The Cougar Connection

Washington Avenue School News - 1/11/16


Monday 1/11 - 8pm Registration closes for ASE on Community Pass

Tuesday 1/12 - Author's Day - Daniel Kirk (Students wear Kindness T-Shirts)

Wednesday 1/13 - Story Pirates Assembly - 9:30 am

Friday 1/15 - Early Dismissal

Monday 1/18 - School Closed

Tuesday 1/19 - ASE 8-week Winter Session Classes begin

Friday 1/22 - Pizza Day

Friday 1/22- PTO Meeting- 9:00 a.m.

Friday 1/22- Family Fun Night

Wednesday, 2/10 - Early Dismissal

Thursday 2/11-2/15 - School Closed

Friday 2/19 - Pizza Parlor Day


Principal's Update - Mary Quigley

We are having an interesting winter with so many variations of temperatures. Here are some guidelines for the students in terms of dressing appropriately for the classroom and for outdoor recess.

  • If the temperature is going to reach 65, then students may wear shorts. Otherwise long pants are needed.
  • Children participate in outdoor recess unless the wind chill causes the temperature to stay at 20 degrees or below. Hats or earmuffs and gloves are important so that children feel comfortable outside. Please help us by putting names on all the items.

Your help with this will be greatly appreciated! Stay well!

WAS PTO President's UPDATE Michelle Lease

Thanks to everyone who came out to see the Wizards play Chatham's Clever Cougars! It was a fun event to bring the community together & for students to see their teachers play basketball! Thanks to Jaclyn Noll, Nicole Quagliana, Allison Tierney, Doug Finken & Mr. A for being terrific Clever Cougars! Also a big thank you to Tara Burke & Cara Haid for their help in planning the Harlem Wizards! Also a special thank you Ms. Quigley & Colleen Carey for helping with concessions for both shows!

We have a big week ahead at WAS....Enrichment registration is open until tonight at 8p.m. Authors Day is Tuesday with Daniel Kirk, the author of Library Mouse coming to WAS. The ever so popular Story Pirates are coming on Wednesday for an assembly. Please note our PTO meeting moved from this week to next Friday, January 22nd at 9:00 a.m.

Kindness Corner

Stay tuned for our next program, The Great Kindness Challenge, starting the week of January 25th. We need parents to help out at fun lunch time activities during the week. If you are interested, please email us at

ASE Registration open until Monday night!

After School Enrichment registration is still open! There are many great classes that still have space. Registration ends tonight at 8 p.m. on Community Pass. The following classes need more students in order to run so please tell your friends and register today! If these don't interest you there are many others you can choose from.

  • Games, Games, Games-Tuesdays, Show your kids that board games are fun! They will play the games you loved as a child and they will see that board games can be as much fun as screen time.
  • Yoga-Tuesdays, your child will learn the basics of yoga and have fun with friends!
  • Chinese-Wednesdays, A new class giving WAS students an introduction to an ancient culture is Chinese. Your child will learn some Chinese language while learning Chinese folklore and songs.
  • Mad Science- Mondays, offering are you Smarter than a Mad Scientist? on Mondays for grades 2-3. This is a new class with a different question posed and answered each week and a take-home experiment.
  • Healthy U After School-Mondays, The YMCA has developed a course just for WAS lead by their staff called Healthy U After School. In this class exercise, healthy eating and fun are combined to teach children wellness and good habits.
  • Sewing-Thursdays, Your child will learn a life long hobby in Sewing, offered on Thursdays for grades 2-3. All the basic skills and stitches will be covered and several projects will be completed, boosting your child's confidence to continue learning and creating.
  • Chess-Mondays, Learn how to play the most popular game ever invented! Grades 1-3, teaches children to think before they act and plan ahead. Obtain the skills that lay a foundation for analytical and critical thinking, all in a fun and friendly environment!
  • Code-Fridays, Come join and explore the world of Code through various activities on and off the computer. You will begin to learn the science behind computer games and animations and start to develop the skills of a computer scientist! For grades 2-3.
  • WeDo Lego Robotics Level 2, Wednesdays. Advance your Lego playtime skills, Students will use Lego robotics equipment to build new models and bring their creations to life through basic programming. Grades 2-3.

Family Fun Night Volunteers & Prizes Needed

We are in need of 10-12 volunteers (greeters, prize table, snack table, bingo checkers, etc) for Family Fun Night on Friday January 22nd in the WAS gym. It's a fun to volunteer, if you are free & would like to help out, please sign up on Volunteer Spot . Thank you!

Also prizes are needed for Family Fun you have holiday leftovers or unwanted gifts? We need new, unused gifts worth $5-$10 for our prize table. Please drop them off at 60 Watchung Ave (corner of Watchung and Bridge St) or email before 1/20. Thank you very much!!

THE HARlem Wizards - WHAT A SHOW!


Notes provided by: Lisa Carey

Board Vacancy Notice- The Board of Education is accepting applications for the open position for a resident of the Township of Chatham. Any interested resident of the Township of Chatham should send their information by January 15, 2016 to the School District of the Chathams, Attn: BOE, 58 Meyersville Road, Chatham, NJ 07928.

Middle School Update- Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael LaSusa introduced Chatham Middle School Principal Jill Gihorski. She announced that for Grade 8, Digitial Game Design replaces Computer Coding, and for Grade 7, Creativity & Innovation changed from App Design. CMS adopts the Next Generation Science Standards, which will roll out integrated curriculum in Grade 6 for 2016-2017 school year, and introduce Grades 7 & 8 for the two following years in order to avoid repetition and/or gaps in student learning.

High School Update- Principal Darren Groh presented the High School’s Program of Studies. To graduate, 120 credits are needed. Going forward, a student will have to pass PARCC or other alternate proficiencies. Proposed changes: Honors Pre-AP Art, AP Computer Sciences, and Contemporary Issues Semester Elective for Social Studies.

For World Language, AP Spanish Literature & Culture, and Advanced Studies in French Language & Culture. Program of Studies for 2016-2017 can be found on the CHS website, emailed to all the HS parents, and class meetings. New schedules roll out February 10th.

Business Administrator’s Report- School Business Administrator & Board Secretary Peter Daquila reported that a June 1st completion is expected on the Office Conversion & HVAC Replacement at Chatham High School.

Policy & Planning Committee- Board Member Phil Franz updated the discussion for visibility of Athletics for seasonal sports schedules, since there has been concern voiced of practices being pushed earlier.

Music & Theater Boosters- BOE President Jill Critchley Weber commended the 20+ performances by all Chatham schools over the holiday season. Chatham Middle School will be performing Aladdin Jr. on February 4, 5 & 6th, with tickets available at CMS.

Chatham Education Foundation- CEF President Stacey Ewald & Members Amy Coates & Mariel Kolker presented an impressive check to represent the $1 million of grants the foundation has provided to Chatham students over the past 15 years. There was a big round of applause to thank the Chatham Education Foundation!

The most recent funds from CEF are for grants awarded to Dr. LaSusa’s Future-Focused Education Series & Washington Avenue School’s Embrace Your Emotions program.

Amy Coates, Mariel Kolker and Stacey Ewald of the Chatham Education Foundation with Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa and BOE President Jill Critchley Weber

Public Commentary-

Chatham High School students, who are Robotics Team Members, came before the board to pitch the idea of adding onto the Advanced Robotics class.

Jane Devlin thanked the Board for listening to her input on the reduction of homework, particularly over the recent holiday break and with the upcoming Martin Luther King holiday.


Kindergarten registration ends this Friday, 1/15. Any WAS family with an incoming 2016-17 Kindergarten student needs to complete the registration process. Please use the attached link to find and complete all necessary forms and contact Sally Moreno at the number provided to schedule your registration meeting.


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

The Chatham Softball Club is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2016 Spring Youth Softball Leagues. The season runs from April until early June and this program is open to all girls in Grades K-8.

Log on to the Chatham Softball Club website and click the Register Now button to register for the upcoming season. You will need to set up a Member Account if this is the first time you are registering for programs online. Registration fees vary for each grade level and include the cost of field usage, umpires, insurance, equipment, and uniform shirts. Players are responsible for providing their own softball glove and purchase their own uniform pants. More details regarding uniforms will be sent closer to the start of the season. Registration opens on December 15, 2015 and will remain open until February 15, 2016. Those who register early (before January 15, 2016) receive an "early bird" discount and will be charged the fees that were in place for the 2015 season. We encourage you to register early to receive your discount and to secure your spot on a team. Information for our pitching, winter skills and spring training clinics will be available in the next few days. Please look for another email from Chatham Softball Club with registration information for these programs.

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