April 2014

Principal's Video Message

Dear Bulldog Families,


Last month, our Destination Imagination participated in the Regional Tournament at Henry Ford II High School. All of the teams performed very well, from the Rising Stars’ Circuses to the Senior Level’s Adventure Under the Ocean. All of our teams placed in the top ten. The first year middle level Burr/Jeanette team took a very respectable 5th place in the very competitive Scientific Challenge, while the first year elementary level Burr team took a very surprising (to them) 3rd place finish in the Fine Arts Challenge earning them an invitation to the Affiliates Finals up at CMU.

Our seasoned Davis and Burr/DeKeyser teams both jumped up to a new competition level this year, making their work that much more challenging. The Davis team pulled out a 3rd place finish in the Scientific Challenge, while the DeKeyser/Burr team handled the pressure and walked away with a 1st place finish, earning both teams an invitation to the Affiliate Finals Tournament. We are very proud of the efforts of all of our Bulldogs both past and present. A HUGE thanks goes out to the parents and teachers that worked long hours with our Bulldogs. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated.

2013 -2014 MEAP results are in and I am very pleased to announce that the scores at Burr Elementary are higher than the State of Michigan average in every category except one and our scores are higher than the UCS district average in all categories with the exception of two. We tied for second in the district with our fourth grade MEAP math scores and our 5th and 6th grade MEAP math scores were the highest in the district. We also did very well in the areas of reading and writing. The scores by subject and grade level are displayed towards the bottom of the Principal’s Message.

The month’s video clip is about reading for meaning with Mrs. Churray, our Literacy Consultant. Reading for meaning is a research-based strategy that helps all readers build the skills that proficient readers use to make sense of challenging texts. If students were able to read the words correctly and fluently, we assumed that they “got it.” Those days are over; building a deeper understanding of what is read is an important tool for all our Bulldogs. They need to have strong comprehension skills to achieve academic success.


On March 26th, Burr Elementary was recognized by the Macomb County Commissioners as a Macomb County Green School. Burr is now one of 13 schools in Utica Community Schools to earn a Green School status.

The staff and I are grateful that you allow us to educate your children and keep them safe while they are in our care. I feel this responsibility extends to safely seeing your children dropped off in the morning and returned to you in the afternoon.

After receiving concerns from numerous parents about driving etiquette during pick up and drop off, it is necessary to repeat the “rules of the road.”

· It is very difficult to stop a vehicle in a short distance when it is going fast, so please keep your speed to 5 MPH on school grounds.
· When dropping off in the morning, please be a defensive driver and stay off your cell phone. We had a near miss the other day. · Also please don’t try to beat the buses as they are coming into the parking lot to drop off our bulldogs. They have the right of way.
· Only drop off in the designated area. When you drop off in the busing area it becomes problematic as our buses come to Burr at various times. The weather is warming up and 5th and 6th graders can walk to their doors without a problem.
· Please don’t drop off your students too early. The doors open for breakfast at 8:45 a.m. and all other students at 8:50 a.m. Staff is not on duty until 8:50 a.m.
· School starts at 9:00 a.m. When your child arrives late, it disrupts the flow of the classroom. Let’s work together and start the day on time. Thanks for making a difference.
· Handicap parking means handicap parking…not a great spot for a quick drop off.


This month’s, Diet Coke with the Principal meeting will be with fifth grade parents and guardians to discuss a variety of topics, listen to suggestions, comments, and concerns on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. Please RSVP 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 fifth grade parents and guardians.


We are nearing the end of the 2013 – 2014 school year and gearing up for our summer learning with Summer School by invitation only and our new No More Summer Reading Loss folders for all our Bulldogs. Learning never ends even during the fun filled months of summer. More to follow in the May/June principal’s message. Please return to Burrelementary.org for updates throughout the month.

Take Care,

Michael P. Hardy
Principal and Head Learner