Message from the Principal

Message from the Principal

Dear Stokes Family,


I would like to take a moment to welcome you to our school, and share our excitement about having the privilege to be a part of your child’s educational journey.  Last year during the redistricting, Stokes re-opened to serve just those K-3 students who live in the community.  New beginnings are always challenging, and this change brought a certain amount of nervous energy to those who were starting something unknown. Whether this is your child’s first year at stokes, or they are a returning student, we promise to work tirelessly to support them and yourselves in order to make this school year as positive as possible. Our primary goal this year is to create a warm and supportive environment where your child will feel supported and cared for, as well as a place where you feel comfortable leaving them for six and a half hours each day. This will be accomplished by focusing on open communication, celebrating all of our successes, and incorporating social and emotional learning in all of our classes.


We have a number of important dates coming up that you should be aware of:

  • Friday, August 25th: Back to School Extravaganza 10:00 am-2:00 pm at the Trenton Board of Education Building
  • Wednesday, August 30th: Kindergarten & 1st grade orientation from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Thursday, August 31st: 2nd & 3rd grade orientation from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm 
  • Thursday, September 7th-1st day of school for students (school hours 8:45 am-3:15 pm)
  • Monday, September 18th Back to School Night 5:30 pm-7:00 pm


School Visitors:  In order for us to serve you in a timely and effective manner, we kindly ask that if you would like to arrange a meeting at the school, you reach out to our administrative assistant Ms. Ware and schedule an appointment.  She can be reached by calling the main office at (609) 656-4900 x 2901, or by sending her an email at [email protected].  Also, to ensure the safety of everyone, all visitors to the building must enter through the main entrance (Door 1) on Parkside Ave.  Upon entering, visitors will be asked to present a photo ID to the security guard, sign in, and then report directly to the main office.


First Day of School:


*     School will begin at 8:45 a.m. on September 7th. Staff will be present to begin welcoming students at 8:10 a.m. Students can be dropped off at Door 8 in the back-parking lot of the school.  As you enter the parking lot off of Smith Ave, this door will be the first one you come to.  Students will be brought into the gym where they will be seated by class.

*      Door 8 will be open for students until 9:00 am.  After that time, late students must be brought to the main entrance.

*      At 3:00 p.m. students will dismiss in lines by homeroom teachers outside the school. Dismissal will always be outside unless prompted different due the inclimate weather. All students must be signed out daily.

  • If you want your child to walk home, please submit a letter to the main office.

*     All students will receive free breakfast in the morning.


Uniforms are strongly encouraged. The uniform consists of a powder blue top and khaki bottoms.

Emergency Contact Information:


In the event of an emergency, we must be able to reach you.  Please complete the student information packet upon receipt and return it to us the next day.  If your address or phone number changes, please update this vital information by calling the main office as soon as it changes.  We also send Robo Calls with important information.  For this reason, please keep your number current so that you will receive those calls.


Afterschool Care:


At this time, we do not have an after-school program at Stokes. We plan on starting after-school clubs and activities in October.  Any information about after-school programs will be sent home with your child as soon as we receive it.  We will also update information on our website.


Again, I am excited and honored to work with all of the students here at Joseph Stokes Memorial School.  I anticipate having a wonderful year, but know that can only happen when all members of the school community are involved.  Please never hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have.  As a parent of three elementary school students, I understand the trust you place in me when it comes to taking care of your child.  It is a responsibility that I take seriously, and I hope that as a school, we meet all of your expectations.  Thank you very much for your support.  I look forward to seeing you soon.




Paul Lakarosky

Principal, Joseph Stokes Elementary School