Welcome Back!

September 2015

Dr. Jeffery Zito, Principal Ms. Andrea Cimino, Assistant Principal

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Year!

From Marylou, Sally, Tom, Rich, John, Don, Jay, Andrea and Jeff

Welcome New Staff!


Andrea and I will continue to have an open door policy, which means if you have any questions or concerns, please see us right away. Many problems can be solved easily when lines of communication remain open.

If you have a concern that you wish to keep confidential, please see your building representatives. Tom Ettari is the Main Potter Building Rep. He will direct you on the way to solve your problems.

I encourage you all to see us personally, however if you find there is a problem that affects the entire staff, Principal’s Liaison is a way to help you solve the problem. Principal’s Liaison must be followed in this manner for you to be heard by the principal.

  1. Any issues should be put in writing to a member of the Principal’s Liaison Committee with the concern and the staff person’s name.

  2. All submissions will remain anonymous to the principal, however no anonymous issues in writing will be entertained by the Principal’s Liaison Committee.

  3. The Committee will review all submitted concerns to determine whether they are eligible to be reviewed with the principal at a formal Principal’s Liaison Meeting.

  4. The Committee will either inform the staff member that the issue is not a Principal’s Liaison Concern or the issue will be discussed at the next meeting.

At no time will an anonymous concern be entertained by the Committee Members. All submissions will remain anonymous to the principal.

Remember, concerns for Principal’s Liaison are not concerns that only affect one teacher or one group of teachers. Principal’s Liaison is for H & M Potter School Improvement concerns.

Realtime Lesson Plans

Lesson plans will be reviewed weekly for all certified staff. All Lesson Plans must be completed in our Student Information System (Realtime) we will be reviewing lesson plans THE BEGINNING OF EACH WEEK by checking them on Realtime. Teachers: Please make sure that your lesson plans are easy for a substitute to follow!

Substitute Lesson Plans

Each teacher will receive a substitute folder. All teachers are responsible for completing the substitute folders by the end of September. Extra work should also be inserted into the folder in case of an emergency

Substitute Folders will be checked for completion. there have been instances where it was necessary for the substitute to have information and the teachers were not prepared because of a last minute emergency.

Classroom Decorations

Please remember that we are not supposed to block the view across the classroom. If you are hanging items in the classroom please make sure that they do not obstruct the view across the room. Classroom decorations should be kept up-to-date. Faded and ripped decorations should be removed and student’s work should be displayed throughout the room and in the hallways. One of our school objectives is to have the students’ writing meaningfully and often. Displaying examples of student work is an excellent way to showcase their talents.

Leaving Your Classroom

It is important to remember to tell the office if you are taking your classroom outside or to another classroom. Parents sometimes come to pick up their children and the office needs to know where to find these students at all times.

Morning Announcements

Time has been allotted in the schedule for morning announcements. Each morning, students from our fourth grade classes will be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and reporting the morning announcements. Trivia winners will also be called. The first week of school please say the Pledge in your classroom as we will be setting up the set for Morning Announcements.

Medical Information

Please visit Mrs. Olsen our Nurse with your class list prior to the start of school to discuss any medical concerns for students in your class, i.e.: visual or hearing difficulties or food allergies. The classroom placement cards should be marked with “medical concerns” if the child had any medical issues. Please see Dr. Zito or Ms. Cimino with any questions as soon as possible.

Class Discussion Items

To insure that pupils have an understanding of their responsibilities, please discuss your rules and expectations for them in the following areas:

  1. Hallway quiet zones

  2. Courtesy within the school

  3. Cafeteria rules and behavior

  4. Playground behavior and the proper use of playground equipment

  5. Fire drill/emergency procedures: to walk silently in the hallway, what exit to use, where to stand outside, what to do if the child loses the classroom teacher.

  6. Lavatory usage: children use the bathrooms one at a time and use a sign out book

  7. Review the district discipline policy regarding bullying and threats

  8. The care of textbooks and materials. All books must remain covered.

  9. There will be no perfect attendance again this year.

Classroom Cameras

Each grade level has been given a camera, a Flip Video Camera AND A BATTERY CHARGER with the wires to download. It is each grade level's responsibility to keep the camera in working order. At the end of the year it is the responsibility of the grade level to return a working camera and Flip Video Camera at the end of the year.

PTA and Pictures

The PTA would like each grade level to capture pictures throughout the year for them to put into the yearbook. There have not been enough pictures in the past for them to use and they are scrambling at the end of the year to get enough pictures. Please send Marylou the camera or email her pictures from time to time so that we can keep the PTA up to date with pictures for the yearbook.

Daily Schedule

A master list of all grade level schedules has been distributed to all staff members. These time blocks must be followed due to the implementation of special education mandates and the basic skills program. If there is a conflict or problem with the time blocks, please see us as soon as possible.

Breakfast Program

  • Kindergarteners will go to the line in the cafeteria while they arrive. First Graders will be escorted by the Breakfast Aides to the Cafeteria after they check into their homeroom.

  • 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders will check in at their homeroom and then go to the All Purpose Room, pick up their breakfast.

Cafeteria Information

Whenever your class will not be in attendance during a scheduled lunch period, (field trip; etc.) please be sure to notify the cafeteria staff the day before your scheduled class absence. Providing this information to the cafeteria will aid in determining the number of meals to prepare for that day.

Kindergarten and First Grade Teachers

Please make sure that your students are clearly labeled with their names for the first month of school. This will help to expedite the process at lunch time.

Student Absences


Student absences are to be carefully monitored by the classroom teacher. Any student returning from an absence is required to bring a note from the guardian or parent explaining the reason for the absence. MEDICAL NOTES WRITTEN BY A PHYSICIAN ARE TO BE SENT DIRECTLY TO MRS. OLSEN AND PLACED ON FILE. Teachers should make Mrs. Olsen aware of any student who is absent for three or more days so that she can monitor the situation. Notes should be sent to Mrs. Olsen DAILY.

Staff Absences

Aesop will be used for all absences. The number for Aesop is in this packet and you have been given a login and password. For the same day absence, if you call after 7:00 AM call Dr. Zito on his cell phone (732) 299-8734 or Ms. Cimino on her cell phone (732) 300-6334.

General Supplies

Teachers are to submit supply orders to Mr. Tom on a monthly basis. Teachers who submitted supply requisitions to Mr. Tom prior to summer vacation should have received their forms and orders to their classrooms. Blank classroom supply requisitions can be picked up at the main office. There are some changes to the supply requisition order, please review the changes.

MR. TOM HAS THE RIGHT TO DENY SUPPLIES IF THEY ARE BEING ABUSED OR IF THE SUPPLY CLOSET IS LOW. Supplies come directly from our teaching supplies fund and are not unlimited. In the past we have run out and some items are too costly to replace.

Textbooks/Curricular Needs

If additional materials are needed, send a note to the main office with the name of the text/material and quantity needed.

IEP Review for All Teachers

Please review your class list, and log in to Realtime to read each student's IEP. This is for all teachers who see the child (homeroom, special area, etc.). When you log into that child’s information on Realtime you are to click on the IEP TAB and acknowledge that you read the IEP. If you do not by the end of the marking period a letter from the Director of Special Education will be sent to you.

Intervention and Referral Services

State Law regarding I & RS Code (Excerpt)

6A:16-7.2 Functions of intervention and referral services:

(a) The functions of the system of intervention and referral services in each school building shall be to:

Identify learning, behavior and health difficulties of students;

  • Collect thorough information on the identified learning, behavior and health difficulties;

  • Develop and implement action plans which provide for appropriate school or community interventions or referrals to school and community resources, based on the collected data and desired outcomes for the identified learning, behavior and health difficulties;

  • Provide support, guidance, and professional development to school staff who identify learning, behavior and health difficulties;

  • Provide support, guidance, and professional development to school staff who participate in each building’s system for planning and providing intervention and referral services;

  • Actively involve parents or guardians in the development and implementation of intervention and referral services action plans;

  • Coordinate the access to and delivery of school resources and services for achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral services action plans;

  • Coordinate the services of community-based social and health provider agencies and other community resources for achieving the outcomes identified in the intervention and referral services action plans;

  • Maintain records of all requests for assistance and all intervention and referral services action plans, according to the requirements of 34 CFR Part 98, 34 CFR Part 99, 42 CFR Part II, N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-7.1, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-3.2, and N.J.A.C 6:3-2.1;

  • Review and assess the effectiveness of the provisions of each intervention and referral services action plan in achieving the outcomes identified in each action plan and modify each action plan to achieve the outcomes, as appropriate; and

  • At a minimum, annually review the intervention and referral services action plans and the actions taken as a result of the building’s system of intervention and referral services and make recommendations to the principal for improving school programs and services, as appropriate.

I & RS is for teachers who have tried all ideas to help a child and who need extra assistance. Children will be individually assessed and evaluated based on their needs. Not all recommended students will be submitted for meetings. The Core Team and the Principal/Assistant Principal will discuss the students once a month to determine whether or not a child will be placed on the list for I & RS Meetings.

The Intervention and Referral Service (I & RS) will be held once a month or more if needed. A schedule is included in the virtual teacher binder. Please take notes of the dates and plan accordingly. If you would like to discuss a non-classified student with I & RS please see me and I will supply you with the appropriate forms.

No names will be placed on the list of students to be reviewed by the I &RS Team until a meeting with the teachers involved and Dr. Zito/Ms. Cimino and accommodations have been implemented.

** If you feel a student is a possible retention candidate, the student must be brought to I & RS by the end of the second marking period. **

Intervention and referral services will begin starting in October on Realtime. The program will be demonstrated to all regular education staff in September.

504 Plans

All students who have 504 Plans have been identified on class lists. These plans should be reviewed prior to school starting. The 504 Plans will be transferred to Realtime and will be online for the homeroom teachers to view.

Special Dates/Classroom Events

Please refer to the district calendar and school calendar before scheduling field trips. Be sure to avoid scheduling dates that conflict with special events.

All classroom or grade level events will be scheduled before that grade’s lunch period in an attempt to keep order in the attendance of the students. All Extra Curricular Events are welcomed, however must be approved by the Principal before they are scheduled.

Smoking Areas

Smoking is not permitted in the school or on school grounds – as per Board Policy #3515.

Berkeley Township School District Policy 3282: Use of Social Networking Sites

The Board of Education has a strong commitment to quality education and the well-being of all pupils, as well as the preservation of the school district’s reputation. The Board believes staff members must establish and maintain public trust and confidence and be committed to protecting all pupils attending the school district. In support of the Board’s strong commitment to the public’s trust and confidence, the Board holds all staff members to the highest level of professional responsibility.

The Commissioner of Education has determined inappropriate conduct outside a staff member’s professional responsibilities may determine them as unfit to discharge the duties and functions of their position. Staff members should be advised communications, publications, photographs, and other information appearing on social networking sites deemed inappropriate by the Board could be cause for dismissal of a non-tenured staff member or to certify tenure charges against a tenured staff member to the Commissioner of Education.

Staff members are advised to be concerned and aware such conduct deemed inappropriate may include, but is not limited to, communications and/or publications using e-mails, text-messaging, social networking sites, or any other form of electronic communication that is directed and/or available to pupils or for public display or publication.

While the Board respects the right of staff members to use social networking sites, staff members should recognize they are held to a higher standard than the general public with regard to standards of conduct and ethics. It is important that a staff member’s use of these sites does not damage the reputation of the school district, employees, pupils, or their families. Staff members who utilize, post or publish images, photographs, or comments on social networking sites, blogs, or other forms of electronic communication outside their professional responsibilities shall ensure their use, postings, or publications are done with an appropriate level of professionalism and are appropriate conduct for a school staff member. Staff members should exercise care in setting appropriate boundaries between their personal and public online behavior, understanding that what is private in the digital world often has the possibility of becoming public even without their knowledge or consent.

The school district strongly encourages all staff members to carefully review the privacy settings on social networking sites they use and exercise care and good judgment when posting content and information on such sites. Staff members should adhere to the following guidelines, which are consistent with the district’s workplace standards on harassment, pupil relationships, conduct, professional communication, and confidentiality.

When using personal social networking sites, school staff members:

  1. Should not make statements that would violate any of the district’s policies, including its policies concerning discrimination or harassment;
  2. Must uphold the district’s value of respect for the individual and avoid making defamatory statements about the school district, employees, pupils, or their families;
  3. May not disclose any confidential information about the school district or confidential information obtained during the course of his/her employment, about any individual(s) or organization, including pupils and/or their families;
  4. Shall not use social networking sites to post any materials of a sexually graphic nature;
  5. Shall not use social networking sites to post any materials which promote violence;
  6. Shall not use social networking sites which would be detrimental to the mission and function of the district;
  7. Are prohibited from using their school district title as well as adding references to the district in any correspondence including, but not limited to, e-mails, postings, blogs, and social networking sites unless the communication is of an official nature and is serving the mission of the district. This prohibition also includes signature lines and personal e-mail accounts;
  8. Shall not post updates to their status on any social networking sites during normal working hours including posting of statements or comments on the social networking sites of others during school time unless it involves a school project. Employees must seek approval from the Superintendent of Schools for such use; and
  9. Shall not post or publish any information the Commissioner of Education would deem to be inappropriate conduct by a school staff member.

The Policy of this district is to maintain a level of professionalism both during and after the school day. Any publication through any means of electronic communication which is potentially adverse to the operation, morale, or efficiency of the district, will be deemed a violation of this Policy. If the Board or Superintendent believes that a staff member’s activity on any social networking site violates the district’s policies, the Board or Superintendent may request that the employee cease such activity. Depending on the severity of the incident, the staff member may be subject to disciplinary action.

This Policy has been developed and adopted by this Board to provide guidance and direction to staff members on how to avoid actual and/or the appearance of inappropriate conduct toward pupils and/or the community while using social networking sites.

Adopted: January 2013

Berkeley Township School District Policy for Staff Member Usage of Cellular Telephones- Policy 4322

The Berkeley Township Board of Education recognizes a school teaching staff member may need to make a personal telephone call during their workday when the telephone call cannot be made before the staff member reports to work and/or after the staff member’s workday has concluded.

In the event the staff member has an occasion to make a personal telephone call during their workday, and the telephone call is of such a nature that it cannot be made before the staff member’s workday begins or after the workday has concluded, the school staff member may make a personal telephone call using their personal cellular telephone during the workday provided the telephone call is made during the staff member’s duty free lunch or break periods and/or preparation periods for teaching staff and is made outside the presence of pupils in an area inside the school building designated by the staff member’s Building Principal or immediate supervisor.

A personal telephone call by a school staff member on their personal cellular telephone shall not be made while the staff member is performing assigned school district responsibilities.

In the event the staff member has an emergency requiring immediate attention that requires the personal use of their personal cellular telephone, the teaching staff member shall inform their Building Principal or immediate supervisor before or immediately after using the cellular telephone, depending on the nature of the emergency.

At no other time should a personal cell phone be turned on other than provided in this Policy.

Adopted: 21 October 2008

Sign In Procedures

All teaching staff members should sign in daily (when present) using the scanner in the mail room. This is your responsibility, and failure to do so might result in inaccurate attendance and payroll records.

Copy Machines/Laminators

Copies should be made in the copy room next to the media center. The office copier should only be used in emergency. Copies made in the office are more expensive.

Each Teacher has been given a COPY CODE which must be used. The aides will not be given a copy code. They are to use the code for the teacher for whom they are making copies.

IMPORTANT: If you are unsure of the operation of the copier machine please ask someone in the main office to help you.

Laminators will be located in the copy room and Room 216.

When using the laminator follow the following procedures:

  • Keep watch of the film as it exits the machine. If the film gets cut too short it will become lodged in the machine.

  • Be careful not to run the laminator too low. Running the film too low makes it difficult to replace.

  • Call the office for Justin if you are having problems with the machine.

  • We have ordered 10 refills for the laminator for the year. Please be sparing when using the laminating machine.


If you lose or damage your iPad you will be responsible for the full replacement cost of the iPad, Otterbox cover and Apple Care Plan. The cost does not depreciate.

Press Coverage/Social Media

We always need good press. If you are having a special event please email Ms. Cimino a picture with a small statement of what is happening in the picture or of the event and she will submit it to the newspapers/Twitter/Instagram. Please CC Sue Orlowsky if you would like your picture to appear on Facebook.

Movies in the Classroom

Although there is educational value in using a multi-sensory approach to learning; the use of showing movies in the classroom must be limited to enhance time on task. Therefore, the following administrative directive will be in effect. Teachers who are showing a video must first receive permission from the principal; it is at the discretion of the Principal to approve the movies shown. At no time will teachers use videos as a part of a behavior reward system.

Candy in the Classroom

Students are not to be given candy or any food where the first ingredient is sugar. This includes any behavior plans so make sure that you prepare your classroom rules accordingly. Chocolate however can be given and this does not include treats brought in by parents for birthdays or special occasions.

Field Trips

Please check with Mrs. Fitzpatrick when creating a class trip. All trips must be on the list of approved trips. Please work with Sally on dates.

Please also inform Mrs. Olsen of any trips at least two weeks in advance so that she can assess medical needs.

Principal's Detention and Homebound

If you are interested in being paid for doing one (1) hour of after school detention (3:45pm - 4:45pm) or in homebound instruction, please fill out the Google Form in your Virtual Teacher Binder, link is below.

Greeting Students

We all agree that we are deciding factor in the classroom. We have the ability to set the tone for the day each day. Please make sure that you are at your door greeting your students every day. Please make sure they are greeted with a smile and a friendly hello.

Playground Circulation

Potter School understands the need for control on the playground. We have implemented the organized recess program for a couple of years now. Organized recess drastically lowers the instances of injuries on the playground. As a staff it is our responsibility to watch diligently for students on the playground. Please continue to monitor certain areas of the playground to ensure that we are watching the students. At no point are teachers to be congregated on the playground talking.

Parent Contact

During the first week of school I am asking all teachers to contact all parents. Here is a link to the Todd Whitaker article where it discusses exactly what to say and do when contacting a parent. Please review this before calling home to a parent. http://is.gd/wqVGXv

I am also asking that you call parents first before sending a child to us for small infractions such as calling out or not raising their hand. Once you call a parent, if a behavior continues, please send the child to the office.


After the safeties are put in place, kindergarten students will be dismissed from the APR at 3:10 pm at the first bell. Please make sure that all other grades (1-4) remain until the second bell at 3:15 pm.

Items to Remember/Review

  • Paper discipline referrals will no longer be accepted. All referrals can be made through Realtime.
  • Review the Back to School Night schedule and contact the office immediately if there are any concerns.
  • Grade level reps are needed for PTA, NWEA (K-4), School Security and ScIP. Please send Andrea your grade level reps by the end of Wednesday or they will be assigned.


  • Dream Machine - We able to win again this year. Lisa will be in charge for the PTA.

  • Box Tops for Education - Please remind parents of all of this on Back to School Night.

  • Shop A Roo - download the app!

  • Target Red Card - 5 % goes to Potter if you choose.

  • Haunted House

  • Auction