Region 17’s Burr School Named Elementary School of the Year

Principal Eric Larson (top left) and students exploring possibilities in the BES Maker Space

CAS is pleased to announce that Burr District Elementary School in Higganum has been selected as the CT Elementary School of the Year for 2018-2019. Burr is one of three elementary schools in Region 17, Haddam/Killingworth.

This recognition is a direct result of the efforts of the principal and staff as they plan for the children who attend Burr. The CAS visiting team recently visited the school and was immediately impressed with the inclusive environment that focuses on meeting the needs of every student. Of particular note was the creative scheduling of “no new learning” periods which allow time for support and extension opportunities for the students. The committee also noted the integration of the Makerspace time for students and the evidence of student choice within this time. As explained on Burr’s website, the Makerspace is intended to “build confidence, leadership, self-efficacy, grit, risk-taking, exposure to many areas, finding a passion, developing curiosity, teach that interests and expertise are not gender-specific. When you have an idea, follow through on it – it is valuable.”

As the visiting team met with students, staff, and parents, they found each group felt that leadership is shared. During meetings with faculty, the teachers discussed the school-wide collaboration in planning instruction for the learners at Burr. These teachers demonstrated pedagogical knowledge and best practices for the area within which they teach. This included the kindergarten teacher citing “purposeful play” while talking about instruction in kindergarten.

When told of the recognition, Principal Eric Larson shared that he felt this great honor is reflective of the incredible staff and the supporting families that are within the Burr community.

By Jill Hale, Assistant Executive Director