Communication Between Staff and Parents/Guardians
Communication between school staff and parents is of vital importance to children's education. If a parent or guardian wishes to speak with a teacher, he/she should send a note to the teacher, call the school (between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.) to leave a message or via email. Our email directory enabling easier communication between staff, students and parents. Teachers will return messages as soon as they are able.
Friday School Newsletter and Other Notices
The Friday Burbank Newsletter includes weekly notices from the school office, school department and information about events sponsored by PTA or community organizations. As a way of saving paper and reducing copying costs, newsletters are sent home"one per family" via the youngest child in the family. Teachers also send their own newsletters and notices. It is ESSENTIAL that parents/guardians check backpacks and school bags for newsletters and notices. If a form or notice requires a response, please do so immediately. In instances where students' time is split between two different households, it is useful for the adults to work out a system for sharing information that comes home with a child so that they can both be kept informed.
If a parent/guardian has a concern or question, she/he is encouraged to contact the teacher. Together, every effort will be made to clarify or resolve the issue. If the problem is not resolved and still is of concern, the parent or teacher may bring the issue to the attention of the principal.
Written pupil evaluation reports are distributed by classroom teachers three times yearly for students in grade 1-4 and twice yearly for those in kindergarten. There is one form used for kindergartners, another one for first graders, and a third one for students in grades 2-4. Report cards for students are given to parents/guardians at the fall (November/December) and spring (March/April) conferences. A final report is sent home with all students on the last day of school in June. In spring and on the last day, there is also a report from special subjects teachers (music, art, physical education) on progress in these areas.
All elementary schools in Belmont have a series of early release afternoons (11:40a.m.) in the fall and in the spring for conferences related to Student Progress Reports.
In an effort to save time for both parents and staff, the Belmont Public Schools has implemented online parent/teacher conference registration.
With the online registration service, parents can:
- Register for conferences 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the registration period.
- In two simple steps schedule a conference by choosing an available conference time slot.
- View, print, and e-mail their conference schedule.
- Return at any time to reschedule a conference.
- Access their schedules with listings of all registered parents and parents’ contact information.
Conference dates and registration will be announced by each school and posted on the district web calendar.
Parent Conferences Registration
Parents/guardians interested in visiting or helping in their child's class should make arrangements with the teacher, by sending a note, email or calling the office to leave a message.
Prospective Burbank parents are welcome to visit the school and meet with the principal. However, classrooms are not visited, since our priority is not to disrupt classroom learning.
Avoiding Classroom Disruptions
We are making every effort not to interrupt instructional time. Therefore, parents or other visitors are asked to make appointments to see teachers. You are also asked to leave any items for delivery to children in the office. The principal or staff member will deliver lunches, instruments or other items to classrooms.
Access to School Facilities
While individual classrooms are part of the public school, it is requested, as a general courtesy, that neither parents/guardians nor students go into a room in which a teacher is not present without specific permission to do so. If a teacher is not in the room, check at the office for advice on leaving or retrieving messages or items.
The library is open to parents and has a parent shelf with books and publications that parents/guardians may sign out to borrow. Students and parents are not to use the library materials or borrow items if a library staff member or volunteer is not present.
Some parts of the school building may be used (either at no charge or for a fee, depending on the organization and circumstances) for PTA or other organizations for after school and evening activities, depending upon space availability, custodial coverage, and with completion of a building use request form. The person in charge is responsible for supervision of students in any activity and for maintaining the space that is used, leaving it thoroughly cleaned and ready for use the next day for instructional purposes. Those using space after school should keep in mind that there may be staff members still at work in the school. There is a sheet in the office with information for those in charge of activities in the school building. Please speak to school secretary.
Use of Office Phone
Emergency calls will be allowed to be made from the office and those will be made for children by staff members. Please be sure that your child carries a quarter for the public phone for any calls he/she might need to make. The public phone was installed for the use of the students. Plans should be made the night before for a child visiting another child. Forgotten lunches, homework, musical instruments etc. are not emergency phone calls.
Individual student photographs and class photos are taken in school each fall. Parents/guardians have the option of buying the photos of their child or child's class, or returning them to the school, once viewed. Advance notice of photo dates is sent home with students.
There is no dress "code" for students, although it is assumed that they will wear clothing appropriate to a school setting. On gym days, sneakers (without black soles that can leave marks) should be worn. It is important for children to have adequate outdoor clothing to protect them at recess in cold weather. Putting names on any clothing that might be removed during the school day is highly recommended so that items can be returned to the owner. Hats may not be worn in the building. Students should not bring valuable items to school, and they are not to trade or sell items to other students.
Lost and Found
The lost and found boxes are located in the downstairs foyer across from the gym.For most items, boxes are located under the benches, and the large box holds larger items All items are placed in labeled boxes except items such as watches and bracelets which are usually sent to the office. Items marked with students’ names can be returned. Items not claimed are given to children's shelters. Advance notices in the newsletter give times during the year when items will be donated.
Burbank School Store
The store was established by the principal and Student Council. The store is located in the cafeteria and is open one morning a week from 8:25 a.m. - 8:35 a.m. Items for purchase include Burbank pencils, a variety of pencils and pens, erasers, stickers, etc. Prices for School Store items range from 5¢ to $2.
There is also a parent volunteer Store Manager who helps Student Council members work at the store selling, accepting payments, making change and keeping inventory records of sales.
Gifts to School Personnel or to the School
Belmont School Committee policy states that: "Students and their parents will be discouraged from the routine presentation of gifts to district employees on occasions such as Christmas. Where a student feels a spontaneous desire to present a gift to a staff member, the gift will not be elaborate or unduly expensive. The school committee shall consider as always welcome, and in most circumstances more appropriate, the writing of letters to staff members expressing gratitude or appreciation."
On occasions during the school year, some students or parents/guardians may choose to show their appreciation to a staff member by presenting a note or letter, a modest personal gift, or a gift for the classroom. It is understood that gifts to staff members will not be elaborate or unduly expensive. In the event of a class-wide collection, parents/guardians should feel that participation is voluntary and that they have a choice about what amount, if any, they wish to contribute. A donation to the Foundation for Belmont Education or to the school library on behalf of a teacher or other staff member are wonderful ways to show appreciation.
Donations of materials to the school should first be discussed with the principal. Donations of money may be made to the Burbank PTA with specific requests for use (i.e. library, office…).
Birthday Invitations and Celebrations
If a child wishes to distribute birthday invitations to classmates in school, he/she must have an invitation for every child in the classroom. Otherwise, invitations need to be mailed or distributed outside of school.
To celebrate birthdays in class, parents/guardians should not send in cupcakes or other food (to prevent allergic reactions). They are welcome to give a gift for the classroom. The principal presents each child with an individualized Burbank School birthday bookmark on each child's birthday during the school year. She distributes summer birthday bookmarks the last week of school. Consider the Birthday Gift Book Donation Program to the Burbank library.