September 3, 2019

Dear Florence Avenue Falcon Family,

My name is Mary Michailidis and I am the newly appointed principal at Florence Avenue Elementary School (officially as of August 26th). I bring to Florence Avenue Elementary 28 years of public high school experience from CT urban districts (Stamford and Norwalk) and 3 additional years now as former principal of Irvington High School. My academic training and professional experiences will help me lead the F.A.S. community achieve great things with your support. That is, F.A.S. has made good progress over the last few years, but I hope to continue this progress and achieve so much more. Providing our students with a world-class primary education which will allow them to manage the rigor of high school and then ultimately pursue higher education, plan careers, and become entrepreneurs in an ever-changing society will be our common goal. It is imperative that every teacher, staff, parent, and community be committed to the goals of the school which in turn will help all students reach their full potential.

Mr. Evans, Berkeley’s principal this year, shared with me that Florence Avenue’s 2018-2019 school year was filled with notable growth academically and with regard to our culture and climate.  A few of the accomplishments he shared are listed below:

  • Increased after-school activities, programs and events
  • Increased NJSLA proficiency levels
  • Scholars and staff exceeded the NJ Department of Education’s Attendance rate of 95%
  • Increased support to students presenting behavioral challenges with the support of certified behaviorists, CarePlus Program and Intervention and Referral Services
  • Increased parental involvement
  • Increased school activities for student and parent involvement
  • Increased technology available in the school through purchase of additional
    chrome books, installation of clear touch monitors, and etc.

Florence Avenue Elementary School takes great pride in creating an educational atmosphere where students can learn in a caring and creative environment. Together our staff encourages scholars to engage in a lifelong love of learning. As we focus on student achievement we will provide a variety of academic and educational experiences that promote student growth and learning throughout the year. Our teachers are prepared to work collaboratively, analyze data, plan instruction, and develop common assessments to ensure student achievement is attained throughout each grade level.

As parent involvement plays a critical role in our school’s success. During the upcoming school year, I encourage you to take an active role in your child’s learning and school environment through your involvement in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and school events whenever possible.  The first PTA meeting is Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 6:00 p. m. to 7:00 p.m.

This school year brings great opportunities and I am looking forward to working with you toward our mission of improving student academic achievement. The first day of school is Wednesday, September 4, 2019. School begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. Scholars must be in full uniform (solid green or yellow buttoned-up or polo shirt, green pants, skirt/skort and closed-toe shoes or sneakers Khaki). Breakfast will be held in the classrooms up until 8:40 a.m.

Open House is scheduled for Monday, October 7, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. During Open House, you will have the opportunity to visit your child’s classroom, review the Parent-Scholar Handbook, sign up for the Parent Teacher Association and receive an overview of the district curriculum. We are confident that our returning parents and scholars are aware of arrival procedures and comfortable with school staff escorting and/or directing children to their correct classrooms.

We look forward to starting the new school year, where we will continue to build on these accomplishments while ensuring that our students to become 21st Century thinkers and learners, productive citizens, and future leaders.

Mary H. Michailidis