Regional Day School Newsletter

Volume 16, Issue 1

November 2020

Editor: Ms. Liz Rauscher
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We would like to give a big RDS welcome to our new staff members:

A-1 Teacher, Leave Replacement- Ms. Jeanie

B-3 Teacher - Ms. Angela

Speech Pathologist - Ms. Haley


We would like to congratulate Ms. Doris on her retirement. Doris has dedicated 32 years to the students and programs here at Regional Day School. We will miss seeing her smiling face, and wish her a very happy retirement, best wishes!
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Letter from our Principal- Ms. Lisa Michallis

First I would like to extend a thank you to the entire RDS family for their efforts during this truly unprecedented time. Since the onset of the pandemic this spring, everyone has worked and continues to work collaboratively through learning new programs, technology glitches and creating new teaching and learning environments and activities for our students.

I am so thrilled that our doors reopened in September to welcome back students and staff on a full-time basis! The efforts, planning and preparations of our staff, school community, custodial staff, Board of Education members, Central Office Personnel, and our Superintendent of Schools enabled us to open and be prepared with safety protocols in place. A remote learning option continues to be available to students as well. Before arriving at school each day, students and staff complete a daily health screening. When arriving at the building, each person’s temperature is taken too. This continues to ensure each person entering the building is fever free and symptom free.

Your children, our students, are phenomenal! They exit the busses each morning with smiles and are happy to be back at school. They are engaged in learning and settled into their routines. All of the students are following the new routines and safety protocols with ease.

Our Head Custodian, Miss Crystal, and her crew are highly commended for their efforts! They are continually cleaning and sanitizing frequent touch points, classrooms, restrooms, playground equipment, and more!

Our teachers, therapists and support staff are exceptional! They continue to learn and have creatively adapted to changes to continue to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment. Staff have been provided with new Chromebooks and several classrooms have Promethean boards, an interactive technology to further extend learning. This year we also have two new reading programs, A to Z and IReady. Students and staff are very excited.

Although there are some changes to our program, such as not using the cafeteria for lunchtime and not conducting large group activities including assemblies, dances and social events, our staff has been very innovative in developing new activities. Since our students are currently unable to travel for class trips, we have brought the experiences to the school. This includes our own pumpkin patch, Google Meets with Brody the therapy dog, the Manchester librarians, and virtual field trips. Many of our holiday traditions will be on hold this year but will return bigger and better next year.

There are many extra reasons to be thankful this holiday season. I continue to count my blessings each day for the awesome staff, students and families I am fortunate to work with each and every day. Warmest wishes for a happy Thanksgiving. Be safe and be well.

A-1 News- Ms. Jeanie

We would like to welcome Damien H. to Regional Day School! He is working very hard in class and making friends quickly. We’re very proud of the effort he puts into his schoolwork. We also want to thank our students that are virtual every day; DJ S., Malachi G., Melvin E., and Geovany G.L. They have been really trying their best from home. It’s hard for them not being in school but they are making the best of the situation. We love getting on our daily Google Meets and seeing each other! Our class received a new Promethean board this year, which we have been very excited to use! It’s like having a huge, rolling chrome book to learn on! We can access Chrome, Google Apps like Kahoot, and many more features. We’ve only been in school for a little over two months and have covered so many topics. We are almost finished reading our first novel, Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. The students are really enjoying this novel and love discussing each chapter as a group as we compare and contrast characters and other story elements. We can’t wait for our next novel, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It was super fun discussing the election process and watching current events on our Promethean board. We learned about our two candidates that ran for President and compared and contrasted the running mates while learning about how our government is run and the electoral process. We are currently learning about geography. In science we are on our way to becoming experts on natural disasters. We watch videos and discuss the different types of natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, floods, forest fires, avalanches, and more! At the end of this unit each student will choose one natural disaster they want to research further and write a report. We have been learning order of operations in math too, and how we use math in our everyday lives! Our class has been focusing on being mindful of and respecting others. We discuss ways to be mindful and how to help others in need. It was so much fun celebrating Halloween, learning about Hispanic Heritage Month, and celebrating Veterans Day. We even made tacos as a Pod for Spanish Heritage Month, which was super exciting! We are having lots of fun in school and in A1! Damien even built a flag using cups which was really cool when it was done. Check out the picture!

Keep up the great work class and try your best every day!

Ms. Jeanie and Ms. Amada

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A-2 News- Mr. Gunn

Although this school year has looked different in some ways because we are following the Covid–19 protocols, it is very similar to other years in many other ways. What hasn’t changed is how the students enjoy each other’s company and how hard they have been working in all academic areas. We are proud of all the progress the children are demonstrating since they returned to school.

In social studies, we have studied the constitution, the 2020 election, Patriot’s Day and the events of September 11th. We are also reviewing the fifty states and their capitals as one of our Student Growth Objectives. Several students completed reading Room One: A Mystery or Two and are almost finished reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The other group read Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck. The students also began to read books and complete assignments using Learning A to Z and will be using IReady as a supplement to the math and language arts program in A – 2.

We would like to welcome Jayden L. to A-2. He joined the group in September and was quickly made to feel comfortable by his new friends in the class. He quickly adapted to his new school and impressed his new classmates with his knowledge of the state capitals and participated in the karaoke style performances for our weekly music class. We cover the microphone with a new baggie and sanitize the handle of the microphone after each performance.

The children enjoyed picking pumpkins from the RDS pumpkin patch and enjoyed the reward feast as part of Hispanic Heritage month. They enjoyed the tacos, Spanish rice, empanadas, guacamole, and taco dip prepared by the A-Pod staff. It was a job well done by everyone. We look forward to the upcoming holidays that will be celebrated a bit differently than in the past, but hopefully it will be just as fun. Before you know it, we will be welcoming in the new year!

Until next time, have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

Mr. Gunn, Ms. Jeanette, Ms. Dajah and the students in A-2

B-1 NEWS- Ms. Anna

The new school year 2020/2021 is very busy and exciting in B-1. We welcome to our class a few new friends: Gabriella, Jasmine and Shandrea. We are very happy to have you in our group. All the students participate in all lessons and activities either at school or through remote learning. We follow the rules about social distancing by washing hands very often and wearing masks. All have fun exchanging air hugs and elbow touches! We work on academics, pre-vocational skills and practice mindfulness. Fall is such a fun season! Everyone enjoys walking outside and admiring the beautiful weather and amazing colors of the leaves. We gathered our pumpkins from the school pumpkin patch and investigated a pumpkin while creating a “jack-o-lantern." We played different games to celebrate Halloween and danced to Halloween music. Everybody is very happy to have the newest technology in our classroom, a Promethean active touch board. It makes learning the most exciting adventure! We wish all of our students a very successful school year. Stay safe, healthy and happy!
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B-2 News- Ms. Nancy

This year has been a year that has been very different from any of the other years that I have seen in all of my years here at RDS. Some students are learning virtually, and others are attending school. It has been both challenging for the parents and myself, but we have come through it.

We have worked very hard together so all students are getting what they need from school. It is working nicely. The students have a new program and our classroom has a Promethean board. The children are enjoying this new technology and many new applications to learn. They love it and are learning something new every day!

We hope the year continues to be as successful as it began!

B-3 News- Ms. Angela

We have had a great start to the school year in B3! The students are learning about seasonal changes that occur in fall, like temperature change, what colors the leaves turn, and what holidays occur during this season. The students enjoyed visiting the school’s pumpkin patch in October! We were able to carve and paint pumpkins. We also discussed the pumpkin life cycle, and how pumpkins can be different colors like orange or white.

The students are currently learning about Veterans Day and why our veterans are important people. We were able to show our appreciation for our veterans by creating a red, white, and blue heart on Veterans Day. As we transition into the Thanksgiving season, the students will learn about what it means to be thankful, and decide what they are thankful for. We are excited to be back in school together!

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B-4 News- Ms. Karen

News from B-4:

Editing their writing for capitalization, punctuation, correct spelling, and proper spacing of letters and words is what the students do when completing their daily writing activity.

We have a number of birthdays between the months of September and November. Happy Birthday to Ashley, Xiomara, Marin, and Ms. Sue.

Safety procedures and protocols have been put in place. We’re wearing masks, maintaining social distance and washing hands with greater frequency. The students are either counting to twenty or singing the Happy Birthday song (twice) to ensure they’re washing hands for the correct amount of time.

Listening to stories read aloud is something that the students continue to enjoy. Some recent book topics included: Voting, Election Day, Leaves, Recipes for Fall, Pumpkins, and Halloween.

Everyone earned a significant amount of behavior dollars for outstanding participation, the completion of assignments, and their positive efforts. Thank you to Ms. Megan for opening the school store for the students to make their purchases.

The students showed school spirit by participating in the Week of Respect daily events. They dressed as superheroes, wore specific colors, put on team jerseys or t-shirts, and dressed fancy.

The students enjoyed picking a pumpkin from the RDS Pumpkin Patch. Thank you to Ms. Lisa for the selection of pumpkins and to Mr. Peters for the carvings.

Everyone enjoyed dressing in a costume for Halloween. In our class, we had police officers, Superman, the Grinch, a Care Bear and Teen Werewolf.

Recent themes in science included spiders and giant pumpkins. The students learned the difference between arachnids and insects, and the types of webs spiders weave. They identified the steps in the life cycle of a pumpkin and used a diagram to identify its parts.

C -2 News- Ms. Dawn

It was September, Twenty - Twenty,

We couldn't wait for the start,

There was joy and excitement ,

That was filling our hearts.

Being away from the students,

Fellow staff and the school,

Made us feel that “the virus,"

Was just so “un-cool!"

When allowed to return,

Class lists came in the mail,

We assembled our teams,

Swore our school would prevail!

Jacob, Marques, Logan,

And Vickiana, too,

Made up a great group,

There was so much to do.

But wait - Dominick joined us,

And was quick to make friends.

We are busy and active -

The fun never ends!

The fall is a great time,

To learn many new things-

Exploring pumpkins and scarecrows.

While fire truck horns and bells ring.

We even had “visitors,"

Using Google and Zoom

The librarian and nutritionist,

Broadcast right in our room!

Halloween was so fun,

With party and virtual parade,

Yes- times are “different”

But great memories were made.

Now onto Thanksgiving,

A time to help and to share.

We show gratitude and kindness,

Let others know that we care.

So as you eat turkey,

Mashed potatoes and pie,

Always be thankful,

There are many reasons “why.”

The C-2 Staff wish you all a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving! We are thankful that you share your children with us every day!

C-3 News- Ms. Michelle

C-3 is so excited to be back to school! Some things are different this year, we have friends in person everyday and other friends doing school from home, but we are all enjoying learning. We have enjoyed learning about apples, pumpkins, and nocturnal animals. We have been enjoying our virtual visits from the librarian. We love moving to fun songs about all of the things we are learning. We want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

C-4 News - Ms. Maria

We are so excited to be back in school this year! A big C4 WELCOME to Marcus, Marisol, Dylan, and Ms. RoseMarie.

Although this year has started differently than years past, we have found creative and clever ways to keep our preschools engaged, learning, safe, and loving school. Our preschoolers truly enjoyed all the hands-on and fun lessons that were incorporated in our investigations of apples, pumpkins, community helpers, and being a good friend. The students loved picking and painting pumpkins at the RDS pumpkin patch and touring the Ridgeway fire trucks, and they had so much fun at our preschool Halloween celebration. Everyone is enjoying our new interactive board, especially when the Manchester librarian reads us books virtually every month. This Thanksgiving we are so thankful for our students and their families, and wish them a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Ms. Maria, Ms. Nancy, Ms. Jess, Ms. Melissa, & Ms. RoseMarie

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Art - Ms. Paula

This school year may have started differently than we are used to but our students and staff have risen to the occasion. We are keeping everyone safely distanced, wearing our masks and keeping everything super clean. The RDS art classes have been busy with a wide variety of materials to start the year. Paper mosaics, patterned paper pumpkins, watercolor wax and oil pastel resist leaves and model magic clay owls just to name a few. Students have been experimenting with texture and color mixing. Before we know it we will begin work on various holiday themed projects. We miss those not physically attending with us but we keep them involved by sending materials and instructions for the projects we are working on. Please don't forget to send me a photo of your student's finished work. It is my hope we will all be back together again in school soon.


Ms. Paula Nowakowski


Child Study Team- Ms. Phoebe & Ms. Maureen

The RDS Child Study Team has created a virtual CST site with a bulletin board that has real links to resources. This can be accessed by going to RDS website (, clicking on "Departments," clicking on "Child Study Team," and finally clicking on the "CST resource page."

Information that is included on this virtual bulletin board includes:

Ocean County Dept. of Human Services Resource Guide 2020 Edition

Mindfulness Slide Show

PRISE Booklet

NJ DDS Resources

Mental Health Resource Guide

We hope you like our new page and find the resources helpful!

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Ms. Phoebe Pennypacker, School Psychologist

Ms. Maureen Romanowski, LDT-C

Industrial Arts- Mr. Peters

Welcome Back! I am sure you are guessing how is my son or daughter taking shop class this year? I have been busy researching and developing new activities. Currently, I am collaborating with Ms. Megan, the Transition Teacher. We have innovative ideas for students to learn both vocational skills and life skills.

Our younger students have been exploring shapes and Lincoln logs to construct homes, barns and farms with different sets of logs. Each student has been provided their own set of logs. After class they are sanitized and kept in individual plastic bags.

Our older students have been engaged in Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) projects. Class discussions include learning the different parts of a home including footings, slabs, non load bearing walls, load bearing walls, as well as exterior and interior walls. As we progress through the unit, students will each be provided with materials to build a mini wooden structure. Students will start off constructing a shed and then move on to a small ranch style home and then bridge. Once the bridges are constructed there will be a contest to see which student’s bridge can support the most weight.

NURSE’S CORNER – “Prevention is the Best Medicine”- Nurse Debra

Happy Autumn!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe and successful start to the school year. It is important, for the health of all students, staff and families, that your child should not be at school when sick. If you have any concerns of any symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

Please continue to fill out the Health Screening Forms daily. The student’s temperature will be taken each day, upon arrival at school. Your child needs to wear a mask at school, with the exception of a doctor’s note to go without a mask.

Also, I would like to request if there are any changes to your student’s health, and or medications taken during the school year, it is important to inform me of any changes which will keep everything up to date.

Please review the following information to help guide you through the year. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 732-928-1500 or email at

Medications in school

If your child requires medication during school hours, you will need to provide the nurse with a physician’s prescription (signed and office stamped) with the name of the medication, dose, how often, and how long the medication is prescribed. These do need to be renewed every school year. I have the forms if you need, and there are forms available online. Doctor’s orders and Plans (Asthma Action Plans and Seizure Action Plans, etc.) can be faxed to the school at 732-928-0451 by the doctor’s office. Medications should be sent in the original container with a pharmacy label that includes the student’s name and medication name. Medications include prescription drugs (ex. Antibiotics, narcotics, inhalers, etc.), over-the-counter medications (such as decongestants, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Tums, just to name a few). All of these, in other words-anything given in school, need a doctor’s order for the nurse to give in school.

Physical Education Excuses

If your child is unable to participate in physical education due to illness or injury, a doctor’s note is required. When your child is allowed to go back to participating in gym class, a note is also required stating this.

Your child should not attend school if:

  • They have a fever of 100 degrees or above during the previous night or in the morning.

  • They must be fever free for at least 24 hours without medication before returning to school. Tylenol and Ibuprofen can mask a fever.

  • They have experienced vomiting or diarrhea during the night or in the morning.

  • They have a persistent cough.

  • They have a widespread rash. The rash must be cleared up or they need a doctor’s note allowing the student to return to school.

  • They have open or draining skin sores. Wounds must be covered while in school.

  • Their eyes are irritated and have cloudy, thick drainage.

  • They have nits or insects in their hair.

We will also send a student home if they are exhibiting the symptoms of illness that make it difficult for them to stay in school. Also, if they have 2 or more symptoms that could be COVID-19 related then they may receive a letter that could request a doctor’s note to return to school.

Please call or send a note if you have any concerns about your child’s health on a particular day.

Let’s work together to help prevent the spread of illness and limit the days of school missed.

Thanks again for your cooperation!!!

Let’s have a great year!!-Mrs. Debra Gallaro-RDS Nurse

Occupational Therapy- Ms. Alex, Mr. Brian, & Ms. Leslie

The OT Department is happy to be back to school! First and foremost, we all want to say a special thank you to the families that have worked so hard to keep their children on track while we were all virtual. Your efforts are much appreciated!

As we have started a new school year, we are back into the flow of things. Students are working hard in therapy with modifications in place to keep everyone safe. We take our therapy sessions outside as often as possible (especially with all of this beautiful, warm weather!) and try to find creative ways to meet all of our student’s needs. We have started a few new projects this year that focus on fundamental OT skills such as fine motor and visual motor skills, coordination, and following directions. Some of our OT groups are making different patches each week that will eventually be made into their own personal tapestry. Another group is working on self-help skills to match up and sort different clothing items for laundry. Other groups are making scrap books with some memories from the current school year so far. We are so proud of how well our students transitioned back to school and adapted to the changes and how well our families that are still working virtually are doing with the process.

As the colder months roll in, it will be important to have a stockpile of indoor activities for our students. It’s important to keep their bodies moving so that they can continue to get lots of sensory input and work on strengthening and endurance, which lay the foundation for many functional skills. With that being said, we have done some digging and attached some resources to our news article where indoor activities can be found! We hope you enjoy!

Glad to be back for another school year!

The OT Department:

Ms. Alex

Mr. Brian

Ms. Leslie

Physical Education/Health Department - Ms.Traci

Getting More Vegetables Into Your Child's Diet

Are your children refusing to eat their vegetables? Consider these helpful cooking tips to approach that problem in new ways:

  • Puree vegetables and use them as nearly undetectable ingredients in dishes such as meatloaf,hamburgers and pasta sauce.

  • Prepare a variety of vegetables in a variety of ways. You may just hit the right combination your child will love.

  • Let them dip vegetables such as raw carrots and broccoli into a healthy sauce, such as a light salad dressing that they find tasty.

  • Set a good example. Eating healthy yourself may help encourage your young children to emulate you. If they see family members happily eating something, they will follow positive eating habits.

  • Try having a little fun with food. Tell your child that broccoli are little trees, or arrange peas in a smiley face.

  • Don’t give up. KIds may have to try something several times before they’re willing to eat it. Enforce a rule such as they need to take a least one bite of a vegetable or they can’t have dessert/video game.

  • Don’t force them to eat all of their vegetables. They’re only going to end up hating them and may lead to picky eating.


  • Water helps remove toxins that lead to inflammation.

  • Water increases the immune system and helps prevent movement system disorder.

  • Water increases the lubrication of joints and helps prevent arthritis and back pain.

  • Water gives your muscles an energy boost.

  • Water helps prevent heart disease and stroke by helping to prevent blockage of arteries.

  • Water enhances brain function and helps prevent memory loss.

  • Water improves skin health and outside appearance.

  • Recommend 8-10 glasses per day. Remember you get this from fruits and vegetables too.

Physical Therapy News - Ms. Joyce & Ms. Kerry

We can’t tell you how excited we are to be back in school and to be “hands on” with our students again. We are amazed at how hard everyone worked during the remote learning period. A special “thank you” to the parents and caregivers for being our hands and eyes when we could not be there in person. You are the best!

Most of our students are now back in school and for those that chose to stay remote a little longer, we have been offering in-school PT sessions where the student just comes in for their PT and other related services, as well as Google Meet sessions.

Everything is running pretty smoothly and we are very conscientious of practicing good hygiene, wearing our mask, sanitizing all equipment we use between students, and maintaining our 6 feet apart as much as we can. With the nice weather this fall, we have been able to work outdoors a lot with our students which made the “keeping distance” a little easier. But as the colder weather slowly starts creeping in, we are confident we will find more new and creative ways to work with our students on their PT goals. We would like to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday Season. Even though, like everything this year, it may look a little different!

-Ms. Joyce and Ms. Kerry

Speech Department- Ms. Regina, Ms. Lauren, & Ms. Haley

We would like to introduce the newest member of our RDS Speech Team, Ms. Haley

Lindquist. This is her fourth year as an SLP. Ms. Haley went to Monmouth University for

both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has experience working in an

outpatient facility where she had treated children aged 0-21 for language, feeding, and

articulation. Ms. Haley then spent two years working for Trenton Public Schools. She is ecstatic to now be at RDS and has enjoyed getting to know everyone. Ms. Haley has been having fun collaborating with other therapists and doing classroom language groups in the

preschool and kindergarten rooms. Welcome Ms. Haley!

Student Council - Mr. Peters

Members of the Student Council have been participating in virtual meetings once a month. During our meetings we have been discussing and planning future activities and fund-raising.

Transition Program- Ms. Megan

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This year may look a little bit different for the Transition Program, but we can ensure that the scope and sequence for learning has not changed. We continue to look out for the safety of all of our students and staff, and this year makes that no different. Due to restrictions placed upon us from Covid-19, we have shifted our focus from Community Based Instruction outside the classroom, into simulated real world experiences within the classroom.

We have created interdisciplinary lessons that enforce the skills required to be gainfully employed, promote self-advocacy, and plan for post graduation . I have been collaborating with related arts and related services to help our students build their future. Students are getting to know not only their interests and skills, but also exploring career options and post secondary options. We are establishing goals and laying out the foundation needed to achieve such goals. I am excited to be back in the classroom with our students and to network with other professionals at Regional Day School who are dedicated to providing our students with the tools necessary to succeed through their transition to adulthood.

Ms. Megan Scheffler

Transition Teacher

732-928-1500 x7025