Lafayette Update

Parent Update: August 12th

Hello again....

As promised, this LAF Update will provide you with all of the information you will need to navigate the start of the school year at LAF. With over 500 students coming to school each day, it is very important that everyone follows the drop off and pick up procedures. Please take the time to thoroughly read this update. It will assist you and your child in successfully navigating the upcoming school year.

Expect these procedures to take time. We can not feasibly welcome all students each day without delays.

Cheryl Russo

Lafayette School Procedures & News

Morning Drop Off

  • Supervision begins at 8:50 a.m.
  • Please enter the high school driveway that is across from/near Maple Street.
  • Drive across the front of the high school and turn right into the large circle.
  • All cars should pull up as far as possible before stopping to allow your child out of the car.
  • All students should exit the car from the passenger side.
  • Your child can get out of the car once you pass the Buildings and Grounds driveway and you have pulled up as far as you can.
  • Please do not wait for your child to get closer to the front of the car line before getting out of the car. When you wait, it delays and disrupts the flow of traffic.
  • Do not use the LAF driveway. Use of the LAF driveways is prohibited. It is for students, staff, and school buses only.
  • If arriving after 9:00 a.m., you can use the LAF driveway.

Student Line Up

The fourth-grade students will line up in the front parking lot. The fifth-grade students will walk to the back of the building and line up on the field. If there is rain on the first day, students will report directly to their homeroom. On other days of inclement weather, students will line up in the cafeteria (4th Grade) and the gym (5th Grade).

For the first couple of days, there will be signs with the homeroom teacher's name to indicate exactly where students should line up. Please click here for a detailed overview of where the classes will line up and which doors each class will enter each morning. Reviewing this with your child before the first day of school will assist us in getting the students into the school in an efficient and safe manner.


  • Students will be dismissed from their classrooms at 3:30 p.m.
  • Students will use various doors to exit the building to ensure that everyone leaves safely.
  • If students are in walking groups, a specific area on school grounds should be agreed upon. Please remind your child to be patient if they are waiting for their walking group. Too often a group leaves without a friend causing confusion and distress.
  • Early student pick-ups between 3:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. are discouraged and should be avoided.
  • If you are picking up your child early from school, every parent/caregiver will need to show identification and be listed in Genesis in order to pick up their child. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Afternoon Pick Up (cars): Two Options

Option I:
  • Our carline assembles in the high school circle just like drop off.
  • Parents picking up their children in the high school circle should not get out of their car and use caution when pulling away.
  • All students getting picked up in the carline will assemble in front of the high school auditorium.
  • Supervisors will assist parents and students during pick-up from the car line.
Option II:
  • You may also park in the high school parking lot as another option for pick-up beginning at 3:10 p.m.
  • If you use this option, you have to get out of the car to pick up your child near the high school.
  • Children will not be allowed to cross the driveway and walk through the parking lot alone. Please respect the supervisor as they enforce the safety rules.
  • Do not use the LAF driveway. Use of the LAF driveways is prohibited. It is for students, staff, and school buses only.
  • If arriving after 3:50 a.m., you can use the LAF driveway.


  • Parking on-site is very limited. All spaces that have numbers are for staff members only.
  • Our front parking lot is used for student lineup and Physical Education Classes.
  • Please do not assume that if a numbered spot is open during the day that you can park in a spot that is numbered. Teachers may leave for lunch or to run an errand during the day. They count on their spots being available upon their return to the building.
  • There is no access or parking in the high school parking lot until 3:10 p.m. Again, even if you see an open parking spot in the high school, please do not park in the spot. All of the parking spots in the high school are assigned to teachers and students.
  • Please adhere to all local parking ordinances when parking on the street.

Bike Racks & Bike Safety

  • LAF has a bike rack in the front of the school near the front doors and a bike rack in the back of school near the playground.
  • Students are asked to walk their bikes when they are on school property due to the number of students on school property during arrival and dismissal.
  • This also includes the Dellwood Path.

Lunch @ LAF

At LAF, the students are not required to order their lunch before school. There are hot and cold choices available each day. The menu can be accessed on our website or by following this link. The district currently uses a service called “Pay School Central” to allow parents to set up accounts and make electronic payments for school lunches. You will need your child’s student ID to set up an account. Should you have any questions about dining services, please contact Bob McBreen, Food Service Supervisor, at (973) 457-2555 or email him at

Please help your child to practice memorizing their Student ID, found on the Parent Portal, to assist with getting through the lunch line quickly.

For Free and Reduced Lunch Applications, please go to our website and click on School Registration Forms. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list and click on the form to download and print out. After the application has been completed and signed by the parent/guardian, it should be returned to their youngest child's school. Anyone who does not have access to a computer/printer should contact their child's school for a paper copy.

Code of Conduct

The Lafayette Code of Conduct is reviewed annually by parents and teachers on the School Safety Team. Please review this document with your child before the school year begins. A paper copy will also be sent home on the first day of school.

Student/Parent Handbook

Please review the Student and Parent Handbook before school begins. A copy of the handbook can also be found in your child's school agenda.

Cell Phones, Smart Watches, Digital Readers, etc.

Also available in Student/Parent Handbook:

  • All cell phones must be turned off and placed in your child’s backpack when in school. Students may wear Smartwatches for emergency purposes only. Texting and talking on the phone while traveling through the hallways is not allowed. Frequent reminders to comply will result in confiscation of the phone. Parents will be contacted to pick up any phone that has been confiscated. Digital readers are allowed in school as a reading tool not a gaming device.
  • (Updated 6/2022) Smartwatch Guidelines: Smartwatches are for emergency purposes only. Students may not text parents during the school day. If they need to contact their parents during the day, they can use the phone in the office. If your child does reach out to you during the day to go home via text or their Smartwatch phone, please have them go to the nurse. You can follow up with a call to the nurse to determine the best course of action for your child. Last year, we found a number of cases where the child wanted to go home to avoid an academic or social situation so they reached out to their parents. We do not want sick students here, and we do not want a child going home to avoid school either. School avoidance does happen and could have a detrimental effect on how your child views school throughout their time in school.

Applied Music Program

The Lafayette Applied Music Program includes instruction in BAND, CHORUS, and ORCHESTRA. The Applied Music period is a special time of the day, one or two times a week between 10:37 - 11:16 a.m. Your child may choose to join chorus and/or one instrumental group.

Lafayette also provides an INSTRUMENTAL LESSON PROGRAM. Students playing an instrument will attend a small group lesson once a week. All of the Lafayette students will be provided an overview of the Applied Music Program during the first week of school. They will also have an opportunity to enter the program at this time. If you have already rented an instrument, it will be delivered by the music store before school begins. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the music staff whenever you have concerns or questions during the year.

Lafayette Music Staff

Theater Arts Program

Lafayette offers Theater Arts as a class during the regularly scheduled school day 10:37 - 11:16 a.m. The Theater class will be working in a collaborative setting, performing activities and exercises which are fun, challenging, and rewarding. Students will explore creative drama, mime, movement, and storytelling. We will be holding a lottery to develop the classes for Theater Arts. If you are interested in having your child placed in the lottery, please click on the link below and fill in the form by August 19th. Once the entries have been received, we will pick 75 students from each grade level. These 75 students will be divided into three classes per grade level. Please click here to register for the Theater Arts Lottery. You will need your child's homeroom teacher's name to register.

Volunteer @ LAF

Welcome Lafayette Families!

The PTO is proud to support Lafayette’s school motto, “It is not about being the best; it is about being your best,” with programs including our Mini-Marathon, Field Day, Read-a-thon, Book Fair, Pizza Day, After School Enrichment and more. The funds we raise cover important program and event costs associated with Author’s Day, School Gifts, Movie Night, Assemblies, Field Trips etc. This past year the PTO gifted a new courtyard which the children and staff were able to enjoy all year. This year we will be putting funds towards adding more items to the outdoor space and will continue to make improvements to the blacktop and playground. These projects are funded by our General Fund.

The LAF General Fund Committee is chaired by Nickie Cheney and Cindy Roy. Please read their message in this newsletter with information on how to donate. You can pay your PTO dues online and donate to our General Fund at

In addition to investing within Lafayette, we are so proud of our students’ charitable efforts outside the school….for example by participating in the Read-a-Thon last year, students raised enough funds for the PTO to donate $1,000 to BlinkNow, an organization with a mission to create a world where every child is safe, educated and loved.

Our success is dependent on help from our parents. There are many different ways to help listed within this newsletter and on our page and we encourage you to stay connected:

  • PTO Website: to access PTO information, volunteer opportunities, meeting dates, PTO dues, and General Fund.

  • Facebook: “Like” us on Facebook.

  • PTO Meetings: Our first PTO meeting, 9/15 at 9:30 AM in person with a virtual option. Each meeting features a speaker or discussion about key areas of the curriculum and the school. LAF Principal, Cheryl Russo, will present at our first meeting.

Please feel free to email us at with any other questions. Thank you in advance for your help. We appreciate it. Our teachers appreciate it. And, most of all, our children appreciate it. Enjoy the remainder of your summer and we look forward to kicking off the new school year.

Warm Regards,

Nicole Mahoney & Laurie Nyilas

PTO Co-Presidents 2022-2023

Lafayette PTO General Fund

On behalf of the PTO, thank you for considering supporting the Lafayette General Fund. This year, more than ever, your donation is needed as we continue to support the implementation of safety measures and strive to provide the cultural/social events and community projects that students typically enjoy as part of their school experiences.

Each year, the PTO works to ensure your donations are put to the best possible use. Over the past year, General Fund donations allowed us to purchase items to assist with the safe reopening of school, to provide tables and umbrellas to create additional outdoor space for students during the day, to purchase gym equipment for mini field days, as well as to fund programs such as Author’s Day and more.

Please help us continue to fund more programs and experiences in the upcoming school year for our children by generously donating. The suggested donation for this year is $100 per family; however, donations of any size are appreciated.

Please donate either online at or by mailing a check, along with the form below, to Lafayette School.

Thank you in advance for your generous support!

Nickie Cheney and Cindy Roy
Lafayette General Fund Co-Chairs 2022-2023

Please make checks payable to “LAF PTO” and mail to: Lafayette PTO General Fund, Lafayette School, 221 Lafayette Ave., Chatham, NJ 07928

Student Name(s): _______________________________________________

Teacher(s): ____________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Name: ________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________________

Donation Amount (check as appropriate):

____$50 ____$100 ____$200 ____$300 ____$500 ____$750 ______Other

_______Matching gift amount

The PTO of the Chathams is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible and can be matched by your employer. Tax ID #20-8695766.

Calling All Room Parents!!!

Are you interested in being a Room Parent? Please sign up under your child’s teacher in the classroom list provided via this sign up genius by August 20th.

Room parent selections will be communicated via email prior to 8/30 meeting. Should you have any questions regarding room parent responsibilities please contact...

5th grade - Jackie Mierkiewicz( or Gina Russo (,

4th grade - Alison Gassert ( or Laura Ferchak (

Thank you for volunteering!


Order now to get your Chatham and Lafayette gear this fall, items include short and long sleeve t-shirts, pullovers, shorts, bleacher chairs and much much more…..ORDER NOW Through September 12th!!!!!

LAF Mini Marathon - October 18

LAF Mini Marathon is just around the corner! This is a great opportunity for students entering and returning to Lafayette to get involved and meet new friends. Mini Marathon is a non-competitive, untimed 1.6-mile walk/jog/run. This event is open to all students regardless of athletic ability. The objectives of Mini Marathon are to set goals, follow through with a commitment, develop school spirit, and to have FUN!

There are four scheduled practices that take place after school. Practice dates are September 20, 27, and October 11. Practice is run by LAF teacher Katie Williams and PTO volunteers. Practice begins immediately after school and ends at 4:15 pm.

All participants will receive a tee-shirt and a medal for participating in the race on October 18th. (Rain Date, October 19th). Please consider volunteering for a practice or Race Day. It’s a great way to get involved. More details to follow once we begin the school year.

Thank you in advance to our committee for assisting with this event.

Katie Hogan

Lara Kanjo

Katie Maybaum

Allison Miller

Megan Ryan

Tara Shull

Box Tops for Education™/ShopRite

Welcome back! Once again, Lafayette will be participating in the Box Tops for Education™ program to earn additional money for our school. Last year, LAF was able to raise almost $1000 and we know we can do better. Now it’s even easier to participate - no more clipping required! You just need to set up an account on the Box Tops mobile app or website. Then simply scan your store with the app or submit your online receipt within 14 days. Please visit for detailed instructions.

If you shop at ShopRite, did you know that you can earn Bonus Box Tops for LAF by registering your Price Plus© club card? Visit to find out how!

Library Volunteers

Calling all book lovers! We are excited for another fabulous year in the LAF library! Library volunteers sign up for a monthly shift to help the librarians in shelving books, checking books in/out and just helping Mrs. Cifrodella and the library staff as needed. It's a great way to find out what the kids are learning about in school, see what they are reading, and occasionally get a glimpse of your child. Please note that because of the 6 day rotational schedule at LAF, you will NOT be seeing your child during all of your library shifts, but occasionally you may cross paths. Volunteers are so appreciated and needed, thank you for your help!!

If you are interested, please complete the following Feel free to contact Megan or Priya at with any questions. Thanks in advance!

Previously Shared News

School Hours

School starts at 9:00 am

  • Students will be marked tardy beginning at 9:05 am
  • Supervision in morning will begin at 8:50 am
  • On rainy days, the students will line up in the gym or cafeteria.

Dismissal is at 3:30 pm

18 - New to Chatham Welcome Breakfast 9:00 a.m.
18 - Tour LAF ~ 9:30 am - 10:30 pm (self-guided tour around the school)
25 - First Day of School

30 - Room Parent Meeting ~ 9:30 LAF Cafeteria


5 - No School

7 - LAF Back to School Night - 6:00 p.m.

14 - 5th Grade Trip to Jeff Lake

15 - PTO Meeting 9:30 am - LAF Cafeteria

20 - Mini Marathon Practice 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

21 - 4th Grade Trip to Jeff Lake

26 - No School

27 - Mini Marathon Practice 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Medication Drop Off

The nurse's office will be open to parents /guardians to drop off your child's medication and doctor's orders at the end of August. Please click here to access the District's Student Health Forms.
  • August 22nd, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
  • August 23rd, 10:00 am - 11:00 am and 12:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Lafayette will accept medication through the nurse's window which is on the side of the building near the teachers' parking lot. Signs will be posted to help you locate the nurse's office window.

School Supplies

If you ordered a school supply kit this past spring it will be available to your child on the first day of school. We are unable to order more kits at this time. Please click here to view school supply lists if you are still in need of supplies.

Kate Handerhan and Nicola Ou are the school supplies coordinators, please reach out to Kate or Nicola if you have any questions about school supplies.

Families New to Chatham

Welcome to Chatham! Please join us on Thursday, August 18th at 9:00 am for a Welcome Breakfast at Lafayette School. We will be available to chat with you, distribute important school and community information packets and answer any questions you may have. This is a parent and student event. If you have any pressing questions before the breakfast, please feel free to contact: