“East…Always Moving Towards Excellence!”

Our mission is to work with the school community to provide a safe educational environment where students are stimulated to become lifelong learners, equipped with the knowledge and analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills to meet the demands of college and/or careers as informed citizens in a globally competitive market.

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

District News!

Please review the following link in an effort to address the severe and negative impact resulting from the reduction of state aid from P.L. 2018, Chapter 67, otherwise known as S2.

Simply put, S2 will have dire and unintended consequences for the students in many districts whose state aid will be reduced over the next six (6) years. If fully enacted, the reduction in state aid will result in a catastrophic effect on educational programming for our students. Updates on S2 will be issued on our district website and will be highlighted in our East Newsletters.  

Week in Review

Mrs. Casey Daniel and her wonderful Journalism Staff are thrilled to venture in the social media world updating parents on East daily activities.  Please check us out on Instagram (Tretoday_TheRaiderWay), Facebook (Tretoday_TheRaiderWay), Twitter (Tretoday_TheRaiderWay) and Website (Tretoday_Theraiderway.wordpress.com).  Emails to Mrs. Daniel can be sent to Tretodaytheraiderway@gmail.com).  Our daily Bulletin will be posted on our school website each day.

I attended our district principal meeting on Monday.  We discussed the budgetary concerns regarding the loss of state aid and the potential impacts to our district.  We are asking all of our school stakeholders to go to our website for information as to how you can help!  We also discussed the success of the referendum and the process of moving forward.  I received our state ESSA report and will be disseminating the information in our newsletter for further review.  Our STEAM team began the process of evaluating the applications and selecting candidates for our 2019-2020 program.  The work was extremely time consuming and I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Kevin McCann, Ms. Amanda Gregorek, Mrs. Marybeth Kretz, Mrs. Laurie Rose, Mrs. Lori Martz and Mrs. Casey Daniel.  

Congratulations to Coach Kevin Cohen for collecting his 200th win Monday evening.  Coach Cohen has been an employee at our wonderful school for approximately 20 years as our AP US History teacher.  This is Coach Cohen’s 15th year as our girls basketball coach.  I appreciate the positive program he leads and the lasting impacts he has had on our young ladies!  Keep up the great work and congratulations Coach Cohen.

More than 25 of our students participated in the Seal of Biliteracy Test on Tuesday.  The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.  I think students who are capable of succeeding on this test are such a proud reflection of our school community!  I am looking forward to receiving our results!  

We held our Wednesday professional development session on cultivating student resilience in our classrooms.  I think this is an important component to building the life skills necessary for future success.  How many of our students fail to achieve or even apply themselves to the best of their abilities because they lack the drive or confidence to deal with an obstacle?  There are simple strategies we can implement in our school setting which will promote the desired skill.  Our Peer Leaders began their STEAM Lunchtime Academy workshops with the desired intent to build personal relationships.  Students participated in a ‘Person Bingo’ where they learned fun facts about their peers.  The participants ended the activity by writing something they are thankful for.  Mrs. Elise Weinberger coordinated our Ocean County Vocational Career Day in the gymnasium all day on Wednesday.  Various professionals from the trades presented on careers in their respective fields.  Students were invited to walk through and discuss with the representatives how to pursue their interests.  Great day and fantastic job Mrs. Weinberger!  We concluded the day holding our monthly School Improvement Committee meeting.  Subcommittee leads from our various groups shared out on their upcoming activities.  Our Behavior Committee discussed our June Character Day, which will consist of an assembly followed by a fair.  Our Attendance Committee is coordinating our Bring Your ‘A’ Game activity on the 14th while our Climate Committee is running our ‘You’ve Been Mugged’ activity.  Our Renaissance Group is scheduling our Activity Period Day for the end of February to infuse a school-wide character education pillar.  Our College and Career group is in the process of completing our newsletter and putting in place our resume building workshop.  Our Peer Leaders will be facilitating our student-led workshops next week to promote study skills.  Our Curriculum group discussed our weekly PD sessions that are being held in our Jersey Mike’s Room.  Overall, it was a very productive session.  Thank you to all of our staff members who volunteered their time to attend.

We held our monthly Fire Drill without incident on Thursday morning.  Our Peer leaders, led by Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacy Nadeau, continued their STEAM Academy Lunchtime workshops.  Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Ann Millard, visited the Hispanic Heritage classes. She had an opportunity to talk to the students about challenging themselves in order to have an advantageous position at the time of applying for colleges or life skills careers. Some of the topics that she addressed were: calculation of the GPA (weighted and unweighted), the effects of track selection, and the Advanced Placement Programs with their prerequisites. In addition, the groups asked questions about the different programs available at our school and local colleges. Mrs. Millard explained to them the Jump Start Program, the NJ Stars Program, how the Merit scholarships work, opportunities for those first in their family going to college and the various help available for Hispanic students regardless of their immigration status. Having our students well informed will help them make better choices and establish higher expectations for themselves.

On Friday, we held another professional development opportunity for our staff in our Jersey Mike’s PD Room.  We provided our staff with an opportunity to identify and articulate 4-6 core values that best represent who we are and what we stand for as a school.  Core values are the beliefs that guide our school’s actions, unites our students and staff, and defines our brand.  These values guide our decision-making and support how we go about our vision and mission.  I am looking to broaden our current values.   Staff participants provided me with their thoughts and articulated value statements.  We will discuss at our next faculty meeting.  I attended our district Health and Wellness Committee meeting Friday morning.  We discussed our current state and how we were going to move forward in light of a few minor obstacles.  The groups discussed concerns and we worked as a group how we would refine our practices to be more effective.  

Congratulations to Mrs. Ann Millard, Mrs. Laurie Rose, and Ms. Marissa Granato for winning the PD participation prizes this week.

Great job to all of our athletic teams for another outstanding week of performances.  Our girls basketball team beat Lacey, HS South, and Central to cap off an impressive week.  Our boys basketball team beat HS South and Central with strong performances.  Our wrestling team beat Shawnee and Barnegat on Friday!  Keep up the great work Coach Reid!  Nicky Dyer took 6th place in the pole vault at the South Jersey Group III State Sectionals this past Saturday. Nicky's vault of 10-0 propels him to the Group III State championships this Saturday.  The East Boys Bowling team finished second in the South Jersey Group III State Sectional Championships. Senior Chris Baxter led the team with a 691 series. Junior Michael Gray and Senior Ryan McIntire each had 654 and 621 series respectively. The team has qualified for the team Tournament of Champions as one of the top ten Group III schools in the entire state. Chris Baxter and Michael Gray both qualified for the Individual Tournament of Champions.

Congratulations to Jaqueline Keogh and Angelo Scala for being named our February Seniors of the Month.  Jaqueline is in the top 12% of her senior class.  She is a well-rounded student with a commitment to positive school attendance.  She is involved in East Ambassadors, NHS, German NHS, German Club, History Club and Student Council.  She also has found time to participate in soccer, basketball, lacrosse and track.  Jaqueline is described by her teachers as someone who craves challenges, is dedicated, conscientious and thoughtful.  Angelo is in the top 20 of his senior class.  He is an active member of Student Council, Spirit Club, Raider Nation, soccer and volleyball.  He has earned honor roll for all of his high school career and has been involved in the Authentic Science Research course the past three years.  Angelo is described by his teachers as someone with sheer determination and devotion toward scientific inquiry and someone who has the potential to be a major contributor to our future scientific breakthroughs.  Congratulations Jaqueline and Angelo for being such positive reflections of our school community.

Congratulation to Anabella Casino, Jackson Sohl. Ire-Anah Ewart and Evan Czenis for being recognized as Respectful Raiders this week.  Anabella was recognized for demonstrating a team mentality while working with her peers in class.  Jackson found a wallet in the cafeteria and turned it in to the Main Office.  Ire-Anah went out of her way to partner with a peer in class who was in need.  Evan was recognized for going out of his way to bring a stack of books upstairs for a teacher.  Thank you Anabella, Jackson, Ire-Anah, and Evan for being model Raiders!

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Erin Cosentino for being selected as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Cosentino was selected by Mr. Casey Scallon for being an advocate for students in need in our school.  Mrs. Cosentino brought our East Pantry back, is our Senior Class Advisor, and works on various school growth committees.  She is always a positive person and we thank her for her contributions to our school.  Thank you Mrs. Cosentino for being a positive reflection of our school community!

I would like to acknowledge Mr. Charlie Diskin and Ms. Jamie Blondina as part of our 180 Days of Excellence.  Mr. Diskin and Ms. Blondina ran a wonderful Prom Fashion Show on Friday night in preparation for the big event later in the year.  Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald held a 25th High School Reunion in class to promote goal setting and communication.  Great job!    

Did You Know?

Freshman Academy/STEAM

A great big thank you to Mrs. Ali Walters, Ms. Marissa Granato, Mrs. Marybeth Kretz, Mr. Dan Batchelor, Mrs. Casey Daniel, Mr. Brian Vernachio, Mr. Doug Trumble, Mrs. Laurie Rose, Ms. Marissa Regad, Ms. Kelsey Chatten, Mrs. Jennifer Fazzini and Ms. Amanda Gregorek for volunteering their personal time to review the entrance examinations for the STEAM Academy.  

Attendance Matters

Chronic Absenteeism Can Devastate K-12 Learning

By Hedy Chang, John Gomperts, & Leslie Boissiere, October 7, 2014

Warning systems exist to keep us out of harm's way. The car's dashboard light warns of low tire pressure; the urgent weather bulletin advises us to evacuate ahead of a storm. We are conditioned to take these warnings seriously and act upon them.

Now, just weeks into the new school year, another warning system is sending a message to parents and educators: the early signs of chronically absent students.

Half of all students who miss two to four days of school in the first month will go on to miss nearly a month of school in excused or unexcused absences, according to a study released in July by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium.

The study examined chronic absence and found a striking pattern. Remarkably, nine out of 10 students who missed five or more days in the first month went on to be chronically absent—defined as missing 10 percent of the school year in excused and unexcused absences—for the year.

So, even though it's only October, we already know which students are most at risk. The warning lights are blinking. The alerts are flashing before us. What happens if we disregard them?

If poor attendance is allowed to persist, the impact can undermine children's prospects for academic achievement. In the early grades, students who are chronically absent have lower reading and math scores, as well as weaker social-emotional skills than they need to persist in school.

In fact, in a study of California students for Attendance Works, the organization that Hedy Chang oversees, only 17 percent of the students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and 1st grade were reading proficiently by 3rd grade, compared with 64 percent of those with good attendance in the early years. Weak reading skills in the 3rd grade translate into academic trouble ahead: Students who aren't reading well by that point are four times more likely to dropout of high school, according to a 2012 study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Chronic absence in middle school is another red flag that a student will drop out of high school. By high school, attendance is a better dropout indicator than test scores.

This is a particular problem for children from low-income families, who often face significant barriers to getting to school. They may have little access to health care to control the asthma that keeps them home, or they may live in housing that contributes to their health problems. They may face a dangerous walk to school, either because of community violence or traffic patterns.

Other students are being pushed out of school by strict discipline policies. After all, days missed due to suspensions are absences, too. And these disciplinary absences fall disproportionately on children of color, costing them valuable instructional time and exacerbating achievement gaps.

(I will include the rest of this article in next week’s newsletter)


Character Counts

How to Teach Your Child to Be More Responsible

by Parenting Today Staff | on March 23, 2016 | in Child Development, Parenting 

Teaching children responsibility is one of the jobs you have as a parent. It’s daunting to think about but necessary. Many adults don’t understand responsibility, not for themselves, their finances or for anyone else. But teaching your child about accountability doesn’t have to be impossible. It doesn’t even have to be hard. Children who grow up to be responsible adults have usually had some guidance in their younger years. They’ve been given the chance to contribute to the household in some form, they’ve been taught about money and they’ve been given the independence to learn to rely on themselves.

Though children should be allowed to be children as they grow up, teaching them responsibility from a young age is equally important. One of the ways to teach them this is through chores. Having responsibilities around the house, and contributing to the family, can help them learn about being accountable. Chores also teach them about respect. They learn to respect what their parents do for them, the toys and belongings that are given to them and to respect their own ability to contribute in a meaningful way.

One of the biggest difficulties for adults is managing money. Good habits should be learned in childhood so that they have already had the practice necessary. Giving your child an allowance is the first step in teaching them about being financially responsible. In order to earn their allowance, children should need to compete their chores just as they will later in life. Teach them about saving and spending responsibly but then allow them to make their own decisions. This is where they can safely make mistakes about money and learn how to handle it to benefit themselves. This is also where you can teach them about charity, so that as adults they will know not only how to be responsible for themselves but also how to help others.

A lot of modern parenting encourages keeping your child wrapped in cotton-wool. But having some measure of independence is where they learn to rely on themselves. Children learn responsibility by being made to face the consequences of their actions. Don’t try to protect them wholly from themselves or their decisions. Learning comes from making mistakes and it’s better to make those mistakes as a child where the consequences aren’t as severe. Don’t be afraid to let your child spend time alone or be afraid to let them make decisions about their time, hobbies and friends. Give them the independence they need to grow into responsible adults who know how to take care of themselves.

Teaching children to be responsible doesn’t need to be impossible. Though there are many adults in the world who don’t know the meaning of responsibility, this doesn’t have to be the case for your children. Teach them to contribute through age-appropriate chores and they’ll better appreciate what you do for them and what work is. Give them a weekly or monthly allowance when they’d completed their chores and allow them to spend it how they wish. Whether spenders or misers, they’ll learn financial lessons that will carry into adulthood. And give them the independence to learn to entertain themselves, make their own decisions and to live with the consequences of those decisions. Give them the basic foundations of responsibility in childhood and you will have taught them to be the adults the world needs.


Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I am going spend the next few weeks highlighting the characteristics of a Growth Mindset in this section.  I will provide links to articles and videos describing how to promote in the home.

What is a Growth Mindset?  

Check out Carol Dweck’s video at the following link which discusses how parents can instill a growth mindset:


Summary of video

The way parents talk about ability and learning can have powerful effects on their kids’ beliefs. Below are three ways parents can instill a growth mindset. And remember, developing a growth mindset in yourself and in your kids is a process that takes time. Have a growth mindset about developing a growth mindset!


College and Career

Important new developments on raising money to pay for college expenses!  Your child can earn micro-scholarships from colleges for your achievements as early as 9th grade.  Please go to the following website for further details:

How Much More Do College Graduates Earn Than Non-College Graduates?

Studies have proven time and again that college-educated workers often earn more than those with only high school diplomas. Learn more in this video.


(continued from last week’s newsletter)

Degree Cost vs. Payoff

Considering the high cost of a college education, potential students may question whether the expected earnings after graduation outweigh the possible debt incurred from student loans. In 2002, the Census Bureau looked at lifetime earnings of employees with bachelor's degrees and those without for 1999: non-degree holders could expect to earn 75% less than bachelor's degree holders, who could expect to earn $2.7 million over their lifetimes. However, since 1999, bachelor's degree holders can now expect to make 84% more than high school graduates.

In general, earning a college degree allows a person to have more earning potential overall, regardless of other factors.


I would like to thank all of those parents who make it a part of their day to ensure their child arrives to school on time.  I believe school attendance is a reflection of our community’s mindset toward the importance of education to future success.  Too many of our students feel it appropriate to arrive late to school, after having made prior stops to WaWa or McDonalds.  I expect our parents to support our attendance goals and to reinforce the expectation that our students come to school every day, are on time, and come prepared to learn.      

This Week at East

Our Ambassadors are conducting a fundraiser on Monday for their organization.  Our Peer Leaders are running our study skill workshops on Tuesday for interested 9th and 10th grade students in the Media Center.  The topic will be organization.  Our PTO is meeting at 6 PM on Tuesday evening in the Main Office Conference Room.  We are conducting a PD Workshop on Wednesday in support of making ‘emotional’ connections to our students to support instructional engagement.  Careers in Data Science will discussed in our Lecture Hall for interested students on Wednesday.  Thursday is Valentine’s Day and our Attendance Committee will be conducting our Bring Your A Game activity for interested staff members.  Mr. Ed Goodman will be running our Hoops for Heart fundraiser to raise awareness for heart disease.  We are holding our monthly faculty meeting all day in our Jersey Mike’s PD Room.  Our Winter Formal will be held at HSE on Saturday.  Looking forward to another great week at the Home of the Raiders!  


As a reminder, course requests are to be entered via Parent Portal.


Join the PTO Remind - text @ah89ee to 81010.  We will use remind for event and meeting reminders.  Our email address is trhsepto@gmail.com, Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/trhsepto and find us on instagram @ tomsriverhse.pto.  Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 6 PM.


I would like to thank The Olive Garden for their continued support of High School East.  We have received several lunches in recognition of the efforts our staff make to support student achievement.  Thank you Olive Garden, we appreciate you!

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Health Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.


Mr. Thomas, Principal

We at High School East


Anchored in Integrity,

Devoted to Excellence,


Focused on results:

well educated and highly ethical graduates.