March 2015

Principal's Video Message

Dear Bulldog Families,

Spring is just around the corner and the month of March brings a lot of learning opportunities for our Burr Bulldogs. Our kids are gearing up for Michigan's new Assessment System, the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP). This new system was developed by the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Standards and Assessment and builds upon Michigan’s historically strong student assessment program.

The M-STEP will include our summative assessments designed to measure student growth effectively for today’s students. English language arts and mathematics will be assessed in grades 3–8, science in grades 4 and 7, and social studies in grades 5 and 8.

Our teachers are working hard to ensure they are ready for the spring assessments. We are excited about the progress our students are making in the classrooms and are certain that we will achieve all of our goals during testing.

Our students will be competing in the Math Olympiad competition at Utica High School on Thursday, March 26th. The Title One will be hosting a Math Night on Tuesday, March 31st in the Media Center.

Burr’s Kindergarten Open House is on Wednesday, March 18, at 7:00 p.m. Parents of children who will be starting Kindergarten in Utica Community Schools in fall 2015 can begin the registration process at our Open House.

At the open house, parents will have the opportunity to learn about our nationally-recognized Kindergarten program, meet the teachers and building staff and submit school registration forms.

Children are eligible for kindergarten if they turn five years old on or before September 1, 2015. However, children who turn five between September 1 and December 1, 2015 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten if their parents submit a waiver form.

More kindergarten open house information and forms are available on the UCS Web site:


Utica Community Schools is joining schools across the country to celebrate Digital Learning Day on March 13.

All UCS schools have signed on to help promote the power of digital learning by creating awareness of how technology is enhancing their classrooms. In addition, all UCS schools will be continuing to promote technology through classroom activities.

I am impressed with the leadership of our Burr PTO. During the month of March, they have put together some activities to support our school initiative of reading at home. The Burr PTO is supporting March is Reading Month in a fun and colorful way…

Every time a student, independently, selects and reads a full book they can add a circle to the Burr Bookworm. Any reading done at home or school, such as indoor recess, counts. The Bookworm project will end on March 31st. The PTO will be supplying the construction paper circles for each classroom. Let’s help the Bookworm crawl around the school….

Students should select books that are near or beyond their reading level. Please write your name, teacher’s name or room number, book title, and reading minutes on the bookworm circle. The circles are 4 inches, but if you can squeeze in the book author that would be great. Remember to fill out your circle at home, not during class time, unless allowed by your teacher. Of course, keep tracking all reading on your regular monthly reading logs!

The PTO will count all circles collected in the classrooms. The upper and lower el class with the most books read will receive a class prize. The two winning classrooms can chose their prize. Our favorite idea is a classroom reading area makeover that all students can enjoy. Students, may also enjoy a party with treats as well!

Two students will also be randomly selected to win a $20.00 Barnes and Noble gift certificate, and two more students will receive a $10.00 gift certificate. All prizes will be given evenly to upper and lower el students.

If the bookworm makes it all the way around the building, I will do something “Wild and Crazy” to celebrate our Bulldogs love of reading. I will be looking for suggestions from our reading scholars.

This month’s, Diet Coke with the Principal meeting will be with third grade parents and guardians to discuss a variety of topics, listen to suggestions, comments, and concerns on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. Please RSVP at 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 third grade parents and guardians.

Regular attendance and active participation in class are integral parts of a student’s total education. Students can achieve optimal educational benefits only through regular class attendance and a serious commitment to an educational program. Expecting good attendance fosters a habit that will be beneficial to students throughout life, since school attendance patterns are often repeated in the work place. Attendance is monitored closely to ensure district and state policies are followed.

Please be patient with driving to and from school and parking. In the beginning of the day and at the end of the day we are moving approximately 541 students to and from school. In order to do that safely, everyone needs to follow the rules.

· No illegal parking – if there aren’t two yellow lines for you to park between it is not a parking space.
· When you are dropping off in the a.m. move all the way down to the crosswalk before dropping off. I need to get cars off of Ryan Rd.
· Use the crosswalk – If you are walking up to the school with your child or walking them to your car, please, please, please use the crosswalk. This is the safest way to make your way through the morning and afternoon traffic.
· The Sterling Heights Police Department made a suggestion that if you are in the back lot go to the gate by the busses and cross there.
· Overflow Parking - Thank you to Freedom Christian Church and Pastor Larry for allowing us to use their parking for our school overflow. Burr parents need to take advantage of the extra parking at the church.
· Lastly, there is no smoking on school grounds. Please set a good example for our Bulldogs.

We work very hard to get traffic in and out of Burr in a timely manner and with your cooperation, we will continue to keep our Burr Bulldogs safe

At Burr Elementary, we believe that as a school community, we share a common interest with our parents- the personal and academic success of all of our students. A quality education is a responsibility shared by the home, school, and each individual student. We are dedicated to doing “whatever it takes” in order that all students feel successful.

Thank you for allowing our staff an opportunity to serve your family by providing high quality education.

Take Care,

Michael P. Hardy
Principal and Lead Learner