November Family Newsletter
2023-2024 School Year
Dear Barley Sheaf School Community,
October was a busy month for all of our students, staff, and families at Barley Sheaf! We began our month with our district-wide "Week of Respect" spirit week. Our students participated in many special activities and had visits from mystery readers. We focused on what respect looks like, sounds like, and feels like in school, at home, and in our community. We continue to honor and live by our Barley Sheaf Student Mission.
Also in October, our PTO hosted our annual Walkathon, where we raised $14,599 for our school community! Thank you to all of our families for your generosity. We had a beautiful day for our students to enjoy! Our PTO also sponsored a very exciting and impactful school assembly, Finding Gobi, where students met author and ultra-marathoner Dion Leonard and his dog, Gobi!
We would like to thank Ryan Fisher from goHunteron and our Health/Physical Education teachers Tyler Wrabel and Melissa Renye for organizing our first Walking School Bus! Our students enjoyed a crisp fall morning on their walk to school. We are also proud of our very own fourth grade student, Faith Marinzoli, who organized a Halloween Costume Drive. We received many donations and were able to help our students have a happy Halloween! Our staff also wore pink on October 11 to raise awareness and support one of our Barley Sheaf teachers and cancer survivor, Mrs. Lango, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Finally, through a PSEG and Sustainable Jersey grant won by Morgan Schrum and Chris Truncale, teachers and students at Barley Sheaf have been working together to maintain and grow vegetables using our hydroponic towers. Already this school year, we have grown basil, kale, baby greens and arugula. Our fourth grade students had a special taste test this month!
As we enter November and our holiday season, we want to share our tremendous gratitude for our Barley Sheaf school community. We are so thankful for all of you!
With great appreciation,
Amy Switkes, Principal
Kimberly Bostory, Vice Principal
Save the Date
11/1/23- PTO Dine Out at Buffalo Wild Wings
11/3/23- Spirit Day!
11/7/23- School Closed, Staff Professional Development Day
11/9/23 and 11/10/23- School Closed, NJEA Convention
11/13/23- World Kindness Day
11/16/23- Lifetouch Picture Re-Take Day
11/22/23- Early Dismissal, School Ends at 1:20 p.m.
11/23/23 and 11/24/23- School Closed, Thanksgiving Recess
12/5/23 through 12/8/23- Parent-Teacher Conferences, School Early Dismissal
12/14/23- Scholastic Book Fair Family Night and Family Heritage Night, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Our School Goals
On October 17, our staff participated in a school-wide data dive, analyzing student assessment data to identify students' needs and target instruction to further support student learning. As a faculty, we are continuing to collaborate across grade levels, levering our many tools and resources to meet the diverse needs of our students- academically, socially, and emotionally. We are specifically focused on cultivating an equitable and inclusive environment, ensuring the success of all of our learners. We are so appreciative of our hard working and dedicated staff members. We are also grateful for your continued partnership, helping our Barley Sheaf students learn, grow, and thrive together!
Family Heritage Night
Please join us for our first annual Family Heritage Night on Thursday, December 14 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. More information and a form to sign up to participate can be found here. We hope to see you there!
Teacher and Educational Services Professional of the Year!
It's that time of year! We are beginning the process for the Governor’s Educator of the Year program. Once again, there are two awards this year. One is for the Teacher of the Year and the other is for the Educational Services Professional (ESP) of the Year.
Please view this link for more information and access to the nomination form.
We look forward to welcoming our families into school for family conferences! Fall conferences offer parents the opportunity to meet with teachers to gain insights about your child’s growth and development in school. Conferences are scheduled for December 5 through December 8 and will be offered both in-person and virtually. Please reach out to your child's teacher to schedule your conference.
Below are a few suggestions to help you prepare for your upcoming conference.
- Before conferences: Talk with your child about their school experience. Ask your child if there is anything they would like you to discuss with their teacher. Prepare a list of questions for your child’s teacher.
- During conferences: Share what is working well for your child and any challenges your child may be experiencing. Ask for clarification of anything you don’t understand. Ask how you can support your child’s learning at home.
- After conferences: Talk to your child about the conference. Celebrate your child’s accomplishments. Share any plan you and the teacher developed to support your child.
We are looking forward to partnering with you to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional learning!
- Families, it is crucial that your child attends school regularly to ensure their success. More than 9 absences for the school year may negatively impact your child's education.
- Please note, students entering the building after 8:55 a.m. must be signed in by a parent and will be marked as tardy. Students who are picked up early before 3:25 p.m. will be marked as early dismissal. In accordance with our attendance policy, 3 tardies or dismissals will equal 1 absence.
Please review these helpful tips for what you can do at home to promote regular attendance for your child.
Safety and Security Procedures
- Visitors must be signed in and wear a visitor badge in the building.
- Do not hold any doors for visitors.
- Only staff and students are permitted on school grounds during school hours.
- For the safety and security of our staff and students, monthly fire and security drills are conducted.
- We have a full time School Resource Officer, Officer John Carney, working at Barley Sheaf every day.
- Please use the crosswalks in the parking lot.
- Please obey the 15 mph speed limit in our parking lot.
Changes to Your Child's Dismissal Routine
- Parents, please make sure to call or send a note when your child's dismissal changes or if they will be picked up early for any reason.
- An email to the child's teacher is appropriate if it is sent in advance, but many times a teacher may not be able to check their email if it's too late in the day.
- If you need to change your child's dismissal after the school day has started, please call the Main Office at 908-284-7586 before 2:30pm and we will be happy to relay the message. We appreciate your help in making our dismissal run smoothly!
- If your child attends the YMCA after-care and you make a change to their dismissal, please contact both the YMCA and the Barley Sheaf main office regarding any changes.
- If someone other than the parent/guardian is taking your child home at the end of the day, please write a note to your child’s teacher detailing the change and giving permission for your child to leave with this person.
Cold Weather is Here!
As the weather quickly changes, please remember to label hats, gloves, and coats so that if they are lost we can return them. If your child is missing something, please encourage them to check our lost and found in the cafeteria
From Our School Counselors
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Send a Birthday Message!
Make your Barley Sheaf child's birthday extra special by wishing him or her a Happy Birthday on the electronic sign in front of the building! Please send an email to Megan Campbell at email@example.com at least one week before the date and include your child's name, birthdate, grade and teacher. A Happy Birthday message with your child's first name will appear on the sign on their special day. The $10 cash or check donation can be sent to Barley Sheaf either in your child's backpack or via US mail. Checks should be made out to Barley Sheaf PTO.