The Falcon Flyer Email Newsletter-February 2017-Edition #18
The Falcon Flyer Email Newsletter 
February 2017
Your Monthly News & Updates
A Message From The Superintendent's Office...

Dear Falcon Community,

February is a time when we recognize the efforts of others.
Valentine's Day provides the opportunity for us to tell our spouse or loved one how much he/she means to us and National School Counselor's Week reminds us of the valuable work performed by our school counselors. Our counselors help our students in many ways, such as assisting with academic, social and behavioral issues, providing guidance for selecting courses and helping students with choosing a college and career.

February is also a time for us to recognize the hard work of our Educational Support Personnel. These men and women often work behind the scenes ensuring the schools are safe and clean, students are receiving academic support, students are transported to and from school safely and district operations are maintained. The following personnel are our 2017 Educational Support Personnel:  Kathleen Watlington (Barclay Brook, Paraprofessional); Lois Castrovince (Brookside, Secretary); Jennifer Burkshot (Applegarth, Paraprofessional); Christine Brix (Mill Lake, Paraprofessional);  Susan Finkelstein (High School, Paraprofessional); Laura Tessler (Oak Tree, Paraprofessional); Raymond Durski (MTMS, Security); LouAnn Pecorino (District,  Accounts Payable Clerk); and Suzanne Giglio (Transportation, Bus Driver).

I have started a new show on Channel 28 entitled, Focus on Education. This show will highlight the talents of our students and staff and keep the community informed of important issues facing the school district. Please check the schedule on channel 28 or click here to watch the show online.

This summer, we are offering an exciting STEM Summer Camp Academy 2017.
  Students will have the opportunity to participate in a rich hands-on learning environment run by certified teachers and staff. The camp will offer Space Week, Environments Week and Rescue Week. Please see inside for information and registration details.

We are continuing to fight for Fair Funding for the Monroe Township School District (MTSD). During January, I testified, along with Mr. Gorski, Business Administrator, and Board President Kathy Kolupanowich and Board member Ken Chiarella, at the Senate Select Committee at Middlesex County College. The State has held funding flat for all school districts for the past several years. This Hold Harmless provision by the State has actually harmed the MTSD by not accounting for our growing student enrollment. We will continue our efforts until we receive our fair share of State funding.

We are currently proceeding with our plans to secure a suitable site for new schools to house our increasing student enrollment. We have been conducting environmental studies and other tasks, as required by regulations. These studies have to be performed before we can move forward with a referendum. However, we are progressing according to our timeline and we hope to have more information soon.

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.

Respectfully yours,

Michael Kozak

Dr. Michael Kozak
Stay up to date on events and happenings in Monroe Township! 
Download the MTSD District Mobile App!
Stay up to date with Monroe Township School District Events and Information!

Use the links below to download this
FREE mobile app to your mobile device.
The App Store:
STAY CONNECTED with the Monroe Township School District:
February 17
4 Hour Session Students/ALL SCHOOLS - Staff In-Service
February 20
ALL SCHOOLS CLOSED - President's Day

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
Click here to view the flyer
Monroe Township Board of Education
STEM Summer Camp Academy 2017

Monroe Township Board of Education is happy to present the STEM Summer Camp Academy. If you are interested in enrolling, please review the brochure and click on the link for Registration. Please fill out the registration form for enrollment in the STEM Summer Academy.  A deposit check of $50 per registered week is due by Friday, 04/14/2017. Registration will not be final until payment is received. The remaining balance of $225 per week registered is due by 06/15/2017.  Enrollment is open to the first 100 students registered per week. Registrants will be notified by email if the minimum number of students has not been attained to run camp.
Make the check payable to: Monroe Township Board of Education. Once your deposit is received, you will be notified of your registration status by email.

Space Week
July 31-August 4

Environments Week
August 7-11

Rescue Week
August 14-18

For more information, please view the 

Applegarth Elementary School participated in the Scripps Spelling Bee on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. There were 16 students in grades 4 and 5 who participated. All of the students were truly prepared. The school winner was Ethan Rego, Grade 4, from Mrs. Pignataro and Ms. Russolese's class. The second place winners were Hugh Dougherty, Grade 5, from Mrs. Burgess' class and Sanskriti Sanjay, Grade 5, from Mr. Abrahams and Mrs. Poland's class. Ethan will represent Applegarth at the Regional Spelldown at Monmouth University on March 13, 2017. Best of luck to Ethan!
On Friday, January 22, 2016, Applegarth Elementary School participated in the National Geographic Bee. There were 5 students in grades 5 who participated in the event. All of the students worked hard and truly did their best. The first place winner was Raul Germano, Grade 5, from Mr. Abrahams and Mrs. Poland's class. The second place winner was Nicholas Scarpa, Grade 5, from Mrs. Burgess'. Raul took the online test to determine whether or not he will qualify for the State Geographic Bee which will be held on March 31, 2017. 

American Legion Oratorical Competition 

Four Monroe Township High School students competed in the American Legion Oratorical Competition at MTHS where they had to prepare five speeches. One speech was an 8-10 minute speech on the citizen's duty and responsibility in our society in light of the rules and rights outlined in the US Constitution. They also had to prepare four 3-5 minute speeches on selected Amendments of the Constitution.
Congratulations to the following Monroe Township High School students who placed at the American Legion Oratorical Competition:

1st Place-Ria Patel (Sophomore - moves onto the county competition)
2nd Place-Manan Shah (Freshman)
3rd Place-Micaela Cardile (Junior)
4th Place-Amanda Pena (Junior)

*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 
**NO LATER THAN 2/21/17 
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 
2017 AANJ Emerging Artists Show

Two MTHS Visual Arts Students, Richa Wadhawan and Amanda Mackenzie, were featured in the 2017 Art Administrators of New Jersey Emerging Artists Competition at Kean University.  Both students study in Ms. Maria Naumik's class.   


Students and Teachers have been working diligently on to build reading stamina with all of our students. We already know that research supports the notion the volume of reading is a large predictor of reading success. In various classrooms we are supporting reading stamina through: classroom goals, individual goals, partner reading, and allowing students to choose their own books during Reader's Workshop. Our Mill Lake Teachers are our students biggest cheerleader and fans! They are celebrating our students success and meeting all of our students unique strengths and learning styles. 

MTHS/FBLA - JA Titans Junior Achievement Competition

Congratulations to all the teams who competed at the JA Titans Virtual Competition on January 24, 2017
at Munich RE in Princeton, NJ

Congratulations to the "Business As Usual" Team of Naveen Gedupoori and Joshua Huttenberger for taking 1st place and advancing to the final round on February 7th at Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon with a chance to win $1,000! Good Luck!

Akhilesh Reddy/Abhijeet Regattte - 2nd Place

Harshit Gupta/Anshul Rana - 6th Place
Monroe Township Girls Softball Association 
Spring Registration is NOW OPEN!
Monroe Township Baseball Association 
Spring Registration is NOW OPEN!
Monroe Township Little Falcons Soccer Club
Spring Registration is  NOW OPEN!

NJ Magazine visited and interviewed Danielle Kutcher's grade 5 class regarding the Yoga and Mindfulness Program.  They are highlighting how students in her class are dealing with stress, incorporating mindfulness, and utilizing their coping strategies in and out of school.  The article will be part of the January health and wellness issue,  or view the article as a PDF attachment here: 
On Tuesday, January 10th at the MTMS PAC, Woodland students in Advanced Band and Chorus showcased their talent and hard work in their Winter Concert. 
Please continue to visit the school web site for upcoming events!
Instructor Positions Available....  Turn   your skills and knowledge into a rewarding Community Education position.  Seeking in-house candidates with, talent and passion willing to share through lecture, demonstration, or hands-on workshops.  Spring classes run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from March 14, through May 25, 2017, excluding week of April 10th. Letters of interest are always accepted on an on-going basis due to anticipated vacancies and interest in new course offerings.  However, to ensure full consideration for our Spring program, communication should be received by January 31, 2017. 

INTERESTED?  HAVE A COURSE, WORKSHOP, OR LECTURE IDEA?  Fill in the attached Instructor Course Proposal and interoffice to:
Director of Community Education/Central Office or or
Oak Tree Takes a Vacation
By Patty Dinsmore and Lauren Colflesh
Everyone needs a vacation or a break now and then, right?  It rejuvenates us and rests our bodies and brains.  Here at Oak Tree our staff facilitate "Imagination Vacations" for our students to do just that.  Our Guidance Counselor, Lauren Colflesh trained the staff in the fall on guided meditation for children so they could model it for the students in their classrooms.  Staff imagined themselves walking through a forest, hearing a waterfall in the distance, seeing vibrant colors, as they slowly felt themselves unwind before beginning a new school day.  It begins with slow deep breath and progressive muscle relaxation while a script is read aloud.  The vacation is used for calming transitions between subjects or after recess, before a test or activity, to increase attention, and to promote a more centered and balanced feeling.  Third grade teacher  Danielle Pugliese uses it weekly as part of Wellness Wednesdays.  It is an activity that benefits both students and staff.  

Oak Tree's Underground Classroom
By John Gleason and Patty Dinsmore

Did you know that Oak Tree School now has an Underground Classroom?  Well, not in the way you may be envisioning, but that is the name of our podcast which is an audio show.   Each month second grade teacher John Gleason interviews Oak Tree students across grade levels about a variety of themes.  Mr. Gleason then edits and produces the interviews into an insightful and entertaining audio show for both adults and children.  Three episodes have been produced thus far on the subjects of Perseverance, Fear, and Resolutions.  The initial reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and the students are eager to share their thoughts and ideas.  It is free and available through iTunes or

Over winter break, Barclay Brook students were asked to distribute tickets for every respectful act they saw their family members demonstrate over the holiday break. Students were also asked to pick one respectful act that they witnessedsomeone do for them or someone do for someone else and write about it. The response sheets were collected after break and they were put together to make class books all about respect! The students did an amazing job at being able to recognize respect not only in themselves, but in others as well.

Barclay Brook/Brookside PTA News

The Barclay Brook Brookside PTA is gearing up for a very busy spring.  We are already planning our Variety Show, Tricky Tray, Spring Book Fairs, Cultural Fair, Mother/Son Dance, and Father/Daughter Dance, with a few more events to get started on.  It will be an exciting spring for students and parents alike! 

In February, we will host our first variety show rehearsals for our super talented students.  The show will be held on March 10 at the middle school.  Be sure to mark your calendars for an entertaining night supporting these kids!  We will also help Mrs. Winters and Mr. F. in hosting a Jump Rope for Heart event at Barclay Brook.  Brookside will host this event in March.  It's truly wonderful to watch the kids in our community take so much pride in promoting a cause to benefit others. 

Lastly, February will be very busy putting together all the moving parts to make our tricky tray event a huge success!  I would like to extend an enormous "thank you" to all of our community members who have helped us in any way, whether it be donating a basket, purchasing a ticket to attend, or simply spreading the word to others!  This is shaping up to be a really incredible night out!  It's not too late to purchase your tickets.  Please contact Rachel at for more information.  To get our students involved, we are hosting three classroom competitions this month and the winners at the end of all three competitions (one at each school) will enjoy a pizza party for their hard work!

Thank you for your continued support!  We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events! 
STEM at Barclay Brook

What does STEM look like in the early elementary classroom?  Come to Barclay Brook School and anyone can see that the classrooms are buzzing with STEM learning!  Teachers are scaffolding students' learning by asking open-ended questions that enable students to question their world and open their minds to new experiences.  Students are learning about the Engineering Design Process and keeping STEM journals to help organize their thinking and reflect on their understandings.  They are beginning to understand that making a plan, working their plan, and making mistakes leads to the independent discovery of their world.  Students are realizing that making mistakes and reflecting on how to improve their plans helps them to develop their ideas and strategies in order to achieve greater success.  

Throughout the classrooms at Barclay Brook School this learning is being encouraged and celebrated.   Mobile carts filled with grade level STEM activities related to Next Generation Science Standards are being utilized in lesson planning and the STEM grade level challenges are underway! Students are actively engaged in the Engineering Design Process, working collaboratively in groups, and reflecting on their learning.  Walking through the hallways at Barclay Brook School, anyone can clearly observe what STEM looks like in the early elementary classroom and truly appreciate the value of STEM learning.  

Brookside School participated in the Scripps Spelling Bee this year.  All homeroom classes held spelling bees.  The spelling bee winners in the fourth and fifth grade homerooms participated in a grade level spelling bee and the top winners of each grade level went on to participate in the schoolwide spelling bee.
The students that participated in the schoolwide spelling bee were:
In fifth grade: Aidan Alvarez, Sireessha Damodharan, Amar Dhillon, Reya Gunjikar, Gurjap Kohli, Disha Prasad, and Simone Purswani. In fourth grade: Eric Crowley, Mahanth Komuravelli, and Danica Zelvin
Our school champion was Reya Gunjikar. Congratulations to our students!
Brookside School participated in the National Geographic Bee. All fourth and fifth grade homeroom classes held classroom bees. The top performers went on to a tie breaker round to determine the school finalists to participate in the schoolwide bee.
The school finalists that participated in the schoolwide bee were:
In fifth grade: Mehar Aiden, Andrew Azzinaro, Nivriti Balaji, Dylan Berkuta, Anthony Perez, Simran Kumar, and Arnav Venkata. In fourth grade: John Myslinski

Our school champion was Andrew Azzinaro - Congratulations to our students!
As part of our character education program at Brookside, each month beginning in October a student from each grade level is selected that best represents the month's character trait. 

The students of the month for October who represented the character trait of "Responsibility" were:  Rebecca Padron, Abhishek Terala, and Navya Somula.
The students of the month for November who represented the character trait of "Respect" were:  Madison Adamcik, Samantha Fersht, and Yana Zhmutskaya.
The students of the month for December who represented the character trait of "Caring" were: Chase Gochenour, Angelina Rufin, and Brandon Macaluso.
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017,  the Music Department had two guest musicians from the United States Army Band visit MTMS. They spoke to all of our brass students and any interested band students and also provided a workshop with those students.  Our music students were blown away to see how the U.S. Army Band is involved with so many important events that sometimes become part of history, like the President's Inauguration.  It made them aware that being a musician can lead you down many paths if you truly have a love for it.

We wanted to share the good news of one of our students, Swagnik Roychoudhury, who is a 7th grader at MTMS on Team Inspire.  Swagnik participated in the Liberty Bell Chess Tournament in Philadelphia from January 13-16, a nd tied for first place in the Under 1500 Section, winning 6 out of 7 games.  It was an intense tournament with about 10 hours of playing chess per day for three days.  Swagnik started showing interest in playing chess when he was 6 years old, when his mom started playing with him and helping him learning the rules.   Later, his dad began playing with him, since he picked up chess so quickly.  Once Swagnik became deeply interested, Mr. Hal Sprechman, the President of NJ Chess Federation, was asked to coach him and after five years brought him to the USCF 1500 rating.  Swagnik participated in numerous tournaments over the years, and has won many trophies (see picture below) and cash
awards, including placing 3 rd  in the NJ State Grade Championship in 2014.  Swagnik has recently started chess training with the International Master (IM) Mr. Dan Vasiesiu who lives in Eastern Europe and coaches Swagnik over the internet.  Swagnik is very passionate about chess and math, he recently received first place in the AMC 8 Math Contest.  Along with prize money, Swagnik walked away from the Liberty Bell Chess Tournament with great pride and accomplishment.  We congratulate him!

On January 23, 2017, MTMS the Third Annual MTMS Spelling Bee.  The competition was fierce but Anshul Chandaliya from Team Vista emerged the winner and will advance to Monmouth University!  Congratulations Anshul!  Avi Thanawala and Jaiden Shah tied for 2nd place as the three of them spelled the words nastorchium, anesthesia and velocipede towards the end of the bee.  All of our spelling participants received a participation ticket.  In addition, Anshul also won a one year online subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica!  We had a total of 110 participants this year. Congratulations to all of our spelling bee contestants, you should all be proud of yourselves!   

Congratulations to the following MTMS students on qualifying for the National History Bee regional finals! Dan Agunbiade, Audrey Chen, Owen Daugherty, Vikram Dhillon, Joe Dicola, Tom Losacco, Jason Otoo Appiah, Maheedhar Reddy Rajula, Sai Ravishankar and Srineela Voddi.  Good luck at regionals in April!  We will keep everyone posted!

On February 2, 2017, MTMS Team Inspire 7 th grade social studies teacher, Ms. Sullivan, will be running a mock trial within her classroom about the assassination of Julius Caesar.  The guest speaker will be, Caroline Bielak, a public defender for Middlesex County and a mock trial judge for both law school and grade school levels.  We anticipate this will be extremely interesting for our students and cannot wait to hear how it goes!
National Wear Red Day┬« is Friday, February 3, 2017, and MTMS staff will be wearing red!  Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.  We encourage everyone to participate including parents, students, along with friends and relatives!  
Don't forget to Wear Red on the 3rd !

MTMS STEM TAG students competed in a school level MATHCOUNTS competition during January.  On February 4th, the top 10 students will be traveling to Union County College to participate in the regional level MATHCOUNTS competition, which consists of schools from Middlesex, Union and Monmouth counties.  We wish them luck!
Once again MTMS 6th grade social studies classes will host an Ancient Egyptian Museum in the PAC from February 6 - 24, 2017.  Each team will be featured a different week throughout the month to showcase student work and parents are welcome to visit during the following dates:
Team Evolution:   February 6 - 10           
Team Vista:  February 13 - 17
Team Mosaic:  February 20 - 24
MTMS parents join our MTMS administration at the next MTMS PTO Meeting on February 10, 2017  from 10 am to 12 pm in the Lecture Hall.  Our student representatives, administration and parents meet at each PTO meeting to review so many things that you would be impressed.  See you there!

On Friday, February 10, 2017,  MTMS will host a KIDS PAINT NIGHT OUT! Space is already FULL, but we look forward to seeing all of the great "Works of Art!"

LEAD graduations for our 6 th graders will occur from February 21-24, 2017,   during the day at MTMS.  The LEAD program is a joint program with the MTPD to educate our 6 th graders on how to live safe, productive and educated lives inside and outside of school.  We are proud of our 6 th grade students since they have successfully moved through the program over the last few months.  Congratulations to all our students who have gone through the program at MTMS and for making the right choices every day!  Thank you to Detectives Breuer and Silvestri for all their continuous support to MTMS!

Sixteen Monroe Township High School students were accepted and performed in the CJMEA Region II Chorus concert on January 29th, 2017.  Prior to the performance, the students participated in two weekends of rehearsals lead by extremely influential conductors in the state of New Jersey.  Our students auditioned this past December alongside 500 other students enrolled in Central Jersey high schools.  The Choral Program is proud to share that this has been this has been the largest number of accepted students in the school's history.   

Applegarth School Participates in a "Souper Bowl" to Help Others      
Kudos to Applegarth Student Council for motivating students to help people in need. This month the district held a "SOUPER BOWL" Fundraiser, in hopes to collect cans of soup for local food pantries and soup kitchens. Our mission was to collect as many cans of soup as we could.  Applegarth collected 402 cans of soup. Way to go Applegarth and thank you to all Student Council Representatives for organizing such a wonderful event! Together we truly can make a difference in helping others.  Be You, Stay True and Let Your Dreams Come True!
Staff Spotlight...Coming Soon!
Interested in being in the SPOTLIGHT or have a staff member you'd like to see in the SPOTLIGHT? If so, tell us about it!  Contact
deanna.dale@monroe,  for more information!
School Store for all of your FALCON merchandise! 

Order Online & Pick-up at MTHS!
(Cash or Check)
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

View "SCHEDULE STAR" to keep current with upcoming athletic events at Monroe Township High School! 

Click here to view:

Enter Monroe Township HS in the search box for daily, weekly & monthly schedules.
Student Registration & Documents
Click here for Information
Monroe Township School District | 423 Buckelew Avenue | Monroe Township, NJ 08831