James Monroe Newsletter

April Edition

Spring Holidays

There is much to celebrate and reflect on as the weather gets warmer and the days are getting longer. Enjoy your upcoming Spring Break!


Ramadan Mubarak to all of our families beginning Ramadan on April 2nd.


Chag Pesach sameach to all of our families celebrating Passover beginning on April 15th.


Happy Easter to all of our families celebrating Easter in April.

April Calendar

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It was a Magical Start to March!

It was exciting to see how our school’s environment was transformed to create a motivating setting for reading this month. Our upper grade buddies inspired our youngest readers, bulletin boards were adorned with magical themes and staff opened their doors to guest readers for the first time in 2 years. We received so many compliments on the student magicians, the volunteer student greeters and the welcoming setting in the library.


The Reading Committee, teacher volunteers and Mrs. Kelly Pedana planned a fabulous and fun reading event for our students! Who knew that so many of our families and teachers had tricks up their sleeves and could perform magic?! We enjoyed a terrific performance by a magician and received our very own magic kits.

James Monroe PTO's Tricky Tray

Are you feeling lucky? Please join us for our first Annual Tricky Tray! Purchase your tickets now for advanced pricing. There will be lots of chances to win!
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Gov. Murphy Visits James Monroe

James Monroe was honored to host Governor Phil Murphy’s recent press conference about school funding.

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The Science Fair is Back! Save the Date!

We are happy to announce that James Monroe will be hosting its very first in-person Science Fair on May 24th for students in grades 3-5! We are looking for a team of volunteers that have a background in sciences to help us the night of the event from 7:00pm to 7:45pm. The students’ projects will not be judged but rather reviewed. Insight from an adult that works or has worked in the field will be extremely valuable to the children. If you are interested in volunteering please fill out this FORM by May 6th. We appreciate your help!


Please be on the look out for an upcoming flier to register your student for the event!

April 4th is School Librarian Day! Thank you, Mrs. Somes!

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PTO Seeks Executive Board Members!

Are you interested in helping our PTO? Do you have a skill that will help support our school, parents and teachers? Do you have ideas to help our school community? If you are interested in running for a position on the JME PTO Board of Officers please submit this form by Friday, April 8, 2022. The positions can be shared with another parent.

Smashburger Dine Out - Apr. 14th

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Our Community Helps in the Garden

James Monroe families, students and staff came together to help with a spring clean up of our garden. With the help of our school's Garden Club, the community worked together to prepare the garden beds, prune, rake and weed. The garden will soon be full of new growth and we are looking forward to spending more time there!

NJSLA - New Jersey Student Learning Assessment

All NJ students across the state in grades 3, 4 & 5 will take the following standardized tests.


May 9 - May 11 - ELA

May 12 - May 16 MATH

GRADE 5 ONLY - May 17 & 18 SCIENCE


You may use the following items from previous tests with your children:

https://nj.digitalitemlibrary.com/home

Chromebooks

As you may know, our mandated state testing is scheduled for May 9th - 18th, 2022. It is very important that all students’ devices are working properly to take these assessments. If a student’s device is in need of repair, please complete a tech ticket as soon as possible.


Additionally, our district office has brought to our attention that some students are removing the cover of their Chromebook and/or placing decorative stickers on them. Please keep the covers on the device and refrain from placing stickers on them.


Stickers other than a label with the student’s name should not be placed on any device.

Multi-Cultural Night


Dear Monroe Families,


Learning about the cultures within our school community is essential to our students' social emotional growth.

James Monroe School is committed to fostering cultural inclusiveness. We know that our diverse stories and cultural experiences are important and we would love to showcase our community!

We are looking for presenters for our upcoming Multicultural Night, here at James Monroe School on May 4, 2022. The event will run from 6 PM to 7:30 PM.


We need you!


This will be a wonderful opportunity to connect, build community and learn from each other and cast a spotlight on the richness of our wonderfully diverse community!

Presenters may share unique food, traditions, music, dances, clothing, artwork, or other aspects of their culture.

This is a great opportunity for you to share! If you are interested in volunteering please complete this form by April 8th.


Thank you!

James Monroe Community Relations Committee Team

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Yearbook Orders

Please submit order forms by April 29th to reserve your child's copy of the yearbook. All 5th graders will receive a free copy from the PTO.
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Women's History Month Lessons

Classrooms across the school celebrated the accomplishments, history and achievements of female heroes in various ways. Please read about how these lessons were incorporated into our curriculum.


  • We read the Scholastic News article "The Woman Who Talked to Chimps" , which was about the scientist Jane Goodall. We talked about the women who make a difference in our lives every day.


  • Classes provided numerous texts from the library to focus on famous women we have learned about. These include: Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, and Betsy Ross. The students were also independently researching famous women through BrainPop Jr. videos.


  • Classes incorporated Women's History Month into our morning meeting every day. Almost each day we learned about a new women in history during our morning message and activity. Also, during snack time we listened to read aloud's about them and talked about who they were as a class after.


  • As a class we read the book "She Persisted" by Chelsea Clinton and then selected a famous woman to research either from the text or by student choice. Students then presented their findings as a google slides presentation.


  • During morning meeting we discussed Amelia Earhart and Elizabeth Blackwell and how they broke barriers for many women. In social studies, we learned about the Supreme Court and the importance of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson being the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court.


  • Students researched a historcal woman of their choice and created a slide presentation on them to share with the class.


  • We started each day with a quote from a famous women and then discussed what the quote meant. We also read books about strong women in history.


  • Read a biography each day about women in history from the book, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.


  • Each morning meeting, we read quotes from, and watched video segments highlighting the contributions of prominent women from the past and present. This was followed by student-led discussions of character traits, determination, positive mindset, and overcoming challenges.


  • Class 5-3 read Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes who won Women the Right to Vote and Great Women of the American Revolution. Then we wrote an opinion piece and created a monument dedicated to Woman in History of our choice based on their accomplishments.


  • We spoke about Athletes in the Olympics back in Ferbruary. In March, we said that there were 24 categoreies that athletes won gold medals for the US Olympic team. Of those 24 categories, 16 of them were women. In the past, women weren't even able to complete and this year the women were more that 66% of the Gold Medal winners.


  • During this month, our class held a "Women's History Month Madness". The students were presented with two influential women and read articles or watched videos to gather facts about these women. They voted for which woman they believed was more influential. The woman with the most student votes moved on to the next round!


  • During the month of March, books about women were made available in our classroom library. In addition, we read "Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone," the story of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor.

Student Council News - Ukraine Collection

James Monroe's Student Council has been working hard to help people impacted by the war in Ukraine. The school community has been hosting a donation drive for everyday items. All items will be sent by cargo plane to Poland for Ukrainian refugees! We have collected diapers, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and many more daily necessities. We will be able to donate over 500 individual items to help families in need.

School Play-Jungle Book

The school play rehearsals are underway and students and staff have been very dedicated giving up their recess and after school time to rehearse!


Please help your child practice their songs and dances which can be found in the Jungle Book Google Classroom. Also, all participants will need to provide their costume for the show. Please check the classroom for more information about costumes and rehearsal schedule.


Jungle Book t-shirts are now on sale! Please complete the form and submit by April 14th. Extra shirts are not ordered.


Save the date for June 1st and 2nd when our students will perform!

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Therapy Dogs Visit our SCA Classes and Rainbows Program

Research shows interacting with a therapy dog can benefit children physically and mentally through the reduction of pain, anxiety, fatigue, stress, and depression. Creature Comfort Pet Therapy is a non-profit organization that has provided a grant to our school and is structuring therapy dog visits, tailoring each scheduled appointment to ensure it can be as effective and productive as possible. Our students really enjoyed meeting Sadie and Sadie and their handlers!
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Policy and Procedure Reminders

An Important Reminder about Appropriate Attire at School

Please assist your children in what constitutes acceptable practice in this area.

  • Flip flops and Crocs are not permitted for safety reasons.

  • Hats are for outdoors only.

  • Crop tops and spaghetti straps are not appropriate for school. Bare midriffs are not permitted. For example, your child should be able to lift their arms without their belly being exposed. Shirts must reach the top of the hips.

  • Ripped pants should not be too exposing.


Also, in addition to daily hygiene, please remind your child to shower at least three times a week with soap and water.


Cell Phone Policy

If your student is bringing a cell phone or i-Watch with them to school, please complete this form and submit it to your child's teacher. I-Watches are not permitted to be worn during the school day. The cell phone is required to stay in the child's backpack and students are not to make or accept phone calls or text messages from their cell phone during the school day. If you need to reach your child for any reason, please contact the main office and we will assist (732-452-2970).

Kindergarten Registration

The district is excited to announce that full day Kindergarten will be offered for the 2022-2023 school year.


Please click here for the enrollment requirements. It is recommended that enrollment be completed online using the Registration Gateway.


If you have a child who is eligible to begin Kindergarten, they must turn 5 years of age by October 1st and be full time resident of Edison.

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Covid Reporting

When you report that a child was a close contact to a positive individual/is positive case/or is experiencing symptoms, please include the following information:



  • Child's first & last name
  • Child's teacher
  • Siblings' names & teachers (inform other schools if older)
  • Date of exposure to close contact and/or date of symptoms and date of PCR or Rapid Antigen test collected (not reported)
  • Send a screenshot of the PCR or Rapid Antigen report when you receive it (not a home test)



The district has moved away from our individual letters to a dashboard which will be updated each Friday on the district website. You will no longer receive letters from the school.

April is Autism Awareness Month

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A Message from Our School Nurse - Mrs. Sclafani

The first National Autism Awareness Month was declared by the Autism Society in April 1970 beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

The aim of this month is to educate the public about autism. Autism is a complex mental condition and developmental disability, characterized by difficulties in the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. Autism can be present from birth or form during early childhood (typically within the first three years). Autism is a lifelong developmental disability with no single known cause.


People with autism are classified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the terms autism and ASD are often used interchangeably. A wide spectrum disorder, people with autism have a set of symptoms unique to themselves; no two people are the same.


AUTISM IS WIDESPREAD, AWARENESS ABOUT THIS CONDITION IS NOT

In the United States, autism affects 1 in every 54 children (Marissa Walsh, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID, 2021). Today, autism diagnoses usually happen in early childhood, which may be why autism rates in children are higher than those in adults. However, because the definition of autism spectrum disorder has drastically evolved, many teens and adults could be living with undiagnosed ASD. Prevalence estimates of autism in adults born between 1980 and 2012 are predicted to affect 3 out of every 100 adults in the U.S. and in the future could carry a diagnosis based on this new criteria. (Open Minds, 2018)


World Autism Awareness Month aims to make the public more aware about

this widespread disability and the issues which arise in the autism community. The

chances are high that you know someone with this disability. A better informed

public will be more empathetic and supportive towards people with autism.


If you have a concern about your child’s development, always discuss these

concerns with your child’s doctor. Parent-teacher conferences are an ideal time to

ask questions about your child’s progress and challenges. Your child’s pediatrician

may ask you to obtain information regarding his/her performance in education and

social emotional development which is recognized through teachers who share

experiences with your child on a regular basis.


Autism Advocacy for Individuals & Their Families - Autism Family Services of New Jersey is a state-wide, non-profit charitable agency dedicated to helping improve the quality of life for people affected by autism and their loved ones. Check out their website for information on events, resources for at home behavioral therapy, health, education, support services, lists of New Jersey Public and Private Agencies serving the needs of families affected by autism and more. https://autismfamilyservicesnj.org/family-resource-network/

For more information on National Autism Awareness Month visit the Autism Society Awareness page:

https://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/national-autism-awareness-month/

This will also provide you with links to Autism e-newsletters, affiliate’s and more. Check out this site for upcoming events in New Jersey with the New Jersey Autism, Inc. https://www.autismnj.org/.

Click this link for Top Autism Websites Recommended by Parents:https://eden2.org/top-10-autism-websites-recommended-by-parents/


References:


Marissa Walsh, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID, M. (2021). Autism statistics 2021.

https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/autism-statistics/


Monica Oss, (2018). Adults With Autism—A Growing Population & Opportunity. https://openminds.com/market-intelligence/executive-briefings/adults-with-autism-a-growing-population-opportunity/

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