June 2014

Principal's Video Message

Dear Bulldog Families,


I recently finished a book called "No More Summer Reading Loss" by Carrie Cahill, Kathy Horvath, Anne McGill-Franzen, and Richard Allington. It has some great ideas on how to prevent reading fall off during the summer.

Everyone loves summer -except reading teachers. Kids take a vacation from books and those with limited access to books lose ground to their peers. You may have thought there’s nothing parents/guardians can do about it, but there is. No More Summer-Reading Loss shows how to ensure that readers continue to grow year round.


School-based practitioners Carrie Cahill and Kathy Horvath join with renowned researchers Anne McGill-Franzen and Dick Allington to help parents and educators make summer readers out of every student. You’ll stop summer-reading loss. The objectives from the book are:

-to identify practices that inadvertently contribute to summer reading loss
-to understand the research, its implications and learn how to prevent summer reading loss
-to teach you how to take research-based action with 8 proven instructional strategies
-to build independence, by keeping kids on grade-level while closing the achievement gap.

These are just a few of the valuable outcomes that “No More Summer Reading Loss” can support. Most importantly, it will help pass on a love of reading that knows no season and gives readers confidence when they return in the fall.


We believe as educators who care about your children know that reading is an important key to our Bulldogs academic success. Below are new initiatives that have been developed after reading “No More Summer Reading Loss” that will make our students better readers and learning how to prevent the summer slide.

Reading during the summer is ESSENTIAL! Significant losses in reading occur over the summer, if children don’t read. In 2009, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, described summer learning loss as “devastating.” Researchers have referred to this as the “summer slide.” Don’t let your child suffer from the “summer slide” this year!

Our students in grade 2nd – 5th grade will receive a Summer Reading Data/Folder with their current reading level, their goals, and action plan for the summer reading. We want our Bulldogs to maintain and preferably increase their reading over the summer. No more “summer slide.”

This student reading data/log folder includes a daily reading log for the months of June, July, and August; suggested booklist and reading websites. Parents you can help your child build comprehension and fluency by listening to their reading and asking a lot of questions. Please make sure that the folder is completed and returned to your child’s 2014 -2015 teacher.

Burr Elementary continues to support summer learning with our Second Annual “By Invitation Only” Summer School Program that runs from June 30th – July 31st from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Attendance by the participants is a very important key to their success.

Online Summer Learning will once again be linked to Burr Elementary. The math section has been changed from Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCES) to Common Core State Standard Math. This may be challenging and a little frustrating for parents but the goal of Common Core State Standards is to have students build a deeper understanding of math concepts.

Below are some additional suggestions to help with summer math from Mrs. Harma-Dennis, our math consultant.

Summer learning participants that do their Bulldog Best and turn in their reading folder and summer learning packets will receive special recognition and an invitation to the ice cream social in the fall.

Click her for our Summer Learning Blog. Students can share their summer reading experiences, have a book discussion, and learn from each other’s summer successes. Bulldogs can also email me to share what activities they are doing, as well as any other learning experiences. I promise to write back and tell you about my summer learning experiences.

I would like to thank our Burr PTO and the new officers for a great year. They are organizing our Field Day with our gym teacher Mr. Wilseck. May brings two new events – Daddy Daughter Dance and a Mother/Son Outing The Burr PTO also supports our students by helping with the cost of field trips and covering the cost of off-site learning experiences for families and Bulldogs in need. Their efforts and support are very much appreciated and contribute to our school success.

Our Sixth Graders, the “Class of 2020,” have worked very hard this year and have many achievements that make the Burr community proud. I give you my heartiest salute, and wish you all continued success as you head off to the next big chapter in your lives – Junior High School! Know that we care and will continue to care even after you have moved on to Davis and Jeannette. Mrs. Sandison, Mr. Lawson, Ms. Gronzo, and I will come to visit you at the junior high after your first five weeks of school to see how everyone is doing.

May is the last Diet Coke with the Principal meeting and it will be with our sixth grade parents and guardians to discuss a variety of topics, listen to suggestions, comments, and concerns on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. Please RSVP at michael.hardy@uticak12.org if you plan to attend the Diet Coke with the Principal meeting. Remember, you are partners in the learning process. I look forward to sharing time with our sixth grade parents and guardians. A special thank you to the 70+ parents that attended the Diet Coke with the Principal meetings. My hope is that you found it worthwhile. It was very important to me to meet with and have discussion with parents and guardians in a small group setting. Your insight was very much appreciated.


I am convinced that I have the best job in the world. Burr Elementary is like my second home. I get to work with great students, an awesome staff, and supportive parents. Thank you for continuing to support the learning process at Burr Elementary. I look forward to starting my fifth year in the fall.


Wishing you a relaxing summer filled with family, fun, and reading! Remember, what you do with your child over the summer will matter.

Take Care,

Michael P. Hardy
Principal and Head Learner