Montrose Messenger

January - February 2020

Happy New Year!

Greetings to all!

I hope you have enjoyed the holiday break with loved ones. It feels like break was so long ago!! I also hope you have had a chance to relax a bit and reflect upon your joys, accomplishments and happy moments.

In this season of reflection, we recognize how important it is for us to partner and engage with one another in meaningful ways. With that in mind, we have arranged several opportunities for you to come and enjoy Montrose during the school day.

Please read below for more information. We hope you are able to join us! We look forward to seeing you.

Mrs. Samuels

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Luminary Decorating

We are excited to be decorating luminaries again this year as part of our MLK celebrations. Children have been learning about Dr. King and decorating luminaries that will be used in a lighting ceremony following the 2pm Interfaith Observance at CHS on January 20th.

A sign of hope, sanctuary, peace, and solidarity with Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community, the luminary project brings together community members in honor, celebration and reflection on the legacy of MLK.

Be a Light Bearer

If you would like your child to act as light bearer at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance at Columbia High School on January 20th, please email Martina Remy at

The interfaith observance begins at 2pm, if your family would like to attend. Light bearers will gather in the hallway of Columbia at 2.45pm. They will carry the luminary bag they decorated at school into the auditorium and stand briefly for closing remarks and a song ("We Shall Overcome"). Parents/guardians and siblings are also welcome to participate. There will be hot cider and cookies in the cafeteria afterwards.

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Emergency Relocation Update and Protocol

In the case of an evacuation that requires relocation, the school and/or district will notify you directly. This communication can include phone calls to you and all emergency contacts, as well as an email. You will be advised of the nature of the evacuation and where your child can be picked up, if necessary. If we are relocated, we may be escorted to either of our relocation sites:

  • Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, 432 Scotland Road, South Orange or
  • South Orange Middle School, 70 Ridgewood Road, South Orange.

  • In this case, the relocation to SOMS took into account the rapidly decreasing temperature, the proximity to student eating times and other factors.

In the event of any emergency, we would first ensure student safety. Once administrators connect with various district leaders and local agencies/utilities (police, fire, PSE&G, etc.) a course of action is determined. It was decided that removing the students from the building was the safest and most timely alternative. Family notification was drafted and reviewed shortly thereafter.

The first group of students arrived at SOMS at about 11:00, the final bus dropped off close to 11:45.

As the situation was being managed, the YMCA was notified. Although the coordination of messaging was planned, YMCA sent an email message to Aftercare families ahead of the agreed upon time. The District's message that followed outlined various important details.The District's phone blast and text message provided the address and phone number to South Orange Middle School. Any calls to SOMS were answered and responded to.

Using this experience as an opportunity, we will continue to take families' feedback into consideration when making communication decisions.

Please be sure that your emergency information is always updated with the Main Office. Emergency contacts must be updated in writing, in person or via PowerSchool as changes occur.

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It's Soccer Season!

YAY!! Coach Sharif has returned!

On Monday, January 13, Coach Sharif Elzien began his five-week soccer lessons with the Montrose and Marshall preschoolers. Coach Sharif has generously volunteered his time and expertise to inspire Montrose and Marshall preschoolers through movement and play.

Learning soccer skills allows children to enhance their self-regulation, increase their confidence and experience enrichment during the school day. All currently enrolled students at Montrose and Marshall will participate, thereby removing the barriers of cost and transportation.

Coach and Community First Sports Club bring Physical Education and team-building activities into the preschool. Each class will receive five, thirty-minute sessions. This multi-week rotation will allow for all Montrose/Marshall preschool classes to participate.

The Montrose learning community is excited to partner with Coach Sharif and Community First!

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Celebrity Read with United Way of Greater Newark

Celebrity Read 2020 is coming to Montrose! The theme this year, A Community that Reads Together, Succeeds Together, will bring us all together to promote literacy and continue the rich history of bringing volunteer readers to young students. During the month of February, we are joining a select number of schools to participate in the Celebrity Read program.

The Montrose/Marshall preschool community will host "Celebrity" readers on February 10, 2020 between 9:00 and 10:30 AM. The term “celebrity” refers to anyone who volunteers time to share their accomplishments, obstacles and observations with children. Real life role models who are willing to share their life experiences are encouraged to become Celebrity Readers at Montrose and in the Greater Newark area.

As we anticipate an abundance of volunteers from our own parent community, we will extend the "Celebrity Read" experience to also be held on February 12. Details on sign up will be sent to you from your child's classroom teacher.

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PTA Meeting Topic: Everything you Never Wanted to Know...

Lice Happens' “Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Head Lice” educational presentations are offered to the general public through our Community Outreach Program. The company has generously offered to spend time with the Montrose community at our next PTA Meeting, February 12 at 7:00 PM.

Lice Happens subject matter experts educate, dispel myths and answer questions about these human parasites with gentle humor.

Please join us!

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Families are invited to our first School wide Gallery Walk on Friday, February 28, 2020. During the time scheduled for each class, you will be able to peruse the bulletin boards and check out what students are learning about Black History. You will also be able to see students' writing and math creations (What exactly is a Venger Drawing, you ask?). In addition, you will have the pleasure of either participating in an activity alongside your child or seeing them sing a song or recite a poem in their classroom. Students in the class at Marshall will be transported to Montrose for this event.

Additional opportunities are being planned for April and June.

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Nurse's Notes

Winter is here and there are lots of fun activities to do outside. However, it is important to consider safety.

Outdoor Winter Activities​ ​​​​​

Ice skating, skiing and sledding are great ways to get exercise on a cold winter day. Remember, children should be supervised with these activities.

Safety Tips:

1. It is safer to sled feet-first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first

2. Sled on slopes that are not too steep and are free of obstructions like trees or fences.

3. Skate only on approved surfaces

4, Skate in one direction with the crowd.

5. Never skate alone.

6. Do not chew gum or eat candy while skating or sledding.

7. Wear a helmet when skiing.

8. Stay away from crowded areas.

Other winter concerns:


If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds it may be from the dry air. Try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s room at night. Saline nose drops or petroleum jelly may help too.


When it is cold outside, remember to set a reasonable time limit on outdoor play and have children come inside periodically to warm up. Dressing in layers is best. Mittens without fingers keep hands warmer than gloves or mittens with fingers.

Nurse Steffi

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January 17: School Spirit Day/Mismatch Day

January 20: District Closed

January 20 at 2:00PM: Community Coalition on Race Luminary Lighting (Columbia High School)

February 1: Kindergarten Q and A

February 4: Half day (Staff Professional Development)

February 10: United Way of Greater Newark Celebrity Read

February 12: PTA Meeting at Montrose (7PM)

February 14 - 17: Winter Break & President's Day - Schools Closed

February 21: School Spirit Day/Monochromatic Day

February 28: Family Gallery Walk and Black History Celebration

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