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Principal Message Spring 2019


Dear Elms Families,


Spring is here!!  We have many activities coming up in the last couple of months of school.  As we begin the final marking period of this school year, we ask that you continue to encourage your children to read each evening and complete homework assignments, as this impacts their academic standing.



Junie B. Jones Jr. The Musical:

Congratulations to all of our 4th and 5th grade actors, stage crew and performers for a fantastic show! On April 11th, the Elms Drama Club, sponsored by the Elms PTN Grant Program and directed by Ms. Clark, performed a special rendition of Junie B. Jones Jr. The Musical. The presentation really brought this favorite book series to life. The actors and singers were simply amazing! If you are not familiar with Junie B. Jones, be sure to visit the Elms School Library to take out a series selection. Junie B. is a character with lots of personality and it’s always a fun read. A special thank you to Ms. Clark, Ms. Hample, Ms. Stromberg, Ms. Armstrong, and Ms. Angie for volunteering your time to our performers. Thank you Drama Club for making some special memories that night!



Geography Bee:

This school year, Elms hosted the first annual Jackson School District Elementary Geography Bee on April 2nd. Four representatives from each Jackson Elementary School competed in a team format. Students showcased their knowledge of national and global cartography, regional features, and interesting facts about our world.  We are so proud of Jessie Tidcombe, Jack Klein, Stephen Mikulak, and Dale Pateman for representing our school. These students were the top finalists of the Elms Elementary School-level Geography Bee. Thank you to Mr. Levinson and Ms. Barton for your efforts in organizing and facilitating this exciting event!



April is National Autism Awareness Month:

Elms Elementary is proud to support and participate in the nationwide effort to promote autism awareness and inclusion for all learners.  Our school strives to be a community that truly values all of our students for their unique talents and gifts. National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness,  an acceptance of differences, and an appreciation of diversity. Elms teachers have prepared interactive, augmentative experiences to understand Autism and other disabilities, to foster empathy, and to give our learners a chance to “walk in another person’s shoes”.


Thank you to our teachers who worked hard to foster social awareness, acceptance, and inclusion as we develop a true appreciation of the unique aspects of all learners.


Book Drive for Lakehurst Elementary School:

This year, Elms School facilitated a Book Drive and a Penny War Contest to collect and purchase books for Lakehurst Elementary School after they lost their library inventory last year. Representatives from Lakehurst picked up the boxes of books this week. It is very rewarding to know that the Elms Community could help children in need of reading selections. A special thank you to Ms. Jill Sweet and Ms. Jill Villecco for taking the lead in  organizing the many donations. We also wanted to thank our students, families and PTN for their generous donations.


Second Graders Visit Jenkinson’s Aquarium:  

The feedback from all the second-grade teachers who attended the Jenkinson's Aquarium was overwhelmingly positive.  Students and staff enjoyed the tour and interacting with the sea creatures. The children’s expressions and excitement throughout the day were priceless.   Thank you to our wonderful PTN for this great field trip and to all the parents who support the PTN fundraising events!


PTN News:  There are many ways you can get involved at school – check out our awesome PTN.  They do so much to support our school programs with your continuous generosity. Please join us for our next PTN meeting.



PAW-some Leaders of the Month:

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. Such initiatives allow us 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.  We wanted to share that time with our participants is always fun-filled and boasts smiles all around, Thank you to our LEaders of the Month for making Elms such a special place.

Multicultural Night:


Elms Elementary School is proud to announce our first Multicultural Museum Night on May 21, 2019.   The evening event will provide our students and families an opportunity to experience the variety of countries and cultures represented within our school community.  Leading up to the event, students will be creating projects in school to celebrate and educate themselves about a heritage, culture, or nationality of their choice. The projects will be displayed throughout the building to enhance the Museum Night. We look forward to seeing you there.



Student Survey Grades 3-5:  A committee of Jackson educators, consisting of teachers, administrators and board of education members are reviewing equity across the district.  Part of the review includes surveying students. Students in grades 3-5 will be completing a twenty question Google survey in their S.T.E.M. class. The survey is anonymous.  The results of the survey will be used for curriculum planning and training across the district.



PARCC Testing: PARCC Testing begins on May 8th and will continue through the end of May.  NJSLA Science will begin for fifth grade students on May 29, 2019 through May 30th.   We encourage you to visit the district’s “Understanding Assessments and Grading’’ resource page, which has a host of information about the PARCC and other assessments – including:

The New Jersey Assessment Student Learning Assessment Science (NJSLA Science) is a state test given to students in grade 5 throughout New Jersey. These tests were developed to evaluate the achievement of students within the context of New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards in the area of Science.  As I’m sure you are aware, a child will perform more successfully on a test if he/she has proper rest, good nutrition, and arrives to school on time. Your special attention to these areas will help ensure your child has his or her best chance for success!

Building Safety-Bus Ramp:

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. When entering the Elms School Parking Lot the speed limit is 15 MPH. Many families are entering and exiting the building throughout the day. To ensure traffic safety, please be sure to limit vehicle speed to 15 MPH to ensure the safety of our students and families. Your attention to this request is appreciated.


On behalf of all of Elms’ staff, we wish all our families a restful Spring Break! Please contact the school directly if you have any questions.  We will be glad to help you.


Michael Burgos                                               Shawn Levinson

Principal                                                         Assistant Principal