All About Alloway

Back-to-School 2019

First Day of School!

The words first day of school evoke something in us all - a memory, an emotion, or perhaps a to-do list. For students, the first day is much anticipated, and the emotions may range from excited to nervous. As administrators, teachers, and staff, we plan events to transition students and send communications to reassure parents. As parents, we do everything possible to ensure the best memories are made. Together, we look forward to an exciting and memorable school opening on Thursday, Sept. 5th!



First Day Procedures: Drop-off and Pick-up

AParents who drop their students off should plan to see them off at our main doors. School starts at 7:50, but students enter when the bell rings at 7:43. We have parking directly in front of the school and crossing guards at the crosswalks. Staff will escort pre-K through first grade to their classrooms. Al, the Alloway tiger, will greet students as they enter.


For pick-up, students and the designated pick-up adult need to be on our pick-up list. Adults are reminded to bring photo identification. If your student will be picked up on a regular basis, return the complete Pick-up Form* to the main office so they get on the pick-up list. If you plan to pick your student up on the first day only, send a note. We release students at 2:30 to designated adults and account for them via our pick-up list. If your child walks home, complete a Walker Form* to inform us of any special directives you may have.


* Scroll down to download pick-up forms and walker forms. These forms are also available on our Website under 'Parents' and in the main office.


First Day "Butterflies"

If you have a young child who may experience separation anxiety, consider reading The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn . It is a beautifully illustrated children's book about Chester, a raccoon who is tentative about starting school. His mother establishes a loving routine that helps him cope. This could become your special routine, too!

NOOK Online Storytime: The Kissing Hand

First Day at ATS!

Thursday, Sep. 5th, 7:45am

43 Cedar Street

Salem, NJ

Back-to-School Events

Tuesday, Aug. 27 6:30 BOE Meeting - We have two special presentations at the beginning of the meeting this month. We have three teams of handlers and pets coming from FurEver As Friends (link to website below) coming to share the Silent Mentors in Literacy Education (SMILE) program. Officer Fucci will also be sharing information about the DARE program for Kindergarten and 5th grade.


Wednesday, Aug. 28 10:00-12:00 All Grades Open House - The building is open for both new students and returning students to walk through their routines, check out their classroom location, and perhaps meet some new people, too. Many of our teachers may be here, so you may get to see some of them as well. All of our students and their families are invited to this event. If we have students’ Individual Score Reports (grades 3-8 only) from Spring 2019 NJSLA testing, we will have them available for pick-up in the main office, so please stop in and check.


Wednesday, Sept. 4 5:30-7:00* Pre-K -2nd Grade Meet & Greet - The Back-to-School event for our youngest students is held the night before the first day of school. This is an event for the whole family. The open house format allows for families to see the classroom set up, meet up with classroom friends, and get information about the forthcoming year from the teacher. It’s a good photo opportunity, too!


* Please note this time was incorrectly communicated as 5:30-7:30. The correct time is 5:30-7:00. Sorry for the oops!


Thursday, Sept. 5 First Day of School - The first day of school is a full day.


Wednesday, Sept. 18 Back-to-School Night 7:00-8:30- Our traditional Back-to-School Night is for grades 3 through 8 only. Parents go through their student’s abbreviated schedule, and the presentations are intended for an adult audience. We do provide child care if needed, and a sign-up will go out in advance so we can plan accordingly.

Contact Info., Media Release Consent Forms, and Parent Handbook

Contact Info. - During the first week of school, a paper printout of parent/guardian contact information will go home with your student. We ask that you update it so that we have the correct information in our database. Return the form with your child. Make sure we have an e-mail address as we send many e-communications throughout the school year.


Media Release Consent Form - We have a media release consent form for every student on file. If you wish to change the permissions, fill out a new form and return it to the main office so we can update our records. Please be advised that the permissions given on the original form during the 2018-19 school year are in effect unless you indicate otherwise.


Parent Handbook - The parent handbook has a variety of general information for both new and returning families. If what you're looking for isn't in there, do not hesitate to reach out to the school. We aim to provide you with the information you seek. The parent handbook can be accessed on our Website under 'Parents.'

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Picture Day is Tuesday, September 17th

School Age Child Care (SACC)

SACC registration is open! SACC is offered before school and after school for families who need child care that bookends either part of the school day. We do require a new registration form each year. Registration cost is $40. for a new family, and the fee is waived for returning families. All SACC forms are available in the main office and on our Website under 'Parents.'


Drop registration forms, calendars, and payments to the main office. The payment deadline for the month of September is Monday, August 26.


Direct questions regarding SACC to Mrs. Lodge, the SACC coordinator.

In the News: Mercury & School Gym Floors

Rubber gym floors have been prominent in the news because of mercury concerns. Prior to a 2000 federal ban, mercury had been used in the curing process when installing rubberized floors. It may have continued to be used after the ban.


In April, ATS reached out the company that installed our gym floor in 2006 for relevant information. They could not assure us that mercury was not used in the installation process, so we had the floor tested, and mercury was detected. Detection did not mean that we have a problem necessarily, but it did compel us to follow-up with an air quality test. The air quality test came back with no corrective action measures. In other words, although mercury was used in the installation, it is not creating a concern.


It was recommended that we periodically test as a way to be proactive with monitoring. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact administration.

The Proud, the Few, the Summer Crew!

MAP Reports

Student Progress Reports for Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) were sent home in the Spring. The reports that were printed and sent did not include the District Grade Level Mean. The District Grade Level Mean is the average RIT score for students at ATS in the same grade who were tested at the same time.


If you want the Spring report reprinted, please contact the school. We apologize for the omission, but rest assured that we will course correct so that the Fall reports include this data.

Going green when we clean!

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Ensuring Excellence: Strategic Plan for School Years 2019-20 to 2021-22

On July 23, 2019, the Board of Education adopted a 3-year strategic plan for the District. During the 2018-19 school year, the School Improvement Team endeavored to involve the school's various constituents in charting a course for the school's next three years. Parents/guardians, community members, district staff, BOE members, and students worked together to identify both points of pride and hopes for the future.


As a school community, we aim to strike a balance that is just right between those points of pride and progressive movement that turns hopes into reality. The plan reflects the consensus of many voices. It guides District leadership and staff to ensure excellence for our students, families, and community. It is both a filter for decisions and a guiding compass for direction. The plan outlines three goals, and they are as follows:


Goal #1: Academic Programs

Design an academic program that challenges all students to succeed at their highest potential

Objective 1: Strengthen critical thinking skills

Objective 2: Support teachers’ abilities to differentiate instruction in the classroom

Objective 3: Use technology as a tool to build students’ capacities to navigate a digital society

Objective 4: Increase student proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) and math

Objective 5: Develop a plan to implement Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) throughout all grade levels.


Goal #2: Wellness

Support the social, emotional, intellectual, and overall well-being of students to enable them to maintain a healthy balance in their lives and prepare them for the 21st century

Objective 1: Create a sense of community, belonging, and acceptance in the school

Objective 2: Continue to provide opportunities for participation in school activities

Objective 3: Provide programs that support emotional and mental health of students


Goal #3: Community Engagement

Support the social, emotional, intellectual, and overall well-being of students to enable them to maintain a healthy balance in their lives and prepare them for the 21st century

Objective 1: Create a sense of community, belonging, and acceptance in the school

Objective 2: Continue to provide opportunities for participation in school activities

Objective 3: Provide programs that support emotional and mental health of students


All school constituents are encouraged to view any or all related documents in their entirety on our Website under 'Str. Planning.' As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, 'Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving.'

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Zoom-in on 3rd Grade

Math and language in 3rd grade are departmentalized this year. Students are assigned a homeroom teacher, but all students will have Mrs. Mortimer for language arts and Mrs. Acton for math. The reason for this is that the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) are dense. Each standard has multiple content and skill objectives. There is a lot involved with unpacking the standards and aligning instruction, resources, and learning tasks to be meaningful, engaging, and student-centered. Through departmentalization, we ensure a narrower focus for each teacher which results in high-quality instruction.


Students are challenged at their individual levels of preparedness through differentiation. For students who need support to reach grade-level standards, we have fully migrated to best practice programs: supplemental support during Tiger Time and least restrictive environment with the push-in support.


Both third grade teachers have a full steam ahead approach to providing a modern class setup. Mrs. Mortimer has been a trailblazer for shifting from traditional desks to choice and shared spaces in a flexible classroom. Meanwhile, Mrs. Acton has secured a significant amount of donations through DonorsChoose.org. Third grade is a great place to be!

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Zoom-in on 4th Grade

Math and language arts in 4th grade are departmentalized. Students are assigned a homeroom teacher, but all students will have Mrs. Wildermuth for language arts and Mrs. Principe for math. The reason for this is that the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) are dense. Each standard has multiple content and skill objectives. There is a lot involved with unpacking the standards and aligning instruction, resources, and learning tasks to be meaningful, engaging, and student-centered. Through departmentalization, we ensure a narrower focus for each teacher which results in high-quality instruction.


Students are challenged at their individual levels of preparedness through differentiation. For students who need support to reach grade-level standards, we have fully migrated to best programs: supplemental support during Tiger Time and least restrictive environment with push-in support. In fourth grade, students learn through special visitors, book clubs, Google Classroom, and more!

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Zoom-in on 5th Grade

All core content subjects are departmentalized in 5th grade. Students are assigned a homeroom teacher, but all students will have Mrs. Osborn for math and social studies and Ms. Abhau for language arts and science. The reason for this is that the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) are dense. Each standard has multiple content and skill objectives. There is a lot involved with unpacking the standards and aligning instruction, resources, and learning tasks to be meaningful, engaging, and student-centered. Through departmentalization, we ensure a narrower focus for each teacher which results in high-quality instruction.


Students are challenged at their individual levels of preparedness through differentiation. For students who need support to reach grade-level standards, we have fully migrated to best programs: supplemental support during Tiger Time and least restrictive environment with push-in support. In order to provide this, students in Ms. Abhau's homeroom have a morning schedule with a split language arts block, and Mrs. Osborn's homeroom has a split math block. Fifth grade is the last year of elementary before moving into the middle school wing and the first year students can be recognized for Honor Roll status....it's an exciting place to be for sure.