The Cougar Connection

Washington Avenue School News - 2/1/16


Monday 2/1 - Board of Education Meeting 7:30 pm

Wednesday, 2/10 - Early Dismissal

Thursday 2/11-2/15 - School Closed

Friday 2/19 - Pizza Parlor Day


Saturday 3/12 - Circus Trip

Friday 4/1-Spelling Bee

Principal's Update - Mary Quigley

This is a packed Newsletter! I'll keep it short. You should be very proud of your children for sharing so many kind actions. This is a tribute to you! I share Michelle's thanks for all who were involved.

Enjoy the week and taste of Spring days.


Music Notes February 2016:

Do you want to give your child a gift that lasts a lifetime? Give them the gift of music.

Studying a musical instrument teaches self-discipline. Children who practice an

instrument daily have also learned to focus on a task, organize their work independently, report on their work to their teacher, and evaluate their own performance. Each time a

child practices their instrument, several things are happening at once. First the child is

reading the music, playing not only the correct pitch but also paying attention to how

long it should be held and how loud or soft it should be played. This requires a high level

of thinking and listening. So now the child is using his sense of sight, sound, and touch.

Some other benefits of playing a music instrument are that it can help teach children

patience. In a world of instant gratification, learning to play an instrument is not

something that can happen overnight. It is the daily effort of everyday practice that can

help a musician learn how to play successfully.

There are few things that will enrich a child’s life more than learning to play an

instrument. If you have been considering making music lessons a part of your child’s

education, please don’t hesitate. The time is now!

Thank you!

Ms. Roskam and Ms. Shaw

WAS PTO President's UPDATE Michelle Lease

We hope your kids enjoyed being a part of The Great Kindness Challenge last week! It was a terrific week for the students & staff. A special thanks to Ms. Quigley for having her nephew, Ryan Quigley join us for our closing ceremonies on Friday. Also thanks to Ryan for signing autographs for the whole third grade! You can enjoy more highlights from the week below.

It's that time of year again, to begin the nominating process for PTO leadership roles and would love to hear from you if you would like to become more involved.

I also wanted to update you on our After School Enrichment Program for next year. We are still in need of 3 volunteers to help run the ASE program. Sadly, if we don't have a committee next year we will not be able to offer ASE. Please know that you can make it as big as you can manage. We would prefer to have a smaller ASE program next year then none. ASE is our largest fundraiser and allows us to be able to pay for field trips, assemblies and programs for the school. It's an integal part of the success of the PTO and a wonderful program for the kids that we hope to have next year. Please consider volunteering for this next year, you can email with any questions or if you would like more information. Thank you!

PTO Thank you's

Thanks to Beth Kneebone, Beth Burton & Kelly Medvin for organizing a terrific week of Kindness for the school. Also Anne Davenport & Stephanie Azzaro for helping out with kindness week.

Thank you to our terrific Museum on the Move team for running another fantastic year... Chair, Cynthia Nordstrom and grade coordinators-Nicole Polychronopoulos, Megan Lamm, Christine Pagano, Ananya Holland. Also thanks to all the parents who volunteer to teach the classes!


We took part in the national "Great Kindness Challenge" week last week. Activities included two amazing assemblies; pajama day, spirit day, crazy hair and outfit day; recess kindness stations and "Flash Decorating" Mr. Nick, Mr. John and Mr. Greg's office, Mrs. Sachs' office and Mrs. Rabadeau's security post with thank you notes and cards. Our closing ceremonies included a school-wide dance to our kindness song with our friend the Cougar and a surprise visit from Jets punter, Ryan Quigley, who spoke about what kindness means to him. We completed 3,905 acts of kindness during the course of the week! It was amazing! Keep calm and be kind! Great work kids!

Great Kindness Challenge Week Highlights


From: Doug McMahon <>
To: 'Kris Zingone' <>
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2016 2:21 PM
Subject: Washington Ave food drive total for January 21

Hi Kris,

The children’s visit went well today. They asked great questions including one little girl who said, “how do you get money?” We love visitors. Your school collected an impressive 669 lbs. of food today so we thank you and the whole Washington Ave. school community for doing this tremendous effort.

See you next month!

Best wishes,



St. Joseph Social Service Center

118 Division Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201


Thanks so much to all who coordinated the Giving Tree project and those who donated

arts and crafts at Christmas time. We were very inspired by your great generosity! You

made it possible for many children to enjoy a wonderful holiday! May this new year

bring you God’s blessings of peace, love and joy!

Sister Jacinta Fernandes and Staff


SPECIAL EVENTS DAY (SED) - is Monday, February 29th! SED is a very special day of the year when the PTO & parents are invited to run the school day with a fun filled activities and learning! This year's theme is “Wellness and Mindfulness.” and we will be transforming WELLNESS WONDERLAND and need your help! It truly takes a village to pull together SED...we thank you in advance for your time. Please note if you sign up and need to cancel at the last minute, we ask that you find a substitute since this is an entirely run PTO day and will be counting on you. Thank you!

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(1) Decorate a bulletin board: (complete the week or weekend prior to the event). We plan to turn the school into a Wellness Wonderland! This is a great opportunity for working parents who might not be able to take time off for Special Events Day to get involved the weekend before. You are welcome to decorate a bulletin board with your own creative idea, but if you need inspiration, we have a whole list of ideas you can choose from. Sign up here: Any question regarding decorating bulletin boards, please contact Marilyn Edwards (

(2) Lead a classroom activity for the children in your child's grade. We have developed easy-to-follow lesson plans for 4 classroom activities (yoga, mindful walk, healthy eating and making friends). Please indicate which one is of most interest to you in the note section when you sign up- Any questions regarding classroom activities, please contact Kate Loatman (

(3) Help run gym and MPR activities. Our MPR (multipurpose room) will have guest speakers from our community including pediatricians, dentists and gardeners to talk about wellness topics. In the gym, we will put the children through Boot Camp including a blow up obstacle course! There are two time slots available for the classroom, gym and MPR activities. You are welcome to sign up for both sessions, but we wanted to give flexibility to those who can only volunteer for the morning or afternoon. Gym Sign up: MPR Sign Up:

4. Help with SED Luncheon: Assist with set up & clean up of the SED lunch for teachers and volunteers in the library.

We look forward to seeing you on SED! Any other ideas, thoughts or questions, please contact SED Chair Cathy Egan (

Thank you,

The 2016 SED Committee


The WAS Circus trip is scheduled for Saturday, 3/12. There are currently about 80 people attending so tickets are still available! The deadline has been extended another week. This is always a great event so please see/call Mr. A. for details.
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Spelling Bee

Bzzz….Bzzz….Bzzz… Washington Avenue’s THIRD Annual Spelling Bee is set for April 1st! Please save the date! More information to follow.


It’s Box Tops submission time again! Please turn in your Box Tops to your child’s teacher by Friday, February 19th! Remember the class that collects the most box tops for each grade and any class that collects more than 1,000 box tops will get a special treat!

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Although there's still snow on the ground it is time to start thinking warm thoughts and making your summer plans! Please see the below flyers for 3 awesome summer camp opportunities!

Camp Conselors In Training

Is your 11-13 year old interested in becoming a CIT (counselor in training) at Camp Fish and Game? To learn more about it please email Sloane Lipson, Creator & Director of Camp Fish and Game at


Please visit our PTO Community Corner for more information on these and other community and programs. CLICK HERE TO VISIT COMMUNITY CORNER.


The Chatham High School varsity boys’ basketball team will be hosting their first annual Cancer Stinks Game on Tuesday, February 2nd against West Morris High School. Tipoff is at 7:00 pm.

During the game, there will be many opportunities to assist in the fight against cancer through raffles and halftime contests. In addition to a 50/50 raffle, the team is raffling off tickets to upcoming basketball games at Rutgers University and Seton Hall University.

Come cheer on your Chatham Cougars and support the fight against cancer!!!