A Message from Mr. Silverstein

  • Dear Parents, Guardians, and Friends of the Manito School Community,

    Welcome to Manito Elementary School. We hope the information included on our website will provide you with an overview of our child-centered educational program. This comprehensive program addresses the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of our students as they progress through these crucial formative years. The ultimate goal of such a program is to create a dynamic environment that fosters Success for Every Child. The foundation of each day is built upon a simple, but important philosophy: every child can learn and experience success. Our challenge as educators lies in discovering how to facilitate that process. As our dedicated teachers and support staff help our students to reach beyond their potential, they work to inspire a genuine love of learning in every child. The result manifests itself in children who are excited about education, feel positive about themselves, and who develop the skills needed to build positive and productive relationships with each other and the adults who support them. In fact, we're incredibly proud of the fact that Manito was ranked #3 in Bergen County and #10 in the State of New Jersey among ALL schools (elementary, middle, high, charter, etc), based on 2021-2022 student assessment data. 

    Integrated into our positive school climate is a strong academic curriculum that meets or exceeds the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). The core of the academic program is based on a solid foundation of study in reading, language arts and mathematics. Our balanced literacy program affords students a supportive environment that immerses them in authentic reading experiences which focus on the strengths and needs of each child. Reader's Workshop helps children develop strong reading skills through the use of mini-lessons, guided reading, read-alouds, conferencing, independent reading, paired reading, word work and literature response journals. These components and the time allocated for each will vary by grade level. However, the basic philosophy of the program is to allow students to spend an extended amount of time each day reading appropriately leveled, authentic, high-interest texts, and to provide opportunities for them to discuss literature. The ultimate goal of Reader's Workshop is to develop life-long, passionate readers and critical thinkers. Complementing the reading program is the Writer’s Workshop program, which aims to foster lifelong writing through relevance, consistency, authenticity and independence. Here as well, units will vary by grade level. Your child's teacher will provide you with a more specific, grade-level overview of each program during our annual Back to School Night program in September. 

    Teachers in Grades K-5 implement the Go Math! Program, which is closely aligned to the NJSLS. Manipulatives and other problem-solving tools will be used to facilitate instruction and help students internalize curricular concepts. Because differentiated instruction for advanced, grade level, and emergent learners is embedded within the curriculum, general education students in Grades K-4 will remain in their homerooms for mathematics instruction. There, students may be placed in flexible groups based on their level of understanding of specific topics, as determined through formative assessments at the beginning of each new unit. Alternatively, students in Grade 5 will be assigned to math classes based on demonstrated ability level and teacher recommendation.

    Our rigorous academic curriculum is complemented by special area teachers who present lessons in physical education, library/media, health, art, and music. And, of course, teachers will utilize the available technology in the school to create challenging, problem-based applications that can be integrated into each content area throughout the year. Facilitating that process is the fact that we have SMART boards and document cameras in all of our classrooms, and we have several class sets of i-Pads that will be shared among all of our students. Students in Grades K-5 will also enjoy the use of Chromebooks, which will support the acquisition of critical 21st century skills including critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. 

    In an effort to promote positive and responsible decision-making while eradicating negative behaviors such as harassment, intimidation or bullying, our character education initiative will continue to be integrated across the curriculum. During the year, students will learn about and apply the tenets of the Josephson Institute’s Six Pillars of Character (Trustworthiness, Citizenship, Respect, Fairness, Responsibility and Caring). Whenever possible, students will be recognized for consistently practicing these traits and contributing to a positive environment that promotes the social, emotional, and physical well-being of everyone in the building. In addition, our Project Wisdom program will continue to provide daily positive messages to students and faculty alike. Recently, the aspects of our character education program that focus on supporting local charitable causes (Education with Heart), our ongoing cultural exchange program with the New Jersey Japanese School (Building Bridges), the cultivation of our Student Gardens (Character Grows at Manito), and our Social Issue Book Clubs were rewarded with Promising Practices designations from Character.org, a national organization that promotes outstanding character in U.S. public schools. I'm extremely proud of the entire Manito School community for this outstanding achievement. 

    As a reminder, the Parent Portal can be used to view school information, along with current information related to your child's educational experience. All parents will receive log-in credentials for their children. Parents are encouraged to log in regularly, as each child’s daily attendance and quarterly report cards are posted on the Portal. To access the Parent Portal, simply navigate to the District’s home page (www.oaklandschoolsnj.org) and click on the “Parent Portal” link on the right menu.  

    The Manito experience would not be complete without the ongoing support of our PTO and the greater parent community. Throughout the year, the PTO sponsors several special events and assembly programs that enrich the children’s educational experience. The key to any school’s success has and always will be a strong partnership between the parents of our community and the school. I look forward to maintaining that strong relationship, which has always been a cornerstone of the Manito community, and I encourage all of our parents to actively participate in at least one of our PTO-sponsored events during the course of the year.

    The teachers and I look forward to an outstanding year filled with growth, success and wonderful new memories. 


    Adam I. Silverstein