James Monroe Newsletter

May Edition

Message from the Principal

May 3rd is Teacher Appreciation Day! James Monroe has the most dedicated and committed team of educators. Day in and day out, we are fortunate to see our staff do the little things and the big things that make a difference in the lives of our students like making your children laugh, helping a child through a frustrating moment and making those light bulbs go on! This special community flourishes because it is nurtured by a staff that invests in relationships with their children and their families, believes that all children have the potential to learn and goes above and beyond to provide the best instruction to meet the needs of our growing learners to prepare them for the future. Thank you James Monroe Teachers!

The end of the year is quickly approaching and we have many exciting events coming up this month. Please read on to find out more about what is happening at James Monroe during this very busy month!

We hope to see you at our upcoming school events!


Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro


Mrs. Maggie Callahan

assistant principal

May Calendar

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Multicultural Night is May 4th

We are looking forward to our Multicultural Night! The event will run from 6-7 pm and we are expecting many families to participate. Student tour guides will lead our families through a cultural experience visiting presentations and getting their passports stamped by volunteers sharing information about Chinese, Croatian, Dominican Republic, Hinduism, Italian, Nigerian, Taiwan and Ukraine.

Maschio's, our school's food service provider will have a table set up with Belgium waffles. High school music students will be representing hispanic cultures by playing music in our lobby and our own third and fourth graders will be putting on dance demonstrations. We have so much to learn from each other!

Multi- Cultural Night

NJSLA - New Jersey Student Learning Assessment

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

May 9 - May 11 - ELA

May 12 - May 16 MATH

GRADE 5 ONLY - May 17 & 18 SCIENCE

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


Test Taking Tips

There’s no secret formula when it comes to passing a standardized test. It’s important to remember that anxiety may hinder performance for the test taker, so take a deep breath and read through a few practical tips to help your child prepare for standardized assessments.

  1. Take practice tests.

Many Department of Education state websites offer practice tests, which can help prepare children with understanding the test expectations, including the content and mechanics. NJSLA offers good examples of practice tests. If the test format seems familiar on test day, kids are more likely to feel comfortable and know what to do.

2. Promote a positive attitude.

Parents should promote a positive attitude towards learning and testing. Kids need to take tests seriously and be strategic, but also feel confident and mentally prepared. Parents can help children feel prepared for the test by encouraging children to visualize success on test day. In other words, ask children to close their eyes and imagine themselves taking the test and feeling great about it.

3. Discuss what to do if you finish early.

Sometimes kids finish the test early. It’s important to discuss that this is a good opportunity to double check and verify their answers for accuracy. Parents can coach them to review certain questions that were hard and use the process of elimination to rule out some of the answer choices.

4. Eat well, exercise and rest.

In the weeks leading up to the test, it is important for students to have adequate sleep (eight hours is recommended), eat balanced meals, drink plenty of water, and get exercise. Foods high in protein, and water help to stimulate the brain. Exercise, such as stretching and walking, helps to supply the brain with oxygen. Eating a healthy breakfast before school, particularly on the day of the test, gives the body the fuel it needs to maintain long periods of concentration.

5. Plan enjoyable and relaxing activities.

Trying to squeeze a little more preparation in immediately before the test is not advised because it can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Studying the day before or day of the test leads to increased anxiety and should be avoided. Instead, plan enjoyable activities to feel relaxed and ready.

Save the Date! 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony

Families of 5th graders are invited to join us on June 15th at 9:30 a.m. for the 5th grade Moving Up Ceremony.

2 tickets will be provide for adults to join a ceremony for our students moving on to middle school. All school age siblings at James Monroe will be invited to watch the ceremony.

Tickets and more information will be sent home soon.

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James Monroe PTO's Tricky Tray

Our first Annual Tricky Tray was a successful fundraising event for our school's PTO!

Hundreds of special prize packages were auctioned off and several went home with fabulous prizes including designer purses, free tickets to parks, shows and games and a fabulous outdoor patio grill and set.

Thank you to our planning committee for their hard work, to all the local businesses, staff and families who donated prizes and to the community who came out to support the school.

Sidewalk Scholastic Book Fair - BOGO

It is a great time to stock up on your summer reading books by strolling along and shopping at the Sidewalk Book Fair on Wednesday, May 18th from 5 - 7 pm. It is Buy One Get One, so you get double the books for the money, too! If you can't join us, please shop online at https://www.scholastic.com/bf/jamesmonroeelementaryschool1 from May 18th - May 31st. Bring a reusable bag to carry home all your purchases!
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PTO Family Outdoor Movie Night

Bring your lawn chair or blanket and snuggle up for a good movie on Friday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m.! Families can enjoy a night out. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
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The Science Fair - May 24th

We are really looking forward to our Science Fair for Grades 3-5 on May 24th. Set-up will begin at 6:30pm and presentations will start at 7pm. Thank you to all of the students who have registered to participate and also all of our adult volunteers who have offered their help with this event. Tri-fold poster boards will be sent home the first week in May. You may also find helpful information on our Google Site found HERE

Our Spring Concert was Super!

On April 26th, our students performed in the Band, Orchestra and Chorus for the first time in two years. Many of them began their instruction over Zoom during pandemic. We are so proud to hear the sounds of music emanate from our school after their months of hard work and practice.

Learning an instrument or participaing in the chorus benefits students' confidence, their performance in school by enhancing multiple skills including reading and math and exposes students to cultures from around the world.

Field Day Volunteers Needed - May 19th

On Thursday, May 19th, we will be having our Field Day.

Field Day is a fun day for the children. They participate in several events such as parachute games, roller races, relay races, Frisbee toss, and much more. All of this is during the school session both inside and outside. The children go from event to event with their class and teacher.

This year during our field day, we will have the children separated into six groups. The students will rotate through the activities by grade level.

We will be asking the students from the different grades to all try and wear their grade level field trips shirts. This will allow for all the students in each grade to be unified.

To ensure the continued success of this annual event, we must, as in the past, rely on the outstanding support from our parent/guardian volunteers. Our field day will be broken into two sessions, 9:00am – 12:20pm and 1:45pm – 3:15pm. Please email Mrs. Reif or Mr. Fernandez if you can volunteer for one or both sessions.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to call. You will get your assigned stations on the morning of field day. There will be a table set up in the lobby for sign-in and further directions.

Thank you for your time.

The Physical Education Teachers

(732) 452-2970

cynthia.reif@edison.k12.nj.us or michael.fernandez@edison.k12.nj.us

Yearbook Orders

Yearbook orders have been extended until May 6th. See flier below and scan the QR code to place your order. All 5th graders will receive a free copy from the PTO.
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Student Council News

The James Monroe Student Council is helping to support multiple community events! As part of Math and Movement Family Night, our representatives took a leadership role by supervising stations and helping teach kinesthetic activities to their fellow students. Our representatives will also have the opportunity to help with the Multicultural Fair. Students will be leading families through an international bazaar as tour guides!

School Play-Jungle Book

It is almost show time! Performances of Jungle Book will take place June 1st and June 2nd at 7:00 p.m.

Please help your child practice their songs and dances which can be found in the Jungle Book Google Classroom. Students need to be off book and know all their lines.

All participants will need to provide their costume for the show by May 13th. Make sure to label your costume and the bag.

Tech week is an important part of preparing for the upcoming performance. It is the first time the children work all together with the sets, costumes, lights and audio. Students in the show are required to be at all tech week rehearsals May 24th - May 27th from 3:30 - 5:30 pm.

Ticket sales will be going on sale soon. Tickets are $10 per person and benefit the school. Due to maximum capacity of the theater space, there is a limit of 2 tickets for each night the students are performing.

Grade 1 performs on Wednesday, June 1st

Grade 2 performs on Thursday, June 2nd

Grades 3 - 5 perform in both shows.

Policy and Procedure Reminders

An Important Reminder about Appropriate Attire at School

Please assist your children in what constitutes acceptable practice in this area.

  • Flip flops and Crocs are not permitted for safety reasons.

  • Hats are for outdoors only.

  • Crop tops and spaghetti straps are not appropriate for school. Bare midriffs are not permitted. For example, your child should be able to lift their arms without their belly being exposed. Shirts must reach the top of the hips.

  • Ripped pants should not be too exposing.

Also, in addition to daily hygiene, please remind your child to shower at least three times a week with soap and water.

Cell Phone Policy

If your student is bringing a cell phone or i-Watch with them to school, please complete this form and submit it to your child's teacher. I-Watches are not permitted to be worn during the school day. The cell phone is required to stay in the child's backpack and students are not to make or accept phone calls or text messages from their cell phone during the school day. If you need to reach your child for any reason, please contact the main office and we will assist (732-452-2970).

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.

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Covid Reporting

We continue to be vigilant with testing for Covid. Although symptoms often mirror allergies, the only way to rule out Covid is for your child to take a laboratory confirmed test. Please follow all directions provided by our school nurse and administration to expedite the situation.

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)
  • Symptoms (if any)
  • Date of exposure to close contact and/or date of symptoms and date of PCR or Rapid Antigen test collected (not reported)
  • Send a screenshot of the PCR or Rapid Antigen 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.

A Message from Mrs. Sclafani - our School Nurse

1. Please look for the letters that are being sent out to all 5th Graders regarding the 6th Grade Immunization requirements for entry into Middle Schools and Sports Physicals information if your child/ren would like to take up a sport in the fall when they begin Middle School. Please be sure to make your doctor appointments to have your student/s receive these mandatory vaccinations and also read below if your student is interested in signing up for a school sport in the fall.

2.Sports Physicals are required for all Sports in Middle School. Students interested in joining a Fall Sports team or intramural must obtain a sports physical from their physician. The Sports Physical forms are due in the MIDDLE SCHOOL NURSE'S OFFICE by Friday July 1, 2022. There is no grace period for late entries. Forms returned AFTER the 7/01/22 due date, MAY NOT be cleared to participate prior TO 1ST practice session.

Link to sports physical form: Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (4 pages): https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1577380417/edisonk12njus/zevex1coj8dxmmilw4ay/HSForm14APrePreparationPhysicalEvaluation2015.pdf

To participate on a school-sponsored interscholastic or intramural athletic team or squad, each student whose physical examination (HS Form #14C) was completed more than 90 days prior to the first day of official practice MUST provide a Health History Update Questionnaire (HS Form #14G) of medical issues experienced since the last medical examination, completed and signed by the student’s parent or guardian. These will be mailed out in May/June along with the Pre-Participation Physical form above. Please let me know if you will require one sooner.

3. In accordance with state regulations and district policy, it is important for your child to receive medical examinations at least once during each developmental stage, and more often with a chronic medical condition.

  • Early childhood (preschool through grade 3)
  • Pre-adolescence (grades 4 through 6)
  • Adolescence (grades 7 through 12)

Please have your child examined by his/her primary healthcare provider during these critical periods of development to ensure your child's good health. If your child had a recent physical exam (within the last year or two) please forward it to the school via email or mail. When you have your child examined, please have the medical form completed and returned to the school nurse. Here is the medical form requiring completion by your child’s doctor and you as the parent or guardian: https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1577381590/edisonk12njus/uliebetgtwfrw4cl9iax/Form_16_HealthCareProviderExamination.pdf

If you do not have a family healthcare provider or clinic where your child receives his/her health care, please contact the nurse for community resources.

James Monroe Parent Handbook

Open here to access information about James Monroe School.