From Parents of Burr

June 16, 2017

Liaisons recently became aware that children were being given water from coolers filled from an outdoor water spigot not safe for consumption. See our communication to David Fleishman and Josh Morse asking for better signage, communication to staff about safe water sources, and plans for safe water cooler usage.


October 10, 2016

Over the summer parent liaisons have been working collaboratively with Julie McDonough (NPS Communications specialist), Mike Cronin (NPS Cheif of Operations), and Josh Morse (Newton public buildings commissioner). Mike and Josh in particular have been very responsive to us and we appreciate their working with us. Many communications and meetings have gone on that we have not documented on this site. However, here is our most recent letter to them.

July 5th, 2016, Letter to Superintendent Fleishman, Assistant Superintendent Cynthia Paris Jeffries, and Chief of Operations Michael Cronin

Burr Parent Liaison Follow-up on Lead Water Remediation Plan

Our liaisons to the school department wrote to introduce themselves and outline 6 requests for the upcoming Burr remediation project, including: (1) involvement of an environmental remediation expert; (2) two-way communication with liaisons; (3) that hot water pipes be replaced or under the sink water heaters be installed so all incoming water flows through the new pipe system; (4) confirmation of a liquid lead seal in the service line; (5) communication with a broader set of Burr stakeholders including alumni, neighbors, and BCAP; and (6) information about the “Asbestos and Model Remediation” truck seen working at Burr. Read our full letter.

June 28th, 2016 Letter

Parent Liaisons and Summary of Explanations and commitments

On June 28th, 2016, we wrote to the mayor and superintendent announcing three parent liaisons to the city, and three to the school department. These parents were selected from volunteers by election with over 50 votes cast. The six chosen are all Burr parents, but those running included a Ward parent, and those signing the letter include parents from Burr, Ward, Cabot, and Underwood. Clearly “Parents of Burr” has expanded beyond Burr, as lead in our schools is an issue city-wide. Our letter asks the city and school department to engage with the liaisons collaboratively and to listen to their input. We also summarize recent explanations and commitments made by the city and school department via letters and public meetings.

Read the full letter, download the summary of explanations and commitments, or read more about our liaisons.

June 13th, 2016 Handout for public meeting

We provided a handout for the public meeting held at Burr on June 13th. Check it out here.

June 6th, 2016, School Committee Meeting Public Comment

Four parents spoke during public comment period at the June 6th, 2016 School Committee Meeting. Written statements and associated handouts may be downloaded below the video.


  1. Michael Grubb: Statement. Handout.
  2. Jessica Sturtevant: Statement. Handout.
  3. Matt B. Mahoney: Statement. Handout.
  4. Meredith Berg: Statement.

Note: It turns out (although we did not know it at the time) that the Cabot sink in question had already been replaced. Ken Pelletier of Mass DEP said the level measured in the Cabot sink in 2005 was one of the highest he had ever seen. He suggested one possibility was a piece of lead solder had become stuck in the sink’s aerator. Replacing the sink would eliminate this piece of lead solder, but not of course lead solder elsewhere in the plumbing. Moreover, we learned from Mindy that she had already begun (that same morning) flushing of Burr bathroom sinks each morning.

June 1, 2016 Letter to Mayor and Superintendent

On May 31st, a group of concerned Burr parents met to talk about the lead in the water at Burr elementary. The following day, we wrote to Mayor Warren and Superintendent Fleishman to convey first our concerns about the unacceptable and unhealthy situation for our children at school, and second to convey our requests for action to remedy the situation.

Here is our letter, and associated attachments (Attachment 1, Globe article; and Attachment 2, Burr 2010 Lead Results).