Normandy Park School

Week of January 11th

Thank you all for your support in helping us transition back from winter break last week for both in-person and all-virtual instruction. I truly value and appreciate your continued partnership!

Last week, as a school, we reviewed and discussed the data from the family virtual learning surveys. Accordingly, we identified strengths, as wells as areas where growth is still needed. We set goals to continue to improve upon our practices. Thank you to all for providing honest feedback.

MSD will continue to share important information on the Coronavirus Update Center and on our MSD Forward pages. Please know that I am here to help and support in any way that I can. Feel free to reach out to me directly at

Let’s Talk About Race, Equity and Inclusion

This part of the newsletter will have a question or a topic for you to discuss with your child(ren). This can be done on the way to school, on the way to sports practice, before dinner, at bedtime, etc.

Each week there will be a “something to think about” question and a “something to talk about” question. The “something to think about question” is for you as a parent to reflect on for yourself. The “something to talk about” question is for you to discuss with your child. These exercises are meant to stimulate a conversation on race, equity and inclusion in America.

Week Seventeen

Parent Reflection: Do you remember learning any stereotypes when you were younger? Are there stereotypes that you still hear or see through the media? What ones do you find yourself returning to and still ascribing some truth to? Why do you think it is so hard to let go of certain stereotypes? Check out the link below to hear a wonderful TED talk about stereotypes called “The Danger of a Single Story”:

Child Question: The next time you are watching TV or engaging in some other form of media, be on the lookout for stereotypes and point them out to your child. While stereotypes are still often portrayed today, they are easier to see in old TV shows and movies. Have a discussion with your child about why stereotyping is harmful and can cause someone to have a biased view of an entire group of people.

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We will be sharing community activities, including cultural arts programs and fundraising events in the next few weeks. We look forward to sharing them with you soon!

- The NPS Board

2021 MLK Day of Service "A Day On, Not A Day Off"

Message from NPS Family:

For this year's Martin Luther King National Day of Service, we are working with Bridges Outreach to collect and assemble hygiene and cold bags to aid those most in need in our communities. Please sign up at for either complete bags or to contribute what you can and we are happy to assemble!

Bridges ends homelessness through volunteer-driven outreach and individual case management focusing on health, housing and independence. Volunteering unites Americans of all ages and backgrounds to build stronger communities. This MLK Day of Service, join others in giving back through service.

Please be sure to include your email address in the sign-up and we will reply within 24 hours with the address for drop-off. Drop-off deadline is Friday, 22 January 2021. Email: with any questions.

And thank you

iReady Testing (Begins 1/19/2021)

Next week, our school will begin administering the i-Ready® Diagnostic assessment. i-Ready Diagnostic helps teachers to effectively assess their students and then provide individualized instruction based on each student’s unique needs. i-Ready Diagnostic assesses the following skill areas:


• Phonological Awareness

• Phonics

• High-Frequency Words

• Vocabulary

• Comprehension


• Number and Operations

• Algebra and Algebraic Thinking

• Measurement and Data

• Geometry

i-Ready Diagnostic begins by giving students an adaptive assessment in reading and math. An adaptive assessment is a test that automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions according to each student’s performance in order to determine his or her abilities in reading or math. i-Ready is a very different kind of test that presents students with questions that can be both too easy and too hard. It is designed to do this until the assessment finds exactly the level at which the student is performing. Therefore, your child will certainly see some items above his or her level. Your child will be encouraged to independently complete the test to the best of his or her ability, and know that it is okay to get questions wrong.

Each time a student gets an item incorrect, he or she will be presented with a simpler question until the diagnostic finds the grade level at which the student is performing. The assessment efficiently assesses students across multiple grade levels, allowing for identification of root causes of students’ struggles or for identification of areas where a student is ready for further challenge. This information will then provide the teacher with a “road map” to instructional remediation.

Once your child completes the test, he or she will be assigned online instruction to support his or her progress in mastering each skill. i-Ready Diagnostic supports the teachers and administrators at your child’s school. The program provides a series of comprehensive reports designed to make classroom instruction more effective. These reports include data about student performance as well as detailed teaching suggestions. They help educators make informed decisions about the instruction that is right for your child.

Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s teacher. For more information on i-Ready Diagnostic, please visit the Morris School District website:

What can I do to help?

To help prepare your child for the i-Ready Diagnostic, encourage them to:

  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat a full breakfast the day of the assessment.

  • Try their best on each question and try not to rush.

  • Try not to worry about questions they do not know—remind them that it is expected they will only get about half of the questions correct.

  • Be respectful of other students who take longer to finish

This is the second iReady diagnostic assessment of the year for Gr. 1st through 5th. This is the first iReady diagnostic assessment of the year for our Kindergarten students.

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Message from Ms. Cohen:

I will continue to host the optional daily lunch groups for all virtual students from 12-12:30. It’s a way to check in, play some games and have some social time with friends from other classes. The third grade lunch has been combined with 4th grade on Mondays so 3rd graders can see some of their peers from last year!

Lunch groups are as follows:

Mondays: 3rd and 4th

Tuesdays: Kindergarten

Wednesdays: 1st grade

Thursdays: 2nd grade

I will continue to host the virtual 5th grade social group on Thursdays from 2:30-3.

This month's class lessons will follow the questions posed in the principal’s newsletter from week 4 on prejudice and bias:

Do you know what it means to be prejudiced? (Prejudice is an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. Any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable, is prejudice. Prejudice also consists of unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group). Have you ever seen anyone be prejudiced towards a friend or classmate? Has anyone ever been prejudiced against you? Encourage your child to share their experiences and their feelings.

As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Cheryl Cohen

973-889-7960 x6115

Access to Virtual Instruction for Student Enrolled for In-Person Instruction

*When NPS is open for in-person instruction:

My child has to quarantine. Can they stream into class?

For students attending in person classes, access to virtual instruction is for absences over an extended period of time due to quarantining or an extenuating circumstance. In this case, access to virtual instruction will consist of a combination of streaming, completion of Google Classroom activities, and teacher check-in(s).

My child is sick. Can they stream into the class?

No, if your child is home sick for a few days they will be considered to have an excused absence due to illness. Students are encouraged to rest.

*Please note, access to virtual instruction for in-person students needs to be approved by the principal and/or nurse. Please reach out to me with any additional questions at

Travel and Quarantine Updates

Please note revised requirements following travel outside our immediate region (that is, to anywhere other than NY, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Delaware):

  • For students: Contact the school nurse and quarantine for 14 days; no test is required.

Thank you for your cooperation and diligence in reporting symptoms, exposure, and travel to our school nurses. Your transparency and honesty help our entire community stay safe. If you are contacted by local health department officials, please respond to their inquiry so that they can properly conduct contact tracing.

Grab & Go Meals (Update)

Grab & Go meals will be available for all students, who wish to receive them. The Federal Department of Agriculture has extended waivers that will allow MSD to serve ALL students meals for FREE through June 2021.

REMINDER: Students who are not attending school in person can pick up free breakfast and lunch at Morristown High School (at the rear circle by the flagpole off of Atno Avenue) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. There will be two service times, from 8:00 am to 9:00 am and again from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

More information about School Breakfast & Lunch is available on the MSD Forward homepage under "Back to School Resources for Families."

Please see the menu below for meals offered each day:

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Kindergarten Information Session

We had a great turn out for our first Kindergarten Information Session.

I will be hosting another information session at the end of January for prospective K 2021-2022 parents, who were not able to attend last session.

Please click here for additional information.

Communication between Home and School

*For when we return to in-person schooling:

  • If there are changes in your child's dismissal plans (e.g. you are going to pick them up that day, instead of taking the bus), please use the attached form or call the main office.
  • For written communication between you and your child's teacher, please utilize Class Dojo and/or e-mail, rather than hand-written letters (when possible).

Upcoming Events

  • School Closed on January 19th (MLK Day)
  • January 19th: iReady Winter Diagnostic Window Opens