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CAS Welcome Back Communication from the Principal
Thomas Liss
Wednesday, August 18, 2021

August 18, 2021

Dear CAS Students and Parents,

I hope this letter finds all of you well, refreshed, and ready for another year of learning.  This summer has been productive as we welcome all our students back to in-person learning.  As always, the staff at CAS has worked hard by attending summer workgroups, attending professional development, and conducting independent research so that they can engage all learners in the curriculum and meet the varying needs of all our learners.  We have much planned and much to share as we progress through the 2021-2022 school year!

First I would like to acknowledge our school secretary, Mrs. Barretti, and our custodians, who continue to work very hard to make sure our school is ready to open on August 30, 2021!  CAS has many summer programs and much activity and the school would not be where it is without Mrs. Barretti and our custodians and their commitment to the school!  Please take a moment to thank them!

Second, we are excited to announce that this year we will be infusing Fundations in grade three (Now taught in Grades K-3), implementing a comprehensive Multi-Tiered System of Support  (MTSS), designating intervention periods in grades K-5, and continuing our work on inclusiveness.  More information about these instructional highlights and additional academic topics will be included in our weekly newsletters and at back-to-school night.  

In addition, we are planning many other initiatives, such as One School One Book, Look for the Good, Walk to School Programs, Cultural Arts Assemblies, International Festivities, PTO Events, and Character Education Programs.  

Please mark your calendars for these important dates:

  • August 18, 2021-- Summer Packet available on Genesis and School Website

  • August 18, 2021- Class Placements available in Genesis at 3:00 pm

  • August 25, 2021 (Rain Date is 8/26)-Grade-Level Meet and Greets (See Schedule Below)

  • August 30, 2021-First Day of School (Begins at 8:30 am)

  • September 24, 2021- Back to School Ice Cream Social at 6:30 pm

  • September 30, 2021- Back to School Night at 7:00 pm

We are excited to introduce some new staff members to the CAS Learning Community:

Masina Dua, Speech Therapist

Shea Brennan, Kindergarten Teacher

Kim McKee, First Grade Teacher

Tara Burke, Fourth Grade Teacher

Lauren Waselik, Art Teacher

Chris Paradiso, Media Specialist

Shayna Germansky, Preschool ABA Teacher

Michelle LaRocca, ABA Teacher

Rachel Rota, ICS 

Terance Brooks, Paraprofessional

Chelsea Hance, Paraprofessional

The teachers’ websites will also provide additional biographical information once the year gets underway.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn more about your child’s teachers at Back to School Night on September 30th and at “Meet and Greets” on August 25th.    

Grade-Level Teams:

Preschool: Mrs. Chioffe, Ms. Germansky, Mrs. Lubin, Miss Piscitello

Kindergarten: Mrs. Burke, Miss Brennan,  Mrs. Herring

First Grade: Mrs. Dacey, Mrs. Mastaglio, Mrs. McKee, Mrs. Trilling

Second Grade: Mrs. Delli Paoli, Mrs. LaMonica, Mrs. Mullins

Third Grade: Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Attilio, Mrs. Baron, Mrs. DuRie

Fourth Grade: Mrs. Burke, Mrs. Manley, Mrs. O’Donnell, Mrs. Shaw

Fifth Grade: Mr. Cyrana, Mrs. Duffy, Miss Jackson, Mrs. O’Brien

ABA: Mrs. Chambers, Mrs. LaRocca, Mrs. Samuelsen

LLD: Miss Buonocore

Thank You:

I would like to take a moment to thank some important people that helped our school this summer and ultimately helped us get ready for the first day of school.  Thank you to our PTO (Our PTO Presidents, Mrs. Dunne and Mrs. Piekara) for their support, for being part of several committees this summer, and for always looking for ways to make this an amazing learning environment for our students!  Thank you to Mrs. McDonough for organizing class coordinators!  Thank you to  Mrs. Chase for organizing the cultural arts assemblies for the year!  


Absent and/or Tardy:

The CAS Roll Call number is (973) 593-3173, Option 1.  A parent or guardian must call this number by 8:40 am. Students are not permitted to call in themselves.  A parent must accompany a student to the office and sign the student in after the 8:40 am late bell.  In order to avoid missing instructional time, students must be in class by 8:30 am.  

Six-Day Elementary Letter Day Schedule:

We are excited to share that at the elementary level we are transitioning from a Monday to Friday standard schedule to a 6 day (A to F day) cycle schedule. There are many benefits of our new schedule, such as consistent grade level schedules and teacher planning time. It is important that all families take note of the Elementary Letter Day Schedule that maps out all the letter days for the entire school year. Parents are encouraged to print the letter day schedule as a reference.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

The district is dedicated to the well-being of the children and adults in our school buildings. To prepare for our new school year, PPE equipment such as masks, gloves, plexiglass in offices, and sanitizer throughout the school buildings will be available. In addition, ionizing systems for uinvents, distancing the students’ desks, and signage will all be completed as safety measures. 

Masks - Students and adults are required to wear masks while traveling in the school building. Masks should cover the nose and mouth. Students and staff should bring their own masks and bring an extra in a labeled Zip-loc bag.


Classrooms consist of student desks, a teacher’s desk, a filing cabinet, a meeting rug, and supplies. Every classroom is also equipped with technology to include a Smartboard, projector, and FM system. The desks are arranged in rows all facing in the same direction. Sanitizer and cleaning supplies will be available in the classrooms. Bathroom procedures will be modified to decrease the number of students in a bathroom at any given time. Students will sanitize their hands prior to and after their bathroom visit. The students will also be reminded to wash their hands frequently during the school day.


Students will have access to two Chromebooks; one for home and one for school.  Students will not have to transport Chromebooks back and forth this year. If you have any issues with your child’s home district-issued Chromebook or need a district-issued Chromebooks for home, please contact the main office. You may also look on the Madison School District’s Chromebook Central for additional information about Chromebooks. 


Your child’s teacher(s) will utilize Google Classroom to post instructional materials, directions, lessons, and assignments. Please refer to this excellent resource for information about Google Classroom - A Parent’s Guide to Google Classroom. For parent access to certain Google features, it would be very helpful for at least one parent of every student to establish a Google email address.  

Class Placements:

Class placements are available in Genesis on August 18, 2021. Please remember there are many factors that are considered for class placements. 


The district utilizes a system of integrated communication platforms. Please consider the following:

  • Our district student information system is Genesis. Please ensure that your most current contact information is in Genesis. 

  • The district has a website and communication tool called Apptegy.  Our website can be downloaded as an app and we will utilize this app to push out notifications, such as alerts, newsletters, and important announcements.  Please visit the Madison School District website for more information.  

  • Our CAS social media forms of communication include Facebook @MadisonNJCentralAvenueSchool PTO Elementary School and Twitter @CentralAvenueE1

Back to School Paperwork:

There are several forms that need to be completed (Available on August 18th) before children return to school.  Please click on this link for a checklist.

Genesis - Mandated Forms 

  • Media Consent/Release Form 

  • Computer/Internet use and Agreement Form 

  • Certification to Complete Daily Student Screening 

  • Demographic Information 

  • Computing device and Student Responsibility Contract 

  • Madison Mail and Email Consent to Send Out Form 

  • Nurse-Annual Medical Information Update Form 

  • Nurse-Permission for Medication Administration Forms 

  • Nurse-5th Grade Immunization Requirements 

  • Health Insurance Form 

  • Panorama Social Emotional Learning Survey Consent

Central Avenue School 

CAS Website Checklist

Designated Entrances and Exits: - Labels will be placed on the doors. 

To decrease the congestion that usually occurs during arrival and dismissal times, we request the students use the following doors to enter and exit during arrival and dismissal times. Staff members will be placed in designated areas to assist and supervise. 


The students will be entering/exiting through the door by room 9.  The students will be asked to line up, at a social distance, beginning no earlier than 8:20 am and will immediately be brought into the building.

First Grade 

The students will be entering/exiting through the doors by room 18 (Grassy Area).  The students will be asked to line up, at a social distance, beginning no earlier than 8:20 am and will immediately be brought into the building.

Second Grade 

The students will be entering/exiting through the doors by the main office.  The students will be asked to line up, at a social distance, beginning no earlier than 8:20 am and will immediately be brought into the building.

Third Grade 

The students will be entering/exiting through the doors by room 1 (Walnut Street Side).  The students will be asked to line up, at a social distance, beginning no earlier than 8:20 am and will immediately be brought into the building.

Fourth Grade

The students will be entering/exiting through the doors in the old building (Walnut Street Side).  The students will be asked to line up, at a social distance, beginning no earlier than 8:20 am and will immediately be brought into the building.

Fifth Grade

The students will be entering/exiting through the doors in the old building (Teacher’s Parking Lot Side).  The students will be asked to line up, at a social distance, beginning no earlier than 8:20 am and will immediately be brought into the building.


Students will be escorted through the main entrance.  Parents should wait outside, at a distance, until the teachers arrive to open the doors.

Bus Students

Any students taking the bus will enter through the Walnut Street doors and be escorted by a staff member.  


Please see the teacher's communication on door access.  


Visitors/Drop-Off Items: 

Due to COVID, no outside person will be allowed to enter the building without an appointment.   If you have to pick up your child for an appointment or have to change arrival/dismissal you will need to contact the main office. Any drop-off items should be placed in the container outside the front entrance of the school. 


A designated working snack time is included within every class schedule. Snacks should be nut-free and we encourage a healthy snack.  Students will be consuming snacks in staggered formation in the classroom.  


Our goal is to provide a lunch period for each class.  The lunches will be 25 minutes in duration and students will be distanced and assigned seats.  When students are not eating lunch they will be required to wear a mask.  Recess will also be provided and students will be zoned by the class during recess.  

School Supplies:

Please see our website (Click here) for a list of school supplies needed for school.  

Meet and Greet:

Our teachers will be stationed outside under tents or at tables for the meet and greet.  We are asking that families adhere to social distancing as they arrive and exit school grounds.  The tables will be spaced out by teachers in the blacktop area.  

August 25th (Rain date is August 26th):

1:00-2:00- Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade

2:00-3:00- Third Grade, Fourth Grade, Fifth Grade, LLD, ABA

Student Drop-off and Pick up

From 7:00-9:00 am and 2:00-4:00 pm, parents are requested to use the drop-off/pick-up area on Walnut Street and on Central Avenue.  The drop-off/pick-up area begins from the corner of DeHart Place and Walnut Street and extends approximately eight car lengths.  Never park or stop your car in the school bus zone.  Enter from Ridgedale Avenue, pull into the drop-off area by DeHart Place, directly after the crosswalk, and drive forward to fill all the available space.  Please be patient and wait for cars to continue forward in the drop-off line.  Once stopped, students should exit the car on the curbside only.  Parents should not double park or get out of their vehicle while dropping off or picking up children.  Also, parents/students MUST use the sidewalk and crossing areas for pedestrian safety.

The Madison Police Department has instituted the parking rules near the school.  Parking is permitted on one side of Walnut Street (the same side as the school) from the crossing guard at DeHart Place and up to Ridgedale Avenue.  Parking on the other side of Walnut Street is not permitted during the following hours:  7:00-9:00 am, 11:00-11:30 am, and 2:00-4:00 pm.  Parking is permitted on one side of DeHart Place and Cedar Street.

Unless students have a doctor’s note, no parents/guardians are allowed to enter the school parking lot during the aforementioned times.  **FOR PARENT AND STUDENTS SAFETY, PLEASE USE THE SIDEWALK; DO NOT WALK UP THE DRIVEWAY** 

Students must cross the street where the crossing guard is located, which will keep them safe and out of harm.  When being dropped off and picked up, students must enter or exit the car from the curbside.  This will keep the students safe and the flow of traffic will move smoothly and efficiently.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Please consider joining the PTO and you may visit their website to gain more information about ALL that our amazing PTO does throughout the year.

There are countless volunteer opportunities, but a few worth noting are:

Thank you in advance for your review of this important information. Our processes and procedures may change based on the guidance from the CDC and the state of New Jersey. This information will also be included in the Central Avenue School Student and Parent handbook which will be posted on the CAS webpage. We are dedicated to making this school year a successful experience for everyone and we are looking forward to seeing you during your Meet and Greet time.


Thomas Liss

Thomas Liss