Regional Day School Newsletter
VOLUME 16, ISSUE 2
We would like to give a big RDS welcome to our new staff member:
Congratulations to Mrs. Tori Farmer and her husband Derek on their new bundle of joy! Sadie Rae Farmer was born November 30, 2020, 6 pounds and 3 ounces.
Congratulations to Mrs. Maureen Romanowski on welcoming her 3rd grand baby into the world!! Emerson Grace was born on January 28, 2021, 8 pounds, 10 ounces, 20 inches long.
Congratulations to Mrs. Chrissy DeMauro, she is expecting her 4th grandchild who will be the "First baby boy."
Congratulations to Mrs. Paula Nowakowski! Ms. Paula will be expecting her 2nd grandchild, "a baby girl," in August.
Congratulations Mrs. Nancy Savona on your retirement!! You have dedicated over 25 years of teaching and support to our students and families, you will be greatly missed by all! Best wishes for a happy retirement, enjoy!!!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!
Letter from our Principal- Mrs. Lisa Michallis
It has definitely been a cold and snowy winter this year! Students have enjoyed making snowmen and learning about animal habitats and hibernation. Students are also engaged in lessons and activities to celebrate Presidents’ Day and Black History Month. The staff continues with our initiatives to educate students about Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying by being an upstander, “Color Our School With Kindness,” and use of resources from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. Our teachers, counselors and support staff also incorporate social and emotional learning activities to help students understand and manage different emotions, set positive goals, maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. To get a glimpse into our classrooms, follow us on Facebook and view the staff and department webpages on our school website, https://www.manchestertwp.org/rds.
Thank you to the Manchester Township PTA for continuing to enhance our programs with excellent educational assemblies. Recently our students enjoyed a virtual assembly that incorporated creative storytelling and science experiments, Dragons: Return of the Ice Sorceress, presented by Talewise. Our students always enjoy these opportunities and look forward to the future virtual assemblies including, Aliens: Escape from Earth and Earth Day: Revenge of the Toxic Robot and the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Thank you to our families for their continued cooperation to assist with maintaining a healthy school environment. Continue to complete the student’s health screening form and monitor your child’s well-being on a daily basis. Our custodians continue to do an excellent job cleaning and sanitizing our school! The faculty continue to do an excellent job as well, teaching students attending classes in the building and those learning remotely! The staff is very creative and dedicated to providing engaging activities and lessons.
On behalf of the entire school community, thank you for your continued support of our students and programs. Continue to think warm, sunny thoughts. Spring is right around the corner.
A-1 News- Ms. Jeanie
The holidays were enjoyable as the students painted ornaments that were placed on a tree in the hallway at RDS. The tree was beautifully decorated by some very talented RDS students! Now it’s February, can you believe it! Geovany is now back in class after being virtual. Damien and Geovany are working hard in class and enjoying each other’s company! I’m very proud of the effort they are putting into their schoolwork. DJ, Malachi, and Melvin continue to try their best from home. It’s a little more challenging for them not being in school, but they continue to make the best of the situation. We love getting on our daily Google Meets and seeing each other! Every day we are using our new Promethean board to watch current events, play Kahoot, and many more activities. The students like to check their knowledge of topics we cover by playing Kahoot. They challenge me to games, which are always fun and exciting! We finished reading our second novel, The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton. The students really enjoyed this novel and loved discussing each chapter as a group. The students learned many new vocabulary words as we read. We are now starting another novel by S. E. Hinton called Rumble Fish and will compare the two novels and the author’s purpose for writing these novels. All the students followed the election of President Biden and Inauguration Day. We learned what happens to the existing President and the new President-elect and what changes are made at the White House. We have great discussions, virtually and live, about the world events occurring. In social studies we started learning about the 20th century and how our world has evolved. Also, February is Black History Month and we are focusing on famous African American Historical Figures such as famous scientists, inventors, civil rights activists, artists, and athletes. In science we are studying environmental science and are exploring science, the environment, and the Earth. Fractions and evaluating algebraic expressions are the focus for math. Students are learning single and multivariable expressions in algebra and some are continuing with pre-algebra and fractions. Our class is focussing on how to be mindful of our own actions and how to use mindfulness as a relaxation technique to focus. Damien relaxes and uses his mindfulness time to trace cool pictures. He is very excited to share his artwork! Check out his pictures below! I am hoping to introduce the students to the Kami app. soon! This is an exciting app used to increase student engagement in assignments and learning in a fun way. A1 has been very busy and the year is flying by! I am enjoying our class time together. On the fence outside the RDS building, Damien and Geovany used cups to show the word “BE KIND” for January’s month of kindness. It’s still there so check it out if you drive up to the school.
Keep up the great work class and try your best every day!
Ms. Jeanie ~ A1
A-2 News- Mr. Gunn
It is hard to believe that we passed the halfway point of the 2020 – 2021 school year. As always, the time between Halloween and New Year’s Day seemed to go by in a blink of an eye. Come to think of it, even the whole month of January felt as if it lasted for only a moment. One can only hope that Punxsutawney Phil was wrong and we have an early spring. Either way, before we know it, we will be welcoming the warmer weather, watching the flowers bloom, and enjoying more hours of sunlight.
The students and staff in A-2 would like to welcome two new members to our family. Logan T. transferred from C–2 in December, and Ms. Kelly, who was hired in January as his personal assistant. Logan has adjusted to his new classroom setting refining writing and math skills in addition to learning how to read. Ms. Kelly works hard and comes up with ideas that help him understand and retain the information being taught. Her efforts and the efforts of Ms. Jeanette and Ms. Da’jah are recognized and greatly appreciated.
The students continue to work hard on their academics in the classroom and the few times we had to work remotely. We are currently using the My Math series supplemented with material from the internet along with iReady for math instruction. Some of the topics covered in social studies and science include the weather, geography and wildlife in the Arctic and Antarctica, U. S. and world math skills, and the civil rights movement. Language arts instruction includes iReady, writing and reading novels. One reading group finished reading Room One: A Mystery or Two and are currently reading The River by Gary Paulson. The other reading group read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and just started reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Both groups exhibit enthusiasm regarding the stories they are reading and often partake in engaging and insightful discussions.
We are also working on numerous mindfulness activities. Each day we practice yoga and breathing exercises, watch YouTube videos, participate with GoNoodle lessons, listen to relaxing music while coloring or using their sticker by number books, or use bubbles while they are taking a mask break. The purpose of these lessons are for the children to learn self-regulation strategies by recognizing how they are responding physiologically and emotionally to certain situations.
Until next time, think spring and warmer weather.
Mr. Gunn, Ms. Jeanette, Ms. Da’jah, Ms. Kelly, and the students in A – 2.
A-3 News- Ms. Kirsten
The students of A-3 have been hard at work learning various Google programs as well as how to efficiently operate and participate in virtual meetings using Google Meets and Zoom. We have become masters at utilizing our Google Classroom so that we never miss a minute of our classwork. We have been learning about screen sharing and presenting various aspects of interest regarding technology. We have also just finished reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hilton. The class has really done a nice job identifying and relating to various characters in the novel. We are beginning The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. We have also taken some pretty fun virtual class trips to the Baltimore Aquarium as well as the Clearwater Aquarium, where we have met Winter the rescued dolphin. The great part about the virtual class trips is that we can log into the webcam live and get an update on our favorite parts of the aquariums. Most importantly our class has been truly supporting the kindness initiative in an effort to be nice and supportive to one another during this time. We have also been hard at work completing our part in learning about how to prevent school bullying. We have been utilizing various techniques for mindfulness and movement so that we can feel our best and be the best friends that we can be to one another.
Your friends in A-3
B-1 News- Ms. Anna
The students continue to work on their pre-vocational skills and enjoy the stories Miss Nancy reads each day. The students have been learning about the Presidential election, Presidents’ Day, Chinese New Year, and notable African Americans as we celebrate Black History Month. The students thoroughly enjoy learning with the Promethean Board.
Congratulations Miss Nancy on your retirement! We wish you the best as you begin this new chapter. May you enjoy your travels.
Love, Victoria, Abby, Nicole, Taylor, Jeffrey, Christian, Brandon, Miss JoAnn, Miss Diane, Miss Lori, Miss Lynda, and Miss Jeanal
B-3 News- Ms. Angela
We are putting our minds to work in B-3! Our class is in the middle of a new science unit, where the students are learning about different habitats all around the world. The students are learning about what plants and animals live in each habitat, and what adaptations those living things have to help them survive. We will also be learning how to research information about animals and habitats soon!
The students are enjoying the various winter activities in class. One of their favorite activities was gathering snow from outside and bringing it into the classroom. We used our 5 senses to describe the snow! The students also loved decorating snow globes for our classroom door!
As we approach the end of winter, the students will learn about seasonal changes that occur in Spring. We will also begin a unit on plant and animal life cycles. There’s always lots of fun learning going on in B3!
B-4 News- Ms. Karen
News from B-4:
Everyone participates in remote instruction to the best of their ability. The students
navigate the Classroom to access daily assignments and regularly attend
scheduled Google Meet sessions. They are commended for their positive efforts.
We welcomed the new year with a Scholastic News issue titled: An Icy Tradition. The
students enjoyed learning about a Polar Bear Plunge. They especially enjoyed an
extension to this lesson as our principal, Ms. Lisa, shared her experience participating
at an annual Regional Day School Penguin Plunge. The students looked at pictures and
watched a video of the event. Thank you, Ms. Lisa!
Science topics included learning about polar bears and examining winter weather. The
students identified adaptations that allow the polar bear to survive in its harsh
environment. They also read about and observed what different kinds of winter weather
can do. The topic of a Scholastic News issue titled: Frozen in Ice defined: blizzard,
sleet, freezing rain, and wind chill.
Listening while others are speaking is practiced while in class during in-person learning,
as well as, when students are participating remotely.
Everyone enjoyed participating in the Great Kindness Challenge. The students
demonstrated their commitment to being kind by wearing: different color socks, crazy
hair, a favorite team shirt, pajamas, and our school colors: blue and gold.
The Acts of Kindness completed during the week of the Great Kindness Challenge
consisted of: being kind to yourself by eating a healthy snack, complimenting as many
people as you can, helping someone in need, thanking someone who has helped you,
and telling a joke and making someone laugh.
The students look forward to spending time outside. Weather permitting, during our
scheduled recess the students spread out across the playground to ensure social
distancing, take a break from wearing their mask and enjoy the fresh air.
Everyone enjoys learning about the Lunar New Year. The students review the customs
and traditions of the celebration, as well as, taste the symbolic foods that are prepared
and served during the holiday.
Remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in celebration of
Black History Month:
"I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems."
C-2 News- Ms. Dawn
The New Year had started,
We learned of friendship and peace,
Sharing and kindness,
Are within all of our reach.
The groundhog’s been honest,
We know that to be true,
Yes, Winter stayed with us,
Giving us so much to do!
We learned all about snow,
cold weather and ice,
Even built a class snowman,
Learned to share and be nice.
We each became Lincoln,
Demonstrating character so pure,
Helping each other,
Together we all can do more.
Cultural events, oh so fun,
Mardi Gras and it’s beads,
Lunar New Year so festive,
Year of the Ox takes the lead!
As we head into March,
Please keep in mind,
When we all work together,
Things they work out just fine!
So thanks for your help,
Whether remote, live or snow,
We pulled through together,
We are strong now I know!
Each challenge we face,
Students, Parents and Staff,
Help us learn and to grow,
It’s good for everyone's behalf.
Thank you for being part of our class community!
Students and Staff of C-2
C-3 News- Ms. Michelle
C-3 is very happy to welcome friends back to the classroom! We have been enjoying learning about what animals do in the winter, President’s Day and polar animals. It has been so much fun to see winter weather! We are excited about Valentine’s Day and Read Across America coming up soon. We hope everyone enjoys the snow and stays safe and warm.
C-4 News- Ms. Maria
C4 would like to wish our entire RDS family and community a very Happy New Year!
We are so excited that a new preschooler joined our C4 class and RDS family…welcome Kallen!
This year continues to be very different from years past in preschool, but whether we are in-person or virtual, we are being creative and engaged in learning as much as we can, and anyway we can. We would like to thank our C4 parents for being so supportive, flexible, and actively involved, whether we are virtual or in-person…we greatly appreciate it and couldn’t do it without you!
These past few months, our lessons, stories, and centers have revolved around friendship, snow, Chinese New Year’s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Valentine’s Day. We have had some fun and creative holiday and birthday celebrations. We enjoyed our snow day and for some of our students, it was their first time getting to experience and play in the snow. Such awesome memories!
We look forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store for us.
~C4 Ms. Maria, Ms. Nancy, Ms. Jess, & Ms. RoseMarie
Art- Ms. Paula
Industrial Arts- Mr. Peters
We have been extremely creative in woodshop with the current Covid restrictions. Students are currently working on individual projects and are constructing a mini shed. The dimensions are approximately 8 inches by 8 inches. Students are responsible for measuring and cutting all structural parts of the shed, including floor joists, studs, top plates, and bottom plates.
The younger students are working with building blocks and puzzles, constructing different levels of designs. They are also working with some STEM projects. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The students are enjoying the Lego, discovery, and constructing kits.
Nurse's Corner- Nurse Deb
It is a heartfelt, fun, and sometimes snowy month with Valentine’s and President’s Day, and the hope for an early spring. On the flip side, it is also a month that includes the cold and flu and other germs season. Please continue to make an extra effort with your handwashing and be diligent about cleanliness, so scrub, scrub, scrub. As always, I recommend proper handwashing as it is the number one method to prevent the spread of germs and disease.
We are going to continue wearing our masks while in school. Also, I have to emphasize that students stay home when ill. With diligence, we can maintain healthy classrooms and a healthy school environment!
Healthy eating is always important. Also, healthy eating leads to a healthy immune system. A healthy eating plan emphasizes: 1) Lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat or fat free milk products, 2) Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts, 3) Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium/salt, and added sugars, 4) Stays within your calorie needs (not too much and not too little).
Focus on Healthy Food Choices - Choose the GO, SLOW and WHOA foods:
GO FOODS - are the lowest in fats and added sugar. They are nutrient-dense with a better source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important to health. Some examples of GO foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, egg whites, or egg substitutes.
SLOW FOODS - are higher in fat, added sugar, and calories. SLOW foods include vegetables with added fat, white refined bread flour, low-fat mayonnaise, 2% low-fat milk products, peanut butter, pizza, baked chips, and mac and cheese. Have SLOW foods sometimes.
WHOA FOODS - are the highest in fat and sugar. They are calorie-dense foods and low in vitamins, minerals, and other needed nutrients. Have WHOA foods once in a while, and when you have them, have small portions. Examples of WHOA foods are whole milk products, fried foods, bakery sweets, candy, soda, chips, sugary cereals, and creamy salad dressings.
Also, to further boost your immune system include the following fifteen recommended foods. These are citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, sunflower seeds, turmeric, green tea, papaya, kiwi, poultry, and shellfish. These foods include vitamins and minerals that help supplement our bodies so that our immune cells can function as intended to ward off illness and germs. For further nutrition information, please visit the following healthline website at
The dietician from ShopRite, Jennifer Klein, demonstrated healthy two recipes for our RDS Parent Support Group this month. One recipe was a chicken meatball parmesan, and the other was a granola snack bar (can also be eaten for breakfast). She is coming back in the spring to have the RDS Parent Support Group cook along with her.
Some examples of healthy snacks include a handful of almonds, celery sticks with peanut butter, fruit salad bowl, low-fat cheese with whole wheat crackers, pineapple with low-fat cottage cheese, and low-fat yogurt with strawberries. If you remember to eat healthy the majority of the time and continue to move, then you are on the road to a good, healthy life.
(Also, Thank you Mary Kayrouz, East Salem School Nurse website for your great resources.) Also check out: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/recipes/?WT.ac=p-nav-recipes for recipes.
Occupational Therapy- Ms. Alex, Mr. Brian, & Ms. Leslie
Crafts can be an excellent way to engage your child during the winter months! Crafts promote skill development across many areas including fine motor, coordinating hands together (bilateral coordination), and sequencing skills. Cutting can promote hand strength, bilateral coordination skills, fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, and visual-motor skills. Following instructions to complete craft activities promote cognitive and sequencing skills. Coloring activities encourage and facilitate fine motor coordination, bilateral coordination, and appropriate grasp in a fun and motivating way. Try these activities to help keep your hands and minds busy over the winter months!
Fill ice cube trays with water.
Add desired amount of food coloring to achieve the perfect color.
Place a toothpick in the water and freeze.
Polar Bear Sensory Bin:
There are many ways to set up this sensory bin. Use items you have in your home or therapy space. Use some of the materials listed below. You DO NOT need all of these items. The nice thing about creating a themed sensory bin is that you can use what you have on hand. Some ideas for the sensory bin include:
Container or bin
Blue or white construction paper
Arctic animal figures
Physical Education/Health- Ms. Traci
Happy New Year to all. Students are having a spectacular time in class. They are continuing to engage in physical education class with a positive attitude towards physical fitness while building flexibility, agility, cardiovascular endurance, and strength. We are continuing to introduce more and more new games and activities in many different ways. The students have been working on music and rhythm, dance, mindfulness, yoga, and participating in many Health lessons while keeping a healthy lifestyle. They love being on the playground and walking the track with all of their friends. I continue to build on them working towards their independence. The dance steps in class that we are learning include the YMCA, Cupid Shuffle, and the Cha-Cha Slide. Some throwbacks are Saturday Night Fever with the Bee Gees, and Ice Age, which is a new one. So ask them all of their favorite things at the dinner table or in the car when you're together.
We are now doing some cardio workouts in class with all of their favorite music, so if they come home singing and tired, just know it has been an active day for them.
Health classes have been so much fun, we have been covering mindfulness activities. Students have learned in class that:
Mindfulness meditation made easy
Settle in. Find a quiet space. ...
Now breathe. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax. ...
Stay focused. Thoughts will try to pull your attention away from the breath. ...
Take 10. A daily practice will provide the most benefits.
I enjoy teaching your children and watching them grow. It’s important to learn about My Healthy Plate during Health. They are really rocking it with their knowledge. They all have told me what their favorite vegetables and fruits were. I have to agree, carrots, broccoli, butternut squash, cherries, bananas, and grapes lead the school in favorites.
I see snow, but sunshine and smiles fill our hallways, so never fear we are here.
Physical Therapy- Ms. Kerry & Ms. Joyce
Happy Winter! We’ve made it to the halfway point of the school year! Our PT students are keeping busy and having fun while working on their functional skills. We’ve incorporated winter themed activities such as Arctic Animal Yoga for flexibility and strengthening, trekking up and down mountainous obstacle courses for motor planning skills, sledding on scooter boards, and having a good old fashioned snowball fight to work on core strength and hand eye coordination. Everyone also had a blast figuring out how to maintain our balance with some virtual roller coaster rides. We’re very proud of how hard our students are working both in school and at home. Looking forward to more fun and functional activities outside as the weather warms up.
Ms. Kerry and Ms. Joyce
Safety Patrol- Mr. Peters
School Psychologist- Phoebe Pennypacker
Parents Guide to Teenagers and Sleep
Adolescents are notoriously sleep-deprived, because of a combination of biology, technology, and the demands of school and extra-curricular activities. This guide outlines how lack of sleep can affect teenagers, and how parents can help them build more sleep into their lives.
Please click on the link below for the full article:
Speech Department- Ms. Regina, Ms. Lauren, & Ms. Haley
Hello Students and Families!
We have recommendations for winter themed story books that will enrich your child's speech-language skills.
1.) The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmZCQfeWjeQ&pbjreload=101
This one is a favorite for targeting winter vocabulary ("hat", "coat", "gloves", "scarf", and "socks"), and action words, ("walk", "crunch", "dragged", and "fell"). For older students, it's helpful for targeting cause and effect, ex: "Peter made a snowball outside, and then put it in his pocket when he went inside. What do you think will happen to the snowball?"
2.) Snowed In at Pokeweed Public School by John Bianchi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tpvqn8uWV8
This book is so silly and fun! It's about being snowed in at school with all your teachers. It's a great book for targeting school locations, absuraties, and action verbs. A fun question to ask students at the end of the story is if they would like to be snowed in at RDS.
3.) Snow Day! by Patricia Lakin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOWf5pfq07A&t=19s
This is another great book to target winter clothing, WH-questions, locations around a neighborhood, and the sequence for getting dressed to go out in the snow. This book is very repetitive, which is awesome for learning new vocabulary, and concepts.
We hope you all enjoy these selections during a snowstorm by a nice warm fire!
Ms. Regina, Ms. Haley, and Ms. Lauren (The RDS Speech Department)
Student Council- Mr. Peters
Transition Program- Ms. Megan
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This spring I will be hosting our Second Annual Virtual Transition Night. This transition night is an event designed to provide families of students with disabilities information in relation to the steps and agencies involved in the transition process. The intent of this event is to provide you with up-to-date information and answer any questions you may have directly from the source at DVRS, DDD, Day Programs, and other support professionals. The information these professionals and agencies provide, will guide you as you prepare to obtain supports and services for your child post graduation. Please mark your calendar for this event hosted on April 29, 2021. When the exact time is released, we’ll send home a save-the-date flyer. As always, all parents are encouraged to attend virtual monthly Parent Support Group Meetings. A variety of topics are presented to enhance parental knowledge throughout the year. This information can be found on the Regional Day School website monthly. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me with your concerns or questions.