The Somers Point School District would like to welcome its newest member of the Jordan Road Team, Mathew Thomas. Thomas is the new assistant principal at Jordan Road School. He is pictured here with Carleena Supp, the principal at Jordan Road School.

The 2019-20 school year has been off to a great start!

Students arrived Thursday, Sept. 5, and began the day with a Back-to-School Pep Rally. The pep rally included an introduction of all the homerooms, teacher vs. student games, grade level vs. grade level games, a staff flash mob dance to the song “Git Up” by Blanco Brown, a special guest appearance of the Jordan Road Jaguar mascot and information about the clubs, sports and activities available to students this year.

We also learned of the renaissance theme for the year, United We ROAR. This is a continuation of last year’s theme, Rock and ROAR, in which “ROAR” stands for responsible, open-minded, ambitious and respectful. These are the qualities we want to have as Jordan Road Jags and what we will be working toward over the course of the year.

The week of Sept. 23 to 27 was Start With Hello week. Start With Hello week is the opening week of a program created by the organization Sandy Hook Promise, a group founded by parents of victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting tragedy on Dec. 14, 2012. Sandy Hook Promise’s mission is to prevent violence in schools. Students were introduced to Start With Hello week by an informational video of Jordan Road staff members talking about the effects of isolation and the importance of preventing it. The purpose of Start With Hello week is to help people not feel isolated by encouraging everyone to greet others, including those they wouldn’t normally talk to, and to make everyone feel welcome. The Jordan Road Safety Patrol held up signs in the morning showing us how we could say “hello” in many ways. During Start With Hello week, students participated in activities including creating handprints with how we could be nicer to ourselves and others. The week ended with assemblies for all students. There was one called “Spread Kindness,” which focused on bully prevention, kindness, sharing and listening for the fourth and fifth grades. “Go Viral,” presented to sixth- through eighth-grade students also focused on social media and cell phone use, being kind to others on social media, reminding us that nothing we post — even if deleted — is ever going to disappear, and cyberbullying prevention.

Another thing Jordan Road School recently participated in was National Walk or Bike to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Multiple students from fourth to eighth grades participated in the event this year, with an even better turnout than last year! Walk or Bike to School Day is a national program about getting up and moving, and has been growing nationwide. Students who participated were given a healthy snack and water and were also entered into a drawing. Fifth-grader Jaida, in Mrs. Altmann’s homeroom, won the grand prize that included sports equipment, a gift card and other treats and prizes donated by the Jordan Road Renaissance. Walk or Bike to School Day will happen again later in the year. Students should be ready to hear more information in later months.

Looking ahead, we have a ton of great things on the horizon! We will celebrate Week of Respect in October, along with all other New Jersey schools, when we will focus on preventing bullying. Also in October will be the induction to the National Junior Honor Society, when eighth-graders who were accepted — based on their GPA and involvement in community and school activities and having no disciplinary issues — become members of the society.

Red Ribbon Week is also coming in the near future, when students will learn the importance of remaining drug-free. October will also be when we have our next school pep rally, on Halloween. We’re looking forward to an awesome 2019-20 school year as Jordan Road Jags!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU GOES TO THE SOMERS POINT SHOPRITE FOR ITS $25,000 DONATION FOR BOTTLE FILLING STATIONS FOR THE SOMERS POINT SCHOOL DISTRICT! The stations are being installed at all three schools thanks to ShopRite’s generous donation of their bag fees.

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