Potter News

December 2018

A Message from Ms. Cimino

We hope that everyone had a great November and Thanksgiving with their families. Although it was a short month, we did pack in a lot of learning and fun! We are looking forward to a great December and Holiday Season.

Recently, attendance letters have gone home to students who have missed more that 10% of the school year at this point (5 days). Each year I get several questions about this practice. These letters go home so that we are all on the same page regarding your child's attendance. Attendance is one of the top predictors of student success, and we encourage our students to be here as much as possible. With that being said, we do understand that children get sick and we would never want your child to attend school while sick. Please continue to monitor your child's attendance so that absences do not become excessive. As always, our students are most successful when we all work together!

The staff of the H & M Potter School wishes all of our families a happy and healthy holiday season.

Beyond Band Aids with Mrs. Olsen

Preschool Flu Vaccine

New Jersey law requires that every child 6 months through 59 months of age attending any child-care center or preschool facility on or after September 1, 2008, shall receive at least one dose of Influenza vaccine between September 1st and December 31st of each year. If your child turns 5 by December 31st, 2018, he or she is not required to receive a flu shot for preschool.

Once your child has received the flu vaccine, please forward documentation from his/her physician, including the date given, so your child’s school health record may be updated. This information must be provided to the school by January 3, 2019.

Please contact your physician as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so that you child is properly vaccinated.

If your child does not receive the state required vaccine prior to December 31st, he/she will not be permitted to return to school when we resume in January 2019.

Food Allergies:

It is always a good idea to include non-food related activities in a classroom party so that everyone can enjoy the day without fear of someone getting sick. Some ideas for non-food alternatives for celebrations can be found at this link:.


There are about 2 students in every classroom with at least one food allergy. Please contact the teacher or the nurse before sending in any food to share with the class.


Please keep an extra set of clothing for your child either in their book bag or their classroom. Every student in every grade can benefit from extra clothes in school. SPILLS and ACCIDENTS happen almost daily!

VISION and HEARING referrals

Vision and hearing screening is ongoing in the nurses office as is blood pressure, height and weight.. If you receive a referral notice from the nurse, it means your child was screened and the screening showed the possibility of a problem. Please follow up with your health care provider. If you need assistance in finding an appropriate doctor, please call the nurse at Ext. 5005.

Fun with Santa

The H & M Potter School PTA will again be sponsoring the 2018 Fun with Santa on Friday, December 7 from 6-8:30. There will be free crafts, Santa letters and reindeer food along with paid photos with Santa, hat and cookie decorating and slime making. This year we have added a paid "sleigh" ride through our field! We are looking forward to a night of holiday fun!

The Giving Tree

Please remember that tags will be available on our Giving Tree to provide help for Potter families during the holiday season. The tree is located in the school lobby and all presents must be returned to the school unwrapped. We have extended the deadline for tag returns to Friday December 14. Donations of wrapping paper would also be appreciated. Thank you for helping to continue this successful community project.

Winter Weather Reminders

With the cold weather approaching we have a few reminders:

  • Students will continue to go outside for recess and gym as weather permits, so please make sure that they are dressing appropriately for the cold.
  • If you are dropping your children off at the Deal Avenue entrance, please make sure you arrive at 9:05AM. The doors will not be opening each day until that time, therefore the students will be outside unsupervised if they come earlier. We also ask that you please drop and go quickly, as you have been all year. We will have an increased number of drop offs on cold days, and moving quickly will ensure that all students get to school on time.
  • For school delay or closing information please make sure that all phone numbers are updated in the Parent Portal. You can also check the district Facebook page or website at www.btboe.org.
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Living Lab Update

Staff and students alike are so excited to experience our Living Lab at Potter! Within the lab students are provided opportunities to make observations of the various structures and functions of the animals within the lab, experience the numerous habitats and ecosystems that exist, and learn about the care needed for survival. Should you have any questions or concerns about your child's visit to the lab please reach out to their classroom teacher.

Currently in the lab the following animals have joined us:

1. Crested Gecko

2. Turtles

3. Tree Frog

4. Hamster

5. Glo Fish

6. Rabbits

7. Chinchilla

Schoolhouse Homework Help

Schoolhouse is a homework and academic skills program that is funded by the Berkeley Township School District.

Schoolhouse runs Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 PM at

235 Magnolia Ave. South Toms River.

December Calendar

December 4: Pawsome Lunch

December 5: Honor Roll Breakfast, 8:30 am

December 5: Kindergarten Parent University at CBW, 6pm (For those who preregistered)

December 6: 3rd and 4th Grade Book Club, 6:30pm Berkeley Library

December 7: Spirit Day, School Spirit

December 7: Fun with Santa, 6-8:30pm

December 10: PTA Meeting, 7pm APR

December 11-13: PTA Holiday Gift Shop (During School Hours)

December 18: Kindergarten Holiday Show, 10am APR

December 19: Preschool Holiday Show, 10am APR

December 20: Holiday Chorus Concert, 6pm APR

December 21: Four Hour Session, Dismissal at 1:15pm

December 21: Spirit Day, Holiday Sweater Day!

December 24-January 2: School Closed

January 3, 2019: School Reopens

H & M Potter School

Andrea Cimino, Principal

Melissa Gallagher, Assistant Principal