A message from Mrs. Tufaro:
Although we know this school year will be like no other, the James Monroe faculty and staff are committed to providing your children with the best and safest possible academic experience.
Whether students are learning in-person or virtually from the comfort of their homes, assistant principal Mrs. Maggie Callahan and I think of your children as our own. As accessible and approachable school leaders, our goal is to provide clear and consistent communication to families within the school-community, developing a relationship that allows for a collaborative educational partnership.
Students are welcomed into the school building or their virtual classrooms each morning through daily meetings with their teachers that foster relationships, develop trust, establish purpose and set a positive tone for the school day. Our staff has participated in Responsive Classroom Training, a student-centered social and emotional learning approach to teaching. It is comprised of a set of research and evidence-based practices designed to create safe, joyful and engaging classrooms and school communities for students and faculty. The training reflects our school’s commitment to professional growth and learning.
Our kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms, which include in-class resources and self-contained settings for our special education population, afford students opportunities throughout the instructional day to use crucial skills such as communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. Whether virtually or in-person, teachers plan lessons based on our district’s rigorous curriculum, which is aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and meets the needs of all students through ongoing performance data, professional development and staff collaboration. Our staff communicates regularly with students and their families through the use of online platforms such as Google Classroom or SeeSaw, and sets clear expectations for each class through online meetings, live lessons, recorded lessons and daily agendas.
Opportunities for social and emotional learning are woven throughout the school day with purposeful read-alouds of culturally responsive texts and lessons that promote understanding, acceptance, resilience and empathy. Our school’s diverse and inclusive population is the key to its success. The Monroe Motto – “Be Respectful, Try Your Best and Choose Kindness” – serves as our guiding principle. We view each day as an opportunity to grow and learn from one another. Our students receive support and guidance from school counselors, child study team members and Rutgers PATH counselors.
We develop strong leadership opportunities through peer mentoring and a range of activities for the students to explore their interests and engage in meaningful ways to serve our community through extracurricular activities, a school play, student-run school store and clubs. Although they may look different this year, we anticipate nurturing these experiences and discovering new ways to deliver these important outlets.
All parents and legal guardians are encouraged to become active members of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). We recognize the uncertainty of these trying times and want to assure you that the James Monroe community is here to assist you in any way.
Best wishes for a safe and successful school year.
Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro