HMS Update

September 2016

From the Principal

To the HMS Community,

Happy Fall! The first month of the school year has gone by so quickly. Hopefully, by now our students have established a routine amidst their busy school and extracurricular schedules.

Every month, I will share with our community, through this newsletter, highlights from the month and information about what lies ahead.

My personal highlight of the month has been participating in the morning announcements. I really enjoy having the opportunity to share with our students the news of the day and providing a thought-provoking or motivational quote of the day. Our daily morning announcements include student-led renditions of the Pledge of Allegiance and often a performance of a patriotic song by a student or group of students. This really makes for a positive and fun way to start our school day.

I hope you enjoy this month's newsletter, and that your family's school year is off to a great start.


Doug Layman


Upcoming Important Dates:

10.3-7: Week of Respect

10.4 or 10.5: 4th Grade Trip to Sterling Mine

10.5: HMS Trivia Night

10.10: No School, Teacher In-Service

10.12: No School

10.13: HMS Bulldog Run to benefit Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center

10.17 or 10.20: 5th Grade Trip to Quiet Valley

Helen Morgan History

Who was Helen Morgan? Visit our webpage to learn more about the history of this building, including information about some of our special memorial spaces.

Helen Morgan

Virginia Tino Memorial Garden

Samantha's Butterfly Garden

Week of Respect

All NJ public schools will recognize Oct. 3 - 7 as a Week of Respect. We are asking everyone to wear a blue shirt on Monday. We have several activities planned for the week including, lessons on kindness and a fun, interactive anti-bullying assembly featuring magician Ken Northridge.

Pickup/Dropoff Procedures

Thank you for driving slowly around the building when dropping off or picking up your child. For your safety, please do not park your car and walk your child into the building while buses are present in the AM.

If you need to pick your child up early, please arrive before 3:15. Arriving later than 3:15 can cause delays to our dismissal process.

For more information on these procedures please visit Mr. Ciaburri's webpage.

November/December 1/2 Days

Elementary Parent Conferences are held the four days after the Thanksgiving break. In addition, there is a district-wide 1/2 day on the fifth day.

11.28-12.1: K-5 1/2 days for conferences

12.2: 1/2 day for entire district

HMS Water Station

The new HMS water station has caught the attention of our students. The station tracks how many water bottles are "saved" with each refill. After the first 10 days of school we used the equivalent of 1,250 water bottles. We will continue to explore the benefits of reusing our own water bottles as the number continues to rise. Right now, you can't see that number because the 4th graders are participating in a contest to guess how many water bottles we will have saved by the end of the month.

News from the Media Center

Students have been busy recreating their Google Passwords during Media time. We hope they have shared them with you. We have also discussed the differences between weak and strong passwords and why it is important to change them regularly. Digital Citizenship will be a large part of our Media curriculum. We hope that you will continue to model and expect good qualities with your children as they explore the digital world.

Please feel free to follow our account on social media! We are always posting fun activities in the Media Center.

Instagram - hmschoollibrary


Twitter - @hmschoollibrary


The HMS Student Handbook is available on our website (under the information tab). Throughout there may be a need to update this handbook and when we do so we will alert parents through the monthly newsletter. This month we have added the following section on Video Surveillance.

All areas of the elementary schools are under 24 hour camera surveillance. All activities are monitored and recorded, both within the school and at the entrances.

Catching Kind

We are making an effort to acknowledge our students' acts of kindness. A leaf will be added to the kindness tree (pictured on the right) with the act and the name of the student that did it. We are going to add a vine soon and tie it into the kindness theme for the year.

Every Kid In A Park

We are excited to hear that the Every Kid In A Park program has been extended for another year. 4th grade students, and their families, can gain free access to most national and state parks. Did you visit a park this past summer? Send Mr. Layman (on the right, using his pass) a picture to put in next month's newsletter!

Introducing Sophie

On the occasional Friday, I plan on bringing Sophie, an 8 month old black lab who is being trained by my family for The Seeing Eye in Morristown, to school. The Seeing Eye breeds and trains dogs to become guide dogs for vision-impaired individuals. Our goal as a puppy-raiser is to socialize her through exposure to busy and diverse environments. Sophie will be in my office, and will occasionally be in the halls and outside- she will not go into classrooms. Sophie will be wearing a service vest, which indicates one should not interact with her while she is in “work” mode. However, she welcomes visitors when she is in my office, not vested, and “off duty”.

If you have any questions or concerns about Sophie's presence in school please don't hesitate to reach out to Mr. Layman.


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RITA's night

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Meet paprika

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learning to raise the flag

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the hms kindness tree- watch it grow

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daughters of the american revolution visits hms

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messy with states of matter

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