Toms River High School East

Newsletter - November 15, 2021

Dear Families,

How was your week? I had a productive week at the Home of the Raiders! We kicked off our Thanksgiving Food Drive on Monday! Our clubs and various organizations begin the process of collecting food for our families in need! Mr. Roth spoke to our kids during PE classes throughout the day (see below) regarding school policies and expectations.

On Tuesday, we conducted our monthly Fire Drill without incident. Our Volleyball team competed for the State Sectional Title at East (see below)! What a wonderful day!

On Thursday, I spent the day meeting with staff during Conference periods to discuss Friday's Activity Day (see below). Approximately 54 staff members volunteered their time to add their insight to help build student-student relationships within our school community! Our Volleyball team competed in the SJ Group III Semifinals at East in the evening. We celebrated Veteran's Day by acknowledging those who served (see below).

Friday was Activity Day (see below). Our goal was to foster pro-social behavior between students to create a caring school environment! I think the activity went well and thank you to Mrs. Jennifer Fazzini and Mrs. Katie Koenigstein for their efforts to create and implement the respective school lesson.

Shout out to my Vikings for their win this weekend! They can be so disappointing with their excessive up and downs through the years! I watched a Romantic Comedy with my wife this weekend on Netflix. Ugh. However, the movie wasn't too bad in terms of that genre of movie. I would give Lovehard thumbs up. It was entertaining enough to keep my attention and had a good holiday feel to the movie!

Activity Day

One of our goals here at East is to try to create an inclusive culture and community that aspires to normalize acts of kindness. Our goal is to create a school environment where kind words and gestures between strangers are the standard. Our hope is to instill in others the realization that kindness costs you nothing but can be worth everything to someone else. An act of kindness, at the right time, holds the potential to uplift someone’s day, shift their perspective and even change their life. With every person you encounter there is an opportunity to reach through the barriers which isolate us, touch them with your positivity, and show them that we are all truly connected. Today our goal is to try to start making more positive connections with our peers here at East.

  • Our student leader group got together and made a video explaining the activity and modeling kind behavior. All Homerooms received the video and showed their respective classes.

  • After the video, students engaged in a scavenger hunt. Students were given a few minutes to read and answer the questions on the Raiders Like Me questionnaire. Students then went into the hallways and mingled with the students from the other Homerooms in their activity pods. Students found other students that demonstrated similarities in their respective responses. Students were encourage to engage in conversations and to ask others questions. We focused on trying to make meaningful connections. Finding common interests is the first step in making long-lasting friendships.

Seniors of the Month

Congratulations to Kelly Goodall and Anthony Encarnacion for receiving the distinction of November Seniors of the Month! Both students are proud representatives of our school community!

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South Jersey Group III State Sectional Champs!

Congratulations to our girls volleyball team for their impressive victory over TRS Tuesday evening at East. The girls claimed our schools first Sectional Title in volleyball through an impressive victory over South. The team was heavily supported by Raider Nation throughout the evening. The crowd seemed to push the girls forward! We celebrated with a victory parade through the hallways on Wednesday!

We played in the semi-finals of the Group III Tournament against Colts Neck on Thursday evening, but eventually fell short in a tough match. The kids represented their school with pride and I could not have been more proud of them!

November Attendance and Behavior Data!

Attendance: Congratulations to Brendan Anirina, Sarah N. McDermott, and Chloe Brucale for being selected as our November Perfect Attendance Winners. Each student received a free Papa John's pizza curtesy of Papa John's on Route 37!

We observed an increase in the daily absences and lates per day comparing October 2019 to October 2021 and our daily average attendance rate decreased by approximately 1%. We did observe approximately 150 more students with overall perfect attendance for the month of October comparing 2019 to 2021. Wednesday was our worst attended day of the week this past month, with our seniors demonstrating the lowest daily average attendance rate for our school population. We will continue to educate our students on the importance of school attendance to personal achievement. However, we ask that our parents to please reinforce this mindset at home.

Behavior: We observed approximately 90 fewer discipline referrals comparing October 2019 to 2021. Students are exhibiting fewer incidents of misbehavior, including cuts, insubordinate and disruptive behavior than previous years. We will continue to utilize our Activity Days to educate children on the importance of pro-social behavior in the school setting.

Veterans Day!

High School East would like to thank all of our East families who serve or have served in the military. We appreciate your personal sacrifice to promote the freedoms we cherish. Thank you to all of our Raider soldiers who have dedicated their lives to our country. We see and appreciate you!

Thank you to our current staff members for their service: Mr. Dennis Weidenbush, Mr. Jay McKelvey, Mr. Warren Reid, Mr. Fred Paccione, Mr. Rick Dispoto, and Mr. Bill Rankin!

Great job to our Band for their participation in the Toms River Veterans Parade on Thursday!

East Gymnastics!

Congratulations to Christine Vincent for her performance at the Group IV State Championships this weekend. Christine placed 8th on the vault and 11th All-Around at States!

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Media Center Highlights

Media Center Highlights: October has been a busy month in the Media Center. We have been actively promoting several activities, including Anti-Bullying month, Hispanic Heritage month, and The National Day on Writing, October 20th.

The NJ Start Strong assessments were taken by many students in the Media Center on October 4th, 5th, and 6th. The Start Strong assessment will satisfy the federal statewide assessment requirement to administer general assessments in English language arts, mathematics, and science for the 2020-2021 school year.

On October 13th, the Media Center hosted the PSAT for many students. The PSAT/NMSQT is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT is a great primer for the SAT, and even the ACT, but it’s more than just a trial run. PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships. Good luck to our students!

Seniors attended the College 101 in the Media Center on October 25th. The College Pathways Program through Ocean County College assists seniors with college enrollment preparation. College 101: Why go to college? How to choose a school, apply, and be successful.

Anyone needing help navigating the Genesis Parent Portal was able to attend a workshop held in the Media Center on October 26th. It proved to be a successful night for the attendees!

At the Freshman Lunch Academy held on October 26th, 27th, and 28th in the Media Center, our freshman participated in a survey designed to gauge their current level of "connectedness" to High School East. They had an opportunity to weigh in on potential topics to be discussed at future Lunch Academy meetings. They were also encouraged to browse the lists of clubs and sports teams and identify at least 3 organizations in which they already participate or would like to participate in the current school year.

Food Drive

This year, the East Ambassadors & TRFC are partnering with the Cedar Grove PTO Board and the Aidan Inteso Foundation to support our community during the holiday season. Last year, we provided Thanksgiving meals for over 65 East Families and I am sure our numbers will be similar, if not more, this year.

We were able to support the community through a collaborative effort of faculty, staff and our students -

If anyone is in a position to give back and donate, please click on the following link to support. First Annual Aidan Inteso Food Drive Donation Form

We are also going to have a friendly homeroom competition, and provide the homeroom with the most donations with a bagel party, compliments of the Ambassadors. Thank you to everyone for their continued support for the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which we are so honored to name in Memory of Aidan Inteso.

School Talks!

Mr. Roth presented to East students on Monday to establish an appreciation of school policies and expectations as they pertain to being in school each day and on time, attendance policy, dress code, respect, vaping policy, phones and ear buds, and building a school environment supportive of individual needs!

Thank you Mr. Roth for volunteering to spend your personal time (off periods) to support our students! You always go above and beyond for the school community!

Turkey Trot

On Wednesday, November 24, Toms River East is proud to sponsor a school-wide event to raise funds in support of Herr Tourjee’s daughter, Jana. Jana was recently diagnosed with Leukodystrophy and the family is in need of funding to help offset the medical and travel costs to receive the essential treatment. We are encouraging all Raiders to solicit funds from friends, family, and local organizations as part of our Jana’s Turkey Trot Walk-a-Thon. Students will participate in the event by walking the track during their Physical Education period on the 24th. The homeroom which collects the most $$ will receive a breakfast party!!!

*All Students are encouraged to wear purple on the day of the Walk-a-Thon; it’s Jana’s favorite color!

Donors: Thank you in advance for your support of the Tourjee family. We appreciate your generosity. All monetary donations should be collected prior to Monday, November 22nd and will be presented to the Tourjee family following the Walk-a-Thon on Wednesday, November 24th.

Raider Excellence Awards!

Congratulations to Mr. Edward Goodman and Mr. Greg Roth for receiving Raider Excellence Awards this week! Mr. Goodman was acknowledged for his devotion to support our at-risk student population through our teacher mentoring program. Mr. Goodman takes tremendous pride in providing his mentees with the support to succeed socially and academically in our school! He loves helping others and is a valued member of our school community. Mr. Roth developed an informative presentation to share with our students during PE class on Monday. The objective of the presentation was to provide our kids with important policies and expectations to be successful! Mr. Roth gave up his personal off periods to ensure all students were afforded the opportunity to hear his talk. Thank you Mr. Goodman and Mr. Roth for going above and beyond for our kids!

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Equity Excellence!

I would like to give a great big shout out to our Equity Team for their efforts to support the social and academic success of our Hispanic student population at East. Through the various efforts to bridge the gap between the school and the home and to promote a sense of family at East, we observed an approximate 15% reduction in chronically absent students from the Hispanic student population over the past 7 years. We also observed a 27% increase in ELA Grade 9 scores, 1% increase in ELA 10 scores, 10% increase in Algebra 1 scores, and a 12% increase in Geometry scores on our state standardized tests for our Hispanic population between 2014 and 2019. We also observed that our Hispanic student population outperformed our schoolwide scores in ELA 9 and Algebra 1 on our most recent NJSLA test! The results were simply an effort from Mrs. Rodriguez and our Equity team to make personal connections to the school! I am so very proud of our students and staff for working to improve our school outcomes! Keep up the great work!