• Dear TJS Families,
     
    Respect Week was a huge success!  Each day was highlighted with a variety of classroom activities and spirit themes.  The students had a lot of fun in all settings, whether it was a writing prompt, dressing as a superhero, or dancing in the cafeteria.  A huge thank you to Mrs. Bletcher for working so diligently to ensure Respect Week was meaningful for all.
     
    Don't forget, schools are closed Monday and the staff will be participating in professional development.  I hope you enjoy the long weekend and know that we are looking forward to having a day to collaborate and grow together, in our ongoing efforts to serve the community and provide the best possible education we can to your children.
     
    Our next endeavor this month is Safety Week, a time to raise awareness about staying safe in all settings.  This will take place during the week of October 15th.  Our local police and fire departments will visit the students regarding Halloween and fire safety, as well as discuss how to safely walk and bike around town.  Additionally, grades 1-5 will participate in the "Friendship Mile."  Friendship Mile is based on a "Daily Mile" movement started in the U.K.  Students will walk around the playground for 15 minutes for both physical and mental health.  We will build upon skills learned during Respect week.  TJS participated in the national "Mix it up Day," and students sat with other students across all grade levels and were taught strategies for starting conversations and making new friends.  Those skills will be applied when walking, as students will be encouraged to get to know more about the backgrounds and experiences of fellow peers.  
     
    Let's not forget the month of October ends with Halloween.  Those students choosing to dress up are encouraged to come to school in costume to enjoy the day.  Costumes should be school appropriate (e.g. no midriff baring, low cut) and all hair and makeup preparation should be done prior to school.  If a costume is bulky or itchy, please have your child wear clothing underneath, so that the costume can be removed easily.  Students who choose to dress in costume may not bring any item to school that depicts violence such as plastic or fake weapons (swords, guns, knives, pitchforks, etc.), bloody or gory masks, or any sharp objects. Due to supervisory constraints, we cannot allow students to change into costumes during lunch periods.  Our parade starts at 2:15 P.M. and is led by our own MHS Marching Dodgers!  
     
     
    Instructional Update:
     
    Ms. D'Amico has been busy working with the students to deepen their understanding of the engineering design process.  Engineering is all around us, even though students do not always recognize this at first.  It all starts with a simple idea that can become more complex and intricate as time goes on.  Engineering is not science - they are related but not the same.  Science explores the world around us while engineering discovers what could be.  Simplified steps in the process include:  ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve.  The process is really more of a mindset that includes open-ended problem solving and the ability to improve upon initial designs and learn from mistakes, not dissimilar to growth mindset that was discussed a few weeks ago.   It's a cyclical process and students may start at any point, depending upon the task or project.  While the end result may be building something, such as a fidget spinner with limited materials, as some students worked through; it certainly doesn't have to be.   The students are very excited to be employing these strategies although it does take perseverance and is challenging, at times.  I was quite impressed to hear a fourth grade student recognize that the engineering process resembles the writing process and the same strategies can be employed in any subject area - great connection!
     
    Guidance Update:
    Week of respect was a smashing success here at Torey J!  Students practiced the #Day1 declaration and pledge in their classrooms, did random acts of kindness, and are having fun door decorating.  The week was highlighted by Mix-it Up at Lunch Day. A big THANK YOU to the always generous PTO for providing superhero stickers to all students, make organizing the students and lunch tables a breeze.  Students got to watch and dance to R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin, along with the Torey J staff in our first ever surprise flash mob. A HUGE shout-out to the amazing staff here at TJS for their participation, enthusiasm and amazing dance moves. 
     
    I visited fifth grade classrooms this week to introduce the 5th Grade Peer Leadership Team, a great club to get involved with school-wide and community based service learning projects.  Interested students were given an application to take home, complete and get signed. If your fifth grader is interested in applying, please have him or her complete the attached application over the weekend and hand it in to either Mrs. Altieri or me by Tuesday, 10/9.  We encourage all fifth graders to apply. Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend! -Mrs. Bletcher  
     
    Calendar Reminders:
    Schools Closed:  Monday, October 8th, Staff professional development
    Safety Week:  October 15-19, more information to follow
    Mini-Mudder:  Friday, October 19th, see attachment
    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:
    Happy October - we hope you enjoy the three-day weekend!  A few important reminders:
     
      • You can pick up your fall mums and cabbage orders TODAY 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 for answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and 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.
    • A revised October calendar is attached.
    MEF:  Hollywood Lights
    Great night out!!  Don't forget to register for this amazing event and fundraiser at https://www.mefnj.org/events/.  Friday, November 2nd at 7:30 P.M.  RSVP by 10/29/18!