Letter from the Superintendent - February

Letter from the Superintendent
Posted on 02/01/2018

February 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Listed below is some information regarding happenings at the Elementary Schools and the Jr./Sr. High School.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL INFORMATION

Bridge the Gap Program
Under the direction of Elementary School Guidance Counselor, Mr. Matthew Baals, with assistance from Mr. Lang and Ms. DelCollo, High School Physical Education teachers, the Bridge the Gap program is off to a flying start.  The program consists of High School students traveling to the Elementary Schools to share their positive experiences with athletics, clubs and activities with our Elementary students.

On January 23rd the High School Academic Challenge Team as well as members of the High School Garnet Step Team went to each of the elementary schools.  During the visit the Academic Challenge Team hosted a grade appropriate mock challenge for any students who wanted to participate during their recess. The same day the Garnet Step Team showed the students a step routine and taught students who were interested a routine during recess.

Academic Games, Activities and Teach Like A Pirate Book
Towards the end of January some Elementary staff members incorporated academic games and activities that directly related to their math curriculum to highly engage student participation and review previously taught skills.

The Elementary staff also discussed Part II of the book Teach Like a Pirate.  This chapter focuses on crafting engaging lessons and specifically different types of "hooks" to start lessons.  The staff shared their "hook" strategies used and brainstormed other hooks that can be used to engage students.  The Teach Like a Pirate book focuses on passion for teaching, building relationships, creating engaging lessons and motivation.

JUNIOR/SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL INFORMATION

Articulation with Barrington, Lawnside and Merchantville
The Barrington, Haddon Heights, Lawnside and Merchantville Superintendents and Curriculum Directors are meeting on February 14th.   We will be discussing future vertical and horizontal articulation between the districts.

Diversity Committee Meeting
The Diversity Committee met again on January 16th.  Listed below is Mr. Rosen's, Jr./Sr. High School Principal and Diversity Committee Chairperson, summary from the January 16th meeting.

The meeting started with a recap from the November 16th meeting.  Some updates included:

  • A group of staff and students attended a presentation at Rutgers-Camden titled: Student Activism and the Black Liberation Movement in Lawnside, NJ.  Students that attended the meeting met with Mr. Rosen a few days after attending to further discuss the topics presented.  Mr. Chambers, High School Social Studies teacher, and Mrs. Lubonski, High School English teacher, spoke about a new Social Justice elective course for next year.  Parents gave input as to what topics could be potentially covered in this course.

We then broke into small groups and answered the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to be culturally proficient?  How can schools demonstrate cultural proficiency?
    Answers included:
    • Being open to people who are different.
    • Learning about other people's cultures, beliefs and backgrounds.
    • Examine your own assumptions.
    • Understanding that each student is unique.
  2. Why are positive, growth-producing relationships between teachers and students so important in building equity?  How can these types of relationships be fostered in your school or district?
    Answers included:
    • Form a relationship with students.  Teachers engaging with students on a human level.
    • Expanding orientation programs for 8th graders and new students as they enter HHHS.
    • Forming an environment of trust between students and teachers.

UPCOMING EVENTS

PTG Valentines Family Dance Party
Friday, February 9th at 6:00pm
This event will take place in the Glenview Avenue School Gymnasium.

Incoming 9th Grade Orientation
Wednesday, February 28th at 7:00pm
This event will take place at the Jr./Sr. High School.

PTG Science Fair
Thursday, March 22nd
This event will take place in the Glenview Avenue School Gymnasium.

Sincerely,
Michael Adams

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