About Lafayette SchoolLafayette School is designed to meet the special learning needs of students in grades four and five. “It is not about being the best; it is about being your best" is the school motto. Students are exposed to an academically challenging curriculum in an environment that stimulates, motivates, and encourages them to be good citizens. Many assemblies and special projects extend and enrich the program and provide nine and ten year old children with a vast array of exciting learning experiences.
Individual differences are supported within the group setting, providing students an opportunity to achieve their potential. The building’s proximity to the high school allows us to provide some unique, mutually beneficial experiences for our children. A mentorship program and an historical field trip to the Fairmont Cemetery are coordinated yearly.
Our Library Media Center is the educational hub of our school. Students can access resources in a fully automated media center. The Library Media Center (LMC) has multiple resource periods to assist teachers in the creation and completion of larger resource projects within the LMC. Students use the EZpass system to visit the library during their recess. The Media Center is also host to Lafayette Live. Lafayette Live is our online morning announcements and student performances. Thanks to our PTO, our collection of eBooks and Audiobooks continues to grow on our digital Follett Destiny shelf.
A matrix of technology skills developed specifically for this grade level is matched with a variety of challenging projects that emphasize our district’s philosophy that ensures that our curriculum drives our technology, and not the other way around. All classroom teachers have access to the SmartBoard technology. Lafayette teachers continue to use multiple on line resources to maximize their instruction. All of the classrooms have eight Chromebooks and a completion cart per each team of teachers. We are in our second year of using the Google Apps for Education as a way to collaborate with peers and teachers on a variety of classroom assignments. We are also fortunate to visit our Design and Technology computer lab which focuses on STEM concepts. Lafayette also welcomes our new NAO robot this school year. We are looking forward to the many ways the students will program the NAO.
Our guidance counselor provides our students with a number of worthwhile opportunities to elicit their most positive behavioral traits. Each teacher plans for a Character period to support our efforts in teaching our students to be kind to one another and to be upstanding citizens. This year, we are focusing on the Kindness and Calm Challenge. Through the use of wellness videos and children’s literature, we are teaching students to take a break, think about their actions and choose kind.
The “Lafayette Cup” is a community service initiative that raises awareness of the world around our students and encourages students to give back to their school, community and surrounding communities in a competitive format. Points are awarded for activities like: Academics (Estimating, Battle of the Books, Spelling Bee, Brain Bowl, Continental Math), Athletics (Mini-Marathon, Kick Ball and Wiffle Ball Tournaments) and in Community Service (Food Drives, Clothing Drives, Coin Drives, UNICEF, Walkathon, Spirit Days, etc.). All of Lafayette students visit the Community Food Bank in Hillside, New Jersey assisting with the preparation of meals to send out the community. Our PTO Community Service Representative arranges monthly activities for families and their students to participate in i.e. coat drives, food drives, etc. Lafayette’s relationship with the King Arthur Flour Company teaches the students and faculty to make bread. On alternate years a King Arthur representative comes to Lafayette and each student is sent home with baking supplies to make two loaves of bread. One loaf stays home and the other loaf is donated to the local food bank. Each year we participate, Lafayette donates close to 600 loaves of homemade bread to local food pantries
Our PTO is a very active and involved organization. A major fundraiser each year provides the school with additional resources for our library, playground, classrooms, and overall school programs. Additionally, a number of school committees that function throughout the year all have parent representation, giving us the opportunity to have community input on certain school decisions. The PTO supports our after school enrichment program. Twice a year a series of classes are offered to students ranging from Sports, Cooking, Scrapbooking, Chemistry and Rocketry.
Perhaps our most important resource, and the source of most of our success, is the talented teaching staff. Our teachers work hard to provide a true and desired balance between academic challenges within a nurturing environment.
Cheryl Caggiano Russo