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
                     

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WHS Summer News (July 2014)


Summer day flying kites 

I hope everyone is enjoying their time away from WHS.  I wanted to share a few things with all of you as July comes to an end.
  • This summer I will be writing a blog series titled, “Before School Starts – To Do List” for students and parents.  The series will have 8 - 10 blog posts associated with it. The first post was published on 7/28.  

Before School Starts TO DO LIST #1 Fall Athletes get your paperwork IN

  • All classrooms at the HS have been cleaned and put back together.  The custodians really did a great job.
  • The technology infrastructure project is moving along at a good pace.  At the HS/MS complex, the MS wiring is almost complete and work on the HS should begin later this week.  
  • The HS Gym renovation is complete.  You can see before and after pictures here: http://whsprincipal.blogspot.com/2014/07/hs-gym-transformation.html
  • Supply orders, equipment, textbooks, etc. have all been coming in throughout the summer.
  • All of the open teaching positions have been filled.  We will have five new teachers on staff with us in September.
 Summer Reading Suggestions 
5 ways to Provide Parents a Window Into Your Classroom 


Thoughts and prayers for the family of fallen Waldwick Police Officer Chris Goodell.  Thanks to all the staff members that were able to come by WHS for the procession.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

WHS News - 4/3/14


It's almost Spring Break ...... Marking Period 3 ends today...... I just finished the Final Exam Schedule..... where did this year go?  Its been a very busy year for all of us but a lot has been accomplished and there is so much for us to be proud of.  I still feel the energy and passion when talking to staff members who are still creating and trying new ideas within their lessons.  Don't lose that!!   

April is Autism Awareness Month - On Friday, April 4, there will be a "Light It Up Blue Jean Day"  

Student Council has put together a "Spring Kickoff Week"
Monday - Disney Day
Tuesday - Twin Day
Wednesday - Switch it up Day
Thursday - Warrior Day (Pep Rally @ 2pm)
Friday - Beach Day


Congratulations to Danielle Kish and her husband Andor on the birth of their son, Brooks Parker.  Welcome to #warriornation


The Echo recently posted some new articles.  Check them out on the Echo Blog 

Final Exam Schedule - Draft 13-14 Exam Schedule 


PD Resources 


Great post on the differences between engagement and empowerment within your classroom.  Highly recommend you read this!  
The Myths of Technology - Technology equals Engagement via George Couros   

Looking to do more online quizzes or interactions with your students during class or at home. Here are two blogs posts with great resources via - Freetech4teachers.com

Quizbean Opens quiz bank for sharing

Seven-good-student-response-systems

Monday, March 10, 2014

WHS News 3/10/14

Bye, Bye HSPA..... you have been good to us over the years, but it's time to move on.  Put away the #2 pencils and get working on the keyboards... The PARCC testing is here!!  Thank you to everyone who proctored over the three days of testing.  Big thank you to Mrs. Gastman for coordinating and organizing the three days of testing.  Also need to thank Mrs. Baskin and Mrs. Katz for helping out each day as well.

WHS will be field testing the Algebra 1 PARCC test on 3/25.  More details on this will be out shortly.  Classes will be running on a normal schedule during the field test.  Only students testing will have a modified schedule.

Time well spent!  I hope the PD time you had during testing worked to your benefit.  I heard a lot of positive comments coming out of the meeting related to CCSS /PARCC Implementation Plan.  Thank you to Mrs. Baskin and the Language Arts teachers for all their work on this project.  I also need to thank Mrs. Pastore and Ms. McCann for putting together the RST templates.
You can find the RST template on the bottom of the Language Arts webpage on the HS site.  I have uploaded them as word document and PDF's.
Link to RST Templates    

School News

Congratulations to Mike Clancy and his wife Sylvia on the birth of their third child, Noah Clancy, born on March 5.

Mrs. Kish's last day was Friday, March 7.  We have two teachers filling in for her.  One of the teachers might be a familiar face, Jennifer Edreos, who has been working in the Middle School for the past two years as a leave replacement and this year in a part-time role.  Taking over Mrs. Kish's AP English and Composition class will be Betsy Panico.  Mrs. Panico is a retired teacher who worked in the Northern Valley School District.

The cast and crew did an amazing job last week with their production of "Legally Blonde." Legally Blonde - Huge Success 

Recent Blog Posts/Tweets

Greenberg Center gets a new look - Thanks to the Booster Club
Minds Eye 2013-2014 Edition 

Good Reads/PD Resources 

Did you read "Teach Like a Pirate" this summer by Dave Burgess.  Would you like to hear Dave speak about his book?   Well, Dave is speaking this Thursday at Manville High School, NJ at 4:30pm.  You can read more about this event here: Pirate Event on 3/13

SAT Changes are coming in Spring of 2016
Redesigned SAT via The College Board
A new SAT Aims to Realign With Schoolwork via The Washington Post

Friday, February 21, 2014

WHS News - 2/21/14

Spring will be here soon!!

Sorry for the lack of posts the past two weeks.  I am going to try to catch everyone up on some WHS news with this post.  Some of the information is a bit old, but still important so I wanted to include it.

Mid-year evaluation meetings are almost over.  I only have one or two people left to meet with and should be done by Monday.  The process definitely took longer than we thought, but overall, we really think the process was beneficial to everyone and we all learned somethings along the way.  I wanted to thank the overwhelming number of staff members who really took the time to review the rubrics and honestly assess themselves.  Without honesty and self-reflection, there can be no growth.  We get to do this all again in April. Hopefully, staff now knows what the administration is expecting and areas you can work on.

School News 


Congratulations to Kristi and her husband, Mike, on the birth of their third daughter Gianna.   Welcome to #warriornation Gianna!


Filling in for Krsiti will be Mrs. Sharon Katz.  Mrs. Katz is an experienced high school guidance counselor with several years in the business.  She was a high school guidance counselor at Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan.  She left to start a family a few years ago.  Mrs. Katz was a high school leave replacement counselor in Old Tappan last year as well.  Mrs. Katz is well versed in the complexities of the position and brings with her an enormous knowledge base that encompasses all aspects of being a successful high school counselor.  When you have time, stop by the Guidance Office and say hello. 
Congratulations to Josh and his wife, Erin on the birth of their son Bennett Charles Sussman.  Welcome to #warriornation Bennett!






Tonight the boys basketball team will play in the championship game of the Bergen Invitational Tournament @ Ridgewood High School at 7pm.  

HSPA Testing (March 4, 5 & 6)

Testing meeting for all proctors (Mandatory) – Wednesday, February 26

Testing Schedule 
Tuesday – Testing will be completed by 11:30 (move to period 5)
Wednesday & Thursday – Testing will be completed by 10:30 (Move to period 4)

Something new this year.......Delayed start for 9th, 10th and 12th Graders (The students don't know about this yet.  I will be speaking with them next week)

Tuesday 3/4
9am start for:   9th Grade (Sticks & Stones video/breakout sessions)
10am start for: 10th Grade (Implementing good teen safety driving habits) – location:  Cafeteria
12th Grade (Fire Safety - which focuses on dorm life) – location:  Little Theater

Wednesday 3/5 & Thursday 3/6

10am start for all 9th, 10th & 12th Graders 


Staff PD Time – All staff will get at least two hours of professional development time during the testing days.  Information on this will come from the supervisors and will be explained in more detail at the February 26 testing meeting.   

Recent Blog Posts 

Congratulations Cara Montella
Congratulations to Senior, Nicole Stahl 
January Student's of the Month 
Senior Night - Boys Basketball
Heart Screening @ WHS

Good Reads/PD Resources 

Mr. Ramiccio recently attended a workshop and one of the resources that was handed out gave great examples of "Depth of Knowledge" for levels and sample questions.  
DOK Resources 

The Global Teacher via George Couros


Tweets 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Digital Learning Day



Over the past two years, many of you have taken part in Digital Learning Day.  It would be great if everyone found someway to take part this year.  Digital Learning Day allows all of us to try something new, take a risk, have fun learning and find different ways to incorporate technology.   

As in the past, I have created a Google Doc (Digital Learning Day 2/5/14 @ Waldwick HS) where I am asking teachers to post what they have planned for Digital Learning Day.  #DLWHS Doc 

For the teachers that use Twitter with their classes, we will be using the hashtag #DLWHS to highlight the events of the day. 

Interested teachers can find free tools and examples on the following website:
http://www.digitallearningday.org/participate/educators/

To officially register for Digital Learning Day and share what you have planned please go to: http://www.digitallearningday.org/events/create-an-event/