WRS Paw Pride Newsletter

May 2019 - Volume 6 - Issue 8

Points of Interest

May 15, 2019: RAINDATE #2:Faculty vs. 4th-grade Softball game- POSTPONED to May 22

May 16, 2019:

  • Character Ed Assembly (9:30am)
  • Kindergarten Orientation - Session A (3:30pm - 4:30pm)

May 17, 2019: 3rd Grade Field Trip

May 21, 2019: Kindergarten Orientation - Session B (3:30pm - 4:30pm)

May 22, 2019: Faculty vs. 4th-grade Softball game

May 23, 2019: STEAM Night @ WRS - Grades 3 & 4 (6:30pm - 8:30pm)

May 24, 2019: SCHOOL CLOSED - Unused Snow Day

May 27, 2019: SCHOOL CLOSED - Memorial Day

May 31, 2019: Hope for Tomorrow @ Woods Road Firehouse (6:00pm - 8:00pm)

Letter from Ms. Jodi L. Howe, Principal

This school year is just speeding by and it is hard to believe we have less than 28 days of school left. Last week was National Teacher Appreciation Week. I am proud to say that the reason why our school is such a great place is because of our staff. Our staff works tirelessly to bring their best each day for your child(ren). Many of our children begin their day as they journey to school on a bus. We thank our bus drivers for getting our students to school safely. Once the children arrive at school, many enjoy a lunch provided by our food service department and lunch-aides that know your child(ren) on a first name basis, as well as what games they like to play outside during recess. Our instructional assistants work with individual and groups of students to meet their needs and provide supervision in the lunchroom and classroom. Our custodial staff provides our children with a clean and inviting building to enter each day. Our secretary and clerical staff coordinate all of the demands of our very busy office and support of all the rest of us. One of the busiest places at WRS that serves the student population of 500 plus children is our nurse's office. Staffed by our nurse who not only helps with bumps and scrapes but also provides daily medication to students as well. Last but certainly not least is our extraordinary teaching staff. Our teachers, counselors and pupil service staff work tirelessly all hours of the day to ensure that your child(ren) is getting the best possible education possible. Together, our staff has led our building to be ranked in the top 100 Best Elementary Schools in the State of New Jersey out of over 1,400 schools. Our staff at Woods Road truly cares about helping students be the best they can be! Please take some time over the month of May to reach out and thank our staff members for doing so much for our most precious resources, our children. We appreciate you and thank you for your partnership!


We are in the preliminary stages of developing classroom placements for next year. Every effort is made to balance classrooms to ensure that each child receives the maximum amount of teacher attention and is provided the optimum learning environment. Many factors are considered when balancing classrooms. Balance of boys/girls, a balance of student achievement levels, and balance of children with special needs. This is the first and most important priority. For these reasons, we do not accept specific teacher requests. Parents/Guardians may contact me via a written letter or email if there are extenuating circumstances to be considered. Please note that pertinent information shared with me in previous years must be resubmitted. Letters or emails must be received by May 30, 2019

Websites for the month:

Language Arts

Phonics BINGO – For iOS devices https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phonics-bingo/id570968805?mt=8 - Children listen to the phonics sounds and find the corresponding letter to match.

Book Adventure http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx - This is a free reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they’ve read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes.


A+ Click: Math and Logic Problem http://www.aplusclick.com/index.html - This website allows children to practice math problems that require logical and creative thinking (grades 1-12).


SimplePlanes – For iOS devices https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simpleplanes/id823869162?mt=8 - Snap parts together to build your airplane's body. Place engines to add thrust. Design the wings, and then strap yourself into the cockpit and see how it flies.

Green Screen by Do INK – For iOS devices https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/green-screen-by-do-ink/id730091131?mt=8 - Green Screen by Do Ink makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos and photos. With Green Screen by Do Ink, you can tell a story, explain an idea, and express yourself in truly creative and unique ways.

Cato’s Hike – For iOS devices https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/catos-hike-programming-logic/id574335479?mt=8 - Cato’s Hike is a universal game for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to teach kids and young children basic programming skills.

Bee-Bot – For iOS devices https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bee-bot/id500131639?mt=8 - The Bee-Bot App has been developed based on the award-winning Bee-Bot floor robot. The app makes use of Bee-Bot's keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backward, left and right 90 degree turns.

Mrs. Guastella's Counselor Connection

Happy May! This year is already flying by so quickly and there are so many exciting events that are coming up including Field Day, the Softball game, ARIS visits, etc. One event that will be held at the end of the month is the second annual Hope for Tomorrow! Partnered with the HEA and WRSHA, Hope for Tomorrow will be held on Friday, May 31, 2019 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Woods Road Firehouse. This event is a family oriented fun evening that is aimed towards promoting the importance of our community members’ mental health. Hope for Tomorrow’s goal is to continue opening up the conversation in families discussing the importance of mental wellness, just as we promote physical wellness! The evening will be filled with tables hosted by local community resources that focus on mental health for all ages. We will also be hosting fun games, food, and crafts for the children. Hope for Tomorrow is hosting a Poster Contest for all students in the district with the theme of, “My Feelings Matter.” Students are encouraged to create a poster (no bigger than 12x18) that emphasizes and focuses on how their feelings are important, how they try to honor their feelings, how they place importance on what they are feeling, how we try not to judge ourselves, etc. The posters can be submitted to my office by Wednesday, May 29th! We hope to see you all there!

Nurse's Corner

by: Kim Paulhus & Traci Kinst

Tick season is in full force. Windy days, open grassy fields and woods are some tick favorites. These arachnids are generally harmless but New Jersey is an area that has a high prevalence of Lyme disease. In fact, New Jersey is one of fourteen states that contributes to 95% of the total reported Lyme cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019), (Tickborne Diseases of the United States, Lyme Disease, Where Found).

Lyme disease is primarily carried by the black-legged tick or better known as the deer tick. It is an extremely small, red-bodied tick. It is seldom found embedded in the skin but if carrying the disease, the tick bite may leave behind a signature bulls-eye rash, cause flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes in most but not all cases. This link https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/ from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has excellent information and pictures for identifying ticks and identifying signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. If you are unsure about you or your child’s signs and symptoms, always see your doctor before it is too late. Early treatment is critical and is as simple as a course of antibiotics.

Some measures can be taken to help prevent ticks from biting you. Visit this link https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html for comprehensive information. After venturing outside, immediately remove clothing and perform a tick check. Ticks can be found anywhere but popular spots are under the arms, in and around the ears, belly button, behind knees, between legs, around waist, and on the hairline and scalp. It is recommended to wash clothing immediately, if possible.

If you happen to find a tick embedded in the skin, do not panic. For tick removal information, this is a helpful link: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html. One safe way to dispose of a tick that remains alive after removal is to place it on clear tape and then folding the tape over on itself with sticky sides together. This is also useful for tick identification.

Shelf Talk

by: Dina Stoff

This month, Preschool students will be hearing stories and playing games related to fairy tales, nursery rhymes, pond life, and insects. The students in kindergarten will be learning all about poetry. First Grade students will be learning about different folk and fairy tales from around the world. Second Grade students will be exposed to different genres of literature. Students in third grade will be working on Coding. Fourth Grade students will be creating some blackout poetry. In June, we will be having a book swap, you can start saving and collecting books that are in good shape for your children to swap, information will be coming home in late May or early June. Follow the library on Instagram @wrslibrary.


by: Melissa Alvarez, Aileen Barrios, Andrea Escobar, Denise Milan

It’s been an egg-citing month for Kindergarten. The children learned about the life cycle of a chick. They observed eggs in their incubators. They wrote and drew about their observations in their chick journals. Some of the children were lucky enough to see a chick hatch during school hours. It was incredible to see the chicks get out of their eggs. Watching the chicks grow and change each day was amazing. The field trip to Norz Hill Farm was a complete success! The children were able to plant yellow zucchini, observe piglets run and play, and even witness a zonkey! The highlight of the trip was the fun hayride and a nice visit from two baby lambs, Whip and Speckles. The lambs followed the children and the children had an opportunity to pet them.

The chick project and the field trip has allowed the children to continue to learn about living and nonliving things. The students plan on observing the yellow zucchini that they planted to write/draw in their plant journal. They have been learning how to become great scientists by closely looking at any changes they notice with their plant and creating very detailed pictures. We are hoping the students will see their plant grow right before their eyes, just like we’ve seen these Kindergarteners grow each and every day.


by: Alyssa Green

This month first and second grade REACH students have been using their creativity, while focusing on being flexible thinkers and coming up with original ideas. In first grade, we read the book, “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis and discussed how the characters in the story used their imagination to turn a stick into many different imaginative objects. Students then had a chance to turn a stick into their own creative idea. Their imaginative projects included a fishing pole, glasses, playground slide, magic wand, castle, and so much more!

Second grade REACH students read the book, “Not a Box” and then turned a box into something else using their imagination and a variety of crafts. The students’ ideas ranged from a sailboat, a robot, rocket ship, a toaster oven, to even an Amazon delivery truck! This STEAM activity gave students the opportunity to apply their engineering, art and math skills into their final project, while focusing on problem solving, decision making, and elaboration. The students had a blast putting their creativity to work and seeing where their imagination took them!

Academic Support Instruction (ASI)

by Katherine Barrood & Jackie Levash

It’s hard to believe we will be wrapping up another great school year in just a few weeks! Your child has learned a lot this year, and they have mastered many new skills. As the school year begins to wind down, now is the perfect time to talk about all of your child’s successes. During this talk, look back on what your child is most proud of. Ask your child some of these questions:

1. What was your favorite project this year?

2. What subject do you think you have improved in the most?

3. Which books were your favorite this year?

4. What was your favorite writing assignment?

As you discuss these positive things, help your child see how much they have grown as a student. Then take some time to look forward towards the summer. Ask your child some of the following questions:

1. What are you looking forward to this summer?

2. Are there any specific books you would like to read over the summer?

3. What are you excited about for next year?

4. Is there a subject or an area you would like to improve in for next year?

This is a great time to remind your child that learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school year. One of the best things about summer is having time to engage in activities that provide opportunities for new learning. Perhaps your child wants to read another book by their favorite author, learn to swim or explore a new language. The possibilities are endless, especially with today’s technology. Work with your child to set a goal to learn to do something new this summer. Together, make a plan to help your child achieve the goal. Who knows, maybe you will be inspired to learn something new yourself! Thai cooking maybe?

Check out the websites listed and below and you will see that with a little bit of planning, summer can be a fun learning time for kids.

www.familyeducation.com - for tons of outdoor games and activities

www.creativekidsathome.com - for summer craft ideas

www.spatulatta.com - for recipe ideas for kids

http://content.moneyinstructor.com/664/kids-starting-business.html - for ideas on how your child can start a business such a pet sitting or selling lemonade