The Falcon Flyer Email Newsletter-December 2016-Edition #16
The Falcon Flyer Email Newsletter 
December 2016 
Your Monthly News & Updates
A Message From The Superintendent's Office...

Dear Falcon Community,

The days are shorter and darker, but the lights inside our schools are shining brightly! Our students continue to demonstrate their creativity, talent and knowledge, as seen by their involvement in and out of the classroom. Some of the highlights are below.

The High School Marching Band was chosen as the sole band to represent New Jersey for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our elementary students continue to learn computer coding through the use of the Ozobot robots and other coding activities, and our middle school students demonstrated their research and acting skills through their Mock Elections and School House Rock Show. Our high school students will display their artistic talents at the Cabaret Night.

We are continuing to explore our options regarding expanding our schools to accommodate our growing student population. The results from an environmental study on land offered to the district from the Mayor and Town Council is almost complete. We have explored various parcels of land in the township as a possible site for a new school, but we have not been able to secure an area that is both large enough and free of wetlands. Our architect is working on the plans for an addition to our high school, as well as the possibility of adding onto our existing schools.

In this edition, you will find important information regarding school, district and community events. You can also find valuable information on our MTSD Facebook page, @MTSDFalcons Twitter feed, MTSD website and MTSD app.

December is traditionally a month of religious observances, Holidays and time spent with family and friends. I wish all of you a happy and healthy Holiday season.

Respectfully yours,

Michael Kozak

Dr. Michael Kozak
Stay up to date on events and happenings in Monroe Township! 
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December 1
MTHS Parent Teacher Conferences (5:30pm-8pm)
December 2
MTHS-4 Hour Sessions/Grades 9-12
December 21
4 Hour Sessions/ALL SCHOOLS
December 26 - 30
ALL SCHOOLS CLOSED for Winter Recess

Click here to view the 2016-2017 district calendar
Click here for Applegarth School
Click here for Barclay Brook School
Click here for Brookside School

Click here for Mill Lake Elementary School
Click here for Monroe Township High School
Click here for Monroe Township Middle School
Click here for Oak Tree School
Click here for Woodland School
Click here for Falcon Care
Staff Spotlight...Coming Soon!
*Sponsored by the MTHS Future Business Leaders of America

Friday, December 16, 2016

MTHS Commons @
Monroe Township High School

5:30pm - 8:30pm

$5 per child / Adults are FREE!
Bring your friends! Pay at the door!
*Proceeds to support the MTHS Future Business Leaders of America
Choose a song you want to sing, then sign-up when you arrive!
Time is limited--Sign-ups are on a first come, first served basis.
Sing individually, in pairs, in groups or just come to watch!
--You decide! Either way, you can still be part of the FUN!--
Space is limited to the first 240 pre-registered guests!
Pre-Register to attend by 12/14

Every year during the NJEA Convention, the New Jersey All State Chorus, Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble perform concerts throughout the weekend. This year, Monroe Township High School was represented by Taylor Viana and Peter Toto with the All State Chorus. In addition, Monique Legaspi performed with the All State Orchestra and Graham Kozak performed as part of the All State Jazz Ensemble. All of these groups will also perform at the NJ Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ as part of the All State experience.

The MTHS Marching Band recently wrapped up another successful competitive season. Led by drum majors Mitchell Joseph and Alexa Quarino, the band won first place in Group IVA at USBands competitions at South Brunswick High School, North Brunswick High School, Monroe Township High School, and East Brunswick High School. At the USBands National Championships, the band finished in fifth place with a score of 93.75, their highest score of the season. The marching band is now preparing for next month's performance in Hawaii to mark the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. Congratulations to all band members!

Great news from the MTHS Music Department! Graham Kozak, Monique Legaspi and Peter Toto have been selected to perform with the All Eastern Ensembles. Monique and Graham are the first band students from MTHS to EVER be selected for the All Eastern Bands. Monique will be performing with the All Eastern Concert Band and Graham will be performing with the All Eastern Jazz Ensemble. In addition, Peter Toto will be performing with the All Eastern Chorus. All three students will be performing at the All Eastern Conference in Atlantic City in April 2017.

The MTHS Marching Band will be traveling to Hawaii to perform at the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Included will be performances at the USS Missouri, as well as participation in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. An official send off ceremony is taking place on Saturday, December 3rd.  The band will be leaving for Hawaii on December 5th and returning on December 9th.

MTHS Footlights Club Presents: 
Cabaret Night

December 19th @ 7pm in the MTHS Commons
      Monroe Township HighSchool

Tickets $5.00 at the Door
*Sponsored by MTHS/FBLA Future Business Leaders of America
Make a donation and "RENT" a space to ADVERTISE your business on Monroe's very own MONOPOLY game - MONROE-Opoly!
Game space donation prices vary.
(*Must be a business/group from Monroe/Jamesburg)
ONE (1) Game board is included with your donation!
Click the link below to"GET IN THE GAME" to view
Board Space Location and Donation information!
Once game board property space donations are complete, the game will be produced by a U.S. manufacturer and will be on sale for purchase to all! *Proceeds will support MTHS/FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)

Click here to view the flyer: 
  FBLA MONROE-Opoly Game Board Flyer  
Questions? Email 

On November 17, 2016, MTHS/FBLA partnered with March of Dimes to raise awareness on behalf of WORLD PREMATURITY DAY.
  • We raised $1,560.00 in donations from students and from district staff who participated in BLUE JEANS FOR BABIES!
  • We have collected a number of PREEMIE outfits that will be available to PREEMIE FAMILIES!
  • MTHS/FBLA, along with the MTMS Character Crew lead by Jamie Newcomb, have created over 100 cards that will be distributed to PREEMIE FAMILIES!
  • We have educated many about Prematurity Awareness through presentations from the March of Dimes and from our very own Monroe Township District Staff who shared their stories!
*Sponsored by MTHS FBLA-Future Business Leaders of America 
MTHS/FBLA - Future Business Leaders of America

CONGRATULATIONS!  The following teams have advanced to the JA Titan Competition regional round at Munich RE-Princeton, NJ on January 24, 2017!

Akhilesh Reddy
Abhijeet Regatte
Vishnu Pathmanaban

TEAM Silicon Hotshots
Harshit Gupta
Anshul Rana

TEAM Business As Usual
Joshua Huttenberger
Naveen Gedupoori

CONGRATULATIONS to NITHIN RAJESH and PRANAV REEDY of team FUTURE BILLIONAIRES! Their team was the top placing team from NJ and are among the Top 12 placing teams for the 2016 Life Smarts FALL Challenge! They will advance to the FBLA NLC in Anaheim, CA in June!! Way to go!!
Amazing Escape Rooms are a nationwide phenomenon that have swept the country.   You enter a themed room with several adults where you have exactly one hour to "escape" using the hidden clues to find your way out.  Collaboration is key, as well as the technique of "divide and conquer."  Now take this concept and build an Amazing Escape in your second grade classroom.  Can't be done?  Tell that to Ms. Stephanie Chin at Oak Tree Elementary School.

For the month of October Ms. Chin's students have been receiving mysterious notes from "Mr. Batz" who shared that Mr. Skelet On Bones was in serious trouble.  He was attacked by 400 poisonous worms and needed the students' help and problem solving skills to help him escape.  Students worked hard all month long to earn paper skeleton keys which would earn them one minute in Mr. Bones' house per key.   On the morning of October 28th when  Ms. Chin's students entered their classroom, they were greeted by an enormous Amazing Escape room.  In groups of four, students entered the house and received their first challenge.  From identifying proper nouns and punctuation to solving addition problems, students needed to work together.  All of the challenges in the escape house were curriculum-based and required open communication between students and critical thinking and problem solving skills.  They worked in the dark and under a time constraint.  What was the outcome of this innovative idea? Student engagement led to student achievement and all of the groups were able to escape!  Take a look and enter if you dare!
Oak Tree Thanksgiving Food Drive
Students and staff participated in a Thanksgiving Food Drive from November 14-18.  All food was donated to Monroe families in need as well as the Monroe Township Food Bank. Each grade level was responsible for collecting a certain type of food.  Students from all grade levels, and also from staff, did a GOOD job bringing in canned GOOD's!  A special thank you goes out to our third grade Student Council representatives for creating beautiful posters for our food drive that were displayed around the school. In addition, they gave up their time to go into homeroom classes to remind students to bring in food.  Way to go!


Our 5th Family Reading Night "Warm Up with a Good Book" was held on Thursday, December 1st from 6:00-7:30 pm.  Oak Tree students and their parents were invited to participate in a multitude of activities that will encourage a love of reading both at home and in school.  Children were able to hear some of their favorite stories read by guest readers.  In addition, students visited stations where they could decorate bookmarks, get autographs and photographs with famous storybook characters, swap books, and stop by the Monroe Township Bookmobile to sign up for their own library cards.  Parents and students were able to participate in a Reader's Workshop lesson as well!  It was a fun and rewarding evening for the Oak Tree community. Thank you to the PTA for helping sponsor this valuable event.

Monroe Township Middle School -  MTMS PTO

Our Paint Night was a huge success! Mrs. Chanley and her office staff were able to attend and support our PTO. Everyone had a great time and raised funds for the MTMS PTO! (Picture Below)
Ornament Sale 12/13-12/15 during lunches.
Bookfair 11/29-12/2 with evening hours on 11/30 from 4pm-6pm.
Fundraising Pick-up (Cookie Dough and Kastle Snacks) 12/7 from 6pm-8pm in the Middle School PAC.
6th & 7th Grade Bingo Night 12/9 from 6pm-9pm in the Middle School Cafeteria.
PTO Holiday Dinner 12/8 @ 5pm @ Villa Laura. Please send check for $27 payable to MTMS PTO by 12/2.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays! 
The Barclay Brook-Brookside PTA had a quiet month of November.  The walking club began at Barclay Brook thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Mahoney for getting it off the ground.  The kids say it's a lot of fun! We continued plans on our Tricky Tray coming this March, we began preliminary plans for our annual Variety Show coming this spring, and we were happy to assist at the Wizards game hosted by the Mill Lake-Woodland PTA.   
In December, we are excited to host our annual Holiday Shop at both schools giving students the opportunity to get into the spirit of giving. The Holiday Shop will be open on December 5th and 6th at Barclay Brook and December 8th and 9th at Brookside. We will also kick off our online spirit wear sale at the start of the month, bringing out some new pieces of clothing that have been requested in the past. We will also start plans for our Family Movie Night set to take place on January 20, 2017.  For more information about all of our upcoming events, please join us at one of our general membership meetings!  You can find more information on our website, or by following us on Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter using @bbbspta. 
Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Jessica Balz
BB/BS PTA President 

November was a busy month at Woodland. Representatives from the Monroe Township Library instructed our students with library database training. In accordance with our #WLCARES motto, students continue to help our community by participating in March of Dimes World Prematurity Day and creating Holiday Poppers for the soup kitchen.

The Oak Tree/Applegarth PTA is having a Jamberry fundraiser. For those who are not familiar with Jamberry, there are over 300 design s of nail wraps that include designs, solid colors, Disney characters and team logos. There are a variety of other manicure supplies as well. We are very  excited to have our own Custom Monroe Jamberry!  20% of sales go to support the Oak Tree Applegarth PTA. They make great holiday gifts. Order now through December 4th. Thank you for y our support. 

  • Everyone is invited to join MTMS as the 6 th  grade play present "School House Rock" on December 2 nd  in the PAC at 7 pm!  Our talented students have worked hard and a great musical will be performed - see you there!
  • Monroe Township Middle School would like to support the Monroe Township Police Department PBA #255 & 225A 3rd Annual Toy Drive!  District-wide we ask that each family take a moment to drop off an unwrapped new toy or non-monetary donation for children of all ages to the MTPD headquarters by December 7 th .  MTMS parents can feel free to send your child in with a toy and have them drop it in the main entrance bin.  Thank you for your support!
  • November was the National Month of Gratitude and Erica Coonelly, MTMS Media Specialist, focused on 30 days of gratitude in our media center.  Research has proven that practicing gratitude has a profound effect on mental health and well being (  All month long students were be able to find various gratitude based activities in the media center ranging from a daily gratitude challenge, thankful notes and making a gratitude journal.  We were excited to see the enthusiasm of our students to participate and thank Mrs. Coonelly for her creativeness.
  • Mrs. Wright's class here at MTMS completed creating artifacts from "The Stone Age" and presented them by hosting a museum walk on November 2nd during school hours.  Staff and visiting parents were impressed with the creations as our students beamed with pride.  We thank Mrs. Lauraine Wright and her paraprofessionals for the great support and encouragement they provide the students in their class. 
  • The MTMS Builders Club and Team Quest teamed up for the school-wide Pajama Day event on November 4th.  Collectively the fundraiser earned $600!  The two groups split the proceeds:  $300 went towards Operation Goodie Bag (through Team Quest) and the other $300 will be donated as soon as the Builders Club votes on it.  There are so many wonderful organizations they work with!   
  • The MTMS PTO was hard at work on November 5th here in the school parking lot for their annual clothing drive.  It was another success with them collecting over 1300 pounds of clothes and receiving over $500 with this fundraiser.  It is amazing how many events they sponsor for the school each year!
  • MTMS AVID sponsored Hat Day on November 21st raising $134 to purchase toiletry items for the Asbury Park Thanksgiving Pantry housed at the Langosta Lounge restaurant.  We thank our parents and students for their support!
  • On November 23rd Team Mosaic students participated in a Mini Metric Olympics at MTMS.  Students practiced their estimation and measurement skills as they engaged in five different events.  The events included the Paper Plate Discus, the Paper Airplane Javelin, the Right Handed Candy Grab, the Left-handed Sponge Squeeze, and the Vertical Jump.  During closing ceremonies, many Mosaic students were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals according to how accurate their estimates were to their event results.  The students had a great time, exhibited terrific sportsmanship, and learned a lot about the system of measurement that is used by scientists around the world.
  • MTMS celebrated American Education Week and on November 18th invited parents to visit any classes their children were in at any time throughout the school day.  It presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.  We were happy to see many visitors that day and feel it gives another opportunity for our parents to see the excellent education Monroe Township provides.

During the month of November, Mrs. Graziano and Mrs. Levier's Icon ELA classes collaborated on a Mystery Theme activity.  Students used laptops to access a variety of different media, including songs, political speeches, children's literature books and movie clips.  Students worked in groups of four to access as many of the similar-themed resources as they could.  From there, students collaborated in identifying the theme and finding text or visual evidence that corroborated their chosen theme.  The students barely realized they were doing plenty of reading, critical thinking, writing and theme identification as they busily worked at the task.  Team Icon looks forward to more events of this kind as they work on developing a love of literature in order to become lifelong readers and writers! 

MTMS was excited and proud to hold another Mock Election this year!  As described in a recent article:  "The 1,700 or so middle school students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades held their own election night on November 7th with deafening applause for all parties - Democrat, Green, Libertarian and Republican - inside the middle school gymnasium.  However, no clear winner was decided.  Mayor Gerald Tamburro and Councilwoman Elizabeth "Betty" Schneider were on hand to see the process.  The assembly modeled a meeting of the Electoral College but took on the spirit and excitement of the political conventions.  Student electors representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia announced the results of their state and a digital map projected on screens maintained a running tally of electoral votes."   The complete article is available at
We thank our wonderful teachers, including Nicole DiLorenzo and Christine Viszoki, for their hard work that began in September and applaud the outstanding effort made by our all our students involved in the election process.  


On Friday, November 18th, MTMS Team Inspire teachers hosted a team building day which was based around solving a crime.  The Murder Mystery Company actors led the students through solving a "Who-done-it" (non-murder based) diamond heist called "Now you see it".  Students were asked to dress to impress as they would be transported to a Museum Gala in our own MTMS cafeteria.  The cafeteria was decorated using student art collected from the archives of Ms. Duffy's classroom.  The morning started with a team breakfast that allowed students to get ready to use their sleuthing skills.  Fourteen random suspects were selected to lead their group and solve the crime.  Each "suspect" was given a role to play and were forced to navigate the fine art of being discreet about their true identity, while giving away just enough information to keep the suspense going.  Additional students volunteered to add to the theatrical element of our heist.  After two hours of clue finding, negotiating, interrogation and team work the students had to turn in their prediction and rationalization.  In the end, two of the groups solved the crime but one group had all the details clearly lined up.  Ultimately, ALL of the students participated, collaborated with students they normally don't and had a great time!  After lunch the team reconvened to debrief, share their assignment about who inspires them, and create a unique puzzle piece that represents who they are as an individual.  The individual puzzle pieces are then connected and displayed in the Inspire hallway because "Everyone Fits".  Lastly, they ended the day with an awards ceremony for the 1st marking period.  Several students graced us with their piano playing skills during the ceremony.  Great job Team Inspire!  



Prior to Veteran's Day on November 11th, our 6th grade teacher and program coordinator, Pauline Amabile, assisted our middle school students and staff in creating cards for the veterans living at the Menlo Park Veterans Home.  The students' cards expressed sincere thoughts of appreciation and admiration for the sacrifices of these brave men and women.  It was a rewarding effort on our part and the veterans appreciated it!

Sports Day vs. Read and Relax Day
The 3 rd Grade student council at Mill Lake School held a school-wide election: Sports Day vs. Read and Relax Day. Third grade students generated the different spirit day options, ballots, and even hung campaign posters throughout the school. Read and Relax Day was the resounding winner! The students all enjoyed coming to school with their favorite book and pajamas. They also voted for the School Principal to wear the Monroe Falcon costume. The entire process was a great way to teach and instill upon the students the importance of civic responsibility and the power of voting! 
Click here to view the flyer
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Check out What's Happening!
We are excited to present to you the 1st annual
MTHS Athletics Hall of Fame Induction.  
We would like to pay tribute to the many individuals from our high school who have been a part of the MTHS athletic programs and part of the Monroe Falcons.

The selection committee will be meeting... 
Stay tuned for our first Hall of Fame Class!
Get the latest information on the
Monroe Township School District Sports Programs

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Monroe Township School District | 423 Buckelew Avenue | Monroe Township, NJ 08831