Principal's Update 2020 - 2021


Please take a moment to read through our November Newsletter which contains important information about signing up for a conference with your child's teacher, this month's Science Fair and the schedule for days off and early dismissals.

If you haven't done so already, please respond to the Genesis survey about returning to school or staying remote for the 2nd Marking Period.

As a reminder, your children have afternoon small groups scheduled with their teachers. This time is valuable instructional time and is not optional. Please make sure your child attends all scheduled afternoon sessions. If you do not know their schedule, do not hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher.

We hope you have a wonderful Halloween. Here are some suggestions for celebrating the holiday safely. Enjoy the time off and we will see you either in-person or remotely on November 9th!


Mrs. Margaret Callahan, assistant principal and Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro, principal and

November Calendar

Please refer to this calendar for upcoming school events, days off and PTO fundraisers!

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Updated School Calendar

The school calendar was adopted at the October 20th Board of Education meeting. The new calendar reflects NO SCHOOL for November 16th in observance of Diwali. Printable Calendar

PTO Haloween Costume Parade & Contest

Check out the scary, creative and funny costumes from our virtual costume parade and contest sponsored by the James Monroe PTO!
Halloween Parade and Costume Contest


Conferences will be held virtually on the following dates;

(Dates and times may vary by teacher.)

11/12/20: 5:00-6:30pm

11/18/20: 2:00-3:30pm

12/3/20: 5:00-6:30pm

Early dismissals are scheduled on the following days.

You are able to schedule a 10-minute conference with your child's teacher using the conference feature on Parent Portal. Conferences are valuable time to help forge a strong relationship and assist the teacher in getting to know your child better as well as providing you with a progress update. Teachers will send you a link to join the virtual meeting. The meetings are taking place virtually.

Directions for grades K - 5 and SCA:

(Ms. Ford for instrumental music will contact families about signing up for conferences through sign-up genius)

1. Log into Parent Portal.

2. Go to Student Data and select conferences. A link will appear that says “Schedule conference for Parent Teacher Conferences” for each available day. (See image below)

3. On the next screen, select “Reserve” to reserve a day and time for your child's homeroom teacher..

4. Select only one conference per teacher. An email notification will be sent to confirm the appointment.

If you are unable to attend the conference, please email the teacher to cancel or change/reschedule your appointment in the Parent Portal. This is a courtesy to the teacher.

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Selfie with a Scarecrow!

Get your creativity flowing with the first ever James Monroe scarecrow walk! Decorate a scarecrow; scary, funny, crazy--your choice and display it on your lawn.

Click on the flyer below for details!

October- Virtual Pumpkin Decorating Contest- Winners!

Congratulations to our Pumpkin Decorating Contest Winners! Each winner will be receiving a book from the book fair, which has been sponsored by the PTO!

K - Luca Hoff - Donner (Forky)

1 - Anaya Dalal - Milton/Elsamna (Fly Guy)

2 - Mahi Gosalia - Lamont (Unicorn)

3 - Gabriella Stewart - Klem (Elephant & Piggie)

4 - Adrian Epperly - Bell (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

5 - Catherine Dharmawan - Schwarz/Fuentes (The Lorax)

In case you missed it, check out all of the creative pumpkins on our flipgrids!

Kindergarten -

First Grade -

Second Grade -

Third Grade -

Fourth Grade -

Fifth Grade -

Special thanks to Mrs. Kelly Pedana for organizing this very creative contest!

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

5th Grade Library Curbside Pick up

James Monroe Library is excited to announce a special opportunity for all of our 5th grade students! We are offering curbside pickup of library books. Please see the flyer for step by step instructions on how to place holds on books for pickup. If students are coming into school for hybrid learning, their books can be delivered directly to their classrooms. If students are remote learning, their books will be placed outside the main entrance for pickup on Thursdays. All books will be returned Thursdays so that they will sit “quarantined” for the recommended 3 days before being reshelved.

Access the James Monroe Library website

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Calling all Scientists!

Click on the link below to learn more about this month's Science Fair. All students are welcome to submit a project through their grade level Flipgrid and are eligible to win a prize.
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PTO Updates & Spiritwear!

  • Please support our PTO and school by becoming a member. All parents are welcome to join and your ideas, support and participation are encouraged. Parental involvement supports many additional school events and activities that improve your child's experience while attending James Monroe School. Membership is $10 for your family. This year, we have several options for making your monetary contribution including Venmo, mailing a check and emailing your membership form. You may also drop off forms at the school. Please complete the membership form which can be found HERE.

  • Looking to order your very own James Monroe t-shirt or hoodie? The PTO is selling spirit wear through November 15th! Click HERE to place your order online!

Code Ninjas

We have exciting news! The PTO has decided to partner with Code Ninjas in Edison! For every family that signs up Code Ninjas will donate money towards the PTO. Please read the information below and click the link if you are interested.

  • Code Ninjas Edison has been added as an additional option for Virtual After School clubs for our children.
  • Code Ninjas Edison uses game development as a means to teach kids coding and robotics. They have extensive program offerings that includes Scratch, Python, JavaScript, Roblox, Minecraft etc.

You can review the attached flyer for details and sign up at

Please note that Code Ninjas charges a participation fee which varies based on the program. Since these clubs are set up as fundraisers for the school, they will give a portion of the proceeds back to the school.

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PTO Fundraiser - Earn a FREE Roll of Wrapping Paper

We hope you will help our school fundraising goal by considering purchasing items from the Charleston Wrap Store Catalog. This is one of our largest fundraisers and a significant percentage of the sales goes back to the school. Even if you are not going to purchase any items, please consider sending a shopping invite to 10 of your friends or family members and you can earn a free roll of heavy duty wrapping paper. See directions below.

1) Please visit to register today! Use our ORGANIZATION ID 19902 to register!
2) Send 10 unique and valid shopping email invites to your friends & family using our invite tool at registration.
3) Once you've sent 10 emails, a gift card will be emailed to you for your FREE roll of Charleston Wrap®’s UltraHeavy™ gift wrap with the purchase of any item.

Will you take a few minutes and register now at

Thank you so much for your support!
James Monroe Elementary School PTO

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Technology Updates for the 20-21 School Year

  • 1st and 2nd graders will be getting new chromebooks this month. Please look for information for pick-up. Kindergarten will be getting new iPads.

  • Looking for how to login to your child's device? Check out these helpful videos to guide you with Classlink and setting up the iPad and Chromebook HERE.

  • New students should contact the school to receive a district issued device.

  • The help desk can aid in any technology issues. Please use this email if you should need assistance: or visit this website for information about wifi and how to schedule an appointment for repairs.

  • We recommend purchasing optional insurance for the device which will cover all repairs and replacements for the entire year (including this summer) July 1 2020 through June 30, 2021. For information on optional insurance, click here.

School Lunches

Free breakfast and lunch is available to all students.

  • If your student is remote, please order lunches using this link . Complete a form for each student by Thursday of each week.

  • If your child is in-person, meals will be distributed on instructional days and may be picked up on remote days from 11:30 - 1:30 p.m. if ordered in advance.

COVID-19 Child Care Financial Support

Please visit the link below to find out if you qualify to receive NJ State assistance for childcare related to COVID-19. Please note the school is not affiliated in anyway to this program, we are sharing as a helpful resource. Please follow the link to find out more information.

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About Us...

Students are conducting remote learning until October 19th. Please email or call the school should you need to reach us.