Principal Garcia's Newsletter

Friday, March 31, 2023

Torey J. Sabatini School

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Important Dates

  • March 31 - PTO Spring Social
  • April 3 - Single Session Early Dismissal Day for Parent/Teacher Evening Conferences
  • April 4 - Single Session Early Dismissal Day for Parent/Teacher Daytime Conferences
  • April 5 - Grade 4 Breakfast with the Principal
  • April 7 - No School - Good Friday
  • April 13 - Grade 4 Wax Museum Parent Evening 6:30 PM
  • April 17 - 5th to 6th Grade Student Only Orientation (Field Trip to MJS)
  • April 17 - 5th to 6th Grade Parent Orientation at MJS at 6:30 PM
  • April 17 - 21 - TJS Green Week
  • April 27 - Bring Your Child to Work Day
  • April 28 - Grade 5 Breakfast with the Principal

March Jaguar of the Month - Student Recognition Program

As a school learning community, we are recognizing TJS jaguars who consistently demonstrate exemplary character traits, behavior, kindness, and compassion for others. Nominations are submitted throughout the entire month and at the end of the month, one jaguar from each grade level is selected and recognized. Today, Ms. Garcia announced the March Jaguars of the Month!

Congratulations to...

  • Kindergartener - Everett Busanic
  • First Grader - Zach Snyder
  • Second Grader - Lia Blades
  • Third Grader - Somya Iyer
  • Fourth Grader - Radek Kilian
  • Fifth Grader - Parker Sands

We are hopeful that as a community, students will be eager to serve as positive role models for their peers to always be upstanding members of our school.

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Upcoming Spring Parent Teacher Conferences

Evening parent/teacher conferences will be held on Monday, April 3, 2023, between 5:00 - 8:00 PM. Daytime conferences will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, between 1:30 - 3:45 PM. Both days are single-session days. At your child’s conference time, you may be meeting with one or more of your child’s teachers. We kindly ask that you be on time for your scheduled conference time as our teachers will be busy with back-to-back meetings and have an allotted time for each conference. Teachers are equipped to share out various aspects of student progress as well as individual data points such as your child’s reading level, writing samples, and in-class assessments. We hope to continue to remain partners in your child’s education.

Lost and Found

Parents and guardians are asked to please browse the LOST and FOUND that will be on display in the main lobby during the two days of Parent/Teacher Conferences. All unclaimed items will be donated at the end of the school year.

TJS Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional of the Year

Dear Torey J. School Community:

Every year as a community, it's important that we stop and reflect on the absolutely amazing educators we have at TJS! Beginning today we are accepting nominations from parents, staff, and community members for the next TJS Teacher of the Year and TJS Educational Services Professional of the Year.

The positions listed below are considered Educational Services Professionals by the New Jersey Department of Education:

  • Anti-Bullying Specialist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Mathematics Specialist / Mathematics Coach
  • Basic Skills Teacher
  • Paraprofessional - Teacher Assistants (Instructional only)
  • Behavior Specialist
  • Reading Specialist / Reading Coach
  • Cooperative Education Coordinator / Hazardous Occupations
  • School Nurse
  • School Occupational Therapist
  • Director of School Counseling Services / Child Study Team
  • School Physical Therapist
  • School Social Worker
  • Educational Interpreter (Cued Speech, Transliteration, Oral Interpreting, Sign Language Interpreting)
  • Speech-Language Specialist
  • Student Assistant Coordinator
  • Technology Coach
  • Guidance / School Counselor
  • Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant
  • Library Media Specialist

Please consider submitting nominations to honor our wonderful TJS professionals. The deadline to submit nominations for both recognitions is no later than Monday, April 17, 2023.

Please complete this Google Form to submit your nominations for both categories. Please submit at maximum only one nomination for Teacher of the Year and one nomination for Educational Support Professional of the Year categories (a maximum of 2 nominations per person). Both entries can be submitted on the same Google Form.

Educators of the Year will be formally announced on Friday, May 5, 2023. We look forward to reading your nominations and celebrating the hard work and dedication of our elementary educators.


Ileana Garcia

TJS Principal

Women's Leadership Conference

This week TJS Principal Garcia and KRS Principal Koop co-presented at the NJASA/ERF and NJPSA/FEA 6th Annual Women's Leadership Conference. Our presentation topic was on ageism in the educational workplace, with a focus on a global report on ageism developed by the World Health Organization, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the United Nations Population Fund.

News from Mrs. Bletcher in the Counseling Corner

March has been a busy month in the counseling office! I’ve wrapped up a series of second-grade social groups. The focus of our final session was about being a “sore winner” or a “sore loser.” We talked about what these look and sound like and then played a fast-paced Connect Four tournament during which students practiced how to lose and win gracefully. Please model and encourage your child to practice positive communication and sportsmanship. These skills are rooted in teaching empathy toward self and others. Playing a board game, having a friendly relay race out in the yard, or having a catch are engaging and simple opportunities to develop these skills.

The Fifth Grade Peer Leaders designed and hung leprechauns for our annual, “Leprechaun Hunt.” Students had a lot of fun during their lunch periods trying to count all 75 leprechauns and 4 pots of gold! April is Autism Awareness month and our 5th Grade Peer Leaders will be visiting classrooms to share facts about autism and create a school-wide project.

Attention second and third-grade parents! Please be on the lookout for information regarding an upcoming, lunchtime peer mentoring program. This exciting program will begin late April and will be open to all second and third-grade students. More information will be forthcoming.

Weekly Reading Tips from Mrs. LoBrace

All About Determining Importance

When readers determine importance, they are focusing-in on trying to pick out the most important information in a passage or text in order to develop deeper meaning and a more secure understanding of what they have read.

A reader is simultaneously identifying the big ideas of the text, monitoring their own thinking, and organizing the information they have gained from the text around those big ideas.

Readers can determine importance in a fiction text by identifying:

-important character dialogue and actions


-major events that contribute to the story

-character development and relationships

-problems and solutions

-major themes

Readers can determine importance in a nonfiction text by identifying:

-main facts and details (what does the author want me to learn about?)

-specific vocabulary connected to the nonfiction topic

-information to be gained from nonfiction text features such as headings, bold words, photos/illustrations, captions, diagrams/charts, maps/graphs, and sidebars

(often draws attention to the most important information)

Below is a simple organizer for sorting out important vs. unimportant information!

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Gr 3 Music Assembly

Today third graders had a fantastic music assembly to learn about the great offerings in band and orchestra that begin next year in fourth grade! Ask your child about the assembly today. Thank you to Madison District Band and Orchestra Teachers and Instructional Coach, Stacy Snider, for coordinating this great event.

Staff Spotlight

Special Education Teacher, Mrs. Kaitlyn Gravina

Hello TJS Families! My name is Kaitlyn Gravina and it’s my first year as an Inclusion Special Education and Wilson Reading System Teacher at Torey J. Sabatini School. I have worked in the Madison School District as a Special Education Teacher for the past 9 years, mostly at Central Avenue School. I went to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham campus to obtain my Master of Arts in Teaching and shortly thereafter, obtained my Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification at Saint Elizabeth University.

Although my parents are from New York City, I was born in Rockaway, NJ. My ancestry is mostly Slovenian and Sicilian. When I can, I really enjoy cooking dishes from both cultures! Throughout my childhood, I was on a competitive gymnastics team for 8 years. I later became a gymnastics teacher for many years where I discovered my passion for teaching!

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my husband, Arron, spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, visiting zoos, and spending time with my cat, Myles.

My favorite part about working in Madison is the relationships I’ve developed over the years with wonderful families, students, and dedicated staff and teachers!

Teacher's Assistant, Ms. Marleigh Fruehling

Hello everyone, my name is Marleigh Fruehling! I am actually a TJS alumni (2008). Now I get the pleasure to work at TJS as a teacher's assistant!

I received my undergraduate degree at Moravian College in Marketing Communications. Currently, I am enrolled in Ramapo College’s new RCNJ + MUJC TA to Teacher Program. I am almost done with my first year and will have my teaching certification by this upcoming June. Then in May 2024, I will have my Masters in Special Education.

I grew up in Madison and graduated from MHS (2014). Growing up, I had various jobs in Madison. I served pizza at Firehouse and taught swim lessons and lifeguarded at the Madison Community Pool and the YMCA. I truly loved working in my community, which is why I wanted to work in the Madison School District. I moved back to Madison a couple years ago and I became a TA in September of 2021 at Central Avenue in Madison. Then in August 2022, I came to Torey J.! I also drive for door-dash and babysit for a few families in the area. During the summers, I am a supervisor, or Division Head, at Tamarack Day Camp. The camp is located in Randolph, NJ. I started as a camp counselor in 2021 and then in 2022 I got promoted to my current position. A fun fact is that I went to this camp myself from the ages 5-7 when it was under the name Stonybrook.

In my spare time, I love playing coed flag football! I’ve been playing with my team, The Misfits, for 2 years now! I play both offense and defense. On offense, I am a receiver and on defense, I’m one of the cornerbacks. When the weather is nice, we play at Central Park in Morris Plains. We are lucky that the VOLO league lets us play all year round by having games during the cold weather at ISP in Randolph.

News from the MEF

Registration is officially open for the 20th Annual MEF Madison 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run. Registration is available at
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News from the TJS PTO

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We cannot wait for tonight’s Spring Social Fundraiser at the Madison Community Arts Center! We will have a packed house later with parents and teachers coming together to socialize and raise money for TJS!

Some info for those attending:

-What should I wear? Dress to Impress - wear something fun but no need to stress

-Will food be served? Buffet dinner is catered by Harvest Bistro and drinks are included

-Be prepared to be amazed by the mentalist/magician!

-There will be lots of opportunities to support our schools tonight - 50/50 raffle, cornhole tournament, teacher outings raffle, and a silent auction. Venmo, cash and checks are preferred, but credit card can be accepted.

THANK YOU a million times to Alyson O’Connell and Jaime Seeley for planning what we know will be an amazing night!! And thanks to Corinne Murphy, Billy Brown and Amber Thomas for all their help, too. The whole TJS community will benefit so much from all of the time, energy and effort you have put into making tonight happen!

News from the MMA

Registration is now open for Madison Music & Arts' 33rd Annual Dessert & Jazz fundraiser to benefit the visual and performing arts in Madison! This family-friendly event features a cabaret of talented MHS students followed by performances from the MHS Chamber Strings, MHS Jazz Chorus, MJS Jazz Band, and MHS Jazz Ensemble. Dessert will be provided.

For more information and to make your reservations, visit

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Madison Summer STEAM Academy

The Madison STEAM Academy is returning in 2023 for another summer of excitement and fun!

Please visit academy for details and an FAQ about the program. Enrollment will begin mid-March!

Madison Summer Arts Program

Click the link below to access the Madison Summer Arts Program Brochure.
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