James Monroe Principal's Update

February Updates

Welcome Marking Period 3

February brings in our third marking period! This year feels like it is going by incredibly quickly and yet slowly all at the same time. Thank you for your continued support and flexibility in this very unique and challenging year.

Some reminders as we move into the third marking period;

  • Attendance is taken daily and throughout the day. If your child arrives after 9:00 they will be marked tardy, if they leave early or do not attend scheduled afternoon small group sessions they will be marked 1/2 day absent.
  • Free lunch and breakfast is still available! Order here for daily pick up OR here for weekly pick up (weekly pick up is at Edison HS).
  • Is your child looking for a book to read? You can place an order for curbside pick-up from our school library! Place your order here. Your child will receive an email from Mrs. Somes letting them know when their book is ready for pick up.

Remote learning continues

Announced on January 27th, the district will remain in fully remote instruction until March 1st. We will continue to share updates as we receive them. Please see this letter from Dr. Bragen.

All families were asked to make their Marking Period 3 selection for schooling. Each student has the choice of in-person or remote. Please complete the survey to indicate your choice only if you haven't done so already. This will be used to help us determine who is returning March 1st.

James Monroe is featured in the NY Times

In a recent in-depth review of how schools around the country were dealing with the pandemic, the NY Times conducted a tour of the Edison Public Schools. Click here to see photos taken at James Monroe during hybrid instruction and read an article.

February Calendar

  • Single-session day on Wednesday, February 3rd (no afternoon groups)
  • School is closed Friday, February 12 (Lunar New Year)
  • School is closed Monday, February 15th (President's Day)
Big picture

Honoring Black History Month

February is Black History Month – our classrooms will be highlighting and celebrating the important achievements and contributions that Black people have made to American history.

In addition to celebrating Black culture, this month is also a great opportunity for families to explore and have conversations about the historical experiences of Black people in America, while reminding us that all Americans must shine a light on the injustice African Americans still face in this country.

Celebrating Black History Month is the perfect opportunity to expand your children’s awareness of other’s racial differences while encouraging them to be open and respectful of all kinds of people they may encounter.

Here are 5 fun and effective family activities to do with your children this Black History Month:

  1. Read books by African American authors
  2. Watch movies highlighting Black history
  3. Attend Black History Month events in your community such as the Edison Public Library that is offereing many virtual events (https://edisonpubliclibrary.org/)
  4. Cook an African-American recipe at home or attend a Black-owned restaurant for dinner
  5. Explore online diital exhibits at museums that features Black art and history such as the National Museum of African American Culture and History (https://nmaahc.si.edu/).

Chromebooks for 1st & 2nd Grade

Our new touchscreen Chromebooks were distributed last week to 1st and 2nd grade families. If you were unable to pick up the new device, please contact the school to schedule a time to exchange your device.

Below are instructional videos on how to use the new device as well as how to obtain or transfer device insurance.

How to use your Chromebook Tutorials:

Interest in purchasing Insurance for your new Chromebook?

Device replacement cost: $309

Insurance cost 2020-21 school year: $17.18

It is highly recommended to purchase insurance for your new device.

Already have insurance from your old device?

February Talent Show

February's monthly event is a talent! Students can share their talents and post a video on our flipgrid! Any student who participates will be entered into a raffle to win a prize!

Flipgrid links: K & 1, 2nd & 3rd, 4th & 5th

Big picture

Student Council Updates

Our student council is officially up and running! Our newly elected board and representatives have already begun to come up with creative ideas to keep our community connected. Their first event is is to create Caring Cards for a local nursing home. Please encourage your child to participate.
Big picture

What has our staff been up to!

Our staff continues to learn and grow through weekly PD on Wednesday afternoons and single session days on topics ranging from utilizing new tech platforms to ways to increase student engagement.

Recently the entire district participated in a training with Cornelius Minor entitled; "Engagement Teaching and Leading When it Feels “difficult” or even “impossible” Using Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies and Design Thinking to Build Community, Trust". We will continue this learning through a book club and an upcoming training with Cornelius in March.

Additionally, many of our staff members are participating in a school-wide book club with the text Power of our Words. This text focuses on the power of teacher language and will support us in strengthening the language we use with our students every day.

The commitment by these professionals to continue to develop their knowledge while in the midst of such a challenging year, is just one of the reasons we celebrate these dedicated educators!

PTO Announcements

January 29-February 11 online virtual book fair!

If you have any ideas please contact the PTO board. As always, the PTO is here for our families if they are in need of any assistance, do not hesitate to reach out! (monroeowlspto@gmail.com).

Big picture
Big picture

Nurse Update

Message from our School Nurse - Mrs. Sclafani

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

2021 NCDHM Campaign

The February 2021 National Children's Dental Health Month is brought to you by the ADA. This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. Check out this link: https://www.njda.org/for-the-public/gkas/for-parents

This year's NCDHM campaign slogan is "Water, Nature's Drink!"

Call to see if your child qualifies for a free dental visit in the “Give Kids a Smile” Event beginning on Friday February 1, 2021 for the whole month of February!! at JFK Medical Center, Edison - 732-321-7608 and these other participating locations: https://sitefinity.ada.org/docs/librariesprovider35/2021-gkas-marketing/2021-gkas-location-list.pdf?sfvrsn=653b038a_2

Please remind your child/ren of the importance of taking care of their teeth. Be a great role model by brushing and flossing your teeth in front of them and making dental care a part of their daily routine. Having healthy teeth makes a big difference in their overall health, comfort and hygiene and allows them a better education without distraction from tooth pain, mouth sores, bad breath and more.

Visit this link for a fun calendar activity your student can check off. Provide them an incentive when they are done, such as a family walk, their choice of family movie to watch, painting and so on. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Public%20Programs/Files/NCDHM%202021/2021NCDHM_BrushingCalendar_English.pdf?la=en.

Healthy Smile Tips:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste

  1. Clean between your teeth daily (use dental floss)

  2. Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary drinks and snacks.

  3. See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease

COVID-19 Vaccine Registration

Use this link from the state of New Jersey to enroll in the state's vaccination registration portal and to learn more about the vaccine.