The following highlights are submitted by Irene Policastro, the Secretary to Superintendent John J. Marciante of the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District.
Mad Science and Pearl Observatory
Throughout the month of October, students who elected to participate in one of these two after-school programs housed at Lafayette Mills School participated in a diverse array of hands-on, inquiry-based science experiments and activities. One such activity presented by Pearl Observatory was Shark Attack which focused student learning on Great White Sharks. At Mad Science, students engaged in such experiments as “CURRENT" EVENTS where they were taken on a tour on the electron freeway. The class learned about conductors, insulators, and other elements in the world of circuit electricity. After learning the basics, students were challenged to work in teams to complete a circuit, light up a bulb, and make their own circuit board.
In addition to teachers across the grade level implementing anti-bullying lessons in their classrooms, Mrs. Pepchinski and Mrs. Barrett presented language-arts integrated character education lessons in grades one and two throughout the month of October. The purpose of these lessons was to reinforce and promote good character and to educate students on strategies that would help them mediate conflicts and prevent bullying. In addition, students and staff at Lafayette Mills kicked off other year-long initiatives for Character Education during the Week of Respect which was celebrated from October 1st through October 5th. Specifically, students were reintroduced to Eagle Slips, which are “gold slips” which are presented to them when they are caught by a staff member going above and beyond to exhibit one of the six pillar traits of character. Each month, awarded Eagle Slips will be collected and students’ names will be drawn at random to be featured on a Character Education “Wall of Fame.”
On Oct. 9, Lifetouch was present at Lafayette Mills on this date to photograph each individual student and to take pictures of each class. In addition to parents having the option to purchase these pictures, all student and class portraits will be presented in the annual Lafayette Mills yearbook created by the PTA.
1st grade Pumpkin Integrative Centers
On Oct. 22 first grade students participated in an integrative study of pumpkins which tied in skills and standards from science, reading, writing, and mathematics. Each first grade classroom housed a different activity and students rotated between classes to complete each task. One such activity integrated science and mathematics as students were asked to hypothesize if pumpkins would float or sink in water. Students attending this center also learned how to estimate and then actually weigh individual pumpkins.
On Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, third grade students participated in district testing by taking the InView cognitive assessments. Make-ups were conducted on Oct. 25.
Red Ribbon Week
Originally scheduled for Oct. 25 – Oct. 31, but due to the closing of school during the week of Oct. 29, Red Ribbon Week was abbreviated. The Red Ribbon Committee consists of the following teachers: Laura Bradley, Stefanie Karp, Michele Avidon, Heather Schulz, Danielle David and Danielle Lilonsky
The Red Ribbon Campaign was founded in memory of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena who was killed by drug dealers in 1985. In honor of his memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents then began forming coalitions against drug use. Many adopted the red ribbon as the symbol for their fight against drugs.
During the week the school was decorated in red ribbons and banners. The children were presented with numbered red ribbons to wear during the week. Numbers were called each morning and eligible students chose a prize if they are wearing their ribbon. Each student was given an eagle to pledge to be drug free.
The following was the original schedule for Red Ribbon Week:
- Thursday, Oct. 25th – “Drugs turn you “INSIDE OUT” – wear your clothes inside out.
- Friday, Oct. 26th – “Put a Cap on Drugs” – wear your favorite hat today. Monday, Oct. 29th - “I’m a Jean-ius” – wear jeans and red shirt
- Tuesday, Oct. 30th– STAY IN THE GAME –BE DRUG FREE” – Students can wear their favorite
- Wednesday, Oct. 31st – “Hocus Pocus, Drugs Aren’t My Focus” – Students wear their costumes today.
Parent/Teacher conferences were held Oct. 23 through Oct. 26. Day and evening conferences were well attended; both parent and teacher feedback was positive. It is beneficial that the conferences were held in October as it provided the student with the opportunity to build on the constructive comments that our teachers offer.
Assembly – The Morris Brothers – October 3, 2012
Two assemblies were presented by the Morris Brothers. The Morris Brothers anti-bullying assembly addressed how to handle bullying situations in a positive manner. The students enjoyed the assembly and the teachers were able to follow up the assembly by reinforcing positive behavior.
On the evening of October 26th, Lafayette Mills students joined the “Peanut Gallery” as Mr. Duffy and Mrs. Pepchinski dressed as Snoopy and Woodstock for its annual Halloween BINGO festivities. Halloween BINGO was a huge success as over 500 students and their families, along with teacher and staff volunteers, participated in this exciting evening sponsored by the Lafayette Mills PTA.
Thanksgiving Food Drive – November 1 – 21, 2012
The Lafayette Mills Character Education Committee sponsored a food drive, which took place throughout the month of November. Students in each class donated non-perishable items, and teachers/staff donated pies and turkeys to be utilized for the Thanksgiving holiday. Over thirty boxes of non-perishable foods as well as pies and turkeys were donated to the local Samaritan Center before the Thanksgiving break.
Assembly: Go for the Stars – Robotics – November 12, 2012
On November 12, 2012, students in all grade levels attended an assembly entitled, “Go for the Stars.” This multimedia, hands-on presentation not only entertained students, but it taught them about orbits, microgravity, rockets, living in space, and the space shuttle orbiter. Volunteers from the audience dressed in astronaut flight suits and performed live demonstrations and experiments under the guidance of the presenter. Highlighting this presentation was the presence of Robo, the friendly robot, who not only talked, moved, and interacted with the audience, but which was a demonstration to students that with their imaginations and some interest in science and technology, they can learn to create their own robot with basic toy parts and further engage their interests in engineering and science.
Fall Book Fair – November 13 – 16, 2012
The Lafayette Mills PTA sponsored its annual fall book fair during this week. Each class was provided the opportunity to browse through the hundreds of selections provided.
American Education- Parent Visitation – November 16 and November 17, 2012
Parents were invited to observe their child’s classroom during American Education Week.