Principal Garcia's Newsletter

Friday, April 21, 2023

Torey J. Sabatini School

Important Dates

  • April 21 - Deadline to Submit Optional K-4 Placement Parent Input Form
  • April 25 - Deadline to Submit Take Your Child to Work Day Permission Slips
  • April 26 - PTO Meeting in the Art Room at 7:30 PM
  • April 27 - Take Your Child to Work Day (permission slip required below)
  • April 28 - Grade 5 Breakfast with the Principal
  • April 28 - MEF Spirit Day - wear old MEF T-shirts!
  • April 29 - Arbor Day Ceremony at Hartley Dodge Memorial at 9 AM / Madison Green and Clean Day (formally known as May Day)
  • May 1-5 - Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 5 - TJS Spirit Wear Day
  • May 7 - MEF 5K
  • May 8-15 - NJSLA ELA and Math Testing in Grades 3-5
  • May 18-19 - NJSLA Science Testing Grade 5
  • May 16-24 - NJSLA General Make-ups
  • May 16 - TJS Spring Concert at MJS at 6 PM
  • May 25-31 - No School Memorial Day

Positive Torey J. News

NJ School Performance Reports were recently published in April. The last time these reports were available was in 2020 since state testing was postponed during the pandemic. As you may know, NJ developed a school accountability system as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Schools are given a summative rating which is the percentile rank of the summative score as compared to other schools across the state. In a recent Patch article, Torey J. is listed as a top performer in the state (scoring a summative score of 97.69 and a summative rating of 99.94). These scores are based on the 2021-22 school year ELA and MATH Proficiency Indicators, Growth Scores, and Attendance. NJ Ranked the top 30 schools and Torey J. is proudly standing at #4!

This is a collective achievement and I am so incredibly proud of the staff, students, and Torey J. community. Your children are so lucky to have such an extraordinary team of educators who go above and beyond for the children on a daily basis. The care and compassion each child is shown as they walk through the doors of TJS as well as the high-quality instruction each student receives are unmatched. "It's a GREAT day to be a jaguar!"

Great job, TJS!

Your Proud Principal, Ms. Garcia

Take Your Child to Work Day

As you may know, Thursday, April 27, 2023, is "Take Your Child to Work Day." In order for your child to be excused from school, please print and complete the permission slip below and return it to your child's teacher no later than Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

News from Mrs. Bletcher in the Counseling Corner

Happy spring! I’d like to give a BIG shout out to our 5th Grade Peer Leaders who spent time last week teaching each class about Autism. Peer leaders also decorated the hallways and the chalk wall with facts about Autism in honor of Autism Awareness month. They also helped find and clean rocks for an upcoming school-wide painting project. Thank you, Peer Leaders!

Earlier this week an email was sent to all second and third-grade parents/guardians regarding an upcoming Peer Mentoring program. This is a lunchtime program that will take place weekly in the cafeteria. Second and third-grade students will be paired up and engage in a variety of activities encouraging positive communication and leadership skills. If you haven’t done so already, please sign your second or third-grader up for this fun and engaging activity!

Attention all 5th-grade parents/guardians! In preparation for students entering sixth grade, I will be teaching a series of classroom lessons, called “6th Grade Boot Camp.” In previous years, this program was done during lunchtime. This year, all students will be present for these lessons, as they will take place in the classroom. Topics covered will be lock opening, decoding the middle school schedule, beginning-of-year jitters, and time management. As always, please feel free to reach out to me at bletcherj@madisonnjps with any questions.

Weekly Reading Tips from Mrs. LoBrace

All About Finding the Main Idea & Supporting Details

When you identify the main idea as a reader you are working to pin-point what the text is mostly about.

To find the main idea ask:

-What is the text mainly about?

-What information is in the title or subheadings?

-What do I see in the illustrations or any nonfiction text features?

-Do I see the main idea in the first or last sentence?

-Are there any words used repeatedly?

When you identify supporting details as a reader you are working to find what parts of the text contribute to the main idea and help us better understand what we are reading.

Details that could support the main idea include:





-thoughts & feelings



-illustrations & diagrams

-graphs & charts

-captions & sidebars

Ways to Visualize Main Idea & Supporting Details!

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TJS Musical - Winnie the Pooh Kids

Grade 5 Health Office Reminders

Please read the important forms from Mrs. Guarino.

News from Food Service Provider Pomptonian

April showers bring May flowers.

April 22nd is Earth Day. To celebrate Earth Day, in the cafeteria we are shaking up the lunch tray and providing a sample of Cowboy Caviar with each lunch. The sample includes sorghum. Sorghum is a whole grain and is considered a “superfood” due to its nutritional properties. Additionally, sorghum is an energy-efficient crop, making it a perfect sample in honor of Earth Day. Brandon Lips, previously the Undersecretary of the USDA, has partnered with us on this exciting promotion.

Our latest edition of the Nutrition News focuses on Sorghum, Nutrition News - Sorghum Edition. Also, below please find a flyer and word puzzle.

Sorghum Video
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Staff Spotlight

Grade 4 Teacher, Mrs. Kate Lade

Hello! My name is Kate Lade, and I’m a 4th Grade teacher, mother of 23-year-old twins, and movie enthusiast. I have been a classroom teacher in Madison since 2014. I began my time here by filling two maternity leaves - one in 5th grade and another in grade 2. I enjoyed getting a sneak peek at the extraordinary talent at TJS. I was excited to be allowed to join such a wonderful group of educators when I was offered a full-time teaching position. Since then, I have taught third or fourth grade at Torey J. While I love teaching all subjects, ELA has always been close to my heart. I love to read stories to my students and encourage them to use their imagination and experiences when creating stories to share with others. I regularly visit the public library, eager to find new books to share, hoping to encourage my students to become avid readers.

Learning and teaching have always been my passions. As a lifelong learner, after completing a BA in Sociology and Political Science from Regis College, I expanded my credentials by completing a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education and, years later, a Master's degree in School Administration and Supervision.

I have been married to my husband, Terry, for 28 years. We have twins, Erin and Ryan, who are recent graduates of Boston College. They both work in finance and live in fast-paced NYC. We love to venture into the city to see them, catch one of our favorite Broadway shows or visit the Monet collection - my favorite artist - at the Met.

We spend any chance we get each summer in Rhode Island, with “family time” on quintessential Block Island. Free time for me includes reading, enjoying the latest movie, taking long walks on the sandy beach, bike riding, and spending time with friends.

The best part about working in Madison is my relationships with wonderful families, students, dedicated teachers, and support staff.

News from the MEF

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual MEF Pickleball Tournament on Saturday, June 3rd! Paddle up for a great cause... our schools! Registration is also ongoing for another MEF event---the 20th Annual MEF Madison 5K Run/Walk. Join us on May 7th for a 1-mile run/walk, 5K run/walk, and Kids Fun Run. All funds raised help MEF award teacher grants in Madison Public Schools. Visit the MEF website to learn more.

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News from the TJS PTO

Our next General PTO meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 26th at 7:30pm in the TJS Art Room. This meeting is open to ALL parents and teachers and we hope to see you there! Ms. Garcia will be in attendance and is happy to discuss pre-submitted questions. Click here for the link.

First ever Color Run at TJS!!!

Deadline to register is May 1 Register Here

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Library Help Needed! - New Dates and Times Added

Do you have an extra half hour to help out at school? Ms. Thomas needs our assistance to keep the TJS library organized between classes. Volunteers are needed for short periods to help reshelve books. Please check out the times on the SignUp Genius if you are interested!


April 29th is Madison Green and Clean (formerly known as May Day) from 9:00AM - 3:00PM

As always we will be weeding and mulching the beds around the TJS entrance, and could really use your help. This year we will also be cleaning up and refreshing the personalized rock area near the entrance. We ask that any parents and children able to lend a hand, please come out to help.

And if you can also bring tools for the work (wheelbarrows, pitchforks, rakes, gloves, etc.), it would be greatly appreciated. We will provide some, but the more we have the smoother and quicker it goes.

As you can see below, there are other things going on that day too, and we encourage you all to participate in those as well:

9:00 AM Arbor Day celebration at Hartley Dodge.

10:00-12:00 MPS Pollinator Habitat at the BOE building on Woodland right behind TJS.

10:00-11:30 Conservation presentation at the Early Trades Museum in town.

Please reach out to Steve Alcorn ( if you have any questions (or suggestions for other Green/Clean activities).

More details about the day can be found at

Thank you and we hope to see you on the 29th.

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Madison Summer STEAM Academy

The Madison STEAM Academy returns this summer for its sixth year and is bigger than ever before!

The STEAM Academy offers a hands-on, engaging camp experience for students entering grades 1 through 12 in the 2023-24 school year. With a diverse range of interesting courses, there's an exciting opportunity for every interest! Programming is offered across six week-long sessions in either AM, PM, or full-day options, and enrollment is not limited to Madison residents. Extended day options and tuition assistance are also available to ensure that any interested student can access this amazing program! For enrollment, course offerings, and more information, please visit

Madison Summer Arts Program

Click the link below to access the Madison Summer Arts Program Brochure.
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