Friday, September 30, 2011

Message from Burlington PAC

Dear School Community,

The Burlington PAC will host our annual Basic Rights Presentation on Wednesday October 12, 2011 in the School Committee Room in the rear of the Burlington High School at 123 Cambridge St. in Burlington. The meeting will begin at 6:30 P.M. with time for people to meet and become familiar with our group. The Basic Rights Presentation will begin at 7:00 P.M. with Donna Murphy from the FCSN as presenter. Donna does a great job with this speaking engagement and always has tremendous advice for parents, both new to the world of special ed and to those of us who have been around the block a few times. Please make time to attend this event if you want to know how to advocate for your child. Feel free to email or call with any questions about this presentation or the PAC.


Dennis McCarron, Chairman Burlington PAC


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Principal Notes: My Favorite iPad apps

I am frequently asked what my favorite app for the iPad is. I don’t have a favorite app where there are so many but, there are three I really like. The first app I really enjoy is Solar Walk - 3D Solar System model. I wish I had had this app when I taught fifth grade and the unit on the Solar System. I find this app to be very exploratory.

The other app I really enjoy is Toontastic. Toontastic allows the user to make cartoons and through what the child sees as play they are working on oral expression and learning the key elements of a literary story. I downloaded Toontastic this summer prior to a road trip. When our family drives long distances, we give both our daughters (ages 3 and 7) iPads. They love reading books, using the educational Apps, and the creative music and art they can create on these devices while in the car. By the end of the two and half hour drive, my daughter had made several movies. I have seen the same level of excitement, engagement and learning first hand while a second grade classroom was using this app last Spring.

The third app I really like is Dexteria - Fine Motor Skill Development. This app offers a set of hand exercises to improve fine motor skills as well as handwriting readiness for not just children but also adults. The multi-touch interface still astounds me that such technology is available in such a small device.

I ended my walk-throughs today seeing a teacher was providing intervention to two students working on the iPads utilizing a math app. Not only could I see the students learning what I also noticed were the smiles on their faces as they were enjoying learning and yes, having fun. It thrills me to have this new technology in our building that provide for not just learning but fun.

Friday, September 23, 2011

4th grade Instrumental Lessons

If your child wishes to play an instrument, please register online at by Monday, September 26. A commitment to

practicing at home is essential for success. The company Music and

Arts will be at the Burlington High School cafeteria on Monday,

September 26 from 6:30-8:00 pm. They offer a rent-to-own program for

new and previously owned instruments. If you cannot attend this event,

please go to for further information. Beginner

lessons will start after September 26. Parents and classroom teachers

will be notified regarding the first lesson. Any questions please

email Mr. Napierkowski at or call his

voicemail at 781-273-7032.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Register for the PTO's Ice Cream Social & Board Game Night!

Use the form embedded below or follow this link to register for the Ice Cream Social & Board Game Night sponsored by the PTO! The Ice Cream Social will be on Thursday, September 29, from 6:00PM to 8:00PM! Bring your favorite board games and enjoy some delicious ice cream!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Principal Notes: Resilient Children

There are many books on parenting or educating students between the ages of 5 and 11 but one that I always find helpful personally and professionally is Raising Resilient Children by Dr. Robert Brooks ( : ( This book’s message is that we can not prevent stress on our children and protect them from all of the challenges they will encounter during their lives. However, we can empower them through developing a sense of hope and resiliency.

Chapter Nine in Dr. Brooks book talks about “Developing Responsibility, Compassion and A Social Conscience.” In this chapter Brooks talks about parents “serving as a model of responsibility” and the benefits of developing traditions to become a charitable family. In the book Dr Brooks states: “Once children are engaged in these “contributory activities” that is, activities in which they contribute to others , they are more likely to develop responsibility and compassion. In addition, as this sense of responsibility is reinforced , they are wiling to accept ownership for their behavior and less likely to resort to self-defeating coping strategies.”

Every year my family and a large number of my wife’s extended family (ages newborns to grandparents) attend the Boston Lupus Walk in the Spring as a team in our matching t-shirts. We do this to remember Ani - a beautiful, young 13 year old relative we lost a few years ago to Lupus (a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the joints, skin, blood and kidneys) and to raise money for the Lupus Research Institute. Family members drive many hours to attend this event. After the walk, we have a big family cookout.

This summer my second grade daughter saw a sign in the supermarket about the MSPCA-Angell Walk for Animals. She immediately wanted to be a part of the walk. After 7 years of being part of our family walk for Lupus, she had made the connection that through raising money in a walk-a-thon she might be able to support a cause dear to her heart. She was excited help animals that she has seen when we visit the MSPCA and honor Louie, her much loved dog, she lost two years ago at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. My daughter saved her money all summer and emailed relatives to raise awareness and funds. She participated in the walk last weekend and had volunteers at that check-in booth jaws drop when they saw how much she raised. She has told us she needs to grow up to be a vet in order that she can help animals like the doctors did at Angell.

The beginning of the school year is a great time to set up routines. Please make time for reading, talking to your children, playing, sports, and social outreach be part of that routine.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

PTO Information

Hi Everyone,

Welcome back to school! We hope your summer was both relaxing and fun. The PTO Board has been busy preparing for another school year. In your child's backpack you should have found important PTO information including the 2011-2012 Pine Glen PTO pamphlet with Board contact information, PTO Volunteer Form, Membership Dues envelope, and a flier listing "Free Ways to Support Pine Glen School".

We would like to thank Catherine Gillespie, PTO Co-Vice President, for investing a great deal of time and thought updating and assembling all the PTO handouts. Also, many thanks to Julie Gosselin for copying and distributing all the materials and much appreciation to Nancy Keddy for printing the new colorful PTO pamphlet. Special thanks also to Denise Desmond for organizing the Kindergarten play dates held over the summer. We hope all Kindergartners and their parents/guardians were able to attend a session.

As many of you know, the main mission of the PTO is to provide enrichment opportunities for all Pine Glen students. We hope you have appreciated the many activities and supplemental materials and programs the PTO has sponsored. We also hope that you again join the Pine Glen PTO and become active participants by attending PTO meetings (held at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of most school months) and volunteering on any of the many PTO committees. Perks for paid members include a student directory, a new school magnet, and emails with updates and special announcements. The first PTO meeting of the school year will be held at Pine Glen on Thursday, September 15th at 7 p.m.

The first PTO-sponsored event of the school year will be the Ice Cream Social/Bingo Night scheduled for Thursday, September 29th from 6-8 p.m. If you're able to volunteer some time to setup, serve, or cleanup, please contact Joanna DeFrancesco at

Thank you for your continued support and participation,

Maria Woods and The Pine Glen PTO Board

4th Grade Instrument Lessons

4th graders attended an assembly this week that demonstrated the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and trombone. Students interested in beginning lessons on one of these instruments received a notice describing the instrumental program. If your child wishes to play an instrument, please register online at byWednesday, September 21. A commitment to practicing at home is essential for success. The company Music and Arts will be at the Burlington High School cafeteria on Monday, September 26 from 6:30-8:00 pm. They offer a rent-to-own program for new and previously owned instruments. If you cannot attend this event, please go for further information. Beginner lessons will start after September 26. Any questions please email Mr. Napierkowski at or call his voicemail at 781-273-7032.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Updated Calendars

Embedded below you'll find the updated calendar that you can save or print at home.

Revised 11.12 Students' Calendar Back of Calendar 11.12

Change of Calendar

Prior to the arrival of the students this fall we had Hurricane Irene arrive in the form of a tropical depression. This resulted in a change of calendar while staff were having professional development days. The school committee voted last night and made changes to the school calendar.

Parent Teacher Conferences have been moved from November 10, 2011 to December 9, 2011 for elementary grade students. There will be no school for students on November 10, 2011 and December 9, 2011.

The last day of school will be June 20, 2012 if we have no snow days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bus Requests

All requests to change a bus route or other related matters should be sent to the following email:

Each request will be looked at and examined.

Back to School Night

Pine Glen's Back to School Night will be on September 22, from 6:30 to 8:00. The night will begin in the cafeteria at 6:30 for opening remarks. Then you will be free to proceed to your child’s classroom. We will continue to have two informational sessions. The first session will be held from 6:45-7:15. The second session will run from 7:20-7:50. You are welcome to attend either session.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hero Assembly

Tomorrow we will be having our Hero Assembly at Pine Glen School at 1:30 p.m. This is an opportunity for us to say thank you to our Burlington Police and Firefighters who keep us safe. It is also a time for us to remember Thomas McGuiness, a member of our Pine Glen Community who we lost on September 11, 2001, and the many brave men and women in uniform who keep our country safe. Students are welcome to wear red, white, and blue clothing tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Notice from Town of Burlington

September 7, 2011

FROM: Bob Hogan, Director

Burlington Veterans Services


RE: 9/11 Ceremony in Burlington

The weather forecast looks good. The flowers are in place, and the wreaths have been ordered. The Town of Burlington will be remembering the tragic events of 9/11/2001, this Sunday, September 11, 2011 and everyone is invited to attend.

The event will take place on our beautiful Town Common this Sunday, September 11, 2011, beginning at 9:30am. The hour long service will be at our 9/11 Memorial and Flag Pole across from the Fire Station. There will be a collation on the common immediately after the ceremony.

The day will begin with the Stuart Highlanders bagpipe band, members of the Burlington Fire and Police Departments and Honor Guards, as well as additional military honor guards from Hanscom and Devens (Air Force and Marines), Middlesex Sheriff Department Honor Guard, and the Burlington American Legion Honor Guard. The Liberty Belle Chorus will also join us to sing several patriotic songs. The Honor Guards will be led onto the town common by the BHS Marching Band Drum Line. TAPS will be played by a member of the BHS Band.

Members of Tom Mcguinness’s family and friends, and the families and friends of Robert Hayes and BHS teacher Jim and his wife Mary, Trentini will also be in attendance, as well as the family and friends of L/Cpl Greg MacDonald. Comments and prayers will be by police officers, firefighters, Marines and family and friends. There will be placement of wreaths at our Burlington 9/11 Memorial and our Veterans Memorial.

We are holding this ceremony because it is important to remember our friends who died that day, to remember a young man who died too young in a country too far from home, and to honor the First Responders who died that day in New York, and honor our First Responders here in Burlington.

We are not sure how many people may be attending, so we encourage those who attending to arrive early. The program will begin at 9:30 am.

For more information, go to the town web page,, or call Bob Hogan at 781-270-1960

Monday, September 5, 2011

Welcome Back!

September 5, 2011

Dear Parents and Staff,

I hope you have all had an enjoyable and relaxing summer! It is hard to believe that summer is so quickly coming to an end. I have greatly missed seeing all of your children and I am so excited and ready to welcome everyone back as we begin another school year. I have come over the past two years to not only meet students but also, the parents that make up our Pine Glen Community. It is with the same level of enthusiasm I begin my third year at Pine Glen School that I began my first. We have made changes over the past two years that have helped us to reach milestones that have raised the attention of surrounding districts and raised the profile of Burlington Public Schools. We have not stopped this journey and we will continue to this year to provide engaging experiences for students.

We will be welcoming 303 students this fall in their endeavors compared to 397 last year. Our focus continues to be on three specific areas: Instruction, Technology and Communication. The opening of the new Memorial School has opened up greater instructional space at Pine Glen School. This has allowed us the opportunity to move some learning spaces. In particular, all the grade level classrooms are located in the same general area of the building. We have also been able to expand the size of the library and move the computer lab to a bigger room. In addition, this has allowed our interventionists (reading specialists, special needs teachers, RTI tutors) more space to provided interventions. Teachers have been very busy unpacking and setting up their rooms. I must continue this year to thank the custodial staff and teachers for their hard work and dedication to provide students with a clean building and classrooms that are ready to provide instruction.

We have continued to purchase a large degree of new curriculum most of which is now offered in a technology-based format. Two of our new intervention tools are Lexia (, which provides additional practice with word decoding for reading, and Symphony Math (, which provides additional practice for math are both utilize a computer (Bob-Cart). This is similar to how Read Naturally (, which provides additional support in vocabulary, fluency and comprehension, was implemented last year. In addition, every kindergarten teacher is being provided with a Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System ( which has greatly expanded the variety, selection, and amount of books available to our earliest readers. Furthermore, also purchased this summer were Being a Writer sets for kindergarten and first grade. This supplemental writing program is now in all grades kindergarten through fifth ( In addition, all kindergarten and first grade teacher were given iPads in which they can use the DIBELS ( program to progress monitor their students via an iPad App. Likewise, at all grade levels we have again continued to increase the selection and genre of books available in our Literacy Closet. Teachers will continue like last year to participate in curriculum councils and at grade level meetings with myself to look at curriculum, instruction and assessment. We have continued to see tremendous growth this past academic year from our students.

We also welcoming new technology at Pine Glen this fall. We are in the process of adding additional “Bob Carts.” (4 terminal computer stations) making them available to all classrooms. They are extremely helpful in providing interventions to students and many other educational opportunities that only a computer can provide. The “Bob-Cart” is essentially becoming the 2011-2012 version of a workbook as many companies no longer provide interventions and curriculum in a paper format. An additional investment in technology will be the arrival of 60 iPads ( for students to assist us with technology integration in the classroom. Furthermore, we are in the process of an expansion of interactive white board technology with TouchIT boards being installed in all classroom spaces (

With the additional the additional curriculum, instruction and technological pieces mentioned another new piece to the school year this year will be in the form of assessment. Burlington will be adopting a new standards based report card this year that is reflective of the National Common Core Curriculum (

We will continue to be tiering instruction during language arts. Please continue to be mindful of the fact that students classroom teacher might be different than their reading teacher. This affords teachers the opportunity to work with a narrower teachable range, provide interventions and maximizing efficiency. This is not leveled reading instruction. We are providing flexibly grouped reading instruction that changes based on data. We will also be implementing this in some grade levels in math. We will continue to use an online universal screen. We will be utilizing i-Ready ( in Language Arts and Math to become aware of where to focus our instruction and provide interventions for students.

We are pleased to welcome new staff members to our Pine Glen Community. Julie Particelli will be a new special education teacher. We are very excited to have put back the position of a full time librarian. Laura Delia will be our Library Media Specialist (librarian). Alexis Carlson will be switching roles from a literacy tutor to a Special Education Instructional Assistant. Therefore, we are excited to welcome Ashley Parziale as our new RTI tutor. In addition to the funding of a full time librarian we are thrilled to welcome two new positions in the form of a full time Speech Language Pathologist and full time School Psychologist. Lindsey Bourgault will be joining us as our Speech Language Pathologist and Leah Garneau will be our School Psychologist. We are very fortunate to have attracted such high quality instructors to our professional learning community.

I wish to thank the PTO for all their assistance. They have done tremendous work in providing student enrichment, organizing school social events, community outreach and assistance to the teachers. The PTO continues to serve as the best vehicles in which to volunteer and be active in our school community. If not already, please consider joining this organization, which has as its main purpose student enrichment at Pine Glen School.

We begin our new school year on September 7th for grades 1 to 5. We start a new school year with class sizes typically no greater than 18 students ; which is very difficult to find in any town or city. The technology and infrastructure to support it which is likely a model and the envy of most districts in the state. In addition there are support staff (3 of which are Orton-Gillingham trained) ( to support Pine Glen teachers in various areas and disciplines.

At our core all staff at Pine Glen School make it our goal to engage our students and develop life long learners. We are incredibly grateful to the Burlington Community for providing us with the technology, teachers, and resources to help us accomplish our goal. The Pine Glen Staff and I the extremely grateful for the opportunity to instruct your children. Together we as a community are building a brilliant future for the students of Pine Glen School.


John Lyons
Pine Glen Elementary School

Thursday, September 1, 2011

School Bus Schedule 2011-2012

Pine Glen Bus Schedule 2011‐2012
7:486 PAULA
7:55LUCY & IVY
Bus #5 Pine Glen
7:5018 DAVIDA
7:558 PROUTY
7:41#13 PAUL
7:45CENTER & FARMS @ path
7:484 PONTOS
7:5132 SKILTON
7:5533 LANTERN

7:4536 COUNTY
7:5017 WING TERR