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

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

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

Read Across America

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What a fun day!  Today was Read Across America Day a celebration of reading held on the
birthday of that wonderful master of storytelling, Dr. Seuss. And, of course, who
came to celebrate the day with us – the delightful, enchanting and always
charming, Cat in the Hat.

The bulletin boards were bursting
with all kinds of displays about books, children and teachers nonchalantly walked
around in their pajamas, and giant red and white top hats bobbed over heads
everywhere. Our famous visitor, the Cat in the Hat, pranced into every class and
read a story to the children; I had the privilege of reading a book to Ms.Walgren’s second grade class. As a special treat, a group of high school
students came to the Media Center and read aloud to the kindergarten children.   All in all – a memorable day in the life of
an elementary school.

Thank you to our resident Cat, Ms.
Carolina Concepcion; our Cat’s advance person Mr. Michael Rowley; our media
specialists  Ms. Kimee Moore (Newell ES) and
Ms. Yvonne VanHise (Allentown HS); and, to all our staff and parent volunteers
who joined in the fun to highlight the joy of reading for our children.

We want our children to become enthusiastic,
eager readers. Today is one step to that goal.

And the Nominations Are . . .

Do you know an excellent
teacher?  Has your child experienced an extraordinary
teacher?  Over the years, I am sure that
we can all say “Yes, I know such teachers and they have truly made a
difference.”   Now is the time to
recognize these teachers.

 Currently, there are two opportunities to
recognize excellent teachers

  (1)  Monmouth
County Teacher Recognition Award – Given by Monmouth County

There are no specific
applications for the Monmouth County Award; instead, you are asked to submit
letters of nomination and give them to Mrs. Joan West, our school secretary, in the Main Office. You may simply want to duplicate the application for the
award below and submit it to both entities. More information about this award is on our district website. Nominations for this award can be made by
parents, self, staff, students, and community members.

Due Date: 
Friday, March 11

  (2) The Phoebe Hearst Outstanding Educator Award
– A National PTA Excellence in Education Award – Given by the UFRPTA

 Applications for the Phoebe
Hearst Award will be sent home by our PTA in backpacks this Friday.  They will also be available on our website,
in the Main Office, and given out to parents at the Spring PT Conferences this week.
Nominations should be submitted to the PTA via mailbox or email.  Nominations for this award can be made by
parents only.

 Due Date: Friday, March 25

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We know how busy you are so why
not write one nomination and use it twice!

When the nominations are
collected, will yours be there?



A First Grade Staff – 100 Years Young

you noticed an unusual number of children lugging projects into school
lately?  I have and each one has been more excited than the next to tell
me about his or her project. The school is awash in 100 Days Projects. 
They are on display everywhere in classrooms and on hall bulletin
boards.  Next time you are in the building, check our bulletin boards, enjoy our children’s creative work, and, think about all the learning
involved in each project.

But, first, look below and admire our 100 years young and energetic first grade staff !

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