Thursday, January 22, 2015

PD Corner: Google Apps for Education - Video Resources

I recently found these great short videos on Google Apps for Education done by Brian Seymour.  Brian is a Director of Technology in Ohio, for the Pickerington Local School District .  He has put together an amazing three part video series that covers all things Google Apps for Education.   His blog, Teaching & Learning with Technology  is great blog to follow.  

Google Toolkit 101 (7 part video series)

Google Toolkit 201 (5 Part Video Series)


Google Toolkit 301 (4 Part Video Series)

Friday, January 9, 2015

WHS News - Week of 1/12/15

My first post in 2015!  I hope everyone had an enjoyable break and was able to relax and recharge. Twelve days off was just the right amount of time in my opinion.  I was ready to be back.  2015 will bring on some new and exciting changes at WHS in the area of instruction.   We are professional educators who adjust and deal with whatever comes at us.  We find ways to make the best out of a situation.  With change comes excitement and fear, but there will be time to learn and share together, which will help everyone be successful.

I/We received an unexpected gift when we got back on Monday......The Chromebooks are in!!  I will be putting out the request to use the Chromebooks next week pending the cart is in and the Chromebooks are ready to go.

Good News/Welcome 
I have great news to share with everyone........ congratulations are in order for Jaime Ruch on her recent engagement.  Best of luck, Jaime! 
I would like to officially welcome the two newest members of the WHS staff:  Deana Scardigno, who has taken on the role of Secretary to the Supervisor of Athletics and Jill Raffaele, who will be our new Attendance Clerk.  Please stop by the office and introduce yourself when you have time.  
 I wanted to thank Kerry Guglielmotti, Terais McLoughlin and Michael Clancy for putting together the holiday luncheon prior to break.  In connection to this, I have had a few faculty members talk to me about bringing back the Sunshine Club or something similar. If any staff members would be interested in getting something organized, please let me know.  Once I have a few names, we can organize a meeting. 
School News

I need to make changes to the next two staff meetings dates. The changes revolve around PARCC training.
  • Our meeting scheduled for 1/21 has been rescheduled for this coming Wednesday, January 14 at 3:10 in the Little Theater.  
  • Next month's meeting scheduled for 2/25 will now be on Wednesday, February 11.  

Both meetings will focus on PARCC training and testing protocols/security for the testing administrators, formally known as proctors.

It's almost PARCC time.... yay

The link below contains dates and information related to the high school administration of the PARCC Exams.  More information will be shared with everyone at the 1/14 staff meeting.

February/March PARCC Schedule 

Dianna Angelli Email about Technology/PARCC - Dianna's email was right on and provided clear steps we are asking all teachers to follow.  Please review the email and familiarize yourself with the new process.   Fingers crossed we will not have to worry about carts next year!

The Board meetings for the rest of this school year have been set.  If you plan on attending workshops or field trips, please keep these dates in mind.  As a reminder, any item that needs BOE approval needs to be sent down one week prior to the scheduled meeting.
Monday January 19, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday February 9, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday February 23, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday March 9, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday March 23, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday April 13, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday April 27, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday May 11, 2015 Regular Meeting
Monday June 1, 2015 Regular Meeting
Recent Blog Posts
December Students of the Month 
 Scheduling Process 2015-2016

PD Resources 

A few things you can do to make 2015 great for your students
10 things students want all educators to know  both posts come from via Justin Tarte

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WHS News - Week of 12/15

A Holiday CHALLENGE to the WHS Staff 

In the season of giving, why not give the gift of positive news or praise to a few of your students.  Call a parent/guardian for one or two students in each of your classes or teams and tell them how great they are doing or how hard they are working.   Write a positive note to a few students or pull them aside and tell him or her how proud you are of them.

Sometimes a teacher can make a huge impact on their student's with simply a kind word, positive feedback or encouragement.  Just letting them know you believe in them and care about their success will not only make their day, but I will bet it will have a positive impact on you as well. 
I hope you take my challenge and please share with me and others the positives that come out of this! 

"In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact" ~ Les Brown

Looking Back
Last week at the Winter Concert, Mrs. Montella and Mrs. Serwin put on a great show.  The Concert Band and Jazz Band have never sounded better.  The Chorus did an amazing job as well and sounded great.

If you weren't already aware, both Lynne and Beth have gone above and beyond with both of their programs in different ways.  Lynne has taught band class during zero period the last two years, which has been a huge success with student enrollment.  The band program would not be where it is today without the dedication and commitment of the students and their wiliness to get up early each morning, attend after school and evening practices, as well as commit to hours of time on their own.  Why do they make that commitment, because of the leadership and passion of director, Lynne Montella!

Mrs. Serwin has also been creative with ways to get more students involved in the Chorus program.  Mrs. Serwin runs an after school chorus for the students that can't fit the class into their schedule.  With limited time to practice with both groups together, Beth still finds a way to get them to sound great.  For the students that want to sing and be part of the chorus, Beth has found the time! 

Beth and Lynne - THANK YOU for all you do.  #Ownit

Looking Forward 

  • Reminder - IEP Direct Training - Tuesday 12/16, Wednesday 12/17, Thursday 12/18 (3 - 3:30pm)
Three days have been setup for teachers to familiarize themselves with the district's new IEP program.  One staff member from each department was trained back in October and will hold training sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3 - 3:30pm in the Media Center Lab.   You should pick the day that works best for you; however, everyone must attend one of the sessions. Your login information was sent to you via email from Viki Wilson.  If you don't know your login information,  you can email Ms. Wilson or see Jill Caruso.   
Trained WHS Staff:  
D. Kish, R. Ramiccio, E. Lazzaro, R. Apap, P. Left, A. Terzini, J. Noschese 
  • Expect the Unexpected - Over the next few days, there might be a lockdown drill with a twist.  Don't get nervous.  We drill to be ready and the administration wants to make sure we prepare for the unexpected.   A few things to think about:
    • If you see students in the hallway during a lockdown and its safe for you to get them into your room before your door is locked, get them in. 
    • Disregard all bells and alarms.  Only move or release the lockdown when you hear the "All Clear" code word.  If you are not sure of the word, see me.  
    • If you see things that are out of place or suspicious inside or outside the building please bring it to the attention of the administration.  
    • For any lockdown, it is important to make sure everyone is out of site, extremely quiet and as calm as possible.  
  • Holiday Lunch 12/22 - if you are interested, please see Terais or Kerry with payment of $10.00 no later than Thursday, December 18th.  We are also encouraging those who like to bake to bring a dessert.   As Mr. Clancy said, "This will be a good time for staff to relax, enjoy a nice conversation with your colleagues and wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday before we leave for break."

Blog Posts/Tweets

Spirit Week Post - 12/15 - 12/22

PD Resources 
Formative Assessments are Powerful - via Larry Ferlazzo

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

WHS News: Week of 12/8/14

Getting ready for PARCC
We have been preparing for the PARCC Exams for a few years now since we aligned our curricula with the Common Core.  Math and Language Arts teachers have implemented PARCC style questions into their lessons.  Other Departments in the buiding have also adpoted this style as well.  This would not have happened without the supervisors guiding this process, teachers helping with updating curriculum and all embracing this change. 

Now, the next step is getting everyone comfortable with what the PARCC Exams looks like and taking practice tests online.  When I say everyone, I mean students and teachers in all areas need to see what the test looks like and what type of questions are on it.  The plan is over the next week and half to have Social Studies teachers bring their classes to the Media Center Lab and/or use laptops to walk students through a practice PARCC test.  The goal is to get staff and students familiar with the online tools and setup for when we test in February.  

A schedule will be posted with times and locations so staff members from other departments can see what the PARCC Exams actually look like.   Staff members who have already signed up for the Media Center or certain computer carts will, unfortunately, need to adjust.   

Looking Forward

Wednesday, 12/10 - Fall Varsity Dinner

Thursday, 12/11 - Period 4 hand out PSAT Results to sophomores and juniors that took the test.  Students should report to the Little Theater at 10:55 am.  

Thursday, 12/11 - Winter Concert at 7pm in the Little Theater

Monday, 12/15 - Bandwidth upgrade (No internet access after 2pm)

IEP Direct Training 
Three Days next week have been setup for teachers to familiarize themselves with the district's new IEP program.  One staff member from each department was trained back in October and will hold training sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3 - 3:30pm in the Media Center Lab.   You should pick the day that works better for you; however, everyone must attend one of the sessions.  Your login information was sent to you via email from Viki Wilson.  If you don't know your login information,  you can email Ms. Wilson or see Jill Caruso.   

When: Tuesday 12/16, Wednesday 12/17, Thursday 12/18 (3 - 3:30pm)

Trained WHS Staff: 
D. Kish, R. Ramiccio, E. Lazzaro, R. Apap, P. Left, A. Terzini, J. Noschese 

Recent Blog Posts
November Student's of the Month
PD Corner: Socrative & Flubaroo

PD Resources

5 Things to Share With Your Teachers About Educational Technology
Every Classroom is a Team and Every Teacher is a Coach

Friday, December 5, 2014

PD Corner: Socrative & Flubaroo Resources

Thanks to Ted Opderbeck for presenting at Wednesday's (12/3) Learning and Collaborating Time.

Some followup resources to what Ted presented on:

Please use this link to help create a shared Google Doc of resources related to this topic: PD Corner: Socrative & Flubaroo Resources 


Socrative  Socrative lets teachers engage and assess their students with educational activities on tablets, laptops and smartphones. Through the use of real time questioning, instant result aggregation and visualization, teachers can gauge the whole class’ current level of understanding. Socrative saves teachers time so the class can further collaborate, discuss, extend and grow as a community of learners.

Socrative Apps  - Available for Students and Teachers  (Chrome Store, Apps Store, Google Play)

Socrative Twitter Account 


Flubaroo  Grade online assignments in under a minute. Get reporting and analysis on student performance. Email students their scores.

Flubaroo Overview  - Simple step by step directions 

Flubaroo Twitter Account 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

WHS News 11/24/14

Make the most of the time you have with your students on this short week.  Make it a great week!! #Ownit  

Looking Forward
On Tuesday 11/25 during period 4 there will be a student lead assembly held in the gym.  Students will report to their period 4 class and after your attendance is taken, please walk your students to the gym.  The presentation will focus on gender identity in order to educate and dispel myths about transgender issues. 
**I heard talk around the building last week wondering if something happened to bring on this assembly.  The answer is NO.  Ms. Beck, elementary counselor and advisor to the LGBT Club proposed the idea to me as an awareness assembly.     

On Wednesday 11/26 - Yearbook club pictures will be going on throughout the day in the little theater.  The schedule and times are posted on your outlook calendar.  

Call for Presenters for "Edcamp Waldwick" on January 19. 
We are looking for volunteers to teach 35 minute sessions during the afternoon. 
Please e-mail Lara Karpinski ( or  ( with your ideas.  

Important Dates
Wednesday 11/26 - Minimum Day 
Wednesday, 12/3 - Learning & Collaborating Time
Saturday, 12/6 - The football team takes on Westwood HS for the Group 2 North 1 State Championship @ MetLife Stadium at 10am.  More on this to come.  
Thursday 12/11 - Winter Concert at 7pm   

PD Resources
The picture above comes from a new site I recently discovered Photos for Class that automatically sites and gives the proper attribution to the image.    I learned about the site from Richard Byrne @ Free Technology for Teachers.   Photos for Class - Quickly find and cite creative commons images 

Last week at our staff meeting I mentioned a blog post I read on communication that really made me think about my communication skills and how well was I really communicating with staff/parents/students and what needed to change.  The post was written by Jimmy Casas, who is a HS principal in Iowa and member of my PLN. Poor Communication...The Root of All Evil? 
I hope you take the time to read the post and consider sharing your reflection and/or thoughts on it in the comments section on this post of The Source @ WHS.  We all can learn and grow together.   Can you be a better communicator? How?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

WHS News 11/17/14

Tree planted in honor of Police Office Christopher Goodell

I have two words for you that I believe go hand and hand:  TIME & PRESSURE

Time... there is never enough time.  The pressure to get everything done related to school, home, health, family and on and on can become overwhelming.  Don’t think this only applies to adults.  Think about our students and the pressure they feel from teachers, peers and parents.  The stress of academics, athletics, fitting in, discovering who they are and the expectations put on them.  

I can’t add hours to the day, take away mandates, lower expectations or tell you everything is going to get easier.   We all are working extremely hard and trying to find the time to handle everything that is put on our plates.   

One thing that myself and the other district administrators want to do for you and our students is allow everyone to unplug and find time for family and for ourselves.   To do this, during the Thanksgiving break there will be NO HOMEWORK assigned for any class.  Students need a break and so do you.  I would also encourage all of you to leave the papers, and tests at school.  There will be no work-related emails or blog posts from me during our time off. 

No work should be assigned from Wednesday, 11/26 through Sunday 11/30.  Any pending assignments should be completed by 11/26 or must wait till Tuesday 12/2.  
*Dr. Casarico will be posting something formally to staff and parents later this week.  


Looking Forward 
Tuesday 11/18: The Boys Soccer Team plays for the Group 1 North Championship @ Indian Hills HS at 5pm.  Congratulation post for winning the Sectional Championship 

Wednesday 11/19: I would like to have a brief staff meeting from 3:05 - 3:30.  I have a few items I want to share with everyone related to the future!  

Friday 11/21: SGO Fun Club meeting right after school.  JEANS needed to get in!!!   

Wednesday 11/26:  Yearbook - club pictures will be taken.  A schedule with times and clubs will be posted later this week.  

Wednesday 11/26: Minimum Day
Wednesday 11/26 - Sunday 11/30 - No Homework Days 

Recent Blog Posts
I have been busy over the last few weeks posting on Waldwick High School Principal's Blog. I won't list all the posts individual, but if you have not been reading the blog here is the link.  

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb" 
Nelson Mandela