Principal's Newsletter

Watchung Weekly News - June 4, 2021

Important Dates: 

June 18 – District Closed - Juneteenth

June 15 @ 11:30 am – 5th Grade Moving Up

June 23 @ 1:00 pm – 5th Grade Moving Up (Rain Date)

June 23 – Abbreviated day for students

June 24 – Abbreviated day for students, last day for students

Hybrid Days Next Week:

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – Mounties

Thursday  & Friday  - Bulldogs

June is Pride Month - June is Pride Month, when the world’s LGBT communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are. The original organizers chose this month to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement. We don’t teach tolerance, we teach all inclusion.

Watchung Field – As per Dr. Ponds, renovations on the field will begin on Monday, June 7th. While the renovations are taking place, Dr. Ponds will continue to work with the playground committee and me on the specifics of the Watchung Playground, including shade, equipment and size.


Election Day – June 8th - Per Dr. Ponds, June 8, Election Day, all schools will have Remote/Virtual teaching and learning. Teachers will be providing live virtual instruction. This is for the safety and spacing issues while our buildings are being used as polling places. The DLC will have a regular in-person day on Election Day as polling does not take place at the PreK.

5th Grade Moving-Up
- Planning this year’s moving up ceremony and 5th grade activities has been challenging to say the least. After selecting several different dates and moving the ceremony to a few different locations, we have finally finalized the plans. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony will take place on June 15th at 11:30 am on Woodman Field. The Rain Date will take place on June 23rd at 1 pm.  

Click here for more details.

Attention – 5th graders – Glenfield Related Arts Auditions – An email was sent out earlier today regarding Glenfield Related Arts Auditions.

Click Here For More Information

District Covid-19 Guidelines - Please see updated link on website. COVID-19 Health Related Guidance Chart for staff and students (5.21.21)

Any Student who took a picture retake – Any student who retook their school pictures this week and did NOT return their original pictures, needs to drop their photos off at the main office by next Friday.
Montclair Public Schools Summer Camps - Summer is around the corner! If you're looking for a camp experience for your children, we have the perfect programs. Check out Full STEAM Ahead and EW1 Summer Sports. Both will take place at Watchung School. Feel free to register for multiple weeks at Safety and fun are the priority, we hope to see you this summer!

School Photo Pick-up – Students who are ALL Virtual and came to the building in order to take school photos, can come to pick them up from the main office. The office is open from 8:30 – 3. Students who come to the building in-person either on Mountie or Bulldog days have received their pictures from their teachers.

Student arrival – In year’s past Watchung has had a designated carline on garden street for walkers/car poolers. During our return to hybrid, we decided to relax the carline procedures/protocols because arrival and dismissal had changed. Also, the number of students coming in on any given day was significantly less. Since the number of students have risen and students are now adapt at the new hybrid arrival procedures, Watchung is going to go back to the old carline protocols.

*Parents should no longer park on Garden Street and get out of the car. If you would like to get out of the car and walk your child up to the door, please park on North Fullerton or in the commuter parking lot that is not being used at this time.
*Parents who are dropping off and going, should travel south on North Fullerton, make a left and pull up in front of the building and students will exit the car.
*Parents should not get out of the car to help
*Staff will be there to assist the best they can while maintaining social distancing

Toni’s Kitchen Delivers – Toni’s Kitchen delivers. They have started a community food service. Families can receive free weekly delivery of groceries. Click on the language of your choice for more information. (English) (Spanish)

From the PTA

PTA Meeting - Please join us on Wednesday, June 16 at 7:00 pm for our last PTA for this year. We will vote on the slate for the 2021-2022 school year. The board will remain the same with the exception of Liz Rich.

Patty Gamcsik, President; Alex Schulz, VP; Jennifer Melish, Treasurer; Hillary Brylka, Secretary.

Zoom details to follow closer to date.

We will miss you Liz!!

Pride Month - This month is about teaching acceptance, educating pride history and loving and caring for each other! Pride Day is June 28, 2021.

AAPI Heritage Month Family Program - Sponsored by AAPI Montclair and the Bradford, CHB, Edgemont, Hillside, Northeast, and Watchung PTAs

Part 1: Virtual Visit with Author and Activist Ambreen Tariq

Tuesday, June 1st, 6:30-7:15pm
We are excited to host Ambreen Tariq, author and founder of the @BrownPeopleCamping movement, for an AAPI Heritage Month family program! Ambreen will read aloud from her book Fatima's Great Outdoors, a picture book about an immigrant family embarking on their first camping trip, answer students’ questions, and share her own story as a Muslim immigrant, outdoors enthusiast, and social justice advocate working to ensure people of color feel safe and welcome in outdoor spaces.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 853 5327 3220

Passcode: AAPI

Part 2: In-Person Hike at Eagle Rock for Students and Families

Saturday, June 5th, 4:30pm

Let’s build on Ambreen’s visit with a joint hike at Eagle Rock Reservation! This ~1.25 hr, easy hike will include stops for a short lesson and snack break. Please meet at Kiosk #1 in the parking lot at the top of Crest Drive, and be sure to wear sneakers (no open toes), a mask, and bug spray, and bring water and a snack. Students should be accompanied by an adult caregiver. Please register through SignUpGenius: Montclair Families Great Outdoors Hike

Final SEPAC Meeting of the Year - Please join SEPAC for their final monthly member meeting for this school year on Monday, June 7th at 7pm. This meeting will feature the presentation “Parent Advocacy, Institutional Resistance, and the ‘Battle’ for Inclusive Education” with Dr. Priya Lalvani, Professor at Montclair State University and Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program in Inclusive Education. Dr. Lalvani will focus on the benefits, myths and misconceptions about inclusive education and will draw attention to the socioeconomic, racial and cultural inequities in the experiences of parents of children with disabilities. Please feel free to submit questions in advance at

Join the Zoom Meeting at:

Meeting ID: 875 5958 3588 Passcode: 490115

Kindly, Patty, Alex, Liz, Jen and Hillary

Enjoy your weekend!
Patrick Krenn


Watchung Elementary School

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