James Monroe Newsletter

March Edition

A message from the principal

Hello James Monroe Families,

We look forward to a magical start to our month as we celebrate the importance of reading during Read Across America Week. With spring in the air, we welcome exciting events including field trips, rehearsals for the upcoming school play and Title I family events like the upcoming Reading Night and Math in Movement. Parent teacher conferences are held in March and we hope to connect with you then!


Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro, principal


Mrs. Maggie Callahan, assistant principal


March Calendar

Big picture

Read Across America Week!

“You can find magic wherever you look, sit back and relax all you need is a book”

This year James Monroe will be celebrating Read Across America week with a "Reading is Magical" theme. Throughout the week of February 28th-March 4th, students will celebrate the magic of reading with fun events, buddy reading and guest readers.

Families are invited to celebrate with us on Thursday, March 3rd for our special Reading is Magical evening. Pre-registration is required to attend. Only students of James Monroe will be allowed to attend the event, all students must be accompanied by an adult.

Finally, on Friday, March 4th will be our culminating celebration, Read Across America Day! Guest readers will join us virtually and in-person to read aloud stories and share the magic of reading with our students. Thank you to Mrs. Pedana for planning such a magical celebration of books!

Big picture

NJSLA - New Jersey Student Learning Assessment

All NJ students across the state in grades 3, 4 & 5 will take the following standardized tests.

Monday, May 9 & Tuesday, May 10 ELA

Wednesday, May 11 & Thursday, May 12 MATH


You may use the following items from previous tests with your children:


Kindergarten Registration

The district is excited to announce that full day Kindergarten will be offered for the 2022-2023 school year.

Please click here for the enrollment requirements. It is recommended that enrollment be completed online using the Registration Gateway.

If you have a child who is eligible to begin Kindergarten, they must turn 5 years of age by October 1st and be full time resident of Edison.

Registration for James Monroe students will begin on March 14th - 18th at the Education Center.

Big picture

School Play-Jungle Book

We are thrilled that we are able to bring back our school play this year! Students will be performing in the Jungle Book. We're very proud of all of the students who came out to audition and all of our future performers.

Rehearsal schedules will vary depending on role and grade level. Mrs. Sanchez has invited all participating students and families to join the Google Classroom and Class dojo, where she will be updating and sharing all relevant information. It is imperative that you join if your child is participating in the play!

Save the date for June 1st and 2nd when our students will perform!

James Monroe PTO's Someone Special Dance

The PTO hosted our first Someone Special Dance on February 11th! We had a wonderful turn out and fun was had by all. Thank you to our team of parent volunteers for planning this event. Check out some of the highlights below!
Someone Special Dance - James Monroe 2022

The Monroe Project

This is an inclusive environment that develop friendship and empathy between our 5th grade and SC student. Through monthly gatherings, the students work together to complete a game or complete a craft. Our first lesson focused on the concept of acceptance and what it means to be different. We had lots of fun making a Valentine's Day craft together!

Black History Month Lessons

Classrooms across the school celebrated the accomplishments, history and achievements of Black heroes in various ways. Please read about how these lessons were incorporated into our curriculum.

  • In physical education, everyday for two weeks we showed highlighs from the 2022 Winter Olympics. During those short clips, we would spea upon various athletes, highling different accomplishments. Included in there was Erin Jackson, Maame Biney, and Elana Taylor. These are three black athletes that represented the United States of America.
  • In music classes, we shared music and activities by wonderful Black composers and educators!
  • The second grade students looked at art work by Faith Ringgold. She is an African American artist and author. We listened as she read the book Tar Beach via YouTube. After this the students created artwork inspired by the book.
  • In Mrs. Romeo and Ms. Cheng's class, we read the book 28 Days by Charles R. Smith Jr. each day of the month. In addition, the students are working on a collaborative project researching African American authors as we read 2 books in Making Meaning by African American authors- this was a technology extension project.
  • Some 4th grade classes made dolls to represent famouse African Americans and researched a slide presentation on them. They also incorporated the book Teammates, Dad , Jackie and Me and The Bat Boy and his Violin into our reading block..
  • Mr. Osofsky's class read the books "Uncle Jed's Barbershop" and "Richard Wright and the Library Card" to discuss the meaning of discrimination. We also spoke about President Obama and Ruby Bridges and what it would be like to be the first person to do something so influential during morning meeting.
  • Many classrooms integrated BrainPop videos about famous people, read stories and conducted research projects. Classroom libraries featured books by Black authors

Water Fountain Update

Great news! Our school water fountains have been equipped with additional filters to purify the drinking water. Your children may now use the water bottle refill on three water fountains located around the building. You may also continue to send your child in with water from home if you choose.

Spring Conferences - Sign up starting 3/7

The home-school connection is extremely important to us here at James Monroe! We realize that virtual conferences can be convenient for some families, as they eliminate the need for transportation, childcare arrangements and/or having to take time off work. Thus, for the upcoming conferences, we will be offering either in-person and virtual conferences. Please see the available designated options (virtual or in-person) when you sign up.

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on the following dates (Dates may vary by teacher):

Tuesday, March 22nd at 2:00 - 3:30pm

Thursday, March 24th at 5:00 - 6:30pm

Thurssday, March 31st at 5:00 - 6:30pm

These are early dismissal days.

Grades 1 - 5 - 1:30 p.m.

K am 9:00- 11:00

K pm 11:30 - 1:30

You may schedule a 10-minute conference with your child's teacher using the conference feature on Parent Portal. Conferences are valuable time to help forge a strong relationship and will provide you with a progress update.

How to set up a Parent Teacher Conference:

1. Log into Parent Portal.

2. Go to Student Data and select "Conferences". A link will appear that says “Schedule Parent Teacher Conference” for each available day. (See image below)

3. On the next screen, select “Reserve” to reserve a day and time for your child's homeroom teacher.

4. Check the box for virtual or in-person.

5. Select only one meeting per teacher. You will receive an email notification to confirm the appointment.

If you are unable to attend the conferences, please email the teacher to cancel or reschedule your appointment in the Parent Portal. This is a courtesy to the teacher.

Big picture

Student Council News

Thanks to the generous donations of non-perishable items from so many families, our SOUPER-Bowl challenge raised over 400lbs of food to Middlesex County Replenish Food Bank.
Big picture

1st Grade Time Capsule

On 2-22-22 our first grade students make a time capsule with letters and memorabilia that will be opened on 3-3-33 when they will be seniors in high school! Check out the video below for some highlights of the special event.

PTO seeks help with their Tricky Tray!

Big picture

Wintry Weather Updates

PARKING - There is no parking on Sharp Road or in the parking lot to ensure a safe arrival and dismissal for our children unless handicap tags are presented. Please park in the surrounding neighborhood and walk. If you have a special need, please contact the school administration.

ARRIVAL - Please check the owl sign in the front window for arrival procedures daily depending on the weather/temperature. An announcement will be made as well. Students will enter the building at 8:45 a.m. on inclement weather days.


DRESS FOR PLAY - Please remember to check the weather for the need for WARM coats, gloves, scarves and hats. We will go outside for recess as long as the "real feel" is above 32 degrees for healthy fresh air and exercise! Students will also go outside for a break each day for fresh air and some release!

Covid Protocol Reminders and Updates

Mask Policy Update

Please see the recent district policy update from Dr. Bragen regarding optional use of masks starting March 7th. Please know that anyone who desires to continue to wear a mask in school will be permitted to do so. We respect everyone's right to make this personal choice depending on their individual circumstances and comfort level.

Letter from Dr. Bragen

Covid Reporting

When you report that a child was a close contact to a positive individual/is positive case/or is experiencing symptoms, please include the following information:

  • Child's first & last name
  • Child's teacher
  • Siblings' names & teachers (inform other schools if older)
  • Date of exposure to close contact and/or date of symptoms and date of PCR test collected (not reported)
  • Send a screenshot of the PCR report when you receive it (not a home test)

The district has moved away from our individual letters to a dashboard which will be updated each Friday on the district website. You will no longer receive letters from the school.

James Monroe Parent Handbook

Open here to access information about James Monroe School.