Prinicpal - Mrs. Cynthia Tufaro
JAMES MONROE SCHOOL
James Monroe epitomizes the importance of a strong community network. In the last year, this culture has been put to the test, but continues to thrive in our newest location because all stakeholders have a shared belief in this supportive foundation.
The implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards created shifts in both English Language Arts and Mathematics. Students must be immersed in reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, have consistent practice with complex texts and their academic language, as well as building knowledge through content rich nonfiction. In addition, with respect to Mathematics, there is a greater focus on fewer topics taught more deeply, coherence across grade levels, and deep, authentic command of mathematical concepts.
At James Monroe, our school level focus on building a comprehensive, generative vocabulary, in conjunction with the district ELA curriculum and immersion in the Journeys program, reflect all of the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in college.
Problem Solving is the focal point of our Mathematics instruction. Teachers in all grades work daily to make math meaningful by showing its connection to real life. Because of this determined effort, we continue to integrate mathematics into every fiber of our life. James Monroe will be implementing in the Investigations Math program in grades K-5.
Another priority is the continued development of an inclusive environment where all children were treated equitably. In-Class Resource Rooms exist at every grade level and are meeting with great success in delivering the individual educational plans of classified students, as well as the New Jersey State Standards to all learners. Several Self-Contained classrooms have joined our school community.
In addition, staff members continue to be enrolled in graduate studies, attend in-services and professional development seminars. We also encourage the formation of professional book clubs to discuss the latest instructional philosophy and methodology. All of this is done to instill best practices that meet the needs of all learners in this community. The staff participates in many committees and school initiatives that ensure our school is safe, inclusive and meeting best practices.
The annual school play, which was produced by the staff, harnesses our talented students and is a driving force of our community. The presentation at Edison High School, performed twice in front of standing room only audiences, brought our school community together and acknowledged the importance of the performing arts in the elementary schools.
Throughout the year, parents are invited to participate in workshops on the topics relevant to the curriculum their children are being taught. James Monroe hosted several evening presentations on curricular topics and will expand this offering to include informational sessions dealing with special education issues.
At James Monroe, students are involved in a variety of extra curricular activities such as the school newspaper, the safety patrol, student council, chorus, strings and band. Students have shown their respect and concern for others in many ways. Last year, they raised money for several worthwhile causes, and sponsored four food drives, including a Polar Express Pajama Day, that raised over $1500 for the local food bank.
Through hard work and very successful fundraising efforts, the PTO provides assembly programs and school-wide field trips. In addition, parents conduct a spectacular Harvest Eve Festival, Family Fun Nights and the Color Run as well as support school-initiated programs.
Our school focus on kindness transcends grade levels and builds social emotional skills. Our 4th and 5th graders serve as mentors to our younger grades and assume leadership roles throughout the building. Our student-run School Store is another example of student leadership in our community. In the last few years, James Monroe has welcomed families from many different cultures to its fold. We continue to highlight and celebrate our uniqueness and diversity through assemblies, classroom lessons, and daily messages to help weave together the tapestry that identifies us as a peaceful, caring community.
While working to provide a rich and challenging educational program, our staff is always concerned with every aspect of a child’s welfare. James Monroe School is looking towards the future with sincere concern for the well being and learning success of each and every student.