All About Alloway

Alloway Township School's E-Newsletter - September 2018

Welcome Back!

The 2018-19 school year started on Wednesday, September 5 for students, and the entire school staff was so glad to see our students and to welcome new students, too!

This year we had three events to welcome students and families back to school. The 2nd annual 'Welcome Back Open House' for all students and their families was on Wednesday, August 29. We had many students and families (returning and new) come out for this event. Based on favorable survey responses, we had a new event the night before the first day of school. The 'Meet & Greet' for our Pre-K through 2nd grade students and their families was held on September 4. Our youngest and newest students had the opportunity to become familiar with the school and their classroom. Students and parents also got to meet teachers and the administration. The traditional 'Back-to-School Night' was for grades 3 through 8. Parents followed their student's schedule in order to learn about their forthcoming year. We are grateful to our SACC leaders Katie Handte and Cindy Tarry for facilitating child care during this event. We had about 30 kids stay to play, so we are very appreciative of our student volunteers. We had 7 of our 7th and 8th graders help our SACC leaders with child

care. Thank you, Future Educators of Alloway!

We are looking forward to an exciting year at ATS. Welcome back!

Welcome Back, Mrs. Gaburo, our interim assistant principal!

Standardized Assessments

State statute requires that schools provide parents and guardians with information about state and commercial assessments that will be administered during the school year. At Alloway, the state assessment is Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College (PARCC), and the commercial assessment is Measure of Academic Progress (MAP).


Subject Areas: Math & ELA

Grade Level Tested: 3-8

# of Administrations: 1 (Spring)

Mode of Testing: computer*

Testing Time Allotted: 4 hours

Testing Window: April 8-May 28

Results Arrive to District: Summer

Additional Information:

Required? Yes, by state


Subject Areas: Math, Reading, & Language for 3-8; Math and Reading for K-2

Grade Level Tested: K-8

# of Administrations: 3 (Fall, Winter & Spring)

Mode of Testing: computer*

Testing Time Allotted: untimed **

Testing Window: Fall (September) Winter (January) Spring (May)

Results Arrive to District: Next day

More Information:

Required? Not by federal or state (but for diagnostic purposes—yes)

* - accommodation & accessibility options available

** - typical time per area– less than an hour & less than a half hour for K-2

This year the New Jersey Department of Education has notified ATS that our school has been selected to represent schools across the nation by participating in the 2019 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP is the largest nationally representative assessment of what students across the country know and can do in core subjects. It is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the US Department of Education. Information will be forthcoming to 4th grade parents prior to the administration.


Subject Areas: Math and Reading

Grade Level Tested: 4

Testing Time Allotted: approximately 90 minutes

Testing Date: March 7, 2019

More Information:

We Welcome New Staff for 2018-19!

Friendly New Faces

Mr. Cody Bowen – Instructional Aide

Mrs. Brittany Chan – Special Education Math Teacher

Ms. Aly Gilmore – Instructional Aide

Ms. Lauren Granate - Business Office

Mrs. Hope Mortimer – 3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Tara Reinerth – Middle School Science Teacher

Familiar Faces in New Places

Mrs. Deanna Bowling – CST/Guidance

Mrs. Kim DeFebo – Pre- K Teacher

Mrs. Alison Derenberger – Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Shannon DuBois-Brody - Business Administrator

Mrs. Bethany Garrison – 3rd Grade Substitute Teacher (year)

Mrs. Libby Lodge – Main Office

Mrs. Karen Murphy – SOAR Math

Improvements in Title 1 Programs

We use multiple measures to determine which students need additional support in math and language arts. This program has been known as Basic Skills Instruction (BSI). This year, the program gets a new name – SOAR (Supportive Opportunities for Academic Resources). We have trained instructional aides providing push-in support in both math and language arts. The support is provided daily and consistently – both of which are significant improvements.

Grades K-5 have a period called "Tiger Time" for individualized instruction during the school day. Students who need support in math and/or language arts will receive SOAR during this period. SOAR is provided by two teachers: Mrs. Strawderman for language arts and Mrs. Murphy for math. Students who are performing at grade-level standards and students who need to be challenged to extend beyond the grade level standards will be tasked to do so by the classroom teacher during the “Tiger Time” period.

SOAR students in grades 6-8 receive supplemental support daily in their math and/or language arts class. Our SOAR instructional aides are new this year.

If you child meets the criteria to be served by this program, you will receive a letter as notification. If you do not want your child to receive this support, please indicate your wishes in writing to Kristin Schell. There will be an informational meeting for parents of students receiving Title 1 services on September 27 @ 6:30.

“Gold Standard” Curricular Materials/Resources - NEW for 2018-19!

  • Pre-K: Fountas & Pinnell Shared Reading
  • K-2: Fountas & Pinnell Guided Reading, Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study
  • 2-4: NJ Ready Writing
  • 5: NJ Ready Reading and Writing
  • K-5: McGraw Hill My Math
  • Additional texts for science & SS from TCI
  • SOAR K-5: Fountas & Pinnell LLI (Literacy)
  • SOAR K-5: McGraw Hill Number Worlds
  • 6-8: Glencoe Math
  • Pearson Algebra I
  • 6-8: TCI digital science
  • 6-8: TCI digital social studies
  • 6-8: Daily 5 Balanced Literacy model

Also NEW for 2018-19!

Front of Building - safer

8 Period Schedule - many benefits for all

Grade-Level Wings - developmentally appropriate

Departmentalization in 4th Grade- best practice

Cameras- 19 total for our campus

Chromebooks - 144 for Middle School

Semester VPA (Visual & Performing Arts) Courses - for Middle School

30 Keyboards - for performing arts courses

School Security Information Night

Monday, Oct. 15th, 6pm

ATS Media Center

About This Event

Providing a safe, secure building for students and staff is our #1 priority. We aim to be prepared - not paranoid. In being prepared, we consider the lessons learned from tragic events and the best practice directives and recommendations from the DOE. We installed 19 cameras on our school’s campus this summer, and we have an agreement with law enforcement that they can remotely access our cameras in the event of an emergency.

To ensure safety in today’s world, we rely on: controlled access measures (procedures that screen visitors), locked doors, drilled responses, and now cameras to ensure safety and security.

Mr. James Corbley from the NJDOE will be here to present information on school security in today's world. Parents and community are invited to attend this informative session during Violence Awareness Week.

Strategic Planning

The School Improvement Team (SIT) has been planning for the school to go through the strategic planning process during the 2018-19 school year. The actual 3-year plan will go in effect for the following years: 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22.

The process involves getting parents, community members, grandparents, community leaders, BOE members, and other stakeholders in the school to meet. The meeting discussions will cover the following topics: Points of Pride, Hopes for the Future, and Action Planning. The input gathered from students, staff, parents, and community informs the 3-year plan. Everyone has a voice in establishing our school's "North Star" and charting a course to get there, too.

The projected timeline for meeting was intended to be this fall. The SIT has decided to collaborate with a facilitator, and this will affect the projected dates for the night meetings. Since the SIT will need some time to work with the facilitator, we will meet in the new year – 2019. It is important to note that this will not impact the timeline of the 3-year plan. As originally stated, the plan will take effect starting with the 2019-20 year.

School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) & Recent Funding Reduction

As parents and community members, Alloway residents should be aware that we received another reduction in our state aid this summer. (Recall that last summer we were notified that our aid was being reduced by $29,000.) This summer, we were notified that this year's reduction is $82,937. This is a direct result of legislative action aimed at reallocating 46 million dollars over 7 years from districts labeled 'overfunded' to districts labeled 'underfunded.'

Many school districts in Salem County are labeled 'overfunded' - including Alloway Township School. This label is best understood by going back to 2008. SFRA was passed as a funding formula that was neither funded nor executed. Though SFRA passed, school funding from the state essentially remained status quo based on enrollment at that time. Through the hold harmless clause, funding was not reduced at ATS even though enrollment throughout the county and town has steadily declined. In 2015-16, Alloway was reported to be funded at 136%.

School funding in New Jersey is a complicated issue involving schools, politicians, and taxpayers. If you conduct a Google search for education in NJ using the key words 'fair funding' or 'SFRA 2008', you will find many articles and perspectives on this issue.

Media Release Consent Form 2018-19

We need updated media consent forms for every student in the school. The form can be found on our website. It was also sent as an attachment through Tigernet. Please fill this form out (one per student) and return it to school with your child. They are being collected in the main office.

FYI: Emergency Alert Test - Oct. 3, 2018 @ 2:18 PM

There was supposed to be a test of the national "alert via cellphones" system on Sept. 20. It has been rescheduled for Oct. 3 @ 2:18 PM. Similar to the TV version from the 1980's, they plan to explicitly state that this is only a test of the system and not an actual event.

This emergency alert test is a nationwide test of the same system that broadcasts public emergency messages like AMBER alerts. Presidential alerts are for national emergencies only. FEMA is testing to ensure it will work in the event it is needed.

Butterfly Parade - Friday, Sept. 28 1:30

The annual releasing of our classroom butterflies and parade of stages will be on Friday, Sept. 28 starting at 1:30. Students in grades Pre-K through 2nd will parade around the school using the bus path so that our event remains on campus. This is to ensure safety and security. The ceremony will be in the fire lane. Parents and community are invited to attend this traditional event. The entrance and exit will be blocked off for the event, but parking is available in the main lot across the street and on the street.