Arbor Intermediate School

April 2023 Issue

School Leadership Team

School Leadership Team

Heather O’Donnell, Principal

Janell Smolk, Assistant Principal

Amy McLaughlin, Counselor

Monica Pratt, Counselor

Karen Hoeg, Secretary

Corinne Fender, School Nurse

Marcela Ridley, Attendance Clerk

Kenneth Dzurilla, Custodian

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A Message from the Principal

Dear Arbor Families,

I hope that you all had a happy and healthy spring break. Since we returned, we have hit the ground running with a number of spring events. Our Community Service Club ran a fundraiser for the Plainfield Humane Society, collecting much needed items for animals in need. Those who donated were able to participate in the Walk-a-thon during their recess on April 26.

We also recognized Autism Acceptance in April. Staff and students will wear tie-dye or bright rainbow colors to celebrate Autism Acceptance on April 27. Students had opportunities to learn about Autism and create infinity signs to display around the building in their classes.

May 5 will be Arbor’s Carnival. We are excited to bring this event back for the first time in the past few years. Please join us as we have carnival games, snacks, and treats with fellow Arbor families.

As we head into May, NJSLA testing will be taking place for all students. They have all been working hard to prepare and the teachers are confident our students will do their best. Fifth grade will test the first two weeks of May, and fourth grade begins on May 15. You can support your child by making sure they have had a good night’s rest, a full breakfast, and a charge iPad on the days they will be testing.

We are looking forward to many fun and exciting spring events. First up we have our Family Day sale from May 3-May 5. If you are interested, please reach out to


Heather O'Donnell

Counseling Corner

As we approach state testing in the month of May, here are some good tips to help your child do their best:

  1. Talk with your child about giving their best effort, but also give them the understanding that you and the teacher don’t expect perfection.

  2. If your child is worried or upset about something, try and help them through the concern. Feel free to reach out to the teacher or counselor if you feel it may impact your child during testing.

  3. Get up early to avoid rushing. Rushing into school at the last minute can make a student feel unsettled and anxious.

  4. Eat a healthy breakfast!

  5. Get comfortable! Make sure your student is wearing clothes that are comfortable.

  6. Be positive about the test! Remind your child the test can be hard, but it’s all about doing their personal best.

Amy McLaughlin

Nurse's Corner

What Is Poison Ivy?

A plant that can cause an itchy rash because of urushiol, a colorless, odorless oil found on the leaves. Your skin becomes red and swollen and blisters will appear. After a few days, the blisters may become crusty and start to flake off.

Your doctor may recommend cool showers and calamine lotion.

It’s not contagious but can spread from one person to another if the oil is on a person’s hands, clothing or even the dog.

Protect yourself

Learn what the plant looks like,

avoid areas where you know this plant is, wearing long sleeves and long pants when in areas with a lot of plants

Take a shower if the plant oil gets on your skin.

What's a Mosquito?

A mosquito is an insect that is found all over the world.

The female mosquito needs blood to produce more mosquitos. She has a special part of her mouth that she uses to suck blood, and her saliva (spit) thins the blood so she can drink it. Her saliva is what makes the bites itch.

If you get bit you will notice a round pink bump that itches.

Wash the area with soap and water. Putting on some Calamine lotion or using an ice pack can stop the itching. Also tell an adult if you’ve been bitten by a mosquito.

Protect yourself

Wear insect repellent spray when outdoors.

What’s a tick?

A tick is an insect that attaches to the skin of an animal or person and sucks blood.

Your parent or another responsible adult should check you for ticks after you've been playing or hiking in the woods.

Using tweezers, an adult should grab the tick as close as possible to your skin, and pull the tick off in one motion.

Protect yourself

Wear long sleeves and long pants, and tuck your pants into your socks.

Wearing an insect repellent.

Your animals need protection too. Either a medicine or collars to protect from ticks.

Arbor Carnival

On May 5th, students, their families, and staff members came out for an exciting night of games, prizes, and food at the Arbor Carnival. This event, sponsored by NJEA Pride, is typically held every other year, but was last held in 2019 due to Covid. We were so excited to be able to hold it again, with lots of families joining us to play games, get their faces painted, and sample the cotton candy! The Carnival wouldn’t be possible without help from our parents, staff, and Piscataway High School student volunteers. Thanks to all who helped us have a night of Carnival fun!

Academic Awards

On May 1st, Arbor students who earned an academic award were recognized at a ceremony. During the ceremony, teachers called the names of students who earned A or A/B Honor Roll. These students were awarded a Honor Roll Ribbon to signify their hard work and effort during the first marking period. Congratulations to these Arbor Students!

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Community Service Club

The Community Service Club was hard at work the last few months. The club, under the supervision of Senora Garcia, worked hard to benefit the community. Over a ten week period, the club collected food for the Souper Bowl driver, organized a Keep Piscataway Warm clothing drive, and are currently collecting donations for the Plainfield Humane Society. On April 26th, the club held a Walk-a-Thon for Arbor Students. When Senora Garcia was asked about the club, she stated "What an honor to work with such a dedicated group of students. They were always willing a ready to help with anything our school needed". Check out the pictures representing the efforts of the Community Service Club.

Check out the Student of the Month Recipients- March 2023

Upcoming Events

  • 5/3/23-5/6/23- PTO Family Day Sale
  • 5/5/23- Arbor Carnival Night (5:30pm-8:30pm)
  • 5/9/23- PTO Meeting (6:30pm)
  • 5/12/23- Class Theme Day
  • 5/22/23- Arbor Orchestra and Chorus Concert (6:30pm/7:30pm)
  • 5/23/23- Arbor Band Concert (6:30pm/7:30pm)
  • 5/23/23- Eisenhower 4th Grade Orientation (9:30am- Students Only)
  • 5/24/23- Grandview 4th Grade Orientation (9:30am- Students Only)
  • 5/24/23- Arbor Incoming 4th Grade Parent Orientation (6:30pm-8:00pm)