The Cougar Connection

Washington Avenue School News - 11/23/15


Wednesday 11/25 - Early Dismissal

Thursday 11/26-Friday 11/27 - School Closed -Thanksgiving

Monday, 11/30 - Luminary Kit Orders Due

Monday, 11/30 - 12/4 - Collections of Art Supplies for the Homeless Shelter

Tuesday 12/1-Thursday 12/4 - Early Dismissal - Parent/Teacher Conferences

Wednesday 12/2, 2015 - Picture Retake Day

Tuesday 12/1-Thursday 12/3 - Holiday Boutique

Friday 12/11 - Pizza Parlor Day

Tuesday 12/15 - 1st Grade Holiday Concert - 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, 12/16 - 2nd Grade Holiday Concert - 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, 12/17 - 3rd Grade Holiday Concert - 9:00 a.m.

Friday, 12/18 - Kindergarten Holiday open House 10:30 for AMK, 2:15 for PMK

Friday 12/18 - Report Cards Issued

Wednesday, 12/23 - Early Dismisssal

Thursday 12/24- Sunday 1/3 - School Closed - Holiday Recess

Principal's Update - Mary Quigley

Dear Parents,

During this season of gratitude, I couldn't be more thankful for all that you share with us, starting with your children and your time and talents to support our community school. Enjoy these next few days celebrating your family!

As noted below at our Community Meeting this week we will be working with the children during these next few weeks helping them understand that one way you show gratitude and appreciation for all that you have is to do kind deeds for those who do not have much. The first project we are supporting is the Giving Tree Project for the Homeless and Needy in Elizabeth, sponsored by The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless and St. Joseph Social Service Center. We will collect these items during the week of Nov. 3 - Dec. 4.

Early Dismissal Schedule

Morning Kindergarten: 8:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Afternoon Kindergarten: 10:40 a.m.– 12:35 p.m.

Grades 1 - 3: 8:35 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

Morning Preschool (PREP) 8:40 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Afternoon Preschool (CHiP) 10:40 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Full Day PREK: 9:00 - 12:00 pm

WAS PTO President's UPDATE Michelle Lease

Enjoy this short week and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families! I wanted to share a fun idea to do with your family this Thanksgiving...our kids love to play the "Family Dinner Game" during family gatherings. You can also create your own conversation starters for your family from this great link from the Family Dinner Project.

Thanks to all that participated in the pasta fundraiser, it was a huge success. If you can attend, we look forward to seeing at the Holiday Boutique next week!

Thank you from the PTO

Thank you to Susan & Andrew Raffetto for sharing their wonderful pastas with us! And Greta Borowicz for running the pasta sale! Beth Burton & Katie McCormack for planning another terrific assembly, "Corey The Dribbler."


Spirit wear will be delivered to the classrooms on Monday, November 30th. Please email before 11/30 if your order is a holiday gift and you would prefer us not to deliver to the classroom and we will keep in the office for you for pickup.

Kindness Corner

We are very excited for our "Give thanks. Give back." Assembly on Wednesday. Lots of fun things will be unveiled to take us through the holiday season. Look for a recap with more details next week.

HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE is next week!

Next we are excited to kick off our Holiday Boutique on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1st. It runs through THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3rd from 8:45 A.M. to 12:35 P.M.. The Boutique is a much loved PTO-Sponsered event that allows students to get a head start on Holiday shopping by finding that special gift for Moms and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Brothers and Sisters, Grandparents, Babysitters and anyone else on their lists. You are more than welcome to come during your child’s assigned class time to help them shop, or you may send money in with the students on their shopping day. Please be sure to fill out your shopping envelope and send back with child to school for their shopping.

This event is only possible with parent volunteers like you, so PLEASE go on and volunteer for 1-2 shifts! If you would like to volunteer for this fun event, please go to and sign up through The Holiday Boutique.

We look forward to another wonderful year with the children! Please contact the Holiday Boutique Chairs, Jen Morrison or Cara Haid with any questions: or


The annual Luminaria Sale is underway. Order forms went home with students last week. Please return your order form and a check made payable to the Chatham Rotary Club by 11/30. Kits are $10 and will be delivered to school on Monday, December 14th just in time for the pick up during the holiday concerts.

Safe Routes to School Committee Needs Parents' Help

The Chatham Safe Routes to School Committee would like your input by December 4th on pedestrian safety issues that can be improved to make your child's walk to school or the bus stop safer. As you probably know, the parent volunteers on the Chatham Safe Routes to School Committee succeeded in getting a grant for 2 sidewalks that will be built by 2017, plus succeeded in getting a host of quicker fixes, like speed limit changes, stop signs, parking changes, crossing guard adjustments, and sidewalk repair. Your input and concerns were critical in deciding which initiatives the committee Please take the brief survey below by December 4 so that the Safe Routes to School Committee can create a priority list for this year:

Please send any questions or comments to

Stay safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Chatham Parent Survey on Pedestrian Safe Routes To School 2015

We're conducting a survey of Chatham school parents to determine a new list of pedestrian safety concerns for the Safe Routes to School committee to work on in 2015-2016. Your input would be appreciated. Click the button below to start the survey. Thank you for your participation!

Begin Survey


The Safe Routes to School Committee

Harlem Wizards are coming to town!

WHEN: Saturday, Jan 9 Two shows: 2:30pm and 7:00pm

WHERE: Chatham Middle School

Don’t miss this fun-filled, high flying & interactive community event featuring the world famous Harlem Wizards basketball team as they take on the Cougars, a team of teachers and principals from the Chatham Schools! Come cheer on your favorite teachers!

HOW: All tickets are $20 online ($25 at the door) and can be purchased starting at 7pm on November 30 at

WHAT’S A WIZ KID: Wear a Wizards jersey the game and you can be a Wiz Kid! Our MC will introduce you and 30 mins. prior to show & you will be on the court warming up with the Wizards. Jerseys can be purchased on line when you buy tickets or they can be bought at the game.

Last time the Wizards came to Chatham, it was a sell out! Don’t miss the fun!!


*This is not a drop off event, k-6 students must be accompanied by an adult

BOE MEETING NOTES - via Bridget Pelosi

Prior to the regular meeting (from 6:30-7:30), Kristen Crawford, the new K-12 Science Supervisor presented an overview of the new science curriculum - called the Next Generation Science Standards. Her presentation is available on the BOE website.

PARCC test results should be arriving at the BOE this week. Then they will be forwarded home within a week for HS and within 2-3 weeks for all other grade levels. At the next BOE meeting (or the one following) the board will present their PARCC data.

A new school district website will be rolled out shortly (more user-friendly and modern).

BOE member Michelle Clark voiced her safety concerns over the number of people that should be allowed on the bleachers at Cougar Field (on the visitor side). The number of fans on Cougar Weekend were concerning to her and with the upcoming football playoff game on Saturday, she is even more concerned. She suggested using security personnel to limit the number of people allowed on the bleachers or bringing in additional bleachers.

Morris County Freeholders approved the Morris County Solar Project (5 years in the making) which should eventually lead to solar panels being installed on HS roof.

Matt Gilfillan (Finance & Facilities Committee) said they are working on details of the next referendum. He said it's unlikely they will have details hashed out for March 2016 timeframe but more likely Sept 2016. They should have an update by the next board meeting re: recommendations and alternatives.

Rob Barnett (Pres of CHS Athletic Boosters) spoke:

-Cougar weekend was a success

-Fundraising numbers are up

-11th annual Cougar Classic basketball tournament will take place 12/26-12/30 and it will benefit the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation

-Saturday's football game will be huge

Tracy Ness (VP of CHS Athletic Boosters) spoke:

-PA system at Cougar Field needs to be updated

-Asked if volume could be turned up for Saturday (on an exemption basis) so parents could hear their kids being introduced and so that they could make safety announcements (if necessary)

-Board answered that volume is limited by State Law and they can't knowingly break the law. The answer is also that the PA system is outdated and it needs to be replaced to improve acoustics at field.

-Madison resident spoke saying the Cougar Field noise level is an issue for her. She also complained about the increased use of temporary lighting at the field.

-Bill @ Chatham Jaycees announce their annual Christmas tree sale.

-Jane Devlin spoke requesting a reduction in homework.

-There was a slight change to wording in Policy 5535 which allows the use of breathalyzers on students while on school grounds


Holiday Giving Tree Project for the

Homeless and Needy in Elizabeth

(The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless and St. Joseph Social Service Center)

We are seeking donations of children’s art supplies to brighten the Christmas and holiday season of those in need.

When: November 30 – December 4, 2014

What: NEW unwrapped art and craft supplies:

· Crayons and colored pencils · Scissors

· Sketch and colored paper · Play Dough

· Scribble pads · Coloring books (non-violent)

· Water color paints (non-toxic) · Glue

· Magic markers · Other creative art/craft


Please visit our PTO Community Corner for more information on these and other community and programs. CLICK HERE TO VISIT COMMUNITY CORNER.

Flyers and Additional Information

Sophomore Class Winter Party for Elementary Children

Sophomore Class Winter Party

What: A party with face painting, games, crafts, pizza and baked goods. There will also be a raffle with different themed baskets! Parents can purchase tickets at the door.

Tickets cost...

$5 for 10 tickets

$10 for 20 tickets

$15 for 30 tickets

… and so on.

When: 10:00 AM-12:30 PM on January 16th 2016

Where: Chatham High School Cafeteria

Thank you for supporting the Sophomore Class!