• We enjoyed our first, full week of education this school year!  Picture Day was a success and we ended the week by naming our new mascot you may have seen outside on the first day of school.  The students came up with names, voted, and Paws is the chosen name for our friendly jaguar.  A big thank you to Ms. Zourzoukis for wearing the costume today and drumming up school pride and spirit with the students.  She asked to wear it, by the way, no coercion on my part!  Thank you to the PTO for bringing our mascot to life and promoting a positive school climate!  A few pictures are included.
    A brief reminder regarding drop off/pick up.  Glenwild Circle is an open road and residents need to be able to pull in and out of their driveways during our arrival and dismissal times.  We kindly ask you use the sidewalk on Glenwild Circle for safety reasons.
    Next week is Respect Week and there is a TON going on at TJS during the month of October.  Please refer to the attached October calendar for important dates.  Mrs. Bletcher and the teachers have a lot of fun activities planned and a big surprise for the students on Thursday.  Please review the guidance section and attachment carefully, making note of spirit days planned for next week.  
    Monday - Pajama Day
    Tuesday - Crazy Sock Day
    Wednesday - Peace signs/tie-dye clothing
    Thursday - Superhero Day
    Friday - TJS/Madison Spirit Wear
    Instructional Update:
    There was a ton going on this week from an instructional standpoint.  I spent a lot of time meeting and collaborating with grade level teams of teachers, as well as observing in the classroom.  One area we are working towards is to further refine our instructional practices in math.  You may recall the adoption of the Math in Focus program or "Singapore Math" a few years back.  A program is not the curriculum.  The curriculum is rooted in standards and instructional practice while using a program to supplement and provide resources.  In our ongoing efforts through program evaluation and curriculum revision, the district has adopted a specific instructional model with several components, the focal point being math journals maintained by the students.  Journal entries allow students to reflect upon their own metacognition.  Students are encouraged to describe, evaluate, create, and investigate through written responses.  The response serves as a formative assessment and can be differentiated to meet individual student needs.  Teachers are able to quickly determine students who may require more support and those who need to be challenged.  The students are also creating a resource that they can refer back to revisit previously learned skills when they need to recall them to model a problem or provide reasoning.  This is also a time when students will be required to persevere and utilize more than one strategy to arrive at a solution.  It's rewarding to engage in these types of endeavors and the teachers have already noted increased levels of engagement among the students.  We are excited to further this practice throughout the school year.
    Guidance Update:
    Not only does the month of October bring apple cider and donuts, but also an opportunity to highlight two important weeks in the world of school counseling and education.  The first being the statewide Week of Respect, taking place from October 1-5. This week recognizes of the importance of social and emotional learning and character education by providing age-appropriate instruction focusing on preventing HIB (Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying).  The second, School Violence and Awareness week, which at the elementary level we call, “School Safety Week,” takes place from October 15-19. The Torey J. staff has a variety of engaging and meaningful activities planned. Please see the attached letter for further details regarding Week of Respect and be on the look-out for upcoming information about School Safety Week.  
    The creation and implementation of school-wide initiatives, like those executed for Week of Respect, is another piece of Torey J’s comprehensive counseling program.  The goal is always to reach our entire student body, in a variety of settings, with relevant, fun and meaningful activities. As an example, during Mix-it Up at Lunch Day, scheduled for Thursday, October 4,  students will get “mixed up” and sit with a new bunch of friends during their lunch period. There will be conversation starters provided at each table so that students can get to know each other with ease. There will also be music and the Torey J. staff is coming together for a very special surprise for our students.  I am super excited to see their reactions! To learn more about Mix-it Up Day and other teaching tolerance initiatives, feel free to check out https://www.tolerance.org/.  Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!!  
    Calendar Reminders:
    Respect Spirit Week:  October 1 -5, see the attachment from Mrs. Bletcher for more information and spirit day themes.
    Schools Closed:  Monday, October 8th, Staff professional development
    Safety Week:  October 15-19, more information to follow
    Board of Education Meeting:  Tuesday, October 16th, 7:30 P.M., Madison High School Media Center
    Halloween Parade:  Wednesday, October 31st, 2:15 P.M., TJS field in back of school
    **All Fridays are Madison/TJS Spirit Wear days** 
    TJS PTO Jaguar Bulletin:
    We want to wish a BIG welcome to Paws the Jaguar, our official TJS Mascot!

    Many thanks to our parents who have been working hard on two of our fall initiatives...to Maria Beacom and Alison Aromando for our amazing Fall Mums and Cabbage Fundraiser, and to Carmelina Giordano and Beth Fitzgerald for the new and exciting TJS Spirit Wear. The PTO would not function effectively without the help of our incredible volunteers...thank you!

    A few important reminders:
    • You can pick up your fall mums and cabbage orders on Friday, October 5 in the TJS parking lot from 4:30-6pm.  
    • PTO Pizza 1/2 Days are back! Place your orders by Friday, October 12. (Order form attached.)
    • Join us for one of our very favorite fall activities, the TJS Mini-Mudder! It will be held on Friday, October 19 at 3:30pm behind the school. See attached to sign up today! 
    • Our first General PTO Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 24 at 11:30am in the Art Room. Our next General Meeting will be in the evening to accommodate working parents.
    MEF Open House:
    Join members of the Madison Education Foundation (MEF) on Wednesday, Oct. 3rd from 9-11am for an MEF Volunteer Open House. Connect with Madison parents, ask questions about Madison public schools, and find out how to get involved. See the attached flyer for all the details.  
    Community Announcements:
    Please see the attachment from the Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse.