"Paws" To See What's Happening

SPSD Newsletter for Families - JANUARY 2022

Big picture

Welcome to the District Newsletter for the Families of the Somers Point School District

If you should ever have any questions about the content of this newsletter, do not hesitate to reach out to your child's building principals:

JORDAN ROAD MIDDLE SCHOOL - csupp@sptsd.org or mwagner@sptsd.org

DAWES AVENUE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - lvenello@sptsd.org or mwagner@sptsd.org

NEW YORK AVENUE PRESCHOOL CENTER - lvenello@sptsd.org or mwagner@sptsd.org

CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION - mkaas@sptsd.org

DISTRICT LEVEL - drcry@sptsd.org

SPANISH - Para la traducción al español, desplácese hacia arriba y haga clic en el botón LANGUAGE en la parte superior de este sitio web.
HATIAN CREOLE - Pou tradiksyon an Panyòl, woulo liv epi klike sou bouton LANGUAGE nan tèt sit entènèt sa a.
VIETNAMESE - Đối với bản dịch tiếng Tây Ban Nha, cuộn lên và nhấp vào nút LANGUAGE ở đầu trang web này.
ALBANIAN - Për përkthimin Spanjoll, lëvizni lart dhe klikoni në butonin LANGUAGE në krye të kësaj faqe interneti.
CHINESE - 对于西班牙语翻译,请向上滚动并单击此网站顶部的“语言”按钮

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

This portal is how you are able to access all of your student(‘s) information including report card data and maintain your contact information and mailing address. If you need support with the portal, please reach out to our main office!

Big picture

JFS, JRS team up to support mental health in Somers Point - January 2022


SOMERS POINT — Jordan Road School students and their families have an opportunity to learn coping skills and receive therapy and treatment at no cost through a partnership with a local mental health services provider.

“With the increased awareness of the mental health needs of our students, it became obvious that we needed to provide more than school-based counseling,” Somers Point School District Superintendent Michelle CarneyRay-Yoder said.

She said guidance counselor Joseph Schmidt reached out to different counseling agencies in the area to see if any would be interested in collaborating.

“Jewish Family Service was quick to respond, as they understood the need because of their continual waiting list for outpatient services, and agreed to meet,” CarneyRay-Yoder said. “The goal is to create a way to service our students on a more intensive therapeutic level, but within our school buildings.”

JFS Chief Executive Officer Andrea Steinberg and Naomi Jones, Ph.D., senior director of outpatient services, detailed the program during a Board of Education meeting Thursday, Dec. 16, during which it was approved. The start date is contingent on funding availability.

“We are hoping as soon as we can in January 2022,” CarneyRay-Yoder said.

Funding is being provided through American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief.

“One of the areas under those parameters is mental health and the state is inviting schools to bring in mental health providers and offer in-house support to students,” Jones said, noting JFS would be providing two full-time therapists at the school to serve students and their families, with hours during the day and early evening.

Services will include individual and family therapy, educational and support groups and a resource center. Ongoing activities will include education and resources on de-stressing and coping skills as well as structured therapy supporting general well-being.

Jones said the resource center will be staffed 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, with one of the two therapists always present while the other is free to offer individual or group therapy concurrently.

Scheduled sessions with the two therapists would be offered 3 to 6 p.m. daily for a total of 30 therapy hours per week.

“The extra benefit is that we can also use this service for families since we are extending the hours of the therapists to after school/evening when parents and guardians (and siblings) can participate in sessions,” CarneyRay-Yoder said.

Jones said all students and their families will have access to trained therapists using evidence-based practices and best practices, specifically trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, the nurtured heart approach and parent management training.

“COVID has impacted the mental health of all ages. To assist children in particular, having partnerships with schools is a great way to provide children access to mental health care,” Jones said.

She said the sessions would be confidential, even from school staff, and that JFS would be tracking the number of unique individual and groups sessions and the discharge type, noting that some will have met their goals while others drop out without resolution.

She said students can be referred by school staff or their parents, who will attend sessions.

“Mental health services will be based on the need of the students. We won’t have any limit to what the need is. We can assume COVID impact for every student and then we will provide our services based on that,” Jones said. “We’ll be flexible to the needs of the student.”

Jones said there are a lot of barriers to families getting mental health treatment, such as cost, transportation and child care issues.

“Having something that is at the school, in your neighborhood, a family environment, is just going to increase access for the youth and their families,” she said.

Jones noted JFS also is providing group therapy on coping skills and trauma at Mainland Regional High School.

“This is brand new for us at both schools. We just started at Mainland about a month ago, but we have not had school-based services in the past,” she said.

Jones said one of the positive pieces of the pandemic is that “there is a spotlight on mental health and having to meet needs of people in creative ways and be more flexible about how we provide mental health support to people.

“Otherwise this funding might not have existed to do this project,” she said.

By CRAIG D. SCHENCK/Sentinel staff



Governor's Teachers of the Year

Mrs. Chrissy Quinn - Jordan Road

Mrs. Donna Coan - Dawes Avenue

Mrs. Julia Lindsay - New York Avenue

Educational Support Professionals of the Year

Mrs. Nancy Garrett - Jordan Road

Mrs. Shiela Altomare - Dawes Avenue

Mrs. Michele Sokalski - NYA

Big picture


Free and Reduced Lunch Application

Just a reminder to please complete the Free and Reduced Lunch Application EVEN though there is no cost for breakfast and/or lunch this year. It is an important piece of data for the district. You can access the convenient online application at the link below. If you need any assistance please contact Mrs. Loder at (609) 927-2053 ex: 3220 or tloder@sptsd.org

Lunch Application


**All meals are FREE from the National School Lunch Program until June 2022

Big picture
Big picture


*December to Remember: Jordan Road School held daily activities to celebrate the beginning of Winter leading up to our Winter break. These activities included themed dress days, spirit day events, notes of appreciation, SEL activities, and goal setting. The month concluded with a door decorating contest. It indeed was a December to Remember!


On December 6, 2021, we named our Governor’s Educators of the Year for the Somers Point School District. The recipients chosen for Jordan Road Middle School are as follows:

Teacher of the Year - Mrs. Chrissy Quinn

Educational Services Professional of the Year - Mrs. Nancy Garrett

We congratulate both Mrs. Quinn and Mrs. Garrett for this well-deserved accomplishment and thank them for all they do for Jordan Road School.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture


Our staff and community members nominated Staffulty members for recognition of the great things they do for our students, school, district, and community. The following staff member was chosen to be recognized this month for going above and beyond the call of duty:

  • Jon Olek


This month we are featuring the teachers on our 6th Grade Team and the things they are working on in their core content areas. Our 6th grade team is comprised of the following staff members:

  • Mrs. Amy Horan-Smith

  • Mrs. Erin Albrecht

  • Mrs. Amanda Winslow

  • Mr. Phil Pallitto

  • Mr. Nick Thompson

  • Mrs. Casey Edge

  • Mr. Joe Krrywda

  • Mrs. Samantha Notos


In math, we just finished the number system. We completed a holiday shopping project where students had to find prices of presents for family/friends and use inequality symbols to compare prices from two different stores.


Students have been engaged in a novel study of “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan. The novel tells the fictional tale of a boy, Percy Jackson, who learns he is the son of the Greek God, Poseidon. The text prompts students to dive into the world of Greek Mythology while creating connections to its impacts on modern times. Students have been reflecting on habits of character for both themselves and characters within the novel. Persistence, friendship, and strength have been overlapping themes. To culminate the novel, students created their own characters and rewrote a portion of the text. This performance assessment created space for students to show their own creativity and an understanding of ELA skills taught thus far.


In science we just finished learning about the 6 major land biomes: the desert, the tropical rainforest, the grasslands, the deciduous forest, the coniferous forest, and the tundra. Students researched a specific biome, learning about the living and nonliving aspects of each biome and how those aspects work together for the biome to function. In addition to researching, students pretended that they were stranded in their designated biome and had to come up with a plan on how they would survive being stuck there. After all this, each group presented their findings to the class. All the groups did an amazing job presenting their information!

The sixth grade has also been diligently working on their science fair projects. At this point the students have written their testable question, their hypothesis, a list of materials needed for the experiment, and a procedure on how the experiment is performed. The experiments have been performed at home (thank you parents and guardians) and results have been collected and analyzed. Students are currently working on their conclusion for the science fair lab report. And finally, next up in science, the students will be learning about how different factors affect population growth.

Social Studies:

In Social Studies we have been studying Ancient Egypt. Students are excited to learn about this fascinating period of civilization. They’ve studied the pharaohs, amazing works of art and invention, and even learned to write in hieroglyphs.

JRMS Clubs and Activities - Any student interested in getting involved in a club or activity, please email Mr. Schmidt at jschmidt@sptsd.org for more information.


*Safety Patrol is collecting recyclable items to earn a new, recycled bench! Help the JRS Safety patrol earn their bench by sending your qualifying items to school each week with the student to their homeroom teacher. The collection will continue all year!

Accepted items: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nTZJuQhsQBNB2qqZIzMfzCEgc_XZ4PK9j_tHj4OzvAM/edit?usp=sharing

Big picture


Our Winter sports are in full swing and all of our athletes have been working hard and practicing. Here are our Basketball teams’ schedules:

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Everyone deserves recognition this month as we worked to complete first rounds of assessments, support quarantined students and families, to complete report card data reporting, and to maintain our focus of #bouncingforward together!

Big picture


Rich Aspenberg- lead pastor, Chris Jones - Associate / Youth Pastor, Corie Taylor- Director of children’s Ministry, and Josh McQuarrie- Director of Communication were a few of the volunteers who helped step up and make this balloon delivery a success. "Our staff wanted our team to support your team."


To address the need for increased student achievement, aligned with increasing accountability measures, the Somers Point School District has implemented a research-based, tiered-learning instructional framework. While prioritizing support for variables that contribute to student academic success and the acquisition of skills, such as instructional strategies and classroom resources, the district Administrators are also focusing on supporting the social and emotional needs of students, staff, and the community. More important now than ever, a positive school climate improves outcomes for students, reduces discipline issues, and reduces rates of teacher burnout while increasing levels of commitment and collegiality among teachers and support staff. We understand family and community participation is a crucial resource that impacts student achievement and also sustains school improvement that contributes to a positive school climate that supports all students. In order to reinforce access to this resource, the district is looking to authentically engage with the Somers Point community.

After completing our first tiered intervention cycle, we have seen significant student achievement from the tiered-learning instructional framework. In order to develop an authentic relationship with the community and let them see the growth of the community's students, we will be taking the recognition of student achievement into the community. Each student that has demonstrated growth on one of the three assessments will have a balloon placed at their home. The school colored balloons will have a card with the student’s name and this year’s theme, “Pouncing Forward.” Photos will be shared via our social media to let the community know what the balloons indicate and to support conversations within the community of each student’s achievement. We want to create authentic relationships with the community and the first step is supporting conversations within the community that are often limited to each student’s home or within the school grounds.

Big picture

Early Childhood Advisory Council Meeting: 1/19/22 at 3:30pm at Dawes Avenue Library

Wednesday, Jan. 19th, 3:30pm

22 West Dawes Avenue

Somers Point, NJ

Early Childhood Advisory Council Meeting: 1/19/22 at 3:30pm at Dawes Avenue Library


RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Big picture
Big picture


Big picture