Arbor Intermediate School

April 2022 Issue

School Leadership Team

School Leadership Team

Heather O’Donnell, Principal

Janell Smolk, Assistant Principal

Karen Hoeg, Secretary

Corinne Fender, School Nurse

Tom Gambino, Counselor

Al-Nisa Blount, Counselor

Suzanna Esposito, Counselor

Marcela Ridley, Attendance Clerk

Kenneth Dzurilla, Custodian

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A Message from the Principal

Dear Arbor Families,

April was an exciting month here at Arbor School. On April 8, students enjoyed a day of fun and celebration at our Literacy Festival. Hidden Gems Literary Emporium donated thousands of free books to our students. We also had a DJ and a motivational speaker, Brad Butler II, come to help our students “Make It a Better Place.” Students were able to relax, dance, sing, and enjoy time with their friends on a beautiful spring day.

We also recognized Autism Acceptance throughout the month of April. Through staff donations and a t-shirt fundraiser, we successfully raised over $300 that was donated to Autism New Jersey. Staff and students wore their t-shirts (or their own blue shirts) on April 1 to celebrate kindness and recognize Autism Acceptance Day.

As we head into May, NJSLA testing will be taking place for all students. They have all been working hard to prepare and the teachers are confident heading into May. Fifth grade will test the first two weeks of May, and fourth grade begins on May 17. You can support your child by making sure they have had a good night’s rest, a full breakfast, and a charged iPad on the days they will be testing.

We are looking forward to many fun and exciting spring events. First up we have our Family Day sale from May 4-May 6. The PTO is looking for volunteers to help sell items to our students. If you are interested, please reach out to

Thank you,

Heather O’Donnell

Principal, Arbor Intermediate School

A Message from the Counselors

Hello Arbor families!

As summer is quickly approaching, we encourage our students to go outside and be active! Below are a lists of websites for nearby summer programs, sports, and other activities for children of all ages

Nurse's Corner


What is an allergy? An allergy (say: AL-ur-jee) is your immune system's reaction to certain plants, animals, foods, insect bites, or other things.

My Immune System? Your immune system protects you from diseases by fighting germs like bacteria and viruses. But when you have allergies, it overreacts and tries to "fight" ordinary things like grass, pollen, or certain foods.

Will I have symptoms? Allergies can cause sneezing, itchy skin, runny nose, itchy eyes and ears, hives (red, bumpy, itchy rash) and a sore throat.

Why Do Some Kids Get Allergies?

Some kids have a tendency to have allergies, which means they are more likely to get them than other kids.

Some kids get allergies through hereditary (say: huh-REH-dih-tare-ee) which means that they get their allergies from their parents or family members.

When can I get allergies? Allergies can begin when you are a baby, child, teenager or adult, although allergies often decrease in older people.

What can I do if I have allergies?

Your doctor will help find out what you is causing your allergy. Your doctor will also suggest ways to stay away from the cause of your allergy or prescribe a medicine for you to take every day or when you have symptoms.

Taking care of yourself during allergy season is a way to stay healthy!

Arbor's Literacy Festival

On April 8th, 2022, Arbor students participated in a Literacy Celebration in partnership with Hidden Gems Literary Emporium. This is a new and used book store in New Brunswick that often works with local organizations and other nonprofits. At the celebration, there was a motivational speaker, a DJ, and volunteers from Rutgers who helped facilitate the event. Students were provided with tote bags to use when “shopping” for books. In addition, students played some literary games and wrote a word on a canvas as part of a collective art project. The theme of the day was “Make the World a Better Place" by doing things like reading, sharing, and being considerate.

In an effort to reinforce the “Make the World a Better Place” theme, our students not only celebrated receiving books, but also SHARING the love of reading with others. Through this event, we partnered with Sephyl Learning Center in Ghana. This school educates students from kindergarten to middle school age. We hosted a book drive to “pay it forward” by encouraging Arbor students to bring in a book they have enjoyed to donate to other children at Sephyl.

This was a fantastic event where students celebrating reading and focused on the theme of "Making the World a Better Place."

Gift and Talented Art Showcase

Ms. Rosania is excited to celebrate Arbor artists at the Gifted and Talented Showcase. Please come out to support these artists on May10th, 2022. Please see the attached flyer for details.

PHS Theater Students presented "Beauty and the Bee"

This month, Abor students experienced the Piscataway High School Theatre Production Workshop tour. The PHS students performed the show entitled "Beauty and the Bee" and the cast and crew were outstanding! Check out the details of the show below.

Beauty and the Bee!

Catherine is a middle school beauty queen cheerleader. Cosette is a homeschooled spelling bee champion. Two sisters could never be farther apart. So when their worlds collide sparks are bound to fly. The buzzing in their brains gets so hot that life-sized giant bees enter the picture. Then the emotions explode!

Congratulations on a great performance!

Ms. Gerum's Students Launch their Rockets!

Dr. Joseph Zielinski, pharmacist with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, visits Mrs. Gerum’s fourth grade class a few times each year. During his visit in December, the students were taught about the four forces of flight, Sir Isaac Newton, the American space program, and the differences between real rockets and model rockets.

After the instruction, students were able to apply the information and build their own rockets. On April 27, 2022, Dr. Zielinski returned for the rocket launch. The staff, the students, and the rockets all had a BLAST!

Check out the Student of the Month Winners- April

Upcoming Events

  • 5/4/22- 4th Grade Honor Roll Awards Ceremony
  • 5/6/22- 5th Grade Honor Roll Awards Ceremony
  • 5/10/22- Gifted and Talented Art Showcase (6pm)
  • 5/17/22- Orchestra and Chorus Concert (Schor School- 6:30pm/7:30pm)
  • 5/24/22- Band Concert (Quibbletown School- 6:30pm/7:30pm)
  • 5/25/22- Incoming 4th Grade Parent Orientation (6:30pm)
  • 5/26/22- 5th Grade Orientation- (Schor and Quibbletown- 9:30am)