Catena Colts Connected

Welcome Back SuperKids 2020~Second Edition 9-18-20

Dear Catena Families,

As we kicked off the 2020 school year at JJCS, we were reminded of the strong partnership we share and the collective commitment we have to our SuperKids. We are grateful to our amazing staff for the countless moments spent preparing for our opening days of school. While we missed the students in the hallways these first days, we have found much joy in the sounds of their voices over Zoom and smiles shared via email and Twitter.

Next week we welcome SuperKids back to the school building! The energy and anticipation of these days is bursting at Catena and we can't wait to see students walk through the doors. While our Second Graders will continue learning from home for the next couple of weeks, we know that their days will be filled with the same positive energy as our classrooms. Before we know it they will be joining us and we'll be ready with a warm heart and a smile!

As we have communicated thus far, days in the school building will look different for SuperKids--as they do for staff as well. In this communication we will provide information pertinent to a successful school day for your child(ren). Again, we prioritize the importance of our home-school partnership to ensure smooth and safe days for everyone.

Monday, September 21st we welcome K, 1st, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade SuperKids in Cohort A to the school building.

See you soon, SuperKids, and be sure you have your masks on!

Ms. Shaw & Mrs. Cecilione

Connected Learning Begins 9-21-20

Along with our staff we are super excited to welcome our SuperKids into the building on Monday, September 21st. Now that we have had time to establish connections with students virtually, we shift confidently and will connect our hybrid in-person students and those at home in learning together each day. As with anything new, we may experience some challenging moments and we ask that you embrace these with patience, flexibility, grace...and oodles of kindness and we will do the same!

As of Monday, SuperKids will continue learning in the afternoon. These PM Learning Blocks will be from 2:25-3:35 each day following time for all students to have lunch and recess at home. Small group instruction (intervention/enrichment), teacher/student learning conferences, asynchronous lessons and assignments and related arts classes may be conducted daily. Teachers will share schedules in their Google Classrooms and students will have personalized learning opportunities across the week!

SuperKids are prepared every day!

Arrival and Dismissal 2020

Arrival & Dismissal

Catena School Hours 8:50am-1:00pm

  • Doors Open 8:40am
  • Dismissal 1:00pm
  • PM Virtual Learning Blocks 2:25-3:35pm

At Catena, all entrances and exits will be marked for arrival and dismissal. Look out for our new SuperKid lawn signs for directions! Staff will be stationed outside each day to welcome SuperKids and direct them to the appropriate and assigned entrances. Hand sanitizer will be provided to each student. We encourage families to review these assigned doors/entrances with their children.

Students will come in assigned doors to limit the need for two-way traffic

  • Main Entrance: 1st & 2nd bus students & walkers from Chatham Ridge/Longview

  • Flag Pole Entrance: K, 3rd, 5th grade bus students & walkers from Chatham Ridge

  • Fourth Grade Entrance: 4th grade bus students, walkers, car riders; 1st, 3rd car riders

  • K/5th Grade Wing doors: K, 2nd, 5th grade car riders

Signage around the school building will remind our SuperKids and families of the importance of and requirement to socially distance from others. We ask that families discuss with children theses expectations prior to our first Connected Learning Days beginning Monday, September 21st.

When on school property, parents must wear masks at all times and practice social/physical distancing from all others.

Arrival & Dismissal procedures and maps can be accessed below.

Daily Health Screening

We need your help! Beginning Monday, September 21st when children attend school "in person", the district requires a Daily Health Screening to be completed. We ask that families prioritize time each morning before sending students off to school (on a bus, in a car, or by foot!) to complete the Daily Health Screening by 8:30am.

Log on to Genesis Parent Portal each morning and fill out the survey by 8:30 AM for each of your children(

Honesty is a must! If your child is showing symptoms, keep him/her home and allow him/her to participate virtually. Completing the Daily Health Screening must become part of each Catena family's morning routine. It is already part of ours~all staff monitor themselves for illness and completes a Daily Health Screening.

What happens if a student arrives to school without a Daily Health Screening completed?

If the Daily Health Screening is not completed, students will not be able to start the school day with their classmates. Screening by the school nurse will be conducted and families will be contacted. A parent must then complete the Daily Health Screening along with the nurse or a health assistant and confirm that the child is in good health and has not been in close contact with someone with Covid-19.

Completing the Daily Health Screening is crucial as we strive to maintain a safe and healthy environment for SuperKids, families and Catena staff! Try this morning checklist:

  • Completed Covid/Daily Health Screening on Genesis Parent Portal;
  • My SuperKid has their mask on. We have labeled the mask;
  • My SuperKid has a back-up mask in their bookbag;
  • Snack and a water bottle are packed in my SuperKid's bookbag!
Daily COVID screening form - Google Slides

When in doubt...Stay Out

With our Connected Learning Approach there is no reason to worry if your SuperKid isn't feeling great. If you find your child is feeling ill, keep him/her home. This will help us all stay safe!

  • Students who are home sick and able to do so may participate with their class virtually. As long as they participate throughout the day, they will not be marked absent. Families should communicate this to the teacher and front office.

  • If a child is home sick and not able to participate in the school day from home, please notify the main office and the teacher.

Keep your child home if he/she was in contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the last 14 days OR for the following symptoms:


  • Fever (100 degrees or higher)

  • Shaking/chills

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath

  • New loss of taste/smell


  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea or Vomiting

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Diarrhea

  • Headache

Absences should be reported to the Main Office no later than 9:00am. Emails can be sent to classroom teachers and the Main Office must be copied: &

Reporting a SuperKid's Absence

Please follow these steps when communicating your SuperKid will not be attending school for illness related reasons:

  • Call your school's main phone line 732-431-4430 to access the attendance line (press 1) prior to the start of the school day (9:00 AM)
  • Leave a message or provide staff with the following detailed information: NAME, GRADE, TEACHER, REASON FOR ABSENCE, GIVE SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS
  • School staff will inform you of when student can return to school
  • A PHONE CONFERENCE with your School Nurse is REQUIRED if student is excluded for COVID-related symptoms (see above)

Be Responsible~Mask Up!

As per the New Jersey Department of Education guidance provided to all school districts, masks are required to be worn by all staff and students throughout the school day. Students riding buses are required to wear masks from the time they board the bus in the morning until they get off the bus at the end of the day. Students who walk to school or are driven to school must wear face masks once they enter school property. Upon leaving school property in the afternoon students can remove face masks. Parents accompanying students in the morning or picking up students in the afternoon must wear masks.

Masks may be removed for water breaks and during scheduled snack, when students are socially distanced with 6ft of space. By making sure we "mask up" we can keep ourselves and others safe at school.

Students should wear a face mask to school on their first day. The school district will provide students with two reusable face masks that must be washed after each day's use. Students are permitted to wear their personal face masks; however, they may not contain one way valves and must fully cover their noses and mouths. Neck gaiters and bandannas are not considered proper protection and are not permitted. Face shields are not considered a face covering and can only be worn in addition to a face mask. If your child has difficulty wearing a face mask for an extended period of time, please contact his or her school administrators to discuss options.

Families should make time to review the district's mandate and school expectations for wearing a face mask. We will continue to review the expectations and appreciate your support in doing so at home.

Technology Support

We are continuing our process of simplifying the use and repair of district chromebooks. If your child is having difficulty using their chromebook, please send an email to There will be a dedicated staff member monitoring all emails to this address who will be able to troubleshoot with you and offer help. They can also escalate the issue if it requires further intervention, and arrange for drop-off of devices and issuing of loaners. Thank you for your patience as we streamline our procedures.

Virtual Learning Expectations

Big picture

Back to School Night

Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Back to School Night 2020 will be a virtual event for all families. This is consistently a wonderful opportunity for families to meet staff and learn all about Catena. Join us to find out what's ahead for your child(ren) this school year. We encourage all families to set aside time on Tuesday, September 29th at 6:30pm to attend, from the comfort of their own homes! Details regarding the event including presentations and classroom meeting links will be forthcoming.

Counselor's Corner

Catena Student SEL Surveys

As part of the district's Restart & Recovery Plan a committee focused on the wellness of our school community. The surveys (K-2 & 3-5) below were created to help us understand how students are feeling as they prepare to return to school. Information collected will help the district provide schools and teachers with insights to help them best support students. Kindly help your SuperKid complete this survey no later than Monday, September 21st.

**Survey links have been posted in your child's Google Classrooms to aid with access*

Our priority remains the health and wellness of our students, families and staff. Classroom and school-wide experiences will be grounded in both the social-emotional well being and academic growth of all.

We are grateful for the partnership we share with our school community and know that together we will ensure a successful school experience for our SuperKids in 2020-2021.

Joseph J Catena Elementary School

For 60 years we've focused on building strong minds, strong bodies & strong character! Our students are encouraged to share their unique talents and gifts and follow their curiosities as they grow and learn. In 2021 Catena turns 60 and we are excited to celebrate the strength of our school community. Together~parents, staff & students~we are Catena Strong. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn with our SuperKids, incredible staff and amazing families each day at JJCS!