Monday, November 16, 2015

WHS Staff News 11-16-15

The word or hashtag Ownit has become part of Waldwick High School.  Recently a parent brought to my attention that when you search #Ownit on social media you don't always get appropriate results. No one owns hashtags or has exclusive rights to use them but we don't want people thinking Ownit only applies to WHS.  With that said, this weekend I started using #OwnitWHS to represent Waldwick High School and keep our message going.  Sure, anyone can use this new hashtag for something other than WHS related posts, but the goal is to have one specific hashtag that represents what WHS is all about.  We all need to tell our story and share all of the positives and great things going at Waldwick High School.  For those that tweet, please start using #OwnitWHS in your tweets to get the message out and help bring attention to the new hashtag.

If you have not had a chance to give your input on the schedule, please take a few minutes today or tomorrow.
Feedback Form on Schedule

Character Ed - If you see or hear something positive, take a minute and recognize them.  Students or staff.
WHS Positive Referral (#OwnitWHS)

No Homework
The district again will be shutting down homework for the Thanksgiving and Holiday breaks.  A letter will be going out to the parents from Dr. Casarico; however, I wanted to give everyone advanced notice.

Important Dates
11/19 8th Grade Open House
11/20 9th Grade assembly (10:00 - 11:00) Bergen County Prosecutors Substance Abuse Awareness
11/25 Minimum Day

Video Worth Watching 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

WHS Staff News 10/19/15

Three weeks ago today we handed out Chromebooks.  Can you believe it has only been fifteen days with Chromebooks?  What did we do without them? I could not be more proud of what I have seen us do in such a short amount of time.  Everyone is learning new things, getting ideas from colleagues on different ways the technology can be used to enhance the learning.  I love what I see, could not be more proud and to be honest, I never doubted what this staff could do.  Our staff is amazing! 

Spirit Week 10/19 - 10/23
Monday - Pajama Day 
Tuesday - Disney Day
Wednesday - America Day
Thursday - Color Day (Staff Navy)
Freshmen (Green), Sophomores (Pink), Juniors (White), Seniors (Black)
Friday - Warrior Day 

**This Thursday we will have a Pep Rally period 9.  Classes will be called down from 8th period.  We will not move to period 9.  

Google Classroom 
In talking with teachers and students it seems like Google Classroom has been a big hit! Please keep sharing with others how you are using it.  Brian Browne put together a very detailed step by step guide on how to get your Google Classroom Calendar onto your Oncourse website.  Thanks Brian!! 
How to Embed a Google Classroom Calendar to an OnCourse Web Page

From The GoogleGooru
Everything you Need to Know In Google Classroom (Part 1)
Everything you Need to Know In Google Classroom (Part 2)

Recent Blog Posts for the WHS Principal's Blog 
Character = #Ownit @ WHS
WHS September Students of the Month 

Good Reads
What's better than this!! Welcome Violet Elizabeth to #WarriorNation 

Monday, October 5, 2015

WHS Staff News -10/5

I am sure glad that's over! 446 Chromebooks distributed in four days. Let the fun begin! 

Week of Respect 
This week WHS will take part in New Jersey's Week of Respect.  We have something going on each day, as well as something special going on behind the scenes for the entire week.  Next week I will share with you what Ms. Hused, Mrs. Fortini and I put together, along with the help of a great group of students.   Week of Respect 10/5 - 10/9

Upcoming PD (10/7 & 10/14)
This Wednesday we have a scheduled Learning and Collaboration Time and next week we have a minimum day for PD.  Please take advantage of the time on Wednesday to create, play, explore something you are using or plan on using in your learning room.  You can do a lot in 45 minutes when you focus on a task.  Plan what you want to work on.
On Wednesday, 10/14, there will also be a lot of time for you to drive your own learning.  Supervisors will be sharing their department topics/goals later this week.

PSAT schedule
Next Wednesday (10/14) we will be administering the PSAT during the school day.  In the past we have run the PSAT's on Saturday, but this year the CollegeBoard mandated that the test be given on a Wednesday.  Since Wednesday is a minimum day, we will not be running a delayed opening or modified schedule.  Testing will take place in the cafeteria periods 1 through 5-6.  The rest of the building will run on a minimum day schedule.  We have 180 sophomores and juniors signed up to take the test.  Sophomore and junior level courses will be light on the day of testing.  

  • All student will report to Homeroom;
  • All Study Halls will be moved to the Little Theater;
  • No bells for the day;
  • Testing will take place in the cafeteria.  Students with extended time will test in the Greenberg Center;
  • Academic support will still meet in Room 417.  Please use the hallway door to enter;
  • Science labs will not run on Wednesday, October 14; and,
  • All PE classes will meet in the Gym.

Mr. Hagen will be coordinating the testing schedule and the distribution of testing materials. Staff that will help proctor: 

Period 1 Gastman/Fortini/Wizemann
Period 2 Lazzaro/Kish
Period 3 Freeman/Osborn
Period 4 McCann/Dittamo/Cosgrove
Period 5 -6 Gastman/Fortini/Marzullo

Staff News 
Congratulations are in order for Penny Gastman.  On Friday Penny earned her 200th win as the WHS Volleyball coach!  Amazing accomplishment by not only a great coach, but an even better person.  
H.S. girls volleyball: Waldwick's Penny Gastman earns her 200th career win

Recent Blog Posts 

Chromebook are ALL out @ WHS

Monday, September 14, 2015

WHS Staff News - 9/14/15

Language Arts and Social Studies teachers are working with Heather Rocco today in the Media Center preparing for the 1-1 Learning at WHS.  Science and Math will be working with Philip Vinogradov next week.  We are always learning!

Just as a reminder, here are the guidelines for getting assignments posted in your Gradebook.
Timeline for posting assignments

Over the past week I have been tweeting motivational/thought provoking quotes each morning.  I would love to tweet out staff members favorite quotes.   If you would like to share, please email a quote that keeps you focused, motivates you or one that has special meaning.

Important Dates
9/16 - Learning and Collaborating Time
9/17 - Picture Day
9/23 - No School
9/24 - Back to School Night

Recent Blog Posts

Great start to the Fall Season

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

WHS Staff News - Week of 9/8/15

Lets make it a great week! Hopefully today and tomorrow will be the last blast of summer heat and we can look forward to some Fall-like weather. Sports teams are kicking off their season this week.  All athletic schedules can be found on the Rschool website.   If you have the time, stop by a game or two and support out student-athletes.

At this point, all students should have access to their GAFE account.  As a reminder, Gmail is disabled for students until we distribute the Chromebooks.  If a student has any issues with their Login or Password, you can send them to me.  

Grade Level Meetings will happen this week.   Please take attendance then walk your class to the Little Theater.  If you have a split class, then just send the students for that grade level after attendance is taken.  Teachers are more than welcome to stay, but feel free to use the time for yourself.  I would encourage new staff to sit in on at least one of the meetings.  

Seniors - Tuesday, Period 2

Freshmen - Tuesday, Period 9
Sophomores - Wednesday, Period 2
Juniors - Wednesday, Period 4

You can expect an emergency drill sometime this week, so please be sure you have reviewed fire drill, lockdown, and evacuation procedures with all of your classes.  Double check that you have a key for all of the rooms you are assigned to.  If you are missing a key, Mrs. Doheny has extra keys to hand out.  For the safety of everyone, please keep all classroom doors locked and use the magnetic strip to allow students to come and go.  

To be Completed

Everyone needs to find time to review IEP's and 504 plans for their students.  Check your email for the links to the sign-off forms.  

Safe Schools
Please complete all courses by 9/18.  Safe Schools Training
District Policies

In accordance with policy and statute, you are required to read and sign-off on the policies that are contained in the following link:
Once you have read and reviewed all listed policies, click on the link at the bottom of the page and complete the form to confirm your acknowledgment by Friday,  September 4Please get this done today if you have not submitted the form.

Professional Development 
Found a great Slide presentation about Google Classroom by Geri Feiock
Intro to Google Classroom  on Twitter.  The slide show contains a step-by-step guide with screens shots on all things Google Classroom.  

I created a Google Classroom for WHS.  You can join my class by using the Code: y2g6sl

Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome Back 2015

I hope everyone has had a great summer.  As I stated in an email last week, please enjoy your time off and don't stress the upcoming school year.  Instead, spend some time thinking or reflecting on what the 15-16 school will look like in your learning environment and how you want to create a positive experience for your students.   #Ownit

Our focus this year needs to be on the learning environment we provide to every student.  What is the vision.........

WHS 1-1 Learning Environment   

GOAL: Create opportunities for our students where learning is truly meaningful and powerful for them.

Each student has access to the world through the internet, which will allow teachers to create unique learning opportunities for all students.  The use of Web 2.0 tools will enhance lessons and give students an almost endless array of tools of both creativity and knowledge.

The learning environment does not change because of ………...
Google (GAFE), Chromebooks, textbooks, clickers, smart-boards, etc.,
It changes because the teacher creates an environment that facilitates learning, motivates students and connects with them as individual learners.  

Image Credit:
Please take a look at the agenda for the first two days back.  There is time built in for Google PD, subject specific PD and time for personal self-reflection and learning.   Please bring your  (charged) Chromebook on Tuesday.  
Agenda for 9/1 & 9/2

Chromebook Update (Student Distribution) 
  • Students will not get their Chromebooks until Monday, September 28. 
  • There will be two Parent Information Sessions to answer any questions and explain what the 1-1 Learning Environment is all about (9/16 & 9/24).
  • Students will have their Gmail account for the start of the school year so they will have access to GAFE Apps at home. 
  • I will share more details about the role-out at our meeting on 9/1.
We have six new teachers joining the WHS family this year.  We are very excited to have them join our team and we are confident they will be great additions to our school community.

New Staff

Deana Argo - Business 
Brian Browne - Chemistry 
Taline Royland - Math 
Kirsten Musciano - Physical Education (Leave Replacement)
Elaine Thoman - Music (Leave Replacement) 
Sarah Van Vliet - Art (Leave Replacement)

Summer Updates 

The building has never looked better! Could not be more proud of the custodians for what they accomplished this summer.  
  • Painting around the building, hallways cleaned like they have never been before and look great! 
  • Three classrooms received new chairs and tables (138, 139, 501). 
  • The Media Center is transforming into more of a Maker Space environment which Erin is extremely excited about.  The room has been opened up, to allow for some new furniture and space for students and staff to create and learn.  
  • Room 305 has been transformed into a multi-purpose space that has a fully functional kitchen and laundry area which can then be utilized as a career ready educational environment. Mr. Clancy has taken the lead on overseeing the program and will be working closely with Maggie Hart and Frank Clark.
Below are two links you will need to click on and fill out the required information. Each form should take you less than two minutes to fill out.

Registration of Automobile                           Personnel Records

Importation Links/Resources

Safe Schools  - Reminder: There are 7 courses that need to be completed by 9/18.

WHS Staff Resource Folder
Faculty Manual 
Student Parent Handbook 
*This folder will be used to share school related documents. More documents will be added over the next few days as well as throughout the school year.

Blog Post from Waldwick High School Principal's Blog
Opening of School Info for Parents/Students 

Important Dates
Back to School Night - September, 24
September Learning and Collaborating Meeting - September 16

The building is ready so if you want to stop by and do anything in your learning rooms, feel free! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PD Corner: Google Classroom Resources (#WaldwickGAFE)

This post highlights some of my go to PLN members when it comes to my own learning, with a focus on Google Classroom!

This is a great podcast via Jeff Bradbury from Teachercast featuring Alice Keeler  on Google Classroom.

Below are 3 links from Alice Keller's Blog related to Google Classroom.  She has over 50 blog posts related to Google Classroom.  Alice is an amazing resource when it comes to all things Google.  She recently co-authored a book 50 Things you can do with Google Classroom.   
I just finished her book and what an easy read, which gave step by steps directions and had great simple ideas to incorporate into your teaching. 

Collection of posts related to Google Classroom 

60 Ways Math Teachers can use Google Classroom 

5 Things You May Not Know About Google Classroom  

Another person that has amazing resources is Brian Seymour, who has a great collection of how to videos on his Youtube Channel