Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome Back 2015

I hope everyone has had a great summer.  As I stated in an email last week, please enjoy your time off and don't stress the upcoming school year.  Instead, spend some time thinking or reflecting on what the 15-16 school will look like in your learning environment and how you want to create a positive experience for your students.   #Ownit

Our focus this year needs to be on the learning environment we provide to every student.  What is the vision.........

WHS 1-1 Learning Environment   

GOAL: Create opportunities for our students where learning is truly meaningful and powerful for them.

Each student has access to the world through the internet, which will allow teachers to create unique learning opportunities for all students.  The use of Web 2.0 tools will enhance lessons and give students an almost endless array of tools of both creativity and knowledge.

The learning environment does not change because of ………...
Google (GAFE), Chromebooks, textbooks, clickers, smart-boards, etc.,
It changes because the teacher creates an environment that facilitates learning, motivates students and connects with them as individual learners.  

Image Credit:
Please take a look at the agenda for the first two days back.  There is time built in for Google PD, subject specific PD and time for personal self-reflection and learning.   Please bring your  (charged) Chromebook on Tuesday.  
Agenda for 9/1 & 9/2

Chromebook Update (Student Distribution) 
  • Students will not get their Chromebooks until Monday, September 28. 
  • There will be two Parent Information Sessions to answer any questions and explain what the 1-1 Learning Environment is all about (9/16 & 9/24).
  • Students will have their Gmail account for the start of the school year so they will have access to GAFE Apps at home. 
  • I will share more details about the role-out at our meeting on 9/1.
We have six new teachers joining the WHS family this year.  We are very excited to have them join our team and we are confident they will be great additions to our school community.

New Staff

Deana Argo - Business 
Brian Browne - Chemistry 
Taline Royland - Math 
Kirsten Musciano - Physical Education (Leave Replacement)
Elaine Thoman - Music (Leave Replacement) 
Sarah Van Vliet - Art (Leave Replacement)

Summer Updates 

The building has never looked better! Could not be more proud of the custodians for what they accomplished this summer.  
  • Painting around the building, hallways cleaned like they have never been before and look great! 
  • Three classrooms received new chairs and tables (138, 139, 501). 
  • The Media Center is transforming into more of a Maker Space environment which Erin is extremely excited about.  The room has been opened up, to allow for some new furniture and space for students and staff to create and learn.  
  • Room 305 has been transformed into a multi-purpose space that has a fully functional kitchen and laundry area which can then be utilized as a career ready educational environment. Mr. Clancy has taken the lead on overseeing the program and will be working closely with Maggie Hart and Frank Clark.
Below are two links you will need to click on and fill out the required information. Each form should take you less than two minutes to fill out.

Registration of Automobile                           Personnel Records

Importation Links/Resources

Safe Schools  - Reminder: There are 7 courses that need to be completed by 9/18.

WHS Staff Resource Folder
Faculty Manual 
Student Parent Handbook 
*This folder will be used to share school related documents. More documents will be added over the next few days as well as throughout the school year.

Blog Post from Waldwick High School Principal's Blog
Opening of School Info for Parents/Students 

Important Dates
Back to School Night - September, 24
September Learning and Collaborating Meeting - September 16

The building is ready so if you want to stop by and do anything in your learning rooms, feel free! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PD Corner: Google Classroom Resources (#WaldwickGAFE)

This post highlights some of my go to PLN members when it comes to my own learning, with a focus on Google Classroom!

This is a great podcast via Jeff Bradbury from Teachercast featuring Alice Keeler  on Google Classroom.

Below are 3 links from Alice Keller's Blog related to Google Classroom.  She has over 50 blog posts related to Google Classroom.  Alice is an amazing resource when it comes to all things Google.  She recently co-authored a book 50 Things you can do with Google Classroom.   
I just finished her book and what an easy read, which gave step by steps directions and had great simple ideas to incorporate into your teaching. 

Collection of posts related to Google Classroom 

60 Ways Math Teachers can use Google Classroom 

5 Things You May Not Know About Google Classroom  

Another person that has amazing resources is Brian Seymour, who has a great collection of how to videos on his Youtube Channel

Monday, June 1, 2015

WHS Staff News - 6/1/15

Its all about the news.....current, past and upcoming! 

The 15-16 SY master schedule is now in the hands of the guidance counselors.  Over the next few weeks they will be finishing the student's schedules so please be patient if students are being called out of class.  
Starting tomorrow, I will ask the supervisors to starting sharing the teaching assignments for next year.  I would say 95 percentage of the schedule is complete, with a few additions/changes that still need to be made.  Rooms have not been finalized yet, so please don't get upset with any of room assignments.  

I hope you are enjoying and playing around with your new Chromebooks.   On June 16, we will be placing the order for the student Chromebooks.  THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!! Mike Vaccarino recently shared Waldwick's Technology Home Center which has a lot of great resources.  

Less then three weeks to go and this year is over.  Finish strong, stay positive and fight through the stress that we all are feeling.  Lets finish this year with excitement and energy because the kids deserve it.  #Ownit  

Important Dates

Week of June 1

Wednesday 6/3 1:30 - 3pm Senior Class Assembly in the Little Th.
3:10pm Sharing & Collaborating - We will be meeting briefly.

Thursday 6/4 Prom Night

Week of June 8

Tuesday 6/9 11:20 - 1:30 Spring BBQ / Modified Lunch Schedule (Will post soon)
3 - 4pm Yearbook Signing/Ice Cream Social (Cafeteria)

Wednesday 6/10 11:20 - 1pm Google Classroom (PD Session)
3:10 - 4pm Google Classroom (PD Session)

7pm Senior Awards

Thursday 6/11 7:20am Google Classroom (PD Session)

3:10pm AP Meeting 15-16 SY (Students)
3:30pm Faculty-Student mixed Double Tennis Tournament
6pm PowderPuff

Friday 6/12 *Modified Exam Schedule

*Final Exam Schedule & Modified Schedule for 6/12 - Please start sharing with your students when their exam is for your class

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs Pepe! A new addition to #WarriorNation   

Teen Arts Recognition 

AP Art Work 14-15 SY (Blog Posts)

AP Art Work - Melissa Depaola

Signing Day @ WHS 

Model Congress Event 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Welcome Back - Week of 4/13/15

I hope everyone had a great spring break!  The weather wasn't the greatest but the time off was well deserved!  

Our spring sports teams have gotten off to an amazing start.  As the weather final feels like spring, consider sticking around after school and catching a game/meet/match and cheer on your students. They know when your their and they really appreciate it.  
*On a side note related to spring sports, we will not be having a spring pep rally this year.  The Student Councils officers, advisor and I have been talking about pep rallies in general and changes that we think need to be made.  More on this to come.  

As we prepared to move into the world of Google Apps for Education, I have put together five workshops to help with the transition.   Each one of the sessions will have three different time slots for you to attend. These sessions are all optional, but I believe will be very helpful. See link for more details.  
Google Apps PD Series 

The next six weeks are going to be extremely busy with EOY PARCC (4/28, 4/29, 4/30), AP exams (5/4 - 5/15) and the EOY Biology Exam (5/27 & 5/28). Work will kick into high gear on the 15-16 master schedule.  We have the Sticks and Stones Presentation for the 9th graders coming up on 4/21.   This list could go on and on, so I will post all important dates for the remainder of the year so we all can try to stay organized.

Lets finish strong and be the best for our students each and everyday!  #Ownit

PD Corner: Google Apps for Education - Professional Development Series

Google Apps for Education - Professional Development Series 

Link to Flyer:

The link and image below was created using a site called Smore.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

WHS Staff News - Week of 3/23

Thank You - PARCC is officially over..... for now.  

In a previous post I thanked you for all you did to make testing go so smoothly and I just wanted to say it again.  This was not easy.  At times, it was stressful for many of us but we got through it!  We learned things along the way and will be making a few changes which we know will make things easier for everyone.  

For the EOY PARCC test we are planning on administering the test in three days.  The specific dates will be set by next week, but we are trying to get this done with the least amount of disruption.  

MP 3
Marking Period 3 ends on Thursday, April 2.  Grading opens on April 2 and will close on April 15.   We are all busy, but don't forget to find time to make phone calls and keep parents informed.  Keep your grade books up-to-date.  

Sean Fisher Memorial Foundation - Free Heart Screening @ WHS
Next week we will be starting the heart screening for the freshmen class.  This will be the sixth consecutive year the Fisher family has offered this screening for FREE to our students. Over the six years, the screening process has identified students who had undetected heart issues requiring some type of medical care.  This process saves lives!! 

This year I would like to give something back to the Fisher's and their Foundation.  What I am proposing for this Tuesday, March 24, is a jean day/RED out.  There will be a five dollar donation for jeans and all money raised will go towards the Sean Fisher Memorial Foundation.  This event will be for high school and middle school teachers as well as the student body.  Please encourage your students to participate with the RED out.  

Spring Break Projects 
Over spring break there will be a few facility projects going on at the high school that will limit the availability of the building.
  • New drop ceiling and lighting will be installed in the Art Wing up and around to      Room 309
  • The lighting in the gym will be completely upgraded  
  • New tiles and floor abatement will be completed in six locations; both gym closets and Rooms 417, 501, 140 & 142 

PD Corner (last two posts)
PD Corner: EdPuzzle
PD Corner: Plickers 

Tweets using #WaldwickGAFE (3/3 - 3/20)