Principal's Update 2020 - 2021

October

Our First Month

We have made it through (almost) our first month of school, and did so fully virtually! This was truly a team effort and we applaud all of our caregivers who navigated technology and successfully got their children onto google meets, completed assignments in Seesaw and Google Classroom and navigated many new applications!


While more changes are upon us, with Hybrid school beginning October 19th we are proud of the work and progress our staff, students and families have made during this month. More information will be coming regarding the Hybrid Model, transportation, safety procedures and schedules.


The school's website will serve as a source of communication as well as our monthly newsletters, email blasts and phone calls to keep you updated on safety information, return to school and hybrid plans, exciting school-wide events and school news.


There are many school-wide community building events this month that we hope you and your children will support including Week of Respect and a Virtual Pumpkin Decorating Contest! Please consider joining our PTO. Your involvement is crucial to our students success.



Warmly,


Mrs. Margaret Callahan, assistant principal and Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro, principal

margaret.callahan@edison.k12.nj.us and cyndi.tufaro@edison.k12.nj.us

October Calendar

Please refer to this calendar for upcoming school events, days off and PTO fundraisers!

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Week of Respect!

New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act designates the first week in October each year as a “Week of Respect”. James Monroe will be celebrating the Week of Respect with a variety of daily themes and activities. Teachers will be leading classroom discussions on what respect looks like and sounds like. The week will end with a school spirit day to show that while we are all different, we can come together as a school community. At home, you too can help spread kindness and respect by talking to your children about these very important topics. It’s a fun way to get involved.
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Parent Support Group

Last week on Thursday, September 24th we hosted our first Parent Support Group. We had a great turnout and shared resources on the following topics:


  • Remote Learning Organization
  • Screen Fatigue
  • Remote Learning Anxiety


Here is the video recording from the session if you were unable to make it. Additionally we have shared links below to some of the resources that we shared during the presentation.


Whether you were able to join us or not on Thursday, please complete this survey with feedback regarding the format and topics for future Parent Support Group meetings.


Resources:

Here is the PDF presentation from the Parent Support Group Meeting


Try this app to help with transitions


Great article about helping your child with Screen Fatigue


Here is the Daily Sample Schedule


How to Cope With an Anxious Child | Anxiety in Children


Helping Your Anxious Child or Teen | Here to Help


These online learning tips will help parents prepare for a successful school year, even if it is virtual.

5th Graders Lead our Morning Announcements

As part of our daily routine to start each morning, our 5th graders in Mrs. Romeo's class have reintroduced the morning tradition of leading us through the Pledge of Allegiance, the Monroe Motto, sharing a fun fact and reciting an inspirational quote of the day! The video is shown in our virtual classrooms and brings our community together to start our day off with a very special greeting! Thank you to Michael, Ja'Honi, Olivia and Ana for taking the lead. We look forward to these messages each morning!
Morning Message 9.18

PTO Updates & Spiritwear!


  • Our first PTO meeting for the 20-21 school year will be held virtually on October 13th at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend! We will send out an invitation and link to attend the online meeting.

  • Please support our PTO and school by becoming a member. All parents are welcome to join and your ideas, support and participation are encouraged. Parental involvement supports many additional school events and activities that improve your child's experience while attending James Monroe School. Membership is $10 for your family. This year, we have several options for making your monetary contribution including Venmo, mailing a check and emailing your membership form. You may also drop off forms at the school. Please complete the membership form which can be found HERE.

  • Looking to order your very own James Monroe t-shirt or hoodie? The PTO is selling spirit wear through November 15th! Click HERE to place your order online!

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PTO Fundraiser - Earn a FREE Roll of Wrapping Paper

We hope you will help our school fundraising goal by considering purchasing items from the Charleston Wrap Store Catalog. This is one of our largest fundraisers and a significant percentage of the sales goes back to the school. Even if you are not going to purchase any items, please consider sending a shopping invite to 10 of your friends or family members and you can earn a free roll of heavy duty wrapping paper. See directions below.


1) Please visit charlestonwrapstore.com/non-school-registration.php to register today! Use our ORGANIZATION ID 19902 to register!
2) Send 10 unique and valid shopping email invites to your friends & family using our invite tool at registration.
3) Once you've sent 10 emails, a gift card will be emailed to you for your FREE roll of Charleston Wrap®’s UltraHeavy™ gift wrap with the purchase of any item.


Will you take a few minutes and register now at charlestonwrapstore.com/non-school-registration.php?

Thank you so much for your support!
James Monroe Elementary School PTO

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Shop our Book Fair starting Oct. 19th!

Our James Monroe library and Reading Specialist was able to purchase hundreds of books for our school collection using money earned from the Scholastic Book Fairs! Thank you for supporting our readers!


Even though we are remote or hybrid, students can shop for books online using this link starting October 19th! Free shipping on orders over $25.

https://www.scholastic.com/bf/jamesmonroeelementaryschool1

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October- Virtual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Our Pumpkin Decorating Contest is bound to be loads of Fall fun and a great way to connect reading, creativity and design! Here is how it works!


Please complete all of the steps.


1. Choose a character from your favorite story and decorate a pumpkin in their likeness.


2. Show us your pumpkin by recording yourself on the Flipgrid Grade level link by hitting the red circle with the camera image. You must login using your Edison email address.


Kindergarten - https://flipgrid.com/9da685e0

First Grade - https://flipgrid.com/944159c3

Second Grade - https://flipgrid.com/70e97977

Third Grade - https://flipgrid.com/07730931

Fourth Grade - https://flipgrid.com/4986c5e5

Fifth Grade - https://flipgrid.com/fbf1937f


3. Please introduce yourself by telling us your name and your teacher's name.


4. Don't forget to tell us the name of the character and what story they are from.


5. After you submit your response, check out other students' pumpkins and give at least 2 people positive feedback with a comment or a like.


Have fun!

*All posts and comments will be monitored by James Monroe Staff members. If you see something inappopriate please email Kelly.Pedana@edison.k12.nj.us to alert her of any issues.
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If you missed Back to School Night..

Click HERE for Mrs. Tufaro and Mrs. Callahan's Back to School Night presentation and great resources for families looking for how to help their child with SeeSaw and Google Classroom!

Technology Updates for the 20-21 School Year


  • Looking for how to login to your child's device? Check out these helpful videos to guide you with Classlink and setting up the iPad and Chromebook HERE.

  • New students should contact the school to receive a district issued device.

  • The help desk can aid in any technology issues. Please use this email if you should need assistance: help.desk@edison.k12.nj.us or visit this website for information about wifi and how to schedule an appointment for repairs.

  • We recommend purchasing optional insurance for the device which will cover all repairs and replacements for the entire year (including this summer) July 1 2020 through June 30, 2021. For information on optional insurance, click here.

COVID-19 Child Care Financial Support

Please visit the link below to find out if you qualify to receive NJ State assistance for childcare related to COVID-19. Please note the school is not affiliated in anyway to this program, we are sharing as a helpful resource. Please follow the link to find out more information.


https://www.childcarenj.gov/COVID19

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Nurse Newsletter


This is a new school year that will prove to be very unique in many ways. In preparation of the return to in-person classes:

  1. VACCINATIONS AND PHYSICALS PAST DUE - Students who are new to James Monroe School, have immunization and physical examination requirements to fulfill within 30 days of enrollment in Edison Township school district. If you have not submitted these to the health office, please note that “The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) will not waive any vaccine requirements nor will there be any extensions for the upcoming school year. Students will be expected to comply with all vaccine requirements prior to attending virtually or in-person at a New Jersey school.” All required vaccinations and physical examinations that have not been submitted must be received October 19, 2020, regardless of in-school or remote instruction. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in your student being excluded from school until such time that missing requirements are handed in to the school nurse.


  1. EMERGENCY CONTACTS - Please be sure to have at least 1-2 persons noted as emergency contacts in case your child is ill or injured during school hours. These emergency contacts should be family members; neighbors or friends who have a car and can pick up your child quickly and take them to your home, to their house, or to the doctor if needed. If you receive a call to pick up your child, pick up must be in UNDER 30 MINUTES. The pandemic has understandably necessitated a speedier discharge of possibly Covid-19 positive students. This is to avoid exposures to illnesses both TO your child and FROM your child to others. Also, when your child is ill he/she is usually very uncomfortable and appreciates receiving the care and rest he/she needs right away.

3. ILLNESS PREVENTION - Please do NOT send your student to school with ANY SYMPTOMS OF

ILLNESS including, but not limited to:


  • Fever of 100*F or above, within the last 24 hours (must be fever free without medication)

  • Vomiting or Diarrhea within the last 24 hours

  • Continuous coughing not relieved with cough medicine

  • Strep Throat – student may return 24 hours after starting antibiotics

  • Please check with your doctor or me about other illnesses

  • Please remember to notify me and/or the front office if your child has a contagious illness!


If your child is sick but a healthcare provider tells you that your child doesn’t have COVID-19, your child may still need to stay home for some time. Before bringing your child back to school or other in-person activities, discuss your child’s illness with their healthcare provider and review school policies with the school nurse regarding when a student who has been sick can return.


4. GYM RESTRICTIONS -

If your student/s had any medical restrictions last school year for physical activity in gym and/or recess programs, please provide the updated documentation from the doctor if it is to remain the same. This includes injuries involving splints, casts, reduced activity due to injuries or chronic documented medical condition, etc.


5. SEASONAL ALLERGIES OR SEVERE FOOD ALLERGIES -

If your student cannot take outside recess for any reason such as severe seasonal allergies, or needs to sit at the allergen free table during meals or snack time in class, please submit a parent note or email me for this at kathleen.sclafani@edison.k12.nj.us.


6. ASTHMA, SEVERE FOOD ALLERGY, SEIZURE DISORDER, DIABETES -

Remember to provide asthma treatment plans, severe allergy treatment plans, seizure action plans, diabetic treatment plans yearly and physical examinations if not done in the last 2-3 years. Please let me know if you need medication forms for your student who requires medications dispensed from the nurses office during school hours, e.g., ADHD meds, analgesics for headaches, eye drops, etc., if not included in the aforementioned treatment plans.


7. MEDICATION DROP-OFF -

Please contact me to arrange the drop off of medications that will be needed in school for any reason. There are new rules for visitors which will restrict your entry to the building, so communication is necessary and you will be asked to sign a drop-off sheet. All medications require a doctor's form as mentioned above and must be in their original, up-to-date pharmacy labeled containers. Students are not permitted to transport medications, these MUST be dropped off by a parent with the paperwork. Please do not send the paperwork in separately, it must accompany the medication to be registered in the computer.



8. HELPFUL TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHYplease review these with your student/s:

  • Frequent hand washing is the BEST way to prevent and combat the spread of germs!! Wash hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer (Pro Tip – sing the Happy Birthday Song twice to wash long enough)

  • Cover coughs & sneezes with a tissue that you throw away, or use an elbow or arm if no tissue is available. Please practice and role-play this scenario with your child.

  • Do not share drinks, food or unwashed utensils.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible.

  • Get plenty of rest, regular exercise, eat healthy foods, and drink lots of water and healthy drinks (soda does not count!).

  • Avoid people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

  • Disinfect surfaces that are prone to germs (ex. Phones, keyboards, doorknobs, toothbrushes).

  • A flu shot is your best protection against getting the flu! Make sure to get your own flu vaccination, as well as your student’s flu vaccination at the physician’s office. The goal is for the whole family to be healthy so as not to spread illnesses back and forth and not be vulnerable to Covid-19.

  • Please also visit www.flu.gov for more information on the flu season and vaccines. 1-800-CDC-INFO is another vital source of information.

Here are some website to help guide you in your quest for proper health information during the pandemic:

Thank you for your cooperation and consideration of others when your student might be contagious. We must work together to help our children get the best education they can, in the safest and healthiest environment possible.

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About Us...

Students are conducting remote learning until October 19th. Please email or call the school should you need to reach us.