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Principal Message - March 2018

Dear Elms Families,

Joseph Addison once said, “What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.”

With this notion in mind, a lot exciting things are happening here at Elms School!  Through innovative and exciting experiences, Elms Elementary teachers continue to nurture and prepare our students with passion and dedication.

Read Across America:

During the week of Read Across America, Elms Elementary celebrated with a number of activities designed to recognize our readers and foster a love for Literacy. Students of all grade levels were selected daily and awarded prizes for their efforts in completing their Olympic Reading Logs. Our students had the opportunity to participate in Elms’ Reading Game Show. Using grade-level created read-aloud lists, student teams competed with grade-level peers answering questions about some of our favorite stories.  It was so much fun to see them compete using their literary knowledge. Additionally, K-5 classes that read the most are being invited to participate in an Olympic Reading Obstacle Course with Mr. D’Ambrosio.  Congratulations to the following classes: Ms. Guedes - 3,997 minutes; Ms. O’Brien - 6,824 minutes, Ms. Longo - 9,976 minutes, Ms. Hreha - 6,923 minutes, Ms. Lokerson - 9,687 minutes, and Ms. Paquette - 11,600 minutes. 

Despite 2 Nor’easters, a significant snowfall, and a rescheduling of the event, our PTN Book Fair and Dr. Seuss Family Night were a huge success.  Our teachers volunteered their time as actors yielding a wonderful experience for our learners and an outstanding Book Fair Night for the Elms School Community.  Students, staff, and parents alike enjoyed the student writing display throughout the building.  We are so proud of our young authors for their talent and accomplishment. 

Thank you to our PTN Book Fair coordinators and volunteers for their organization and dedication.  Thank you to Ms. Villecco and the Jackson Education Association (JEA) for sponsoring our Read Across America week and our Dr. Seuss Night. We would also like to thank the Jackson Rotary Club for donating 2 $25 B&N gift cards, 2 beautiful writing journals, and color pens to foster a love of reading and writing.

Girl Scouts
On Monday March 12th, Elms Elementary is inviting all of our Girls Scouts to help us celebrate the 106th anniversary of the Girls Scouts of America.  Scouts can wear their sash, vest, or uniform to school to be recognized, and the PTN plans to photograph all of our scouts for the yearbook.

Internet Safety Assembly:
The internet can be a wonderful resource for students to research, to present, to communicate with teachers and other students, and to play interactive games.  “Kids who are old enough to swipe a screen can have access to the world.  But that access can also pose hazards.” (Kids Health 2015) In the month of February, students in grades 4 & 5 participated in an Internet Safety assembly presented by Officer Pojowski of the Jackson Police Department.  Our visiting officer taught our kids about staying safe on-line including proper use of social networking sites, the permanency of on-line information, finding credible resources when researching, and the importance of digital citizenship.  Working with the community and specifically with the Jackson Police is a great way to make connections between home, school, and the community.

MIA/POW Assembly:
Elms School would like to thank Mr. Rosenzweig for his lessons regarding the men and women in uniform who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe.  This month, Mr. Rosenzweig visited Elms to educate our students about MIA/POW. The students were very attentive and asked lots of great questions.  Our fourth grade students also had the opportunity to write letters to the families of MIA soldiers and meet representatives from the Jackson Police Department. Thank you Mr. Rosenzweig for facilitating this program at Elms.

Kindergarten Registration:
For all parents looking to enroll their children in Kindergarten, registration is set for the week of March 19th.  Our 2018-19 registration forms are now available on the district website.  Elms Elementary humbly requests that all parents call to make an appointment for registration.  This will enable us to have the proper amount of personnel and paperwork available, as well as keep our wait times short.  If you have any questions, please contact the Elms Main Office.

Snack with the Principal:
During the month of March, Elms continues to promote character education by celebrating the success of our students.  Ongoing initiatives like Snack with the Principal showcase our commitment to character education. The acute purpose of Snack with the Principal is to celebrate students’ successes with regards to exhibiting strong character, being a role model for peers, and taking responsibility for making our school a better place.  I wanted to share that my time with our participants is always fun-filled and boasts smiles all around.  Thank you, student, for making Elms such a special place!

Report Cards:
The 2nd Trimester is coming to an end and the third, and final, will begin soon.  Reports will be available on April 12th via the parent portal.  If you have problems with parent portal, please contact

With report cards on our minds and student achievement a common goal for parents and teachers; please remember that one of the most important things we can do to support our children’s success is to read with our children every day.  Research tells us that student daily reading practice (15-30 minutes) will continue to strengthen skills in all academic domains.  Have your child read to you; read with your child; and/or read to your child.  Consider keeping a daily writing journal to share and record ideas generated from their reading.  Writing-ideas will serve to strengthen expressive written language skills.  Daily reading and writing both in school and at home will continue to strengthen the foundation for success in all academic domains.

Spelling Bee:
The Elms annual Spelling Bee was held on January 11th.  All of our 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 in April, and Arya will go to the Asbury Park Press Spelling Showdown at Monmouth University.  Great job!

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!

Building Safety:
In an effort to enhance security measures, Elms Elementary continues to review safety protocols and implement procedures needed to foster a safer school environment.  Please know that the safety of our students will always be our top priority.  We humbly request that you look over our procedures and know that additional adjustments may be implemented at any time.
- No parent or visitor will be allowed to enter the building with students during arrival 8:55-9:05 am.  Parents are encouraged to use the drop-off loop on the north side of the building during this time.
- After 9:05am, visitors must ring the bell to the left of the main entrance and state their name and purpose for visiting.  ID is required for ALL visitors.
- Dropped off items such as birthday treats, forgotten articles (i.e. notebooks, sneakers), etc. will be accepted at the door by a staff member.
- Upon entering the building, ID must be given to the receptionist and a visitor badge obtained.  A staff member will escort you to your destination.
- When entering the building DO NOT hold the door for the person behind you.  For the safety of everyone, all visitors must follow the same procedures.
-Upon leaving, sign out with, and return the visitor badge to, the receptionist, and your ID will be returned to you.
With these procedures, please understand that there may be an extended wait before you enter the building, due to verification purposes.  We appreciate your cooperation in making Elms a safe place for all learners and educators.

Upcoming Events:
March 13 – Grade 1 Trip
March 14 – PTN Meeting 9:30am
March 15 – Supply Cart
March 16 – School Spirit Day – Wear Green!
March 19-23 – Kindergarten Registration (9:30-11:30am, appointments recommended)
March 20 – Grade 2 Trip
March 20 – 6:30p Board of Ed Meeting @ JMHS
March 22 – Grade 1 Trip
March 30-April 6 – Spring Break
April 12 – District Spelling Bee @ JLHS
April 12 – Report Cards available via Parent Portal
April 13 – Spring Pictures