Catena Colts Connected

October 23, 2020

Dear Catena Families,

We enjoyed celebrating Safe Schools' Week here at Catena and focusing on the importance of keeping our school community a peaceful place to learn & grow. Thank you for supporting this at home and dressing your SuperKids aligned with our daily themes. It was awesome to see so much green & white & Catena Spirit Wear flooding the building today!

Our teachers and students continue to find their groove throughout the connected learning day with a balance of synchronous & asynchronous experiences. We are grateful to our amazing staff for their tireless effort to ensure our days are successful! Students learning from home will have time that is asynchronous in nature scheduled daily. Throughout the connected learning day and the PM Learning Blocks, it is important that students are in their learning spaces and have all of their school supplies nearby & organized. We ask that families revisit these spaces with students and set them up in them each day ready to engage with their teacher and classmates. Virtual Learning Expectations can be found at the bottom of this newsletter. Schedules delineated by teachers continue to span the school day~from 9am-3:35pm~and remain flexible affording opportunities for personalized learning in the PM Learning Blocks.

We are grateful to families for being diligent in completing the Daily Health Screening. This is an important part of our day allowing for smooth beginnings and also a critical measure in keeping our school community healthy & safe. With the upcoming days off and the holidays approaching, please be reminded that travel to states/areas on the NJ Quarantine List will require a 14 day quarantine before students may return to the school building. Together, we must commit to maintaining a safe school environment for our SuperKids, staff & families. Together, we are Catena Strong!

Be well,

Ms. Shaw & Mrs. Cecilione

Upcoming dates to remember...

October 19th-November 1st: PTO sponsored Scholastic Book Fair

October 28th & 30th: Halloween Costume Days; 10/30 Classroom Halloween activities

Tuesday, November 3rd: Election Day, All Virtual for All Students

Thursday & Friday November 5th & 6th: School Closed

November 20th, 23rd & 24th: Parent-Teacher Conferences; No PM Learning Block

Wednesday November 25th: No PM Learning Block

Thursday & Friday November 26th & 27th: Happy Thanksgiving! School Closed

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Parent-Teacher Conferences

Please see the letter below regarding upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences at Catena.

SuperKids Learning All Day!

Our school day consists of Connected Learning from 9am-1pm daily. During this time it is important that students are engaged in the classroom schedule. This will be a balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning. There are times when learners at home will be given a break or assignment to work on while the teacher addresses routines and procedures in the physical classroom. Just the same, there will be times when students in the classroom may be working independently and the teacher will work directly with those learners at home. Please be sure that SuperKids are prepared with supplies and in their "learning space" during this time so they can engage appropriately.

Our SuperKids' days continue in the afternoon. These PM Learning Blocks are from 2:25-3:35 each day following time for all students to have lunch and recess at home. Live lessons/learning time may not be scheduled every day; however, when small groups or individual lessons are scheduled it is in the effort to personalize learning for students. This PM Learning Block affords teachers time to provide intervention and enrichment for students in content areas. Please prioritize these scheduled lessons for your students. Teacher/student learning conferences, asynchronous lessons and assignments and related arts classes are also scheduled daily. Teachers will share schedules in their Google Classrooms and students will have personalized learning opportunities across the week!

Celebrating Halloween at Catena!

Please see the communication below regarding our Halloween celebration for 2020!

Arrival & Dismissal

Catena School Hours 8:50am-1:00pm

  • Doors Open 8:40am
  • Dismissal 1:00pm
  • PM Virtual Learning Blocks 2:25-3:35pm

Students will come in assigned doors to limit the need for two-way traffic

  • Main Entrance: 1st & 2nd bus students & walkers from Chatham Ridge/Longview

  • Flag Pole Entrance: K, 3rd, 5th grade bus students & walkers from Chatham Ridge

  • Fourth Grade Entrance: 4th grade bus students, walkers, car riders; 1st, 3rd car riders

  • K/5th Grade Wing doors: K, 2nd, 5th grade car riders

Signage around the school building will remind our SuperKids and families of the importance of and requirement to socially distance from others and wear masks.

When on school property, parents must wear masks at all times and practice social/physical distancing from all others.

Arrival & Dismissal procedures and maps can be accessed below.

PACE Kids Stuff Coupon Book Fundraiser

What do SuperKids need each day?

Each day SuperKids need to have:

  • K & 1 students who requested a district Chromebook should bring the charged device and charger to and from school each day.
  • 2-5 students should bring their charged district Chromebook and charger to and from school each day.
  • All students should have a snack. Students may also bring a water bottle.
  • All students MUST wear a mask and have an extra mask in their bookbag.
  • Personal size hand-sanitizer.
  • A small lunch-size paper bag (or a mask lanyard) to place their mask in during snack.
  • Students should keep any supplies needed in the classroom & at home in their bookbag.
  • Students should always have their Cohort A/B tag on their bookbag so they are easily identifiable when entering the building.

From Our School Nurse~Mrs. Toth

Reminder: You must complete the COVID form every day that we are expecting your child in the building. For example, if your child is in Cohort A, you should complete the form on every Cohort A day regardless if your child will be present in the building or virtual.

Daily Health Screening

Thank you! Our families have been doing a great job completing the district required Daily Health Screening. We ask that families prioritize time each morning before sending students off to school (on a bus, in a car, or by foot!) to complete the Daily Health Screening by 8:30am.

Log on to Genesis Parent Portal each morning and fill out the survey by 8:30 AM for each of your children(

Honesty is a must! If your child is showing symptoms, keep him/her home and allow him/her to participate virtually. Completing the Daily Health Screening must become part of each Catena family's morning routine. It is already part of ours~all staff monitor themselves for illness and completes a Daily Health Screening.

What happens if a student arrives to school without a Daily Health Screening completed?

If the Daily Health Screening is not completed, students will not be able to start the school day with their classmates. Screening by the school nurse will be conducted and families will be contacted. A parent must then complete the Daily Health Screening along with the nurse or a health assistant and confirm that the child is in good health and has not been in close contact with someone with Covid-19.

Completing the Daily Health Screening is crucial as we strive to maintain a safe and healthy environment for SuperKids, families and Catena staff!

Try this morning checklist:

  • Completed Covid/Daily Health Screening on Genesis Parent Portal;
  • My SuperKid has their mask on. We have labeled the mask;
  • My SuperKid has a back-up mask in their bookbag;
  • Snack and a water bottle are packed in my SuperKid's bookbag!
Daily COVID screening form - Google Slides

Reporting a SuperKid's Absence

Please follow these steps when communicating your SuperKid will not be attending school for illness related reasons:

  • Call your school's main phone line 732-431-4430 to access the attendance line (press 1) prior to the start of the school day (9:00 AM)
  • Leave a message or provide staff with the following detailed information: NAME, GRADE, TEACHER, REASON FOR ABSENCE, GIVE SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS
  • School staff will inform you of when student can return to school
  • A PHONE CONFERENCE with your School Nurse is REQUIRED if student is excluded for COVID-related symptoms (see above)

Be Responsible~Mask Up!

SuperKids are doing an awesome job! As per the New Jersey Department of Education guidance provided to all school districts, masks are required to be worn by all staff and students throughout the school day. Students riding buses are required to wear masks from the time they board the bus in the morning until they get off the bus at the end of the day. Students who walk to school or are driven to school must wear face masks once they enter school property. Upon leaving school property in the afternoon students can remove face masks. Parents accompanying students in the morning or picking up students in the afternoon must wear masks.

Masks may be removed for water breaks and during scheduled snack, when students are socially distanced with 6ft of space. By making sure we "mask up" we can keep ourselves and others safe at school.

Families should make time to review the district's mandate and school expectations for wearing a face mask. We will continue to review the expectations and appreciate your support in doing so at home.

Technology Support

If your child is having difficulty using their FTS district issued chromebook, please send an email or call the Catena Main Office who will submit a ticket accordingly to our Technology Department. Thank you for your patience. We are working to address repairs and tickets on a daily basis to keep SuperKids connected to their classrooms & learning!

Virtual Learning Expectations

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Counselor's Corner

JJCS Parent Support Site

Joseph J Catena Elementary School

For 60 years we've focused on building strong minds, strong bodies & strong character! Our students are encouraged to share their unique talents and gifts and follow their curiosities as they grow and learn. In 2021 Catena turns 60 and we are excited to celebrate the strength of our school community. Together~parents, staff & students~we are Catena Strong. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn with our SuperKids, incredible staff and amazing families each day at JJCS!