REGIONAL DAY SCHOOL NEWSLETTER
VOLUME 17, ISSUE 3
Congratulations on your Retirement!
Mr. Gunn, Teacher in A-2, is retiring after 22 years of service.
Miss Cathy, Paraprofessional is retiring after 16 years of service.
Miss Lynda, Paraprofessional is retiring after 30 years of service.
Thank you all for your many years of dedication and support to our students and families. Best wishes for a happy retirement, you will all be greatly missed!
Please give a big RDS welcome to our new staff members:
Congratulations to Ms. Deb Eskenazi, her daughter Elise who subs for us at RDS, graduated with a Masters in Education in School Counseling from Georgian Court University on May 18, 2022. We are so proud of you, way to go!
Congratulations to Mrs. Melissa Bryant, her son Matt is graduating high school and plans on attending college in the fall. Best of Luck!
Congratulations to Mrs. Kelly Sales, her daughter Hailey will be graduating from Manchester Township High School this month. She will be attending St. Peters University in the fall on a full scholarship. Excellent job!
Congratulations to Miss Melissa Giehl, her son Corbin is graduating the 8th grade in June from Manchester Township Middle School. Good Luck!
Ms. Deb Lightbody is a grandma for the first time. Brooke Marleen was born to her daughter Shannon and son-in-law Mitchell on 4-13-22. She weighed 8 pounds and was 21 inches long. Congratulations to all!
Congratulations to Nurse Debbie, our Educational Services Professional of the Year and Miss Michelle, our Teacher of the Year!
Congratulations to our very own Occupational Therapist Miss Leslie, who was selected as the Manchester Township Middle School's Educational Services Professional of the Year!
RDS Prom 2022
RDS Bowling Trip
Memorial Day 2022
Arbor Day Tree Planting
Field Day 2022
Happy Staff Appreciation Week to our fabulous RDS faculty! You are valued, important and loved by many! You make a difference in the lives of numerous colleagues, students and families. Thank you for all you do each and every day!
A letter from our Principal - Mrs. Lisa Michallis
It has been another memorable year of teaching and learning for our fabulous faculty and extraordinary students! Thank you to our entire school community for their efforts. This year we welcomed a new program, Music Therapy, and welcomed back many of our building-based events and activities such as assemblies, community based instruction, field trips, dances, and graduation ceremony.
This spring we honored five exceptional students as they graduated. On behalf of the entire Regional Day School family, congratulations to Arielle, Joey, Sean, Amy, and Christopher. We wish each of you much happiness and good health as you pursue your post-graduation goals! Each of you will definitely be missed.
The students and staff are looking forward to another extended school year filled with adventures! Our ESY Program begins on Tuesday, July 5th and ends on Monday, August 15th from 8:45 am - 12:45 pm, Monday through Thursday. We will continue to provide each student with a free breakfast and lunch through the Fulfill Program. Our ESY Program includes academic instruction and therapies (OT, PT, Speech, Counseling) as well as daily living skills and social skills programs. Field trips and assemblies are being scheduled and our weekly school-wide barbeques will continue.
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has contributed to our students’ and school’s continued success including the families, friends, faculty, Manchester Township Board of Education, Manchester Township Parent Teacher Association, district case managers, and community members. Thank you!
Warmest wishes for a well-deserved and enjoyable summer with your family and friends!
A-2 News - Mr. Gunn
It is hard to believe that we are drawing upon the end of another successful school year. Now that Covid restrictions have loosened up a bit, the students are enjoying the fact that we are bringing back fun assemblies and going on field trips. The children enjoyed their free cones from Dairy Queen and had a great time bowling. We would like to thank the Manchester PTA for providing the incredible reptile assembly. Several students had the opportunity to have a giant python wrapped around their bodies. These students are much braver than their teachers.
We would also like to welcome two new students to A -2 and say goodbye to one. Jayden moved in February. He made many friends at Regional Day School and is missed by all. Javien joined the class in March and Haggai transferred from C-2 in April. Both students have been welcomed with open arms by their classmates, which has led to a smooth transition.
The children in A- 2 continue to work hard on their academic skills. Two of our emergent readers are becoming more and more independent by the day. The other students finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Outsiders, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. They thoroughly enjoyed reading these books and started reading The Egypt Game. Topics covered in social studies include the Titanic, ancient Egypt, and the Civil War. In science, the students studied the weather and the layers of the Earth. They learned about how plate tectonics led to various landforms and made volcanoes.
On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their help and support during my tenure at Regional Day School. It does take a village to raise a child and a big heart to shape little minds. I would like to wish everyone success in their future endeavors.
Enjoy your summer and stay safe!
Mr. Gunn, Miss Amanda, Mr. Keith, Miss Nikki, and the students in A - 2.
A-3 News - Mr. Rosetti
A-4 News - Miss Kim
The students in A-4 have been working very hard in the classroom. We begin each day using a picture prompt to write a creative story. They have been working on incorporating opening and closing sentences in each of their writings. We also enjoy working together as a group to solve the Wordle each day. Our best score has been the second try! We have just started learning about three dimensional figures and finding the surface area. They are off to a great start! We are almost finished reading the novel Stargirl. The students have really enjoyed reading this and we can’t wait to watch the movie to compare the two.
Our class has enjoyed the activities that have started back up at RDS. They danced at the Spring Fling, blew bubbles for Autism, joined the school in planting a tree for Arbor Day, and had an awesome day in the sun for Field Day! They even enjoyed Bring Your Child to Work Day and being able to spend the day with my children. We are excited to go bowling with the school and enjoy the rest of the end of year activities! Next week our class will be taking the NJSLA for Reading and Math and I know they are going to do amazing! I am so proud of Amaiya, Jacob, and Cody for doing such a wonderful job!
B-1 News - Miss Angela
B-1 had a fabulous school year! Our class has grown so much together, both academically and emotionally. Some of our favorite activities this year included class Bingo games, field trips, and participating in Music Therapy with Ms. Hannah. This year, we focused a lot on Social Emotional Learning (SEL), as we were reintroduced to trips and activities that we have not been able to do in quite some time. Each of our students has shown what kind, considerate classmates they are! We wish everyone a restful summer vacation, see you in September!
Miss Angela, Miss Chrissy, Joseph, Jennifer, and Danny
B-2 News - Mr. Dominick
Less than a month remaining on what has been a memorable school year. From all the exciting memories we made as a class to beginning to go back out in the community and eating lunch in the cafeteria with our friends, this has been a great school year and we are excited about summer!
Students in B-2 have been working on integrating Art, music, and STEM activities into their daily academics. We started a new garden and it is growing pretty good so far. We have also been learning about current events and various historical events on the Promethean Board. Students are also incorporating many life skills into jobs in the classroom and have had a lot of fun baking and cooking in class.
Fondly, Victoria, Abby, Angelo, Nicole, Taylor, Myrtle, Christian, Brandon, Mr. Dominick, Miss JoAnn, Miss Diane, Miss Lori, Miss Monica, and Miss Jeanal!
B-3 News - Miss Anna
B-4 News - Miss Karen
News from B-4.
Everyone enjoyed the Reptile Man assembly. The students and staff experienced a variety of animals including: a tortoise, gecko, bearded dragon, tree frog, and a number of snakes. Holding Banana Peel, the yellow python, was the highlight of the assembly. Thank you to the Manchester PTA for sponsoring the awesome event and thank you to the presenters, Cynthia and Tina.
We are so proud of our 2022 graduates Amy and Joey. We wish both of them all the best and future success! Congratulations!
Staying organized and maintaining a neat and clean workspace is encouraged. The students take responsibility for their materials, including: all writing and coloring utensils, scissors, glue, charts, paperwork, and notebooks.
Listen carefully, follow directions, and be courteous are the class rules. They were reviewed, as necessary, throughout the school year.
Everyone looks forward to spending time outside on the playground. Some students choose the swings or the slides while others practice their basketball skills and some enjoy sitting in the gazebo.
The Tree Planting ceremony was a success. Prior to the Arbor Day event, the students worked with Mr. Peters to dig a hole with the proper width and depth to accommodate the tree. It was challenging, but they did a great job.
Topics in science included natural resources. The students learned to sequence the steps of how maple syrup is made.
Everyone had a wonderful time during the annual Field Day event. The students participated in a variety of activities including: popcorn parachute, bowling, scooter yarn ball races, and the construction, painting and decorating of birdhouses. It was a lot of fun!
Remember summer safety when enjoying time outside: stay hydrated, wear a helmet when riding a bike or scooter, and never swim alone.
C-1 News - Miss Allison
I am so thankful to join the Regional Day School family, who have welcomed me with open arms. Every day is filled with so much love, smiles, cuddles, and laughter. I look forward to each day with my students and staff. Our students have shown so much progress and growth, each day is a new beginning for continued success. We are using many ways to communicate our wants and needs, such as verbal language, PECS (picture exchange communication), and sign language. I truly believe in teaching the whole child in order to see them shine. We focus on students' interests, motivating items, and sensory needs to incorporate a lot of hands-on learning experiences. It takes a village to raise a preschooler and we have so many incredible staff members who will always go above and beyond to ensure our students are happy, healthy, engaged, and excited to learn. I am blessed to be a part of such an incredible school that loves the students with their whole hearts.
Have a wonderful and relaxing summer
~ Miss Allison and the whole preschool staff
C-2 News - Miss Dawn
The weather is warming,
There is a light breeze,
We have been oh so busy,
Learning about nature and trees.
We planted some flowers,
Grew seeds in a cone,
Made a seeded bird feeder,
Hung it up at our homes!
We made some new friends,
Said “goodbye” to some others,
Celebrated Cinco de Mayo,
And sent love to our Mothers.
We went on some field tips,
Had some ice cream and fun,
Learned how to bowl,
And watch ‘em hit a home run!
So as summer approaches,
Our flags will fly high,
The sun will shine brightly,
School’s ending, don’t cry!
We can play in the summer,
Keep studying, have fun,
Spend time with each other,
Learning is just never “done.”
So put on your sunscreen,
Get some sand in your toes,
Take time to be silly,
You blink, and they grow.
Each moment is crazy,
You may be tired and spent,
But time is so precious,
Before you know it, time went.
So cherish your loved ones,
Hold your children so dear,
Have a wonderful summer -
We will see you next year!
Have a safe and enjoyable summer!
Miss Dawn, Miss Tami, and Miss Diane
C-3 News - Miss Michelle
C-4 News - Miss Maria
This has been a fun-filled exciting year in preschool! Our class has grown in size, as have our hearts as we recently welcomed new preschool friends Nathaniel and Marilyn. The students really enjoyed the spring celebration that Miss Dawn and our awesome therapists hosted. They also had fun at our Cinco De Mayo celebration, the PTA reptile assembly, Field Day, and going on our first field trip to Ocean Lanes. We would like to thank our students and their amazing parents for making this a truly awesome and memorable year. We would like to Congratulate our graduates Dylan, Marisol, and Marcus! We will miss you very much, but we know you will all go on to accomplish many great things!
Miss Maria, Miss. Haley, and the whole Preschool Staff
Art - Miss Paula
We are all so excited that spring is here and we can look forward to warmer weather. I hope everyone had a fun and restful spring break. It is time to get ready for all of the fun end-of-year activities. I enjoy seeing everyone participate in Field Day, Prom, field trips, and graduation. The art students are all participating in a school wide outdoor art installation creating Affirmation Garden Stones which will be placed in the front garden of the school along the sidewalk. Before this, the students have been busy exploring the world by making monotone blue Delft windmill paintings from Holland, mixed media festival elephants from India, and watercolor oil resist Psanky eggs from Ukraine. Many of these items are displayed in the hall and can be seen in the art gallery on the school website. Go to Departments and click Art in the drop-down.
I would like to take this time to announce the winners of the American Legion Safety Poster Contest that were chosen since the last newsletter came out. We are so pleased to say that first place went to Jacob from A-4, second place went to Avaya from A-3, and third place went to Malachi from A-4 as well. All three posters have now moved on to the county level. Congratulations to all of our winners. We are proud of all of our participants and hope to see your work again next year.
Industrial Arts - Mr. Peters
Music Therapy - Ms. Hannah
Nurse's Corner - Nurse Deb
SUMMER SAFETY TIPS FOR A HEALTHY, HAPPY SUMMER!
Happy summer to all! I have listed below some safety tips and information to help have a safe and enjoyable summer. Please read and pass on the information to family and friends. Make outdoor time a safe time - wear a helmet when riding bikes, skateboards, and scooters. Knee pads and elbow pads are easy to wear and add more protection. Playground injury facts - children who fall off climbing equipment, slides, and swings usually injure their face, head, or arms. Safety check - preschool-age children shouldn't be more than four feet off the ground. Make sure surfaces are cushioned, equipment maintained, and no exposed bolts or open "s" hooks. Bicycle Safety also includes the fact that kids often crash their bikes into obstacles or lose control of their bikes, but the most serious injuries occur when children are struck by cars. Safety note repeat - Make sure your child wears a helmet every time they ride a bike. It should be snug and level with the forehead. Do not let children ride in the street before the age of 10, and teach riders to look both ways before crossing the driveway or streets. Skateboards and Scooters Safety includes safety gear is a must. Helmets, wrist guards, non-slip shoes, elbow pads, and knee pads should be worn, and no child under 5 years should use skateboards or scooters. This is very important to avoid the common head and wrist injuries. Lawn mowers can be a big safety concern. Many tragic accidents occur when a child falls off a riding lawn mower or is accidentally run over, Safety check - Keep all children far away from the mowing area, and always look around to check before putting the mower in motion, especially when backing up. Food Poisoning Illness Facts include bacteria growing quickly in perishable food that is left out too long. Symptoms resemble stomach flu: nausea, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, fever and bloody stool. Safety Check - Make sure food is cooked thoroughly. Wash your hands often, and never leave food out for more than an hour when it's hot outside. Store food in a well-insulated area with plenty of ice when outside at picnics and barbeques. Limit outdoor exposure when the pollen or mold counts are high if you have sensitivities. You can check the daily particulate counts on the weather channel. Also, heat exposure facts - Children can develop heat exhaustion and become seriously dehydrated when in the hot sun for too long. Symptoms include pale skin, dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Kids under four years old are especially at risk in high temperatures. Safety check - Keep children indoors during heat waves. Make sure they have plenty of fluids even if kids say they are not thirsty. Never leave a child in a car, which can heat up very quickly. Fireworks can be fun and safe with a public display run by professionals. Handheld fireworks can cause injuries, such as eye injuries that can lead to partial or complete blindness. Also, sparklers can burn the skin and ignite clothing. Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac contain oil causing an allergic skin reaction that looks like swollen itchy red bumps, and blisters appearing wherever the oil has touched the skin. Check the areas around your home and teach your kids to recognize and avoid it.
Occupational Therapy - Miss Alex, Miss Leslie, & Miss Megan
Spring has finally sprung and the warm weather is upon us! Our students here at Regional Day School have been busy making spring crafts, engaging in sensory play, and making springtime recipes in group OT/Speech. So far in group OT/Speech this spring, we have made dirt cups, smoothies, and lemonade! Cooking and creating different recipes gives the students a chance to work on their fine and visual motor skills, using both hands together, and following multi-step directions in a sequence to follow a recipe. Our students have also helped to decorate our OT room for the warm weather and create a beautiful window display! They engaged in a craft that targeted fine and visual motor skills, using two hands to rip paper, and sensory play to add dyed pasta to create flowers. Springtime provides great opportunities for kids to participate in outside activities, sensory play, and functional and prevocational activities. Here are some activities that can be tried at home. We hope you enjoy!
Spring Sensory Garden: Sensory Gardening with Kids - The OT Toolbox
Cherry Blossom Fine Motor Tree Craft: Cherry Blossom Tree Craft with fine motor work - The OT Toolbox
Spring Sensory Seek and Find Activity: Spring Sensory Seek and Find - The OT ToolboxRecycled Artwork Spring Flower Craft: Recycled Artwork Spring Flower Craft - The OT Toolbox
We hope you enjoy the springtime and warmer days ahead!
The OT Department
Miss Alex, Miss Megan, and Miss Leslie
Adaptive Physical Education/Health - Ms. Traci
I created a station so every child had a handmade gift for someone special in their life for May 8th, Mother's Day. The creativity that we all saw was amazing. The DIY project really came together. It was a three-part project with one station in the morning for Field Day. Then in the afternoon, the students came to the multi-purpose room to paint them. They dried overnight. On Friday, May 6th, when the students came in that morning they decorated their birdhouses with the creative stickers. Families, I hope you enjoyed them as much as the students enjoyed making them. The postcards were sponsored by the Manchester Township Education Association Pride Committee. I wanted to thank all the staff for their help in making the birdhouses on Field Day. It was amazing how we all came together. We all worked as a team. Again our strength in numbers came through.
WE NOW HAVE THREE NEW HYDRATION STATIONS! FOR REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES!
Now you can bring a reusable water bottle to school to help Mother Earth!
Recycle! Reuse! Reduce!
Your body needs to be hydrated to function at its best. If there isn't enough liquid in your body, essential functions like circulation won't perform as smoothly and your organs won't get necessary nutrients, resulting in less efficient performance and mood. Dehydration can affect your mood. Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
How important is hydration for athletes?
As athletes exercise, the core body temperature rises. In response, the body sweats to dissipate excess heat so it doesn't overheat. Staying hydrated replaces the water lost through sweating and is essential for thermoregulation, helping to prevent cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Replenishing fluids is especially important when exercising in hot and humid weather conditions as your body tends to sweat more. Tips for Proper Hydration: Start and end your day with a 250 ml serving of water. Your body loses water while you sleep, so drink a serving before bed and again when you wake up.
Health/Adapted Physical Education Dept.
Physical Therapy - Ms. Joyce & Ms. Kerry
It is hard to imagine that another school year has almost passed. Our students continue to work hard in physical therapy, but we also make sure we have some fun while we work on our PT goals. We try to incorporate seasonal and holiday themes in our sessions whenever possible. Sometimes this is as easy as writing gross motor activities that the students are working on a holiday themed cut out. You can easily do this at home as well. See the examples below. For summer home activities, you can use flowers, butterflies, beach umbrellas, beach buckets, or anything else summer related that you can think of. Write a gross motor activity on one side and on the other side either numbers or ABCs. Put the cards with the activity face down and numbers or ABCs showing. You can take turns picking a card in numerical or ABC order, or randomly called out by you. After reading the activity on the card, you can perform the activity together for a certain amount of repetitions. This activity not only works on the student’s gross motor skills, but also incorporates academic skills such as sequencing, recognizing letters and numbers, and reading skills. If you want to preserve your cards and use them again, it may be beneficial to laminate them. Have fun with it. We wish you all a very happy and healthy summer. Congratulations to our graduates Arielle, Amy, Christopher, Joey, and Sean! We have had a lot of fun with you in PT over the years and we wish you a bright and sunny future!
Ms. Joyce and Ms. Kerry
Safety Patrol - Mr. Peters
This year we had two Safety Advisors stationed in different locations throughout the school. I am happy to announce that the AAA School Safety Patrol Program has just celebrated its 100th anniversary. To give you a little information, below is a brief description of AAA School Safety Patrol Program.
Millions of boys and girls have honorably served their classmates since the AAA School Safety Patrol Program began in the U.S. in 1920. Interest in the program has spread around the world; at least thirty other countries including New Zealand, the Netherlands, England, Germany, and France have emulated the AAA School Safety Patrol Program. The experience is the same — a reduction in traffic death rates.
School Psychologist - Ms. Phoebe
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Please remember that self-care is not selfish. You must fill your own cup before you can pour into others.
Here is a list of some self-care strategies:
Cook or bake
Cross something off your to-do list
Get a massage
Go for a walk
Listen to music or a podcast
Play a game
Practice deep breathing
Take a bath
Take a (timed) nap
Watch TV or a movie
Spend time in nature
Hug your pet
If you need a referral to mental health resources, please go to the CST page on RDS website (under the resource page) for a copy of the Mental Health Resource Guide.
Phoebe Pennypacker, School Psychologist
Speech Therapy - Ms. Haley, Ms. Lauren & Ms. Regina
Every May we celebrate Better Speech and Hearing Month by spreading awareness of the different ways a speech-language pathologist (SLP) could help you or your loved ones. We work with individuals all across the lifespan. At Regional Day School, we have the special opportunity to work with your children to help their speech, language, cognition, feeding/swallowing, social skills, and so much more! If you ever have any questions regarding speech-language pathology, please feel free to reach out to Ms. Haley, Ms. Lauren, or Ms. Regina.
Student Council - Mr. Peters
Transition Program - Ms. Megan
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It’s graduation season and I would like to open and take this opportunity to say CONGRATULATIONS to five of our RDS students who are graduating this year. Good luck on your future endeavors Arielle, Joseph, Sean, Amy, and Christopher. We couldn’t be more proud of all the strides you’ve made throughout your years at Regional Day School. You will be missed by the students and staff of RDS.
This spring we’ve been able to bring back the Recreation and Leisure component of Community Based Instruction (CBI). The first week of spring students enjoyed ice cream thanks to Dairy Queen of Manchester Township. Students were also excited about the school-wide bowling trip. You may ask yourself what does this component of CBI entail? Why do we do this? And how do we provide this instruction? Recreation and Leisure are something people do to relax or have fun; activities are done for enjoyment. We teach this because participation builds recreation skills, teaches functional academics, encourages social interaction, promotes physical activity, boosts self-esteem, develops friendships, and improves community attitudes. Instruction is done by sampling recreation and leisure activities within the community.
Have you heard about the Field of Dreams that just opened in Toms River, NJ? You can register on their website to get a key fob to enter the facility. The facility was specifically designed for students with special needs. They have a baseball field, basketball court, bocce-ball court, playground, zip-line, miniature golf course, a quiet corner, and picnic area with a Snack Shack. The event calendar has plenty of activities and includes a basketball clinic, movie night, family game night, spring fling, summer bash, pirate day, and music classes. Check out their website and events calendar to get involved outside of school as well.
As always, please reach out to me anytime for all of your questions about the Transition from School to the Adult World.