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"BEF Grants In Action"

NEADS Service Dog

Special Education and Burlington High School Bridge Program
The goal of providing a NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) Service Dog, as a member of the Bridge Program, is to help students alleviate stress and anxiety, The Bridge Program at BHS is a structured, self-contained mixed-grade therapeutic program for students who require a small, emotionally and physically safe space for their instruction in English, Math, Science and Social Studies. Bridge provides organizational support and therapeutic interventions including individual and group counseling.
A service dog for the classroom is a therapeutic companion to students suffering from depression, panic attacks, anxiety, school phobia and communication disorders. A service dog provides a safe, non-judgmental and relaxing way for students to learn in an environment that promotes safety and success. This service will impact 60-100 special needs students and may potentially impact all students at BHS. The service dog will help address students based on their varied social and emotional needs.
Burlington High School's Principle Blog: "Please Welcome Scooter to BHS"

Where Everyone Belongs (WEB): Grade 6 Transition Program

Marshall Simonds Middle School; 

The BEF provided grant funding to train MSMS faculty members in Project Boomerang's WEB Middle School Transition Program. WEB is a school-based leadership/mentorship program where the leaders are 8th grader students that welcome and support the newest grade 6 students into the MSMS community including a summer transition/orientation program.

The WEB program will be fully supported by the MSMS principal, a trained WEB Coordinator, the assistant principal, and two MSMS faculty members trained through this BEF grant.  WEB has the ability to further improve the culture of middle school for all students as studies have seen increases in academic achievement, school spirit, and student involvement in sports and activities. Video: Why WEB?

Promoting Kindness: Guest Artist Bren Bataclan

Burlington High School; BSmart Program

The BEF was proud to bring Boston Artist Bren Bataclan to BHS is support of the BSmart Program. This year's theme for the BSmart Program is Your Voice / Your Choice (Choose to be Kind). Students created art with Bren which was displayed in the BHS Art Gallery and will the be given away in Ecuador.

Boston Artist Bren Bataclan's primary goal is to "make people smile". Bren values the idea of sharing with others and he spreads kindness through his art. Bren having given away close to three thousand painting in seventy countries as he continues to spread his message of kindness asking people to "smile at random people more often".

Videos: BNEWS Feature: Artist Bren Bataclan Visits BHS; TEDxTalk: Kindness Can Truly Be Paid Forward

Teaching Students Dignity & Respect: David Flood visits BHS

Burlington High School; BSmart Program

The BEF was proud to bring David Flood to BHS in support of the BSmart Program. David brings and energy and passion for kindness, He spreads his powerful message by using simple examples that students can relate to in order to show them how to improve their lives and have a profound impact on those around them.

David Flood's presentation will help foster relationships and help students promote the culture of the caring community as BHS is a school of belonging. David's message about character, developing positive choices, learning about young adult responsibility, while learning the importance of integrity, respect, hard work and compassion.

Video: Why Love is the Only (Best) Way to Communicate; Connecting with Students on an Emotional Level

Friendship Bench

 Pine Glen, Fox Hill & Memorial Elementary Schools; Sustaining a Collaborative Culture of Social & Emotional Learning
The BEF Friendship Bench supports the school-wide PBIS program to promote and expand students social competency skills.
A friendship bench is a special place in a school area where a child can go when they want someone to talk to. Friendship benches are distinctively different from other seating in the school. When a child feels the need for a friend to talk to, he or she can show this by using the friendship bench. Other children and staff will recognize this sign that some help, support or comfort is needed. The friendship bench is a means by which a child can seek support without the need to rationalize their feelings or to seek-out a particular member or staff or special friend.
Fox Hill School Principal's Blog: "You've Got a Friend!

Fine Motor Boot Camp

Pine Glen Elementary School; Kindergarten

The Pine Glen Kindergartners are experiencing different learning opportunities working on hand-eye coordination, pre-writing, pincer grip, dexterity, visual perception and more! 

Fine Motor Boot Camp will help teachers support students in the area of fine motor, language, and social skills. Fine Motor Boot Camp is a play-based curriculum/intervention that includes 25 simple, portable and adaptable activities that address fine motor, receptive/expressive language, activities of daily living, math & literacy skills.

Pine Glen Room 101 Blog: Pine Glen Kindergarten Students Are Grant Recipients!

QBalls: Be A Part Of The Learning

Marshall Simonds Middle School; All Grades 6-8

MSMS Help Desk students conducted research on a new and fun technology and how it would be used within education. QBall is a tool for teachers and students alike providing an innovative way to learn and share.  

Students will show teachers how QBall can be used by demonstrating during a faculty meeting. MSMS is wired for microphones within the school and the addition of QBalls will allow for students to speak into the ball and hear their voices and answers easily throughout the classroom.

Videos: QBall In The Classroom; Hooray for QBalls

Blogs: QBalls en la Clase; All about the New QBalls

FIT-Step Pro Uploadable Pedometers

Francis Wyman Elementary School; All Grades 1-5

More than 400 Francis Wyman students in grades 1-5 use the Fitstep Pro Uploadable Pedometers on a biweekly basis in the gymnasium. Students are assigned a pedometer to wear when they first walk into class. After the device records the amount of activity that students participate in during class the students then upload their pedometers in a special docking station that is uploaded to a web-based application for data collection and analysis.  

The Institute of Medicine recommends children get 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and have the opportunity to be physically active for 60 minutes while at school. The information gained will be made available to the students as well as the staff at Francis Wyman and within the Burlington Public Schools Physical Education Department.

Video: Fitstep Pro Uploadable Pedometers

Mexican Folk Artists Visit MSMS

Marshall Simonds Middle School; 7th & 8th Grade Spanish Classes

MSMS Spanish students were provided with the opportunity to observe and interact with artisans bringing a slice of Mexico to BPS! Mexican culture is rich with folk art dating back centuries, passed on through generations. This artistic presentation enhances and broadens students' understanding of Mexican culture while encouraging tolerance and acceptance of America's neighbors to the south.

The main goal of this visitation allowed foreign language students to appreciate skills and traditions that are not readily apparent in the U.S. culture. Observing and interacting with artisans carrying on a traditional generational craft is usually only attained by viewing a media program or by visiting the foreign land.

Blogs: Mexican Artists Travel from Ancient Village to Demonstrate Their Craft to Students; Post-event Summary

Meditation and Guided Visualization

BHS Bridge Program; All Grades 9-12

The Bridge Program at BHS was awarded a BEF grant to purchase meditation mats and cushions to enhance their classroom meditation practice. The Bridge Program has been working on expanding its use of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) skills and strategies. 

As students gain more practice with visualization, guided imagery, sensory scripts, mindfulness, and other meditation practices they will add them to their toolbox of coping skills and strategies. The goal is for students to feel comfortable and genuinely deepen their relaxation and calming practices so they can use them beyond the school environment.  

Uke Can Do It ! 

Marshall Simonds Middle School; 6th and 7th grade students and Burlington Music Program
Music has three overarching parameters: melody, rhythm, and harmony. Using the ukulele will reinforce rhythmic and harmonic concepts that are part of the district's new Music Learning Theory initiative.
MSMS has a long tradition of using guitars as a means of teaching harmony in the music classroom. Since the ukulele is small in size, and only has four strings, it is an excellent instrument to nurture students' interest in learning chords in order to further their understanding of how music works.

Strategy Games: Enhancing Social & Emotional Learning

Memorial Elementary School; All Grades K-5

The goal of this project is to create a "collection of strategy games" for each classroom which students can use during 'indoor' recess time. This project supports the school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) system.

The part of each school day where all students get the opportunity to work on their social/emotional learning is during recess. The BEF was pleased to fund the purchase of four strategy games and storage bins for every classroom.

Social Emotional Support: Cooling Caddy's

Pine Glen Elementary School; All Grades K-5

The BEF was pleased to provide funding for the School Counselor to attend a "School Mental Health" conference and the purchase of supplies to create 'cooling caddy' sensory bins (stress balls, theraputty, crayons).

The project goal is to help students become more independent in recognizing how they can take break an their own using tools in the "cooling caddy" bin. This project supports the school-wide ASK (Appropriate, Safe, Kind) social emotional program.

Ukulele Music Program

Francis Wyman School; 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students and Burlington Music Program
The Burlington Music Program introduced a shared curriculum of Music Learning Theory to help students better understand music through hearing and performance before reading occurs. The use of ukuleles will allow students to hear and learn base line and chord progressions.
The Ukulele program will bring students love and appreciation of music to the next level. The use of ukuleles will better help students learn and internalize music. With the use of ukuleles, students will not only be singing and hearing songs, they will learn how to accompany themselves and become better performers and listeners.

Centennial Celebration to the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald

Burlington Public Schools; All Grades, Burlington Community Concert Series

The BEF was called upon to bring the 100th Birthday celebration of Ella Fitzgerald to the Burlington Public Schools through the Community Concert Series in conjunction with African American History Month.

Additional funding was provided for educational workshops, featuring a special interactive lecturer, to support the Music Department's Jazz History unit and the appreciation and understanding of vocal jazz and performing arts celebrating African American Music History.


Living Butterfly & Moth Habitats

Burlington Science Center; Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grade classrooms at all Burlington Elementary School
The Burlington Science Center provides butterfly caterpillars and moth cocoons to all kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grade classrooms. Observing living organisms hatch, change and grow within the classroom is a valuable experience for students
The BEF was pleased to provide funding for each classroom to be provided with two netted insect houses which allow for longer, safe observations of butterflies. This BEF grant will help students gain an understanding and overall respect of living things and the opportunity to observe nature within the classroom.

Innovative Classroom: Problem Based Collaborative

Francis Wyman School; Mrs. Lynch's Grade 5 Classroom
The BEF was pleased to fund Mrs. Lynch's Student Driven Project providing Francis Wyman students the unique opportunity to manipulate their workspace encouraging and promoting collaborative problem based learning while utilizing  real-world space. 
This innovative classroom is furnished with rolling tables, standing desks, leaning stools, white boards for collaborative student work, and bean bag chairs to promote educational and recreational reading.With the emphasis on respect and effortless reconfiguration, students have the ability to navigate their learning space to best fulfill their own self directed needs for creation.
Congratulations to Mrs. Lynch and her innovative fifth grade students!!! "They Got The Grant"

Augmented Reality Sandbox

The Burlington Science Center; All schools, primarily 2nd, 4th, 6th grade and High School Earth Science Classrooms
The Science Center Augmented Reality Sandbox will help students gain an appreciation of earth systems, land formation, and topographical mapping.
For students at the primary grade levels, the “AR Sandbox” will help students make the abstract connections between landforms, bodies of water, and how maps represent three dimensional spaces on Earth. At upper elementary and middle school grade levels, students will be able to explore and better visualize difficult to observe processes like erosion and the sculpting of Earth’s landscape. At high school levels, advanced mapping symbols such as contour lines and the representation of elevation and geologic hazards will also make the leap from the abstract to the concrete.

Lego Robotics

Francis Wyman School & Summer Robotics Program

LEGO Robotic Kits provide a great vehicle, engaging students with tools they are already familiar with (Legos) and high quality sensors that allow students to build autonomous robots through LEGOs easy to use programming interface. 

Students participating in the Francis Wyman and summer robotics programs will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for computer science language, theory and application that may draw them toward careers in the field.    

Agricultural Initiative: "Classroom Garden"

Francis Wyman School; All Grades
Francis Wyman will use a portion of the Burlington Community Garden as a "Classroom Garden" to reconnect students with their true source of food while teaching them valuable gardening concepts. 
Students in every grade will learn about the life cycle by planting seeds, weeding, watering and harvesting what is grown. The project will complement existing science units on planting and enhance the opportunity for all students to gain hands-on experience in the actual planting, maintaining and harvesting of produce.The BEF was pleased to provided funding for the purchase of a tool shed, gardening materials and fencing.

Friendship Bench

 Memorial School; Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Meeting the social and emotional needs of students has always been a priority at Memorial School. Memorial's population has nearly doubled in size since moving into a new building with a rich diversity of population that makes it even more important to build a school culture that brings together all grades and unifies students using shared values and common expectations. The BEF Friendship Bench supports the school-wide PBIS program to promote and expand students social competency skills.
A friendship bench is a special place in a school area where a child can go when they want someone to talk to. Friendship benches are distinctively different from other seating in the school. When a child feels the need for a friend to talk to, he or she can show this by using the friendship bench. Other children and staff will recognize this sign that some help, support or comfort is needed. The friendship bench is a means by which a child can seek support without the need to rationalize their feelings or to seek-out a particular member or staff or special friend.

Life Cycles - Live Chick Hatching

The Burlington Science Center; 1st & 4th Grade

The BEF provided funding for an Incubator in support of teh Science Center's live chick hatching program for 1st and 4th graders at all four elementary schools.
The Science Center grows the fertilized chicken eggs for the first 18 days and then delivers the eggs to each school to hatch before the students eyes!

Chick Hatching Program:

Science Center Blog link

BCAT Video Coverage link

Infrared Camera Tool

The Burlington Science Center

This project will aid grade level studying energy and matter, starting as early as second grade when students explore melting, freezing, and the relationship between forces, friction, and heat, through to High School AP chemistry classrooms carefully conducting investigations of exothermic and endothermic reactions. Also standing to benefit are fifth graders as they explore matter changes and investigate material properties for engineering purposes (such as insulators for solar ovens!). Middle school level introductions to the physical science of heat and its application to earth systems will also benefit.

Burlington Science Center Blog links:

 The Burlington Science Center Thanks the BEF

Girl Scouts Perform Energy Audit at Francis Wyman

Stability Balls for Fifth Grade Students

Memorial Elementary School; Mrs, Olshaw’s Fifth Grade Class                                           


Dear Burlington Education Foundation,

             Early in the year, my fifth grade class decided that they really liked to win the privilege of using my stability ball while they were doing classroom assignments. One morning during our class discussion, we talked about how great it would be to have enough stability balls for everyone in the class. Well with any great idea we started brainstorming the possibilities, how could we make that happen, how could we possibly persuade the school to buy each of us a personal stability ball to be used at our desks. While deciding to write a plea (to anyone who would listen) my fifth graders started researching the benefits of using stability balls in classroom. When they thought they had discovered something that was logical and helpful whether it be for health, concentration or to better their school experience, they emailed me that fact. I simply compiled their reasons and sent them to BEF.

             Room 231 could not be more excited about the opportunity that you have granted us. You see, it is not solely the chance to sit on a cool stability ball for all the beneficial reasons they researched and described. No it’s much more than that. It is also because they believed in a possibility and you made it a reality, their voices were heard. Thanks for all you do to make Burlington a place where learning is full of possibilities.


Portable Stage Decks

Fox Hill School; Music Department
Providing Opportunities for Performance and Presentation Across the Curriculum.
The BEF provided funding for portable stage decks to enable the accommodation of grade level performances and presentations, in all subject areas, allowing better use of space for students as well as better visibility for parents attending performances. Students will use the stage to showcase musical, artistic, academic and creative achievements. The music staff also collaborates with classroom teachers for grade level presentations including, literacy, multicultural projects, public speaking as well as social studies, science and technology.

Heart Rate Monitors 

Burlington High School; Physical Education

The BEF purchase 9 Mio Link Heart Rate Monitor Wristbands to be used in all Burlington High School Physical Education classes. The BHS Physical Education program is piloting using strapless heart monitors as a tool to monitor student effort and participation in Physical Education classes. By utilizing new forms of technology, the staff hopes to reach students in new measurable ways to encourage a lifetime of fitness.

MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer 

Francis Wyman Middle School

The Francis Wyman School will use its new MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer in innovative ways to support learning within the new MA Science / Engineering standards that focus on Models and Prototyping:

MakerBot 3D Printer - 
Francis Wyman Elementary School

  • Models - The 3D Printer will allow students to design and create their own models for the layers of the Earth, simple machines, or light waves. Models of landmarks will also be created as students study the history of the town of Burlington and the American Revolution
  • Prototyping - The 3D Printer will also provide a great deal of flexibility with students achieving the new standard as they are expected to "define a problem that reflects a need" and "generate several possible solutions". Students can prototype new rocket designs as they prepare for Rocket Day with the Burlington Science Center.

Mercedes-Benz of Burlington: Digital Art Exhibition

Burlington High School, Art Department: 
The objective Mercedes-Benz Digital Art Exhibition was to expand the Digital Arts curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to work directly with a real client as designers and digital artists creating artwork in support of the clients business.
Mrs.Chang's Digital Art students visited Mercedes Benz of Burlington where the artists took wonderful photographs of the vehicles and then returned to the Digital Arts Lab at BHS to modify and enhance the images creating beautiful pieces of artwork. This BEF grant funded the professional printing and mounting of the artwork and also the purchase of display easels for public display at the Mercedes-Benz dealership.
Mrs. Changs Art blog:

Pre-Prom Assembly Speaker

Burlington High School; Grades 11 and 12

Burlington High School is pleased to present Cara Filler!
Cara is a compelling author,entrepreneur and North America's leading youth motivational speaker on peer pressure, risk taking, and traffic safety. Drawing from tragedy in her own life, the loss of her twin sister after their 18th birthday in a motor vehicle accident. Cara 's life changing presentation focuses on dealing with peer pressure, avoiding negative risks such as alcohol, reckless driving and being "You-nique". 
Bringing Cara to Burlington High School is a continuing effort of the B-Smart Program educating our students on the importance of making healthy choices.

Pazzi Lazzi Troupe Performance 

Burlington High School; Foreign Language Department

The Foreign Language Department at Burlington High School sponsored the theatrical performance “Aria di Commedia” by the Pazzi Lazzi troupe on February 27.  This type of performance is based on the theatrical tradition of the Commedia dell’Arte born in Italy during the Renaissance period.  The main characteristic of the Commedia dell’Arte is the absence of a script and  the use of improvisation during the scenes.

Pazzi Lazzi Troupe Peformance - Burlington High School

The troupe consisted of three actors and two musicians, The Renaissonics.  The actors presented two short skits: “The Sweet Smell of Money” and “The Lady of the Rings”.  The Renaissonics performed period music using period instruments in between scenes.

More than 300 spectators enjoyed the show.  Members of the audience included high school students, teachers,  pre-school children and members of the Sons of Italy.  Everyone in the audience had an enjoyable morning.