The Village School Bluebird

January/February 2021

New Year Greetings!

Dear Village School Families,


Happy New Year! We hope that you enjoyed your holidays and time with your family. As we prepare to resume our Hybrid Model of Instruction on Tuesday, January 19th, we would like to thank all of you for your support, flexibility and positive feedback during virtual learning. The hard work of our entire community is paying off and we look forward to that continuing as we begin our Hybrid Model on Tuesday.


In addition to amazing virtual learning, students ended 2020 by supporting our 26th annual Young Scholars Institute holiday gift service project. Despite adjustments made due to the pandemic, we appreciate your support in making the project a huge success. Students also enjoyed Mindfulness and Play Day activities and enjoyed holiday rotations with related arts teachers and their classmates. Mrs. Leimbacher, our phenomenal 4th grade newscasters and guest presenters shared cultural and holiday celebration information on our Morning News program which helps us start the day feeling informed and connected! Broadcasts can be seen on our website!


While are transition back was a smooth one, teachers took the time to proactively engage students in developmentally appropriate discussions around current events in our nation's Capitol. Teachers and students reflected on the Democratic and electoral college certification process, our pillar of character - fairness, respectful and safe ways to resolve differences and ways to promote peace and kindness in all we do. These conversations were fruitful and positive! We are so proud of our Villagers' for their thoughtfulness!


In February we are looking forward to Black History Month, Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day, Inclusive Curriculum lessons and more.


Please review this issue for important information to get you started next week and other updates. Remember to stay informed by reading all school and district communications and staying tuned to the VES website. You will find links to our Montgomery Elementary School PTA and our Montgomery Special Education PTA there as well.


We are excited and look forward to another successful beginning to hybrid learning!


Ms. Susan Lacy

VES Principal

Celebrating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a Day of Service

Shortly after the 1968 assassination of the great civil-rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., individuals in both the Senate and the House of Representatives began proposing legislation to honor him with a federal holiday. However, it took almost 15 years before the 1st Martin Luther King Day would be celebrated in 1986. As we approach the 26th anniversary of this commemoration, let us remember the words of Coretta Scott King (The Washington Post,1983):


"The holiday must be substantive as well as symbolic. It must be more than a day of celebration . . . Let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy and strategy, a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress."


Today, it has become traditional to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King through acts of service. Even in the time of Covid-19, we encourage all families to find a safe way to give back to the community.


Villagers also took a tour of Dr. King's home that is part of the National Park Service along with actress Octavia Spencer and Dr. King's 12 year old granddaughter and activist, Yolanda Renee King. You can view the January 15th broadcast here.

District Community Communication

Please see Community Communication sent on January 8th from Superintendent, Mary McLoughlin as it contains important information about Health and Safety Protocols.

Classroom and Safety Supply Reminders

Hybrid/In-Person Supplies:

If your child will be coming to school for hybrid/in-person learning please take note of the following required school supplies:


  • Three masks: one to wear each day; one for the classroom (in a Ziplock bag with child's name on it), one to keep in the backpack (in a Ziplock bag with child's name on it). Masks must: fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face; completely cover the nose and mouth; be secured with ties or ear loops, or gaiter neck style; include multiple layers of fabric; allow for breathing without restriction; be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape, not include vents/valves
  • Mask lanyards (If you don't have one we will provide one for your child)
  • Labeled beach towel to be laundered and returned each day
  • Charged Chromebook and sleeve/cover (11.6x13)
  • Headphones or earbuds with a mic and 3.5 mm jack (in a Ziplock bag with child's name on it)
  • Healthy nut-free snack and water bottle. According to district regulations (5531), all classrooms will be nut-free and no students or staff will share food.
  • Personal pack of tissues
  • Hand wipes for snack time
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Writing Notebooks/Folders
  • Book Baggies

Daily Student COVID Screening Form

We are asking all of our families to assist us in keeping our students and staff safe and healthy as we transition back to in-person instruction. The daily monitoring of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is of the utmost importance.

Parents/Guardians must complete a form for each child every morning, even if the child is participating virtually.

  • The COVID-19 Student Daily Screening Form is available now to view in Genesis under “Forms”.
  • Parents/Guardians will receive a daily text message and email reminder each morning to complete the form.
  • We are requiring a COVID-19 Daily Screening Form for all students, fully virtual, hybrid, and in-person, due to circumstances such as participation in sports, clubs, testing, and activities.
  • The form must be completed prior to your child reporting to a school building.


In the event that a COVID-19 Student Daily Screening Form is not completed, students will be removed from their first-period class and brought to a designated area until such time they can be screened by the nursing staff.

  • On the first occurrence, parents/guardians will be contacted and asked to complete the necessary form.
  • On subsequent occasions, parents will be asked to pick their child up from school.
  • Please be sure your contact information is up to date in Genesis.


There may be occasions when your child is not feeling well but is still able to participate in virtual instruction. We highly encourage families to be overcautious regarding symptoms and illness during the in person school days. Students can attend virtually even on a day they were scheduled to be in school. Your child's attendance will be marked as “present virtual”.

Parent/Guardian Drop Off and Pick Up

Please see the map below!


Before School Drop Off (9:20-9:30): If you need to drive your child to school, please use the driveway on the right side of the school to travel to the rear entrances. This entrance will be open from 9:20 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Please do not drop your child off early as the doors will be locked until 9:20, and there is no supervision. Upon arriving at the rear of the school please follow the guidelines below.

  1. Travel as far forward as possible along the sidewalk on your left.

  2. Have your child ready to exit the car when you reach the sidewalk.

  3. Stop your vehicle next to the school sidewalk.

  4. Your child may exit on his or her own on the driver’s side of the car, along any part of the sidewalk. Children are not permitted to exit from the passenger side without assistance from an adult.

  5. Two doors will be open and supervised by our staff for your child’s convenience and to assist with the flow of traffic.

  6. Please remain in the line of cars in front of you and wait for traffic to move. Do not dart around any cars to avoid colliding with those exiting at the front of the line. Should you need to pass another car to exit, please do so with extreme caution!

  7. DO NOT park in the Fire Lane for any reason.

  8. Continue to follow the roadway back to Main Blvd.

  9. Please do not drop students off in the front of Village School at any time, except for before school programs (which are not scheduled at this time). After 9:30 a.m., park in our front visitors’ lot and walk your child to the main entrance. Ring the buzzer and a secretary will assist you and sign your child in.


Late or Midday Drop off/Pickup: If you need to drop off or pickup your child between the hours of 9:30 and 1:15, please park in our visitors parking lot in the front of VES and come to the main front entrance. Parking is not permitted in the front driveway as it is a bus driveway only. After 9:30 a.m., please walk your child to the main entrance. Ring the buzzer and a secretary will assist you. You must submit a request in writing in advance if a late arrival or early pick up is planned. (BOE Policy 5230)


After School Pickup (1:30): Please send a note to your child’s teacher if you plan on picking up your child in the afternoons. Include in the note, the name of the person picking up your child. Teachers will send their students to the parent pickup waiting area in the cafeteria with their pick up note. Without a note, children will be sent to their buses.

Use the driveway on the right side of the school to travel to the rear entrance of the building and follow the instructions below:

  1. On the first day, please have your ID (valid driver's license) and Parent Pick Up Sign (or if new to Hybrid a sign displayed on the driver's side that includes: your child's name, teacher's name and the name of the parent/person picking up your child.)

  2. If you are new to Hybrid, we will provide 3 signs for you to use on subsequent days for each parent/guardian and emergency contacts. Circle one name per form indicating who the pick up person is. If someone not listed on the sign is picking up your child, please notify the school and add that person's name to one of your copies.

  3. Please have these signs and your ID ready to display on the driver's side to help us expedite the pick up process.

  4. Travel as far forward as possible along the sidewalk on your left.

  5. Stop your vehicle next to the school sidewalk.

  6. Staff members will call for your child and sign him/her out for you using a preapproved parent/guardian pickup checklist.

  7. Children will enter your vehicle on the driver's side only.

  8. Please remain in the line of cars in front of you and wait for traffic to move. Do not dart around any cars to avoid colliding with those exiting at the front of the line. Should you need to pass another car to exit, please do so with extreme caution!

  9. Continue to follow the roadway back to Main Blvd.


Change in Student Dismissal Plans

Changes in regular dismissal and parent pick up require a dated note from the parent or guardian to the classroom teacher at the beginning of the day.


Midday and end of day dismissal changes and pickup requests can be disruptive to instruction as dismissal information is confirmed early in the day.

  • If you need to make a change in your child’s dismissal plan during the day, please call the main office at 609-466-7606 before 12:15 pm. Communicating changes to the main office instead of the classroom teacher helps to ensure an organized and safe dismissal. Additionally, please contact your after school child care organization.

  • Any changes in dismissal plans received after 12:15 pm cannot be honored.


The main entrance will be inaccessible for parent pick-up between 1:15 and 1:30 p.m.


Your assistance in following these guidelines will help us and help you, keep all children and visitors safe. Thank you for your cooperation!

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Expectations for a Safe Bus Ride

Riding the bus is a privilege and students are expected to abide by the following expectations for a safe bus ride:

  • Be safe while waiting for and getting on and off the bus
    • Wait for the bus to stop completely
    • Walk instead of run
    • Be patient and maintain 6ft of distance as you and others get on and off
    • Masks must be worn while on the bus
  • Listen to the bus driver since s/he is in charge of the bus
  • Stay safe on the bus by:
    • Staying in your assigned seat
    • Buckling your seatbelt correctly
    • Sitting correctly in your seat
    • Not reaching out the window
  • Treat others with respect while riding the bus
  • Keep your bus clean and safe for everyone. Eating food on the bus is not allowed.
  • If there is a problem on the bus it is important to let the bus driver know
  • Remember that the bus driver is focused on the safety of everyone and should not be distracted while driving unless an emergency is being reported

It is preferred that all students are met by an adult at the bus stop at the end of the school day.

Please visit this link to learn more about bus transportation safety tips and expectations.


If you are new to Hybrid or your child's bus route has changed from the fall, students will received updated bus tags their day back in class.

Cold Weather and Recess

Students think with clearer brains when they have a chance to get moving. To help with this, we will be holding recess whenever the weather allows.


Please expect that we are planning for outdoor recess and dress your child accordingly. Hats, gloves, scarf, a heavy jacket and appropriate footwear are MUST HAVES!


Be sure to label your child's belongings so we can easily return lost items. Unclaimed items may be donated as appropriate.

PTA Yearbook Information

The PTA needs parents' help to make the VES Yearbook a success! Please read the communication below from the PTA regarding how to contribute pictures for the yearbook and place an order for this year's book.

Report Cards Will be Available on February 5th at 4:00 p.m.

Mid-year report cards will be available online starting February 5th at 4:00. They will be available to view, print and save.

To log in:

1. Visit https://parents.mtsd.k12.nj.us

2. Enter your username (your email address), and your password. If you forgot your password, use the "Forgot My Password" link just below the Login button. your password will be sent by email in a few minutes.


If you are unable to log in or do not have an account, please contact Jaime Velez at jvelez@mtsd.us.

Upcoming Events and Important Dates

Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday/Day of Service, Schools Closed - January 18th


Hybrid Model Start Day- January 19th


4th Grade Virtual Author: Carrie Fox, Adventures in Kindness - January 27th

More information will be shared by 4th grade classroom teachers


February is Black History Month -

Villagers will celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans through class lessons, morning news presentations and in school displays.


Virtual 4th Grade Choral Concert - February 2nd, 7:00


Report Cards Will be Live - February 5th


MES PTA Meeting - February 10th, 6:30


Staff Development and Presidents' Day- Schools Closed - February 12th and February 15th


Lunar New Year/Spring Festival - February 12th

Villagers will share and learn about the traditions of the Lunar New Year celebrations in class and during our Morning News! 2021 is the Year of the Ox!


Valentine's Day - February 14th

Stay tuned for more information about Caring and Sharing activities.


4th Grade and Mary Jacob's Library, Meet the Author Opportunity with Gordon Korman - February 24th - Stay tuned for more information.


March is Women's History Month - Villagers will celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of girls and women through class lessons, morning news presentations and in school displays.

Thank You for Supporting Our 26th Annual Young Scholars Institute Holiday Drive!