Thursday, March 25, 2010

Parent Puberty Information Night

Parent Puberty Information Night **date added

Puberty Information Night for Parents of 4th and 5th grade students will be presented by Amy Doughty, Burlington High School Health Educator. The  presentations on March 25 will be repeated on April 6 so parents can choose the evening that works best for them.

March 25, 2010 BHS Cafeteria
6:30 Grade 4
7:30 Grade 5

**April 6, 2010 BHS Auditorium
6:30 Grade 4
7:30 Grade 5

Please call Amy Doughty at 781-273-7094 or the Francis Wyman Nurse's office at 781-270-1702 if you have any questions.

More information will be forthcoming regarding the date for the student presentations.  At this time we are planning a middle to end of April date.

Monday, March 22, 2010

MCAS Testing Information for Parents

MCAS testing for grades three through five will be taking place over the course of the next two weeks.

The FW schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, March 23 - Grade 4 Long Composition
Wednesday, March 24 - Grade 3 Reading
Thursday, March 25 - Grade 3 Reading
Monday, March 29 - Grade 4 Reading
Tuesday, March 30 - Grade 4 Reading
Wednesday, March 31 - Grade 5 Reading
Thursday, April 1 - Grade 5 Reading

All testing begins at 8:30 AM so please make every effort to make sure your  child  arrives at school on time on the days he or she is scheduled for testing. If you drive your child to school in the morning, please aim for an 8:15 AM arrival so that your child has plenty of time to get organized and situated before the test begins.
Students are encouraged to do their very best work on the test, but we do not want them to be overly worried. The students should have a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast so that they can think clearly and perform to their best ability. This year there are fewer days of testing which should help make it less stressful for students.

MCAS testing provides some important information regarding what students know and are able to do. As in all testing, MCAS is a "snapshot" of student performance during a specific period in time. Providing a positive and encouraging atmosphere will provide the support our students need during this testing period.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Cafeteria Lunch System Begins

On Monday, March 22 we will begin using the new cafeteria lunch system. The system is most successful when students know their pin number. Their pin number will be on a card that each student will receive before the system start day. The card will stay in the classroom and not go home so that students have less chance of losing the card. Parents can help by either logging onto and registering their child and putting money onto the child’s account to be used for buying lunch or they can send in a check made out to Burlington School Lunch with the child’s name on the memo line. Cash will be accepted until April vacation at which time the school will become cashless. Every student must enter their pin on the keypad or scan the barcode on the card every time they buy lunch. Reduced lunch children must still have the 40 cents for lunch and will need that amount put on their account when the school is cashless. If you have any questions please email Paul Virgin the Food Service Director at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Family Carnival - March 13, 2010

Mr. G. has a difficult time choosing the cake decorating finalists.

Mrs. Tortolini and Mrs. Tierney work the table!

Baskets are bountiful!

Volunteers provide snacks.

Families fill the cafeteria.

Prizes galore!

Fun and Games!

The cake decorating finalists...


Professional Development Hosted at FWS

Mr. Giurlando facilitates the guidance department discussion.

The elementary art department works with Jane Hundley, Social Studies Coordinator, to develop units
focussing on the artwork  and culture of India. Ms. Hundley visited India in the summer of 2009.

Grade 2 teachers learn about the Fundations program as they  prepare for implementation in fall 2010.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The "Bobcarts" are Here!

Above are photos of the portable "Bobcarts" that allow up to four students to work at a time. Currently we have one per grade level grades 1-5. Classes share the stations. The vision is to have one "Bobcart" in each classroom.

The newly updated computer lab provides a learning environment that supports a variety of lessons and activities. The Smartboard is easily accessible and ready for any lesson. 

Read Across America - Dr. Seuss Day

Mr. Mason

Mr. Cook

On Tuesday, March 2, Francis Wyman students enjoyed a day of reading activities focussed on the books written by Dr Seuss. There were many guest readers from the school, district, and community. Our kindergarteners enjoyed listening to their friend, Mr. Mason, share his love of reading. Mr. Cook, (Mrs. Cook's husband) brought his enthusiasm to the class. Thank you to all the staff and community members who took time out of their busy schedules to read to our students. Also, thank you to Mrs. Donna Murphy for organizing this celebration of  literacy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

School Council Notes - March 2010

What is School Council?

The Francis Wyman School Council is comprised of the principal, two teacher representatives, two parent representatives and one community member. The purpose of School Council is to provide guidance and support to the school principal and to share in shaping the policies and programs of the school. Teacher volunteers and the community member are selected by the principal. Parent volunteers are elected yearly through the PTO. Any parent can run for this position. Furthermore, parents are always welcome to attend school council meetings as observers, even if they are not on the council. Please refer to the links below for more information on School Councils.

Current School Council Members:

Susan Astone, Principal
Carolyn Gennaco, Technology Specialist
Kim Cook, Kindergarten Teacher
Michelle Gillis, Parent
Barbara L’Heureux, Parent
Kathy Brine, Community Volunteer

March 2010 Meeting

March’s School Council meeting was held on March 2, 2010. Principal Susan Astone started off the meeting by alerting the School Council of an important upcoming School Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 9th at 7:30 in the school committee room in the Burlington High School. At this meeting, the School Committee will be reviewing and making decisions regarding the elementary schools budget for the 2010/2011 school year. Due to difficult economic conditions, the schools are required to operate on a very strict budget. However, there are a few critical personnel needs that Francis Wyman needs addressed.

Fifth Grade Teacher

Francis Wyman is requesting that the School Committee authorize the hiring of an additional classroom teacher for fifth grade due to increased enrollment. Currently, there are four 5th grade classrooms. In order to maintain acceptable classroom sizes, we need to add a classroom and hire an additional teacher. If this additional classroom teacher is not approved the fifth grade next year will each have approximately 25 students per classroom.

We are asking all Francis Wyman parents to attend this crucial school committee meeting to demonstrate the support of the parent community for this important addition to the school budget. This is our best opportunity as parents to advocate for reasonable class sizes. The decision could affect classroom sizes in the future as well. Please plan to attend this meeting on Tuesday March 9th at 7:30 pm in the school committee room at Burlington High School.

Other personnel requests

Francis Wyman is also requesting additional math tutoring time and a half-time reading specialist. Currently, Francis Wyman has one full time reading specialist and we would like to increase that by another .5 reading specialists. Reading truly is fundamental and we need these extra services to insure that all our Francis Wyman students are able to achieve reading proficiency. The math tutoring situation is just a critical. We would like to increase our math support to 2 full time tutors.

Technology Needs

In addition to these personnel needs, the School Committee will also discuss technology needs. The long term plan for Francis Wyman’s technology needs includes one “Bobcart” per classroom, one portable laptop classroom set up for every grade level and a Smartboard (or equivalent technology) for every classroom.

What’s a Bobcart?
Good question! Named after the technology specialist who designed and built the first Bobcart at Pine Glen, the Bobcart is a four station computer station on wheels. Currently, Francis Wyman has one Bobcart per grade. The goal is to eventually have one in each classroom.

What can you do? Attend the school committee meeting and make your voice heard!

Writing Club update

The Francis Wyman writing club is launching on Thursday, March 4th and 32 students are currently enrolled. The students, guided by teacher Tina Sosnowski and two other reading specialists, will be working on a school newspaper. Watch for more news from this exciting enrichment group in future updates!

Introducing Math Club!

Susan Astone announced at this school council meeting the formation of a second math club at Francis Wyman. The Math Club will be open to fourth and fifth graders of all abilities and will focus on fractions, decimals and percentages (oh my!). The tentative plan is for the club to meet on Monday and Tuesday afternoons under the direction of Math Coach Carrie Fortunato. There will be a fee of $50 per student for 12 sessions. Watch your child’s backpack for more details!

RTI update

Council members discussed the RTI implementation. It was agreed that the implementation went more smoothly for grades one through three. RTI implementation in grades four and five is more complex as it involves many factors such as integrating subjects, learning styles and motivation.

Susan Astone told the Council that the plan is to hold grade level meetings at the end of the school year to project RTI groupings for next fall, with the understanding that some adjustments will still be needed in September/October, especially in the lower grades.

Francis Wyman is growing - - - plants, that is.

Susan also informed Council members of an initiative headed by the Science Center’s John Papadonis and community volunteer, Peter Coppolla. These two gardening enthusiasts are working to plan and raise funds for a gardening project at Francis Wyman. The details of the project are still being worked out but students will be involved. Stay tuned for more news in future School Council updates!

Picnicking in the playground?

The Council also discussed plans for a social event in the new Francis Wyman playground. The details are not yet worked out, but we envision a fun, relaxing social event for FW families to socialize together in the new playground. We will keep you informed as plans progress.

Get involved!
If you would like to be involved in any of these initiatives, if you have a comment or concern, or if you wish to suggest a topic for a future School Council meeting, please contact parent representative