Walk-A-Thon a Success

photo 3.JPGHere are some pictures from the Walk-A-Thon.

It was a beautiful day, perfect for being outside, and the children walked, skipped, hopped, and pranced happily around the field with our physical education teachers supervising, other teachers visiting, and parent volunteers watching. In picture on left, a parent volunteer,  Rosanna Lunghi, hugs her son, John, a first grader in Mrs. Prusik’s class.

photo 1.JPGLots of thanks to our PE teachers, Matt Nemeth and Rob Graham, and our student teacher, Kate Schuh (picture top) for their part in making it a fun and safe day for our children.

On the right, Paul Sulyok, Newell’s music teacher, organizes a group of chidlren.

photo 2.JPG Out thanks to the PTA for sponsoring this event and to all the parents for their donations. 

Reminder: Walk-A-Thon on Friday

This Friday, September 27, we will be holding our annual School Walk-A-Thon, a PTA sponsored fundraising event. Each grade will be walking at a designated time for about 50 minutes on the lawn on the school grounds. You can help by making sure your child wears comfortable shoes and by sending in your donations to your child’s teacher by Friday. Our very generous PTA will be supplying water.

A Celebration of Summer Reading

On Friday,  we celebrated “summer reading” and what a fabulous event it was.  We held our Scholastic Summer Reading Celebration in the gym; the place was filled with children, staff members, and lots of excitement. With music playing and balloons afoft, children and classes were applauded for the incredible amount of reading they had done. The cheers were loud and long and with good reason.

Our school ranked 15th out of the thousands of schools that participated in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge! We also met our school reading goal of 1,500,000 minutes.  In this event, children kept track of the number of minutes they spent reading this past summer by entering  the numbers into an online database run by -18559660281B2C5307.pngScholastic, a well known children’s publisher.  Because we met our goal, to the delight of everyone present, some of our staff members were “dunked” in an outside dunk tank. No doubt, it was the highlight of the day for everyone, except perhaps for the gallant and very wet  “dunkees.” 

The top readers in each grade were recognized and awarded a hard bound collector’s series of books courtesy of the PTA. The top classes in each grade will have a pizza party and the teacher of the class that read the most minutes received an award that will allow her to purchase materials for her classroom.

Not only did the children do all this reading but they also performed a community service by donating a penny for every minute read to the Allentown Public Library.  In all they raised close to 750 dollars. At the celebration, Nancy Stein from -18581287167706F877.pngthe library was there to accept the donation (picture on left.)

Truly, this was a school community event.  In addition to the involvement of the public library, we are grateful to Fulton Bank for donating piggy banks to each child for collecting their pennies and to Colonial Bowling for providing gift bags for each child.

Special thanks and genuine applause go to two staff members, Ms. Sue Downs and Ms. Kimee Moore, for the magnificent job they did in spearheading this program. We can’t thank them enough.

Spring 2013 NJ Test Results Sent Home

On Tuesday, we mailed home to fourth grade parents/guardians, the results of the NJ ASK, the state’s standardized tests, that were administered last spring to our current fourth graders when they were in third grade.  These test results  tell parents how well their chlldren did in meeting state standards and how well their children did compared to other children at the same grade level throughout the state. As third graders the children took tests in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics; this year as fourth graders they will take an additional test in Science.

I want to make two points regarding these scores:

(1) Please remember when looking at these results that they are only one measure of your child’s academic performance. We believe that all students should be assessed using multiple measures of performance, including such measures as class grades, classroom work, observations, and portfolios.

(2) If you have any questions about the meaning of these scores and your child’s performance in general, please contact your child’s teacher, Ms. Silva, our Vice Principal, or me.

No Pets Please During Arrivals and Dismissals

A letter telling parents/guardians that pets are not allowed on school property in the vicinity of the children’s arrival and dismissal times is going home tomorrow. I am posting it here as well to reinforce its message.

Recently, the staff and I have observed a number of people with dogs on areas of school property used during the children’s arrival and dismissal times.  This is not allowed.  For the children’s safety, we do not permit pets to be present at these times and in these areas in order to prevent any child from being hurt either accidently by an animal or because of allergies to animals. We also have some children who are fearful of animals and might be frightened.

We need and expect your cooperation in abiding by this safety regulation and trust that you will understand why it is in place. As always, we are grateful for your participation in making Newell Elementary School safe for all students and staff.

PTA Meeting Tonight – First of the Year

The PTA will be conducting its first meeting of the school year tonight at 7 p.m. in the Newell Media Center. The PTA represents all three schools and is an active and dynamic part of our school community. Its impact is felt in all three schools through the events the parents run and the funds they raise. Here at Newell our fabulous new playground was put up with their help.  I encourage you to become involved. It is a way to help your school, your child, and to make some wonderful and long-lasting friends.

Some Second Day News

PTA lunch.JPGThe second day of school and another beautiful day. Thanks to the members of the PTA for making this second day of school a memorable one for the entire staff by inviting us all to an Appreciation Lunch. Everything was delicious and there was lots of it, including some wonderful cookies for dessert. We are grateful to all the parents for their generousity and support throughout the year,and, we are especially appreciative of the message today’s luncheion conveyed – in this school parents and teachers together create success. In the photo on left are two parents, Vanessa DePompo and Stephanie Williams, who hosted today’s event on behalf of the PTA.

K Pictures  Today we (Dr.Fitzpatrick, Ms. Silva, and myself) had our pictures taken with the kindergarten classes and their teachers.  In about two weeks, the pictures will be ready and sent to parents as a memento of their child’s first days in kindergarten. Visiting those classes and seeing those beautiful faces and earnest expressions on this second day of school is a reminder for all of us that every child begins school excited and eager to learn and to succeed. Our job, as parents and teachers, is to work together to help them do well, gain confidence, and continue to feel excited about learning.

First Day of the New School Year

first day2.JPGHere are Newell’s first grade teachers welcoming first graders on the first day of the new school year. And, it was a perfect day!

Weather-wise, it could not have been more beautiful, blue skies, crystal-clear, and balmy.  Everything went smoothly.  The children arrived all shiny and excited, and  before long, the sounds of teaching and learning had returned to the school.

Let me begin by first reintroducing myself.  I’m Carol Roche and I am the interim principal here at Newell until the middle of November when Kelly Huggins, the regular school principal, returns from maternity leave.  I have been here since May 15.  It’s my second time around filling in for Mrs. Huggins having been here two years ago when she went on her first maternity leave.  I love being here and am grateful to Dr. Fitzpatrick, our superintendent, and the board for providing me with this opportunity. If you ever need to contact me my email address is rocheca@ufrsd.net

This year we are beginning a major effort to instill the social skills expressed in the phrase Newell CARES (Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control) into the fabric of the school.  You will begin to see CARES posters around the school and the staff will be making references to these words and their meaning when talking about behavior expectations and when relevant in the context ot their lessons.  We are hoping that your children will not only be using these words themselves but will be modeling these behaviors naturally in their actions.

To the parents, on behalf of Tara Silva, our vice principal, and the entire staff we want to thank you for entrusting your children to us. We want you to know that we understand that the caring begins with us and that we intend to work with each other and with you to help each child have a successful and happy year.