Harrison Elementary School

Empowering all to learn, create, contribute and grow.

District Announcements

  • LPS school counseling spotlight

    During the month of October, there are many activities programmed across all schools that support the Week of Respect, School Violence Awareness Week and Red Ribbon Week.  Check it out!

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School News

Messages from the Principal

  • 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 !

    Warmly,
    Mrs. Healy

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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!

    Communication

    • 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!

    Warmly,

    Mrs. Healy  

    DATES

    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. 

    Warmly,
    Mrs. Healy

     

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Call for Safety

  • 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

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