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									                  MILL LAKE SCHOOL
                    PRINCIPAL’S NEWSLETTER
                “The Monroe Public Schools, in collaboration with the
    members of the community, shall ensure that all children receive an exemplary
    education by well trained, committed staff, in a safe and orderly environment.”
FALL 2011                                             __      www.monroe.k12.nj.us
                  Child Sick? Child Absent? Call 732-251-3208
Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year! It is a privilege and an honor to welcome you to
our wonderful school.

One of our goals is to help the children at Mill Lake feel safe, secure, and happy so they
can concentrate on learning. Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch with your child’s
teacher to be sure all is going well. Do recognize that children may need some time to
adjust to their new teachers, classmates and routines.

As many of you are aware, we have had many families that were affected with the recent
flooding. If you were affected and need any further assistance please call us so that we
can try and assist you in whatever way possible.

The Principal’s Newsletter will be published four times this year and will be available on
our school’s website. You will be notified via electronic email when the newsletter has
been posted with updates of the calendar of events issued as they occur. If you would like
to receive a paper copy, just let us know!

First Days
While we have endured the inconvenience of a few late buses, our first few days have
gone relatively smoothly. The complete reorganization of the school district was an
enormous undertaking and I must compliment our district facilities and transportation
personnel for doing an incredible job. I have just learned that an additional bus route has
been added for our school, which should resolve the problem of buses arriving late both
here at Mill Lake and at your home. This will require some students to move to a
different bus. We will be sure they receive the correct button to wear on their backpacks
until they are comfortable.

Bus Buttons
We attach a character button to our children's backpacks to ensure that they leave the
school in the correct way. Once the routines are established we collect these buttons to
use them again next year.

School District Facilities
The Mill Lake School facility now consists of just one building housing 4 preschool
classes, 6 kindergarten classes, 7 first grade classes, 8 second grade classes and one K/1/2
class. The student population has been reduced from 675 students to approximately 435.
The Annex building has been converted to the offices for Central Registration and Pupil
Personnel Services. When children leave Mill Lake at the end of second grade, they
attend Woodland School for grades three through five. All students in the district then
attend Monroe Township Middle School (housed in the former high school) for grades
six, seven, and eight, and the new Monroe Township High School for grades nine, ten,
eleven and twelve.

School Mascot
Our schools now all share the same mascot, the Falcon, and our school colors are purple,
gold and black. Mill Lake students will be selecting a name for our Falcon mascot soon!
Our beloved Tiger Cub “Stripes” has gone into retirement in order to bring greater unity
to our school district.

How To Reach Us
Mill Lake does not have a voice mail system, but we do have an answering machine for
calls made after hours. Our main telephone number is 732-251-5336. Please report your
child’s absence to the school nurse’s direct line which is 732-251-3208. All teachers have
access to e-mail and you can contact them through our website www.monroe.k12.nj.us
then click on Mill Lake School. We try to respond to all e-mails within 24 hours. If you
don’t get a response, please be sure to follow-up in case your mail was not delivered.
I am here to assist you, especially if your concerns are about the district curriculum,
school procedures, or other areas that fall outside of the realm of the classroom. While it
is challenging for me to lead the school without an assistant principal, I am determined to
make it work well. This is my 10th year at Mill Lake School and I hope to make it our
best ever!


                                                     Sincerely yours,



                                                     Dr. Lynn C. Barberi
                                                     Principal




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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS MONTH
School Closed
       Please note that school will be closed on Monday, September 19 for Staff In-
Service and Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30 for Rosh Hashanah.

Back to School Night – September 22
        Parents/Guardians are invited to our Back-to-School Night on Thursday,
September 22, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. Hopefully, your schedule will allow you to take
advantage of this opportunity to visit your child’s classroom and to meet his/her teacher.
Our PTO will conduct a brief General Meeting. Please watch for a special notice about
this important event. Please be sure to car pool or walk to school, if possible. Parking
is limited. The presentation is intended for adults only.

Summer Reading Program
       We are thrilled with the number of children who participated in our summer
reading program. Students who read 10 or more books will be recognized at a Breakfast
with the Principal to be held on October 21. Students must return their completed
reading logs signed by a parent by September 17 to be invited to the breakfast!

SCHOOL PROCEDURES
Parking at Mill Lake
       As our staff has continued to grow, we have been faced with a shortage of parking
spaces. Please do not park in our school lot as all spaces have been assigned to our
faculty and staff. We do have some spots on Monmouth Road and you may park at the
Community Center if space is available.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
       Students who walk to school or are driven by parents should not arrive before
8:45 a.m. A potentially unsafe situation is created if students arrive at school too early.
                           PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING
                       SCHOOL ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL TIMES:

Regular School Hours
                                 8:50 a.m. – 3:19 p.m.
       Pre-School – AM                                         8:50 - 11:24
       Pre-School - PM                                        12:45 - 3:19
       Kindergarten – AM                                       8:50 - 11:24
       Kindergarten – PM                                      12:45 - 3:19
       Grades 1 – 2                                            8:50 - 3:19
               8:45 a.m. – Students may enter the building
               8:50 a.m. – Students must be in classrooms
               *Students who arrive after the 8:50 bell will be marked late and must be
               signed in at the main office by the adult transporting the student.
               3:19 p.m. – dismissal begins
               3:24 p.m. – dismissal complete

       BASC, Reading and Math Club (Basic Skills) and TAG children will be
dismissed to the cafeteria after all other students have been dismissed.




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Early Dismissal & Delayed Opening Schedules
Our district’s early dismissal schedule will be as follows:
         Pre-School – AM                                       8:50 – 10:50
         Pre-School - PM                                      10:50 – 12:50
         Kindergarten – AM                                     8:50 - 11:24
         Kindergarten – PM                                    10:16 – 12:50
         Grades 1 – 2                                          8:50 - 12:50
Our district’s delayed opening schedule for inclement days will be as follows:
         Pre-School – AM                                      10:50 -   1:04
         Pre-School – PM                                       1:05 -   3:19
         Kindergarten – AM                                    10:50 -   1:04
         Kindergarten – PM                                     1:05 -   3:19
         Grades 1 - 2                                         10:50 -   3:19

Walkers/Car Riders
Parent Drop-Off Zone
        Cars in the drop off zone must be occupied by the driver at all times. Cars may
not be left along the yellow curb at any time, even for a moment. This is a fire safety
regulation that we must enforce daily.
        In the morning, please pull your car forward as far as possible to allow the
maximum number of children to disembark at the same time, insuring that no children
will be late.
        If you wish to meet your child at dismissal, please park your car in the street or at
the Community Center, and walk to the meeting area. Kindergarten students may not be
dropped off as they do not attend school in the main building. Please walk Kindergarten
students to the Annex doors.
        Please do not bring pets, bicycles, scooters, skateboards or any other items onto
school property that could make the area unsafe for our children.
        The red sidewalk is the “launching pad” where children wait for their parents’
cars to move forward. Please do not block this area at dismissal.
        Our staff works very hard to keep the students safe in front of Mill Lake School.
Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

School Security and Visitors
        Our school district requires all visitors to identify themselves and state the
purpose of their visit upon entering our school buildings. Visitors are required to sign in
at the office and wear their visitor’s badge in a prominent place on their person. Our staff
has been instructed to question anyone who is not wearing a badge.
        Anyone wishing to sign out a child during school hours must be authorized to do
so and must properly identify themselves with a picture ID, such as a driver’s license.

Safety
        It is important that you send a note to your child’s teacher if you want him/her to
leave school in any way other than usual. Please DO NOT email your child’s teacher
with this request. Your child’s teacher may be absent that day and the substitute teacher
does not have access to the teacher’s email. We do not release students to anyone unless
they are on the emergency list or unless we have a note signed by the parent/guardian. If
you need to change your child’s normal dismissal procedure (i.e., taking the bus home
instead of going to BASC, going to Brownies every Tuesday, etc.), we must have a note
each time your child’s normal routine is changed. We receive many requests and we are
concerned that your child arrives home safely and in the manner which is most
convenient to you. Reminder - requests for your child to go home on another bus must
be for an emergency only. Birthday parties and play dates do not constitute emergencies.

Student Absences:
        Parents are REQUIRED to call the school nurse prior to the beginning of the
school day whenever your child will be absent, even if just for one day. This allows us
to compare your reported absence against our actual attendance so we can be alerted to
children who are potentially missing. If you fail to report your child’s absence, we are
then forced to try to contact you at multiple locations, wasting valuable time and

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resources if your child is safe and at home with you. Please help us avoid this problem by
calling us.
        A separate telephone line with an answering machine has been installed in the
nurse’s office, and you can leave a message any time in the evening or early morning.
You may directly contact the school nurse at (732)251-3208 to report your child’s
absence. Please include the following information: date of call, child’s name, child’s
teacher, and reason for absence.
        Please remember to send a note to our school nurse, Mrs. Weiler, through your
child’s teacher, when he/she returns to school after an absence. Please also arrange to
have your child arrive at Mill Lake on time (8:50 a.m. for Kindergarten AM – 3rd grade
students, 12:45 p.m. for Kindergarten PM students). Excessive unexcused absences and
excessive tardiness interferes with your child’s academic progress and may be reported to
Mr. Naumik, our district’s Truant Officer.

Birthday Gift
        Every child at Mill Lake School is invited to select a new paperback book and a
bookmarker on the occasion of his/her birthday. Please remind your child to visit the
office for this special gift. Students with birthdays in the summer may choose a day in
September or June to make their selection.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Lunch Box Reminder
        It is requested that parents not include soda, hard candy, lollipops, or gum in their
child’s lunch. In addition, please avoid sending any food items in glass containers. This
is for your child’s safety and well-being. Your cooperation is appreciated

Lunch Prices for 2011-12 School Year
       The cost of a school lunch for the 2010-11 school year is $1.75.

        Mill Lake utilizes the Point of Sale Automated Lunch System. Parents are
strongly encouraged to put money in their child’s account. This system speeds up the
lunch line tremendously. It is suggested that lunch money be sent in an envelope with the
child’s name, grade and teacher clearly indicated. Checks should be made payable to the
Monroe Township Board of Education. The cashiers will notify your child when he/she
has a low balance. Students who have an emergency and need to borrow lunch money
will be expected to pay back the amount borrowed on the next school day.

Alert Now
       Utilizing Alert Now software, our school district is now using an automated
system to notify parents of various school events such as school closings, delays or other
important news updates. It is very important that we have your correct home, cell and
work phone numbers as well as your current email address. Please notify us if any
contact information has changed.

Reminder: Label Everything!
          It is important to label your child’s belongings - book bags, lunch boxes, jackets,
etc., so that lost items can be returned promptly to the owner. The child’s name should
be clearly printed or attached to the inside of the item.

Appropriate School Dress
        This is a reminder to dress children appropriately for the weather during school
days. Raincoats, rain hats and umbrellas are needed to keep children dry during the long
walk from the parking lots to our school doors. Students generally play outside during
recess each day. On cold days, children need sweaters or coats; on warm days, they need
light weight clothing. Remember that the weather changes quickly in New Jersey and
children should be prepared.



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       The following dress code has been developed in accordance with the Monroe
Township Board of Education Policy and in consultation with staff members, parents,
and students of this district:

      Extremely revealing clothing is not permitted.
      Tops must extend to the waist and meet the waistband of pants, skirts, and shorts.
       Clothing must cover the entire front and back of the student.
      Tube tops, halter tops, half shirts, and short shorts are NOT permitted.
      Proper and safe footwear is required at all times. Flip flops are not allowed.
       Children will not be permitted to participate in physical education classes or to
       play on the playground equipment with improper footwear.
      Hats, scarves, and bandanas are not to be worn in school (except for religious
       reasons). Hats may be worn to school, but must be removed when entering the
       building.

Code of Conduct
       The code of conduct is available for viewing on our school’s website at
www.monroe.k12.nj.us. After reading it, please return the acknowledgement page to
your child’s teacher which is being sent home under separate cover. If you would like to
receive a paper copy, please indicate that on the form and we will be happy to send it
home.

Toys in School
        Please think carefully about toys that you allow your children to bring to school.
If they are valuable or could cause conflict, they should stay at home and be used as a
special treat after school.
        Electronic equipment such as CD players, electronic games and cell phones
should not be brought to school at any time. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Taking Care of Books
       We believe that an important component of education is developing
responsibility. One way our students can develop responsibility is by caring for school
supplies and materials. Please help your child care for their textbooks by covering them.
Please do not use sticky covers. In the past, sticky covers caused damage to some of our
books and were costly to parents who had to replace them. Book socks and regular paper
covers do a good job of protecting our books.

Bus Safety
        According to the National Coalition for School Bus Safety, more than 23 million
school children board school buses every year. You will be glad to know that those
yellow vehicles are one of the safest forms of transportation in America today. School
buses are larger, heavier, and ride higher off the road than most vehicles, and the flashing
lights make them more visible to others.
        Students are most likely to get hurt during pick-up and drop-off times, when
children are in an area called the danger zone. This is the area within a ten-foot radius
around the bus. Children in the danger zone are often invisible to the bus driver as well
as to other motorists. Children in this area may be hit by motorists who illegally pass a
stopped bus or even by their own driver who cannot see the child.
        Many safety devices, such as wide-angle mirrors and signs that swing out to warn
motorists, are used to prevent these accidents. Motion detection devices that sense the
presence of something moving close to the bus are currently being used. Our buses have
a long crossing control arm that swings out to prevent students from walking too close to
the vehicle, as well.

Forgotten Homework
         Soon our Reading and Math Clubs will begin, and our classrooms will be used
for instruction after school. We must maintain the integrity of the educational program
and the security of the building. Therefore, students will not be allowed to return to
school for forgotten homework. Children are encouraged to call a classmate to get an
assignment, if possible. The Monroe Township Library has copies of our textbooks and
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workbooks that can be copied. It may also be useful as a life lesson for your child to
experience the consequences of forgetting to bring his/her homework materials home.

Seatbelt Law
        Since September 1994, students have been required by law to wear seatbelts when
riding a school bus that is equipped with seatbelts. Please take time to discuss the
importance of wearing seatbelts and their proper use with your child. Your support and
communication helps ensure your child’s safety.


Soda Tabs for Ronald McDonald House
        The Ronald McDonald House Pop Tab Collection Program has to date collected
over four hundred million pop tabs generating over $300,000.00. The Ronald McDonald
House charities are working to better the lives of children and their families around the
world.
        Mill Lake School is supporting the Ronald McDonald House program of
collecting soda tabs. If you would save your tabs and have your child bring them into
school, the Ronald McDonald House will gladly accept and appreciate your charitable
efforts. If you would like more information about the Ronald McDonald House, the
website is www.rmhc.com. Thank you for your help and support!


Running/Standing on Buses:
       Students who run during arrival and/or dismissal or who stand up while the bus is
moving are putting themselves and others in danger. We have a strict policy whereby a
child who runs at arrival or dismissal or who stands while the bus is moving must serve a
one hour detention to “unlearn” this behavior. This policy has been very effective in the
past. We appreciate your support in keeping children safe!

  PLEASE REVIEW THESE SAFETY RULES WITH YOUR CHILD
        *Note: It is expected that parents will supervise children at the bus stop to insure
their safety.

While Waiting for the Bus
   Be on time.
   Wait for the bus on the sidewalk, not in the road.
   Remove hanging strings or key chains from the backpacks. Those objects can get
      caught in the door or handrail.

While on the Bus
   Stay in the seat while the bus is moving; fasten the seat belt.
   Look forward; keep hands, feet, and objects to one’s self.
   Keep the aisles clear.
   Whisper.
   Do not eat food on the bus.
When Leaving the Bus
   Wait until the bus completely stops before leaving one’s seat.
   Walk one at a time off the bus (no shoving or pushing).
   When disembarking, make sure that you can see the bus driver’s eyes (and that
     means he or she can see you, too). Stay out of the DANGER ZONE.
   DO NOT run after a dropped paper or try to get back on the bus to retrieve a
     forgotten backpack.




                                             7
Nurse’s Notes, Mrs. Cindy Weiler
Substitute Nurses Needed
       The district is in need of substitute nurses. The requirements are a valid New
Jersey RN license and a substitute school nurse certificate that can be obtained from the
county. If you, or anyone you know, are interested please call Pupil Personnel at 732-
251-0266.

School Nurse
       As the school year begins you may have a need to speak with our school nurse
regarding medication, special health conditions, absences, etc. Please be aware that the
Mill Lake School nurse will be on site and available to provide service to your child or to
meet with you between the hours of 8:40 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
       If you wish to leave a message for the nurse before or after those hours, that
message may be left on the nurse’s answering machine 732-251-3208.

Nurse’s Notes, From Mrs. Weiler
        The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends vision screening for all
children three years of age and older, as well as screening infants for common eye
problems during regular pediatric well care visits. Vision screening is done on all
students at Mill Lake during the school year. Regular visits to an eye care professional
are recommended.
        Height, weight, blood pressure, and hearing screening are also done on all
students at Mill Lake during the school year. Referrals will be sent home as necessary.

        Please return all emergency forms as soon as possible. Remember to complete
all information and sign. Incomplete forms will be returned to you for completion.

        If your child needs to take medication during the school day you must provide a
written prescription from your physician detailing the child’s diagnosis, the name of the
medication, the dosage, the time of administration and the side effects. The necessary
forms and complete policy are available in the Health Office and on the Health Office
webpage. This policy covers both prescription and over the counter medications.
Medication cannot be given without a written prescription from a licensed health care
provider. For safety reasons children are not allowed to carry any medication (except for
students who have a self-administration order completed by their physician). Any
medication that is required to be given during the school day must be brought to the
Health Office by an adult with the necessary paperwork.

       The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services administrative rule
   NJAC 8:57-4 states that all preschool students shall have received at least one
   dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on or after their first birthday and
   shall annually receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine between September 1
   and December 31 of each year. Please send me this information as soon as your
   preschool child has received their flu vaccine.




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Dates to Remember
    September 15    PTO Meeting – Mill Lake School – 7:30 p.m.
              16    Summer Reading Logs are due back to Mill Lake
              19    School Closed for Students – Staff In-Service
              21    Board of Ed Meeting – MTHS Marasco Center - 7:00 p.m.
              22    Back to School Night – 7:00 p.m.
              26    Franklin Institute “Life in Space” – Grade 2
                    Sponsored by PTO
              29-30 School Closed – Rosh Hashanah

    October   4     PTO Assembly “The Missing Piece” 9:15 a.m & 10:15 a.m.
                    *PM Pre-School & Kindergarten students may attend
                    with a parent for either performance.
              6     PTO Meeting – Mill Lake School – 7:00 p.m.
              7     Early Dismissal – Yom Kippur
              10    Early Dismissal - Staff In-Service
              12    Board of Ed Meeting – MTHS Marasco Center – 7:00 p.m.
              20-21 Fire Prevention Assemblies
              21    Reader’s Breakfast with the Principal –
                    (Students must have an invitation!)
              31    Halloween Parade – More Information to follow




        Back to School Night
      Thursday, September 22nd
              7:00 p.m.
  For Parents/Guardians Only Please




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