Whats New



Effects of Plastic Straws on the Environment 





Science Fair

Grades 6-8 









Stations of the Cross







Wax Museum


Click here for Wax Museum Photo Gallery


Music Class



Forensics Competition





                                            Student Council Leadership Luncheon







  6th Grade Explores the Savanna





Christmas Concert


Robotics Wins Research Award





1st Grade Coding in Computer Class


CS First Coding Club in Fifth Grade







The sixth grade science class had a special visitor on June 8.  The students have been researching the effects of plastic straws on our environment.  They have researched and debated the topic, and have formulated opinions as to what to do about the problems caused by the 500 million plastic straws used in the United States every day.

Mrs. Jorgensen invited Mrs. Caroline Ehrlich to speak with the class. Mrs. Ehrlich is the Woodbridge Township Chief of Staff and also chairs the Greenable Woodbridge Committee. Mrs. Ehrlich viewed the Google slide presentations that the students had prepared and discussed with them the steps that they can take to educate the public about the problems caused by plastics.

Mrs. Ehrlich was impressed with the knowledge the students had, their passion,  and with the way they articulated it. She looks forward to working with our soon-to-be seventh graders on environmental projects around the school and in town.

The students felt empowered that their voices were heard by a township official.  They are learning that it is never too early to become involved in issues that affect their community and their world.




The Saint James Middle School students participated in the annual Science Fair on Tuesday, May 8.  Students worked individually or groups to create their projects.

Students chose some very interesting questions to investigate.  One group tested whether listening to different types of music affects concentration when performing tasks that required mental effort. Another group investigated whether certain activities raised or lowered a test subject’s heart rate.  Groups tested how dry ice interacted with different materials, and what products clean stains the best. Students also ran trials to see if a blind spot in peripheral vision is a function of age, and if subjects preferred a name brand product in blind taste tests as well as tests in the brands were identified.  These are just a few of the many experiments done by our sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.

An equally important part of the Science Fair was that the students were able to explain their investigations and results to younger students and to adults who visited the Science Fair in the evening.  Scientists must be able to communicate their findings, and the Saint James students impressed visitors with their knowledge and how well they articulated it.

Not all experiments worked out the way the investigators thought they would.  This is, of course, what happens to real-world scientists, and our students are learning to adjust their thinking when they obtain unexpected results.  Our STREAM curriculum stresses the fact that ideas that do not work are not failures, but opportunities to look for different solutions.

Many parents, grandparents, siblings and members of the community visited the Science Fair.  We are glad they were able to join us to see the great things that are happening at Saint James School!





A group of the middle school students at St. James School in Woodbridge spent much of Lent getting ready for Easter in a unique way.  These students spent hours after school every Tuesday and Thursday practicing and perfecting the Stations of the Cross, done in mime. Wearing black clothes, white gloves and mime make-up, they reenacted the fourteen Stations and the Resurrection.  While narrators sat out of sight, the students on the altar presented the suffering and ultimate victory of Jesus in a moving and powerful way. The narrators described the events of the station, retold it from the perspective of Jesus’s thoughts, and finished the Station with a reflection for those watching. Listening to the narrative, the audience got a true sense of the humanity and the divinity of Christ. A group of sixth and seventh grade girls used their talent in dance to celebrate the risen Christ at the end of the Stations.

The students performed the Stations for the parishioners of Mount Carmel.  They repeated their performance for the student body at St. James School , and finally for the parishioners of St. James on the evening of Good Friday. Every performance was beautifully done, and all who saw them truly felt that they had travelled the road to Calvary with Jesus.










This week, the middle school students participated in the Wax Museum.  For this project, students chose an important historical figure to research.  Each student used a book (autobiography or biography) on their person to research their life and write a five paragraph biography.  Part of the uniqueness of this project was that students were not allowed to use the internet for their research.  The students could only use their books to help them write their essay.  This helped students focus on pulling details from their readings and abandon the "quick search result" mindset.

The next part of their project was to then write and memorize a one minute speech on their historical person, written in first person.  Students practiced timing their speeches, making adjustments to the content of their writing, and even speaking in front of their classmates.  Students reviewed standard public speaking skills and how they would be able to deliver a fantastic one minute speech.

On the day of the Wax Museum, students dressed to look like their historical figure.  Viewers enjoyed listening to these "wax figures" come to life  and talk about their fascinating figure.  We had 90 students participating in the Wax Museum and they all did an amazing job!

Looking forward to next year's Wax Museum already!










Fun in Music Class!  First grade is learning rhythm patterns (quarter notes, eighth notes and quarter rests) on African percussion instruments.  The vocal sounds they produced were from Zoltan Kodaly's music pedagogy.




Fifteen of our middle school girls participated in the Mount Saint Mary Academy Forensics Competition on February 21.  The competition is open to girls in grades six through eight and allows girls to participate in four different categories: Oral Interpretation of Literature, Prose and Poetry, Declamation (the reading of a speech given by another person), and Dramatic Duo (the reading of a two character play).  Saint James was one of ten schools that participated in the competition.

Kristen Valendo, a sixth grade student, was awarded second place for her reading of the short story “Charles” by Shirley Jackson.  Eighth grade students Tamia Burton and Sophia Segarra received first place for their reading of  the play “Admissions” by Colleen Neuman.  Tamia and Sophia received the only perfect score in the competition.  

Congratulations to all of the girls who participated in the competition.  Speaking in front of a group can be difficult, but is an important skill. Getting ready for this competition took a lot of hard work and practice.  All of our students did an excellent job, and made all of us very proud. In addition to Kristen, Tamia and Sophia, the students who participated were: sixth graders Juliette DeHanes and Akshaya Karanam, seventh graders Lillian O’Connor, Jordyn Collie, Hannah Padilla, Alex Estevensen, and Jhailyn Farcon, and eighth graders Samantha Tolentino, Gabriella Irwin, Nicole Sandrik-Arzadi, Esme Dorcellus, and Mia Zeid.



On Wednesday, January 17, our student council executive board and eighth grade members had lunch with Mrs. Nancy Drumm.  Mrs. Drumm is a member of the Woodbridge Township Council, the membership director for our local Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Saint James School Advisory Council, and a proud graduate of Saint James School.  The topic of Mrs. Drumm’s visit was leadership and what it means to be a good leader.  Her message was that leadership requires organization, patience, and empathy.  She spoke about how rewarding it is to serve her community in a position of leadership, and about the great responsibility that goes with it.  

The students were very receptive to Mrs. Drumm’s message.  The student council members are the peer leaders in the school, and have the opportunity to take their leadership skills beyond our doors when they graduate.  Mrs. Drumm is an excellent role model for them. 





The sixth grade were very busy in the art room for a few weeks.  First, they researched African animals and trees on the chromebooks.  They also studied patterns that are on the beautiful clothing found in African countries.  This research helped in their art project based on African Savanna landscapes.  They used liquid watercolor to create a sunset background.  Then they drew and colored in black sharpie marker to create the shadow silhouettes.  The finished works are absolutely stunning.  

















This years’ Christmas Concert was truly spectacular! The evening boasted the school’s various musical ensembles, including: the Fourth & Fifth Grade Intermediate Choir; Sixth, Seventh & Eighth Grade Advanced Choir; Young Men’s Ensemble and three-octave Handbell Choir. The concert began in darkness, as the organ lead the penitentially majestic candle procession of the choirs… well over a hundred musicians worth, with the girls in their beautiful gowns and pearls and the boys in their tuxedos (not often seen in elementary schools)! The nearly packed house then joined the full-forced, choral manifest in the singing of “O Come, All Ye Faithful”. The choirs presented music spanning traditional to contemporary Christmas favorites as well. The evening left audience members musically satisfied and invigorated with the true meaning of Christmas.

















The SJS Robotics team competed in the First Lego League (FLL) competition on Nov. 18 and won the research award. To compete in FLL, the students design and program a Lego robot, research and propose a solution to a real-life problem, and demonstrate their ability to work as a team. The students spent an intense 11 weeks building their robot and preparing their project presentation.The FLL theme this year was the human water cycle. The students went on field trips to Middlesex Water and Duke Farms to learn about water and sewage treatment. They decided to focus on greenhouse hydroponics, so they visited the Rutgers EcoComplex to tour the facility and speak with the director of the greenhouse. The students were interested in learning the ways that the EcoComplex is reducing the environmental impact of hydroponics. In addition to trips, the students researched their topic using a variety of sources including books, websites, and articles. The judges were impressed with their depth of knowledge and awarded them the research award.




First grade students had to design coding that would help an elf through an obstacle to get a present.  This was done through Google's Santa Village.  The students were also coding last week during Hour of Code, so this was a second chance for them to work on their coding skills




















The fifth grade class has been participating in the CS (Computer Science) First Club this year. The children each get a passport to receive awards for completing each level. We are working on the theme of Storytelling. They are learning how to code dialogue, setting, and how to decide premises in a story. They will also develop characters, and creative interactive stories.

In the club, students are watching instructional videos and then they complete the coding activities in the Scratch website to practice what they have learned. Then they can share their animated story with the class. Here are some benefits of this program:

Grow in perseverance when tackling difficult problems.

Demonstrate the impact that CS has in careers and communities.

Instill courage to try new things.

Increase confidence when using computers.