Monday, January 31, 2011

Tuesday February 1, 2011

Due to the snow storm, the Burlington Integrated Preschool will close at 11:30, on Tuesday February 1, 2011.

There will be no afternoon session on 2/1/2011

All full day students will be dismissed at 11:30. If your child is transported to and from school they will go home on the buses at 11:30.

Dr. Conti will inform families on Tuesday night if school will be closed on Wednesday as well.

Any questions or concerns please call the office at 781-273-7632 or email me at d'

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Alphabet Books and Tips on Teaching Your Child Their ABCs

I found this fun blog post on the following blog: I thought it had some fun ideas worth sharing.

I love watching children develop around me. It’s very interesting to see how each one is unique in their development and to observe what comes easily or challenges a child. My children didn’t struggle with learning their alphabet. In fact, my son amazed me when at around 15 months he pointed to our security company’s sign in the front yard and started naming letters. ”R” “C” “N!” I’m obviously big on reading, so it’s very possible that when I was discussing letters and sounds with my girl (2 years older), he was listening and learning without me realizing it. And you can’t discount the power of Sesame Street!

We also had alphabet books lying around, so that was probably a contributing factor. I know that many children struggle with learning to recognize letters. Here are a few tips :
Make it fun – Can you make a game out of finding letters? Maybe on license plates, in magazines, in books as you read them…. letters are everywhere so the possibilities are endless.
Make flash cards – You don’t have to use them in a drill fashion. Just put a letter on each card and draw or paste fun things that begin with that letter.
Let them trace the letters – If they are very young, have them trace it with their fingers. Making sand cards are great for this. Using colored sand, place glue in the shape of the letter and then sprinkle it with sand. Your child will feel the texture as they trace it with their fingers. If your child is coordinated enough, let them trace them with a crayon or marker. There are dry erase boards that are printed with the alphabet that you might find useful.
Eat the letters – Get alphabet cookie cutters and make cookies or Jello Jigglers in the shape of letters.

Fun Books with an Alphabet Focus
Alligator Alphabet by Stella Blackstone – Can you think of an animal for every letter of the alphabet? In this delightful ABC book, young children will learn the upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet as they meet a parade of exotic and familiar creatures – from alligators to zebras, and impalas to quails.
Click for more about Alligator Alphabet

Help Cleo guess which word goes with each letter of the alphabet. The rhyming text of this guessinggame encourages learning, while the two-page spread of all the items at the end allows more alphabet practice. Hardcover edition includes a Cleo alphabet wall poster.
Click for more about Cleo’s Alphabet Book

Learn your ABCs while meeting twenty-six African animals in this simple rhyming text. Notes at the end enhance the learning layers with facts about each of the animals featured. I love that this book has animals I was unfamiliar with!
Click for more about African Animals ABC

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Intentional teaching

I recently found this article on intentional teaching, if you were to ask what is the philosphy of the Burlington Integrated Preschool my answer would be is that we teach with intention and have a balance between teacher and child directed activities. This article does a nice job explaining what it means to teach with intention in early childhood.

Intentional teaching involves planning—having a goal and a means to accomplish it. Intentional teaching can also be serendipitous—taking advantage of unexpected opportunities. That means teachers must not only be child development experts in general, they must also understand the specific knowledge and skills appropriate for children to master in content areas such as literacy and mathematics, social and emotional development, physical development, and the creative arts.

In child-guided experiences, teachers create a materials-rich and safe environment, and provide support. In adult-guided learning, teachers plan activities, occasionally demonstrate skills, and make comments and ask questions to introduce new concepts and challenge children’s thinking.
Sometimes it is clear when adult-guided learning is needed (for example, children cannot invent the alphabet on their own). At other times, child-guided learning predominates (for example, children intuit certain properties of number such as “oneness”). It is always a judgment call. We thus need to observe children’s behavior, know their optimal modes of learning, and adjust accordingly.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Commonly Asked Questions

In January the phone at the Burlington Integrated Preschool rings constantly with families inquiring about the program. I spend a lot of time talking with prospective Parents and the same questions come up over and over again. Below are the answers to many of your questions:

What is the staff to student ratio, and what is the background of the teaching staff?
All of the integrated preschool classrooms cap at 15. There can be 7 students with special needs and 8 neighborhood students in each room. All of the classroom teachers have masters degrees in special education with an emphasis on early childhood development. The instructional assistants as well as classroom aides all have college degrees. The program is part of the Burlington Public School (BPS) and all staff participate in all BPS professional development.

What type of communication can I expect?
Parents are provided with weekly communication via the program blog. Each classroom has a page on the blog which outlines what the students will be learning about in the upcoming week as well as any special events. Teachers are available for conferences with parents whenever necessary. All of the integrated preschool staff have BPS email addresses and all of the teachers check their email on a daily basis.

What is your philosophy about play and academics?
The Burlington Integrated Preschool provides students with a balance between play and work time. Children are given up to one hour a day of choice time. This is a time when children can explore areas and activities are open ended. However, a lot of time and planning goes into each center and teachers work hard to ensure that centers are connected to what is being taught in the classroom. For example, if we are learning about winter each center is focused around that theme. If you were to enter into the classroom you might observe children learning how to dress in winter clothes, exploring snow in the sensory table, painting with ice cubes at the art center, a mitten matching game at the math/manipulative table, the library area is full with books relating to winter weather and at the writing center there would be words and writing prompts that would go along with winter. The children think they are playing but through play they are learning.

What do you do to encourage developmentally appropriate practice?
The Burlington Integrated Preschool celebrates each individual child's development. Many of the activities that children are exposed to are open ended and all lessons are developed and differentiated to meet the needs of the diverse group of learners in each classroom.

How do you deal with behavior issues?
The program is designed in a way that behavior problems are rarely and issue. We have a very strong predictable routine with built in transitions. When a behavior problem crops up we use several different techniques:
Positive redirection is used to help the child make the right choice.
At times teachers will help children make a different choice or redirect them to another area. When children are struggling and need a break we use a technique called sit and watch. This is a time when the child is placed just outside of the activity for a minute or two to take a break from the situation. After they have sat, the rules are reviewed and the child then joins the group again.

What can I do to help in this program?
Parents are welcome to volunteer in the program in classroom. All volunteers need to have an updated CORI on file. All CORI"S need to be filled out in the superintendents office.

When is tuition due, and what if we want to go away on vacation do we still have to pay?
Tuition is due the first Tuesday of every month. Tuition is based on a 10 month program and is due monthly. If your family goes away for an extended period of time you are still responsible to pay your child's tuition. Non payment can jeopardize your child's spot in the program.
Does my child need to be potty trained?
No, your child doesn't need to be trained in order to start preschool. When your child is ready we will work together as a team to help bridge the gap between school and home. You are responsible to send in diapers and wipes if your child is not trained.
How old does my child have to be to start school?
All children need to be 3 years old by 8/31.
Do you provide transportation?
No, we don't provide transportation for neighborhood students.
Is there a sibling discount?
Yes, we provide a 10% sibling discount.


Due to the snow the date of the open house has been changed to next Friday, January 28th.

The Burlington Integrated Preschool and the LABBB Early Childhood Program will be hosting an Open House on Friday, January 28, 2011 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Burlington High School - where the programs are located. This Open House provides families with an opportunity to view the programs, meet the teachers and pickup registration packets to enroll their children for next year. Students must be 3 years old by August 31, 2011. For more information call Laura at 781-270-1808.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Growing Pains


Dear Preschool Families,

At the end of the month there will be some slight changes to the Burlington Integrated Preschool Program. Our program continues to grow and we find ourselves needing a new classroom space. On Monday, January 31, 2011, the space that is currently being used as the big room will become the home of the Friendly Frogs. All programming will remain exactly the same and the students will just have a new larger classroom space. I’m confident that Andrea, Pat and Diane will do an outstanding job setting up the room so that it’s a wonderful learning environment.

The old Friendly Frog room will become the new home to the Barnyard Buddies. As some of you may be aware, several weeks ago Shannon Conroy become a co-teacher in the Puppy Pals room. This classroom continues to grow and change and there are currently too many students in one space. Shannon and Liz will move next door to their own classroom and Tiffany and Lori will stay in the Puppy Pals room. Programming will look exactly the same for both the students in the Puppy Pals and the Barnyard Buddies classroom. Again, it will just provide both groups of students more efficient classroom space.

The loss of the big room impacts all of the students at the Burlington Integrated Preschool and every class will need to adjust their schedule. The goal of the program will be to try to get outside as much as possible. If it is below 25 degrees or it is raining out we will be inside, and the children will participate in a gross motor movement activities. Other than that children will be outside enjoying 15 to 20 minutes of fresh air. Please make sure that your children have appropriate clothes for the elements. This includes: snow pants, boots, hats, mittens and an appropriate winter coat.

If you have any questions or concerns about the changes in classroom space please feel free to give me a call at 781-273-7632 or email at d’

Thank You,

Louise D’Amato

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Inclement weather

Inclement weather - The Burlington Integrated Preschool will not be open when school (BURLINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS) is canceled due to hazardous or inclement weather conditions. The school department may also call for a delayed opening.

When there is a delayed opening:

• There will be no morning session of preschool.

• ON DELAYED OPENING DAYS, afternoon class will be held.

• If afternoon class is cancelled, you will be contacted.

• Announcements are made on the major AM radio stations and on television as well as our BCAT channels.

• In cases of inclement weather when school has not be cancelled or delayed, parent(s)/guardian(s) may use their own discretion when sending their child to school.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Registration of children entering Kindergarten in September, 2011 will be held at the Fox Hill, Memorial, Pine Glen and Francis Wyman Schools on Monday through Friday, February 7, 2011 through February 11, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. each day. A child entering kindergarten must have attained the age of five by August 31, 2011.

At the time of registration, parents are required to bring:
1. Birth certificate for child.
2 Proof of residency in the Town of Burlington. This requirement can be satisfied with the presentation of a lease or a recent utility bill.
3. Medical form must be completed by your family physician, and returned to school two (2) days prior to the opening of school. Children will not be able to attend school in September of 2011 unless a complete medical form is provided. Your family physician must detail that your child has been given the following immunizations and also indicate the dates the immunizations were given:
5 doses Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus (DTaP)
4 doses Polio
3 doses Hepatitis B
2 doses Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
1 dose of Varicella Vaccine or Chicken Pox disease
Proof of having Lead Screening
Vision and Hearing Screening
4. Pre-school form will need to be completed by the pre-school provider and returned at the time of your child’s scheduled kindergarten screening in the spring of 2011.
The medical forms can be picked up at registration or by clicking the following link:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Open House

The Burlington Integrated Preschool and the LABBB Early Childhood Program will be hosting an Open House on Friday, January 21, 2010 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Burlington High School - where the programs are located. This Open House provides families with an opportunity to view the programs, meet the teachers and pickup registration packets to enroll their children for next year. Students must be 3 years old by August 31, 2011. For more information call Laura at 781-270-1808.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Pack Survey

Dear Parents:

In October of this year we began a new pre-literacy initiative at the Burlington Integrated Preschool. Each week you have received a book pack that is filled with high quality children’s books. Included with the books are reading prompts that are used to help develop beginning early literacy skills.

As a team we are pleased with how well the bock pack program is going. The children seem excited to take the back packs home on Thursdays. We are pleased that they are always returned on Tuesdays and in the same shape they went home in. However, we don’t know how families feel about the program and if you are enjoying it and finding it beneficial.

We would like to ask that you take a minute and go to our program blog and fill out the survey about the program. The survey is designed to help us fine tune the program and ensure it is meeting the needs of all families.

Thank You for taking the time to fill out the survey

Click here to take survey

PAC Meeting 1/19/2011 @ 7:00

Parents, How are your children doing in school? Would
you like to understand their strengths,
weaknesses and learning style? The Burlington PAC
invites you to a presentation, "Understanding Neuropsychological Evaluations" presented by Dr. Ann Helmus from NESCA, . Dr. Helmus is a dedicated, talented Neuropsychologist who will walk you through what a full educational evaluation is and what you can do with it's results.
The presentation will be held on Wednesday
January 19, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. in the School Committee Room at Burlington High School 123
Cambridge St. in Burlington Ma. For more information contact Dennis McCarron at or at 781-273-5663.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Preschool Life Skills Teaching Program Skill 1

When the students return to school on Monday we will begin introducing a new social skills curriculum, The Preschool Life Skills. The curriculum we will be introducing was written and researched by Dr. Greg Hanley, BCBA. Dr. Hanley is a consultant to our program and will help us to support and implement the curriculum. The first skill we will target is for children to stop what they are doing and respond to their name being called. The expectation is that this skill will happen in both large and small group settings. Children will be expected to stop what they are doing and respond during times that they may be engaged with a favorite activity. I have attached a protocol that will be following in all the classrooms. If you have any questions or concerns about this new curriculum feel free to stop by the office, send an email or give me a call.

Preschool Life Skills Teaching Program

Skill 1

This semester, we are working to help your child learn some important social skills. Below, we have listed the skill that is currently being taught in the classroom, along with the general times we teach the skill. In addition, we have described our feedback procedure to suggest ways in which you can react as your child begins to acquire these new social skills.

The Skill: When an adult calls the child by first name, the child will stop competing behavior within 2 seconds, orient towards the speaker, and say, “Yes.”

General times we teach this skill:

I. In a group setting (e.g., circle time)

II. During meals (e.g., prior to passing a food item)

III. While the child is playing (e.g., center time)

IV. During a transition (e.g., before the child leaves or enters the classroom)

Note: We teach this skill anytime we call the child’s name, and we try to call their name before we issue any instruction as well as before we provide some positive feedback


If the child stops the competing behavior, looks up towards the adult and says “Yes” within 2 s of their name being called, the adult will provide enthusiastic praise (“Good job stopping, looking, and saying “Yes” when I called your name.”) and, if possible, provide access to a something fun.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call _781-273-7632____________. Otherwise, we hope that our combined efforts help your child be as happy and social as possible.