Principal's Update

Principal's Update


August 15, 2018


Welcome Back!

I hope that this message finds everyone having enjoyed a summer filled with rest, relaxation, fun, and maybe an ice cream cone or two! I love summer – not just for the excuse to make a trip to Kimball’s or Rota Spring (unabashedly, I admit, I’ve enjoyed more than my ice cream fill this summer) – but because summer gives us time to recharge and set goals for the year ahead. Each school year offers a fresh start to build new relationships, learn something new, and deepen our own understanding of self from within. As we begin the school year, we begin this journey of growth together as a strong Luther Burbank school community.  We look forward to welcoming our learning community together on the first day of school for students on Wednesday, August 29th.

As we embark upon the year ahead, I am thrilled to announce that we will be expanding upon our 1:1 Chromebook implementation at the middle level. This year we will move to full implementation of the model district-wide for the purpose of providing universal access to technology for all students in grades 6-8. This is exciting news. The 1:1 Chromebook model facilitates learning experiences for students that have never before been possible. 1:1 implementation ensures equitable access to curriculum for all students, facilitates differentiated instruction for teachers, and fosters a learning environment where students are empowered to create, communicate, and collaborate. More information about the 1:1 initiative, including our implementation timeline for each grade, will be distributed to families during the first week of school.

Also new this year is our online method for the collection of all registration and back-to-school forms from parents and guardians. All parents and guardians, including new and returning families, will be required to complete this process at the start of school for each student. This new process is not only efficient and environmentally-friendly; it also helps to ensure the accuracy of information since families will be updating information directly to the PowerSchool interface. Within the next few days, you will receive an email that will include a “snapcode” with instructions. Please be on the lookout for this email from Luther Burbank Middle School. More information may be found here, Luther Burbank Registration.

As we journey ahead into the new year, we journey together as an inclusive community, appreciative of our differences and all that makes us unique. My door is always open, and I encourage your participation and your input as we work together to provide your child with the best possible middle school experience.

On behalf of the entire Luther Burbank School faculty, welcome to the beginning of another great year! 

Yours in Partnership,

Laura Friend


New Faculty Joining Luther Burbank

I am pleased to announce the addition of several new faculty to Luther Burbank this year. Mr. Steven Grant will join our administrative team as our new assistant principal. Mr. Grant is a veteran educator who has worked within the Nashoba Regional School District for the past twenty-six years. For the past six years, Mr. Grant has served as the assistant principal of the Florence Sawyer School. Mr. Grant is an incredibly approachable and highly dedicated educator with numerous talents. I look forward to his partnership as we continue to work to make Luther Burbank the best place for our students. Welcome, Mr. Grant!

On the teaching front, Ms. Lauren McCarthy will join our eighth grade team as our new science teacher. Ms. McCarthy comes to us from the Bedford Public Schools where she served as a middle school science teacher. Ms. McCarthy brings with her a strong STEM educational background and a passion for teaching science through inquiry. Ms. McCarthy will be stepping into Mrs. Courtois’ shoes. Mrs. Courtois will be retiring in October. Until then, she will serve as a very apt substitute for our 6th grade math teacher, Mrs. Cauley. Mrs. Cauley will be returning from her maternity leave at the end of September.

Our special education team will find two new faces, Mrs. Katherine Suduiko and Ms. Melanie Thulin. Mrs. Suduiko will join our 7th grade team as our new 7th grade special educator. Like Ms. McCarthy, Mrs. Suduiko also comes to us from the Bedford Public Schools. While in Bedford, Mrs. Suduiko served as a Learning Strategies teacher where she developed lessons that both strengthened students’ content knowledge and deepened students’ strategies as learners. Ms. Melanie Thulin will join the 6th grade team as our new 6th grade special educator. Ms. Thulin brings with her varied experience at the middle level adapting instruction to meet the diverse needs of learners. I am confident that both Mrs. Suduiko and Ms. Thulin diverse strengths will even further enhance our already strong Luther Burbank team. 

Our specialist team will be enhanced by two new additions. Mrs. Amanda Salmon will join Luther Burbank as our new health teacher. Mrs. Salmon brings with her extensive experience working with youth in a variety of settings. Most recently, Mrs. Salmon has worked in the Worcester Public Schools where she has been instrumental in advocating for mindfulness education and strengthening practices to support the home-school partnership. Welcome, Mrs. Salmon! Mr. John Millett will join our Title 1 math team as part time math specialist. Mr. Millett brings with him experience as a 7th and 8th grade mathematics teacher and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program where he is focusing on mathematics pedagogy and sense-making.

Luther Burbank Middle School Handbook!

Please take a look at our LBMS Student and Parent Handbook which has been updated and revised for the school year. It is our hope that you will find this handbook user-friendly and navigable.

Luther Burbank Tour for Incoming 6th Grade Students

Just a reminder, on August 23rd from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m., Mr. Grant and I will be offering a guided tour of our school building for 6th grade students and their parents/guardians. The tour will be an informal way for us to get to know one another and will give students another chance to become acclimated to their new school. Plus, we will be serving cookies!

Arrival and Dismissal

The start time of our school day is 7:45 AM. Buses begin to arrive at school at approximately 7:30 AM, with students entering the building at 7:35 AM. No student should be dropped off before 7:20 AM unless prior arrangements have been made with his/her teacher. On our first day, students will be greeted by their teachers in the front of the building and main hallway to provide a warm welcome and to help guide them to their homeroom. Dismissal time for bus students will be 2:15 PM. Bus students exit the front of the building and board the buses at the main entrance. Our pick-up location is at the back entrance of our building. To pick up your child, please drive behind the school using the access road and park in one of the parking spots located in the recess area.  Students with written permission to walk or ride their bike home will be dismissed after bus and pick-up dismissal.

Open House (Wednesday, September 12th)

Mark your calendars! All parents/guardians are invited to our annual Open House on Wednesday, September 12th.  The purpose of this evening is to provide you with an opportunity to meet our staff and learn important information about our school programs and expectations. Presentations will begin at 6:00 PM in the Rowlandson auditorium. The presentation will be preceded by a Title I presentation in our Luther Burbank library at 5:30 PM. All are welcome to attend. Since this evening is intended for parents and guardians only, I respectfully request that students do not attend this event.  I am hopeful that at least one parent or guardian from each family is able to schedule time to join us for this important opportunity.  

School Pictures

Please note that Tuesday, September 25th, is School Picture Day and that informational packets for purchasing pictures will be distributed soon.  Although all students will need to have their picture taken, purchasing pictures is strictly optional for families.

LBMS School Council

Parents and community members can become directly involved in the continual improvement of our school by serving on School Council. School Council plays an important role in shaping school policies and programs. This year, we are seeking one parent and one community member, respectively, to serve on School Council for a 2 year term. The Council meets on a monthly basis after school. Time and date will be determined based on member availability and consensus. Please email Judy Ursuliak at, by September 14th, if you are interested in serving on this important site-based committee.

School Communication

Communicating school happenings to our families is important to us at Luther Burbank. We work hard to keep our school website updated with current information. As well, I will once again be sending our newsletter, the Burbank Bulletin, out via email on a bi-weekly basis. The Bulletin not only includes important information about school events and dates, it also highlights learning and collaboration happening within our classrooms throughout the year.  Be on the lookout. Also consider following us on Twitter for school updates and snapshots of learning happening in real time.  Follow us @LBMSPrincipal. You can also receive Twitter alerts without a Twitter account. Text: follow @LBMSPrincipal to Twitter code: 40404 and you will receive alerts directly to your device.