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A Note from Principal Cadotte
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:55 AM

Dear Families,
As the 2011-2012 school year comes to a close, I write this, amazed that time has passed so quickly. The time between the Book Fair and Field Day just flew by.
 
I want to thank the parents for their overwhelming help and support. We have had amazing events: Book Fairs, World Cultures Day, the Read-a-thon, tutoring, PTA, Site Council, Artists in Residence, Penny Pals, and the Burroughs Fund. Our choirs, band, orchestra, art shows, classroom performances, and Physical Education outings have been spectacular events. Our students took great leadership opportunities with the Yearbook and School Patrol. There is no way I can recall all of the special occasions at Burroughs. I apologize for any event I have overlooked.
 
It is with much sadness that we all say good-bye to Michele Hartnett, literacy coach; Karen Helgesen, technology teacher; and Sarah Ketelsen, third-grade teacher. Congratulations to Mary Beth Wyne, our ASD social worker, who has accepted a position at the new Ramsey Middle School. Our amazing Reading Corps duo, Ian Jackson and Kent Ortner, have helped many of our students become better readers. We are very grateful to all of these educators for their dedication to Burroughs families and wish them well.
 
All School Picnic…It was an amazing turnout. Thanks to Beckie Bierman, her crew, and the PTA for the great planning and coordinating of all contributions to the picnic tables. Twenty-six bags of food were donated to the food shelf. I have to tell you, there are few things as touching as to stand by the courtyard and look out onto a sea of families on blankets and children running, playing, and laughing.
 
Band & Orchestra Concert…The third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students were treated to the Band and Orchestra Concert this spring. Parents were here in droves for the evening performance. I am so impressed with what our students learn in a year or two. We are fortunate to have this amazing collaboration with Mount Olivet School of Music. Please watch for a link at the Burroughs website with upcoming information for Summer Band and Orchestra programs.
 
Burroughs Composting Comes Full-Circle…Thanks, in part, to our Green Team and the lunchroom composting program, we were seeing brown this spring in the form of 15 cubic yards of compost. Students were involved in dispersing the compost in the school courtyard and grounds in May. Volunteers filled buckets with compost and directed the students to flower and plant beds. This brought full-circle the real reason we compost in the lunchroom. This was an exciting event for our students who often wonder “Where does the stuff go that we put in the green barrel?”
 
Second Step…Second Step is a researched-based, developmentally appropriate, and comprehensive social-skills curriculum for Pre-K to Eighth Grade. It is the highest-rated social-skills curriculum, receiving the five-star rating from the U.S. Department of Education. It has been implemented in schools around the world for more than twenty years. The lessons are taught once per week to all students in each class by the classroom teachers. The new Ramsey Middle School will also be implementing Second Step along with many other Minneapolis Schools. This will be a great approach to having common language and social expectations for our K-8 students. Our goal is to create a kinder, gentler, and more respectful community.
 
What is Playworks? Everyone agrees that kids need time to play and expend energy during the school day. However, recess can sometimes be the flash point for disagreements, meanness, and occasional bullying. Recess can be a great opportunity to not only get kids active, but also teach a number of valuable social skills such as cooperation, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
 
Our goal is to enhance the Physical Education program here at Burroughs and provide students time to engage in team activities. Playworks is a series of activity stations through which students can rotate. It is simply a way for us to share effective practices that enhance learning by providing inclusive opportunities for physical activity and play. Students will, of course, still have the opportunity for free time on the playground equipment or to walk around and chat with friends. No one will be forced to take part. It is my belief that students will be intrigued by the activities and will want to participate. I also believe this will answer the call from many students who say, “Mr. Cadotte, there isn’t much to do at recess.”
 
Summer Activities…Please check out this collection of activities put together by several organizations:
 
Parents, Grandparents, and Friends…Thank you for the tremendous support you give to Burroughs every day both financially and with the incredible number of hours you volunteer in our school. We simply could not do this if it weren’t for all of you.
 
Staff…I am so grateful for the hard work you do each and every day. As the year winds down, I am in awe of the learning you provide for our students. I have witnessed many great performances and research projects. The outside activities and field trips are full of educational experiences and fun. Thank you for your hard work.
 
Welcome Back Letters with room assignments will be mailed around August 15. Please mark your calendars for our Meet the Teacher Open House on August 23 from 4 to 5 pm.