Lakes Ledger

Volume 7 - Byram Lakes Elementary School - March 2023

Upcoming Dates

February 24th: Movie Night, sponsored by the PTA

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

March 3rd: Deadline for Kindergarten Registration

March 10th: Deadline for Preschool Registration

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

March 12th: Daylight Savings - Spring ahead!

March 15th: Board of Education Meeting

March 16th & March 18th: Spring Wreath Event, sponsored by the PTA

March 17th: Family Game Night, sponsored by the PTA. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 24th: Byram's Got Talent

March 28th: End of Marking Period 3

A Message from the Principal

Hello Byram Lakes students and families!

One of the big events we look forward to every year here at Byram Lakes is the Kids' Heart Challenge! This year, students spent time raising money for the American Heart Association, and it all culminated with a schoolwide Jump Day on Friday, February 17th. This was Byram Lakes' 13th year participating in the program. Our school set a goal of $25,000. I am SO proud to say that our incredible students exceeded that lofty goal, raising $27,608 at the time of this publication. BLES set a goal to have 200 students register. 288 Lakes students registered and donated to the program!

With this effort, Byram Lakes students will make a real, meaningful difference in the lives of others who may be going through experiences that are unknown to them. It exemplifies two crucial values, kindness and respect. While we see the values in Byram Lakes every day, it is important that we continue to let them guide us.

Kindness is about treating others with empathy, compassion, and understanding. It means taking the time to listen to others, offering help when needed, and showing appreciation for the efforts of those around us. Respect, on the other hand, is about recognizing the worth of every individual, valuing diversity, and creating a culture of inclusivity. When we show respect, we foster a sense of community and understanding, and we create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.

By combining kindness and respect, we can create a school community that supports and encourages each other. We can create a culture of empathy, where we seek to understand and appreciate each other's perspectives, and where we celebrate diversity and inclusion. So I encourage each and every one of our students to make kindness and respect a part of our daily routine. Whether it's saying a kind word to a classmate, offering help to someone who needs it, or respecting the opinions and backgrounds of others, every act of kindness and respect makes a difference.

Let's work together to create a school community that embodies kindness, respect, and inclusivity.

Pete Morris

Included in this edition of the Lakes Ledger:

A Look Back

- Kid's Heart Challenge

- 4th Grade Kindness Club Presentation

- Teaching & Learning

- Second Step Program

- Archer the Therapy Dog

- Reading Strategies for Parents

A Look Ahead

- Kindergarten Registration

- Preschool Registration

- Byram's Got Talent

- Message from Mrs. Scholl

- Extracurricular Clubs

- Teacher Wishlists

General Info

- Attendance

- Cold Weather

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

- SchoolMessenger

- Lunch


PTA Corner

- Upcoming Events - There is a lot coming up!

- Fundraiser information

- Coming soon...

Extra! Extra!

- BLES Building Calendar

- Baseball, Lacrosse, Field Hockey Registration

- Byram Recreation Signup Information

- Classroom newsletters

A Look Back

Kids' Heart Challenge

As mentioned above, the Kids' Heart Challenge is an annual event, led at Byram Lakes by Mr. Kulesa and Mrs. Vasquez. This year, 288 Byram Lakes students signed up to help fundraise for the American Heart Association, raising over $27,608! Students jumped rope to wrap up the event.
Big picture

Board of Education Presentation: 4th Grade Kindness Club

At our Board of Education meeting on Wednesday night February 15th, the BLES 4th Grade Kindness Club presented all the incredible projects they've been working on this year, from creating Gratitude Trees to crafting pillows for Goryeb Children's Hospital, and everything in between. Do good and be kind!
Big picture

Teaching & Learning: Opinion Writing

Students in 2nd grade spent some time this month using the OREO framework for opinion writing. Students learned to state their opinions, but then to support them with reasons and examples! This builds a foundation for higher level writing skills and justifying answers with strong evidence.
Big picture

Teaching & Learning: Blending

Students in Ms. DiRenzo's Art class learned the art of blending this month! Blending occurs when two colors are faded into each other so as to form a smooth transition. The students did a great job learning this concept by doing it!
Big picture

Second Step Program

Socially-emotionally competent students have more positive attitudes toward themselves and others, show more positive social behaviors in school, and have fewer conduct problems. This results in greater school connectedness, which helps keep students safe and out of trouble. This is the core belief of the Second Step program, which Mrs. Winkelman teaches to students in every class throughout the year.
Big picture

Teaching & Learning: Soundwaves

Students in Mrs. Joiner's class learned about soundwaves in science class. While these are waves that we can't see, students got creative by using different tools and devices that vibrate to show how soundwaves work. We've got some future scientists at work at BLES!
Big picture

Archer the Therapy Dog

Archer is a therapy dog trained by Katie Baron and Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs. He has started to make his weekly visits to BLES! Archer makes everyone's Monday a little better, and is looking forward to using his training to help any students that may need a little extra support, for any reason. Welcome to BLES, Archer and Kate!

Big picture

Virtual Parent Academy: Reading Strategies

On Thursday 2/16, Carrie Zelizo and Jen Sinnott hosted an evening for parents on how to implement reading strategies at home to help our children learn. Mrs. Zelizo and Mrs. Sinnott asked that we share the presentation in the Lakes Ledger, so that all parents would have a chance to utilize some of these great strategies with their children. Please see the link below to access the Google Slides presentation. Happy Reading!

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.

Byram's Got Talent

It is almost time for Byram's Got Talent! The show will be on Friday, March 24th at 6:00pm. Please come out and support our incredible students! Dress rehearsal will be Thursday, March 23rd.

Message from Mrs. Scholl

We are at that part of the year where we're all trying to avoid getting sick! To protect your child, and the other people at Byram Lakes, please refer to the following policy when deciding if your child can return to school:

- Child must be fever free for the past 24 hours without needing pain reducing medication.

- No vomiting or diarrhea within a 24 hour period.

- Appetite and activity level have returned to close to normal.

- Cold symptoms, although still present, are mild enough so as to not interfere with participation in the school day or infect others.

- Child may return after at least 24 hours of antibiotic therapy for strep throat, pink eye, etc.

We thank you for following these procedures to keep everyone healthy!

Environmental Club & Girls on the Run

Environmental Club and Girls on the Run will be starting up on March 1st for 3rd and 4th graders! Information on the clubs has been sent out and registration is complete. Please remember to update Pickup Patrol as necessary if students will be staying after school.

Girls on the Run, starting March 1

Wednesday @ 7:30 am

Thursday until 5:00 pm

Environmental Club starting March 1

Tuesday & Wednesday until 4:45 pm

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

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

As per guidelines passed by the Board of Education on Wednesday, 2/15, COVID protocols are no longer in effect at Byram Schools. The same guidelines apply as to any other illness; when students are feeling better, they may return to school.

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

Movie Night

The PTA partnered up with Byram Recreation to bring you a feature presentation of The Bad Guys! Join us on Friday, February 24th.

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.

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!

Family Game Night

Join us for Family Game Night on Friday March 17th 6:30pm at the BLES cafeteria. Byram Rec Is partnering up with the PTA for a fun night of love sized games, snacks and family feud

Byram's Got Talent

Come see Byram's Got Talent on March 24th at 6pm! You don’t want to miss seeing all the talented kids we have in our schools.

Spring Wreath Event

Back by popular demand spring wreath event hosted by Nester’s Greenhouse. We have 2 dates available Thursday March 16th and Saturday March 18th.

Go on to memberhub to register


Mrs. Fields and Cheesecake factory fundraiser going on until March 1st. You don’t want to miss out on these delicious desserts. Let’s not forget the paint your own Oreos at home. What a fun family activity! All money raised goes towards the family activities we host. Please see the flyers below for details.

Coming Soon...

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

Field Hockey Registration

Interested in field hockey??? They need board members and players to continue the program.

Anyone interested in helping with restarting Fall Field Hockey? Any questions please email Casey Connor at

Fill out the survey below if your child would be interested

Byram Field Hockey Interest Survey

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!