Monday, May 8, 2017

WHS Staff News - Week of 5/8/17

The unforgettable Ferris Bueller, said it right ... "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I feel as though I have missed the last two weeks... and it's only going to get more hectic and busy from now until June. I'm not complaining. What made me bring this up is how great of a staff we have at WHS. I have been so tied up with end of year evaluations, next year's schedule, interviews, testing, etc. and yet, everything keeps running! Instruction continues, the offices are working, supervisors are meeting with teachers and Mr. Clancy is making things happen. I don't want to miss this opportunity to say THANK YOU for all you do. I truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to the students of WHS. Together we all make this place special!!

This week being National Teacher Appreciation Week I have a few surprises to say thank you! A teacher's job is not easy but you can make a difference everyday in the lives of our students.   

PARCC Update
The Math portion of PARCC starts on Friday. Each section of the math is 90 minutes. We will be moving to Period 3 each day. Please review the link with all of the details for proctoring and the modified schedule.
WHS PARCC Resources 2017 - Everything You Need to Know

Important Dates
Wednesday 5/10 - We will be meeting in the Media Center for a staff meeting to discuss the "1st Run" of the new schedule, which will take place the week of May 22.

5/26 No School
5/29 No School
6/1 Prom
6/9 Final Exams start - 16-17 Final Exam Schedule 

April Students of the Month

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WHS Staff News - Week of 4/10/17

Spring Break will be a week for all of us to relax and re-energize as we head down the homestretch.  The building will not be getting a rest.  Over spring break there will be a lot of work done around the building.  There will be no access to the classrooms starting Friday 4/14 through Wednesday 4/19. There will be limited access on Thursday and Friday. What's going on ...

  • We will be completing the hallway project of replacing the drop ceilings and lights. By the end of the break all of the ceilings in the hallways will have been replaced and new lighting installed. We have be working on this project over the last three years.  
  • Work will be going on in the Cafeteria with the addition of another serving area for lunch in preparation for the rotating schedule. 
  • Installation of new of outside doors in the senior wing and senior lounge/Media Center area. 
  • The ceiling in Room 215 will be painted.
  • All the sink faucets (24) in the student bathrooms will be replaced, as well as some pluming work. 
Spirit Rally schedule - Sorry for the confusion on this but we will start calling students down at 2pm on Thursday. 


March Students of the Month

Enjoy your time off ... you deserve it!! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

WHS Staff News - Week of 4/3/17

Reminder we have our PARCC testing meeting tomorrow (4/5) in the Media Center at 3:10. Everyone is expected to be there. Please have your Chromebook with you and expect to be here untill 4pm. 

PARCC Resources - Everything you need to know  This link will be used tomorrow for the meeting. It contains: Student room assignments, proctoring schedule, PARCC links & resources.  Please review before Wednesday's meeting. 

Final Exams

Here is the link for this years Final Exam Schedule 

Next Year's Schedule
A group of teachers and I have meet twice already regarding concerns and questions related to next year's schedule. All concerns are being heard and we will be working together to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are planning to run the four day rotation in May as a trail run using this year's schedule.  We are looking at the week of 5/22. I will provide more information on this after spring break.

Important Dates 
Friday 4/7 - ASVAB Test 9am in the Greenberg Center 
Week of 4/10 - Spirit Week 
Thursday 4/13 - Spirit Rally 
Friday 4/14 - No School 
Spring Break 4/17 - 4/21 

Good Read

There are some great ideas here for increased student engagement
26 Research-Based Tips You Can Use in the Classroom Tomorrow

New Posts/Tweets

Monday, March 13, 2017

WHS Staff News - Week of 3/13


Saw this quote on one of Mrs. Raffaele's daily attendance emails and I love it. How simple, but so true (Thanks Jill). 

You know why WHS is such a great place?  It's because the people are KIND. I say that because when I read Matt Strzala's "Big Thanks" email, it reminded me that so many of you go above and beyond for each other as professionals and as friends everyday.  Read his email, WE all should be proud that Matt felt this way about WHS in just five months. Pretty Special!! 
Dear Faculty & Staff:
Since today is my last day at WHS, I want to thank everyone for a warm welcome and stay. The atmosphere within Waldwick High is supportive and caring. Everyone who I met and/or saw on a daily basis allowed me to grow as an educator and person. I've learned so many things from all members and will never forget the impact that this district has had on me. Thank you to the administrators who believed in me and took the time to check on how things are going and being there for me for the past 5 months. I can tell you that I will definitely miss this place, but remember all the memories with everyone for years to come. As a whole, you all helped in advising me into the teacher I am by welcoming, assisting, and bonding. Once again, thank you all for everything. I hope we all can keep in touch and definitely see each other soon! Have a great year and summer! 
Best Wishes,
Mat Strzala

As Matt moves on to a full-time position, we welcome Julia Clinton to WHS who will finish the school year for Mrs. Dojer.  Stop by Room 141 to say hello!

Important Dates
Tuesday 3/14 - ⛄  ⛄  ❄ ❅ ❆ 
Thursday - 3/16 - Professional Development (Schedule should be out later today from Supt)
Friday 3/17 - A group of students will be taking the ASVAB test in the morning
Wednesday 3/22 - NHS Blood Drive 
Friday - 3/24 - End of MP 4

Good Read
Find TIME to read this post because it might help with that problem I hear from so many of you ... We just don't have enough TIME.  
7 Time-Saving Strategies For Teachers That Put Students First

New Post/Tweets 
WHS February Students of the Month
The Addams Family Musical - WHAT A SHOW

Monday, March 6, 2017

WHS Staff News - Week of 3/6

I guess this image is right about March this year.  

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes on Friday.  It was a special day! 

We have three weeks to the end of the 3rd marking period so please keep your grade books up to date and if you need to reach out to any parents, don't wait till the last minute. 

New Schedule Committee
Thank you to the 19 staff members who volunteered to be part of the committee. I had to cut the list down so I selected one teacher per department. If anyone from the Physical Education Department is interested in becoming part of the committee, there is a spot for you. The committee members will be sharing information with their departments as well as asking questions and giving feedback on key issues.  

Committee Members 
Danielle Kish - Lang Arts
Dena Argo - Related Arts
Ericka O’Hara - Science
Taline Royland - Math
Dayna Orlak - Social Studies
Christine Osborn - World Language
Maggie Kabobjian - Special Services

Meetings Dates (3:05 - 3:30)
3/14, 3/28, 4/4, 4/25, 5/9, 5/23

Important Dates
The Drama Club presents: Addams Family, The Musical - Shows are March 9, 10 & 11
*Chaperones still needed..... Ticket Takers 2017
Thursday 3/16 - Minimum Day/Professional Development 
Friday 3/17 - A group of students will be taking the ASVAB test in the morning

Good Reads
Achieving Differentiation Through Personalization & Individualization

Mrs. O'Hara had a great week on Twitter with her Rube-Goldberg projects. Check out her Twitter timeline for all of the great videos.   

Monday, February 27, 2017

WHS Staff News - Week of 2/27

It was great to see so many teachers taking their classes outside the classroom on Friday and utilizing the outdoor spaces we have added.  Over the past two weeks Gordon Andre has replaced all of the wooden benches in the courtyard and in "The Corner" (Area outside room 310/313) with Trex decking planks.  We also had a delivery of some new furniture, which was placed around the building.  We now have a seating area right outside the nurse's office and coming next week, there will be eight high top tables placed around the building.  The chairs are in, just waiting for the tables.  

These are all moves to help us create an environment that focuses on learning anytime, anywhere, as well as prepare for the common lunch. 

New Schedule
We are full steam ahead with implementing the new rotating/block schedule for next year.  I would like to create a committee that can focus on the needs and concerns of the staff, as well as create a detailed plan for "All the Little Things" that need to be looked at and addressed with the new schedule.  Committee Sign-Up Doc
I am in the process of setting up school visits to have WHS teachers spend a day or half a day observing and talking with teachers who are currently teaching in the block.  The ScIP Team is working on creating questions to help structure the visits. 

Parking - One of my favorite topics

First, we will be making changes for student parking next year.  A lottery system will be implemented due to the fact that there just are not enough parking spots for students.  More on that plan in September. 
Second is staff parking and the thought of assigning spots. I had a few conversations with a couple of staff members who would like to see assigned spots.  The middle school staff would need to be part of this conversation as well, but I want to gather some feedback from all of the HS staff.  Please take a minute to answer two questions related to parking. 
Parking - To Assign or Not Assign

Important Dates  
Tuesday 2/28 - 9th Grade Class meeting @ 2:40pm (Items that will be covered)
  • For the 8th consecutive year, we will be teaming up the Sean Fisher Foundation to offer heart screening to all freshmen.  The heart screenings will take place over two days this year.  March 24 & 31 at Eastwick College in Ramsey.  Schedule to follow.  
  • Information on the CAP Program (Child Assault Prevention).  The program will take place on:
    • Wednesday 3/1 during Period 7
    • Thursday 3/2 during Period 8
    • Friday 3/3 during Period 9
Tuesday 2/28 - Jean Day for World Rare Disease Day  ($3 Donation for Jeans)

The Drama Club presents The Adam's FamilyShow nights are March 9, 10 & 11. 

Chaperones Needed - I need help each night with three ticket takers.  Please signup here: Ticker Taker 2017

Good Reads 

3 Ways Culture Affects Learning And How To Use Them
Station Rotation Model: Student Designed & Led Stations


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WHS Staff New - Week of 2/6/17

I really enjoyed my conversations last week with everyone during our mid-year conferences. It's a long week for me but well worth it.  I heard a lot of positive comments and I was glad to hear so many teachers taking risks and trying new techniques and strategies outside their comfort zone.  I also heard your frustrations and will do my best to address your needs and concerns.  

The work we are doing is meaningful and should be rewarding.  It will be stressful at times, but like most things, it's not always going to be easy or go exactly how you want.  In those moments of frustration take a breath, think about the great kids we have here at WHS and do what's best for them.  The students didn't create SGO's, Marshalls, Gradebooks, etc. 

For the second half of the year focus on making the learning meaningful.  Have engaging conversations, create lessons that challenge your students to think and take them out of their comfort zone.  Create an environment in your learning rooms that provides "Purposeful Discomfort".
I leave you with one statement and one request for you to think about.... 

I believe we have so many students great at "Doing School" but are they great learners.  Do you agree? 

What can you do to motivate students to love what you are teaching?  You can control this! 

National School Counseling Week 2/6 - 2/10
We have a great crew of counselors that go above and beyond for our students everyday. Thank you Albina, Andrea, Bob, Kristi, Lynda and Penny for all you do and showing what #OwnitWHS is all about! 

Change in Procedure for PLAAFP (Present Levels of Achievement and Functional Performance)
In an effort to streamline the process for collecting information for the PLAAFP's, as well as giving guidance on what exactly should be included, the CST with input from a few teachers created a Google Form that we believe simplifies the process.  Moving forward, all members of the CST will be using this form to collect the information for the PLAAFP. 
Present Levels of Achievement and Functional Performance (Google Form)

*As a reminder, an IEP is a legal document and teachers are required to be part of the development and implementation.  Your input is key to our students' success. 

Important Dates
2/15 - Reschedule of Staff Meeting (3:10 - 4pm)
There will be a speaker from the CAP Program (Child Assault Prevention) speaking to the staff which connects to an upcoming program for our freshmen in March. 
*This is a required meeting.  If anyone has a conflict please see me. 
2/20 & 2/21 - Winter Break 

Recent Blog/Twitter Posts 
January Students of the Month 
WHS Academic Decathlon Success Continues