“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,

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  

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.

We really worked hard this past week at the Home of the Raiders!  We began our Kevin’s Corner Professional Development series Tuesday morning.  Mr. Kevin McCann presented a workshop to interested staff on the Growth Mindset model.  Mr. McCann provided a quiz to enlighten staff members on their view of learning.  We discussed how our view impacts the way we teach.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentoring program met after school and discussed the program for the 2018-2019 school year.  

Our Community Outreach Committee met with Mrs. Ambrosio to discuss how we can connect job skills and experiences at East in support of our Vision/Mission.  We will bring in guest speakers each month related to a respective field.  Students interested in taking the content further will be afforded an opportunity to work with the professional in a workshop and/or internship capacity.  More to follow on this topic.  Thank you Mrs. Ambrosio for taking the time to speak to us and to support our school goals!

We conducted our monthly security drill Thursday afternoon and tested our ability to perform a Shelter-In-Place scenario.  We were supported by the Toms River Police Department during the drill.  There were no incidents of concern.  Great job students and staff!  We held our Visit the School Night Thursday evening at East.  I was pleased to observe such a good turnout.  I hope that our parents left feeling well informed of their child’s subject matter expectations.  Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any concerns.  

A great big thank you to our PTO for providing a bagel and coffee breakfast for staff Friday morning!  I am so thankful to be working with such caring ladies who work so very hard for our school!  We held our monthly Conference-Conference meetings all day in the Main Office Conference Room for interested staff.  I followed up from our Opening Day (staff) activity where we discussed creating a culture of excellence at East and articulated in an activity the characteristics of ‘excellence’ in a student and staff member.  We refined our student list, clarified what the characteristic looks like and how we can promote the characteristic as educators in the school setting.  We identified intrinsic motivation, positive work ethic, being kind and respectful, owning a healthy mindset, and being involved as key variables which contribute to excellence.  We will continue this process and provide support to our staff to promote the skills in our students.  I will provide tips for parents to support in the home environment.  

Great job Raider Nation Friday evening!  I was so very pleased to observe the large turnout and in such colorful attire!  I loved the Red-White-Blue theme!  Congratulations to Coach Sandberg and our football team for a wonderful victory over our rivals at High School South!  The kids fought with pride and were rewarded with the win!  Great job to our cheerleaders for their positive spirit and for getting the crowd going throughout the game!  The Band performed so very well again…and I love the uniforms!  I was a proud principal Friday evening!

I wanted to congratulate our Field Hockey, Boys Soccer, and Gymnastic teams for gaining victories this week on the athletic field!  I know all of our programs are working hard and playing with pride, and that is all I expect from them!

Thank you to Rich Barrett and Autumn Velez for being recognized as Respectful Raiders this week.  Rich found cash in the hallways and turned the money over to a staff member.  Thank you!  Autumn also found cash in the gymnasium and turned the money in to the Main Office.  The money was returned to the owner.  Thank you Autumn and Rich for being honest and people of character!  You are both proud reflections of our school community!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our staff who volunteered their personal time to meet with Mr. McCann and myself this week to move our school forward during their conference periods.  I know our staff are extremely busy and I appreciate those who go above and beyond to support student growth!  We ask a lot from our staff at East to support our growth initiatives and they willingly participate because they care!  Thank you!  I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our guidance counselors, Mrs. Monica Santamaria, Ms. Carrie Bush, Mrs. Ann Millard, Mrs. Elise Weinberger, Mr. Bob D’Ippolito, Ms. Rachel Calhoun, Mrs. Carolann Lulias, Dr. Robin Lowery, Mr. Jim Cartnick, and Ms. Dru Fonseca for all they do.  I have received numerous emails from parents over the past two weeks informing me of how much the respective counselor supported their child through scheduling and personal issues.  I am fortunate to work in this building!

Congratulations to Mrs. Rose Porzio for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Doug Trumble selected Mrs. Porzio for all of her work supporting scheduling issues of concern this past week as our Athletic Secretary.  She is a valuable member of our team as she runs so many activities without incident.  Mrs. Porzio also willingly volunteers her time to support office needs.  She cares and is committed to excellence – doing her best!  Thank you Mrs. Porzio for being such a positive reflection of our school community.

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

District Curriculum Supervisor, Ms. Norma DeNoia, met with Academy teachers and Mr. Kevin McCann on Thursday to discuss how to utilize analytical test data to shape instructional strategies.  Mr. Mike Nichol presented to the Academy teachers the program, Performance Matters.  Mr. McCann furthered the discussion and discussed planning the Freshman Field Day (October 26th).  Mr. McCann discussed moving the Academy forward built on the four pillars of the PLC (purpose, future, commitments, and targeted time line).  The overall objective was to align the Academy PLCs with the school vision.  

Mr. McCann provided staff with our weekly Behavior Management Tip of the Week – Keeping Students Task Oriented.  Staff were encouraged to recognize positive behavior instead of focusing in on negative behavior.  Staff were also provided tips to support student engagement during peer presentations.  Great stuff!    

Attendance Matters

I will be providing information throughout the year regarding the importance of attendance to student success.  Through this section of the Newsletter, I will provide support how improve your child’s attendance!

Pay Attention to Attendance: Keep Your Child On Track in Middle and High School

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and on the job.  The below is a continuation from last week’s newsletter.


Make school attendance a priority 

• Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day, make that the expectation. • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep. • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day. • Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety.

Help your teen stay engaged 

• Find out if your child feels engaged by his classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. Make sure he/she is not missing class because of behavioral issues and school discipline policies. If any of these are problems, work with your school. • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you. • Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated. • Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.

Communicate with the school 

• Know the school’s attendance policy – incentives and penalties • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school. • Check on your child’s attendance to be sure absences are not piling up. • Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school.


Character Counts

I will provide weekly information and tips about the importance of positive school behavior to individual and future success.  We believe in being respectful, responsible, trustworthy, caring, fair, and promoting a citizenship mindset.

14 Little Ways to Encourage Kindness

These simple ideas teach your children to be nice, generous people, one good deed at a time.

By Kristine Breese

Great thinkers from Martin Luther King Jr. to the Dalai Lama to my daughter, Addison, all have had something to say about the importance of helping others. The civil-rights leader stated, "Life's most persistent and nagging question is 'What are you doing for others?'" The soft-spoken spiritual leader called doing good deeds "our prime purpose." And my 12-year-old put it this way: "Helping feels good because it's nice for the other person and for you."

Smart words. And as it turns out, kids are actually hardwired to be considerate and kind. "The desire to help is innate," says David Schonfeld, M.D., director of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. And their sense of doing good develops as they grow. "At first, children like to help others because it helps them get what they want. Next, they do so because they get praise. Finally, they begin to anticipate the needs of others, and it becomes intrinsically rewarding to do nice things for people in their lives."

Bottom line: Kids want to help. And as parents, it's our job to nurture and guide a child's natural inclination to pitch in so it becomes a lifelong habit. "It's important to be a good role model—children learn to be helpful from watching you," says Dr. Schonfeld. Try out a few of these simple ways to nudge your kid's helping gene.

Teach Respect for the Earth

Never litter. Even if something drops by mistake, make a point to pick it up. And if you see an old newspaper or a used coffee cup left on a park bench, throw it away. It feels good to take care of a mess you didn't make and weren't "supposed" to clean up. 

Recycle. How's this for a double whammy of doing good? Have your child collect and take empty cans and bottles to a recycling center that pays you for what you bring in, then drop the money you make into the donation jar at the supermarket checkout.

The Art of Pitching In

Assign chores. Kids should understand that a certain amount of helping is requested and required "just because": just because they're members of the family, just because they live under the same roof, and just because it's the right thing to do. So show them where the cat food is and how to clear the dinner table and make their beds. And keep a chore chart to track and reward the completion of their tasks. Your kids will feel great pride in doing their share.

Teach teamwork. How often have you hosted a playdate and been left with what looks like a scene from the movie Twister: dolls and their tiny clothes strewn everywhere, glue and glitter splattered on tables and rugs, juice cups and crumbs all over? When your child is a guest, make sure she helps clean up before she climbs into the minivan. If the host insists it's not necessary, say, "Let us pick up three things and then we'll be on our way." Putting away a few army men or Legos is a great way to practice the art of pitching in.

Perform small acts of kindness. I have a friend who'd had breast cancer. I asked her, "What was the nicest thing anyone did for you when you were sick?" She told me that the mother of one of her daughter's friends packed lunches for her little girl for the entire month after the surgery. This simple gesture meant my friend could take the time to recuperate minus one daily chore. Plus, her daughter enjoyed some new tasty treats in her lunch box.

I will share out the rest in next week’s newsletter.  Please feel free to finish the article from the below link.


Tips to Improve School Outcomes

25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is essential to promoting the skills required to become a lifelong learner.  This is our focus at East.  A student with a growth mindset believes that intelligence can be developed and leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:  Embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as a path to mastery, learn from criticism, and finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others.  A growth mindset student reaches ever-higher levels of achievement.  A few tips to begin this process are listed below (continued from last week’s newsletter).  

11. Reward actions, not traits.

Tell students when they’re doing something smart, not just being smart.

12. Redefine “genius.”

The myth’s been busted: genius requires hard work, not talent alone.

13. Portray criticism as positive.

You don’t have to use that hackneyed term, “constructive criticism,” but you do have to believe in the concept.

14. Disassociate improvement from failure.

Stop assuming that “room for improvement” translates into failure.

15. Provide regular opportunities for reflection.

Let students reflect on their learning at least once a day.

16. Place effort before talent.

Hard work should always be rewarded before inherent skill.

17. Highlight the relationship between learning and “brain training.”

The brain is like a muscle that needs to be worked out, just like the body.

18. Cultivate grit.

Students with that extra bit of determination will be more likely to seek approval from themselves rather than others.

19. Abandon the image.

“Naturally smart” sounds just about as believable as “spontaneous generation.” You won’t achieve the image if you’re not ready for the work.

20. Use the word “yet.”

Dweck says “not yet” has become one of her favorite phrases. Whenever you see students struggling with a task, just tell them they haven’t mastered it yet.

The above tips were collected from the following link.  Feel free to explore.  I will provide the next 5 tips in next week’s newsletter.




With the beginning of any new year, I want our parents to support the expectations to come to school every day, be on time, and prepared to learn.  Being prepared to learn implies you respect your peers, teachers, school policies, yourself, and do your best!  Please be respectful of our school dress code, attendance, and behavior policies.  Please speak to your child about earbuds and cell phones, they are not permitted and are viewed as a sign of disrespect.

This Week at East

We will be holding our monthly Attendance Hearings this week for students who are demonstrating poor attendance to date.  Our I & RS Committee will be meeting on Tuesday to support at-risk student needs.  Mr. McCann and I will be meeting with our Freshman Academy Teams to further our discussion of the Growth Mindset on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Thursday is our schoolwide Random Acts of Kindness Day.  Students are encouraged to dress within the theme and support a positive school environment.  Many of our clubs and organizations will be supporting this initiative!  Our Student Assistance Coordinator will be meeting with staff to provide training on reporting responsibilities.  I will be meeting with our Peer Leaders this week to discuss how we will infuse the Growth Mindset model into our daily environment at East.  Our Senior Portrait will be held Friday afternoon on the football field.  Don’t forget to support our International Cuisine Night on Wednesday (see Bulletin).  I will hold a brief Faculty Meeting on Wednesday to review school safety procedures.


1)  The OCPGA College Fair is on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 @ 6:00pm at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena (located at HS North).  2)  The SAT is on November 3, 2018.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  3)  The ACT is on October 27, 2018.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  4)  The PSAT is on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.  English teachers will be distributing PSAT student guides to the students.  5)  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.


If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com. 


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!

Special thanks to our anonymous donors for our Raise Craze Fundraiser!  The donors purchased a 43” LCD Smart Television to auction off in support of our goal to promote positive school behavior!  Thank 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.