PTA Hosts Staff Appreciation Breakfast and Gives Outstanding Educator Award

On Wednesday, May 4, the PTA celebrated
Teacher Appreciation Day by hosting a spectacular breakfast for the staff in
the school cafeteria and then using the occasion to announce the winner of the
Phoebe Hearst Outstanding Educator Award – A National
PTA Excellence in Education Award – Given by the UFRPTA. 

This
year’s winner is Allison Tate, a first grade teacher, who was recognized
for her competence, compassion and concern for her students, and her dedication
to teaching.  Congratulations to
Allison. 

And,
thanks to the PTA, and the parents, in particular, who prepared the food,
served it so graciously, and by their presence conveyed their appreciation to
the teachers and other support staff members for the work that they do. Celebrations,
such as these, that bring parents and teachers together make Newell Elementary
School a great school – a good place for children to learn and teachers to
teach.
 

Thank
you parents!

Grade 2 Computer Club: Art Project Involves Four Seasons Residents

5641557722_7827272080.jpg Second graders have the opportunity to join one of four clubs (art,
library, gym, and computer) during their recess period.  They attend the club for one day a week for
one marking period.  Recently, the
children in the computer club participated in an art contest.  Each student researched endangered animals
from all over the world, chose one to focus on, and created digital artwork to
represent that animal in its natural habitat. 
Residents from the Four Seasons adult community in Allentown judged the
artwork and came to Newell to meet the artists and hand out the awards. During
their visit, the children showed the judges the program they used to create the
artwork and demonstrated how to use it. Ms. Mimi Rowland, our computer teacher, arranged
the meeting to the delight of both children and visitors.  Here are some pictures from this special
event.

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An Unusual Visitor to First Grade

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Today first graders in Ms. Nancy Qualiano’s class had an
interesting visitor, a beautiful, black and white, baby goat only four weeks
old who let out a loud bleat when introduced to the children, much to their
obvious delight.

 Ms. Leslie Search from Lahaway Farm in Cream Ridge brought
the goat to school and patiently answered the children’s questions.  Formerly a member of the Newell staff, she’s
also written a children’s book about goats that the first graders read in their
class prior to this visit. Ms. Search explained what goats eat, how young goats like
to play, and why the baby goat was nervous around children.  “What is her name?” asked one little girl only
to find out that the baby was unnamed because if she had a name it would be too
hard for Ms. Search to give her away.

It was a lovely sunny morning and the unusual visit took place out on the field.  As her owner
cradled her in her lap, the children took turns gently petting the baby goat.  A memorable moment for the children, and, we
hope, for the baby goat, too!

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May 9 – 13: State Testing Week Grades 3 and 4

During the week of May 9 to May
13, students in Grades 3 and 4 will be taking state-mandated examinations in
Language Arts (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, and Science. The state uses
these tests to promote and measure student achievement of state curriculum
standards and to meet state and federal accountability requirements. For our
purposes, the testing provides additional and critical information
about individual and group performance. 
We can measure a child’s individual progress from year to year as well
as our grade-level performance over a period of time.  By no means are these standardized scores the
only data we use to look at student achievement but they are an essential piece.
We also use these test results to evaluate the strength of our curriculum and
instructional program.

In preparing our children for the
tests we make every effort to forestall any anxiety and to help them feel
comfortable and confident in approaching them. 
We ask you to do the same.  Simply seeing that your child has
a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast each day will help.

If you have any questions about
these tests, please call and I would be happy to talk with you.


Here is the
week’s test schedule:

Grade 3/4

 

Monday/Tuesday        May 9, 10                    Language Arts

Wednesday/Thurs.      May 11-12                  Mathematics

Friday                             May
13                      Science


For children who are absent on these days, make-up examinations will be given during the week of May 16-20.

 

 

April 28: Kindergarten Information Session

On Thursday
evening, April 28, at 7 PM, there will be an Information Session for parents of
children who will be attending our Kindergarten in September 2011
.

As appropriate for this grade
level, it will be a “Show and Tell” that will both inform the parents and allow
them to see how our children learn.  Our
excellent Kindergarten staff will explain the program including the curriculum,
special events, and available resources. The teachers will show how technology enriches
the curriculum and enhances children’s learning.

We are proud to “show off” our
kindergarten program.  It’s one of the
many jewels of Newell Elementary School reflecting our key features – a caring
competent staff, strong curriculum, and concern for each individual child.  

Reminder: Support Staff Member of the Year Nominations Due April 29


Is there a member of our support staff that you believe deserves recognition for outstanding service to our school community?  If so, please submit your nomination to the main office by this Friday, April 29.  Nomination forms are available in the main office. 

Criteria for selection are based on the contributions made by this staff member to creating a sense of community, promoting a climate for learning, and modeling a commitment to character. One recipient will be identified at each school by the selection committee to receive this award.

Candidates may self- nominate or be nominated by a colleague, parent, student, or community member.  

Support staff includes secretaries, school aides, classroom assistants, custodial workers, bus drivers, and lunchroom employees.  This is an opportunity to laud a member of our non-certificated staff who works hard every day to make our school a safe, comfortable, and welcoming place for children.


Deb Kammerer: Newell ES’s Monmouth County Teacher of the Year

 

Newell Elementary School is proud
to recognize Ms. Deb Kammerer as the recipient of this year’s Monmouth County
Teacher of the Year Award.

Ms. Kammerer has worked in the
UFRSD for close to five years as a special education teacher. Currently she
works with students in grades two and three. Her colleagues describe her as
intelligent, highly competent, and extremely professional, someone who already
has earned a Master’s Degree but continues to go to school at Rutgers for certification
as a behaviorist “not only to better herself, but to enhance the instruction for
the students with whom she works.”

She has been lauded for her
willingness to “do what it takes” to help children be successful, and “to
provide insight, feedback and meaningful suggestions” to other staff members about
ways to help children learn.

Congratulations to Ms. Kammerer
on this recognition.  As a skilled,
compassionate, and dedicated teacher, respected by parents and colleagues
alike, she is an excellent representative of Newell Elementary School’s extraordinary staff.  

March is Music in Our Schools Month


To celebrate Music in Our
Schools Month, in addition to preparing some attractive and informative
bulletin board displays, our music teacher, Mr. Paul Sulyok has planned two
exciting events.  

 

A Music Trivia Contest  (March 14 – Music 18) 
Each class will receive a list of music trivia questions, one set for K-2 and
another set for 3-4.  The class will have
the entire week to research the answers which are due on Monday, March 21.  The prize – the satisfaction of getting the
right answers!

 

Class Talent Shows (March 28 – April 1) – Students will have a chance to perform for
their classmates during their regular class music period. In first and second
grades, students can share their talents by playing the piano or singing a
song. In third and fourth grades, students can add other acts such as singing
and dancing or playing another instrument that they are studying.   Reminder:  Only those students who bring in a signed
permission slip can perform.  We have
found a parent preview helps assure that each act is acceptable for the
classroom.

A Principal’s Life

 Last Friday, as I was walking in the hall, I came upon a
fourth grader rushing just ahead of me putting on his coat.  “Where are you going in such a hurry,” I
asked.  “Out to recess,” he said. “I had
to go back and get my coat”   “Tie your
shoelaces,” I said. “You’re going to trip.” Bending down he quickly tied the
laces and continued ahead. Then just as he approached the door marked Exit, he
turned around and said quite calmly, “Dr. Roche, how’s your day so far?”

 

That same afternoon, Mrs. Blum took her kindergarten class
to the main office as part of a unit on community and school workers. In
introducing the office staff to the children, she commented that Mrs. West, our school
secretary, who went to this school has been working here a long time.  “How long do you think she’s been here?”
asked, Mrs. Blum.  A hand shot up, “I know,
a thousand years!” a youngster said, proudly.

 

“Dr. Roche, can you help us?” asked the first grader, as she
and two other little girls walked towards me in the hall. “I hope so,” I
answered, “How can I help?”  With that,
she pointed sadly at one of her companions who slowly opened her mouth, “She
lost her tooth.  We can’t find it. It’s a
little white tooth (pause, right hand in the air, thumb and pointer finger barely touching) with a tiny bit of blood on
it.”  After joining the search for a
respectful period of time, I suggested they return to their class and hope for
the best. Then, I continued down the hall with a big smile on my face. It was
the “tiny bit of blood” that got me.  .

 

 

Bus Evacuation Drills

Just in case, your child, a “walker”,
tells you that she was on the bus this morning, please note the following:

 

We conducted bus evacuation
drills this morning for ALL students
in the school.  In the past, these drills
involved only those children who rode the buses daily. Recently, the state
mandated new procedures that require school districts to include all children
in the drills since there are likely to be instances, for example, field trips,
when these children, “the walkers”, will be riding the buses as well.

 For those
children who regularly ride the buses
, the bus
drivers conducted the emergency drill on the buses after they arrived at school
and before discharging the children

 For those
children who do not regularly ride the buses
, a staff member escorted the children by grade to the bus for the
drill.

The drills were brief but an
essential and required safety procedure.