Toms River High School East

Newsletter - April 11, 2022

Dear Families,

Although we are all ready for our break next week, there were plenty of activities to keep us busy at the Home of the Raiders. I participated in a Ocean County College Dual Enrollment Workshop on Tuesday to discuss a plan to infuse additional OCC credits into our current curriculum formula. Our district will also be adding further opportunities for staff to become certified to teach at the college in an effort to provide our students opportunities to earn college credit from OCC. Good stuff!

Our district participated in the Talent Expo at the Arena on Wednesday. HSE was well represented with many volunteer staff members presenting on the wonderful things going on in our building! We also held our College Fair at East in the Cafeteria and Gymnasium that same evening. The event was well attended with more than 130 colleges and universities present! We celebrated our paraprofessionals on Wednesday as well. Our paras are caring, kind, and committed staff members!

We celebrated Autism Awareness on Thursday with our incredible Special Needs Program!

On Friday, we held our monthly Activity Day and we celebrated the opening of the Field of Dreams! Our students completed their decorations in preparation for Spirit Week, culminating in our annual Spring Pep Rally! Great job Raiders!

Senior Parent Reception!

We are holding our annual Senior Parent Reception on Monday, April 25, 2022 at 6:00 pm. in the Cafeteria. We will go over important end-of-year information related to Prom, Graduation, school expectations, and safety. Please see the attached to RSVP your attendance on the 25th.

Seniors of the Month!

Autism Awareness

I am so proud of our Autism Program at HSE. We are filled with incredibly kind and caring professionals wo care for students with special needs. Our students are beautiful people and we love them. I enjoy watching the interactions between our students and staff every day and could not be more pleased with the efforts being made to support our children! Here are a few interesting facts we read over the announcements throughout the day on Thursday:

  • Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism compared to girls; Autism spectrum disorder now affects 1 in 68 children. Boys are nearly 5 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ASD; Vaccines do not cause autism; Children with Autism can learn and succeed in the classroom and beyond. Like every child, with the help of their families, providers, doctors, specialists, and communities, kids with Autism can thrive; We can’t yet pinpoint what genes create Autism Spectrum Disorder, but science has shown that there are strong genetic links to Autism; There is no “cure” for Autism, but there are several interventions that can help children learn important skills that improve everyday life; Autism affects children of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups; Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike); The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years; Autism now affects 1 in 44 children; over half are classified as having an intellectual disability or borderline intellectual disability.

College Fair at HSE!

Great job Mrs. Carolann Lulias and Ms. Carrie Bush for your efforts to bring the College Fair to HSE! The event was very well attended by more than 130 colleges and universities!

East at the EXPO!

Great job to all of our East staff and students for representing East with pride at the Expo. The following staff attended the event and what they presented:

  • Greg Roth and Mike Nemeth (The importance of a healthy lifestyle); Diane Harz and Laurie Rose (East PTO); Brian Strohmetz and Greg Warren (East choir); Ashley Fitzgerald (Interact Club); Scott Kenny and Ralf Solomone (Safety); Kyle Austin and Chip Phillips (TV Production); Bridget Abatemarco, Scott Lindstrom, Colleen O'Donnell, Rachel Barry, Cody McMichael, and Karen Shaughnessy (East 18-21 Program); Casey Daniel (Tretoday); Doug Trumble and Eddie Goodman (Raiders Helping Raiders Mentor Program); Tammi Pagano (Promoting literacy); A.J. Delgesso (Robotics); Liz Rodriguez (Spanish Heritage Program); Dr. Kretz (ASR Program); EAST Ambassadors and East TEAM students for supporting the events

Thank you all for being so kind and generous with your time! You make me proud!

East Surf Club Supports Beach Cleanup!

Great job to Mrs. Buckley and our Surf Club members for their efforts to support a beach sweep this weekend! I always appreciate giving back to our environment.

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Guest Speakers

Mrs. Heather Richards-Barone spoke to our students last week. She is the President of EPA Financial Services Corp. in Toms River. Mrs. Barone was born and raised in Toms River and graduated from Toms River High School North. Her company works with Commonwealth Financial Services, their Broker/Dealer, and they have launched a financial literacy program. Mrs. Barone has her bachelor’s degree in Education and was a teacher in the district after college. In 2003, she left teaching to start a career with family business, financial planning and investments. Education has always been very important to her and she wanted to reach out to see if I can shed light on what it is she does and her business with the intent to share her professional experiences with our students.

The U.S. economy ranks 14th globally when it comes to the number of adults who are financially literate. Mrs. Barone feels this is a disappointing statistic, especially when you consider that individuals who lack basic financial knowledge can perpetuate this problem from generation to generation. That is why she volunteers her time to come in and speak to the Personal Finance Classes within the Toms River School District.

Thank you Mrs. Barone for coming in to meet with our children! I know they benefited from your rich experiences and knowledge in the field! Thank you for adding your value to our school community!

Indoor Color Guard Rocks On!

The Indoor Guard ROCKED their show last week at Brick Memorial taking home 2ND PLACE with a score of 77.89 in the SRAA division!! Great job to our 9 seniors who competed at their best for their final New Jersey show! Next up for the team will be the Championships on April 23rd in Allentown PA!! Keep up the great work girls! We are proud of you!

Field of Dreams!

Field of Dreams, the project envisioned by High School North teacher Christian Kane, experienced its first test on Friday. With a bright sun and the hum of construction vehicles on the outskirts of the play area working to fully complete the project, High School East students receiving special services were bused in to try out the fully-inclusive playground area. Wheelchair-accessible trampolines and swings, slides, see-saws, and a beautiful new outdoor basketball court were just several of the fun activities students were more than excited to test out. As far as that test went, it passed with flying colors. Photos from the day below.

Paraprofessional Day

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the efforts of our wonderful paraprofessionals today as part of Paraprofessional Day. We have approximately 35 paras at East. Our paras are empathetic individuals who connect with both adults and children. They understand the developmental stages of kids in different grade levels and adjust their communication style to connect with them more effectively. They are excellent at solving problems, communicating with students about their challenges and coming up with ideas about how to overcome them. I appreciate that our Paraprofessionals are friendly and optimistic, providing a positive influence over their classroom and encouraging a welcoming environment. They enjoy working as part of a team and take direction well from their Lead Teacher when preparing lessons and supporting student needs!

We are so fortunate to have kind, caring, and supporting paras who love children. Thank you to all of you for all you bring to the table as a member of our staff at East. You all are seen, understood, and respected. To show our support, we provided lunch in the Main Office Conference Room for our paras compliments of Della Cucina!

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Food Truck!

Thank you to J & J Snack Foods for offering to provide all of our students and staff with soft pretzels and icees on Tuesday. It was a beautiful day outside and the kids had an opportunity to enjoy the snacks!

School Renovations

Our elevator will be out of service following Spring Break. As part of the Referendum, we will have an entirely new elevator installed for the coming school year! In the meantime, we will be providing students who are on crutches their upstairs instruction via Google Meet in the Guidance Office until the new elevator is installed.

Our cafeteria is also undergoing a renovation. The last day for hot food to be served will be Friday, April 8th. For the remainder of the school year, a variety of cold options will be available that will include assorted sandwiches and salads and limited a la carte selections. Menus will be posted next week that will reflect the changes. All food will be served out of the vending machine area.

Art Exhibition Show

High School East's Art Exhibition‘s goal is to unite our school's clubs and Special Needs students! The Art Exhibition will take place on THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2022 in the MEDIA CENTER. The Special Needs classes will explore the Media Center hosted by ̈members from our school's clubs, including the Alliance, Art, DART, Environmental, French, Hispanic Heritage, Interact, Key, Medical, Peer Leadership, and Photography. Each club will provide up to 2 volunteer members to be “artists” representing their club (any photographer, painter, musician, etc.) hosting 1 activity that the Special Needs students can do. This event was developed by NHS student, Nicole Rosas! Great job Nicole!

Activity Day

As we get ready to begin the fourth and final marking period, it is not uncommon for us to begin to count down the days until summer. One of the main focuses of the year here at East has been goal setting. A couple of our previous activity periods have been dedicated to setting long-term goals for ourselves this year. The purpose of this month’s activity is to make every day count, especially as we start to countdown the last days of the school year. We are going to make everyday count here at East by setting a simple goal or task for each remaining day of the school year, (beginning Monday, 4/25 when we return from Spring Break.

Check out our Activity here!

East Happenings!