Tuesday, December 6, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 12/5/16


We have a lot going on over the next few weeks as 2016 comes to an end and we look forward to 2017.  
This Wednesday, 12/7 we will be meeting as a staff after school in the Media Center for our Learning and Collaborating Time.  There are a few things I want to share. 

News Around the Building
Congratulations to Mr. Meltzer and his talented students on their award winning film - Chores.
Article from the Bergen Record Waldwick students win awards for short film
Link to their Film: Chores (Short Film)

Last week Mrs. Orlak presented at the National Council for Social Studies Conference in Washington, DC.  Sharing knowledge is a powerful tool and I encourage all of you to consider presenting at our upcoming Edcamp in January as well as conferences outside of Waldwick.  Great job Dayna!! 

Mid-Year Conferences - 1/27 - 2/3

Please use this link (Mid Year Conf Schedule) to fill in the time slot that works for you to schedule your mid-year conference. The sheet is broken up into departments.  I will provide more information on the Mid-Year conferences as we get closer.  

Upcoming Events 
Monday 12/12 - Desert Wars (Questions see Mr. Opderbeck)
Our WHS Students for Global Awareness Club will be hosting the Faculty Dessert War on Monday, 12/12.  As part of this event over the last few years our club has raised close to $1,000 to aid those in need around the world.  This year, we plan to make a donation to "Help for Haiti" (http://www.helpforhaiti.com/).
Staff members bake a special dessert that can be divided into many small parts.  Students pay a fee to be the judges as they rate your creations.  We've had quite a bit of fun!
This year, we plan on having the Dessert War on Monday 12/12.  Hopefully that would give us a little extra time on the prior Sunday to prepare. 
Wednesday 12/14 - Winter Concert 7pm in the Little Th

Friday 12/23 
Spirit Rally (11:30 - 12:36) More details to follow

Holiday Luncheon (Questions see Terais or Kerry)
We are looking to put together a holiday lunch for all HS staff members during the spirit rally on December 23.  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.  We are hoping to get everyone to attend.  If you are interested please see Terais or Kerry with payment of $8.00 no later than Friday, December 16.  If anyone is interested in baking or bringing a dessert please feel free to do so.  
Ugly Sweater Contest (Questions see Heather or Lara)
It is time to start thinking about your ugliest holiday sweater/sweatshirt and holiday gear.This year, the Evelyn Pagano Holiday Spirit Award, will be awarded to the best overall holiday look, not just the best ugly sweater/sweatshirt.Nothing goes better with an ugly sweater than a comfortable pair of jeans. (Mr. Meyers and Mr. Carroll have given the okay for us to wear jeans).The contest will take place on FridayDecember 23Judging will be conducted by our unbiased panel.  More details about the judging will follow. Please show your holiday spirit and don't be a Grinch. 
Recent Blog/Twitter Posts 
WHS November Students of the Month
Congratulations Anthony Tutschek - County Band
Official WHS Mannequin Challenge (feat. Enzo Amore)
Parent Input Survey


#OwnitWHS

Monday, November 7, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 11/7


Looking forward to the four day weekend!!

Election Day tomorrow - I am asking all staff, with the exception of the Physical Education Department, to please park in the upper lot tomorrow.  We are expecting heavy traffic tomorrow with voters coming and going.   

No Homework - As you know, this is our week with no homework.  Some of you have experienced concerns about a whole week, but it is really only two and a half days.  In the future, we will not be having full school weeks off.  I will be putting in place homework free weekends for each of the next three marking periods and those dates will be published for everyone in advance.  I strongly encourage you to talk with your students this week or on Monday and ask what students did with their time or if they feel refreshed from having the break.  Ask them to reflect on their effort during the first marking period and would they make any changes.  

Grading Info for MP 1 
REMINDER:  Wednesday, November 9, is the last day of the First Marking Period.  The following outlines important grading information:

GRADING OPENS:  Wednesday, November 9 @ 9 AM

GRADING CLOSES:   Wednesday, November 16 @ 9 AM

REPORT CARDS/PARENT ACCESS:  Will be available for viewing on Friday, November 18 @ 9 AM

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • Each Student should receive a numerical grade and a minimum of one comment.
  • The Comment Lists for HS and MS are NOT the same.
  • After entering all of your grades and comments (be sure to save your entries), Verification Reports 70770 & 70780 for each class should be e-mailed to your Supervisor no later than 9 AM Wednesday, November 16.
  • ESL students should be receiving a numeric grade this marking period (per previous instruction by Mrs. Manning); therefore, an ESL Narrative form will not be required. 
Good Reads for Professional Growth
This level of workload expected of teachers is not improving schools but it is wrecking lives
This article summaries how some of you are feeling.  I get it, and understand your frustration!

Recent Blog Posts/Tweets
Warrior Gear Sale 
Homework Free Week 
CPR/First Aid Certification 





Monday, October 24, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 10/24


"There are no two ways about it - teaching is demanding. We're counting on our teachers to shape and transform our next generation, but we pay them salaries comparable to that of someone who works at a rental car counter. We expect them to deal with learning, family, motivational, and life issues for hundreds of students yet decide that they are not trustworthy that we need to hold their feet to the fire with nonsensical standardized tests. We blame them when things don't go exactly the way we want - with a given child, class, school, or national cohort - yet we do next to nothing to support them. Yet they persevere, and come to school every day committed to helping our kids become better people. So, to our teachers, we say thank you!!"


This statement came from the book, Most Likely to Succeed by Tony Wagner. Tony Wagner was the keynote speaker at the conference I attended last week. I know this is how some of you feel, but I believe in you and there are many others out there that support your work and understand how hard you are working.  

Below is another statement from his book which talks about our current schooling system and issues that teachers and students are facing today.  

"Today more than ever, we prize academic achievement, pressuring our children to get into the "right" colleges, have the highest GPAs, and pursue advanced degrees. But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy. Our school system was engineered more than a century ago to produce a workforce for a world that no longer exists. Alarmingly, our methods of schooling crush the creativity and initiative young people need to thrive today."

What are we doing at WHS to create a school culture that breeds creativity and innovation? We talk about building relationships, creating engaging lessons, challenging our students, but can we do more? When I say more, I don't mean more work, I mean thinking differently about the approach we take to teaching our students. The work has begun for so many of you. Lets keep it going!! 
On Wednesday, we have a scheduled Learning and Collaboration Time.  Please use that time to think about your teaching.  Are you creating a learning environment where students' creativity is fostered and encouraged to go deeper?  Think about this on Wednesday:  What if for your next assessment you gave a blank Google Doc to all of your students and asked them to write/sketch/record/etc. what they have learned from the current topic/concept/standard you were teaching? No study guide, no review, no extra help. What would you get? Would you get great answers with examples, links to resources, all the steps to solve a problem, etc. Would that not demonstrate learning? If the students couldn't provide solid answers, would that not be a poor reflection on you as the teacher? 

No Homework week of November 7
Factors on this decision ... 
Three day work week
End of the marking is Wednesday 11/9
Gives students a chance to re-energize for Marking Period 2 
Ask students to self-reflect on their effort during the first Marking Period
Get feedback from your students
No Homework should be due on Monday, November 14

Would love to have face to face conversations on these topics throughout the week with all of you. I want to hear your thoughts and ideas.  

Google Classroom 
I have received a few parent emails regarding Google Classroom and their not receiving the email summaries. As I am troubleshooting the issue, please make sure you have the Guardian Email Summaries selected to be ON. 

*In Classroom .... under the STUDENT Tab .... Guardian Email Summaries ... Include this Class ... ON position. (See image below)
If you don't have it on, please turn it on.  



Important Dates

Spirit Week 
Tuesday - American Day 
Wednesday - Twin Day
Thursday - Formal Day (Students) Staff (Casual Day)
Friday - Color Day & Spirit Rally 2:00 pm - Students will be called down from their Period 8 class.  We will not move to Period 9.

Tuesday 10/25 Photo Retakes (12 - 2:30 pm Greenberg Center)
Wednesday 10/26 Learning and Collaboration Time 
Thursday 10/27 Parent Workshop Naviance Training (8-8:45 am & 6:30-7:30 pm Little Th)
Friday 10/28 - Class Ring Ordering During Lunch (Sophomore Class)
                       Senior Class Picture "17" on the Hill at 1:45 pm
Monday 10/31 - Halloween 


Around the building 


Mr. Noschese has a student teacher with him this semester, David Fox. I asked David to introduce himself to the staff...  


I’m a recent addition to Waldwick High School and have been thoroughly enjoying the experience thus far. I’m currently working alongside Mr. Noschese as a student teacher and will continue at this position for the extent of the fall semester. This is, most certainly, a learning experience. I’m accumulating a wealth of knowledge throughout my time here and storing it for future use in a potential classroom of my own.

However, for now I’m still in the process of receiving my teaching certificate from Felician University and will be finishing up by the end of this fall (2016). I’ve also earned a Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Delaware. Ultimately, my educational foundation has been set by these two institutions, but my true understanding is growing each and every day.


This includes my time at Waldwick and truthfully, much of what I know about teaching today has been enriched exponentially from the time spent within here. Granted, one can only learn so much from a textbook and the process of performing the actual day to day duties supersedes anything we can encounter behind a desk. So, thank you for providing me with this opportunity to sharpen my craft through meaningful connections with your students and yourselves.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 10/17

Saw this tweet the day after our PD Day last week and could not agree more with it! 

Still processing what was discussed last Monday at our PD day.  I believe it was a productive day that shed light on a few important topics and hopefully I cleared up some of the confusion that was around the building.  My next step will be meeting with the supervisors and the ScIP Team to create a clear plan moving forward.  Conversation is healthy when both sides are listening and we will continue to have these conversations. 


Warrior Wednesday's 
Starting this Wednesday, staff will be allowed to wear Jeans with.....
Warrior Gear
Blue and White
College Gear
Causes (Pink this Month for Breast Cancer Awareness)


Important Dates
Spirit Week is the week of 10/24
  • Monday - Pajama Day
  • Tuesday - America Day
  • Wednesday - Twin Day
  • Thursday - Formal Day
  • Friday - Color Day 
    • Seniors - Black
    • Juniors - White
    • Sophomores - Blue
    • Freshmen - Pink 
Thursday 10/20 and Friday 10/21 - I will be out of the building attending the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association Fall Conference.  I am presenting at the conference and cannot wait to share all of the great things going on at WHS because of all of you!! 

Wednesday 11/2 - Eighth Grade Open 

Around the Building

We have two Social Worker Interns working with Lynda Fabbo this Fall. 

A little about them...

Allison Marcus is a second-year MSW student at Rutgers University. She attended Binghamton University and Ramapo College, where she received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminology.  She has previously worked with high school students as a substitute teacher.  Last year, she interned at a long-term care facility with the elderly and over the summer, she interned with a non-profit in Brooklyn that provides training for front-line child welfare workers.  She has an interest in mental health counseling, which she hopes to integrate into a career as a counselor for young adults in higher education.

Gabrielle Quinones is a second year MSW student at Ramapo College. She has a background of working with children with autism and children in the foster care system.  She went to Montclair State University for her undergrad, where she received a BA in Family Child Studies and minored in child advocacy.  In the past, Gabrielle has worked in a private school for children with autism and interned at an outpatient facility for children and adolescents.  Gabrielle hopes to continue to work in the field of families and children. 

Recent Blog/Twitter Posts

FYI
Over the weekend a Twitter account was created bashing our students and staff.  Multiple students contacted me on Sunday concerned about it and shared screenshots of the tweets.  I contacted Twitter to try to get the account deleted.  I also tweeted about it (Screen Shots of my Tweets below) and got a great response from parents and students.  As of 4pm yesterday the account was down.  Not sure if Twitter took it down or the creators, but it's gone.  



#OwnitWHS



Sunday, October 2, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 10/3



Welcome to October!! 

Busy week ahead of us with WHS taking part in Week of Respect. There are also a few items that need be taken care of so review the "To Do Items" listed below.   

On Monday I will have two aspiring administrators from William Paterson University's Leadership Program shadowing me for the day.  We will be around the building and in and out of learning rooms all day.  

Next Monday, October 10th is our first scheduled PD day. We will be working togther as a faculty in the Media Center. I will share more about the day later this week.  The PD will start at 1:20 and finish at 3:50 (Note the end time). Period 9 will end at 12:30 instead of 12:36 (This only applies to HS classes and there will be no bell). 

Around the Building 
The new outdoor tables are almost all assembled and we are getting umbrellas for all of them. 

New 3D Printed #WarriorNation sign went up on Friday.  Big thank you to Ms. Hummel and Jenjira Townsend for the design.  



To Do Items 
Voicemail - The new phone system is up and running.  Mr. Vaccarino sent an email out last week with setup instructions.  Everyone needs to take five minutes and setup their voicemail. I posted the directions on The Answers (under the Technology box) as well.  

Field Trips 2016 - 2017 School Year - Last call for field trip requests.  The October 17 BOE meeting will be the last meeting for field trips.  Get your forms in and add your trip to Field Trip Sheet.  

Genesis Gradebook
Gentle reminder to keep your Gradebook up to date and follow our guidelines for inputting assignments.  


Important Dates 
This Wednesday's scheduled Learning and Collaboration Time in canceled. We will reschedule for 10/26 (Donna will update the calendar).  I am changing the date so we can have a followup get togther after our PD day of 10/10.  

Week of Respect Events (Assembly times and dates)

Monday, October 3:  World Day of Bullying Prevention - Students and staff will wear blue.

Tuesday, October 4:  Grades 9 & 10 will be attending a presentation by the Ganley Foundation in the Little Theater from 10:30 - 11:20 AM.  
This heartfelt and empowering presentation offers educational basics and insights into the world of youth depression and suicide through real life stories and expert input.  The shared perspectives of a mental health expert and suicide attempt survivor encourage a dialogue with the audience which carries forward their message about the importance of mental health, depression awareness, suicide prevention and how to obtain help.

Wednesday, October 5:  Grades 11 & 12 will be attending a presentation by Gian Paul Gonzalez in the Little Theater from 1:30 - 2:20 PM.  
Mr. Gonzalez has traveled across the nation as a motivational speaker for many corporate, athletic, government and educational institutions.  His message of being "All In" has reached people across the world.  Gian Paul earned a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and is founder of an organization called Hope and Future, which is dedicated to helping inner city youth.  Gian Paul is represented by A Vision in Motion Speakers Bureau.

Friday, October 7:  Students and staff district-wide will wear orange and jeans.

Recent Blog/Twitter Posts 
Week of Respect
Random Acts of Kindness
Pictures from Girls Fr Soccer Game 10/1/16






#OwnitWHS 

Monday, September 26, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 9/26


Good news just keeps on coming....... As you know last week we had the arrival of Colin O'Hara and then Monday afternoon I received word that Mason Argo was born.  Both sets of parents are doing great and just like that, we have two new members of #WarriorNation. 

Thank you to the staff members inputting the parent email addresses into Google Classroom. You all will get a free Jean Day pass for your time and effort!  PE staff, not sure what you would want but we can talk.  

On Monday a group of student leaders attended a leadership event at Fair Lawn HS with Ms. Terzini and Mr. Freeman.  Here is a pic of a few of my tweets from the event to give you a sense of what the students heard and the message of the speakers. 




Cleaning of the Building 
Last week I met with Andy Gamper and John Griffin to discuss the cleaning of the building by the custodial staff.  What you can expect regarding cleaning of the classrooms:

Daily - All garbage cans will be emptied, the floor will be swept and the tops of the tables/desks will be wiped down.  
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week, the custodians will clean all white boards.  The cleaning of the boards on Friday will include the entire board.  This means that if you have HW boxes, or objective boxes, etc, they will be cleaned also and the information will be lost.  Please plan accordingly.
Weekly - Classroom floors will be mopped at least once per week.    

If there are any issues with your room or work-space, or anything else in the building that is a concern to you, please let me.

Week of Respect Events (Assembly times and dates)

Monday, October 3:  World Day of Bullying Prevention - Students and staff will wear blue.

Tuesday, October 4:  Grades 9 & 10 will be attending a presentation by the Ganley Foundation in the Little Theater from 10:30 - 11:20 AM.  
This heartfelt and empowering presentation offers educational basics and insights into the world of youth depression and suicide through real life stories and expert input.  The shared perspectives of a mental health expert and suicide attempt survivor encourage a dialogue with the audience which carries forward their message about the importance of mental health, depression awareness, suicide prevention and how to obtain help.

Wednesday, October 5:  Grades 11 & 12 will be attending a presentation by Gian Paul Gonzalez in the Little Theater from 1:30 - 2:20 PM.  
Mr. Gonzalez has traveled across the nation as a motivational speaker for many corporate, athletic, government and educational institutions.  His message of being "All In" has reached people across the world.  Gian Paul earned a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and is founder of an organization called Hope and Future, which is dedicated to helping inner city youth.  Gian Paul is represented by A Vision in Motion Speakers Bureau.

Friday, October 7:  Students and staff district-wide will wear orange and jeans.

Good Reads for Professional Growth 
Recent Blog/Twitter Post

Always remember this!!!

#OwnitWHS 

Monday, September 19, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 9/19



Third week in and all I can say is thank you!! We are off to a great start and Back-to-School Night went extremely well. The positive feedback I have received has been more than any other year.  I might be getting the comments or emails from the parents, but they are all about what WE are doing here at WHS. Below are a few comments I pulled from the emails: 

You have really built a great team and are doing a great job making learning fun for the kids. I grew up here and the school has never looked so good!

Each and every teacher seems to truly care about the students. They all seem very passionate about making sure each student thrives. My child is extremely happy with all her teachers and I can honestly say this is the first year she has ever said that. 


Kudos to you and your staff for a wonderful Back to School Night last night! Every teacher I had the pleasure of meeting was enthusiastic, professional and passionate about his/her subject matter. It was exciting to hear about the new education trends and how WHS is implementing them. I was also impressed with the physical appearance of the building. Freshly painted rooms and halls, new furniture and the latest technological products--not many high schools have three-dimension printer! Pretty awesome! I'm excited for my son as he starts his junior year at WHS.


Random Announcements 

Since last year, the bell to end Period 1 does not ring.  We are not sure why.  Until its fixed, please be aware of the end time of Period 1. (8:59 AM)

We have noticed that the ringer volume on the new phones is set to a low level.  Please take time today to set the volume by pressing on the "+" symbol.  The office will be using the new phones to call students out of class.  In the future we might be using the phones as our bells. 

This weekend three WHS staff members took part in a two day professional development event connected with a grassroots movement called NJ Standard Advocates.  Representing Waldwick High School were Amy Baskin, who is part of the leadership team for the group, along with Stephanie Scheck and Taline Royland.  

Important Dates 

Monday 9/19 - Senior Class meeting with Guidance Period 4.  Please take attendance and then send your students to the Little Theater.
Tuesday 9/20 - Sophomore Class Assembly (Remembering 9/11 with former NYC Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik).  Sophomores will be called down at the end of Period 2. The assembly will last all of Period 3.  
Wednesday 9/21 - Learning and Collaborating Time (We will be meeting in the Media Center at 3:10) 

Good Reads for Professional Growth 

What College Never Taught Me About Teaching
Don’t Believe The Hype: Inaccurate NJ School ‘Rankings’ Are Misleading At Best

Recent Blog/Twitter Posts 

NJSIAA Message - True Purpose of High School Athletics
Pictures from Varsity Girls Soccer - 9/15/16






#OwnitWHS