Potter News

September 2020

From the Desk of Ms. Cimino

Hi Potter Panthers! We are so happy to welcome you back to the 2020-2021 school year. We have missed being all together, and are looking forward to starting this year. Although you will notice many differences this school year, what has not changed is our commitment to providing a wonderful educational experience to our students and families.


This year we welcome Mr. McShaffrey as our Assistant Principal, you will see his bio below. Please feel free to reach out to either of us with any questions that you may have as we get started. Whether you are brand new to H & M Potter, or have been with us before, this newsletter will have valuable information on how to navigate the beginning of the school year. Please take the time to review all of the information provided.


We are so happy to be back together both in person and virtually!

We would also like to welcome:

Mr. Michael Colarusso, Physical Education

Ms. Rebecca Timpanaro, Preschool

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Mask Requirement

As per Governor Murphy all students age two and up must wear masks while in the school building. Please send your child wearing their mask, and with extras labeled in their backpack. Masks can be removed while eating snack, and if students are able to socially distance at recess.


Students will each receive one Potter themed mask courtesy of our PTA.

Student Devices

This year each student will receive a school issued device to take home for remote learning. Students who are attending in person will receive their device on their first in person day. Please make sure to complete the BTSD Chromebook Agreement in the Parent Portal to ensure that your child goes home with their device ASAP. The charging cable will also be coming home with the device, please make sure to charge the device in the evening, and to send the device with your child for each in person day.


Students in preschool will be receiving tablet devices later in the month. This device can remain at home for virtual learning. Preschool students will not need to bring the device to school for their in person days.


Students who are fully remote should have already picked up their device from the school. If you have not done so, please call the Main Office to arrange a pick up time.


If you borrowed a device in the spring, and have not yet returned it, your child will not be issued a new device until the other device is returned.

Breakfast and Lunch Program

The breakfast and lunch programs will begin on the first day of school for those who have preordered. All orders must be completed following the timeline below for the following week. Breakfast and Lunch will be served in a Grab and Go style and students will be eating their breakfast and lunch at home. All meals will be delivered to the students in their classroom to bring home. Meal pick up for fully remote students who wish to order will be from 10:30-11:30 on Wednesdays.


Parents wishing to order breakfast or lunch for their child must complete an online form for the entire upcoming week. You can find the link by visiting our homepage at www.btboe.org>Parents>Food Services>Menus (bottom of the screen). You can the select the appropriate order form for your child's group. One order form per child must be completed.


Forms are due on the following days for these groups:

Groups 1 and 4: Due Friday by 8 am

Group 2: Due Wednesday by 8 am

Group R: Due Tuesday by 8 am


The price for breakfast is $1.75 per day, and lunch is $3.00 per day. There will be no snacks served by the cafeteria at this time.


Any child who received free or reduced lunch or breakfast last year will continue to do so for the first 30 days of September. This year, anyone who is free or reduced will be categorized as free. A new application, which can be found on the Parent Portal, must be completed each year. If you are pre-qualified through TANF or food stamps, you will be notified by letter and will not need to submit a new application.

Classroom Snack

Students are able to eat snack in the classroom. This is something that must be sent in from home. Students should be sent with an item that they can eat independently, as snack will take place as a working snack while they are completing assignments in all grades except preschool. Please be mindful of any allergies which may be in the classroom, your teacher will inform you if this applies to your child's class.

Fever Free Policy Update- NEW

Please note that a fever is constituted as registering over 100 degrees. Students must be fever free for 72 Hours before returning to school.

School Remind Messaging

Please join our school wide Remind group in order to receive messages about schoolwide events and activities. Join by texting @hmpparents to 81010. Message and data rates apply. Please also take the time to join your child's class Remind, as the teacher will send out information specific to that class.

Back to School Night

Back to School Night will be held virtually on September 17. More information to follow.

Main Office Procedures

Visitors will not be permitted into the building. If you need to enter the lobby at any time, please be mindful of our social distancing practices. Masks must be worn at all times, and we ask that you remain six feet apart. Only three people can fit in the lobby at a time, so please wait outside if the capacity has been reached.


We ask that all student pick ups at dismissal take place on Deal Ave. (see below). However, if you need to pick your child up early please have identification on hand. We will be utilizing a camera system to view your license, and an intercom to speak with you. Please be patient with our new process.


If you need to bring an item to school that your child has forgotten, please leave it in the bin in the lobby. Make sure that any item in the bin is clearly labeled. Ring the bell so that the secretaries will know there is an item that needs to be delivered.


We again thank you for your anticipated cooperation with this process.

Student Drop Off and Pick Up

Due to parking restrictions we will no longer be able to allow student drop off in the front parking lot during arrival. All cars will be redirected to Deal Ave. When dropping off in the morning, please utilize the Deal Ave. Walkers Door. This is the best way to ensure a safe arrival for all of our students. This year students will be expected to open and close their own door while exiting the vehicle, and to be able to hold their own belongings. Preschool parents who need to assist students with unbuckling car seats will be directed to an area further up Deal Ave. where they can park to help their child exit the vehicle.


If your child walks to and from school, it is important that they do not arrive at school earlier than 9:05 A.M. If children arrive too early the students will not be supervised while waiting for school to begin.


If you plan on driving your child to the school each day, please make sure that you complete the transportation waiver and opt out of busing.


When picking up your child from Deal Avenue please stay to the right and pull as far forward as possible. Your child will be escorted out by a staff member. During the first week of school you will receive a placard to display in your car window with your child's name. Please make sure that whoever will be picking your child up has a placard to expedite the dismissal process. We will not be utilizing the Pik My Kid app as originally stated. Please remain in your vehicle and refrain from parking in the back parking lot.


Please note that this year, even parents only picking students up occasionally at dismissal time must use Deal Ave. Please call the Main Office or notify the teacher prior to 12:30 on the day of pick up so that your child will be directed to the Walker Door.


We appreciate your anticipated cooperation as we implement these new procedures.

Late Student Arrival

Please make every effort to be on time for the school day. If you are late, and the buses have already left the bus loop, please pull to the front of the building and call the Main Office. Someone will be available to escort your child into the building. Do not walk into the building yourself, as visitation is limited.

Parent Portal

The safety of all students at the H & M Potter School is a top priority. It is imperative that we have up to date emergency contact and medical information for all students. Please go to the parent portal and update information as soon as possible. This information must be updated yearly, and during the school year if any changes occur. Highlights of district policies will also be available here for your review. Parents please review these policies with your children so that they are aware of the school’s expectations and procedures.


If you have any questions please contact the Main Office.

Recycle Rally

Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, Pepsico has suspended Recycle Rally this school year. We will be unable to accept any donations of recycling at this time. This has been one of our best fundraisers each year, and we hope that it will continue in the future. As always, thank you for your support!

H & M Potter PTA

We are so fortunate to have an amazing PTA here at H & M Potter! They have recently launched a new website: H & M Potter PTA Website.


On this website you can become a member, and participate in any of their fundraisers including the Disney Ticket Raffle, Scarecrow Sales, and Spirit Wear! All of these events have deadlines in September, so make sure to check them out!


September 16 is our Dine to Donate at Miss Mindy's Ice Cream! Mention H & M Potter when placing your order and we will get a portion of the proceeds.


Our first PTA Meeting will be held virtually on September 21 at 7pm. We hope to see you there! A link will be posted to the PTA Website, and to the PTA page on the district website.


Please be on the lookout for information about our virtual Book Fair which will take place in September.


To reach the PTA please follow their social media (listed below), or email hmppta@gmail.com.

Chalk the Walk

Please join us on September 7 from 4-6pm to "Chalk the Walk" with positive back to school messages for our students! Please practice social distancing, and wear a mask where distancing is not possible. We ask that you bring your own chalk this year to limit sharing. There is plenty of sidewalk around Potter for all!

September Calendar

September 8: First Day for Students (In person Group 1 & 4- all others virtual)

September 11: Spirit Day: Wear Red, White, and Blue for Patriot's Day

September 16: Miss Mindy's Dine to Donate (Mention H & M Potter)

September 17: Virtual Back to School Night (more information to follow)

September 21: Virtual PTA Meeting, 7pm See Link on Website

September 22: Board of Education Meeting, 7pm

September 25: Spirit Day, Wear Gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness

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H & M Potter School

Andrea Cimino, Principal

Keith McShaffrey, Assistant Principal