Dear Burns Park Families,
While the weather has often been cold and gloomy of late, we haven’t let that stop, or even slow down, our many learning and community-building endeavors.
This past week we started on Sunday with over 90 Penguins practicing for this year’s Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad. Later many families enjoyed our first practice for our upcoming Burns Park Family Sing Along. We’re doing the same again today.
Our student Kindness Committee met on Tuesday. You may remember that our school logo emerged from an all-school project in which Brian Bennett, parent of third-grader Michael and kindergartener Mary, brought his graphic design expertise into our school, teaching our children about logos and inviting them to design their own logos for Burns Park Elementary School. Throughout the process, in our conversations and in our students' logos, what emerged clearly was how important kindness is to our school and our community. Our "School Built on Kindness" apparel is one result.
Two additional initiatives also have gotten underway. One is a graphic design project: Sarah LaTarte, parent of third-grader Ruby and kindergartener Grant, is sharing her graphic design and marketing expertise as she works with some of our BPE students to design poster templates, stationery, and sleeve designs for our BPE t-shirts based on our school logo that all of our staff can access easily.
Another initiative is the Kindness Committee. Jessica Hane, one of our third-grade teachers, is co-sponsoring with Alisse Portnoy, parent of third-grader Jessica, a committee comprised of 20 third, fourth, and fifth graders who are dedicating time, energy, and creativity weekly as they consider what kindness looks and feels like at Burns Park.
The Kindness Committee has planned two poster campaigns and class visits to expand the conversation throughout our community. The poster campaigns will be a collaborative effort with the graphic design team.
We're excited at the ways each of these initiatives has student thinking and leadership at their core. Each project is aligned with our literacy curriculum, including ways we teach about responsible use of digital tools. In each case, too, social and emotional learning is integrated with academic learning. We look forward to your visits us in coming days when you can see, and join us in, as students create artifacts that lead and reflect our school culture!
Penguins, and especially first graders, were thrilled to resume Walk and Talk on Wednesday. W and T is cancelled for tomorrow due to the weather but we're off to a great start this spring and the program needs more helpers! Try it out - you'll love it! Enjoy the fresh air while recording Burns Park students' laps during lunchtime recess. Visit http://www.signupgenius.com/
Last Thursday our Girls on the Run were learning and running. Later, many of us enjoyed a great meal at the Spanish Potluck dinner, organized by the Burns Park World Language Initiative. Thank you for those who arranged this special event as well as all who participated in this community building evening.
Finally, on Friday, we enjoyed the PTO sponsored assembly showcasing Arab Music and Dance from around the world. Mr. Nagi taught us all about many different instruments and some Arabic vocabulary. Students were fascinated as they heard new sounds and moved to Mr. Nagi’s engaging rhythms. You can see pictures and video of this event on our Burns Park Facebook page.
Next week we have many exciting events as well. Weather permitting we will be enjoying Weed and Seed on Thursday. We're off to a great start this spring. Please check the volunteer sign-up hub to join in.
Burns Park Dad, TC Collins (Joe and Jaceel) will be leading a potato planting party at our district’s preschool and Ms. Crankshaw’s class will join them. Please see the attached flyer Potato flyer 2018 Westerman Final Color Copy Westerman.pdf if you, and perhaps your preschooler, would like to join in as well.
Also on Thursday, our 4th graders will be participating in our annual Disability Awareness Workshop. The Disability Awareness Workshop is a half-day program that gives 4th graders an empathetic understanding of physical, developmental, and learning disabilities. The hands-on-activity based program is designed to help students understand how difficult and complex daily living can be for individuals with diverse abilities. The workshop helps build a culture of understanding that is invaluable, with the goal to learn, through experience, that all individuals deserve respect no matter how we may look, act, walk, or talk.
This event, as all of our enriched experiences, depends on parent and family support. If you can help with the evening set up on April 18, or the DAW event on April 19th, please sign up here:
Finally, on Thursday, please join us for our PTO meeting in the Media Center, which is scheduled for 7:00. Childcare is always provided and we would love for you to join us.
We are starting to plan for next year. If you know you will not be returning to Burns Park, or to Ann Arbor Public Schools, please use the link below to complete this brief survey. Likewise, if you know of neighbors or friends who are enrolling or plan to enroll, please have them contact the office for information about the enrollment process.
Another part of our planning includes the results we will see from our annual, district climate surveys. This year’s surveys were launched on April 3rd — one for parents, one for employees, one for students in grades 3-5 and one for students in grades 6-12. Last year, more than 10,000 surveys were submitted, and we hope to receive even more participation this year. The survey window will close on Tuesday, April 17.
The survey can be taken in Arabic, Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish. For those without Internet access, paper surveys are available in office.
Please make sure you give us feedback on the Ann Arbor Public Schools and Burns Park Elementary School in particular. You can find a link on our school district’s website where you’ll also see Ms. Kate Higgins and some of our BP Penguin artists!
As always, we are grateful to partner with you for our children as we work to build a vibrant, safe, and intellectually engaging community. Thank you for all you do. Come see us when you can and have a wonderful week!
Chuck Hatt and Laura Wolf
Burns Park Lunch Schedule (2017-2018)
Apply Online for 2018-19
Enroll in Person for 2017-18
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