School UES Blog Posts

IPS Coronavirus Updates

Hello Irvington Family,

This page will serve as the official Irvington Public School information update portal.  Thank you for cooperating with our efforts to assist in keeping everyone informed and safe from this growing pandemic.  All new information regarding this matter will be updated here.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at: 24-Hour Public Hotline 1-800-222-1222

  • The Irvington Department of Health and Senior Services at (973) 416-7760 or
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at:
  • The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) website at

AS OF 4/7/2020 – 6:38 pm EST:

  1. Lessons Taught by New Jersey Teachers
    Classroom lessons in English language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music and physical education will be taught by New Jersey teachers for students in grades 3-6 on NJTV (New Jersey Public Access Channel) starting April 6, 2020. The classroom lesson schedule is listed below:
    Grade 3-9:00 am
    Grade 4-10:00 am
    Grade 5-11:00 am
    Grade 6-12:00 noon
  2. Garden State Teachers to Give Lessons on New Jersey Public Television [PDF]
    • Below are the channels for NJTV:
      Time Warner 1223
      Comcast 261, 800
      Cablevision 8
      Verizon 23, 523
      DirecTV 50
      Dish Network 58, 8113
      RCN 15  

AS OF 3/25/2020 – 1:12 pm EST:

  1. The Governor has mandated the closing of all New Jersey schools. As a result, the Irvington Public Schools will be closed until further notice. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s principal with any questions or concerns. The work that was previously given to students designed to be sufficient through April 3, 2020. District staff members are compiling additional work and parents will receive a call with information regarding how students can retrieve the additional work.

AS OF 3/23/2020 – 2:20 pm EST:

  1. IEP Meetings During Coronavirus School Closure

AS OF 3/23/2020 – 8:30 pm EST:

  1. The President of the United States has suspended all standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year.
  2. Breakfast and lunch bags will continue to be distributed from 8:30 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. at each of our schools.

AS OF 3/20/2020 – 12:10 pm EST:

  1. NJDOE regarding COVID-19

AS OF 3/18/2020 – 3:26 pm EST:

  1. The breakfast and lunch distribution time has been extended. The new hours are 8:30 am to
    11:30 am. Breakfast and lunch bags can be picked up from any of our schools during this time frame
  2. Parents please remind your children to complete the work that was assigned to them. Extra credit will be given to K to 8 students who complete both the ELA and math on-line work and the packet of work
  3. There is on-line support for students classified as special education and English language learners. The telephone numbers for support services can be found under the student and parent tabs on the website

AS OF 3/16/2020 – 8:06 pm EST:

    1. Governor Murphy has announced a curfew for New Jersey daily from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
    2. The Board of Education meeting scheduled for March 18, 2020 has been changed from 7:30 pm to 4:00 p.m.. The meeting is closed to the public. Stakeholders may join the meeting virtually by visiting

AS OF 3/16/2020 – 3:26 pm EST:

      1. Breakfast and lunch bags will be distributed at each school from 8:30 am to 11:00am starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
      2. Students have been provided with three weeks of work packets. Parents are asked to ensure that students work 4 hours per day in order to receive credit toward the 180-day requirement for school. Phone numbers are available for ESL, special education and technical support under the student link tab on the website.
      3. Students can access on-line assignments using the student link on the district’s website
      4. The Board of Education meeting scheduled for March 18, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. is closed to the public. Please visit our website to join the meeting virtually.

AS OF 3/14/2020 – 9:30 am EST:

      1. Students will have a 12:30 p.m. dismissal on Monday, March 16, 2020.
      2. Schools will be closed to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus from Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. It is anticipated that schools will re-open on Monday, March 30, 2020.
      3. Breakfast and lunch bags will be available to all Irvington students, regardless of lunch status, starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Students can pick up  meals at their school between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
      4. Students must complete work packets or on-line iReady work during the two weeks that schools will be closed in order to receive credit for each day. All work must be returned to the appropriate core subject teacher on March 30, 2020. Students are expected to work a minimum of 4 hours per day (1 hour and 30 minutes of ELA, 1 hour and 30 minutes of math, 30 minutes of science and 30 minutes of social studies).
      5. Students are encouraged to remain at home during this school closing period.

AS OF 3/13/2020 – 9:24 am EST:

Public Schools is cancelling all scrimmages for our athletic teams for the month of March. The start of the regular season for our spring sports teams is April 1st. The Irvington Board of Education will evaluate if additional athletic contests need to be cancelled prior to the start of the regular season.

AS OF 3/12/2020 – 1:33 pm EST:

      1. The ESL adult evening program at Irvington High School has been cancelled until further notice.
      2. The SAT scheduled for March 14, 2020 at Irvington High School has been cancelled.

AS OF 3/12/2020 – 11:36 am EST:

      1. Increased daily cleaning protocols are in place for high touch surfaces. Bio-Shine, the district’s vendor for cleaning supplies, recommends the use of BruTab 6S to clean surfaces. The district currently uses this chemical to clean the schools. A deep cleaning of high touch surface areas will occur every weekend until further notice.
      2. Hand sanitizers have been ordered for every classroom in the district.
      3. The district nurses are providing training to students in regards to covering their cough and sneezes with tissue or their elbow and regularly washing their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. All training will be complete by March 16, 2020.
      4. The District will remain in constant contact with the Irvington Health Department to obtain current and accurate information. The Director of the Health Department will contact the district as needed to advise of any Irvington students or staff who have been placed under quarantine. An individual returning to the district after being quarantined will present a monitoring agreement letter that includes the date the quarantine concluded. The district is not permitted to screen staff or students to determine a COVID-19 diagnosis.
      5. Staff members or students who have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing will be sent home and requested to seek medical attention.
      6. Emergency communication systems (School Messenger and telephone system) have been tested for emergency readiness.
      7. The District has developed a plan with our food vendor to ensure that we provide breakfast and lunch to ALL students in the case of an emergency school closing. Students would report to their home school between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and receive both breakfast and lunch bags in a Grab and Go.
      8. All field trips for the month of March will be cancelled.
      9. All out of district workshops for staff for the month of March will be cancelled.
      10. Spectators will not be permitted to attend district athletic events until further notice.

Students and staff must stay home when they are sick. If a student exhibits illness or COVID-19 related symptoms, the school nurse will contact a parent or guardian to come pick him/her up immediately and seek medical attention. Staff members exhibiting the same symptoms will be immediately sent home and asked to seek medical attention. We recognize how challenging this situation is for our families, students, and staff, and we take this situation seriously. We are taking real-time preventative measures in response to new information that key agencies provide. Our goal is to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff. Thank you for working with us through this evolving situation that impacts all facets of life in our entire community. We will continue to provide you with regular updates on this page.

2020 Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Coronavirus Parent Letter

2020 Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Read Across America at Irvington Public Schools

Irvington Staff:

1. Please click the following button:

2. Refresh THIS page to view the video.

We are in the process of improving the closed captions for this video. If you have difficulty accessing this video, please contact us at 1-973-399-6808 OR

Essex County 2019-2020 Pride Essay Contest Winners

  • Kindergarten –      2nd place,    Ava Martins          Mt. Vernon
  • First Grade –         3rd place,    Joshua Pasco       Madison Avenue
  • Second Grade –    2nd place,    Marylin Amaya,      Florence Avenue
  • Third Grade –        1st place,    Nyleahna Lewis,      University Elementary
  • Fourth Grade –      2nd place,   Jordyn Benthall,      Madison Avenue
  • Fifth Grade –         1st place,    Arelis Delgado,        Mt. Vernon
  • Sixth Grade –        1st place,     Kestia Gervais,       Union Avenue Middle
  • Seventh Grade –   1st place,     Jachai Littlejohn,   University Middle
  • Eighth Grade –     3rd place,    Ricky Julien,          Union Avenue Middle
  • Ninth Grade –        1st place,    Louvinav Paul,          IHS
  • Tenth Grade –        1st place,    Cynthia Kyerewaa,   IHS
  • Eleventh Grade –   1st place,    Arleth Pacheo,         IHS
  • Twelfth Grade –      3rd place,    Eugenia Ampofo,    IHS

Principal’s Message

Welcome to University Elementary School! 

We are excited to lead our scholars under the guidance of dynamic instructors and support staff, talented scholars and supportive parents. At University Elementary School, our educational community strives to provide our scholars with an environment that is academically rich, implements character building opportunities, and engages scholars in courses that are aligned with New Jersey Student Learning Standards in a differentiated environment. Our goal is to instill in scholars the University Elementary School’s HAWKS expectations to be Helpers, Achievers, Worthy, Kind and Scholars. University Elementary School is housed on the first three levels in the Irvington School District’s Board of Education facility and is one of eight elementary schools located in Irvington Township. University Elementary School is comprised of approximately 450 prekindergarten through 5th grade scholars who receive instruction from a team of highly qualified instructors who teach scholars using research based strategies that will prepare scholars for a college and career in a 21st century global environment. 

At University Elementary School, our first step to preparing our scholars for college and careers is to provide them with instruction that will ensure that they meet English Language Arts and mathematics requirements that will lead to graduation from high school. University Elementary School’s English Language Arts and mathematics programs effectively support these outcomes. The English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum at University Elementary School is aligned with NJ Student Learning Standards and focuses on the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and grammar. Our ELA program integrates social studies, science, and technology subjects. Additionally, our staff instructs our scholars by utilizing a wide range of informational and narrative genres in a Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop environment. Our scholars learn in a differentiated and balanced literacy environment that addresses their individual learning needs. It is imperative that all scholars are able to read and write on level. To further assist our 3rd to 5th grade scholars, we offer an after school Skills Enhancement Program to assist struggling scholars and an Academic Enrichment Program to supplement ELA instruction. English Language Learner scholars are supported by our English as a Second Language (ESL) program, which adheres to the guidelines and standards of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. The lessons are based on English Language Development (ELD) Standards that are correlated to NJ Student Learning Standards. We also offer iReady, an adaptive diagnostic for reading that pinpoints scholars’ needs down to the sub-skill level and provides ongoing progress monitoring to show whether scholars are on track to achieve end-of-year targets. To further assist our English Language Learner scholars, our highly qualified instructors are well versed in SIOP, Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. Instructors teach lessons that support our English Language Learners to become proficient in speaking, reading and writing in English using SIOP strategies. 

University Elementary School continues to move forward in providing an educational experience in mathematics, science and technology that grooms our scholars for successful roles in society. In the area of Science, our program is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The standards focus on moving scholars toward a deeper and richer understanding of scientific concepts and their application. The NGSS are aligned to offer a comprehensive and developmentally-appropriate approach to learning science. Our Mathematics program is taught in a differentiated environment and addresses instruction and learning using concrete, pictorial, and abstract approaches which cater to the various learning styles of our scholars. Scholars use manipulatives, technology and problem solving techniques that prepare them for 21st-century requirements and state assessments. Additionally, we implement the iReady Mathematics Program, an adaptive online assessment that consistently tracks scholars’ growth to identify gaps and provide customized remediation. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum and can be found embedded in our library media arts program, math, English Language Arts, science, and social studies curriculums. Every class has an interactive whiteboard and each grade level class has access to laptops to support instruction and learning. University Elementary School also has a dedicated computer lab that houses desktop computers for focused technology practice and instruction. 

Teachers and scholars prepare throughout the year to ensure successful outcomes on all assessments. In addition to regularly scheduled academic skills assessments that communicate scholars’ progress, scholars are also administered the annual New Jersey Student Learning Standards Assessment, NJSLA, that tests the skills of 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade scholars as it relates to English Language Arts and mathematics and the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment for Science, NJSLA-S, which tests our 5th grade scholars’ science skills. 

Committed to educating the whole child, University Elementary School offers extra-curricular activities that serve to enhance interpersonal and decision-making skills, personal growth, and leadership through its clubs and organizations. In these endeavors, HAWKS are given opportunities to become active and productive members of the world community.  University Elementary School is home to one of four Intellectually Gifted programs in the Irvington School District and serves scholars in grades 1 through 5. Our Intellectually Gifted Program is housed in our IG Resource room and lead by a highly-qualified teacher. The IG program serves scholars whose cognitive abilities require special education to meet their unique needs. Our Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts programs are led by teachers and volunteer parents. Our scouts are trained to adhere to scouts’ law and pledges which are aligned with the values of HAWKS expectations. Our scouts are actively involved in community service projects that include providing food and clothing to those in need. The National Elementary Honor Society is comprised of 4th and 5th-grade scholars who have an A average in all major subjects and A’s or B’s in all other subjects and adhere to the scholarship, leadership, service, and character. University Elementary School also has rising 3rd-grade scholars who shadow inducted Honor Society members. Student Council Members are the voice for all HAWKS. Members meet to review the concerns of their peers, raise monies to support Student Council Members’ programs, and discuss ideas presented to the principal. 

Our scholars contribute to the culture and climate of University Elementary School by serving on sports teams, such as our HAWKS basketball and soccer teams. HAWKS cheerleaders teach their peers school songs, school cheers, and encourage scholars to get excited about taking exams, such as NJSLS, during school rallies and sports events. Safety Patrol members support scholars and teachers in University Elementary School’s efforts to ensure that school community members are safe and secure. A safe and healthy learning environment is necessary for scholars to learn and achieve academic success and many programs are established to serve them. University Elementary School’s guidance counselor, health and social services coordinator, and nurse are on staff to assist with the emotional, social, and physical well-being of our scholars. This includes our Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying (HIB) Specialist who serves scholars in need of support. Our School Safety Team meets monthly to review HIB data to develop, foster, and maintain a positive school climate by focusing on the ongoing, systemic processes and practices in the school and to address school climate issues. The Positive Behavior Support, PBS, program lends itself to the promotion of a safe learning environment. Our PBS team acknowledges scholars who adhere to HAWKS expectations by rewarding them with HAWKS tickets, Class Dojo points, school store items, school parties, school trips, and more. Our expectations of scholars to Be HAWKS are not only University Elementary School’s expectations, they are also our mantra and play a major role in our scholars’ daily school experience. This year, our scholars will learn the Power of Yet through the implementation of Mindset strategies using our mentor text, The Bubble Gum Brain. 

The stakeholders of our school’s educational community have a shared vision of high expectations for all scholars and our parents play an integral role in our success. Our parents are members of the Parent and Teacher Association (PTA), School Leadership Council (SLC), Scouts programs and more. Also, parents serve as classroom parents, volunteer, assist with fundraising initiatives and attend our many public programs. These partnerships are essential to our scholars’ academic success. 

University Elementary School will continue to strive to meet the needs of our scholars, parents, and the school community by creating an environment that cultivates and challenges every scholar to be contributing members of their school community. University Elementary School is proud to contribute to the growth of scholars who will serve, support, protect, invent, heal, teach and lead our expanding global community. 


Educationally yours,
Sandra Y. Boone-Gibbs


University Elementary basketball championship picture

2020-02-05T12:25:41-05:00Categories: School UES, School UES Blog Posts|

September 2019 Focus Characteristic

During the month of September, scholars will be introduced to University Elementary School’s 2019-2020 mentor text, Bubble Gum Brain. This book will be introduced to support our first Focus Characteristic, RESPECT, in preparation for October’s annual Week of Respect.  Each class will listen to a reading of the book, Bubble Gum Brain, and take a journey with two characters, Bubble Gum and Brick. Bubble Gum has a growth mindset and Brick has a fixed mindset. The story, Bubble Gum Brain is a journey of how the act of “becoming” is better than just “being” by becoming a hopeful thinker through the power of “IF”. This story will continue our HAWKS’ journey toward speaking with heart, filling buckets, and positive self-talk.

2019-09-09T09:55:14-04:00Categories: School UES, School UES Blog Posts|


Due to a State of Emergency, Irvington Public Schools will have an early dismissal on Monday, March 16, 2020. Students will be dismissed at 12:30pm.

Schools will be closed from Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. Schools will reopen on Monday, March 30, 2020. Please check the Coronavirus link for updated information.
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