Lakes Ledger

Volume 3 - Byram Lakes Elementary School - November 2022

Upcoming Dates

October 26th: Board of Education meeting

October 31st: Halloween Parade @ 1:45 pm (weather permitting)

November 7th: Early Dismissal & evening Parent Teacher Conferences

November 8th: Early Dismissal & evening Parent Teacher Conferences

November 9th: Early Dismissal & afternoon Parent Teacher Conferences

November 9th: End of first marking period

November 10th-11th: School Closed for NJ Teachers Convention

November 15th: School photo retakes

November 16: Board of Education Meeting

November 23rd: Early Dismissal

November 24th-25th: Happy Thanksgiving! School Closed

A Message from the Principal

Hello Byram Lakes students and families!

The weather is starting to get chilly, but the learning is just heating up over at Byram Lakes Elementary School! We are almost through the first marking period, and our students have settled into the routines and procedures of school. This time of year is always fun as the 'newness' of a fresh school year has worn off, and students and staff have gotten used to how things work this year and how to get the most out of their classes.

We had a lot of excitement here at Byram Lakes over the last month, with Halloween coming up to finish off a great month of October! Halloween will be celebrated at BLES on Monday, October 31st. There will be a Halloween Parade around the building at 1:45pm, followed by classroom parties hosted by our teachers and room parents. Students are encouraged to dress up! Costumes are not allowed to include any weapons, and masks may not be worn during the school day (only during the parade). We do ask that all costumes are school appropriate. If you have any questions, please contact your child's teacher.

Also coming up are parent teacher conferences. You should be receiving information from your child's teacher shortly if you have not already. On early dismissal days, students will be dismissed at 1:43.

These events and more will be reviewed further down. Please enjoy this edition of the Lakes Ledger. Included:

A Look Back

A Look Ahead

General Info

PTA Corner

Extra! Extra!

One marking period in, it's been an amazing school year. I can't wait to keep it rolling with a fantastic November!

Pete Morris

A Look Back

Teaching & Learning: Addition Strategies

Mrs. McCann's class learning about addition. There are so many strategies that can be used to help us with addition like doubles, near doubles, counting on, friends of ten and more! Students were using these strategies, and more importantly, justifying their reasoning. Math minds at work!
Big picture

Week of Respect

Students (and teachers) went all out for the Week of Respect at Byram Lakes! Throughout the week, students wore blue, wore pajamas, styled their hair in wacky ways, dressed in jerseys and as superheros. Our students showed that respect is valued very highly around here!
Big picture
Big picture

Teaching & Learning: Informational Text

Learning how to read and comprehend informational text is a difficult skill, but Mr. Gallagher's 3rd grade class was up to the challenge! Students have been working on tackling reading and writing using different activities and formats, to allow all learners to access the information.
Big picture

Fire Safety Month

October is Fire Safety Month. The Byram Township Fire Department came by the school to teach our preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders what they should do in case of a fire. Students were thrilled to meet some of our local heroes, and even got a chance to climb into the trucks!
Big picture

Teaching & Learning: Arrays

Mrs. Scholtz and Mrs. Coronato's class learned about arrays this month! Students were able to use these visual tactics to help them learn to group numbers and translate that into the skill of repeated addition. Learning centers allowed students to explore these skills in a variety of ways.
Big picture

Guest Readers

Byram Lakes welcomed football players from Lenape Valley Regional High School in to read to our students. The Lakes students were thrilled to have these young men in to read to them, and the former students were excited to come in and see their old school and teachers. The guest readers did an amazing job of helping the elementary school students build their love of reading!
Big picture

Teaching & Learning: Commutative Property & Rounding

3rd Grade students in Mrs. Mason's class were busy this month learning about math concepts and how to apply number sense. Students explored these concepts in a variety of ways, and utilized some excellent math vocabulary in the process!
Big picture

African Drums

Students in 2nd grade were in for a real treat as two parents, Mr. Kamate and Ms. Fall, came in to give them some lessons on traditional African drumming! Students had a great time learning to keep rhythim with both the drums and their bodies.
Big picture

A Look Ahead


Spooky season is here, it must be Halloween! Byram Lakes will celebrate with our annual Halloween parade on Monday, October 31st at 1:45 pm, and you are invited! Students will exit the front doors of the building and proceed around the perimeter of the school 2-3 times before returning to the building. Please feel free to find a place along the parade route prior to the parade. Please line up along the indicated route as it will be slightly modified this year to account for maintenance on our underground water pipe. This event is weather permitting. If there is inclement weather forecast, please be on the lookout for communication from us. If the parade is moved indoors, parents are not permitted to attend for safety & security reasons.

Please keep the following in mind as we get ready to celebrate:

- Costumes may be worn to school as long as they do not interfere with typical school activities

- Costumes must be school appropriate, and should not include weapons or references to excessive violence.

- Masks may not be worn during the school day, with the exception of the Halloween Parade.

- Halloween parties after the parade cannot include any food to be eaten in the classroom.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Our students can't wait, and neither can I!

Conferences / Early Dismissals

Conference time is almost here! Parent Teacher Conferences will be held from Monday November 7th through Wednesday November 9th. On Monday and Tuesday, conferences will be held in the evening, and on Wednesday conferences will be held right after school. You will be receiving communication from your child's teacher regarding conferences this week if you have not received it already.

Conference days are early dismissal days for our students. On early dismissal days, students will be dismissed at 1:43. Please plan accordingly for end of day pickup.

Governor's Educator of the Year

It's that time of year again - we are collecting nominations for our Governor's Educator of the Year! We are fortunate to have many incredible educators here in Byram, and this is an opportunity for us to recognize two individuals - one teacher and one educational support professional - worthy of being celebrated.

Please take a look at the 22/23 GEOY nomination form, linked below. If you would like to nominate a teacher, and educational services professsional, or both, please fill out the form and return it to the main office. The deadline to submit a nomination is November 18th, 2022.

If you would like the opportunity to serve on the committee tasked with analyzing submissions and deciding on the next teacher of the year and educational support professional of the year, please email me at

2022-2023 Governor's Educator of the Year Nomination Form

PLC Guiding Coalition

At Byram Schools, we have embraced a PLC approach to working collaboratively to help our students. PLC stands for Professional Learning Community. It is a structured approach to making the most of grade level common planning time. Part of our PLC approach is using data to target specific areas for growth in our students, and working together to set goals and provide common instruction and assessment.

As part of our PLC process, we are looking to create a Guiding Coalition. This Coalition would meet quarterly throughout the school year, with meetings after school (roughly 4:00). The Coalition would be tasked with assessing the effectiveness of our PLCs from the perspectives of different stakeholders such as teachers, administration, and parents. If you are interested in joining, please complete the brief form below. We cannot guarantee your inclusion if you submit a form, it will depend on the amount of interest we have.

PLC Guiding Coalition Form

Picture Day - Makeups and Groups

On Tuesday, November 15th, Barksdale will be returning for photo makeups for students who were absent on picture day and group photos. If you need to register for a makeup photo for your child, please follow the link below. Thanks!

Barksdale Photo Login

PTA Book Fair

During Conference week, the PTA will host the Scholastic Book Fair at Byram Lakes!

  • The fair will be open Monday, 11/7 through Wednesday, 11/9.
  • The fair is open to students during the day and open to parents at night during conferences.

Please click on the links below to set up their eWallets and get more information.

BLES Homepage -

BIS Homepage -

If you would like to volunteer to help with the book fair, please click the link below:

Book Fair Volunteer Signup

Abigail's Army First Annual Gift Drive

Please join Abigail's Army in our first Annual Gift Drive!

This drive was organized to honor Abigail Sara Nicosia, a student at Byram Schools through 8th grade.

Donations should be new, unwrapped, gifts that are still in their original packaging. All gifts and proceeds will be used to benefit RWJ Children's specialized hospital. Please see the attached images for all details on the drive. Donations will be accepted through December 12th. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Stuff the Stocking

Byram Lakes is proud to be participating once again in Stuff the Stocking!

We are asking for donations of new, unwrapped gifts and gift cards for children of all ages. These will be distributed to local families in need through the Season of Hope Toy Shop.

The school that collects the most items will take possession of the Stuff the Stocking trophy!

For the flyer going over Stuff the Stocking, please click the image next to this post. For more information on the drive sponsor, Project Self Sufficiency, or to register as a family in need of donations, please check out the link below. Donations will be accepted through December 12th. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Project Self Sufficiency - Sussex & Warren Counties

Thanksgiving Meals

Waterloo Neighborhood Pantry is proud to offer Thanksgiving Meals to any who may be in need.

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.

Weather Changes

Brrrr.. it was chilly outside on Friday! I guess summer's over! As the weather starts to cool, 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 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

PTA would like to thank everyone involved and everyone who participated in the Byram A Blaze. It was such an amazing fun night! We loved all the decorated trunks, carved pumpkins and awesome costumes. We can't wait till next year. Thank you to all the families who enjoyed dinner at Stonewood in September.

Let's not forget the Gertrude Hawk fundraiser is still going on. Please have all students return paper forms by November 7th.

See below for some pictures of Trunk or Treat along with upcoming events!

Candy Buy Back

Our kids enjoy Halloween and all the trick or treating they do but as parents we do not like all the candy we are left with. This year we are doing Candy Buy Back. Each student brings their bag of candy and we weigh it. The top 3 winners each get a $10 gift card. All candy has to be wrapped and will be donated to Waterloo Pantry.

Dine to Donate @ The Alibi - 11/10

Who doesn't love a night off from cooking? We all do! Join us on November 10th at Alibi for our Dine to Donate event.

Turkey Bingo Night - 11/18


All families are invited to come join us for a fun night of bingo on Friday the 18th at 6pm. We ask you to bring canned foods as a donation.

Kristy D'Amelio will be our hostess for the night. She will be giving candy and small prizes to the winners. We will have popcorn, chips and water as snacks.

We hope you join us. It really is a fun night!

Holiday Wreath and Poinsettia Sale

As we start gearing up for the holidays please consider buying your Holiday Wreath and Poinsettia from the PTA. Sale starts Nov.11th and the last day to order will be Nov.23rd. Pick up will be on December 2nd. We will be sending out a flyer for it soon.

Evergreen Night - 12/10

Are you creative? Would you like to have a night out making your wreath from scratch or just decorating one? Nester's Greenhouse has paired up with the PTA and will be hosting their annual Evergreen Night. Come have snacks while you create your own holiday wreath, grave blanket, kissing balls or greens planter.

The Event will be held on December 10th at Nester's Greenhouse at 7:00pm.

Chef It Up!

Order a fun Kids Cooking Kit and help support our PTA!
The PTA is also sponsoring our Scholastic Book Fair - see information in the 'Coming Up' section of the Lakes Ledger.

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

Byram Recreation Committee Survey

The Byram Township Mayor and Council would like your input about the future of township recreation programs and events. Please complete this short survey to give your feedback, it should only take three minutes. Survey will be open until 10/31.

Byram Township Rec Committee Holiday Events

Sponsored by the Byram Township Recreation Committee

Halloween Decorating Contest

Sponsored by the Byram Township Recreation Committee

Riverside Park Reopening

Sponsored by the Byram Township Recreation Committee

Student Handbook

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

Byram Apparel

Holiday Sale
Our 2023 holiday sale will run from November 7th through early December. We are creating new holiday-themed marketing materials that we will share with you in advance of the sale.

Store Link:

What else?

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