Normandy Park School

Week of September 20th

I hope that everyone had a great weekend!

Monday (9/20) is an A Day.

This week, we will have our class pictures on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021. Cleaning and social distancing protocols will be in place. Students will take individual pictures only. Individual pictures will be made into a composite class picture.

This week, students (1st through 5th) will begin take the iReady Diagnostic assessment. Additional information is listed below.


  • Any student arriving after 8:55 must enter the front of the building with a parent or guardian and report to the nurse’s office to obtain a late pass.

If there are changes in your child's dismissal plans (e.g. you are going to pick them up that day, instead of taking the bus), please use the attached form or call the main office.

Please know that I am here to help and support in any way that I can. Feel free to reach out to me directly at

iReady Testing Window Opens this Week

Our school will begin administering the i-Ready® Diagnostic assessment for Grades 1st through 5th. Kindergarteners will begin iReady in the Winter.

The i-Ready Diagnostic helps teachers to effectively assess their students and then provide individualized instruction based on each student’s unique needs. i-Ready Diagnostic assesses the following skill areas:


• Phonological Awareness

• Phonics

• High-Frequency Words

• Vocabulary

• Comprehension


• Number and Operations
• Algebra and Algebraic Thinking
• Measurement and Data
• Geometry

i-Ready Diagnostic begins by giving students an adaptive assessment in reading and math. An adaptive assessment is a test that automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions according to each student’s performance in order to determine his or her abilities in reading or math. i-Ready is a very different kind of test that presents students with questions that can be both too easy and too hard. It is designed to do this until the assessment finds exactly the level at which the student is performing. Therefore, your child will certainly see some items above his or her level. Your child will be encouraged to independently complete the test to the best of his or her ability, and know that it is okay to get questions wrong.

Each time a student gets an item incorrect, he or she will be presented with a simpler question until the diagnostic finds the grade level at which the student is performing. The assessment efficiently assesses students across multiple grade levels, allowing for identification of root causes of students’ struggles or for identification of areas where a student is ready for further challenge. This information will then provide the teacher with a “road map” to instructional remediation.

Once your child completes the test, he or she will be assigned online instruction to support his or her progress in mastering each skill. i-Ready Diagnostic supports the teachers and administrators at your child’s school. The program provides a series of comprehensive reports designed to make classroom instruction more effective. These reports include data about student performance as well as detailed teaching suggestions. They help educators make informed decisions about the instruction that is right for your child.

Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s teacher.

Hispanic Heritage Month

In school, we will continue to highlight the history, colorful cultures, diversity, and contributions of the ancestors of American citizens who came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South- and Central America.

Click here for Spanish Translation

Observed annually from September 15 to October 15: It is a time to appreciate and celebrate

the history, colorful cultures, diversity, and contributions of the ancestors of American

citizens who came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South- and Central America.

September 15 is set as the starting date for the month for several reasons. It is the

independence anniversary for Latin American countries El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica,

Nicaragua, and Honduras. From here onwards, the independence days of Mexico and Chile fall on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

  • Hispanic and Latino Americans amount to an estimated 17.8% of the total U.S. population, making up the largest ethnic minority. Around one-fifth of the U.S. population is Hispanic.
  • The state with the largest Hispanic and Latino population overall is California with over 14 million.
  • There are relevant Hispanic influences in American life: music, food, art, cinema, politics, literature, science & technology. Have you seen movies like “Coco” or Vivo”?
  • Some inventions from Latin / Hispanics:
  1. Color TV: Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena (México)
  2. The electric brake: Victor Ochoa (México)
  3. The artificial heart: Dr. Domingo Liotta (Argentina)
  4. Bandage for administering drugs: Alejandro Zaffaroni (Uruguay)
  5. The stent: Julio C. Palmaz (Argentina)

What heritage runs in your family?

Share some of your traditions with your classmates!

Notes for parents/teachers:

Observation of Hispanic Heritage Week started in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was later extended to a 30-day celebration by President Ronald Reagan, starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted via approval of Public Law 100-402 on August 17, 1988.

Picture Day

Picture day will be this Thursday, September 23rd, 2021.

Cleaning and social distancing protocols will be in place. Students will take individual pictures only. Individual pictures will be made into a composite class picture.

Retakes on November 18th, 2021.

COVID Updates and Quarantine Guidelines

Quarantine criteria and time frames can change based on local and regional transmission rates as well as direction from our local health department, the NJ Department of Health, or the CDC. The information below is current as of today. Some of the guidelines are new for the 2021-22 school year, so please read them carefully.

  • Who is required to quarantine? Quarantine at home is required for any individual who:
    • Tests positive for COVID-19
    • Returns from domestic or international travel and is unvaccinated (please see revised guidelines for domestic travel and quarantine below)
    • Is identified as a close contact and is unvaccinated
  • What does “close contact” mean? The CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes’ cumulative time within 24 hours. However, the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) has granted an exception to this definition in indoor school settings:
    • "In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student … where both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time."
    • This means that, as long as the district’s mask wearing and social distancing requirements are followed with consistency and fidelity in the classroom, students who would ordinarily be considered close contacts do not need to quarantine.
    • NOTE: This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.
  • What if exposure to an infected person occurs on a bus, not in a classroom? In this case, the original CDC definition of close contact applies: the NJDOH has determined that anyone within six feet of a positive individual on the bus will need to quarantine, regardless of whether they were wearing a mask or not.
    • REMINDER: students are not socially distant on the bus, although mask wearing is required.

  • When and how will I be contacted? If your child is identified as a close contact and requires quarantine, you will recieve a phone call from the principal or school nurse and a follow-up e-mail. If your child is on the bus and/or in the classroom where there is a positive COVID case, but they are not a close contact and do not require quarantine, you will recieve a text/e-mail update.
In all cases, when there is a positive individual in the school and/or bus, a schoolwide update will be sent out.

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What did my child do today?

Mom: How was your day?

Child: Good.

Dad: What did you do today?

Child: I don’t know.

Grandma: What do you mean you don’t know? Did you have fun?

Child: Yes.

Grandpa: Did you play with anyone?

Child: Yes.

Does any of this sound familiar? As adults we are eager to hear about our child’s day. After all, we wonder, what are they doing every day for 6 hours? So how do you get them to talk about their day? They often need a little prompting to remember what happened during the day. For example you could say “I know you had art today. What are you working on?” Try not to ask yes or no questions. It may be harder than you think. Instead ask open ended questions. Here are some examples:

Mom: Your teacher shared a picture of the drawing you did. Tell me about it.

You still might get an “I don’t know” or “ I can’t remember and then you can show them the picture from class Dojo

Dad: Your teacher said that you have a project due. Let’s look at it and you can show me more.

Grandma: What are some of the things you like to play on at recess?

Grandpa: You were a virtual learner last year. Which one do you like better? Why?

Mom: What’s one thing you learned in class today?

If you have any questions or concerns about your child please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Stay awesome!

Cheryl Cohen

School Counselor

973-889-7960 x6115

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Message from the HSA:

Welcome Back to School from the NPS Home & School Association!

We are thrilled to be starting a new school year at Normandy Park School. We use these weekly newsletters to provide you with important NPS HSA updates, including upcoming HSA events, volunteer opportunities, and news about programs that we help sponsor at Normandy Park School.


We are a group of volunteer parents who work with both the school and the parent community to:

  • To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school and community.
  • To promote cooperation between home and school in order to provide effective education for all children.
  • To provide financial support and/or programs to enhance the academic, cultural and social growth of the school’s students.


We will be focused this year on building cultural arts and enrichment opportunities at the school for our children and, just as importantly, helping to build a community of parents in our school. Expect lots of communication from us about events and opportunities to come together!


Parent volunteers drive everything behind the HSA at Normandy Park. We encourage all parents to volunteer, whether small or larger events or just to help with a gathering or sending in donations for events. Please reach out to to talk about how you can be a part of the HSA’s programs over the upcoming year.


Below is a list of our current board members for the 2021-2022 school year, along with their email addresses. We encourage you to reach out to any of us at any time with questions, ideas or concerns throughout the school year.

President: Dani Wolber and Co-President: Angela Finlay


Communications: Jennifer Cromie


Community Event & Outreach: Sara Faber


Enlace Hispanohablante: Elizabeth Basulto


Fundraising Committee: Ali Gogarty and Sara Canavan


Recording Secretary: Terryann Bradley


Treasurer: Open


We look forward to meeting you at a future HSA event. Have a wonderful school year!

Save the Date:

Our first NPS HSA meeting will be held on Thursday, September 23rd (Virtually) at 7pm.

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HSA MembershipToolkit accounts will expire at the end of September.

Please take a few minutes to update your account, including your children’s current grade and teacher, in the next few weeks.

You can access your account by clicking here: Membership Toolkit

To update your account, go to:

My Account > My Forms / Paperwork > Family Information

Update all your information and save

Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks!


Students will be having snack time during the school day, with all necessary safety measures in place. Please send your child in with a healthy snack.

Breakfast and lunch will be served daily at school. All students will have access to school provided breakfast and lunch (if they choose to receive it).

As students enter the building, they will be able to grab-and-go breakfast if they choose to.

Click here for the MSD September breakfast menu.

For lunch, students will be asked at the beginning of the day if they would like to order (providing their choice of either the hot/cold option). Teachers will present the menu choices for the day.

Click here for the MSD September lunch menu.

Where will students eat lunch?

Students will eat lunch at 6 ft apart (seats facing the same direction). We will utilize classrooms, cafeteria, and lab to accommodate all students at 6ft apart.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Arrival Procedures: Students are permitted into the building at 8:40 a.m. Students bussed to school will be dropped off in the front of the building.

Drop Offs: Students being dropped off in the morning may enter through the back doors. Please use the drop-off/pick-up line in the back of the building. There is no supervision before 8:40, and children who arrive before that time, will not be permitted to enter the building. A staff member will be at the door between 8:40 and 8:55 a.m. to welcome students. Any student arriving after 8:55 must enter the front of the building and report to the nurse’s office with a parent or guardian to obtain a late pass.

Dismissal Procedures: Dismissal begins at the conclusion of our last period, 3:05 p.m.

All students are encouraged to ride the bus to and from school.

At dismissal, students will be dismissed from the back of the building. When picking up your child, please use the pick-up line. Stay in your vehicle. Teachers will accompany your child to your car.

Pick-Up During the Day:

If a situation arises that requires you to pick your child up during the school day, please use the attached form or call the main office. Students being picked up early are asked to be picked up before 3 p.m. Before leaving, you must sign your child out in the notebook provided in the office. Unless an emergency arises, please refrain from calling the office after 1:30 to make changes to your child’s dismissal.

Communication Between Home and School

  • If there are changes in your child's dismissal plans (e.g. you are going to pick them up that day, instead of taking the bus), please use the attached form or call the main office.
  • For written communication between you and your child's teacher, please utilize Class Dojo and/or e-mail, rather than hand-written letters (when possible).

Look Ahead

  • September 23rd: Picture Day
  • September 30th: Back to School Night
  • September 15th to October 15th: Hispanic Heritage Month
  • October 4th to October 8th: Week of Respect