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 (karpinskil@waldwick.k12.nj.us) or  (hummele@waldwick.k12.nj.us) 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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

WHS News 10/6/14

Looking Forward

Week of Respect 
On Friday All staff and students are encouraged to wear ORANGE.  Jeans will be allowed as well for the day.  

Next Week is Spirit Week (All staff is encouraged to participate) 
Monday - Pajama Day
Tuesday - Switch It Up Day
Wednesday - Formal Day
Thursday - Color Day (Staff Color is Gray)
Seniors Red, Juniors Black, Sophomores Yellow, Freshmen Green
Friday - Waldwick Gear

Wednesday 10/15 Professional Development/Minimum Day
Schedule will be posted by the end of the week by Dr. Casarico

Friday 10/17
1:45 Senior Class "15" Picture 
2pm Pep Rally
7pm Home Coming Football Game 

Technology Update

On Friday the BluePrint classes will be doing a stress test on the wireless network.  If all goes well the laptops will be available starting next week. 

What we have right now

Cart #1 - 17 machines (Room 417 Cart)
Cart #3 - 16 machines
Cart #4 - 16 machines
Cart #5 - 16 machines
Cart #7 - 18 machines
Cart #8 - 24 machines

As I type this post, there are still four access points not working (310, 311, Gym, Greenberg Center).  The focus is getting all district owned devices up and running on the network.  The next step will be getting those staff members who are interested in getting their personal devices connected.  The third step will be student devices.  

We are planning on purchasing 25 ChromeBooks at the end of the month to pilot how they work and their reliability.  

New Graduation Requirements
NEW Graduation Requirements for the Classes of 2016, 2017 & 2018

In the News 
Unfortunately, another NJ high school has been in the news recently for what seems to be a very disturbing issue related to HIB.  I wanted to share the most recent article with you and remind everyone that we, as educators, have a responsibility to speak up and if you hear about an incident or suspect something is going on, please come forward.  No town or school is ever totally immune from having an incident become the lead story on the news; however, if we are proactive and address issues immediately, we can hopefully avoid this type of situation.    

NJ.com Story - Sayreville Football