Arbor Intermediate School

March 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

Big picture

A Message from the Principal

Dear Arbor Families,

Spring has finally arrived and Arbor students are eagerly welcoming the warmer weather and events to come. We brought in March by celebrating Read Across America week. Students participated in spirit days with a new theme each day, welcomed mystery readers to their classrooms, and explored new authors and genres. Students also participated in the annual “Read-In,” when students and staff joined together in the hallways of the school to enjoy a book of their choice. This month, we were also able to welcome families during Breakfast with your Child week, Bingo Night, and the Scholastic Book Fair.

We have exciting events coming up this spring as well, including Arbor’s carnival, the Family Day sale, spring concerts, and school spirit days. I wish you and your families a relaxing and safe Spring Break, which will begin on Friday, April 7. We will see everyone back on April 17!


Mrs. O’Donnell

Counseling Corner

Today’s children are growing up in a world where there has always been the Internet. As they begin to understand the benefits of being able to access information instantaneously and connect with others, it also opens them to a whole new area of risks . Below are some tips to help families navigate the Internet safely:

  1. Educate yourself: Before you can educate your children, you must first educate yourself about social media. Learn about different social media platforms, their features, privacy settings, and potential risks.

  2. Set rules and guidelines: Establish clear rules and guidelines for social media use in your household, including when and for how long your child can use social media, which platforms they can use, and what content is appropriate.

  3. Monitor your child's activity: Keep an eye on your child's social media activity by friending or following them on social media platforms. Regularly check their posts and direct messages to ensure they are not sharing inappropriate content or engaging with strangers.

  4. Talk about online safety: Discuss online safety with your children and teach them how to protect their personal information and stay safe online. This includes not sharing personal information, avoiding strangers online, and reporting any suspicious activity.

  5. Model good behavior: Set a good example for your children by modeling responsible social media behavior.

  6. Encourage offline activities: Encourage your children to engage in offline activities, such as sports, hobbies, and spending time with friends and family. This can help balance their time and reduce the risk of excessive social media use.

Remember, social media can be a valuable tool for communication and connection, but it is important to use it responsibly and safely. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions!

Amy McLaughlin

Nurse's Corner

“Allergy Season is here!!!”

What is an allergy? An allergy (say: AL-ur-jee) is your immune system's reaction to certain plants, animals, foods, insect bites, or other things.

My Immune System? Your immune system protects you from diseases by fighting germs like bacteria and viruses. But when you have allergies, it overreacts and tries to "fight" ordinary things like grass, pollen, or certain foods.

Will I have symptoms? Allergies can cause sneezing, itchy skin, runny nose, itchy eyes and ears, hives (red, bumpy, itchy rash) and a sore throat.

Why Do Some Kids Get Allergies?

Some kids have a tendency to have allergies, which means they are more likely to get them than other kids.

Some kids get allergies through hereditary (say: huh-REH-dih-tare-ee) which means that they get their allergies from their parents or family members.

When can I get allergies? Allergies can begin when you are a baby, child, teenager or adult, although allergies often decrease in older people.

What can I do if I have allergies?

Your doctor will help find out what you is causing your allergy. Your doctor will also suggest ways to stay away from the cause of your allergy or prescribe a medicine for you to take every day or when you have symptoms.

Taking care of yourself during allergy season is a way to stay healthy!

4th and 5th Grade Academic Awards

On February 22nd and February 23rd, 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!

Read Across America Week

During the first week of March, students celebrated Read Across America. This was an opportunity for students to celebrate the joy of reading. The week included spirit days focused on themes from Dr. Seuss. The themes included "One Fish, Two Fish", "The Cat in the Hat", "Wacky Wednesday", "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Sleep Book." On Thursday, students and staff participated in a "Read-in" event. During this event, all students and staff sat in the hallway to read a book of their choosing. Throughout the month of March, and all year, we celebrate the art of reading as one of the most important skills for students, and adults, to develop and embrace.

At home, encourage your children to read every night. Some suggestions for engaging your children in reading are below:

  • Incorporate a 20 minute family reading time each day
  • Have your child read in different locations around the house- read in the bathtub, under a tree, or under a bed with a flashlight. You could create a challenge of reading in the most creative locations.
  • Create a family book club. All family members can read the same book and discuss after each chapter

Arthimetickles Assembly

On Thursday, March 9th, Arbor students enjoyed an Arthimetickles assembly. The assembly incorporated games, jokes, and student and staff participation. There was many laughs heard throughout the cafeteria as students combined math and fun! A special thanks to our PTO for organizing this experience for our students.

Breakfast with your Child and Book Fair

The Piscataway Township Education Association/NJEA PRIDE sponsored a Breakfast with your Child Week. During this week, a continental breakfast was served each morning in the cafetorium. Caretakers used this opportunity to enjoy breakfast with their child at school. It was fabulous seeing our families join in this event.

During this week, the Scholastic Book Fair was held in the library. After breakfast with their child, many caretakers were seen perusing the Book Fair. In addition, throughout the week, teachers brought their classes down to view the the books. A special thank you to our Arbor PTO and community members who volunteered to help make the Book Fair a huge success!

LEAP Storytelling Through Theatre Residency with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

As part of our LEAP (Local Enriched Academic/Arts Program) curriculum and in partnership with teaching artists at NJPAC, selected 5th grade students participated in this event. In this residency, students used their actor’s tools of body, voice and imagination to explore story, characters, and emotions. They experimented collaboratively and individually with different aspects of theater, which included pantomime, group storytelling, character voice, character physicality, gesture, and more. Over the course of the program, students will grow to better understand themselves — and others.

Big picture

Learning about Ramadan

During the month of Ramadan, many Muslim students observe the holiday. This includes prayer, fasting and celebrating with friends and family. During this month, Muslim students may choose to join the "Fasting Club" during lunch which is facilitated by Ms. Erika Vaughn and Mr. Agha Khan. In addition, these staff members presented on Ramadan at the last faculty meeting.

Check out the Ramadan bulletin board below!

Big picture

Check out the Student of the Month Recipients- February 2023

Upcoming Events

  • 4/7/23-4/14/23- Spring Break
  • 4/25/23- 4th Grade Academic Awards (8:30am)
  • 4/26/23-5th Grade Academic Awards (8:30am)
  • 4/28/23- Favorite Book Character Spirit Day
  • 5/5/23- Arbor Carnival Night (5:30pm-8:30pm)