Principal Garcia's Newsletter

Friday, May 19, 2023

Torey J. Sabatini School

Important Dates

  • May 22-24 - NJSLA General Make-ups
  • May 22 - Incoming Kindergarten Parent/Child Orientation at 1:30 PM
  • May 23 - MPS BOE Meeting
  • May 25-31 - No School Memorial Day
  • May 31 - Incoming Kindergarten Warm-Up Screening (by appointment only)
  • June 1 - Field Day
  • June 2 - TJS Spirit Wear Day
  • June 5 - Field Day Rain Date
  • June 6 - First Grade Parent Tea
  • June 6 - Grade 5 Staff vs. Student Kickball Game at 3:20 PM
  • June 8 - Grade 5 Staff vs. Student Kickball Game Rain Date at 3:20 PM
  • June 9 - PTO Jamboree
  • June 12 - Grade 5 Recognition Ceremony at 9:30 AM
  • June 14 - Last Day of School / Single Session Early Dismissal Day / Grade 5 Clap Out
  • June 14 - Report Cards Available for Parents in the Genesis Portal

Field Day Update from Mr. Gerenstein

Like the students, I am so excited for this year's field day on June 1st (rain date on the 5th). Especially after the last couple of years, it was time for a field day refresh. I would describe this year's field day as a more "traditional" field day. The first part of field day will consist of all grades outside rotating between 15 stations and the afternoon will be large group games. This will be an "all day field day" with both morning and afternoon activities. There will be some more information, like teams/colors in the very near future. In the meantime, we need parent volunteers VERY bad and we especially need extra help for the morning stations. The PTO will be organizing volunteers, please consider helping out in order to make the day more enjoyable for the students.

I am also available to answer any questions you may have:

Thank you so much!

Mr. Gerenstein

Renaissance Star Parent Reports

Today in your child's backpack you will find copies of the most recent Star assessments that were completed in reading and math during the month of April/May.

Weekly Reading Tips from Mrs. LoBrace

All About Comparing & Contrasting

When it comes to comparing and contrasting in reading, readers can think of the two skills in the following ways:

-Comparing is when we identify how 2 or more things are the same, similar, or alike.

-Contrasting is when we identify what makes 2 or more things different or not alike.

In order to compare and contrast, readers can look for the following keywords to guide them in identifying what is being compared vs. what is being contrasted.

Key Words for Comparing




the same

just like



as well as


not only…but also

Key Words for Contrasting






on the other hand

in contrast


as opposed to

on the contrary

Using a graphic organizer to compare and contrast helps readers to organize their thoughts and the information they have found and can benefit them in the following ways:

  • students can analyze complex details among concepts

  • it provides a clear depiction of their understanding and generates discussion

  • it is easy to detect patterns

  • it leads to logical reasoning

  • it assists in decision making

Click on the link for printable graphic organizers for compare and contrast (a Venn diagram, as well as a compare & contrast chart!)

Graphic Organizers for Comparing & Contrasting

Grade 4 and 5 Assembly - Keeping the Stories Alive - Holocaust Third Generation Speaker

On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, our fourth and fifth graders listened to a guest speaker who shared about her grandfather's experience in the Holocaust. Students were engaged in listening to the speaker's interactive story and asked meaningful questions following the presentation. While our students have background knowledge regarding the Holocaust, listening to a third-generation survivor had a truly meaningful impact. Thank you to School Counselor Mrs. Bletcher for organizing the presentation, the Jewish Federation, Mrs. Italiano for helping to coordinate, and the PTO for supporting this program for our students.

News from Ms. Thomas in the Library Media Center

With only a few weeks left in the school year, the last day we will be loaning books is June 2. All books should be returned by June 12. Take some time to look around your home for school library books. You’ll know they belong to the library if they have a spine label that has the call number of the book and a barcode on the back that includes the name of the school and the title of the book.

Summer Reading Program at Madison Public Library

Ms. Dana Skwirut, the childrens’ librarian at Madison Public Library, came to speak to all of the kids during their lunch periods over the past two weeks. She has a great program planned, beginning with the kickoff celebration, Tuesday, June, 20! Make sure to stop by the library to sign up. This is a great way to keep reading skills from sliding over the summer.

The Summer Reading Kickoff Celebration is, Tuesday, June 20, 2:00 - 4:00PM, 39 Keep Street

Drop in anytime from 2-4pm at this get together to celebrate the start of the Public Library’s 2023 Summer Reading Program! There will be games, crafts, face painting, an opportunity to sign up for the public library’s summer reading club, and more. The first 200 participants receive a tote bag and an extra sweet treat just for signing up!

Then stick around at 4 pm for New Jersey’s Favorite Family Entertainer, Conrad Cologne, who will perform an interactive magic and storytelling program for children and their families! Based on children’s books, stories come to life during the show using magic, interactive storytelling, puppetry, and comedy. The theme of the “Better Together Magic Show”coincides with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) summer reading theme of “All Together Now”.

The program runs about 45 minutes and is suitable for children 4-12 and their families. This program will take place in the Chase Room. No registration is required, but be sure to arrive early as they will let the audience in on a first come, first served basis.

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News from Mrs. Guarino in the Health Office

Health Office Alert: Strep Throat has been circulating in the community and through many of TJS classrooms. Symptoms of strep throat include persistent sore throat, fever and stomach ache (may include nausea and vomiting). Oftentimes, children with strep throat may not always present with “typical” symptoms and may not even complain that their throat hurts them at all, or may only have GI symptoms that appear to be a stomach virus. It is always a good idea to bring your child to the pediatrician for evaluation when they present with vague symptoms that include a fever or if they are just feeling unwell so that they may be tested and treated accordingly. Please note that strep throat is highly contagious. Should your child be diagnosed, please keep them home until they have been treated with antibiotics and are fever-free for a full 24 hours. It is also advised to wipe down surfaces and avoid shared items.


Mandatory 5th-Grade Immunizations:

As a reminder, when your child turns 11 years old they are required to have 2 additional vaccinations, Meningococcal and TDAP, in order to enter grade 6 in the fall. As you begin to schedule your child’s well visit around their birthday, please remember to follow up with the necessary immunizations and documentation that is required for entry into school. Please see the attached link for the necessary form and return it to the TJS health office upon completion. Should your child’s appointment be scheduled over the summer months, please send the form to the MJS nurse, Pauline Bliss, RN at

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Upcoming Event...Mental Health Workshop this weekend!

On Sunday, May 21st, Jen Walters, LCSW will present a mental health workshop providing a practical framework for improving both self-regulation and co-regulation and healing after the past several years of post-covid changes.

We are grateful to the Madison Area YMCA for hosting and partnering in this event!

There will be 2 workshops offered:

1:00 pm- workshop with child supervision offered

2:30 pm - adults only workshop

Registration is required!

Register here:

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News from the PTO

The year is wrapping up and TJS has so many amazing events planned. In order for these all to run smoothly, we are counting on our parents to help us out! There are so many volunteer opportunities listed below. Please consider helping at one of the three major events coming up - Color Run, Field Day, and/or Jamboree (sign up to help will be out next week)! Scroll down for the sign-up links. Can’t make it to these events? Consider contributing to our Jamboree raffle (info below!)

The TJS parent community is really something special! We thank everyone who is working behind the scenes to make these events happen.

Sara Buckley & Lindsey Dubman

Field Day - June 1st

Field Day will look a little different this year and we need YOUR help to make it run smoothly! Teachers will stay with their classes and each class will rotate together through stations that are run by the parents. All students will be broken up into four teams, so all stations will have four lanes for each team to work in. It would be great if we had one parent at each lane to help guide the students, keep score, and inform the teacher of who came in first, second, third, and fourth.

Once students get to a station, it will be your responsibility to review the activity with them and get them started ASAP to allow them to work for about five minutes. Students will then have two minutes to transition to the next station.

Please sign up here to help make this a safe and fun day for our kids!!

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COLOR RUN - May 23rd

The first TJS Color Run is just days away! Here are a few reminders to make Tuesday, May 23rd super fun for your child! THANK YOU so much to Michelle Busanic and Cindy Pappa for organizing this event!

  • WEAR WHITE! Bright colors will be flying and will really pop on those bright white clothes!

  • BRING $6 CASH Scream Truck will be there and ready to serve… but only if you have cash.

  • BRING THE FUN! Join us on the backfield immediately after school. Our DJ will provide the tunes and the TJS community will bring the FUN!

  • BE ON TIME! Please walk your child to check in at the far playground blacktop and have them sit in line with their grade level. K/1 run kicks off at 3:30 so don't miss the start!

  • WANT TO HELP? We would love your help! Thank you!

  • DO IT FOR GRAM Worried about that perfect shot? We got you covered! As students finish the loop, they will get an individualized color packet, so grab siblings or buddies and throw color for one last amazing shot!

  • ONE FOR THE BOOKS Your help will make this day safe, fun and memorable! We have 170 runners! (registration is officially closed) We kindly ask for your help to bring your child to the starting area and pick them up at the finish line. We can't wait and we hope you are excited too!

Let's Run, TJS!

Michelle Busanic & Cindy Pappa

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TJS Jamboree- June 9th

TJS PTO is excited for one of the most fun events of the year! Please join us for a family-friendly good time with carnival games, inflatables, DJ, photo booth, face paint, raffle prizes, food trucks and more! You don't want to miss this end of school year celebration! Siblings of all ages are welcome!

When: Friday, June 9 from 3:30 to 7:30 pm (rain date of June 13)

Where: TJS Open Field

Admission bracelets: $25 for each child or $65 for 3 or more children

(parents do not require bracelets)

Raffle: $20 per sheet of 26 tickets, buy 4 sheets and get the 5th sheet free

Spin art/photo booth/face paint: $5 for book of 5 coupons

Bracelets, coupon books and raffle tickets are available for purchase in advance through June 7. Items purchased will be picked up at the event and are also available for sale at the Jamboree.

Click here to BUY YOUR TICKETS!!

Email Julie Snyder with any questions:

Jamboree Raffle:

One of the highlights of the TJS Jamboree is the Raffle. All of the proceeds from the Raffle directly benefit the students of TJS! We are kindly reaching out to ask for your help in making this a success by either donating a raffle item or by making a monetary donation! Be creative and have fun coming up with your raffle item and consider teaming up with friends or neighbors to “wow” the kids with an item. Think of anything that your child really wants!

If you would like to contribute a raffle item or a monetary donation, please do so by Friday, June 2, 2023.

Item Suggestions:

● TOYS! (new for elementary age - Legos, puzzles, arts and crafts, dolls, games, jewelry/accessories, outdoor toys/equipment such as a scooter or hoverboard)

● ELECTRONICS (gaming system, headphones, fitness tracker etc.)

● TICKETS / EXPERIENCES (local events, sports, theater etc.)


Out of donation ideas? Please consider making a monetary donation and we will happily shop for you and create amazing raffle baskets! Any amount is greatly appreciated! Please Venmo Mary-Ann Toomey @MaryAnn-Toomey

For questions regarding donations or volunteering please contact Carolyn Weissbard ( or Mary-Ann Toomey ( All donations must be dropped off at 49 Hillcrest Road by June 2, 2023, or please contact one of us to arrange a time for it to be picked up. Thank you in advance for your support in making this a success!

5th Grade Parents

There’s so much planned for the 5th grade students!
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News from the MEF

Today is the last day to make a donation to MEF in honor of the faculty and staff in Madison Public Schools who have made a positive difference in your children's lives. All educators named in donations will receive a personalized acknowledgement. Start your donation here:

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

There's still time to sign up for the Madison Summer Arts Program at MHS from June 19-July 14! Students entering grades 4 through 8 can choose from band, orchestra, musical theatre, dance, and art classes. Students entering grade 6 can also sign up for guitar lessons, jazz band, and flute ensemble. Hope to see you there! Please click on the QR code below for more information.
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