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Principal Message - February 2018

Dear Elms Family,


Celebrating Success:

Daddy-Daughter Dance: On February 2nd, the PTN hosted the Daddy-Daughter Dance was held at Elms.  We want to thank the volunteers who decorated the gym – the transformation was amazing!  It was a great night for our girls and the special men in their lives, be it Dads, Step-dads, Grandpas, Unlces, Brothers, or someone special, it will be a memory to be cherished!

Teachers of the Year: Congratulations to the 2018 Educators of the Year – Ms. Alyssa Agoston & Ms. Jessica Fioretti. 
Ms. Fioretti, a PreSchool Speech & Language Therapist was selected as the Educational Support Professional, her dedication to the Special Education PreSchool and the healthy eating habits of all students are two of her endearing qualities.  She has been working with Sustainable NJ grants to create a learning garden to provide hands on agricultural education to the students of Elms.

Ms. Agoston is a dedicated, veteran teacher of Elms whose compassion and commitment to education is to be applauded.  Ms. Agoston is the co-advisor of the Garden Club, providing students with hands-on agricultural experience, as well as being a leader and voice of experience among her colleagues.

Congratulations again to our amazing Educators of the Year!  You do Elms proud!

Spelling Bee - Elms Elementary held their annual Spelling Bee on January 11.  All of the participants did an amazing job.  The staff was truly impressed by their knowledge.  Congratulations to our Top 5: Ayush Kumar, Gianna Davino, Anthony Russo, Ava Fernandez, and our #1 speller – Arya Patel!  These 5 will all be invited to compete in the District Spelling Bee, and Arya will go to the Asbury Park Press Spelling Showdown at Monmouth University.  Great job!

Grants – Elms has been awarded $12,000 in grants from NJEA Sustainable Jersey, Toshiba America Foundation, and First Energy.  This money will help to build a living science curriculum.  For more information, see the Elms Website.  Thank you and congratulations to Ms. Danielle Parella, the primary author of these grants.  Her dedication to the students of Elms is truly awe-inspiring.


WIN (What Individuals Need) is a program that we began piloting in Grades 1 & 2 this past September.  We are pleased to report that the program is seeing positive results! Session 2 began this week, and we look forward to seeing more progress in the coming weeks

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. History. At Elms Elementary we are excited to celebrate Black History Month as we plan engaging activities to supplement our curriculum during the month of February.

PAWS-itive Character Education

“Everyone in society should be a role model, not only for their own self-respect, but for respect from others.” –Barry Bonds.

At Elms, we make It out priority to recognize students for demonstrating strong and positive character.  Our character education initiatives promote, model, and recognize students that strive to make Elms at welcomes, rewarding, and safe environment.  Our PAWS-itive Program encourages students to grow and develop into upstanding Elms community members.  Elms’ faculty are asked to fill out PAWS-itive Behavior Coupons to acknowledge students who act as respectful, caring, trustworthy, fair, and responsible citizens in school.  The slips are brought down to the guidance office mailbox for both weekly and monthly recognition.  Students who are selected weekly will receive a certificate, small prizes, and photo. Snack with the Principal will happen monthly to recognize the students of Elms for continuing to demonstrate kindness and integrity. Our goal is to create more rewarding lives and appositive culture for our students and school.  With this initiative we can:

  • Teach children how to reach out and express love, respect, and appreciate others
  • Help children become other-centered rather than self-centered
  • Establish a framework for more constructive words and actions
  • Create more positive home and school environments and connections.

S.T.E.M. at Elms:

According to Edutopia [2016], “The current demand for STEM-capable workers surpasses the supply of applicants who have trained for those careers. Moreover, 16 of the 20 occupations with the largest projected growth in the next decade are STEM related... Given these unmet needs for a STEM-capable workforce, the nation’s economic future depends on preparing more K-12 students to enter these fields.”  

To meet the growing need, for teaching and learning how to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math [S.T.E.M.] practices, teachers at Elms have taken significant strides to deliver instruction grounded in the philosophy of 21st Century Learning.  Elms teachers are creating high quality S.T.E.M. instructional experiences right in their own classrooms. Students are applying scientific and technological skills through problem based challenges.  Students can be seen talking with one another to problem solve, to strategize and plan, and to discuss the differences in their thinking - part of a healthy mindset fostering "grit!" Elms’ S.T.E.M. initiative is setting the foundation for our learners; preparing them with the college and career readiness skills of tomorrow.

Cold Weather: 

The ground hog has announced six more weeks of winter!  Please remember during the winter months, students still do go outside for recess, weather permitting.  The building is climate controlled.  We suggest layers so that the students can be comfortable in any setting.

Building Safety

It is the policy of the Jackson School District that every individual visitor entering the building must have their own valid State, Federal or Military ID.  No visitor will be admitted without the proper identification.  This is for the safety of our students and staff.

 Upcoming Events:

February 2 – 6p Daddy/Daughter Dance

February 7 – Gr 4 MIA/POW Assembly

February 8 – Gr K-4 DARE Assemblies

February 12 – Gr 1 & 2 Abe Lincoln Assembly

February 15 – Supply Cart

February 16 – 9:30a PTN Meeting – Elms IMC

February 16 – Gr 4 MIA/POW Assembly

February 19 – School Closed

February 22 – 2018-2019 PreK Orientation @ Elms IMC

February 23 – Gr 4 Soul Food Celebration

March 2 – Gr 4 Young Consumer Assembly


Please contact the school directly if you have any questions.  We will be glad to help you.


 Michael Burgos                                              Shawn Levinson
Principal                                                         Assistant Principal