you to the Raffle Committee, including Denise Desmond, Jill Giles, Carol McDonald Macri, Beth Reith and Maria Woods for their time-consuming legwork and follow-up to solicit and collect raffle items.  A sincere thanks to everyone who donated items to the raffle, especially the room parents and teachers who organized group gifts.

We would also like to thank RE/MAX for advertising and planning to give hot-air balloon rides.  Unfortunately, wind conditions made it unfavorable to use the balloon.  We will try to get the balloon ride again next year.  Thanks also to Carol McDonald Macri for making all the arrangements for the ride.  The advertising efforts of Carol and Catherine Gillespie certainly helped to bring many out-of-town visitors to the Carnival.  Please see and  created by Catherine and Carol for Carnival updates, postings, and photos. 

We also would like to thank retired Pine Glen Principal, Jane Dwyer, for her famous face painting skills and D.A.R.E. Officers Steve Cross and Keith Sheppard for their police car ride.  Many thanks to the Burlington Fire Department and Firefighters Ernie Covino and Nick Menkello for displaying a fire truck at the front of the school for up-close inspection.

Again, we would like to thank everyone who worked on and attended the Carnival.  Proceeds will be used to enrich the educational experience of all Pine Glen students.  We look forward to seeing all those smiling faces again at next year's Carnival.

Please note that the next PTO meeting will be held on Thursday, April 7th at 7 p.m. 

Hope to see you then,

- The Pine Glen PTO Board

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pine Glen Carnival tomorrow!

Saturday, March 26, 9 -2 pm

Games, inflatables, prizes!!

Cake walk, raffles, refreshments!!

RE/MAX Hot air balloon rides,  9 – 11 am
Weather permitting

For more details 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thank You from Meghan Groom

Thank you
I would like to thank everyone at Pine Glen for making the Souperbowl a success. We collected 147 cans of soup for the Burlington Food Pantry! They were very thankful, as I am. Thank you all for your donations. I look forward to running the Souperbowl next year. Thank you all so much!     -Meghan Groom

Burlington Food Pantry

The will be an Election Day food drive on April 9 at the high school to benefit the Burlington Food Pantry. Unopened boxes and undented cans that are within the expiration dates would be great. Canned soups,beef stew, jelly, tuna and vegetables, especially peas and green beans are always needed. There will be a box available for cash or check contributions. Checks maybe made out to the Burlington Food Pantry. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Race to Nowhere screening at BHS

The District along with Wilmington will be hosting the screening of "Race to Nowhere" on Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Burlington High School Auditorium. Click the invitation below to reserve your tickets ($10 in advance, $15 at door).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Math Camp

We were very excited to start our first day of Math Camp today.  Students enrolled in Math Camp will be dismissed at 3:45.  Parents are welcome to wait in  the lobby to pick up students. 

Food Allergy Awareness Team

The Food Allergy Awareness Team of Burlington will be holding a meeting to discuss the new food allergy policy. Parents of children with or without food allergies are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held at the Burlington Fire Department on Tuesday March 22nd at 7PM. Please contact Lisa Hovasse with any

Monday, March 14, 2011


The Deadline for your child’s artware projects has been extended to this Friday March 18, 2011.  This is the very last day to send in your orders due to the processing time and to have them back for Mother’s Day, Easter, etc.  If you have any questions please email Nancy O’Callaghan at

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Mr. Lyons did a walkthrough of a couple classrooms yesterday with a Flip Video camera. Here's some video of what he saw in just a few minutes of walking around Pine Glen!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

Burlington High School presents Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” on March 25, 26 and April 1 at 7:30, April 2 at 2:00 and 7:30pm, and April 3 at 2:00pm. Filled with all the enchantment, wonder and surprise that has made it an international sensation, the production will take place in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of Burlington High School, a handicapped accessible venue. Tickets are $10 for students and senior citizens; $15 for adults. Tickets are available at For further information, call 781-A-FUN-TIC.

B&B Postcard Final

Note from the Principal: Technology and The Brain

Two recent events I witnessed this week while in fourth grade classrooms have made me think of the year 1993.  The first was a commercial campaign ran by AT&T that year that was titled “You Will” and the second was how much was known about the brain in 1993 while I was studying psychology in college.  If you go on You Tube and put in AT&T and “You Will,” you can probably view this old commercial.    Tom Selleck does the narration and the listener hears a series of questions such as:
“-Have you ever borrowed a book from thousands of miles away?
-Crossed the country without ever asking for directions?
-Sent someone a fax from the beach?
-Have you ever paid a toll without slowing down?
-Bought concert tickets from a cash machine (touch screen-technology)?
-Or tucked your baby in from a phone booth (video screen)?
-Attended a meeting in you bare feet?
-Ever watched a movie you wanted to the minute you wanted to?”
Tom goes on to say that “You will and the company that will bring it to you is AT&T.”   It is funny to think that the cell phone wasn’t even mentioned in this commercial as a way to do a lot of these things.  In fact, there is a scene where a mom goes into a phone booth to use a videoconference to talk to her baby.   Many of these things that appeared to be science fiction in 1993 are now common in 2011  - i.e. eBooks, GPS’s, iPads/lap-tops, Fast-Lane transponders, Skype/Facetime (video conferencing) and On-Demand television.

When I walked into a fourth grade classroom this week I witnessed the students using a Skpe connection and the interactive white board to talk to a classroom in Arizona.  Students study regions of the United States in the fourth grade curriculum and the students were at that time studying the South East.  The Pine Glen students were directly asking other students what it was like to live in that area of the country and vice-versa.  To me this was science fiction in 1993 but to students in fourth grade in 2011 this normal.

Last night my first grade daughter asked that instead of my wife or I reading her a bedtime story she could read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to her two-year old sister.    While reading the story, she would stop at appropriate places and ask her sister to make predication questions and any connections (to herself, other books she has heard, or the world).  My first grade daughter was clearly modeling her teacher showing a “best-practice.”    While in another fourth grade classroom this week, I witnessed a guided reading group and the teacher was asking predicting questions, having students make connections and many other great “best-practices.”  This likewise made me reflect that in 1993 we didn’t have the brain research to show empirical proof that some teacher strategies or “best-practices” actually had an effect on the brain.  I remember finding it incredibly thrilling and rewarding 6 years ago when four of my former students had brain scans done prior to me delivering reading instruction at the beginning of the year and then the same scans done at the end of the school year.   We could see actually physical growth and a change in their brains.   These “best practices” are so commonly understood now that across the country and at all grade levels teachers are utilizing them.

This is an incredible time to be in the field of education.    When I come back to my office, after doing walk-throughs in classrooms or an observation, several people have asked me, “Why do you have such a big smile on your face?”.    I frequently respond I that I just saw students learning.   Maybe I should include that I just time traveled into the future.    In the words of Christopher Lloyd as “Doc” Brown from the 1985 movie Back to the Future “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”

Adopt a Class

From Adopt a Class:
Earn Points for Scholarship!  “Have questions about Adopt A Class”   Come join us for 
coffee.  We will be having an informational meeting on Tuesday March 29th at 7:30 p.m. at 
the Town Hall Main Hearing Room.  The BSCF Adopt A Class board will be there to answer your 
questions and give out information regarding the program.   If have always wondered about 
Adopt a Class, please come to this meeting and bring a friend.
Any questions, please email Debbie Keene at, Diane Creedon at, or Anisha Shaikh at

Prevention Connection

Embedded in this blog post is the Burlington Drug and Alcohol Task Force's Winter issue of their newsletter, Prevention Connection.

Newsletter Winter 2011


  • We are extending the deadline for ordering Brax Spirit cups to support Adopt-A-Class 2016.  All orders should be turned into your school office by Friday, March 18.  The top seller for each school will win a $25.00 Visa Gift card, a pack of cups of their choice and an NFL popcorn tin.  The second place seller will win the sample pack in each school.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact: Michelle Tigges or Jennifer Jankowski (781-272-4334).  ALSO: IF YOU ARE A PARENT OF A 7TH GRADER AND WANT TO EARN POINTS FOR YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE SCHOLARSHIP PLEASE CONTACT MICHELLE OR JENNIFER.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


     On February 16th parents received a summary of their child's most recent DORA (Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment) results.  This information was sent home in children’s backpacks. 

     To help parents have a better understanding of this test, there was a Parent Information Meeting on DORA that was held on Monday, February 7, at 7:00PM at the Francis Wyman Elementary School auditorium.  This meeting was for parents from all four elementary schools.  Dr. Conti and the four elementary school principals shared information about the test to help parents have a better understanding of this assessment.

     I also hosted a morning Parent Information Meeting on Thursday, February 10, at 9:00 AM at the Pine Glen Elementary School for Pine Glen parents who were not able attend the Monday evening meeting. I shared the same information that was presented on the 7th.   I will be sharing the presentation again on March 10, from 2:00-2:30 in the cafeteria at the Pine Glen Elementary School for Pine Glen parents. 

    I will be presenting the Power Point that was shown at the two previous presentations.  It is also available to be viewed on my Blog.  It was posted on Wednesday February 9, 2011 and is titled DORA Frequently Asked Questions.  

Notice from Pupil Services

Are You a Nurse?
Burlington Public Schools are looking to hire per diem nurses.  Candidates need to have a BSN and current MA RN license.  If interested, please send a cover letter, resume, 3 letters of recommendation, and a copy of your current RN license to:  
Dr. Cathleen Estep, Burlington Public Schools, 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA  01803.


     It is very important that students are here to take MCAS.  I strongly encourage parents not take vacations or make appointments during school hours and particularly during MCAS testing.  If a student is absent due to sickness, that is very understandable and hopefully the student will be recovered in time to come in on a make-up day.

     If a student misses the scheduled MCAS testing date and the make-up date, that student needs to bring in a signed and dated note from a medical doctor.    Failure to bring in a note from the medical doctor would result in not only a reflection of score for that student but the entire school.    

MCAS Schedule


Grade 4 English Language Arts

Grade 3 English Language Arts

25th, 28th
Grade 5 English Language Arts

Grade 4 English Language Arts


Grade 4 Math

Grade 5 Math

Grade 5 Science

Grade 3 Math

Monday, March 7, 2011


Just a reminder that Artware went out in students backpacks last week and need to be returned with full payment by Friday March 11, 2011. Your children’s art work would make great gifts for Mother’s day/Fathers day and Grandparents .  Help support our school and PTO.  If you have any questions please contact Nancy O’Callaghan

Notice from MSMSPTO

MSMSPTO Spring Fundraiser ... "Not Your Average Cause" at Not Your Average Joe's (Wayside Common) ... every Tuesday (all day/night) during March (8, 15, 22, 9) & April (5, 12, 19, 26) ... 15% of what you purchase goes directly back to the MSMSPTO ... bring in the certificate (located at and hand it to your server ... use your smartphone & show the certificate to your server ... mention MSMSPTO to your server & they will have certificates there ... take out orders count!!!!  Please support the students of MSMS & get a great meal at the same time!!!

Notice from BHS

Burlington High School's Post-Graduation (all-night) Party has only one fundraiser. Shop at Roche Bros. on Wednesday March 16th from 3 to 6 pm. They will donate 5% from all the shopping during those 3 hours. No time to shop? Buy a gift certificate to use later! We do NOT ask for money! We just need your receipt. The Post-Graduation party offers the graduating seniors an exciting, alcohol-free, safe celebration with their classmates. Please call Vicki Kikuchi if you have any questions or would like to help with this event (781) 273-5089.

Notice from BHS

Burlington High School presents Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” March 25,26, April 1 and 2 at 7:30 pm and a matinee finale performance on April 3 at 2 pm. Purchase tix at or at the high school music office from 9 am – 2 pm. For more info call 781-A-FUN-TIC. $15 adults, $10 students/sr citizens.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Volunteer for the Pine Glen Carnival!

Would you like to volunteer to help out at the Pine Glen Carnival on March 26? Are you a baker supreme who could donate a cake to the cake walk? Do you have any goodies you could donate for the Carnival Stage Raffle? If so, download and print the form embedded in this post, then send it back to the school! You can also contact the people listed on the form directly.

carnival volunteer form 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Note From Principal: Traditions and the Month of March

One of my favorite books is Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child by Robert Brooks (  In fact, not just as an educator but as a father I frequently refer back to his book reflect and gain guidance.  Jessica May, our school guidance counselor, last year did a presentation on the book at one of the PTO meetings.  Several of my friends have this book in their homes.  I also have heard Dr. Brooks speak and found him extremely entertaining. 

Dr. Brooks talks about the importance of traditions in order to raise resilient children. Creating traditions and special times with our children is so important to them. Dr. Brooks is of the opinion that making certain to not miss significant events is a way parents show love.

I was reminded of this fact earlier this week when my daughters (ages 2 and 6) looked at a calendar saw it was March and started jumping up and down with excitement.  It is not because they are big basketball fans and can’t wait to cheer for their favorite college teams in the March Madness Tournament or the equally important Frozen Four College Hockey Tournament.  My daughters started immediately talking about how they would start thinking of ideas on how to make their Leprechaun Traps.

One of our family traditions is the night before St. Patrick’s Day we leave out traps that my daughters have made in the hope of catching a Leprechaun and getting his pot of gold.   We have not caught one yet.  However, Leprechauns over the years have left new books and other small items.   Some years we have found chocolate golden coins.

When my daughters are in their teens, my wife and I will probably need to continue this tradition.  One couple we know have daughters, two in college and one in graduate school, who share the same level of enthusiasm as my two young daughters.   In fact, this holiday season we had some friend’s children call up and see if we needed babysitters over the holidays while they were home for winter break just to see they could be around little girls and be reminded of how much they enjoyed holiday traditions when they were little.  I loved this too because I got out with my wife to a restaurant without talking animals on the walls. 

Traditions do not always need to be tied to holidays.   For example, my family always makes chocolate chip cookies to celebrate the first snow.   We also get together with friends to go to the beach.   In the fall, we meet up with friends to go apple picking.  My entire family and friends meet up in the fall to attend the football game during homecoming weekend (my parents and their 5 children all attended the same college). 

March is a particularly busy month in education.  The month is also not the best in regards to weather.  It typically has snow and ice on the ground. Likewise, March is often cold and dark.  I have constantly heard from people over the years in places like the line at Dunkin Donuts “It’s the most difficult month.”  Although, through the traditions we honor with our children we will fill our hearts with warmth and light.   Traditions will not only help our children develop resiliency but us as adults too.   Just think, after March one of our favorite traditions is coming; the words “Play Ball” will be said at Fenway Park: GO RED SOX!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pine Glen Carnival!

The Pine Glen Carnival will be on March 26. Go to the Carnival Blog for more information.

carnival1 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Note from PTO

We hope you enjoyed a terrific winter break.  Just a friendly reminder that the next PTO meeting will be held on Thursday, March 3rd at 7 p.m.  Principal John Lyons is planning a tour of the school building highlighting recent improvements and future plans for the facility.  We will also update members on plans for the Pine Glen Carnival scheduled for Saturday, March 26th, 9 - 2 p.m.

We hope to see many of you there,

The Pine Glen PTO Board

Note from the Music Department

4th and 5th grade bands will be performing in the All-Town Band Concert on Thursday March 10 at the Burlington High School gymnasium. Reporting time for 5th graders is 6pm, reporting time for 4th graders is 6:20, followed by the concert at 7pm. Performing bands will include- Combined 4th Grade Band, Combined 5th Grade Band, MSMS Concert Band, MSMS Symphonic Band, BHS Concert Band. The concert should be complete by 8pm. Any questions please email Mr. Napierkowski at