Toms River High School East

Newsletter - January 31, 2022

Dear Families,

Well, another exciting week of football. I did not see the Super Bowl pitting the Bengals against the Rams, but I think both teams deserve the opportunity based on their play relative to the others. I am rooting for Joe Burrow. The kid is cool when the game is on the line.

Friday's storm turned out to be quite impressive. I believe the official snowfall was 16 inches in Toms River. Congratulations to Mossimo Elboukili for winning the Snow Prediction Competition! Mossimo won a free Papa Johns pizza! I'll be glad to get back into a routine this week! Looks like the weather will be relatively warmer than what we've seen the past two weeks.

If you get the chance, check out Munich, The Edge of War and Home Team on Netflix. Both are entertaining movies!

We had another productive week at the Home of the Raiders. We held a Parent Workshop Tuesday evening to discuss how parents can partner with the school to add their value. Our PTO discussed upcoming fundraisers at their meeting. We held our 8th Grade Parent Orientation Wednesday evening. Our future Raiders were informed of scheduling and graduation requirements while learning about East and our expectations to be a value-added citizen. Great job to our Guidance Team for all their hard work to put the meeting together. I participated in a workshop with the Leader in Me Organization to discuss how their group can help us to create student leaders fully accountable for their outcomes. I enjoyed the discussion and will be working with them to develop our strategic plan moving forward. We held our Activity Day on Friday where students learned the importance of goal setting. Our Math Department participated in a Professional Development Workshop on Friday with the goal to support our test preparation for the NJGPA (see below).

Black History Month

High School East is proud celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month. Members of our Black Cultural Club will read daily announcements to highlight important facts regarding Black American accomplishments. Did you know that Mae Jemison, became the first female African-American astronaut to travel to space in 1992?

Month of Love

February is the Month of Love at High School East. It was created by our Ambassadors and Mrs. Casey Daniel to show our love and appreciation for our students and staff. We know that the challenges within the covid world have greatly impacted the social and emotional well being of our East family. We wanted to let everyone know there is Hope and you are not alone. We will be acknowledging a student and staff member every day throughout the month to let our East family members know - we see and believe in you! Special thank you to all of our donors who without your support, this activity would not be possible!

Goal Setting

Students and staff participated in an activity on Friday to promote goal setting strategies. We believe all children have greatness locked up inside their bodies. They are capable of doing incredible and meaningful things with their lives. The key is to appreciate that success is a product of creating a vision for yourself (how do you want to be seen). Then, establishing goals that are realistic and attainable are important steps along the process to success. Goals require creativity and commitment. Once you have a vision and goals in place, establishing strategies that will help you reach the attainable goal(s) are required. In support, goals should be monitored to assess growth. Reflection is also another important component to maintain forward progress.

I cannot emphasize enough that if you truly want to be the best version of yourself, you must learn to set goals and establish a plan to achieve the goals. Overcoming challenges is a healthy part of the growth process and lifelong skills necessary for future college and career success. Parents, please discuss with your child their goals for the year. I will continue to provide resources in our newsletters to support you in the home. Check out our activity from Friday below:

Upcoming Dates and Deadlines

1) The registration deadline for the March 12th SAT is 2/11/22. Register at 2) The OCVTS Open House is on Thursday, 2/3/22 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Visit for more information. 3) The Early College Program registration deadline for Spring 2022 is February 18, 2022. Early College Spring 2022. 4) Any Junior interested in Option 2 Personal Finance for semester 2 must see their guidance counselor for an application. 5) Volunteer hours need to be submitted every month. Please drop off your community service card in Guidance. 6) New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Employee of the Week

Congratulations to Mrs. Sue Yajcaji for being recognized as our Employee of the Week. Mrs. Yajcaji was acknowledged by Mrs. Helen Klem for her positive mindset and willingness to always help others. Mrs. Yajcaji is our Supervisor Secretary. She loves her job and enjoys going above and beyond for her colleagues! She is always cheerful and makes working at East a fund place to be!

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Respectful Raiders

Congratulations to Mathew Clure-Gies, Justin Murphy and Mason Brennan for being recognized as Respectful Raiders this week. Mathew, Justin and Mason found cash and returned the money to the Main Office. Thank you for being students of character! I am proud of you!

New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA)

What is the NJGPA?

Students in the classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025 will take the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA) in grade 11. The assessment will be aligned to New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) for grade 10 ELA and NJSLS for Algebra I and Geometry. The assessment format will be familiar to students and educators, as it will be delivered on the same platform students use for the current New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA).

When is the NJGPA?

Testing window: March 14-18, 2022

Make-up testing window: March 21-25, 2022

Math PLC

Our Math Professional Learning Community (PLC) met on Friday, January 28th, to discuss and develop a plan to help prepare our students for the upcoming state assessments. All students in 9th grade will take the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) for the mathematics class in which they are currently enrolled (Algebra 1, Geometry, or Algebra 2). This test will take place in late April. All students in 11th grade will be taking the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA) the week of March 14th. This is the new state assessment required for graduation (replacing the previous HSPA assessment) that includes content aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in English 10, Algebra 1, and Geometry. Our math committee of teachers discussed some potential ideas for effective and timely review of material including, but not limited to:

  • Incorporating challenge questions once a week in the classroom

  • Providing review sessions in the evenings

  • Completing two practice tests during class to familiarize students with the testing platform

  • Bringing back the “Amazing NJGPA Race”.

More details on these opportunities, including some great incentives for participating, to follow.

Military Club Activity

The HS East Safety Team and Military Support Club will be hosting our first annual spring time "Food Trucks and Fire Pits" on Thursday, May 12, 2022 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM and we would like to invite our parents to help. If interested, please reach out to Mr. Scott Kenny at Ideas to help:

  • Contact and schedule food trucks
  • Volunteer to help run fundraiser games (cornhole, etc.)

Attitudes in Reverse

All freshman health classes will be participating in workshops this month on social and emotional well being through Attitudes in Reverse. Attitudes In Reverse offers a comprehensive mental health plan to educate youth, from elementary level through college-age. AIR's programs are wrapped in messages of understanding, empathy and kindness towards all. We believe that good mental health programming makes the best anti-bullying and suicide prevention plans. Breaking down stigma allows AIR to help identify youth who are at risk.