November 2014

Principal's Video Message

Dear Burr Bulldog Families,

As always, October came and went in a blur, and we are leaping right into the holiday season! Our PTO Trunk or Treat was lots of fun thanks to the tremendous effort from our Burr P.T.O. School events like this are a great way to bring the school community together as a family. Look for more families activities in the coming months. Thank you volunteers for your gift of time.


A quality education requires a strong working partnership between home and school. Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning and are welcomed members in the learning process. Together, we create the momentum that drives continual improvement in the school that leads to high expectations for student learning. Parent involvement is one of the key factors in a child's success at school and the success of the school itself. When schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but also in life.


A child who achieves does so with the help of many people: from mother or father, to the classroom teacher, to grandparents, aunts/ uncles, to that “special someone” who encourages and acts as a “coach” in the process. It is important to recognize the worth and merit of everyone involved in the educational process.


By working together, students can often achieve results that would be difficult for them to attain alone. As parents, and/or guardians, there are so many ways you can support your child’s learning:


Make school important: Insist on good attendance and punctuality. Your child learns from you, so be an important role model for them. Be positive about education and show you enjoy learning too.

Make sure you check your child’s daily agenda book and weekly folder: These are important communication tools between home and school. Agenda books are a great organizational tool for students. Check the agenda book daily and utilize it to open up communication about what your child is learning in class.

Create a study routine: Set a time and quiet place for your child to work every day.

Encourage your child to read every day: Build time into your child’s routine to read independently or out loud 20-30 minutes per day. This practice will build fluency and comprehension with vocabulary and site words. Research shows that students who read have stronger vocabularies and ultimately find reading easier and more enjoyable as they grow up.

Encourage high but realistic expectations for student achievement: Maintain a supportive home by showing interest in your child’s progress at school and staying in touch with teachers. Discuss the value of a good education and possible careers that your child may have an interest in pursuing.

Encourage persistence: Students need to believe that they can become smarter through their own efforts. They need to be taught how to set realistic goals and identify steps for achieving them.

Promote healthy habits: Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and exercise and eats balanced meals.


Our Bulldogs are our future leaders. Each child has something truly wonderful to contribute to this world and it is our job to help them grow and learn in order to become effective and productive citizens that share their contributions with the rest of the world.


Parent/STUDENT/ Teacher Conferences are a very important part of being involved as a Burr parent/guardian. These conferences help establish communication between all the stakeholders, parent/guardian, student, and the teacher. At the conference you will discuss your Bulldog’s academic progress, their social development, and behavior. Your child’s academic success at school depends on having an effective partnership between school and home. It is imperative that all our stakeholders are all on the same page.


For the last 4 years, we had 100% participation at our Burr Elementary Fall Parent/STUDENT/teacher conferences. Please make sure that your child attends the conference.


As part of our 2014 -2015 professional development on Tuesday, November 4th, the staff at Burr Elementary will be working on our school improvement research-based strategies like Close and Critical Reading, Guided highlighted Reading, Word Study, Writers Workshop, vocabulary, and personalized learning. We are continuously learning to improve classroom instruction and student achievement.


Each month I will be hosting a grade level parent meeting called “Diet Coke with the Principal” to discuss a variety of topics, listen to suggestions, comments, and concerns from our grade level families. My first meeting was on Tuesday, October 22nd with 6 kindergarten parents and a baby brother in the Media Center room. The meeting lasted about an hour and we toured the kindergarten classrooms. I look forward to the next “Diet Coke with the Principal” meeting with fourth grade parents on Tuesday, November 18th at 9:30 a.m. This is a great home/school connection and I enjoy the small group setting.


In accordance with recent school safety legislation, Public Act 12 of 2014, we practice several safety drills throughout the school year. The legislation mandates that we practice five fire drills, two tornado drill, three lockdown drills, and a fall and spring bus evacuation drills. Coming soon, our drills will be transparent and on our website,


Our exterior doors are also locked at all times. When you arrive at the school, please follow the listed steps below and our office staff will be happy to help you.

Please press the intercom buzzer on the brick column to be connected with the main office
You will be asked to state your name and reason for coming to the school
You may be asked to show your Photo ID into the camera above the far door
The office staff will buzz you into the school
Please immediately go to the office to sign in
In accordance with school district policy, everyone entering the school must report to the office.

If you are volunteering in the building, you are asked to please sign IN and OUT on the clipboard in the office. This will enable us to know who is working in the building and where we can locate you if necessary. All school volunteers must have a Criminal Background Check on file prior to volunteering.

The staff at Burr Elementary is dedicated and passionate about the work that they do for your children. Our staff is united in their commitment to set high expectations for student learning and want our Bulldogs to achieve at their highest level.

As we near our Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful to our Burr Community for your continuous support in making Burr Elementary a Michigan Department of Education REWARD School.

School will be closed on Wednesday, November 26th thru Friday, November 28th for Thanksgiving Break. Classes resume on Monday, December 1st. We would like to wish all of our Burr community a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the time with your family.

Take Care,

Michael P. Hardy
Lead Learner and Principal