Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekly Bulletin

April27, 2012

April 16 – 20 – No School, Spring Vacation
April 21 – Town ofBurlington Hazardous Waste Collection
May 2 – UsedBookstore
K-3 8:40-9:10
4-5 2:00-2:25
May 6 – BEF 5K RoadRace and Family Fun Run

Looking for the latest LUNCHMENU?  You can find it under the“community tab” on our website:

Burlington EdFoundation News

MASSAGES and MILKSHAKES andMUSIC, oh my! Lots of great vendors, activities and fun are to be had at BEF'sRoad Race on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Come at 8AM to register and enjoy a pre-racemassage from Ikier Wellness Center. Listen to the music of Boston's own Mix104.1, or grab an end-of-race milkshake from "Harvey", b.good'straveling ice cream truck. See to register and for moreinfo.

COMMUNITY YARD SALE  sponsored by Fox Hill PTO

Do you have household itemsthat you never use and would like to sell, children's clothes and toys thathave been outgrown?  If so, we have an opportunity for you: The CommunityYard Sale at the Fox Hill School on Saturday, May 5th (Rain dateSunday May 6th) from 9am - 2pm.   Reserve your12X12 foot space for $20 by Wednesday, May 2nd.   Don’tneed a whole space of your own but have some items you’d like to partwith?  Donate your sellable goods to the Fox Hill PTO table.  Forinfo contact Lauren @ 781-750-8036 or

BHS Post Graduation(all-night) Party

PLEASE HELP:Will you be a chaperone at the BHS Post Graduation (all-night) Party?  Westill need chaperones (both men and women) for the overnight shifts on MondayJune 11.  We have a few spots open for 2nd shift which is 12 am - 3 am andwe have a lot of spots open for 3rd shift which is 3am -5am.   You don'tneed to have a child in the high school, any adult that does not have a seniorat the party is welcome.  This is a great way to "pay itforward."  Help us this year and when your child graduates, theparents of underclassmen will be there for you!  To volunteer, or if youhave any questions, please contact Michele Shields at Michele_Shields@verizon.netor 781-270-5142.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

LEGO Robotics Club Starting April 30

With the support of the Burlington Education Foundation, last year FWS started a Lego Robotics Club for grade 5 students.This turned out to be a wonderful experience for over 30 fifth grade students. High school students from the Lego Robotics Team work together wtht the Lego Robotics teachers to provide students with this creative experience that incorporates math, science, technology and teamwork.The Lego Robotics Club meets on Mondays from 2:45- 3:45 at FWS starting April 30. Interested students need to register by Friday, April 27.

Here are some comments from the teachers and high school students who particapted last year:

I had a wonderful time teaching the kids about robots and problem solving, because I feel that they really got something from this program and they all seemed really into it. I had a great experience working with the kids, and was glad to pass on my knowledge to the kids and help them further any interests that they had in robotics. The kids looked up to me and it made me feel good to know that I was able to be a role model for the kids. I feel that I have motivated the kids to continue on with this pass time and turn it into a career someday. I hope that down the line they will join in the high school robotics club and bring many great and new ideas to engineering.

Matt Coleman

After meeting with the fifth graders for Lego league, I feel that there is a bright future in robotics in Burlington. The students we mentored were much like the younger scouts in my boy scout troop, they came in everyday ready to continue their projects and enjoying what they do. It was a pleasure to mentor these students, and in the end I learned the programming aspect of the Lego Mindstorm kits.

Billy Ryan

Mostly I think that mentoring the FLL at Francis Wyman was my most wise and enjoyable investment of time throughout High School. I got to know more about another branch of the FIRST program I have been in for three years and got to be part of a great reciprocation, yes, I was just as much the learner as the learned. As an experience, I like to call it the coup de grace of my early robotics and technology career, I was able to take all of the strategies and ideas I had learned and impart it with my love of the field while learning that any size allows for a great perspective and the more perspectives the better. I wish I had this when I was in elementary school and I hope that I've helped sow the seeds for a field of dreams, a Burlington that rivals Boston in technology and learning.

Gerry Pothier III

At the start of this program my vision was to see how science with engineering and technology could impact students at such a young age.  I was increasingly and pleasantly surprised as to how these 5th grade students dove into their kits and powered through each week to get an end result that when I was that age could never have imagined.  To watch how the students were able to work together as a team even when separated into different groups periodically says a lot for these future engineers.  This has been a rewarding experience for me as a parent to watch the students and their mentors who many I have known for years  perform as young adults  and excel in a learning environment. 

Roberta Pothier  

Miss Rigby and Miss Chirco

We really enjoyed learning about Lego Robotics with the fifth graders. It was a new experience for us, as well as most of the students. We found the high school students to be great resources for not only the students, but to us as well. Everyone worked extremely well together and teamwork was a huge aspect of what not only the students, but we learned from this experience as well. We found that the students were problem solving teams,constantly revising their work. They also were able to reflect upon their experiences after each meeting. All of the students enjoyed building and programming their robot, and we enjoyed watching them explore and learn about Lego Robotics. It was a great experience for everyone involved.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

FWS Annual Report

Francis Wyman Elementary School

Francis Wyman Elementary School continues to place a major focus on developing the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) instruction also known as Response to Intervention (RtI) . Teachers are continuing to explore innovative ways to maximize instructional groupings to support instruction for all students. We continue to group across the grade for reading in grades one through five and have expanded this model for mathematics in grades four and five. This fall we have changed to a new universal screening tool for both reading and mathematics called I- Ready. We are learning how to implement this new on-line assessment as well as how to interpret and use the data generated from the tool. Student progress continues to be closely monitored with a variety of progress monitoring assessment tools as teachers work together to respond to student needs. Teachers meet weekly with the principal to review student progress and determine adjustments to students’ programs to maximize their learning. The grade level teams work closely and collaboratively with the mindset that all teachers are responsible for the progress of all the students in the grade. This team approach provides students with the benefit of the wisdom and experience of our highly functioning teams and very talented teachers. Our Problem Solving Team process continues to deepen and develop as we work together with parents to individualize students’ programs as needs arise. We have added a number of new intervention options for students such as Lexia for reading and Symphony Math. In addition to interventions all students have access to our I-Ready instruction program for both reading and mathematics. As a result of a successful pilot, we have continued to offer the on-line Accelerated Reader program which supports all students as they develop as life-long readers. We are in our final stages of our implementation of the Fundations phonics program as grade three began this program in the fall. Francis Wyman School was delighted to host visits from several teams of teachers from various Massachusetts school districts as these schools explore how to implement a Multi-Tier System of Support instruction. We were also honored to be featured in the article “The Test Ahead” in the Boston Sunday Globe’s Globe Magazine. Francis Wyman School was highlighted as a success story for how we are finding ways to effectively provide support to all students.

In addition to academics, supporting students in the area of behavior is also part of the MTSS model. As we work to deepen our responsiveness to student needs, the guidance department was restructured from two guidance counselors to one guidance counselor and a school- based school psychologist. Both positions work together with all grades. The school psychologist manages the Problem Solving Team process and works closely with parents, teachers and students to proactively address challenges and concerns. By being an integral part the school, the school psychologist is able to gain a deeper understanding of student needs and is thus able to provide support that is direct and proactive. In collaboration with our guidance department, the FWS Instructional Leadership Team is developing a Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) program with the intent of implementing the program next year.

A new elementary student progress report was developed reflecting a standards -based format. A standards- based format indicates the standards that students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The reports were well received by most parents as they provide more detailed information regarding the curriculum. The new progress indicators report progress as measured against the end –of –year expectations.

This year has truly been the year of technology! Every classroom, including those rooms used by specialist teachers, special education teachers and reading teachers, now has an interactive whiteboard. Teachers are constantly finding effective ways to use this technology to enhance teaching and learning. We now have over sixty iPads for student and teacher use. All teachers in grades kindergarten through five along with special education teachers have at least one iPad for use in their classrooms. The rest of the iPads are shared among the classes as needed. In the hands of the students and teachers, these devices have propelled student engagement and interactive learning to new heights. We continue to add more portable computer stations comprised of four computer stations. These stations allow students to access the many computer programs that are now essential components of the curriculum. We have expanded our use of the student information management system, Aspen. This program supports the new student progress reports and allows us to tailor the information to our specific needs. The online access of the report card allows multiple users to access the information at any time. The FWS Technology and Innovation Team is comprised of several teachers who are committed to supporting the school with our technology initiatives and moving our use of technology in a meaningful and creative direction.

Communication has been enhanced through a variety of electronic forums as the school continues to move to a paperless environment. All of the Burlington School District and school websites have been changed and have a new design that provides information in a more consistent format. Parents can now follow Francis Wyman School on Facebook, Twitter, and the Principal’s Blog. Many departments and individual teachers have developed new blogs, wikis and websites. Principal Coffees occur every month alternating day and evening meetings. We continue to offer a variety of afterschool enrichment opportunities. Thanks to the support of the Burlington Education Foundation, the addition of the LEGO Robotics Club proved to be a huge success as over one third of our grade five students participated in this club. This joint venture with the high school LEGO Robotics Team was a wonderful learning experience for the FWS students, high school students, and teachers. We are pleased that this club will be an ongoing offering at FWS. A new club this year is the Reading Club for grades one through three. Family Math Night was well attended by students and families from all grades.

Several new curriculum teams have been developed to facilitate communication, distributed leadership, and shared decision-making in regard to curriculum and instruction. We now have district – wide curriculum councils in Literacy, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. More teachers have participated in “Learning Walks” through either formal training or by simply experiencing the process through classroom visits. This process provides embedded professional development as teachers learn from visiting their colleagues’ classrooms and observing students in the act of learning.

The PTO continues to be an active and supportive organization. Books, materials, field trips and enrichment activities are some of the benefits that the PTO provides through its volunteers and fundraising. The Carnival is the highlight event of the year thanks to the enormous effort of the PTO. Although fundraising events vary from year to year, the PTO remains a constant and steady support to FWS.

Respectfully Submitted,
Susan P. Astone

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Bulletin April 13, 2012

Today's bulletin has been posted. Have a terrific vacation, and we'll see you back at school on April 23, 2012.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Weekly Bulletin April 5, 2012

Have a very happy long weekend. Today's bulletin has been posted.