Lakes Ledger

Volume 6 - Byram Lakes Elementary School - February 2023

Upcoming Dates

January 26th: End of Marking Period 2

February 2nd: Grades Finalized / Parent Portal opened for Marking Period 2

February 3rd: Valentine's Day Family Bingo, sponsored by the PTA

February 9th: Byram's Got Talent Auditions, sponsored by the PTA

February 13th, 14th, 15th: First day of Art classes, sponsored by the PTA

February 15th: Board of Education Meeting

February 16th: Virtual Parent Academy: Reading Strategies @ 7pm

February 17th: Kids' Heart Challenge Jumping Day

February 20th: President's Day / School Closed: Winter Recess

February 24th: Movie Night, sponsored by the PTA

March 2nd: Dr. Seuss Night, sponsored by the PTA

March 10th: Build-A-Ram, sponsored by the PTA

A Message from the Principal

Hello Byram Lakes students and families!

We have made it to the halfway point of the 2022-2023 school year. This marks the point in the year where our students are closer to the end of the year than the beginning. It's time to start thinking about expectations for next year. Are our students ready? You bet they are!

Students have been tasked with buckling down and stepping up their work habits this year. Our students, staff, and parents have worked from all angles to make the kids successful in the classroom. Our teachers have been using multiple forms of data to chart this progress, including DIBELS, iReady, and grade level student learning SMART goals and common assessments. These programs allow staff to see exactly where students are successful or need some extra assistance. Another great component of these programs is that they contain suggestions for home-based activities, so you can work on reading and/or math skills with your children at home. Feel free to reach out to me or your child's teacher for more information.

In addition to the academic side, we understand how imperative it is for our students to continue to grow socially and emotionally. Our teachers do a great job of teaching the whole child, and we are thankful that students receive the positive family support they do at home. It truly takes all of us to help our children feel supported and successful. Our job is to continue to help students make mature, kind, and respectful choices. If they can do this, they will be successful. To this end, we implement multiple programs and groups, including Second Step, Kindness Club, and SEL-infused classroom lessons. Please let me know if you'd like any resources to help support your child from a social & emotional perspective.

It's been so exciting to see this growth in the first half of the year, and I can't wait to see what the second half brings!

Pete Morris

Included in this edition of the Lakes Ledger:

A Look Back

- Celebrations Assembly

- Teaching & Learning

- BLES STEM Club Presentation

- Lunar New Year

A Look Ahead

- Kindergarten Registration

- Preschool Registration

- Virtual Parent Academy: Reading Strategies

- Kids' Heart Challenge

- Byram's Got Talent

- Archer the Therapy Dog

- Byram Summer Adventure Program

- Teacher Wishlists

- Lego Club

General Info

- Attendance

- Cold Weather

- Pickup Patrol (with added note as of February edition)

- SchoolMessenger

- Lunch


PTA Corner

- Lego Club

- Upcoming Events - There is a lot coming up!

- Fundraiser information

Extra! Extra!

- BLES Building Calendar

- Baseball Registration

- Lacrosse Registration

- Byram Recreation Signup Information

- Classroom newsletters

A Look Back

Celebrations Assembly

Students have accomplished SO MUCH this year both in school and out! Before the break, we held a Celebrations Assembly. Before the assembly, teachers had a chance to record any student accomplishments. At the Celebrations Assembly, these students were called up and recognized in front of the whole school! In addition to our awards, students had a chance to sing, dance, play games, and just have a great time celebrating together. The gathering was capped with a performance from Mrs. Scaturo's incredible 4th grade choir.
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Teaching & Learning: Comparing Sizes

Mrs. Kelly led her preschool class in a lesson on comparing sizes. Students read about Goldilocks and the three bears to gain an understanding, and investigated both different sized objects and the letters in their names!
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Board Presentation: BLES STEM Club

Mrs. Poff and Mr. Kulesa and a whole bunch of 4th graders have been busy innovating this year in the BLES STEM Club! Students have been working on creating robotic vehicles using Lego pieces, and then coding those vehicles to move forward, backward, and even do some tricks. 4 students were asked to represent the club at the January Board of Education meeting, and did a great job showing off some of the products and skills they learned in STEM Club!
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Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! 1st graders in Mrs. Scaturo's music class learned about the music behind the holiday. They even learned a sang a song in Mandarin, "Zhao Peng You," which means "Looking for a Friend." 2023 is the year of the Rabbit!
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Teaching & Learning: Addition Strategies

Students in Mrs. Chaladoff's class spent time working on different addition strategies. Students were given different activities to accomplish this task, as students learn in different ways!
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Teaching & Learning: Using Tens and Ones to Add

In November, the Byram Lakes staff said Happy Retirement to a longtime teacher, Mrs. McCann. Filling in those shoes is Mrs. Campanile, who has done a wonderful job helping her students grow! Here, her students are practicing breaking numbers into tens and ones to add.
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Stuff the Stocking

A huge THANK YOU to all local families who donated to Stuff the Stocking this year. Between the 48 schools that participated, over 7,000 toys were collected. Because of your generosity, 2,245 children received gifts this holiday season! See the attached flyer for a letter of thanks from the Project Self-Sufficiency executive director.

A Look Ahead

Kindergarten Registration

Do you live in Byram and have a child that will be turning five on or before October 1, 2023? Then it is time to register him/her for kindergarten! Do you know someone in town that has their first child turning five on or before this date? Then please share this information with them!

The Smore link below will provide a step by step walk through of the registration process. There is a short video clip providing instructions for how to use the online portal to register a child. Should you have any questions or need any assistance with the online registration process, please contact the main office at Byram Lakes for help.


Click Here to Access the Kindergarten Registration Newsletter

Preschool Registration

Do you have a child turning three prior to August 31, 2023 or turning four prior to October 1, 2023? Then they are eligible to be enrolled in the preschool program at Byram Lakes Elementary School! Click here to access an overview of the program as well as important dates regarding the application process. If you are interested in having your child attend our preschool program, please click here to access the application. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS MARCH 10 2023.

Virtual Parent Academy: Reading Strategies

Are you looking for ways to strengthen your child's love and ability for reading? Join our Reading Specialist Carrie Zelizo and our Language Arts Coach Jen Sinnott for an evening to discuss reading strategies for all learners! Mrs. Zelizo and Mrs. Sinnott's presentation will cover expectations and strategies for students of all skill levels and of all ages. From this event, you will take home solid strategies and ideas for how to engage your child in reading!

Interested? Please fill out this form so we can plan for attendance. Thank you!

Kids Heart Challenge

It’s time for our American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge™! By participating in Kids Heart Challenge, your child can learn about taking care of their hearts. They’ll be given a chance to raise awareness and funds to help kids with special hearts and make all communities healthier. They’ll get physical, social, and emotional wellness lessons. Plus, our school can earn NEW Physical Education equipment!

We will be jumping Friday, February 17th!

Please click the link to learn how to follow along and contribute to our fundraising efforts!

Kids Heart Challenge Information - BLES

Byram's Got Talent

It is almost time for Byram's Got Talent! If your child has an act that they would like to show off, this is their chance! Auditions will be on February 9th right after school.

If you are interested in signing up your child, please fill in the schedule below.

Audition Signups - Feb. 9th

Archer the Therapy Dog

Byram Lakes has partnered with Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs to allow a golden retriever named Archer and his trainer Kate to start making visits to BLES! Therapy dogs have proven to provide a number of benefits to all students (and staff!) in elementary school, including socially, emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally. Of course, interaction with the dog is not mandatory for any students, so those with fears or allergies need not worry. We are so excited to be working with Kate and Archer! They will be in Mondays on a weekly basis. Please check out the Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs website below.

Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs

100th Day Drive

Peer Leaders from BIS are organizing a 100th day of school drive to benefit local food banks and shelters! Please see the below letter from Ms. Hooker with more information. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
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Teacher Wishlists

Would you be willing to help your child's teacher obtain materials for their classrooms? Several of our teachers have created 'wishlists' on Amazon. Simply open the doc linked here. If you would like to help out any of the teachers who have created wishlists, open their list. Any items purchased will be sent directly to the school. Thank you!

Amazon Teacher Wishlists

Lego Club

Thank you to the PTA for continuing to host Lego Club for our students! Just a couple of reminders for anyone in Lego Club:

- Please adjust Pickup Patrol to let us know your child will be staying for Lego Club.

- Lego Club ends at 4:30.

- Your child must be registered through the PTA to participate in Lego Club.

Please see the PTA Corner below for more information including how to sign up!

General Info


Attendance is crucial to our childrens' success in school! Please take a look at our district's Attendance Policy here. In accordance with our district attendance policy, we will be notifying home as students accumulate unexcused absences. Notification processes are as follows:

4 absences/tardies: letter home about the importance of attendance generated (Truancy Officer)

8 absences/tardies:second letter home with importance of attendance, and warning of what will happen if absences/tardies increase (Truancy Officer)

12 unexcused absences/tardies: mandatory meeting to develop an Attendance Improvement Plan (RTI Coordinator)

18 absences/tardies: possible referral to truancy court (Administrator)

In order to avoid an unexcused absence, please send in a doctor's note or other documentation providing an excused reason for the absence. The regulation on absence classification can be found here. If you have doctor's notes or documentation for any school days already missed, please send those in to our main office as soon as possible.

Cold Weather Wear

It's cold out there! Please make sure you send your children in with jackets as appropriate. As long as the weather is nice and it is not at a freezing temperature outside, we'll be going out for recess.

Pickup Patrol

The Byram Township School District utilizes Pick Up Patrol to ensure that all students arrive to school and return home safely. This system allows parents to input the mode by which their child(ren) will return home at the end of the school day. Options for dismissal include pick up or school bus. Parents can set a default plan to notify their child's teacher of how they will be going home each day. Should that default need to be changed on a given day, it is the parent's responsibility to log in and update the day with a "Plan Change." This will notify the teacher that the student will not be following the normal dismissal plan and can then inform the student of the plan change for that day. If you need to change your child's plan for the day, you will need to do so no later than 3:05 pm.

PLEASE NOTE (Added as of February edition): If you are picking up your child, you will need to pick them up by 3:00. If you arrive after 3:00, you will need to wait on the pickup line. This is to ensure safety of all students during dismissal time.

Please click here for an informational flyer that will explain more.


SchoolMessenger Communicate is the platform that we use at BTSD to get messages out to our parents through phone and email. With this platform we are required to receive your permission to send you text messages before you can be added to our text alerts list. To do this, you will need to opt-in to use this service. Opting-in is only required to receive text message alerts, your choice to opt-in or not will not affect receiving email and phone alerts.

In order to opt-in:

  • If you already have a mobile phone number in our system attached to your contact card and you wish to opt-in, you may send a text message to 67587 with Y or Yes in the text message at any time. Doing so will opt you in to receive text alerts after we complete the migration.

Click here for an informational flier with more information as well as a QR Code that you can scan to assist you with opting in as well.

If you do not opt-in using one of the methods provided above, you will not receive any text alerts from the school after we migrate to the new system. You can also opt-out at any time by sending STOP to 67587, or by replying to a school alert with STOP in the message.

If you opted-in, but are finding that you are not receiving school alerts via text, this likely means we do not have your number in our system, or it is not correctly marked as a mobile number. Please contact the main office of your child’s school to have the contact number corrected, and marked as a mobile number.


Students have been loving our school lunches provided by Maschio's Food Services! Maschio's is committed to serving healthy and delicious food options to our students on a regular basis. Unlike last year, lunch will not be offered at no cost to students. Lunch options include a main course option, a bagel bag, and a muffin bag. All lunches include components of a well-rounded nutritional meal, such as a vegetable, a milk, and a cheese stick or yogurt for the bagged options. A student lunch costs $3.50.

Using their online portal, you can check out the upcoming menus for each month. You can also preload your child's account so that they have the funds to buy lunch. See the below links for more information. If your child buys lunch, it is very helpful if they know their PIN to ensure a quick buying process and more time to eat. Your child's lunch pin is the last four digits of their Student ID number.

Maschio's Welcome Back Letter

Byram Food Services

Maschio's Menus

If your child charges lunch and you have not yet added funds, you will be receiving notices from me to fund your account.

A message from the Board Office:

The school lunches are not free anymore unless you qualify through the free and reduced application process.The income guidelines have changed so if you didn't qualify in the past you may qualify now. Please complete an application and send it in an envelope to the Byram Board of Education office.Those families that qualify for reduced lunch will get it free this year under a state subsidy.The applications can be found on the Byram School website under the students tab and food service tab.

COVID Procedures

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please inform the school as soon as possible. As per state guidance, your child will need to remain out of school for 5 days. At that point you and your child will have the option of what to do for the next five days: either returning to school in person with a mask OR staying out.

There will be no letters sent home for positive cases this year. If your child isn't feeling well, play it safe and keep them home.

Masks are optional for all staff and students.

PTA Corner

A huge THANK YOU to the Byram PTA, as they continue to work so hard to provide some excellent opportunities for our students and families. Remember, if you would like to volunteer in the classroom, please Please check out this section to see what they've got going on. See below for flyers on some exciting upcoming events! Click on the flyer images for a larger version.

Check out the PTA MemberHub here to sign up, and the Facebook page here.

The PTA is always looking for volunteers, please contact them at

Here’s your 2022-2023 Byram PTA Board Members:

President Marla Rodriguez

Vice President Ana Lavrador

Secretary Oriana Strohmeyer

Treasurer Lindsey McBain

By-Laws Chair Patricia Trentanelli

A message from the PTA

The PTA is so excited with all the events we have for all the children and families. It’s been a great year and we have more coming up.

We would like to take a moment to thank the Board of Education, Mr. Fritzky , Mr. McCorkle, Mrs. Porter and Dr. Morris for all your support. A special thank you to their support staff for always helping us. These ladies go above and beyond to help the PTA. We would never forget our teachers and staff at BLES and BIS. Thank you for all your support.

These are our upcoming events. We hope you will join us. If you have an idea or an event you would like to do please reach out to us. You can always come to our meetings.

Valentine's Day Family Bingo

On February 3rd, our very own BOE President Julie and Vice President Jim will be in Valentine’s Day costume as our bingo caller. Please come join the fun and let’s spread the love by donating much needed food to the Waterloo pantry.

Lego Club

Parents requested it and we have it! Lego club for the kindergarten kids. Space is very limited so please sign up. Thank you to all the parents that stepped forward to volunteer. We are always in need of legos if you have any please email us. I will pick them up. Please sign up using the link below:

Kindergarten Lego Club

Byram's Got Talent

February 9th is auditions for Byram’s Got Talent . The show will be March 24th

Come audition!

Please sign up for Auditions here

After School Art Program

Art program is here for all ages! It is a 6 week program with an art teacher. If you are interested please reach out to Danielle Conroy.

Yoga, anyone?

We all need yoga in our lives. This is for our BIS students. It will be one free class on Monday February 13th. If there is an interested in yoga for all different ages please reach out to us and we can get multiple programs going. If you are interested in this class please email Danielle Conroy at DCASATALDOCONROY@GMAIL.COM or the PTA.

Space is very limited

Dine to Donate

Who doesn’t love pizza? A heart shaped pizza is even better! Join us for Dine to Donate on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, at Frank's.

Paint Your Own Oreos

Paint them spring themed oreos at home with your family. Fun and Delicious!

Get Your Glow On

Calling our 7th and 8th graders for a glow in the dark night out! Don’t forget to wear your glow in the dark clothes and accessories.

February 17th- if your 7th or 8th grader is interested please fill out the permission form below

Get Your Glow On Permission Slip

Movie Night

Byram PTA has teamed up with the Byram Recreation to bring you a movie night on February 24th! Family night event for all ages.

Dr. Seuss Night

DR. SEUSS IS ONE OUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS AUTHOR! Let’s kick off Read across America with our very own Mr. Swagger reading Cat in the Hat on March 2nd. Kids can then break into smaller groups and BIS student council and peer leaders will read their favorite Dr. Seuss books.

Cookies and Cheesecake Fundraiser

Who doesn’t love cookies and cheesecake??

Forms will go out in the beginning of February. Please remember when we raise money we make sure the money goes to do something special for all grades.

Build A Ram

Join us for a night of Build A Ram on March 10th. We will have an option to personalize your Ram with a Byram Ram shirt. This event is for all ages! Show your school spirit and get your Ram. You must preorder if you can’t make you can order your stuffing kit to go. Order your Ram on member hub at the link below.

Order your ram here!

School Sprit Wear

Don’t forget your school spirit order your spiritwear. Website is open all year round.

Byram Twp Spirit Wear

Extra! Extra!

Byram Lakes Building Calendar

See what events are happening at BLES on our building calendar.

BLES RamPage

Students in Mrs. Ryan's SEEK class spent time this month putting together a newsletter of their very own. Take a look here!

Music Room Notes

Check out what's happening in Mrs. Scaturo's music room! Includes information on 4th grade band and choir

Baseball Registration

Spring is coming soon! Don’t forget to sign up for Baseball and Softball. Love to the sport? We are always looking for coaches and volunteers.

Sign up below to register your child. Registration for softball closes 2/15 and baseball 3/1

Baseball & Softball Signup

Lacrosse Registration

Lenape Valley Youth Lacrosse Registration Now Open!

3rd and 4th grade Boys and Girls, come join us for a fun and exciting season of lacrosse!

Your child does not need to have played before to join the team! We welcome all skill levels to join in the exciting, energetic play of lacrosse. Indoor practices start in March so register now!

The K-2nd grade boys and girls clinic lacrosse program is the perfect way to introduce your child to the game of lacrosse and registration is free! Your child only needs a lacrosse stick and a mouth guard. Clinic practices will also begin indoors in March. Register today!

Register here:

Byram Township Recreation Leagues

Please check out the link below to see and register for any local sports leagues, including baseball, softball, lacrosse, and more. See contact information below for Catherine Biancone, the town's Recreation Director.

Byram Township Sports & Recreation Leagues

Catherine Biancone

Recreation Leader

973-347-2500 x160

Student Handbook

We've gone digital with our student/parent handbook! Check it out here.

What else?

Is there anything else you'd like to see/see more of in the Lakes Ledger this year? Let me know!