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Riverside News

August 2021

Dear Riverside Families,

As the final days of summer fade away, I hope that you all share the excitement of a new school year, gratitude that we are all back in the building as a school family,  and confidence in our commitment to providing a safe and healthy educational experience for our children.   Riverside Elementary School has a powerful tradition of excellence and our staff members look forward to working collaboratively to continue building on the best foundation.

During the 2021-2022 academic year we will continue to build our caring and engaging  school community, support our students through increased social emotional strategies, and stay tuned in to our families with open and frequent lines of communication.  We hope to challenge all of our students to think critically and creatively, to find joy and purpose in learning, to grow through exploration and play, to pursue opportunities and experiences that tap into their diverse talents and interests, and to develop a deeper understanding of the world and how to care for our planet and all of its people.  

The first day of school for students, Thursday, September 9, will be a full day of school with the learning day ending at 3:00 PM. Each morning, the children must be at their Morning Meetings at 8:25AM to be counted present for the day. We are asking for your assistance in ensuring this occurs.

As we embark on a new school year, I want to invite you all to join our staff in our focus on building the best school family.  I want to briefly share a bit of what that theme means to me and how I hope that it will shape our school community this year and beyond:

1) BOLD:  Our first point of emphasis will be on increasing our students’ confidence in their pursuit of knowledge.  They will be unafraid to be innovative in problem-solving and communicating an idea or opinion. They will feel safe in showing  empathy, empowered by learning through the experiences of others and find strength in working together as a family.  This pillar includes a focus on equity – helping students dialogue with and understand those who might look, live, and learn differently as they acknowledge the value of  all people in the global community.

2) ENGAGED:  Our second point of emphasis will focus on stimulating a love of learning and a sense of joy in discovery.  By seeking to understand our students as learners and as people, we are committed to facilitating educational experiences that inspire them to dream big, connect their classroom instruction to their real-life experiences, and  promote self-efficacy as students create, build and reflect upon their own meaning and understanding of the world.

3) STRENGTHEN:  A third important goal for our school community will be a focus on increasing our academic strength in mathematics by ensuring alignment of our instruction and learning practices with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. We will use both formal and informal assessments to collect data that will allow us to create appropriate and equitable learning opportunities. Our staff is committed to improving our students’ math skills and knowledge.  

4) TOGETHERNESS:  Our fourth and final goal is, in essence, a culmination of the first three as we strive to build a community of learners who appreciate and care for each other, who display a delightful sense of curiosity that is contagious, and who understand that the world works best when we learn and solve problems by working together thoughtfully and creatively. 

Our vision is to highlight the district theme of “Building on the Best” each academic quarter (roughly in a variety of ways – from lessons in the classroom to bulletin boards to broader school activities.  In essence, our focus on “Building on the Best”  represents the nexus between our commitment to academic excellence, our focus on critical and divergent thinking, and our Upstander code of expectations. 

Please know how excited we are to welcome your children to Riverside and to partner with you in the educational journey that will unfold before us in the year ahead.  For those of you who are returning, we will be so glad to see you again, and for those of you who are joining us for the first time, we know that our lives and community will be enriched by your presence and participation.  I wish you all the best for a wonderful last week of summer.



Ebony Lattimer
Riverside Elementary School

(609) 806-4260

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