Wednesday, November 27, 2013


In case you missed it in the news last week, the Massachusetts Board of Education voted to accept a two-year transition plan to the PARCC assessment. The original plan to implement PARCC testing called for all Massachusetts students begin taking the new assessment in 2015, but MA Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester has been listening to school and district leaders across the state and has advocated for a more gradual transition:
“I have heard a great deal from school superintendents and others about the importance of pacing ourselves so that schools can implement PARCC and other reform initiatives in a thoughtful way,”he said in the memo. “This transition approach is responsive to the field…”
Many of the concerns schools have is in regards to the online aspect of PARCC testing, something that is new to our state. In order to help facilitate this transition, Burlington has volunteered to help support students and educators across the state in this transition.
We are pleased to be participating in the Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test – and have asked PARCC to expand the sample of our students involved because we believe that this experience will be good for children in Burlington and across the state. The Burlington Community has generously provided us with the technological resources to expand our Field Test to include all students. We are also lucky to have talented people working in the district who are willing to learn from this experience and to share this knowledge with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and across Massachusetts.
Our plan is to use different devices at different grades (i.e. tablets, chromebooks, computer labs, etc.) to determine which environment is best for students. We will be conducting focus groups with students and teachers after each testing window and sharing this information with our stakeholders and other school districts to help prepare for what is ahead.  This district preview will help us to better prepare our students and curriculum for future test administrations.
Because our students are participating in the PARCC, we have the option of opting out of MCAS English Language Arts and Math testing at all grades except grade 10 . Our sophomores will have to take both PARCC and MCAS due to both the state graduation requirement and to qualify for the Adams’ scholarships.  In other words, it appears that we will not be administering the MCAS Test this year (aside from grade 10 and possibly Science in grades 5,8,9)
There are two testing windows for the PARCC assessments. The first, for the Performance Based Assessment (PBA), is March 24 – April 11 and the second, for the End of Year Assessment (EOY), is May 19 – June 6. The PBA consists of three testing sessions and the EOY consists of two. We will share more specifics in regards to dates for each grade as soon as we coordinate them with the DESE and PARCC testing officials.
We have been informed that we will not see the results of the Field Test.  Pearson (the creator of the PARCC test) may share district results but they will not be sharing individual school or student results.  While this may concern some parents, we feel confident in our ability to continue to show evidence of students growth through a variety of assessments that our staff members conduct throughout the year.
You may have lots of questions.  We have lots of questions.  We will be getting out more information as it becomes available.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Dismissal tomorrow is at 11:15.

The Book Fair is Coming!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Turkey Trot Moved On Account of Weather

On account of today's forecast, we are moving the Turkey Trot to tomorrow.  We are asking that all students please bring in an item for the Burlington Food Pantry tomorrow instead of Wednesday.   Wear your favorite sweatshirt to school has also been moved to tomorrow.    

Friday, November 22, 2013

Age of Exploration in Grade 5

Fifth graders in Mrs. Fitzpatrick's Class today were working on making An Age of Exploration Museum.

Students are learning how exploration changed culture and the world. Below are pictures of students working on different exhibits.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

PTO Genevieve

If you ordered from Genevieve, as part of the PTO fundraiser, please remember to pick up your Genevieve orders for the holidays.  They are available slightly or after school and during the school day. They are located in the lobby and labeled.   Thank you for all your support!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

PTO Gift Card fundraiser

Our SCRIP program is simple: order gift cards through the Pine Glen PTO and earn money for the school!  These are the same gift cards you would purchase from the stores, but all in one place!

To help support our school, SCRIP participating retailers agree to pay the Pine Glen PTO a certain percentage of all gift card sales.  You get full card value - Pine Glen PTO receives a small "commission"  (see list for exact percentages from specific retailers or go to THERE ARE NO HIDDEN COSTS OR FEES!!

The program starts immediately with a firm deadline of December 4th at 12 NOON!   Orders will be processed and available by December 16th.

Information on the fundraiser went out on Friday, Nov. 8th.  Later this week the information will be available for download on the blog.  This a great opportunity to stock up on gift cards for the holidays, birthdays, teacher gifts and more.  Any questions, please contact Joanne Shortell at

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pine Glen Turkey Trot

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!!  The annual Pine Glen Turkey Trot is approaching!

When:  Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 8:30
Where:  1 lap run around the school, start and finish in front of school
Who: 3rd, 4th and 5th graders

Parents are welcome to come down and cheer on the runners!

 This fun run is weather permitting

In the spirit of helping others on Thanksgiving, we are asking, if possible, that all students (runners and non runners) kindly bring in an item for the Burlington Food Pantry.  As part of the fun, students can also wear their favorite sweatshirt to school that day (sports teams, vacation, characters, etc).

The following is a list of recommended non perishable items for the Burlington Food Pantry:

  • 100% juice boxes
  • 100%juice in cans and plastic containers ( no glass please)
  • baked beans
  • canned beef stew
  • canned broth; chicken and beef
  • canned chicken or turkey
  • canned fruits, regular and no sugar added
  • canned ham or roast beef
  • canned or jarred spaghetti sauce
  • canned soups
  • canned tomatoes; diced,whole, pureed
  • canned tuna fish
  • canned vegetables
  • cold cereal
  • coffee, hot chocolate, tea
  • cookies, crackers
  • jelly
  • ketchup
  • macaroni and cheese
  • mayo
  • mustard
  • oatmeal; instant and quick
  • pancake syrup
  • peanut butter
  • shelf stable milk 1%

Thanks for your support and hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spirit Wear On Sale Now

On display at the Halloween Dance this past Saturday, Burlington or Pine Glen sweatpants, jackets, sweatshirts, shorts and hats!  Some the examples are pictured below.

Show your pride for Pine Glen or Burlington (new popular "B" logo) or both!

Order forms will be sent home in the kids' backpacks this week.  Orders will be delivered in time for the holidays.  Pay via paypal on the PTO blogspot or personal check, made payable to the Pine Glen PTO.  All items embroidered shirts and jackets also have optional names on sleeves.

For an order form please click here click here.

Message From Adopt-A-Class

4th Grade Parents

The 2022 Adopt-A-Class is looking for parent volunteers to help plan and run an event a year to raise money for the 4th grade class.  You can spend as little as an hour helping to run the event and still earn scholarship credit for your child. Please email, Kristin Russo at if you are interested or have any questions. We look forward to raising money for the class and having fun while doing it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

First Grade Fall Festival

The first grade celebrated their Fall Festival today.

Treats For Troops 2013

Too much candy after Halloween?  Buy more than you needed?  If you find yourself in this situation, don’t let it go to WASTE or WAIST!  Donate your extra treats to our troops overseas.  Drop off your extra candy to the Treats for Our Troops box on the table outside the office here at Pine Glen, and send a little Halloween spirit to our troops overseas.  Cards and notes from the children are also welcome. 

Message from Burlington Public School EdTeach Team

The Burlington Public Schools EdTech Team will be hosting a Parent Technology Night on Tuesday, November 5 at Marshall Simonds Middle School. Please join us for information about the BPS Foundational Apps and the new iOS7 for iPads. The session will provide an opportunity to learn about the core apps that we are using in our 1:1 programs. These apps include Google Drive, Notability, Explain Everything, and Evernote. We will also provide support if you are looking for guidance using iOS7 on your own iPad or iPhone.

Time during every Parent Tech Night session is also dedicated to other technology related questions and support.

Introducing eBooks On Demand from the Library & Technology Center

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 3.19.12 PMThis week in the Library & Technology Center classes, fourth and fifth grade students are learning about BrainHive--an on demand ebook library where Pine Glen students can "check out" ebooks to read online or on their iPads. Every time an ebook is checked out, it charges the LTC $1.  

I asked the students, "What can you get for $1?" and most of the answers were things like candy and other stuff at the dollar store. But with Brain Hive, students can read an ebook for $1! That's a great value. We watch movies On Demand and now students can read ebooks On Demand! This is a great way for the LTC to provide ebooks without paying for access to the entire collection up front. Click on the bee above for more information about logins and how to access it at home.

Laura D'Elia
School Librarian
@pineglenltc on Twitter