January 2015

Principal's Video Message

Dear Bulldog Families,

I want to wish all our Burr families a happy and healthy new year. I hope your holiday was relaxing and filled with cherished memories of family and friends. Believe it or not, the end of the second marking period is quickly approaching. May 2015 bring us all new hope, new wishes, new dreams, and a renewed commitment to our Bulldogs. The Burr staff is looking forward to an invigorating and productive 2nd semester!

We did it. Our Parent/STUDENT/Teacher participation is once again a 100%. This is the fourth year in a row. Thank you for being an amazing learning community. We all want our Bulldogs to be successful and the home/school connection is a very important part of the learning process.

Parents it is important that your child is in school daily and on time. Every minute of the day counts towards providing the best educational experience for your child. Let’s work together to make sure your child is here and on time by 9:00 a.m. If you want your child to have breakfast at the school, they must arrive between 8:50 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

Our fourth National Elementary Honors Society Induction Ceremony was in December. Twenty-two new students have been added to Burr’s NEHS. About 25% of our 3rd – 6th grade students are a part of this program. This is our way of honoring our Bulldogs for academic achievement and exemplary behavior. A special thank you to our NEHS teacher sponsors: Miss Gronzo and Mrs. Henry.

We are very proud of our Lego Robotics Team, Burr Robodogs. They earned 2nd place out of 55 teams for innovative solution at The ThunderQuest Competition held at Henry Ford High School and went to a State Lego Robotics Competition on December 13th where the Robodogs received a first place trophy for Innovative Solution which was one of the categories at the tournament. This is the first “First Place” trophy Burr Elementary has ever received from the State Tournament level. For the project portion of the tournament, they received “Exemplary” status in all 10 of the project categories. Thank you Mr. Kraemer and all the parent volunteers for your gift of time. Great job everyone!

Thank you Burr PTO for all that you do for our Bulldogs. The Santa Shop and Breakfast with Santa in December were well attended and gave us a sense of family. Bingo Night, Daddy Daughter Dance, Mother Son Outing, Field Day are just a few of the activities planned for the rest of the school year. Please make a New Year’s Resolution and volunteer for a PTO event or come to a future PTO meeting. Your kids will love you for your school involvement.

Our Bulldogs, staff and I continue to work on the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. I have heard from families that it is making a difference at school and at home.

Habit 1- Be Proactive – I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is around. You are in charge of you!

Habit 2-Begin with the End on Mind (Have a plan) – I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission statement. I look for ways to be a good citizen.

For the last three years, Burr Scholars have had their own student data folders where they set goals and analyze their academic data. Our students take an active role in their learning. “I can…” statements also help students to understand the day’s lessons in their class.

In January we begin the next habit of the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Habit 3-Put First Things First (Work First, Then Play) – I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized. In other words, “I walk the walk not just talk the talk.”

Parents you can help teach Habit 3 by checking agenda books, making sure homework is done, reading every night for 20 minutes, and staying in contact with your child’s teacher. Parents and guardians are partners in the learning process. The goal is to have all our bulldogs take ownership of their learning.

A message from me would not be complete if I didn’t share some Information on the importance of reading at home. Research shows many students do not spend enough time reading independently at home. After school, half of all students spend only 4 minutes a day reading. These same children spend an average of 130 minutes a day watching television, on the computer, or playing video games. Estimates based on research indicate that if these same students read one hour per day, five days per week, they’d likely learn at least 2,250 words per year, possibly much more, and find reading easier and more enjoyable. Clearly, reading at home is a powerful supplement to student learning.

Winter is upon us and students need to be prepared to go outside for recess in the cold and snowy weather. Generally only temperatures lower than 10 degrees or if the play pad is not safe keep us inside. Please plan for Michigan weather. When I am dismissing at lunch I make sure that all my Bulldog friends have their coats zipped up.

I am grateful to be the instructional leader of a wonderful school community where students, teachers and families “Put First Things First.” Thank you for being partners in your child’s education.

Take Care,

Michael P. Hardy
Principal and Lead Learner