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. Story - Sayreville Football 

Monday, September 29, 2014

WHS Staff News - 9/29/14

Looking Back
Goodell Jean Day - Thank you to everyone that donated on Friday and to those who purchased a T-Shirt.  We collected over $2,000 for the Christopher Goodell Scholarship Fund.  Another great example of how WarriorNation comes together! 

Looking Forward 

Learning and Collaborating Time - Wednesday 10/1 
We will be meeting this week in the little theater at 3:10.  The meeting will be brief, so you will have time on your own.

Safe School Online Training - Deadline to complete all courses is this Friday (10/3)   

AP Teachers - Please start collecting AP registration money from your students.  Ms. Cassidy sent an email out on Friday with details.  Any questions, please see Penny Gastman.   AP Registration Form  

This week we have an away football game on Thursday at 2pm in Glen Rock.  Members of the football team and cheerleaders will have an early release.   Football players will be released at 11:20 am and the cheerleaders at 11:53 am.  

HSPA Testing 10/7 - 10/9 - See email from Penny for more details

Week of Respect:  October 6-10
On Monday 10/6 Creative Interventions will perform for the HS in the Little Theater. 
9am (Period 2) Grades 10 & 12
9:40am (Period 3) Grades 9 & 11 

Spirit Week is coming up during the week of 10/13 (Spirit Days will be announced later this week)
The Fall Pep Rally will be held on Friday, 10/17, starting at 2pm.  We will not be moving to Period 9.  Classes will be called down to the gym during 8th period.  

Professional Development Day - Wednesday 10/15 

Recent Blog Posts 

Monday, September 22, 2014

WHS Staff News 9/22/14

Photo credit
Fall is in the air, which means school is in full swing.  The fall sports teams are off to a great start.  If you have time, consider attending an upcoming game.  The students love seeing their teachers at their games!  Advisors have started meeting with their clubs and planning out events and activities.  If you are not an official advisor and want to get involved, see me and I can try to point you in the right direction.  

I know the beginning of the school year is VERY hectic, but hopefully you have established routines and things are calming down.   In talking with staff members and the supervisors, the early SGO deadline did not help.  It is something we will look at for next year.   

Last week the individual student passes were handed out.  Students should not be leaving your class without their pass.  The blue "room log" sheets will be left in your mailboxes later today which students will also need to sign before leaving the class.  The logs are room specific and help in cases when something happens during a specific period we can determine who was out of the room.   In addition to the students passes, we created special "Pink" passes for Study Hall, Media Center and Academic Support, which will be used for students in those particular classes.  If an administrator or hall duty teacher (really, any teacher) sees a student walking around without a pass, they should be stopped and asked where they are going and whose class they are coming from.  We need to be consistent and the students will follow.  

Lets have a great (Short) week!!  #Ownit

Looking Back
Back to School Night went very well last week.  I received a lot of positive feedback from parents on how great the teacher presentations were and how happy their children are with their teachers.

Looking Forward
Honeywell Test for staff will be on Tuesday, 9/23, @ approximately 7pm.  Please make sure you review your profile prior to the 23.  Letter & Honeywell Directions from Dr. Casarico

All of the required Safe School Online Training's, need to be completed by 10/3/14

Learning and Collaborating Time - Wednesday 9/24 (More info on this to follow)

Expect an Emergency Drill sometime this month. Make sure you have a key for any room you are assigned to and have reviewed lock down & evacuation procedures with all your classes.

No School - Thursday 9/25

Goodell Jean Day - Friday 9/26

Recent Blog Posts 
New Staff @ WHS

PD Resources 
Six ways to Be a Lifelong Learner via Jordan Collier  (@JCollierAR )
Why We Don't Truly Embrace Failure via George Couros ( @gcouros

Friday, September 5, 2014

WHS Staff News 9/5/14

Great start to the school year!  A little hot but hopefully things will cool down next week.  A few items to think about over the weekend. 

Lesson plans:  Plans should be up and posted by 8am on Monday.  Supervisors discussed the new format at your department meeting so please keep that in mind.

SGO - Q & A Session:  On Tuesday during periods 2 and 3 supervisors will be available to answer any question that might still be out there related to the process.   All forms and resources are available on The Source@ WHS.   

Webpages:  Staff webpages should have been updated already but please make sure they are up to date and include - Scoop and Sequence, Syllabus, Contact Info, Extra Help Time/location, Courses, Resources  and marking period 1 topics. 

80/20 Time:  14-15 Professional Growth Time (PGT)  If your interested in taking advantage of the 80/20 time please fill out the PGT form by Thursday, 9/11.  

Grade Level Meetings 
9th Grade Tuesday, 9/9 Period 9
12th Grade Tuesday, 9/9 Period 2
11th Grade Wednesday, 9/10 Period 4
10th Grade Wednesday, 9/10 Period 2

Period Attendance: Starting Monday I will be emailing or speaking with teachers that don't submit their period attendance in Genesis.  Please make sure attendance is taken at the beginning of each period.  

Safe School Online Training: Deadline for completion is 10/3/14 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Welcome Back Info 2014

I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed this summer more than others.  Maybe it was the great weather.  It could be that I took more time away and "Disconnected" from work. Whatever the reason, I had a blast.  I hope all of you had a chance to enjoy it as well and are recharged for the 14-15 school year.  We still have a few days left of summer, but I'm excited about getting back to school in September. 

What will the 2014-2015 school year bring us?  Over the last few years we all have experienced changes in many areas of education:  Testing, Evaluations, SGO's, AchieveNJ, PARCC, Common Core and on and on.  I want our focus at WHS this year to be all about the students.  Let's take a step back and center on them. Mandates are out of our control and it's part of the job.  But each and every one of you can control the environment in your classes, the interactions you have with students, the expectations you set and most importantly, the relationships you build over the 182 days you are with our students.  

Don't let high school SUCK! Make the learning fun, relevant, interesting, meaningful and share with them why.  Make your students love the books you read with them, teach them history in a way that blows their mind.  In the arts, let students dream and imagine where their talents may take them.  Teach science units that will inspire future scientists, engineers or doctors.  Develop math lessons that will create great thinkers and problem solvers.  Show them how far a second or third language can take them in the world we live in now and in the future.   If you do this, the students will come back looking for more and they will have an amazing high school experience.  That's our job!  That is what should be mandated of all of us!  That is how you #OwnIt!

*The inspiration for my comment above "Don't let High School Suck", was inspired by a blog post by Dr. Spike Cook (Elementary Principal, in southern NJ)  and a Ted Talk by Chris Lehman  (Principal of Science Leadership Academy, in Philadelphia PA).   

We have six New Staff members joining us this year @ WHS.  I know they are excited about joining us and I am confident they will be great additions:  

Sean Cosgrove - Social Studies
Kris Ann Minichetti - Math
Erica O'Hara - Science
Christine Osborn - World Languages
Stephanie Scheck - Language Arts

Michael Mayer - Supervisor of Instruction  
Rob Rolling - Supervisor of Instruction (New Role)

Summer Updates:
  • HS Gym Transformation - The gym looks GREAT 
  • Infrastructure Upgrade - As of this post, all cabling and fiber has been run throughout most of the HS.  The project is moving along, and it looks good for completion before September, but no guarantees.   As I know more I will keep everyone updated.   
Below are two links you will need to click on and fill out the information required.  Each form should take you less than two minutes to fill out.  This needs to be done prior to the start of school.
The first link asks for your automobile information and the second link is for your personal information.  Once you fill out the form make sure you hit the submit button.

Important Links/Resources

WHS Faculty Manual - It is also available on Google Drive under the WHS Staff Resources Folder.  (For new staff, I will show/explain the Google Drive Folder when I see you on August 26)

Laptop Cart Sign-out sheet  - This Google form will be used to signup for the laptops throughout the school year. 

Parent/Student Handbook 2014-2015 

Agenda for 9/2 & 9/3

Please have your staff webpages updated by September 4 for the first day of class. 

Genesis Gradebook is open. Class lists are available and assignments can be created.  

Dates to Note
Back to School Night - Wednesday, September 17 
September Learning and Collaborating Time - Wednesday, September 24 

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  ~Clay P. Bedford