James Monroe Newsletter

February Edition

A message from the principal

Dear James Monroe Families,

Our first month in the New Year certainly brought its challenges; however we are incredibly thankful to our staff and families for making online learning work in a pinch!

We appreciate everyone's patience and efforts to keep our community safe and healthy as we continue to navigate the pandemic. As a reminder, please monitor your children for any Covid like symptoms and do not send them to school when they are ill. When in doubt, we ask that you air on the side of caution and consider all community members when making your decision. We are always a phone call/email away if you are unsure about what to do!

Please read the newsletter for upcoming events, school protocols and procedures.

If you ever have any questions or require assistance, please don't hesitate to call or email us.


Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro, principal


Mrs. Maggie Callahan, assistant principal


February Calendar

Check out our calendar for upcoming events and days off. Don't forget the following dates!

Tuesday, February 1st- Lunar New Year

Wednesday, February 9th- Single Session Day (Staff professional development)

Monday, February 21st- President's Day

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Book Fair

Students will be visiting the Scholastic Book Fair with their class February 2nd - February 4th where they will be able to shop for books. Students may use cash or check to purchase the books or shop online using the website http://www.scholastic.com/bf/jamesmonroeelementaryschool2.

Please contact the PTO if you are interested in volunteering.

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Hearts Reunited

Students at James Monroe Elementary School are creating a mural in Mrs. Lori DeCoite's art classes entitled "Hearts Reunited", inspired by artist Cassie Stephens. Each piece of the mural is individually designed and crafted by students at James Monroe. Pieces are then being assembled to create a set of rainbow murals to be permanently displayed in the hallway. The process began when students in each grade level were given a different set of materials and used various modalities to create a heart that represented them. The patchwork collection of hearts now stands for both the uniqueness of each student as well as the collective beauty at James Monroe. After a challenging 18 months, this mural embodies the strength of the community coming back together and reuniting its love.

Super Bowl Celebration- 2/10

Maschio's is having a Super Bowl Celebration in the cafeteria on February 10th.

We will be decorating and allowing our staff to wear a Football/ Sports Jersey!

See the flyer below. Students are welcome to participate by wearing a jersey or their favorite sports teams shirt!

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Souper Bowl Canned Food Drive

Student Council News

The James Monroe Student Council finished up their Candy Gram fundraiser. Students, families, and staff all sent around candy canes with kind messages to help raise money to support specialized pediatric care in New Jersey. We raised over $700 for the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH! This month we are working on our SOUPerbowl Canned Food Drive. Let's tackle hunger! We will be collecting unexpired and non-perishable foods to donate to REPLENISH, a Middlesex County food bank. We are looking for soup, pasta, canned meals, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and peanut butter and jam. From January 31 to February 11, students can bring their items. Students will get to place their items in a collection bin and pick who they think will win the Super Bowl!
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School Spirit Wear Update

Due to the facility being temporarily closed at the end of last year (from a COVID outbreak), the orders have been delayed. We have been informed that they are awaiting a few more items and once everything is finalized, our orders will be delivered to the school and distributed to each child's homeroom to bring home. If you have any questions pertaining to your specific order, please email scholasticimpressions@gmail.com and include your order number (found in your order status email from Scholastic Impressions). Regards, James Monroe PTO Board

James Monroe PTO's Someone Special Dance

The PTO will be hosting our first Someone Special Dance on February 11th. Please see the attached flier for more information and to register by February 7th.
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Young American Poetry Society

The Young American Poetry Society is looking for entries to publish in this year’s digest. If interested, please pick up an entry form from the Library. You may return your original poems to the Library and they will be mailed in to be reviewed by their committee. They feature Haiku poetry but all forms of poetry are welcome. Poems must be 80 words or less. Poems are due to the Library by March 4th. For more information please visit www.youngpoets.org We are looking forward to seeing our creative Owls at work!

Gertrude Hawk Fundraiser

We are pleased to offer Gertrude Hawk Chocolates as part of our Fundraising program this year. All money raised will go towards our student activities. Be sure to use the James Monroe ID: 110039 when registering online.

Fundraisers starts 2/7/22 and ends 2/28/22. Delivery the week of March 28th.

See the flier below for more information!

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Wintry Weather Updates

PARKING - There is no parking on Sharp Road or in the parking lot to ensure a safe arrival and dismissal for our children unless handicap tags are presented. Please park in the surrounding neighborhood and walk. If you have a special need, please contact the school administration.

ARRIVAL - Please check the owl sign in the front window for arrival procedures daily depending on the weather/temperature. An announcement will be made as well. Students will enter the building at 8:45 a.m. on inclement weather days.


DRESS FOR PLAY - Please remember to check the weather for the need for WARM coats, gloves, scarves and hats. We will go outside for recess as long as the "real feel" is above 32 degrees for healthy fresh air and exercise! Students will also go outside for a break each day for fresh air and some release!

Covid Protocol Reminders and Updates

Close Contact Updates

We are happy to report that the close contact policy was revised last month. The policy permits remote access to those who have been close contacts to a confirmed POSITIVE person or if the child is positive. The children may access instruction remotely while awaiting PCR results or for the 5 days after the close contact. Please see this chart for direction.

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Lessons Learned

The days of just "monitoring" your child for a day or two and then sending them back to school are gone for the time being.

If your child is showing symptoms, a PCR test is in order. Many of our students who tested positive after Thanksgiving were kept home for a day and then sent to school only to be sent to the nurse and turn out to be positive exposing everyone around them.

These are some the signs of COVID as experienced by our students - NOTE, some only had one symptom:

  • headache
  • nausea/stomach ache
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • congestion

While fully vaccinated students/staff are permitted to attend after being in close contact with a COVID positive individual, considering there are many break through cases, it is always a good idea to get a PCR test on days 5, 6 or 7 after exposure to that person.

Covid Reporting

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

James Monroe Parent Handbook

Open here to access information about James Monroe School.