Craig School New Jersey

LS/MS Week of February 5th


Message from the Head Of School

Dear Badger Families,

Wednesday, February 7th is World Read Aloud Day. Since 2010 World Read Aloud Day, founded by Lit World, has worked to call attention to the importance of reading by encouraging the sharing of stories and reading out loud. They work with Scholastic to host read aloud events throughout the day and supply ideas for schools and classrooms around the world. But why is it so important to draw attention to the act of reading aloud?

Reading aloud has so many incredible benefits. When we read aloud to ourselves, we improve our attention, focus, and comprehension. When we read aloud to our children they benefit in terms of vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. There are even social emotional learning benefits to reading aloud. When we read to our children they are naturally exposed to a larger vocabulary through the text itself, and we often elaborate on words we know our children are unsure of. In this sense we are helping their vocabulary development both incidentally and on purpose. It takes many interactions with the same word, in many different contexts, before we own it. Reading aloud provides another opportunity to encounter higher level words. The more often they hear a word, the more apt they are to know the word when they themselves see it in print.

Reading aloud to our children provides a model of fluency, which encompasses accuracy, speed, expression, and comprehension. The more your children hear you read aloud, the more they will mimic your expression and intonation when they read. This is how they learn things like a dramatic pause, how to read dialogue, the expression changes with a question, and so much more. Even the rhythm with which you read will become a part of their reading voice. If you have ever heard a child read a Dr. Seuss book, and they read, or maybe recite it, with the same intonation and rhythm with which it was read to them, then you understand. This same idea holds true for chapter books and even new articles. Children learn so much through modeling. That is how they learn how to walk and do chores, it is also one way they learn how to read fluently.

Comprehension further improves through our conversations about what we are reading. It is natural to stop every once in a while to talk about what is happening in the book. Asking questions such as, “What do you think will happen next?”, or “Why do you think the author told us that?” are important ways to model metacognition while reading. Social emotional learning is about understanding emotions in ourselves and others. Asking questions about the characters, why they made certain choices, or asking what they would do in the character’s situation, can lead to many deep conversations in a very natural way. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is very beneficial for increasing empathy. We often think of this for characters when you are reading fiction, but it is just as meaningful when you are reading about real events and people. 

Time spent reading aloud with your child is a great part of an evening routine and one that clearly has many benefits. If it is not a part of your routine yet, what better day to start than this Wednesday, with World Read Aloud Day?

Have a great weekend,

Jennifer Guthrie

Director of the Lower & Middle School



Thursday, February 8th, Family STEM Night, 6:30-8:30

Friday, February 9th, Skiing at Mt. Peter, 4-9

Friday, February 16th, Noon Dismissal

Monday-Tuesday, February 19th-20th, School Closed Winter Break

Friday, February 23rd, Skiing at Mt. Peter, 4-9



Friday, March 1st: Read Across America (Peer Leaders & PACS)

Wednesday, March 13th: Trimester 2 Ends

Monday-Friday, March 18th-22nd: 12:00 pm Dismissal: Parent Teacher Conferences/Faculty Forum Friday

Wednesday, March 20th:  Coffee with the Head of School (8:30 am - 9:15 am) Head of School Office

Thursday, March 21st: Trimester 2 Goals & Objectives/Report Cards Available

Saturday, March 23rd: ALL School Annual Chili Cook-Off

Friday, March 29th: School Closed: Good Friday



Save the dates for these Twilight Events! Mt. Peter in Warwick, NY, is the place to be on February 2, 9, and 23. The events run from 4:00 pm to about 9:00 pm. Parents are responsible for supervision, forms, payment, and transportation. 


Registration is available at:

 Group Code (as typed):  Craig2024

 All group participants should sign up on this site. During the sign-up process, waivers will need to be signed for each item purchased. Once each participant completes the sign-up process, it will then prompt for payment. Our group is set up to pay the Mt. Peter directly. Your order will not be processed without payment. The deadline for group registration is January 29, 2024.  


All students are required to wear a helmet while participating in this activity. 


If you can not attend all three dates and would still like to participate,  Please sign up at The group discount will not apply to this sign-up.




Family STEM Night - We invite you to join us for a fun night of pizza and a STEM challenge. Your family will work as a team to create something wonderful. The project is top secret…all supplies will be provided that night. We hope you can join us!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

6:30 - 8:30 pm

The Craig Lower School Cafe and Gym


Please respond no later than January 25, 2024

RSVP for Family STEM Night



We will hold a series of informative speaker presentations in the upcoming weeks. 

These are experts in their field, and we are excited to welcome them into our community.

You will receive details for each session, signups, and Zoom links via email within the next week.

February 14 - Dr. Sharon Saline ADHD/EF for lower school families
February 21- Keel services- advocacy
March 6- Dr. Sharon Saline ADHD/EF for middle school families
March 27-Dr. Sharon Saline ADHD/EF for high school families




We are up and running! We had a bit of a winter rest and now it is time to get to work!

Buddy Program- Chairs have been working on the upcoming activities. Next Buddy date is January 29th. 

Peer Support- We have a number of Leaders who have signed up to be a Peer Support Tutor . This program begins the first week in February and runs through June. Leaders push into classes to serve as an assistant to a teacher for 30 minutes a week. For our leaders, this program helps develop communication, time management and problem solving skills. For the students, they typically receive additional practice in number fluency, reading practice, editing etc. In addition to the academic and life skill benefits it also builds a sense of community.

Read Across America: The Committee and Chairs will be meeting next Wednesday to plan our week of activities that will run March 4th-8th. 

On the horizon: 

February - Buddy Program 

                    Peer Support Tutoring (weekly)

                     Spirit day 

March - Read Across America 

               Buddy program 

               Spirit week 




Boys Basketball- 2/6/24 Home Game Red vs Black 3:05 pm to 5:00 pm




Registration for the 2024 Summer Academy is now open! Reserve your spot today! 

Summer Academy will be held at our High School Campus: 24 Changebridge Road in Montville, NJ. All summer medical forms are due by June 1st.

Contact Kelly Wiederlight at  for more information. 

Registration Form 



Celebrate the New Year with a Gift to Craig School! 

A heartfelt thank you to all who have already contributed to the Craig School Annual Giving Campaign – your generosity is truly inspiring!!

Embrace the spirit of giving as we dive into the Craig School Annual Giving Campaign! Your support is a beacon of positivity! As we step into the New Year, we need your help to achieve our goal of 100% participation from the incredible Craig community.  Every contribution, big or small, is a key ingredient in the recipe for Craig School's success. You play a crucial role in making Craig not just survive but thrive!

What better time than the New Year to be part of something extraordinary? Click the Donation Button now to make your contribution and kickstart the year with generosity.

Donate Here - Every Gift Matters!

If you have any questions or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to Mary Calvano, Advancement, at or call 973-334-1234 x229.

Thank you for being a key ingredient to Craig's success!

18th Annual Golf Outing 

Save the date! Our 18th Annual Golf Outing, Dinner & Auction is on Tuesday, June 18, 2023. Even in winter, it's never too early to dream about hitting the course. Get ready for a fantastic event – more details are coming soon!




January Dates

Monday, February 5th

Wednesday, February 7th

Pick-up is at 3:55 pm

Please contact Stephen Vaporis,, for more information.


February 13, 2024

Open Parent PACS Meeting to be Held at Craig High:  Our Parent Association will be hosting its next PACS meeting at Craig High and all parents are invited to attend.  

Whether you would like to be a part of helping to plan some March school events or just to hear about what PACS does and how you can be involved, this is the perfect opportunity.  Here is what you need to know:

  • PACS Meeting Date and Time: Tuesday, February 13th, 8:30 AM 
  • Where: Room 103 at Craig High in Montville
  • OR ZOOM (PACS Zoom Meeting Link)

Questions: Reach out to our PACS President, Mrs. Heather Soufan at

March 1, 2024

The students will conclude Read Across America week by celebrating Dr. Suess's Birthday. We will need volunteers to help set up and serve a yummy Dr. Suess-themed breakfast to our students. A sign-up genius will be sent soon with all the details.

March 20-22, 2024

You don't want to miss this Craig favorite. The  Annual Scholastic Book Fair will be held on March 20-22nd. 8:30-12:00. More details to follow.

March 23, 2024

All School Chili Cook-Off. Dr. Cap and Mr. Furlong will have more information to come on this community event.

If you have any questions, please reach out to



Mountain Lakes Campus

We are very grateful to have such an involved community! As with any large family, we can overwhelm those around us sometimes. Please help us by doing your best to be considerate of our neighbors whenever you come to campus.

As you come to campus for drop-off, pick-up, and various activities, please continue to be good neighbors to our community. Ideally, when picking up at regular dismissal time, please try to come as close to 3:00 as possible. It is even fine to plan to be here at 3:10. I certainly understand that not all family schedules allow for waiting until 3:00 and just ask that you do what you can. If you must line up before 3:00, please be very mindful of not blocking the road or driveways on either side of Laurel Hill Road and obey idling laws by turning off your car.

When coming onto the Mountain Lakes campus for activities, whether they are during the day or after school, please continue to be considerate of our community. Please only park in lined spots in our lot, in empty spots in the Blue House parking lot, or across the Boulevard at the Masonic Lodge.

We truly appreciate your support of and commitment to your children and The Craig School!


Giving at Craig

For more information on ways of giving or to make a donation online you can clicking here.


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The Craig School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate based on race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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