The Boulevard Beat

A Monthly Newsletter from SBS - January 2015 Edition

The Principal's Place

Dear Parents,

The first few months of the 2014-15 school year have been marked by proud accomplishments and a strong partnership between the school and parent community. While we've never sought to validate our efforts to provide the best education possible for our children, I have some exciting news to share.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a representative from the New Jersey Department of Education, who informed me that Southern Boulevard School has been nominated to apply for a 2015 National Blue Ribbon Award as an Exemplary High Performing School. I have proudly accepted this nomination, and formed a committee that will complete the application. We are going to do our very best to achieve the Blue Ribbon Award, and should know more about our result when the 2015-16 school year begins in September.

Regardless of whether or not we are successfully awarded National Blue Ribbon status, the nomination alone is truly an honor that should be shared and celebrated by all members of our community. We have always strived to create and provide the best possible educational experiences for our children. Through the partnerships formed among our forward thinking District, our talented staff, and an intelligent, resourceful and caring parent community, our children are achieving outstanding results.

I encourage each of you to take a step back and enjoy the sense of pride that comes with this recognition. You deserve it! Speaking for the SBS staff, we are going to do all that we can to fully achieve this great honor, and we will not rest on laurels regardless of the outcome.


Robert Gardella


The Nurse's Nook

A word about Valentine’s Day

As we approach Valentine’s Day, our thoughts turn to things like card exchanges and sweets. We all look forward to watching the kindness that unfolds as we celebrate with expressions of friendship and care for each other.

Please understand that district regulation prevents us from sending home food with children. Therefore, we have to ask you to refrain from attaching candy to your child’s Valentine’s Day cards. Unfortunately, cards that are brought to school with food attached will not be distributed. This includes, candy, gum, lip balms, etc.

Classroom celebrations may include special sweet treats, but for reasons of safety, we are not allowed to send children home with food that could be eaten in unsupervised situations. This regulation, which has been in effect for several years, can be accessed on the district webpage. (# 5331 A R)

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Leister or Mr. Gardella.

Thanks, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

The Library Lowdown

January 23 – 30 - SBS' LOVE TO READ This incentive reading program began on Friday, Jan. 23rd and ends Jan. 30th. On Jan. 22nd students brought home a letter explaining the program and their reading logs. Please be sure to tally your child's minutes and initial the log. Logs must be handed in this Friday morning, Jan. 30th. Logs will not be accepted after Friday morning. Thank you to Mrs. Nacinovich and Mrs. Ruddy for helping to organize and run this program!

BOOK FAIR - The SBS annual library book fair will take place from Tues. Feb. 3rd through Thurs. Feb. 5th. Students will visit the library twice. Once to make a wish list, and the other to purchase books with parental approval. Parents will receive a letter informing them what days their child will visit the fair. Parents are invited to shop at the book fair on Tues., Wed., and Thurs. between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Thanks for your support!

Counseling Connection

January is filled with New Year's resolutions and celebration of fulfilling promises of dreams for a world where people are all accepted and valued. As tolerating differences through understanding, kindness, empathy, and conscious acts of caring, has been SBS' overarching theme for the school year, it's a perfect time to renew that commitment ~ to remember the children's Pinwheel Promises and reflect on our endeavoring support to the students' hopes for a peaceful and tolerant environment so that they may see tangible results.

Toward that goal, I've been reinforcing the concepts of understanding our differences for respectful and peaceable relationships. By now, the students are getting to know each other better and it becomes important to gain awareness of understanding self and how we interact with the world around us. Students may see others having fun running around or engaging in quieter activists, such as artwork, reading, and the like, and begin to think that they should be more interested in what they perceive is the preferred activity for happy relationships.

While specific topics may vary, the message has been that we all have different ways of interacting with each other and have a variety of interests. To help students understand the various aspects of self and to honor each other's processes and natures, one classroom activity involved reading the book, "I'm Gonna Like Me." We usually create class books, but since it's winter, I decided we could use some flowers in the room! So the students created flowers, writing and drawing on the petals the type of activities they enjoy in various modes; for example, we discussed that some people prefer to run around and play active games with groups and teams during recess, while others prefer more solitude during recess, while others enjoy small group interactions that may involve quiet games, etc. We also discussed that some people like to read in their time alone, as well as using reading as a group activity by then discussing what they read with others. In this way, the students can begin to understand how they may be more introverted by nature, but can use their interest to also interact with others on a comfortable manner which can enrich and widen their experiences. For those who spoke of loving to play sports, we began to explore what aspect of the sport really energized them and what exactly was it that made it a passion for them; for example, some students enjoyed the physical running, some enjoyed the team aspect, etc. Some of those students expressed enjoying working on specific skills in their alone time. The flowers made a beautiful and tangible display of how each flower has different aspects and how they join together to create beauty and a school culture and climate where we all coexist peacefully and can nurture each other.

As always, I review and model coping skills that support growth during trying times of frustration with self and others. Taking deep breaths, waiting to calm, drinking water, good nutrition, and restorative sleep are all factors which affect a student's resilience, but this can be an important piece of information for them as they navigate the day and manage their emotions and thoughts.

The Design Den

Welcome Families, to the Design Den!

What has been happening in Design and Technology this month?

3rd Grade Students are exploring water availability around the world and are designing water carriers that could be used to collect and transport water.

Ask your child how much of the Earth’s water is freshwater and how residents of Chatham, NJ get drinking water compared to residents of much more secluded areas like small villages in Africa.

2nd Grade Students are challenged to think about what happens to their trash after they throw it in a garbage can.

Ask your child what a landfill is and how engineers have designed them to be safe for the environment.

1st Grade Students are learning about agriculture and biotechnology. They are exploring where food comes from and how it gets to their plate at home.

Ask your child to sing the food product song that outlines the six steps a food product goes through; all the way from harvest to consumption.

Kindergarten Students are learning about the design process.

Ask your child which step of the design process is it when you are following your plan and building your solution.

Thank you again for your support of Design and Technology!

Ms. Stojanov (Ms. S)

Then and Now...

Holiday Boutique 1990

SBS students checking their lists!

Holiday Boutique 2014

...And checking it twice!

1988 Assembly

The "Colgate 13", a singing group from Colgate University visited SBS, offering tunes from the 50's, 60's & 70's.

2015 Assembly

The Story Pirate Idea Storm assembly is an extension of the writing workshops that the Story Pirates have been teaching around the country for years, in which they pair up experienced educators with talented comedians, and teach academic subjects in hilarious and exciting new ways.

Dinnertime Conversations.....

Tired of the same old responses when you ask your children how their day went? Check in here for some conversation starters!

Ask your kindergartner to:

1. Practice skip counting by 10's to 100.

2. Practice the days of the week (What day comes before Monday, etc.)

3. Play a rhyming word game.

Ask Your first grader:

1. What is a fact family? Can you show me an example and explain how they are related?

2. What are related facts? Can you show me an example? How do you know they are related?

3. What are the different ways you can read these number sentence? 2+3=5​ 5-2=3?

Ask your second grader:

1. What did the Story Pirates say the three steps are for writing a good story?

2. How did Martin Luther King change the world for the better?

3. How do you regroup using cubes and/or paper and pencil?

Ask you third grader:

1. Ask your child about Battle of the Books? What is it? What books have they read thus far? How do they feel about the competition?

2. What is your child studying in Science? They have started their third rotation so you can also ask what Science topic they have enjoyed learning about the most thus far.

3. If your child is reading fiction at home, ask them to describe a main character. What type of traits would they use to describe the character? Why did they choose a particular trait? Can they show evidence from the text to support their answer?

PTO Posts

Our Next PTO Meeting is February 10th at 9:15am in the Media Center.

Love To Read!

The Love to Read Book Logs came home on January 22nd in student backpacks. Encourage your child to read, complete the logs, as well as the red heart. Both are due back at school on January 30th.

Tee Off with SBS – Spring Golf Outing - Monday, April 27, 2015

The 4th Annual PTO Golf Outing will be held on Monday, April 27, 2015 at Fairmount Country Club. Mark your calendar and secure your babysitter! This is one of SBS’ two major fundraisers which helps support the students and faculty of our school. We hope to see you all there. Registration for golf begins at 10:00 am, followed by lunch at 11:00 am and Shotgun Start at 1:00 pm.

Not a golfer? Not too worry. The Cocktail Reception and Dinner begins at 5:00 pm.

Join us for a fun-filled evening, which includes a Silent Auction, Live Auction and Tricky Tray. Invitations and registration information will follow in the upcoming weeks.

If you are interested in any type of sponsorship for our event or to make a donation, please contact Laura Ferchak ( or Kay Aprea ( and they can provide additional information.

Spring Youth Softball League

New to Chatham or have a child entering Kindergarten? Softball is a great Spring sport, and registration has begun for the 2015 Youth Softball League. Girls in grades K-8 are eligible to play. It is open now and ends Friday, February 13. We hope to see many of you on the diamond. Click to register:

Meet the Masters – Music

Our students are currently exploring classical music through our Meet the Masters Program. Be sure to look for information sent home by your child's teacher.