Harrison Elementary School

Empowering all to learn, create, contribute and grow.

  • LPS summer academy SUMMER ACADEMY 2019 - Livingston Public Schools is committed to providing students with excellent educational experiences. Check out what our Summer Academy has to offer - there's something for students entering Grades 1-12 (NEW this summer - Brain Camp for incoming 2nd graders)! Click here for complete details.
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  • LPS visual and performing arts Applications for GT Art and Music for the 2019-2020 school year for all incoming 4th grade students as well as any incoming 5th grade students not currently in the program, are now available. Please use the appropriate application listed below.


    2019-2020 GT Art Application 2018-2019 GT Music Application
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School News

Principal's Messages

  • April 23, 2019

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 4/23/2019

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    It is been an exciting few weeks at Harrison! Our grade level curriculum programs are off to a great start!

    The fifth grade hosted their Mars Project Science Fair where groups of children utilized the knowledge gleaned from their space based science unit to created structures which would sustain life on Mars. The groups first designed their buildings in 3D utilizing the program Sketch Up and later created the actual models. This integrated unit required the students to not only understand and apply the science content but to also successfully negotiate a team based assignment. Our fourth grade students previewed the project and were excited to have a glimpse of what’s to come next year! The fifth students posted their research, displayed their creations and formally presented their design concepts during the fair.  
    Third grade welcomed Mitch and Martha back for our annual Storytelling Festival! This marked their 15th Anniversary at Harrison. This program is funded through the PTA and supports our students’ developing literacy as well as public speaking skills. The entire school benefits each year from this residency. Our staff and parents continue to be amazed by the children’s final presentations! 

    Our monthly Hero Groups continue to support our efforts to provide our students with social emotional learning experiences. During these multiage groups, the children focused upon identifying positive and negative emotions as well as effective coping strategies. The children look forward to these groups and enjoy working with their Harrison peers!

    We would like to thank the Weber family for helping to bring the assembly - Amber Brown is not a Crayon to Harrison. The children enjoyed the show which is based on the popular chapter book. Additionally, we would like to recognize Aarav Sekhri who chose Harrison as the recipient of the donation he received when he won RSM’s Holiday Card Contest. The donation will go towards new playground equipment for all the children to enjoy!

    Please visit our website for photographs and information regarding these events and more!  We will be celebrating Earth Day on Thursday by planting our spring garden –if the weather cooperates! Many more exciting events are planned for the upcoming months.

    Enjoy the sunshine!

    Mrs. Healy

    Upcoming May Dates

    May  1 - NJSLA, Grades 3 & 5
    May 2-9 – NJSLA, Grade 4
    May  3 - 2nd grade Butterflies Presentation
    May  3 - Kidz Klub
    May  7 - 1st Grade Leaders
    May  8 – 3rd Grade Trip
    May  8 - 2nd Grade Leaders
    May 10-13 – NJSLA-S, Grade 5
    May 10 - Mother’s Day Plant Sale
    May 10 - Kids Klub Makeup if needed
    May 14 - 3rd Grade Leaders
    May 14 - PTA Meeting
    May 14 - Honeybees Assembly, K-1
    May 15 - Hero Groups
    May 15 - Multi-Cultural Rehearsal
    May 16 – Multi-Cultural Night  
    May 20 - 4th Grade Character Connections 
    May 21 – Veteran’s Visit, Grades 4-5
    May 21 – 4th Grade Leaders
    May 22 -4th -5th Transition Parent Mtng, 7pm
    May 23 - Field Day
    May 23 – District Art Show
    May 27 - No School – Happy Memorial Day!!
    May 29 – 5th Grade Leaders
    May 29 – Last PTA Meeting
    May 30 - Field Day Raindate

    Upcoming June Dates

    June  3 - Livingston Library Visit
    June  4 - Spring Concert Rehearsal
    June  4 - Spring Concert, MPMS, 7:00 PM
    June  5 -  5th Grade MPMS Tour    
    June  6 - Family Appreciation Picnic, 6:15 PM
    June  7 - Kindergarten Play
    June 10 – 5th Grade Medieval Times Trip
    June 11 - Incoming Kindergarten Visitation
    June 12 – Incoming Kindergarten Visitation
    June 12 -  Incoming Kindergarten Parent Mtng
    June 13 – Student Council Trip
    June 13 - Family Appreciation Picnic Raindate
    June 14 – PTA Incoming Kindergarten Visitation
    June 17 - 5th Grade Awards Assembly
    June 17 - PTA 5th Grade Powerhouse Studios
    June 18 - Partial day, 12:15 Dismissal
    June 18 - Volleyball/Pizza Party
    June 19 - Partial day, 12:15 Dismissal
    June 19 - Clap Out, 12:15 AM, Last Day for Students

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  • March 4, 2019

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 3/4/2019

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    We had a wonderful Read Across America event on Friday! Thank you for helping to build the children’s excitement during the week leading up to Read Across America! All of our students created hats and many spoke fondly of the time spent with their parents working on this school project. Laughter filled the halls and the children loved meeting with their partner classes. It was a fantastic event! The children’s participation certainly warmed my heart and reenergized my spirit! I hope you feel the same way! Thank you Mrs. Caulfield, Mrs. Corrado and Mrs. Nigro for spearheading the event. We have posted many photos for your viewing pleasure!

    Please discuss Dr. Seuss’ classic story- The Sneetches with your child. All teachers utilized this story to facilitate discussions regarding being yourself, exclusion, peer pressure and bullying. The book continues to be relevant over sixty-five years after it was first published!  

    Our older students receive a monthly magazine from Scholastic called Storyworks. The publication has a collection of high interest fiction and non-fiction articles as well as various puzzles, surveys etc. This month there was a Reading by the Numbers page which was entitled Your Brain on Books. A few interesting tidbits:

    Reading…..increases knowledge and vocabulary by 50%.....lowers stress by 68%.....can lengthen your life by 2 years!

    Reading is a workout for your…..memory…..imagination …..and your character!

    Reading helps …..to boost your mood…..you to relax…..to bring people together!

    I have attached a fabulous new poem (click here) about our Read Across America event by Mrs. Caulfield.

    Let’s celebrate Dr. Seuss and our children this month by reading together!

    Mrs. Healy

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  • February 22, 2019

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 2/22/2019

    Dear Parents,

    On Friday, March 1, 2019, Harrison Elementary School will celebrate Read Across America Day!  In preparation for our celebration, we are asking that each child participate in a school-wide Hat Decorating assignment. We encourage you to enjoy spending time together as a family helping your child create this project. Their hats should be worn to school on Friday, March 1, 2019.

    Project: Create a Hat Based on Your Favorite Book

    (Click here for ideas)


    1. Read a favorite book together
    2. Decorate a hat based on your book.  The hat can be either one that you create (i.e. out of paper, cardboard, newspaper), or can be an existing hat (i.e, baseball cap, visor, etc.) which you will decorate.
    3. Hats should include the following features:
      • For all books:The book’s title and author
      • For fiction books - A picture of the book’s setting and main character
      • For nonfiction books - A visual representation of the topic (an illustration, map or diagram)

     *** Important Note:  Though Read Across America is celebrated in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, the books/hats do NOT have to be based on a Dr. Seuss story/character. ***

    Just a reminder: All students will wear their hats and bring their favorite books to school on

    Friday, March 1, 2019.

    Thank you very much for your support and cooperation! We look forward to hearing about your child’s favorite book and sharing about each other’s hats!


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  • January 31, 2019

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 1/31/2019 2:00:00 PM

    Celebrate World Read Aloud Day with Harrison Elementary!

    book 1

    On February 1, 2019 our students will participate in a daily best literacy practice by listening to their teachers read aloud.  Please help build the excitement by reading aloud to your child tonight! A short activity will be sent home to commemorate the experience. No other homework will be assigned!

    Studies show that literacy is the foundation for emotional and physical well-being as well as intellectual growth. Furthermore, reading aloud improves listening skills, vocabulary acquisition, and comprehension. Shared reading experiences build the understanding of common story themes and structures which will factor into your children’s future academic success. Please read the attached tips (click here) which will help you to create a powerful, memorable family read aloud experience.

    Here is a preview from our classrooms! Each teacher chose the book they wished to read. There are all sorts of books on our list-something for everyone! It is our hope that this list inspires a trip to the library or a local bookstore this winter ! We wish you warm nights cuddled up with a good book! Happy Reading.  


    I chose Snow  by Uri Shulevitz because I think it’s an outstanding winter read aloud that teaches us how to truly enjoy SNOW.  This story always gets children excited about the magic of winter and especially the magic of snow! The book is filled with humorous touches, amazing watercolor illustrations, and the possibilities that come one flake at a time.  No one believes but a boy and his dog… Miss Falchetta 

    I am reading The Mightiest  by Keiko Kasza.  It contains an important message about not boasting, but does it in a fun way with humor and likable characters.  Keiko Kasza is one of my very favorite authors/illustrators because her stories always contain a surprise ending. Mrs. Caulfield

    I will be reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  This has always been a favorite of mine, as I read it to my girls when they were little. The message of giving is an important one to elaborate on, especially these days. This book opens the door for health lessons as well as writing opportunities….. Mrs. Fischer

    I will be reading Sam: The Cat Without a Tail  by Gloria Lintermans . The story is about Sam, a cat born without a tail who gets teased by others. Sam hides and feels sad about the fact that he is different. After Sam comes to the rescue saving one character’s favorite hat, he finds out that he is a rare species of cat (Manx) and very unique. Sam comes to embrace his amazing difference and love the fur he is in. Mrs. Edelson                                 


    I’m reading, Not Quite a Narwhal  by Jessie Sima.  It’s a great story that teaches children, that although they may be different, they don’t have to try so hard to fit in; just be who you are and use what makes you special as a positive. Mrs. DeMarsico   


    north star  

    I am going to read the book, The North Star  by Peter H. Reynolds. I chose this book because it teaches the children the idea that life is a journey and with hard work and perseverance they can reach whatever goals they set out to achieve. Miss Craig


    For World Read Aloud Day I will begin my favorite Bailey School book, Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers. Then we will be participating in a Skype Session with author Debbie Dadey in the media center with Mrs. Caulfield. We are so excited! Mrs. Weissman

    I’m going to read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt  by Michael Rosen. It’s a fun interactive story plus it ties in nicely with our hibernation discussions. Mrs. Bennachio


    We will be reading Malala's Magic Pencil  by Malala Yousafzai. This is a story of grit, perseverance, and making a difference in the world. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. If she had one, she would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala sees that there are more important things to wish for. She sees a world that needs fixing. Even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realizes that she can still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. Miss Ammar   

                                                              K-2 will be reading Last Stop on Market Street  by Matt de la Pena. The book follows a young boy named CJ as he learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. The book ends with a more appreciative CJ and Grandma working at a soup kitchen. The book won the 2016 Newberry Medal and a Caldecott Honor. Mrs. Gullo

    I chose The Book with No Pictures  by B.J. Novak  because as 5th graders we often write stories that have no pictures.  It is a funny book filled with phrases that still have the audience picturing what is going on. Mrs. Aivars

    I'll be reading Dr. Seuss'  Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?  I chose this book to build on our Gratitude Attitude and Mindfulness discussions.   It's a good time of year to reflect on all that we have and how we can help others who are not as fortunate. Mrs. Faber


    Mrs. Herrera and Mrs. Piegari’s 5th grade class chose the book Hidden Figures: The True story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly to celebrate National Read Aloud Day. The book tells the story of four women who, in the face of adversity, were able to reach their goals, and make dramatic achievements in the realm of science and space exploration. Though they faced many challenges, these women did not give up on their dreams, even when many events would have warranted them doing so.  After reading the book, the class will discuss the importance of having perseverance, grit and determination in seeking your goals, even in the face of challenges and continuous mistakes. Students will then work with a partner to honor one of the heroes from the book, and choose one of the women to write a biography poem about.

    We will be reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Not only is it one of my childhood favorites, but it teaches the lessons of gratitude and environmental consciousness; both of which are focuses within our curriculum and school-wide goals.  Mrs. Horwitz 

    I have decided to read the book The Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio.  This is a wonderful book that lends itself to multiple grade levels, with a meaningful message.  I love this story because it teaches our children about the importance of tolerance, understanding, and friendship.  This book reminds us about the importance of using our “social filter”.  The illustrations are amazing, especially at the end of the story.  The author reminds us that friends sometimes have lots of things in common, but that differences are wonderful ways to learn more about each other! Mrs. Matienzo

    We are reading two different books in Music! Our K-2 students will read Music, Music, For Everyone  by Vera B. Williams. It is a story of grit and determination, and focuses on doing something for someone other than yourself. Grades 3, 4, and 5 will read Duke Ellington, a biography for children written  by Andrea Davis Pinkney. This non-fiction book will be a great start for Black History Month. Mrs. Matten

      winter day

    Mrs. Mullen's class will be reading  One Winter's Day by M. Christina Butler.

    This story is about true compassion and generosity. It illustrates how goodness rarely goes unnoticed. This connects to our Character Connections theme. It helps children realize how an act of kindness, no matter how simple, can go a long way.  

    K-4 will be reading Bark, George  by  Jules Feiffer. This a funny story about a dog who meows, quacks, oinks, and moos, but can’t bark! As they listen to the story, students will find out the silly reason why George can’t bark and if he ever does. With the goal of instilling a love for reading in mind, I chose to read this book to my class because of its humor and appeal to young readers. Miss Nassaney

    For World Read Aloud Day we will be reading the book Because Amelia Smiled  by David Ezra Stern. This book really puts forth the concept of “paying it forward”, a topic in which we have discussed at numerous points in the school this year. The book is about a little girl Amelia, who simply smiled at her neighbor, who then felt inspired to bake cookies for her grandson, who then was inspired to do another act of kindness! The book goes on to show how spreading something as simple as a smile, can spark warmth in someone’s heart and mind and possess them to pay it forward. Eventually, all of the acts of kindness find their way back to Amelia, and yet again, make her smile. Because Amelia Smiled generates positive thoughts that will surely get our students motivated to pay it forward to a friend, family member, or even a stranger!   Miss Petruzziello

    Our class is reading  Rescue and Jessica A Life -Changing Friendship  by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes. This is a story about a human and a dog that found each other after both of their lives turned out differently from the way they imagined it. This supports our service dog theme, and how being together for each other helps both of them…  one step at a time.
    Mrs. Zavaglia    

    My third grade will be reading Winners Never Quit! -The Story of Mia Hamm by Carol Thompson. Mia Hamm is now a champion soccer player but she wasn’t always.  This true story shows how to deal with losing, how to be a team member and how to keep working on something even when you feel like quitting. Mrs. Sachs

    For World Read Aloud Day I chose the book, Stuck  by Oliver Jeffers.  I chose this book because it is silly and clever and it also has an important message.  The book teaches its readers about determination. Mrs. Schulke

    I will be reading What Do You Do With a Problem?  by Kobi Yamada to my students. The book is about tackling problems head on rather than dwelling on them and turning them into problems bigger than they actually are. It explains that problems (like mistakes) give you an opportunity to grow, learn, and be brave. Mrs. Sledgeski

    I will read Cuadros de Familia (Family Pictures) by Carmen Lomas Garza to my fourth grade students. This book offers authentic literature about family traditions and the different aspects of traditional Mexican-American culture.  I think this book is the perfect compliment to our family unit because it talks about the culture and the children can make connections to the story while learning our target language.  Senora Martes

                                                                I will be reading The Day You Begin  by Jacqueline Woodson. I chose this book because it reminds us that our stories are all worth sharing. If we are brave enough to share, we might just find we have more in common with others than we think. Mrs. Nigro

     I will be visiting each first grade classroom to teach a special lesson about diversity. We will read The Color of Us  by Karen Katz.. Just like apples, we all look different on the outside and are beautiful stars on the inside! Mrs. Siti

    My students will enjoy Stellaluna by Janell Cannon on World Read Aloud Day. I choose this book because of its detailed language and animal kingdom content.  We will also discuss the book’s message that each of us has special gifts.

    I have selected the book Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds. I chose this book because it includes inspiring messages of creativity, teamwork and having the courage to think outside the box. Miss Favia

    I will be reading The Hello Goodbye Window by Norton Jester. A little girl visits her Nana and Poppi.  They have a special hello/goodbye window where they see many beautiful things and while at Nana and Poppi’s they do many wonderful things. A wonderful book which highlights special family moments! Mrs. Connell 

    I will read Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, an important story about taking the time to extend kindness (without judging) before the opportunity is gone.  Mrs. Frohnapfel

    I chose A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon.  This story lends itself to discussions about why we worry about what others think, bullying, and learning to respect and accept differences. Mrs. Oswald

    In art, 4th graders will hear the story, The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay Haring, about artist Keith Haring.  His story will hopefully inspire students as they work on figure drawing.  Ms. Stein


    Several teachers chose to read Thank you, Mr. Falker  by Patricia Polacco.

    This fan favorite touches adults and children alike. We highly recommend it!

    Imagine being the new student in a school where everyone can do something that you can’t do yet. A situation like that can “make you or break you.” As a young girl, Patricia Polacco’s family moved across the country to California for a fresh start. But starting over wasn’t easy for Patricia. She was terrified that her classmates and her teacher would discover the one thing that made her feel most ashamed – she couldn’t read! Her teacher, Mr. Falker, recognized what a talented artist Patricia was, and he promised Patricia that he would find a way to help her overcome her reading difficulty and feel proud of herself. Not only did Patricia learn to read, she developed a love of words and of books that helped her become a magical storyteller. Today, Patricia Polacco, the girl who couldn’t read, is one of America’s most beloved authors of dozens of children’s books. Never give up! Mrs. Corrado

    I chose, Thank you, Mr. Falker  because of its powerful messages of overcoming obstacles, having grit,  perseverance, and helping others.  I think many, if not all, students will identify with the girl and relate to her struggles,  This is also a timely book as it fits in well with our January Hero Group discussion on grit and not giving up.  I also hope to be that teacher who makes such an important impact on her students’ lives!    Mrs. Miller 

    I will be reading Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. It tells the story of young Patricia (Trisha) who can't wait to learn to read. Reading does not come easily to her and she starts to feel bad about herself, and feels even worse when her classmates start to make fun of her. Then in fifth grade she gets a new teacher named Mr. Falker who is determined to help Trisha learn to read any way he can. It is a sweet story of determination and the wonderful impact a teacher can have.  Mrs. Robinson 

    Thank you, Mr. Falker  has always been one of my favorite books to read to my students every year.  We have been teaching and working with the students in social studies and hero groups about kindness, and how can we bring joy to our everyday lives.  Everyone can make an impact on a person on a day to day basis, be it a smile, holding the door, or just making a new friend on the playground.  I think Thank you, Mr. Falker teaches students that not only can you look to your peers, parents and family to lift you up, but your teachers as well. Teachers are there to help guide you through life in many ways, and are always there to help, no matter what!!!  No one is perfect we all need a helping hand, and this is why I love the book, Thank you, Mr. Falker. I am excited to read to my group this year! Ms. Capizzi

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  • January 11, 2019

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 1/11/2019

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    Happy New Year! I hope this email finds your family healthy and well rested for the year ahead! Let’s start 2019 off on the right foot! Please read through the following reminders regarding school procedures. Additionally, I have attached information regarding the Township Diversity Committee’s plans for Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday (click here) as well as 2019-2020 Kindergarten Registration.


    • Please do not use the small side lot to drop off or pick up unless your child is injured. This is not an open lot.
    • Dogs are not permitted on school property.
    • Children are not permitted to stay/play on school property after school hours without a parent.


    • We dismiss approximately 250 children using the drop-off line.  Please be patient so all of the children are safe.
    • The pick-up area is near the trees-be aware of your speed. Please go slowly!
    • Cars line up in the large lot toward the right. When a parent sees their child waiting in the line -they move slowly into the pick-up area.
    • The line will be stopped by an adult at the media center. This ensures that we can safely bring cars toward the sidewalk where the children wait.
    • Parents/Guardians please instruct your children to be ready and looking for you in the afternoon.  Siblings/Carpools must stand together. Do not come to the pick-up area if you do not see your child(ren) waiting.  Remain in the pick-up line in the larger lot.
    • Parents/Guardians will be asked to circle around if you arrive at the line and your child isn’t there.
    • Six cars will be moved into the pick-up zone near the trees at one time. A teacher will stand at the beginning and end of the line so that the line doesn’t move until all six cars are safely filled and doors are closed. This protects the children, our staff and drivers.


    • If you are utilizing our Drop-Off line please remember that the line moves very quickly from 7:35 until 7:50. If you wait to join the line after 7:50, it is very possible your child will be late. Please make every effort to use the line early – it makes the day start better for both your family as well as our school community.
    • Please understand that the adults supervising the line are doing so in extreme temperatures and weather. It is a difficult job thus we appreciate your patience and kind words.
    • During severe weather or extreme circumstances such as the recent snow and road construction, we will hold the attendance.
    • Please note if you are having difficulty getting your child to school on time- our guidance counselor may be able to assist. Please reach out if you feel the need. School begins at 8:05.

    Kindergarten 2019-2020 Registration

    These children will be part of the LHS Class 2032!

    The Pre-Registration Process for incoming Kindergarten has begun.  Open Registration in Genesis is now available for parents/guardian to enter pre-registration information for children expected to enroll/start in upcoming school year, Sept 2019.  Children need to be 5 years old on or before October 1, 2019 in order to be eligible for Kindergarten in September. Registration information can be found on both our website and the district homepage. The registration process needs to be completed with our registrar by May 15th.

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  • November 13, 2018

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 11/13/2018

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    We enjoyed seeing you at our PTA Game Night, Halloween Parade, and during Parent/Teacher Conferences! It has been a very busy few weeks.

    Hero Groups

    We had our first Hero Group on Halloween morning! The children met with their groups and welcomed their new kindergarten members! During this first meeting the teachers introduced the purpose of our Hero Groups initiative which is to help the children to:

    • develop positive relationships with their Harrison peers.
    • learn how to be healthy and happy.
    • learn to recognize their emotions. (beyond happy/sad)
    • learn how to help themselves when upset. (e.g., breathing, taking a break, etc.).
    • learn how to be a responsible and kind member of our school.

    The sessions have a structure which always includes a mindfulness strategy, a SEL book, discussion and activity. During this session the groups read You be You by Linda Kranz. Together the groups examined the connection between the little fish’s story and utilizing a social filter.  Basically we discussed the following:

    • This little fish sees differences as good.
    • When you see something different or unique, it is not bad.
    • Our social filter tells us how to compliment people rather than commenting on differences.
    • How can you stand out in a good way in the classroom? On the playground? At home?
    • Why are these types of themes found in many different books?
    • Can you think of any other books or movies with this theme?
    • If you find any books with this theme please let the group know throughout the year!

    The children got to know each other as they each created a unique fish which will help to make up our Harrison School of Fish –where we all swim together!

    Professional Development

    Our district continues to supports our teachers’ professional growth in all areas. This month the teachers attended a variety of sessions in specific areas of their curriculum, teaching strategies or pedagogy. I would like to highlight two. The first was given by our Reading Specialists at Harrison and focused on interpreting literacy data in order to plan for small group instruction. The second was provided by Dr. Nikki Newton for district K-5 math teachers. It highlighted the components of guided math groups which focus on the differentiated needs of our students. Both workshops support our school goals by providing the teachers with questioning strategies and activities.  This type of small group instruction gives the children the opportunity to talk with their peers, ask questions and justify their thinking across content areas. 

    Family Math

    Thank you for your enthusiastic participation! This month’s problems will focus on our Harrison School Thanksgiving traditions! The sheets will go out to the grade levels on the 19th and will be due back any time before the 30th. Please discuss the problems with your children so that you become familiar with the types of questions you can ask them based upon your life outside of school. It is important that the children understand the connection between the math class and their real lives.

    Special Visitors

    Illustrator Adam Gustavson visited Harrison School on Tuesday, November 6th.  Using works from his portfolio, he took students through the process of being approached by a publisher to illustrate a book, receiving the words to the picture book as a 3 page email, and then doing at least three different sketches before he creates his final oil painting for each illustration.  Adam stressed the need for research in order to maintain authenticity for period pieces and biographies.  His gentle humor also encouraged students to continue working through mistakes, as they have to do in school, and as he still has to do as a professional artist.

    Our second grade students kicked off their service dog unit with a visit from Flicka –a puppy who is being fostered for The Seeing Eye by The Konstandt Family. The children were excited to meet her and begin to learn how our furry friends help us in many different ways!

    Beethoven, as portrayed by Dennis Kobray of Meet the Musicians, linked music and history for our students. The children were intrigued by his presentation as we enjoyed his music! A special thank you to the PTA for providing this wonderful cultural arts assembly.

    Officers Klapal and Mullaney as well as Mrs. Siti facilitated a discussion of internet safety with our fourth and fifth grade students. This session warned the children of the pitfalls of social media and reinforced their responsibility to use it appropriately.

    Birthday Book Club

    This month we look forward to Birthday Book Club which will be held on November 13th at 7:00. Mrs. Caulfield and several of our teachers will read and perform for the children while parents attend the PTA meeting. The children and parents will come together at the end of the meeting for birthday cake, and the children who donated a book to the media center will bring home their book for the week. These books will then be returned to school and will become part of our media school collection. 

    Just a few more highlights……  

    • Congratulations to our First Harrison Hawk Award Class-Mrs. Schulke’s 1st Grade!
    • Many of our classes wrote letters or created cards thanking Livingston resident Wilbur Hoffman who served in the Navy aboard a destroyer named the USS Hughes during WWll. The letters were presented after a ceremony where Mr. Hoffman received the Bronze Star for the meritorious actions he took to save his ship and his crewmates.
    • Our Kindness Garden has been replanted with Icicle Pansies. Please make sure to thank our young K-1 gardeners-they did a beautiful job!
    • Class Trips have started. Our trips help the children to experience concepts from the curriculum in a vivid and hands-on manner. Students in grade three visited a mine to support their study of geology while the kindergarten and first grade visited a pumpkin and apple farm respectively. Classroom lessons occur before and after our trips so the children can apply there what they have learned in and out of the classroom!
    • Please continue to send your pop tabs, plastic bottle caps and box tops!
    • Please label all items with your child’s name –as the winter approaches –our Lost and Found will grow. Don’t forget we try to get outside whenever possible. Fresh air and activity keeps all of us happy and healthy!
    • The Gag Pit is here!  It will be completed as soon as the weather cooperates for a few days in a row!
    • Thank you -Mrs. Adams (P.E.) for providing the cornstalks which decorate the front of our building.
    • Thank you –families we raised $1,050 through Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch, benefitting Table to Table!
    • Please visit our Harrison Home page to see photos from our various events! Click Here to visit.

    Our next article focuses on developing a Gratitude Attitude. Please read the attached article- 10 Ways to Raise a Grateful Kid by Homa Tavangar.

    Click here to visit PBS Parents.  


    Mrs. Healy


    Nov 13 - PTA Meeting –Birthday Book Club

    Nov 14 - 3rd Grade Leaders

    Nov 15 - Picture Re-Takes

    Nov 16 - Kidz Klub begins

    Nov 18 - 5th Grade Applebees Fundraiser

    Nov 20 - 4th Grade Leaders

    Nov 21 - Half Day, 12:15 PM Dismissal, Thanksgiving Holiday

    Nov 22-23 - No School, Thanksgiving Holiday

    Nov 27 – 5th Grade Band Day

    Nov 27 - 5th Grade Leaders

    Nov 29 – 5th Grade Orchestra Day

    Nov 30 - Kids Klub

    Dec 4 - 2nd Grade Leaders

    Dec 5 – 5th Grade Chorus Day

    Dec 5 – Hour of Code Parent Night, 6:30 PM

    Dec 7 - Holiday Boutique

    Dec 7 - Kidz Klub

    Dec 11 – 3rd Grade Leaders  

    Dec 11 – PTA Meeting

    Dec 12 – 1st Grade Leaders 

    Dec 14 - Kidz Klub

    Dec 18 - 4th Grade Leaders

    Dec 19 - 5th Grade Leaders

    Dec 21 - New Year’s Assembly

    Dec 22-31 No School


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  • October 16, 2018

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 10/16/2018

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    October brings many opportunities to foster our students’ social and emotional learning. We continue to work closely with our parent community to foster these SEL skills. We strongly believe that it is this home–school connection which will help our children to grow into kind, confident and resilient young adults!

    The first week in October has been designated as The Week of Respect in New Jersey Schools. Throughout the week, classroom teachers discussed our kindness initiative as well as the importance of trying to understand other children’s feelings and perspective . We celebrated World Smile Day and had a fantastic Pep Rally to end the week! The children had a great time and as always our Harrison School  Cheerleaders (staff) were a big hit !

    Through four school based skits, the teachers reviewed our T.H.I.N.K acronym and the importance of using  a social filter. Lots of giggles occurred as the “Social-Filter-Think-Before-You-Speak-Choose-Kind-Be-A-Good-Friend-You-Don’t-Want-To-Insult-Anyone-ADVISORarrived during each scenario to remind the actors of  what should or should not be said! When the classroom teachers debriefed the program last week, the students were able to describe in writing and/or pictures the assembly’s message!  

    Last week we focused on helping the children begin to set short manageable goals. Effective short term plans help to organize students and support their continued efforts.  Small consistent successes build  student confidence and help them to associate their hard work with academic growth. Teachers read books such as What Gritty Kids Do and After the Fall in order reinforce that all people face challenges, make mistakes and struggle, however it is often through these experiences that we learn and grow the most!

    This is School Violence Awareness Week; thus classes will continue to discuss perspective-taking and the use of a social filter. While we always hope to prevent a conflict we also realize that our children need the tools to resolve problems effectively. Mrs. Siti will visit the classrooms over the next few weeks in order to support the children’s understanding and use of conflict resolution strategies. These lessons will introduce  or reinforce the use of self-regulation and reflection tools.  

    October 22nd –October 26th is Red Ribbon Week. This week is dedicated to educating our young children in healthy choices and our older students in the dangers associated with the use of illegal drugs. Please see the attached flyer regarding a variety of  special days the district has set up to reinforce important anti-drug messages. Health lessons will be focused in these areas and the Livingston Police Department will visit our fourth and fifth grades to provide safety information.

    Our Student Council has been very busy as we focus on helping others! We raised $1,050 for The American Red Cross which will be targeted for hurricane relief.  Our Ronald McDonald House pop tab total has risen to 377,000. Additionally, all of the children drew Smile Day Cards which will be sent to "Color A Smile" and distributed across the county to those in need of a smile!

    Choose Kind

    Please help your children collect the following items all year long! Grandparents and extended family continue to be an integral part of theses drives. It is easy to help –- your child will be decorating a Choose Kind Cup during a rainy lunch period or two. When the cup is filled, simply send in the contents! Repeat as often as possible .

    • Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House -Student Council Grade Level Competition
    • Plastic Bottle Tops for The Kindness Bench Project  - Guidance/ Recycling
    • Box Tops for Education - PTA collection which helps to buy playground equipment such as balls, jump ropes, and hula-hoops.  

    School Wide Math Contest

    In our last email we mentioned a weekly Family Math problem. As we developed the idea, we decided the project would be better received, more challenging, and exciting if it occurred once a month!

    • The problems will be created monthly for each grade level.
    • Each month problem will have a “school-life” theme-October’s will be our Pop Tab Collection for Ronald McDonald House.
    • The problems require perseverance and close reading.
    • The purpose of this activity is for families to discuss how we use math on a daily basis. We hope these problems will help parents to understand the type of mathematical language used in school and to encourage their children to discuss their thinking.  Parents may help the children to think logically and organize their thoughts.
    • The children will have a week (including the weekend) to bring back their problem. October’s problems will be sent home on Tuesday and are due back by October 23rd .
    • All problems will be reviewed in class and the children will share the various ways they attacked the problems. This discourse is critical in developing solid mathematical problem solving.
    • All problems will be placed in a special box. The first correct problem pulled from each grade level will win a prize.

    Our Halloween Parade will take place on October 31st at 1:00. Everyone is welcome as long as the weather cooperates! More information to follow.

    Have a wonderful week and enjoy the promised sunshine !

    Mrs. Healy

    (Please click here for this week's article: Creativity: How Parents Nurture the Evolution of Children's Ideas)

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  • September 25, 2018

    Posted by Cynthia Healy on 9/25/2018 4:00:00 PM

    Dear Parents and Guardians,  

    We are off to a smooth start! Our first 12 days have been sunny –even when the weather doesn’t cooperate! It has been a pleasure to see the children’s smiling faces in class as well as on the playground! 

    Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make our Welcome Back Picnic a success! A fun time was had by all. If you were unable to attend –we will have another in June! Also consider volunteering at our PTA Book Fair which takes place in October.

    Our Student Council will be initiating two Kindness Projects this week:

    • Members of the Executive Board visited each room to discuss how our students can help the students in North Carolina who have been affected by Hurricane Florence. The older students explained that we wish to help the American Red Cross raise money to replace homes and nurse people back to health in the areas affected by the hurricane. 


    • We are asking that each child perform a chore(s) at home in order to raise funds for the American Red Cross. Remember no donation is too small!  The collection will run this week and next. We will collect the last classroom envelopes on Friday October 5th.
      • A new twist-We will use the total donation amount as part of our weekly math challenge –an activity which will highlight how our student’s math content is seen in their everyday life.
    • We will also be collecting pop-tabs again to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House. Since 2011, we have collected about 336,000 pop-tabs!  When we reach 1,000,000 (a million), McDonalds will throw an assembly for our school. Money raised from the pop-tabs goes to making and renovating rooms for children and their families to stay in when they are being treated for serious illnesses far from where they live. We have a several families which have found comfort at a Ronald McDonald House during difficult times. Please make an effort to support this worthwhile initiative.
    • We will collect tabs by grade level each month and the grade with the most pop-tabs will earn extra recess time at the end of the month. The grade with the most pop-tabs at the end of the year, will get a special reward from Mrs. Healy. The containers will be moved from outside the library to the main hallway this year!
    • A new twist- Outside Mrs. Healy’s office, there is a container of pop-tabs that was donated to our school by a friend of Mrs. Piegari and Mrs. Giannopoulos! The children will be given the opportunity to write down how many pop-tabs they think are in the container. The student who gets closest to the total wins a prize! The winner will be announced next Monday morning.

    Classroom Connection-Kindergarten STEAM

    • Our youngest students have already begun to learn the engineering process to solve problems. The primary focus for early kindergarten STEAM is learning how to create with partners, understanding that it may not work the first time and then creating a new plan! These type of activities help to develop problem solving as well as language and listening skills. Additionally, such lessons foster inquiry, curiosity, cooperation and perseverance!
    • After reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, small groups of kindergarten children worked together to meet the presented challenge -build a three dimensional tree which holds the most letters. The children were given the opportunity to develop a plan and a variety of materials to choose from.  Their interactions were positive as well as thoughtful. The resulting structures were amazing !
    • Be on the look-out for STEAM lessons throughout the year in all grade levels!


    • Hopefully, our newsletters will stimulate conversations at home regarding school. The following questions may also help deepen these discussions. Rather than the typical, "What did you do in school today?"  You might want to try one of the following:

    • "What's new this year?" This helps to motivate your children as they enter into a brand new year -filled with both excitement and responsibility.
    • "What will you learn today?"This helps build excitement for the day ahead and provides opportunity for a follow-up conversation.
    • "Can you show me what you did?"This encourages your child to demonstrate new knowledge and reinforces learning. 
    • What was the nicest thing you did for someone else? This reinforces self-reflection as well as your child’s role in creating a positive school environment.

     Here a few more that you might find fun!

    What games did you play at recess?

    What was the funniest thing that happened today?

    Did anyone do anything super nice for you?

    What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?

    Who made you smile today?

    What new fact did you learn today?

    Who brought the best food in their lunch today? What was it?

    What challenged you today?

    What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?

    If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day, who would you want it to be? Why?

    If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?

    What is your teacher's most important rule?

    What is the most popular thing to do at recess?

    Does your teacher remind you of anyone else you know? How?

    Tell me something you learned about a friend today.

    What was your favorite subject to study today? Why?

    What is one thing you did today that was helpful?

    When did you feel most proud of yourself today?

    What rule was the hardest to follow today?

    What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?

    Which area of your school is the most fun?

    Which playground skill do you plan to master this year?

    • This year all newsletters will also include an article which we believe both parents and teachers will find enjoyable as well as thought-provoking. The articles will cover a wide range of topics regarding child development, social/emotional growth and elementary education.  A portion of each PTA meeting will be dedicated to fostering a light discussion of the recent articles. 
    • Please click here for this week’s  article:  12 Questions that Teach Kindness in Your Children by Megan Jordan

    Please visit our website for additional information regarding your child's school experience. Articles and photographs found under School News will certainly spark some great discussions at the dinner table!

    • The First Day of Schoolgallery (click here), our farewell to Mr. Amdi (click here), and some photos from the first weeks of school (click here) are ready for your viewing pleasure.  Be sure to check School News often to view happenings around Harrison!
    • Please visit your child’s Teacher Page. All teachers will post daily homework, monthly curriculum updates as well as other pertinent information.

    We look forward to seeing you on Thursday at our Back to School Night!


    Mrs. Healy  


    September 27    Back to School Night

    October 5            Pep Rally-Students Only

    October 9          PTA Meeting

    October 10         Book Fair Preview Night

    October 11 -12   Book Fair


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  • August 23, 2018

    Posted by Cindy Healy on 8/23/2018

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Welcome Back!  It is hard to imagine that another school year is upon us.  I hope that you are as thrilled as I am to see what this year has to offer.  We have been planning many exciting activities to ignite your children’s creativity and to keep them moving forward.  

    As a parent, teacher, and principal, I never tire of seeing a child smile when he or she proudly says, “I did it”!  Our focus this year, as in the past, is to teach our children to keep trying despite mistakes or personal misgivings.  It is our sincere wish that every child has enough grit to deal with life’s challenges and to flourish.

    With this mission in mind, we are going to stress solving problems creatively and powering through mistakes.  Recently, members of our faculty attended a workshop called, creatED sponsored by Crayola. The focus of the program was to show educators ways to build creative capacity school-wide.  We look forward to implementing their ideas.

    In addition, we will be looking at famous people who did not always have a smooth pathway to success.  Have you heard of Richard James?  He was a naval engineer who had great difficulty repairing a ship with a special spring.  Although the spring he was using did not work on the ship, he (and his wife) came up with an alternate use for the spring - the Slinky!  Now, that took creativity and grit! 

    School begins on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Mr. Ramani, Mr. Diaz, Mr. Gibson and Ms. Dias worked tirelessly this past summer and the building is in tip- top shape! We will begin school with several new staff members and families as well as a new kindergarten class. These children will be part of the Livingston High School Class of 2031!  Additional information regarding the opening of school will be emailed over the next week.

    In closing, please allow me to share with you the words of the great master artist, Pablo Picasso.  He said, “When I haven’t any blue, I use red.”  That says it all. Whatever the color, let us take a page off his sketchbook and create a portrait of success for our children so that we may experience more of those “I did it” smiles. 

    Mrs. Healy


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  • Call for Safety In order to ensure the safety of our students, parents should use the Call For Safety phone line and report the student’s name, day or dates the student is absent or tardy, and the reason for the absence or tardy.

    973-535-8000, x7103