Dolphin News

Francis A. Desmares School - September 2023

A Note From Mr. Masessa and Mrs. Custy

On behalf of the entire Desmares staff and teaching community, welcome back to school! We are very excited for this year as we have new teachers, teacher changes to different grade levels, a new Vice Principal, and other exciting news we would like to share.

In the main office, please welcome Mrs. Mary Jane Custy as our Vice Principal. Mrs. Custy served as Vice Principal of Barley Sheaf School for the past two years and is now coming home to Desmares School where she raised her three children during their elementary school years.

Mrs. Matty Picchio, Bilingual Secretary, is going to be extending her hours to 8:30 - 12:00, supporting families and teachers with any translating needs.

Mrs. Krista Monks is our new School Counselor. You may remember her from five years ago as she was here serving as the leave replacement for Mrs. Pepe.

Ms. Brittany O’Brien is coming back to Desmares after spending two years at Barley Sheaf School, to open a fifth section of kindergarten in Room 5.

Ms. Samantha Gale is our new Media Specialist. Ms. Gale is coming to us from Alexandria Township where she was the Media Specialist.

Ms. Kari Rowe will be working at both Desmares School and Robert Hunter School as a Literacy Coach. She will be supporting students through her work with our teachers to refine literacy instructional practices. Ms. Rowe was formerly a third grade teacher and the Stretch teacher at Barley Sheaf School.

Mrs. Kristen Schlesier is our new Lunch Teacher who will be working with our students during lunch and recess.

There are a few teachers making grade-level changes. Ms. Linnea Liscinsky will teach the fifth section of first grade in Room 10. Mrs. Carla Thompson is going back to first grade in Room 11. Mrs. Kathleen Barragan is moving upstairs to teach the fifth section of fourth grade in Room 31.

You may recall in May, Desmares celebrated the efforts of Mrs. Hanan Attiyah when she was awarded with a $60,000 grant to open the very first STEM Lab in our district. The progress of the summer has been steady and we will be opening this lab in the early Fall through an official ribbon cutting. Stay tuned for details on the grand opening of our STEM Lab!

As for our school facilities, we wanted to share the news that the Gym floor was completely stripped, sealed, and repainted. It looks amazing! Thanks to our fabulous PTO, the GAGA Pit will have a maintenance free surface with rubber matting which will be installed by our maintenance team for use during recess and PE.

Lastly, we have been communicating really important back to school preparation information through School Messenger. One very important reminder is for all families who have previously qualified for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program, to please make sure you complete the forms EVERY SCHOOL YEAR, as they do not carry over from year to year. Click here to access the Free/Reduced Lunch forms.

Mrs. Custy and I welcome everyone back for an exciting school year that is sure to be filled with adventures in learning, new friendships, and amazing experiences. Please communicate with our main office if you have any questions, need assistance, or if your child needs additional help. We are a community of one! When we work together, great things happen!

Enjoy the start of the school year!

Mr. Masessa and Mrs. Custy

School Counseling Corner

Welcome back!

We are looking forward to seeing all of our Desmares Dolphins during the first few weeks of school! This school year, we will be providing classroom lessons on social-emotional learning as well as meeting with students individually and in small groups. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We are looking forward to meeting you at Back to School Night!

Mrs. Moncada & Mrs. Monks

This month’s character trait is Responsibility. Being responsible means making good choices, being trustworthy and taking accountability for your actions.

Here are some books to help children understand and practice responsibility:

A Little Spot of Responsibility A Story About Making Good Choices

What If Everybody Did That?

Back to School Night

We look forward to welcoming parents and guardians to Desmares School on Thursday evening, September 21. The schedule for visiting classrooms will be posted on the virtual backpack by the end of next week. Please be reminded that there will be an early dismissal for students on September 21. Dismissal will begin at 1:15 pm, and your child's bus should arrive two hours and fifteen minutes earlier than a regular dismissal day.


Regular school attendance, including prompt arrival, is critical to support student learning. If your child is going to be absent from school, please use the student absence form on the Desmares School website or leave a message on our attendance line by calling 908-284-7540 and selecting menu option #1. If you have questions about your child's health and whether or not they can attend school, please call Nurse Alexis Dausch at 908-284-7545.


School Lunch Information

Click here for information from Maschio's - lunch menus, lunch account information, and the application for free/reduced lunch.

Francis A. Desmares PTO

Click here to join the FAD PTO!

Desmares Virtual Backpack

Click here for important information about school events!

Important Dates

  • September 7: First Day of School
  • September 14: Dolphins' Popsicle Social (Rain Date - September 29)
  • September 21: Early Dismissal - Back to School Night
  • September 25: SCHOOL CLOSED - Yom Kippur

Francis A. Desmares Elementary School

Main Office: 908-284-7540

Nurse's Office: 908-284-7585

School Counselor - Mrs. Monks: 908-284-7542

Bilingual School Counselor - Mrs. Moncada: 908-284-7553