The COnnection

MARSD Central Office Newsletter

From the Desk of Dr. Majka - Superintendent

Spring season is a time of transition and rejuvenation. It offers a welcomed change from the cold, long and dark days of winter to more enjoyable temperatures and sunshine. The sounds of winter winds are replaced by the songs of birds to start our days. The growth on trees and flowers remind us that there is always an opportunity for a fresh new start. But for me, the most favorite sign of spring is baseball and opening day. It brings the child out in all of us and invites us to be somewhat reflective and welcome change with a positive attitude. So as we enter this final marking period of our school year, remember, it is never too late to put your mark on things and take away important lessons both in the classroom and in life.

Happy spring!

March 8, 2019 - In-Service Day (Elementary Schools) - By: Mrs. Tobia

Lifelong Learners

The March 8th in-service day provided an opportunity for the PreK-5 teachers to collaborate and continue to enhance instructional practices. Our pre-school and kindergarten teachers had an opportunity for vertical articulation. Our Kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers received further training in Wilson Fundations. The Grade 2 & Grade 3 teachers debriefed on best practices for the implementation of our newly adopted reading program, Literacy By Design. Finally, our Lloyd Road team focused on content specific strategies for instruction as well as ways to address social and emotional learning through the Nurtured Heart approach. K-5 Special Area teachers received training on Sheltered English Instruction (SIOP) in which they learned research based best practices for supporting English Language Learners.

Feedback from the teachers on the activities was extremely positive. Teachers indicated the time was valuable and would have an immediate impact on daily interactions with students.

March 8, 2019 - In-Service Day (Secondary Schools) - by: Dr. Rawls

On Friday, March 8, 2019 the MAMS & MRHS staff celebrated a day of Professional & Personal Learning. During the day, teachers, counselors, and administrators shared a holistic retreat that was designed to provide staff with practical practices to support self-care and professional growth. Over 20 presenters provided staff with meaningful sessions on topics such as Mindfulness, Yoga, Team Building, Questioning & Discussion Techniques, Effective Math Practices, Writing Strategies, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Design Cycles, Art Therapy, Dance, and much much more!

Dr. Majka kicked off the day with a warm welcome and words of encouragement. He focused on the idea of self-care and working as a team to reach our goals. Following Dr. Majka’s welcome, Dr. Rawls introduced the focus for the day of development. His words touched on the theme of: Learn.Encourage.Collaborate. Teachers left the opening session and embarked on their individualized day of learning and self-care.

There was a buzz in the hallways and the classrooms as participants engaged in lively discussions based on the various topics. As if the professional learning was not enough, the MAMS PTSO donated gift baskets containing cool Husky gear and gift cards. The Curriculum & Instruction office donated Starbucks gift cards for lucky winners.

Thanks to all, it was a Great Day to be a Husky! Special thanks to Darlene Gallagher in the office of Curriculum & Instruction for her hard work and dedication in organizing the event! Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

Title I & ESL Family Night

The Title I and ESL Family Night on April 11, 2019 was another tremendous success. Students received a "red carpet" welcome and the evening was filled with fun activities that focused on literacy. Thank you to everyone who made this event such a huge success, especially Mrs. Raquel Colao, Mrs. Lauren Berman, and Mrs. Katie Leslie.

NJSLA- State Assessment Begins

Our 3rd-10th grade Students will be taking the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) this April and May. Please check on the Parent Notification of Standardized Assessments for a list of all local and state assessment dates.

NJ Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) for English Language Arts and Mathematics

The New Jersey Department of Education recently announced changes regarding the administration of the spring 2019 NJSLA for ELA and Math. Districts are no longer required to administer end-of-course statewide assessments in ELA and Mathematics to students in grade 11. Please view the letter sent home to parents/guardians in March outlining this change in greater detail.

Class of 2019 and 2020 High School Graduation Assessment Requirements

On February 22, 2019 the New Jersey Department of Education updated the high school graduation assessment requirements in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics for the graduating classes of 2019 and 2020. There are essentially three pathways that students can take to achieve high school graduation assessment requirements. To learn more about this and to see how the class of 2021 and beyond will be impacted, please click the link below.

Community Viewing of Screenagers: Growing Up in a Digital Age

Monday, April 15th, 7pm

469 Matawan Avenue


Screen-Free Zones, How to Encourage More Face-To-Face Time

Face-to-face time has become a difficult task for families to achieve, in light of all the technology in our lives these days. The link below offers some wonderful examples for creating a "tech away policy" in your household. Not only will it improve the quality of family time, but it is something children can live with and feel comfortable about, even in the company of friends.

Building Communication Skills via Summer Jobs

With summer quickly approaching, the article below may be a great resource for students and their families when considering summer jobs/tasks.
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Congratulations to Dr. Rawls - Husky of the Month

Our very own Director of C&I, Dr. Rawls, was selected as Husky of the Month in February 2019. This award is extra special, as it is the first time someone from outside the high school has been a recipient. Congratulations to Dr. Rawls on this well-deserved honor!

Parents of Special People

Parents of Special People, Inc. is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month! What started with a handful of parents has grown into a thriving organization right here in the Matawan/Aberdeen community. PoSP welcomes all students of disabilities and levels to join! This organization offers free Monthly Sensory Friendly Films, adaptive sports programs, parent support and more.

Some upcoming events include a trip to Medieval Times, Liberty Science Center over Spring Break, the 15th Anniversary Party at Monmouth Racetrack in June and our year-end celebration at Crystal Springs Family Aquatic Center. All events are free or of lower cost to families. Membership is open year round! For any questions, please visit or email

School Closures/Holidays

Please mark your calendar for the following dates that district schools and offices will be closed.

Spring Break - April 19th - April 26th (District will reopen on April 29th)

Memorial Day - May 27th
(Pending the April 29, 2019 Board Meeting and approval, the district will be closed on Friday, May 24th and Tuesday, May 28th. Please check the district calendar after the board meeting for confirmation.)