Monday, January 11, 2016

WHS Staff News - 1/11/16

2016 is off and running! I hope you took some time to set some goals for yourself personally and professionally. Setting goals are one of the key factors to making positive changes in our lives and improving ourselves. We all have areas to grow and hopefully the desire to be better. Take time to reflect and plan a course of action, which become your goals. If you do plan on setting goals for 2016, think about encouraging your students to set goals for themselves in your class and beyond.  

Late last week I started focusing on one of my goals, which is to get into the learning rooms more often. I will be doing a lot more "Drop Ins" which will be 3-5 minutes and will not be an official observation or SOTEL write up. After each Drop In, I will be using Voxer to send you a voice message with my feedback, which will include positive comments, suggestions and/or concerns. SOTEL's still need to be completed so I will be staying longer at times but I wanted everyone to know what my plan was with the Drop Ins.   

Mid-Year Conferences 
To review - This year I would like to see these meetings be more of a conversation and self-reflection and less about the 60 boxes within the Marshall Rubric. For the meeting, the supervisors and I would like you to be prepared to talk about:
  • 2 or 3 items that you feel you could improve on or want to focus on during the second half of the year
  • 2-3 items (or more) that you are proud of and want to share with us
  • Be prepared to share and discuss your progress on your PDP
We will share with you our thoughts on the first half of the year and discuss any areas of concern as well as highlight the positives we have observed.  

**(Action Required here) 
Please review this link (Mid Year Conf Schedule) and fill in the time slot that works for you to schedule your mid-year conference. The sheet is broken up into departments. Any questions please let me know.  

School Dude
Please make sure all maintenance and technology requests are submitted through School Dude.  (Use the help desk link on the website.  It-Requests and Maintenance request use the same site) 

Important Dates
Monday 1/18 Minimum Day/EdCamp, WEA $5 Jean Day for the Philanthropic Fund
Friday 1/22 Marking period 2 Ends

Good Reads 
5 ways to boost creativity in your classroom via Dr. Justin Tarte
The 10 Skills Modern Teachers Must Have via Edudemic

GAFE PD via Alice Keeler
Top 10 Google Docs Posts of 2015
Top 10 Google Classroom Posts of 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

WHS Staff News - Week of 12/14/15

Final full week of school in 2015 and probably my last Source post for the year. Unbelievable!  Mr. Clancy and I have put together something to say thank you, as well as a reminder to each of you that #YouMatter and WHS is lucky to have you!  Check your mailboxes later today or you might even get a special delivery! 

WHS Staff News Last week we had our Winter Concert and a big congratulations goes out to Mrs. Montella and Ms. Thoman for putting together a tremendous show.  Your students sounded great!! 
Winter Concert Highlights  (Blog Post)

Thanks to Ms. Hummel and all of the teachers who participated in the Hour of Code last week.  I encourage everyone to keep creating and trying to find ways to bring coding and other aspects of computer science into your classes.  
Hour Code Summary 2015  

Thank you to Mr. Opderbeck for organizing another great Dessert Wars!  A great event that everyone always enjoys.  It doesn't happen without participation of the staff, so thank you to all of the bakers and dessert creators for some awesome treats.  

Info on Schedule (Same info as yesterday)

Schedule Presentation (Slides)
Schedule Info (Video)
Tuesday and Wednesday I will be in the Media Center after school to answer any questions.  


Four months into AESOP and things have been going very well.  One item that has caused a little confusion is "Personal Day" requests.  Please submit personal days as early as possible. Because the way things are setup in AESOP, your request does not go out to the substitutes until both Dr. Casarico and I approve it.  If you do have an emergency or something comes up, please use the "Emergency Personal Day" which goes out to the substitutes immediately.  

PD Opportunity

Level 2 GAFE Boot-Camp (January 20 & 21 4:30 - 7:30pm in Wyckoff )
Did you know Google offers certifications? Do you want to be Google Certified?  
If you ever thought about getting Google Certified, the Level 1 test is very basic.  I believe a large number of teachers have the skills to pass it right now.   Level 2 is a little more advanced but this boot-camp will prepare you for the online exam.  You don't need to have the Level 1 Certification to take this PD session.   Please let me know right away if you would be interested in attending.  I will take care of the paperwork.  Depending upon the interest, we can get a group rate.  

Important Dates 
12/17 Glen Rock HS Visit (1-1 Learning Environment)
12/21 Club Pictures (Schedule was posted to your calendar
12/23 Spirit Rally 11:30 - 12:36
12/23 Holiday Gathering $6 (If interested please see Kerry or Terais) 

Twitter Highlights

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

WHS News 12/7/15

The weather isn't acting like it's December 8, but lets enjoy it while we have it!  

Congratulations to Jaime Ruch on her wedding this past Sunday.  I finally get to officially welcome Aaron to the #WarrorNation family! 

Welcome Edna Brophy to WHS!  Mrs. Brophy will be taking over the role of bookkeeper as Marci assumes the role of secretary to Mr. Meyers.   Please stop by and say hello and welcome her to #WarriorNation!  

This week is the official "The Hour of Code".  Erin Hummel has done a great job organizing events and activities for the week.  The Science teachers will be incorporating Coding into one of their lessons this week.   Each day Erin will email a Smore with the plans/resources for the day.   Day 1 of Learning Code @ WHS/WMS 

Emergency Drills
Yesterday's evacuation drill went well.  Thank you for your cooperation.  As a reminder, please keep all learning room doors locked during the school day and use the magnetic strip. This recommendation came directly from the local police as well as NJDOE safety workshops that the administration has attended.  Safety first, convenience second!   If you need a magnetic strip, please see Mr. Clancy.

Recent Blog Posts
Congratulations Anthony Tutsche (County Band) 
November Students of the Month  
Graduation Requirement (Updated)

Looking Ahead 
Tuesday 12/8 - Winter Concert 
Friday 12/18 - Club Pictures in the Little Theater (Schedule will be posted on your calendar later this week) 
Wednesday 12/23 - Spirit Rally 

**On Thursday, December 17, a few teachers and administrators from Glen Rock HS will be visiting WHS to see our 1-1 Learning Environment in action.  If you are interested in having a teacher or administrator visit your class, please fill out this form Glen Rock Visit (Form)They will be here at 9am and will be staying until lunch time.  

WEF Chocolate Tasting Party
The Waldwick Education Foundation is hosting a Chocolate Tasting Party on Monday, December 14, at 7:00 PM at the Waldwick High School Cafeteria.  Sample items from Dove Chocolate Discoveries, admission $2.  Items include brownies, chocolate covered almonds & cranberries & pecans, caramels, baking sets, chocolate sauce, bbq sauce, cocoa rub, chai tea, chocolate martinis & more.  Items ordered that night will be delivered by Christmas.  Gifts start at $12.  Please RSVP (to reserve chocolate).  All funds raised by the Waldwick Education Foundation benefit educational programs at Waldwick Public Schools.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

WHS Staff News 11/30/15

As we transition into the month of December, we begin our third month in the 1-1 Learning Environment.  One area I would like everyone to think about this month is their "Positioning in the Learning Room" during class time.  Are you sitting, standing in the same spot and not walking around the room?  Are you interacting with students?  Are you monitoring what students are doing on their Chromebooks when you are giving direct instruction or when you have assigned them group or individual work?  Find time (Wednesday's staff meeting is time on your own) to self-reflect, talk with colleagues and think about your style.  Is it best for student learning in our new 1-1 learning environment?   There is time to sit, walk, interact, jump up and down, stand and listen during all good lessons; but, I ask you, is what you are doing engaging your students in the learning?  

Fashion Club Coat Drive (Twitter Account
The WHS Fashion Club is sponsoring a coat drive now through December 9.   In addition to the coat drive, this year the Fashion Club is utilizing Kalyn Rodriguez's blog, What Inspires You to get their message out about style and fashion at WHS.  I am very proud of this group. Special thanks to Ms. Ralston for giving these students guidance when needed.   

GEM Club (Twitter Account )
A new club at WHS is making their voice heard for Gender Equality.  Last week the group brought attention to a movement prompted by Mrs. Obama #62MillionGirls which brings awareness to the issue that girls do not having access to education world wide.  Three key members of this group are Amelia Apgar, Bryan Fotino and  Sedona Hamilton, who are doing great things.  Thank you to Mrs. Orlak for supporting and advising the group!
Last call for Secret Santa 
Remember the drawing for Secret Santa will be held immediately after school today.
Please be aware you don't need to spend anything!  Homemade crafts and goodies are greatly appreciated.  Our goal is simply to spread some holiday cheer!!!

Hope to see you at 3:05 in central office!

Warrior Gear Sale 
Last day to turn in your order form.  

Looking Ahead 
On Thursday, December 17, a few teachers and administrators from Glen Rock HS will be visiting WHS to see our 1-1 Learning Environment in action. If you are interested in having a teacher or administrator visit your class, please fill out this form Glen Rock Visit (Form). They will be here at 9am and will be staying untill lunch time.  

Thursday 12/3 Varsity Dinner 6pm
Tuesday 12/8 Winter Concert 7pm
Wednesday 12/23 Minimum Day

Good Reads
The Relentless Pursuit of What Is Possible via George Couros

#WaldwickGAFE Resources 
78 Google Apps Video Tutorials via Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers)
Top 10 Google Classroom Best Practices For eLearning Professionals via Christopher Pappas

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