James Monroe Newsletter

November 2021

A message from the principal

Dear James Monroe Families,

We are already here in November! Please read our monthly update which is overflowing with information about upcoming events and the wonderful things that have been happening at James Monroe.

We are thankful for all of our families and the incredible staff and students at our school!


Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro, principal


Mrs. Pamela Hernandez, interim assistant principal


November Calendar

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

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Conferences - Nov 9th, 11th, 16th

The home-school connection is extremely important to us here at James Monroe! We realize that virtual conferences can be convenient for some families, as they eliminate the need for transportation, childcare arrangements and/or having to take time off work. Thus, for the upcoming conferences, we will be offering either in-person and virtual conferences.

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on the following dates (Dates may vary by teacher):

Tuesday, November 9th at 5:00 - 6:30pm

Thursday, November 11th at 2:00 - 3:30pm

Tuesday, November 16th at 5:00 - 6:30pm

These are early dismissal days.

Grades 1 - 5 - 1:30 p.m.

K am 9:00- 11:00

K pm 11:30 - 1:30

You may 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 will provide you with a progress update.

How to set up a Parent Teacher Conference:

1. Log into Parent Portal.

2. Go to Student Data and select "Conferences". A link will appear that says “Schedule Parent Teacher Conference” 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. Check the box for virtual or in-person.

5. Select only one meeting per teacher. You will receive an email notification to confirm the appointment.

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

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Spiritwear Sale - NOW OPEN until 11/30!

Are you ready for your James Monroe gear? Our online shop is now open! Shop at https://www.scholasticimpressions.com/james-monroe to get shirts, sweatshirts, masks, water bottles and so much more!!

Spiritwear Website

Click here to order your James Monroe gear!

Student Council Elections

The 2021-2022 student council elections have wrapped up at James Monroe! The Student Council’s goal is quite simple; lead and serve the student body through team collaboration and many wonderful opportunities to enrich the James Monroe community. The election procedure started within our grades 3-5 classrooms. Any student interested in running for a position gave a speech to their homeroom class. Each homeroom class then elected one student to represent them in the final selection process. The homeroom winner spent one week campaigning and creating election posters. This process culminated with three days of stump speeches, where the students spoke to various grade levels about why they believed they would best represent James Monroe on our student council Executive Board. Over 250 students voted, and the results are as follows:

Emma-Sophia Casado will represent 3rd grade as our student council Secretary.

Briella McCoy is representing 5th grade as the Public Relations Liaison.

Liliana Petrovsky will represent 4th grade as Vice President.

Melany Ceballos will also represent 5th grade but as your student council President!

We are so proud of all the students who were willing to express themselves during this process. We hope this year will be an exciting and memorable one for all of the James Monroe community, and our goal as Student Council will remain “Kindness through Service.”

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Student Council Food Drive

Our Student Council is hosting a Community Food Drive through November 23rd. Please consider sending your child to school with a non-perishable food or packaged donation for our Middlesex County food pantry, called Replenish. The food pantry has helped families in our community with food insecurity and has had a much greater demand since the start of the pandemic. Please refer to the flyer below for accpetable items. Look for the green donation bins in each hallway!
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Author Day - November 1st

On Author Day, Sheetal Sheth, children's author, visited James Monroe School to read aloud her new book, Bravo Anjali and to share some inspiring words about being a writer. Each class received an autographed copy of the book courtesy of the PTO. Mrs. Sheth shared a powerful message about letting our "light shine" and not ever letting anything stop us from achieving our goals. She told students that there are no mistakes with writing, you are finding ways to make your writing better. We are so lucky to spend the morning with her!

Later that day, students in all classrooms, participated in a fun writing activity called Pass the Pen. Listen to the tale of Tom the Turkey as each class added to the story line. We can't wait to hear how the story ends! Mrs. Tufaro will share a recording of her reading the final version aloud so the whole school can hear their story.

Chorus Sign-Ups for Grades 4 & 5

Chorus Practice is ready to begin Thursday, November 11, 2021!

Do YOU like singing? Do YOU wish you could sing better? Do YOU like to try to challenge yourself and sing songs that are more than one part singing at the same time? Do YOU like to sing and learn other languages? Then, the chorus is for YOU!

Chorus Practice will be held every Thursday during your lunch recess time for the 4th Grade (1:10-1:30pm) and 5th Grade(1:35-1:55pm). (Sorry about that but, the good news is you will have 4 other days to play with your friends at lunchtime! And, if your friends join the chorus, you will spend time singing with them!)

The first 50 students in each grade who sign-up will be accepted as members of the chorus.

Don’t delay, do it today!

Grade 4 Students click here to sign-up

Grade 5 Students click here to sign-up

5th grade Camp Bernie Trip

Check out highlights from our our 5th graders day at Camp Bernie this past month which included outdoor experiences, team building and confidence exercises. We had a picture perfect day for outdoor education! Thank you to our teacher chaperones and Mrs. Cynthia Reif, who planned the event, for their assistance and support.
Camp Bernie 2021

Congratulations to our Pumpkin Decorating Contest Winners!

We had over 150 students participate in our book themed Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Winners were selected based on whose pumpkin best represented the character being portrayed, the most creative pumpkin and the funniest pumpkin. Each winner received a book for a prize! Thank you to all of our participants!


Francesca Lee

Sebastian Daniel

Aarav Bharadwaj

1st grade

Nathan DeMichele

Siddharth Higashide

Alexandra Stewart

2nd grade

Saanvi Bhardwaj

Victoria Tobar

Kaylynn Barco

3rd grade

Andrea James Raja

Hailey Saric

Rayyan Qureshi

4th grade

Akira Higashide

Alyssa Bhardwaj

Jonathan & Brandon Munoz

5th grade

Siddarth Maimi

Izyann Shehag

Diya Rajput

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Highlights from our Halloween Parade

Click on the slideshow to watch a video of our annual parade and you will see our creative costumes, fun Halloween activities and super celebrations! What a great way to end the month of October!
Halloween Highlights 2021

National Education Week - November 16th

Each classroom will be sharing a message to families with either photos, videos, slides or a newsletters putting their own creative stamp on updates about what they are learning in their classroom this year.

Free Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast and lunch are FREE for all students. Click on the link to view this month's menus. Lunch is ordered the same day in the cafeteria and breakfast must be ordered in advance. Please complete the breakfast menu order form located in your child's folder each month.

A Message from Mrs. Sclafani, our school nurse

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James Monroe Parent Handbook

Open here to access information about James Monroe School.