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Hasbrouck Heights Public Schools
Superintendent's Report
September 27, 2001

Junior-Senior High School

The summer months proved to be very productive for a number of our staff members. We had 14 faculty from the Junior Senior High School, 8 from Euclid School and 4 from Lincoln School who participated in The Summer Institute where they worked on Assessment practices targeted towards GEPA and HSPA performance. The work they completed will serve to help them develop new lessons, new activities, and new ways of assessing progress among their students.

At this time, all classes are in full swing, and we have completed our Back to School night for the High School. The turn-out of parents was a good deal better than last year, and we hope this will be the start of a positive trend.

All students in the high school are in the process of being evaluated on the books they read this summer through the journal entries they have written. Students in grades 9-12 were required to read three books from a book list designed for their grade level. Participation in the Summer Reading Program for students in grades 6-8 was also required for the first time this year (previously it had been optional).

YEARBOOK WINS FIRST PLACE AWARD - For the sixth consecutive year, the high school yearbook, the Coronian, has won a first place award from the American Scholastic Press Association, ASPA, receiving special recognition in the fields of content presentation, where they received a total of 350 points out of a possible total of 360 and creativity earning a total of 60 points out a possible total of 65. The 2001 staff consisted of James R., editor-in-chief, assisted by senior editors Dana N., Allison W., Pam DeS., Ami P., Laura G. and Fran I.. Mrs. Doris Meyer was the faculty advisor.

Journalism students are feverishly working on covering the Attack on America. Students have contacted eyewitnesses, local police and fire fighters, and are interviewing rescue workers. All stories are centered on our community and the impact these horrific events have had on our students and their families.

Over the summer, the Pilot's Log received two very prestigious awards-First Place Overall Excellence in Garden State Scholastic Press Association's summer contest and First Place Layout and Design in Columbia Scholastic Press Association/Daily News Contest.

Mrs. Geftic also made the Winners List. Dow Jones Newspaper Fund selected her as one of four Distinguished Advisors in the country. Richard Holden, President of Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, will present this most prestigious award on November 10, 2001 in Boston, Massachusetts. In her honor one student from Hasbrouck Heights Jr/Sr High School will receive a $500 scholarship.

Mrs. Kathleen Hicswa, High School Biology Teacher, has been given an award by the National Youth Leadership Forum for outstanding service as a nominator to the National Youth Leadership Forum for acting on behalf of exceptional students who represent Hasbrouck Heights High School. This award is dated May 9, 2001.

The Science Department welcomes Mr. Cassiere in his new assignment as 8th grade science teacher. In preparation for his new assignment, Mr. Cassiere attended this summer a week long workshop for new chemistry teachers. Mr. Gorski also attended this workshop.

In Ms. Cassidy's U.S. History I class, they have begun a study on Exploration and early colonization. Students will be creating travel brochures advertising settlements/colonies in America. The A.P. History students are working on Exploration/Colonization of the Colonies. A mock trial meeting will be held shortly to organize this years competition team.

Ms. Korkgy's History and Honors classes: Both levels have started the year off with the Old Stone Age and the New Stone Age. We have been looking at the characteristics of each as well as comparing them and analyzing the differences between the both.

A Middle Level Parent-Student handbook, which is a combination handbook, assignment pad and study skills guide, was distributed to every student during the first week of school. Along with ample space for homework assignments, valuable information concerning school policies and procedures as well as study helps are provided in the book. Every student is expected to use the book for the entire year.

Many meetings are scheduled which will give parents opportunities to express ideas and ask questions concerning the Middle Level Program. The first of these meetings, which was on September 12th, was for parents new to Middle Level. Mrs. Stein discussed procedures, grading, curriculum, class trips, and many other areas of concern with the parents. Mr. Grimaldi explained guidance services available to the students and the teaching team structure of the Middle Level.

Two major activities which eased the transition of the 6th graders to the Middle Level were a Guidance Orientation presented by Mr. Grimaldi and the grade level reception. An orientation with each grade level was conducted by Mr. Grimaldi, Middle Level Guidance Counselor. Mr. Grimaldi discussed our guidance program, the importance of study, and the importance of organizational skills with all students.

The sixth grade reception was hosted by the PTSA on September 14th. The reception provided an opportunity for the children to meet the children from other schools and to participate in some enjoyable activities. The theme of this reception was healthy living. Guided through activities suggested by Mrs. Kline from the Bergen County Board of Health, 6th graders enjoyed jump rope and shooting baskets as well as healthy refreshments (vegetables, popcorn, and fruit.) PTSA Moms provided "mixer" activities and donated and served refreshments.

Since it is our endeavor to continuously improve HHHS Middle Level educational experiences and research has shown that thematic studies are highly effective in increasing learning and motivation, each grade level will incorporate their own theme into many of their academic and cycle studies. Many of the projects, interdisciplinary units, and activities that take place this year will reflect these themes. Sixth grade parents can expect to see much work centering around space travel. Seventh Grade parents can expect the environment to be a main topic of their children's studies as Mrs. Toy and the Seventh grade team focus much of the curriculum around the Meadowlands Environmental Center. In reflection of the high demand in the work world for professionals with expert communication skills, eighth graders will be concentrating much of their work on the various means of communication.

To begin cross-curriculum studies for the year, the sixth grade students are heightening their knowledge base in Literature, Social Studies and Communications through studies of "locations in the world." Cultures of different areas are being studied through folktales in Literature, through charting and graphing geologic characteristics of various areas of the globe, and through writing about their studies in their Academic Core classes.

The extra-curricular programs in the Middle Level have begun. Under the guidance of Mr. Stillman, the 8th grade Community Class is coordinating with the High School Key Club in steering collection activities for the Red Cross to help aid in the response to the World Trade Center disaster. Mr. Stillman's English and Literature classes are creating a scrapbook that will contain writings, pictures and clippings relating to the Attack and the aftermath. These items will complement specific writing assignments. The project will be a lasting record that the students can someday share with others. Mrs. Caputo will be advising the Student Activities committee. Her committee has already initiated plans for several dances. Mrs. Wallace has begun the production of the Middle Level Newspaper, already having selected the officers of the Club. The Renaissance Club activities, under the guidance of Mr. Carcich and Mr. Cassieri, will soon be started with a new focus on space exploration, aviation, and U.S. history and government. Mrs. Schneeweiss, High School and Middle Level Drama director, has begun sign-ups for the Middle Level play. Mrs. Toy will be starting meetings for the Middle Level Environmental Club. Mrs. Caputo and Ms. Bernstein, co-advisors of the Peer-to-Peer Club and working with Detective DeLorenzo, have had their first organizational meeting and activities. Middle Level students are meeting daily after school to practice tennis and several inter-school meets have been scheduled. The Middle Level Art Club under the direction of Mrs. Reed has had its first meeting.

The Football team opened their season on Monday September 17th, with a 28-6 victory over Weehawken High School. The Girls Soccer Team won their second game this week by beating Becton High School 9-0.

In Boys Soccer they recorded their first win on September 21st, by beating Secaucus 2-1. The Girls Tennis Team is currently 2-0, and will compete in the Bergen County Coaches Tournament this weekend.

To date we have registered 54 new students. A New Student Orientation was held on the afternoon of September 4th. Groups of 2-3 students and two peer leaders toured the building, visited the cafeteria, received new locks and came back to the Guidance Office. New students were encouraged to ask any questions which had not been answered in the orientation meeting. In addition to registering new students; 42 students have transferred. Counselors provided assistance to students, parents and staff in the aftermath of the Twin Towers attack.

Mr. Grimaldi has sent twenty four (24) invitations to seventh grade students to participate in the Johns Hopkins University "Talent Search 2002". These 24 students have scored 97% or higher on their most recent nationally normed standardized test in mathematics and/or language.

Fire Drills A successful fire drills were held on September 18, and September 26, 2001.

Euclid School

The Euclid School PTA held its first executive board meeting on Tuesday, September 18th. Mr. McGovern welcomed everyone back with his open door policy and spoke about the school's facilities. He thanked everyone for their cooperation on Tuesday, September 11th and for their donations. He also let everyone know that there was a crisis team available. On the PTA agenda were the following items: Book Fair, Book Sox, Box Tops, Calendar Party, Children's Programs, Innisbrook, Monster Mash, Market Day, Town day, Memory Book, Kindergarten Tea, school yard map and bylaws.

On September 5th, after a brief welcome by Mr. McGovern, introducing himself, Mrs. Della Fave and Mr. Balestrieri, they spoke to new Kindergarten parents. Parents gave positive feedback and are looking forward to the 2001/02 school year.

Euclid School Eagles came through once again, with their generous donations of clothing, juice, water, snacks and monetary donations to the Red Cross. Mr. McGovern personally delivered these items to the Jersey City Fire Department.

Fire Drills were held on Friday, September 7, 2001, 2:00pm-2:01.48pm exit time 1min.48secs and Tuesday, September 18, 2001 ,10:30am-10:31.48am exit time 1min.48secs.

The current enrollment at Euclid School is 334 students.

Lincoln School

A welcome tea for kindergarten and new parents was conducted on Wednesday, September 5, 2001. Parents were informed about school and district policies and procedures as well as the full day kindergarten. An explanation of the now district run KEYS program was discussed with the parents and the corresponding literature and price list was available to them. Mrs. Lisa Hodulik, PTA President, spoke about the many benefits of joining the PTA.  She encouraged parents to take an active role in the many activities and programs sponsored by the PA. Mrs. Jane McClean, R.N., spoke about the health office and immunization requirements. Mrs. Kammerer and Mr. Balestrieri were also in attendance and highlighted the speech and guidance services available to children. The event was very well attended.

As a result of grant funding, the Bergen County Department of Health and Services is sponsoring a Physical Activity, Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Program for students in fifth through eighth grade. In collaboration with our physical education teacher and our nurse, this program will promote healthy lifestyle lessons throughout the year via bulletin boards, assembly programs and healthy snacks.

If you have ever watched News Channel 4, you may have seen a blue screen on your TV when the weather was reported. this screen, called the WNBC 4 New York WeatherNet site, names a school in the local tri-state area in addition to the weather readings at that school. In order for this information to be reported on the television, schools must be equipped with a weather station that includes an external sensor suite. This external sensor suite is mounted to the rooftop of the school and includes equipment for wind speed, temperature, and rainfall amounts. A master control unit is also needed and is attached to a computer inside the school for constant monitoring. throughout the year, WNBC 4 logs onto the computers hooked up to this equipment and reports the weather readings at schools throughout the area.

As you already know, toward the end of last year, Lincoln School became the proud recipient of the WNBC 4 New York Neighborhood WeatherNet site. We received all of our equipment at the end of May and our maintenance staff in the district installed our external sensor suite on our rooftop. Weather readings from Lincoln School are now online for WNBC 4 to air. The master control station and control unit is stationed in Mrs. LaTorre's fifth grade classroom. Lincoln School children visited Mrs. LaTorre's classroom on Friday, September 14th and saw the master control station. They learned to read the date collected from the external sensor suite on our rooftop.

Beginning this September, I will be sending out a monthly curriculum letter to all parents in grades K through 5. These letters will include topics such a building children's confidence and self-esteem, encouraging independence and responsibility, improving study habits, helping with homework, dealing with television and staying free of drugs and alcohol. In addition, I plan on sending out letters that focus on classroom achievement and fun to do learning activities to help elementary children strengthen basic reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies skills. (Please see attached September letters)

Many thanks are to be given to the Lincoln School PTA for providing each student in grades 1 through 5 with a Student Planner as well as all Lincoln School Faculty and staff with a Teacher Planner. Every student in kindergarten received a Lincoln School crayon box.

Fire drills for students occurred on September 13, 2001 and September 24, 2001.

The enrollment for Lincoln School as of September 25, 2001 is 347.


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