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!!!


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


Monday, September 12, 2016

WHS Staff News - Week of 9/12

Week one done! We made it through Thursday and Friday's extreme heat.  I know how hot it was in the building and everyone made the best of the situation.  Looking at the upcoming forecast, the next two weeks look good! 

Last week we had our grade level meetings and Mr. Clancy emphasized to the students the importance of being in school and how we will be handling attendance issues this year. 
The students I spoke with had a great first week and shared how so many teachers made the first few days fun and enjoyable.  Let's keep building those connections, which will enhance the learning.  

It's never too early to starting making positive calls or sending emails, so if something stood out the first few days, let a parent/guardian know.

Back to School Night Info: WHS Back-to-School Night will be held on Wednesday, September 14. Please make sure that your classrooms are neat and organized.  Also, please try to decorate your classrooms with student work.  This is an opportunity for us as a school community to show parents/guardians the positive activities that go on in our school.  I would also like to see the technology in your classroom being used as you speak to the parents. Teachers are asked to arrive no later than 6:30 p.m.  Thank you in advance for all of your hard work in making this evening a great success.  Please let me know if there are questions regarding any of the above.


  1. Turn computer and projector on for video presentation – please check to see that the computer, speakers and projector are working in your classroom.  If there is a problem, please email me and file a Trouble Ticket.

  1. Hand-outs to parents in Homeroom:  (will be in your mailbox on Wednesday)
  • Student Schedules, Bell Schedule, Building Floor Plan

  1. Please announce the following:
  • No Lunch
  • No Science Labs
  • PE and Health should report to the Little Theater, not the gym or classroom
NHS Students will be in the hall after Homeroom to collect all remaining handouts and return them to the office.

Bell Schedule
Homeroom 7:00 – 7:15
Period 1 7:19 – 7:27
Period 2 7:31 – 7:39
Period 3 7:43 – 7:51
Period 4 7:55 – 8:03
Period 5 or 6 8:07 – 8:15
Period 6B or 7 8:19 – 8:27
Period 8 8:31 – 8:39
Period 9 8:43 – 8:51

Important Dates
Thursday 9/15 - Picture Day (Marcel Studios will be set up in the Greenberg Center)

Monday 9/19 (Period 4) - Senior Class Meeting with Guidance to review the college application and scholarship process. Please take attendance and walk your students to the Little Theater.

Good Reads for Professional Growth 

Recent Blog/Twitter Posts
Dropping off and Picking up at WHS
New Staff @ WHS - Rachel Dillon


Saturday, September 3, 2016

9/1 PD Resources

What's New with GAFE

Here are links and resources I referenced during my PD session on 9/1.  

Built in PD for all GAFE Apps.  

Google Classrooms - What's NEW 

Resources for the new Parent/Guardian Email Notification 
(Only need one notification request per parent)

New GAFE Resources released this summer
This PDF has info on: Parent Notification, Mobile App updates, Topic Labels, Google Cast for Education, New Features of Google Forms (Grading your quizzes) 

Random Google Tools 
Share to Google Classroom is a nice way to get all students on the same page.
Draftback is a Chrome extension that lets you play back any Google Doc’s revision history (for docs you can edit). It’s like going back in time to look over your own shoulder as you write.

**My new faviorite app -

This summer I put togther a Google Doc to list what I was reading this summer and shared some of the great posts I came across.  Summer Learning - Summer 2016 What I'm Reading 

Continue sharing and learning! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Welcome Back 2016

It's that time again!  We all know September is coming and another school year will be beginning.  I hope this post brings some excitement to you as we all prepare to make a difference in the lives of our students.

We are entering year two of the 1-1 Learning Environment.  All 10th, 11th and 12th graders will be reminded to bring their Chromebooks with them on the first day.  The 9th graders will be receiving their Chromebooks on August 30 at 10am during our first 9th Grade Orientation, which will be run by members of the National Honor Society.  

I am keeping the same goal/mindset that I had last year when talking about the learning environment. 

Goal: Create opportunities for our students where learning is truly meaningful and powerful for them!  

Mindset: Build a RELATIONSHIP with your students.  It all starts when the teacher creates an environment that facilitates learning, motivates students and connect with them as individual learners!

Summer Blog Post from The WHS Principal's Blog

Opening 2 Days 
Please take a look at the agenda for the first two days.  There is time set aside for Google PD,  content area PD and time for personal, self-directed PD.  Please bring your charged Chromebook on Thursday.  
Faculty Manual  (Please take time to review the manual) 
To access the manual you need to be logged in to your account 

New Staff 
We have one new teacher joining us this year, as well as a friendly face returning.  Very excited to have both of them joining our team.   
Rachel Dillon - Language Arts 
Paul Puglise - Physics (Leave Replacement)

The building looks great and is ready to go.  What's new and updated:

  • Painting around the building
  • New drop ceilings and LED lighting were installed in the hallway outside the Media Center and down to Room 309.  
  • The district is moving forward with a new phone/communication system for all four schools. In September all rooms will have phones installed, which will be used to communicate with the main office.  This system will enhance our school safety protocols by improving our ability to communicate throughout the building. 
  • Room 310 received a makeover with the removal of the center presentation table and a wall full of cabinets.  Whiteboards were installed all around the room to help facilitate the 360 math concept.  
  • Three classrooms (141, 143, 145) will be getting new furniture.  Continuing with the mindset of "It's all about the Learning Environment," these desks will all be on wheels to help make the learning room more flexible and conducive to an active learning environment. 
  • The transformation of the Media Center Computer Lab into an Innovation Station.  The room has been completely gutted. Ceiling tiles have been taken down and we exposed the high ceiling and duct work.  We painted the ceiling black and it looks so good. Walls have been primed and will be painted before September.  This lab will have an open feel with flexible furniture that can be moved around to fit the needs of the learners. This is going to be a great space for thinking, designing, creating, trying... then failing and trying again (Isn't that how we learn outside of school). The renovation will be completed by the end of September.   
  • For the inside courtyard, we have taken out some the hedges and opened up the space. Six new picnic tables have been ordered for students and staff to enjoy. We are also refinishing the benches that are out there for more seating.
  • Another outdoor location that I am calling "The Corner" (Area outside the staircase that heads down to the Boy's Locker Room - by Room 313/310) will also get new picnic tables (5) and we will be refinishing the benches so students and staff can utilize the space during lunch.
Master Schedule 16-17 - By Dept and room utilization 
Safe Schools - Reminder there are 10 courses that need to be completed by 9/16
Personnel Records - In case of emergencies it's important we have this info
Registration of Automobile - Only for new staff or if you have changed cars 
Student/Parent Handbook 
Opening of School Info 16-17 - Blog post for Students and Parent from The WHS Principal's Blog
Aides Schedule 16-17 SY

Important Dates
Back to School Night - Wednesday, September 14
September Learning and Collaboration Time - September 21 (Focus will be on 80/20 Time)

All classrooms are ready so if you want to stop by over the next few weeks, feel free.  Enjoy the remainder of the summer and don't stress about September.  I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year!  #OwnitWHS

Thursday, May 26, 2016

WHS Staff News - 5/26/16

The 16-17 master schedule is 98% complete and as of yesterday morning, locked in. Counselors have begun reviewing the schedule and dealing with incomplete schedules.   The next few weeks are very hectic for Penny and Kristi so please respect their time and understand they have a lot of work to get done prior to June 17.  No pressure Penny & Kristi.

As most of you know.... you can see next years schedule by changing the year in Genesis to 16-17 and running a teacher schedule report.  If you are one of the few in the dark on this, stop by the teacher's room and I'm sure someone will help you.  I'm fine with all of you seeing your schedule as it's being worked on, but understand up until yesterday, it was a working document and nothing was final.  Situations change during the scheduling process and unfortunately, sometimes courses I want individuals to teach are not possible as we get deeper into the process.  The scheduling process is never perfect and never will be, but I have to keep in mind student priorities first.   For the most part, rooms are done and correct; so what you see is 98% what the schedule will be in September.  With all of that being said, you can now start to plan and think about your SGO for 16-17.  

All of the end-of-year procedures are included in the checklist link.  

Field Trips 
Please use this link (16-17 Field Trips) to post any proposed field trips for next year.  The Google sheet is organized by month.  I will review the list with the Supervisors to be sure the timing and trip location connects with the curriculum.  Over the summer I will submit for BOE approval and then in September, you will need to complete the "Field Trip Request Forms."  After October 1, I will not approve any more field trips.  

Events for 2016-2017 School Year
Please use this Google Doc (WHS Events 16-17 SY) to have events added to next year's calendar.  

Please review the timeline for reporting grades:  MP 4 and Final Exam Grades into Genesis

If you have not had a chance to complete the survey on my performance, please take a few minutes.  Thank you to the 30 educators that already submitted.  

Collecting of Chromebooks for Seniors 
Chromebooks will be collected for all seniors on Wednesday, June 8, during senior English classes.  If this presents a problem for anyone teaching a senior level course related to a final project, final exam, etc., please see me and we can work something out.  All other grade levels will be keeping their Chromebooks over the summer.   

Important Dates 

Wednesday, June 1st 
  • Assembly Program Matt Maher Story  (Little Theater)
    • 8:45 - 9:45 - 11th & 12th Graders
    • 9:50 - 10:33 - 9th & 10th Graders 
  • Staff Meeting 3:05 in the Media Center

Thursday, June 2 - Prom

Wednesday, June 8 
  • Locker Clean-Out Day 
  • AP Meeting 3pm Little Theater
Thursday, June 9 - Modified Schedule/ Final Exams Begin 

Thursday, June 9, is a full-day.   All students should report to their Period 8 class whether an exam is being administered or not.

Do not tell students they don't have to come to school on Friday, June 17.  If they ask, your response should be “It's the last day of school and I hope to see you in class.”

*No School - Friday, June 10

Recent Blog Posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

End of Year Important Dates

I will update this post as needed with Important Dates

Thursday, May 19 - Festival of the Arts / Spring Concert 7pm 

Wednesday 5/25 & Thursday 5/26Biology End of Course Exam (9th Gr - periods 1 -4)

*No School - Friday 5/27, 5/30 & 5/31

Wednesday, June 1st 
  • Assembly Program Matt Maher Story  (Little Th)
    • 8:45 - 9:45 - 11th & 12th Graders
    • 9:50 - 10:33 - 9th & 10th Graders 
  • Staff Meeting 3:05 in the Little Th

Thursday, June 2 - Prom

Wednesday, June 8 

  • Locker Clean Out Day 
  • AP Meeting 3pm Little Th

Thursday, June 9 - Modified Schedule/ Final Exams Begin 

*No School - Friday, June 10

Friday, June 17 - Graduation 

Senior Activities

The following activities will take place during Senior PE Classes
May 23, 24 & 25 - CPR Training/Certification
May 26 - Guest Speaker - Time Management & Stress Relief Techniques
June 7, 8, & 9 - Self-Defense Training

Senior Events 
Yearbook Distribution – Thursday, June 9      3- 4:00pm    Cafeteria
Pool Party/BBQ - Monday, June 13       12:30pm – 3pm   Waldwick Pool 

**Just saying ....... 19 school days till Exams start