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REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS December 2006 HIGH SCHOOL UPDATE John Novak, Principal Georgiana Ryan took her theater students to a Broadway performance of Phantom of the Opera. Four juniors have been selected as MHS candidates for the 2007 Governor’s School Program. They are Laura Alexander (School of the Arts: Creative Writing), David Chin (School for the Sciences), Kamila Lapkiewicz (School of International Studies), and Wlodzimierz Lapkiewicz (School on the Environment). The MHS Math Team competed at JP Stevens as part of the Central Jersey Mathematics League. Advisor Jon Stevens’ top scorer was Soha Shah followed by Yana Bukovskaya, Katie Graziano, and Frank Lombardi. Math teachers Janis Lewandowski and Ann Krizko attended a workshop at Middlesex County College on “The Creative Classroom: Integrating Math and Technology.” The session focused on routinely implementing various types of technology into daily lesson plans. Supervisor Joann Zebrowski also attended the workshop. The MHS Robotics Team participated in the RoboRocks Robotic Competition at Middlesex County College. Robotics instructor Tom Vahalla and science teacher Yoko Kato accompanied the eleven students. Both teachers advised the students on their entry in terms of the construction and programming of the vehicle. The team’s hard work preparing for the competition was rewarded when they won the “Spirit Award.” The Experienced Based Career Education (EBCE) class has been very busy personalizing and filling desktop publishing orders, preparing advertising materials, and keeping an accurate record of sales and payments. Items that were created using MS Publisher and Word were offered to the staff. The proceeds from the sale of business cards, holiday return address labels, holiday gift labels, and class donations were used to purchase toys as part of the Key Club initiative, “Toys for Tots.” The EBCE students participated in a field trip to Franco Manufacturing on Prospect Street (Metuchen) to learn about graphic design and manufacturing careers. All six of Marae McGhee’s Foods classes prepared a Hanukkah treat for staff and students when they made delicious latkes. In addition, every Foods student made a gingerbread house. These projects ranged in size from tiny cracker houses to multi- story houses baked from graph paper plans. Math teacher Ann Krizko and Foods teacher Marae McGhee participated in an interdisciplinary project entitled “Origami Challenge.” Students from both programs were organized into teams of six and worked on a two-day project with origami modular pinwheels that changed into octagonal forms. The teams were expected to create a poster made of pinwheels that represented a math or foods concept. A winning poster was selected and each of the team members received a prize. MHS students Matt Holbert, Molly Hampsey, and Genna Rivera were accepted into the Region II Choir. Band member Debby Gold was accepted into the Region II Band for flute and Ben Green was accepted for percussion. The Choir Director is Stefeny Stofa Krombholz and the Band Director is John Morrison. The MHS String Orchestra performed at a December Board of Education meeting. The performance of two selections gave Catherine Morrison’s students the opportunity to showcase their skills and promote interest in the Winter Concert. Rosann Kamin’s Italian Club met after school at Lucca’s Coffee Shop in downtown Metuchen. The group sampled traditional holiday pastries and discussed ancient and contemporary winter traditions in Italy. The Music Department presented its annual Winter Concert. Catherine Morrison’s Orchestra, Stefeny Stofa Krombholz’s Chorus, and John Morrison’s Band performed a wide variety of musical selections. Rosann Kamin’s Culture Club sponsored an International Games and Desserts Night in the cafeteria. The club members played international games, sampled homemade international desserts, and listened to holiday music played by members of the Music Department. Eight members of Rosann Kamin’s Culture Club traveled to New York City with their advisor during the break. While in Manhattan, they visited the Museum of Television and Radio, viewed holiday windows at several department stores, and saw the tree at Rockefeller Center. Guidance counselor Jill Landgraber attended a “Mean Girls” workshop in Atlantic City. In addition, Guidance Director Sandra DeLuca attended a Counselor Day Workshop at Monmouth University. The focus of the program was the role of the parent of the college age student. The Student Council hosted its annual Snow Ball, a semi-formal dance that continues to be very popular with students. All arrangements and preparations were coordinated by advisor Traci Grauer and her SC officers. More than 300 students enjoyed the evening, which included a catered buffet. The MHS Footlighters presented Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs as the Fall Theater Production. Advisor Jane Harmon used a double cast for the four evening performances. The play was enjoyable, very entertaining, and well done. Fire Drill Log Thursday, December 14 – 1:50 p.m.; Tuesday, December 19 – 2:10 p.m. ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT UPDATE John Cathcart, Athletic Director Coach Rich Stoner Boys’ basketball Team is currently 6-3. The team is working hard and trying to duplicate the success of last year’s team. The Girls’ Basketball Team, coached by first year Head Coach Greg O’Neill, is currently 2-7. The Lady Bulldogs are playing hard every game and although the record does not reflect it they are greatly improved from last season. Both the boys and girls winter track teams are off to a fast start. The boys under Coach Marty Holleran and the girls under Coach Kelli Redding have each won the Blue Division at the county meet. The wrestling team is working hard this year under Head Coach Ed Angus. The team is young and inexperienced but giving their best effort. The team is currently 3 – 4. The swim team is currently 3-1. The Lady swimmers are lead by Melissa Wallace and Renae Sharkey. Both Edgar School basketball programs have started the season very well. The boys are coached by Ed Albanese and the girls are coached by Val Gazda. Both teams have played well in every game. They both have talented players and look to have a successful season. The Edgar School Swim Team is off to an excellent start. The very talented team coached by Allyson Rescorl is doing very well. The turn out for this program was excellent. All athletic schedules and scores can be seen at the Metuchen High School web site at www.athletics.metuchenhigh.org The site is updated daily. For daily athletic information call the sports line at 732-494-3288 after 10:00am. Questions about the athletic programs at Metuchen High School can be directed to the Athletic Director, phone 321-8755, fax 635-0760. ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS UPDATE MOSS Paul Pineiro, Principal It was a month of parties and celebrations at Moss School, some relating to the season’s holidays and others to school and staff events. The special education students of Moss School gathered together with their families on December 12th for a special holiday social. The evening was filled with crafts, food, music and fun. Children’s book author, Joan Buzick (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) was a featured guest artist and lead the party in a sing-a-long of her award-winning children’s book, What Went Right Today. WWRT won the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Award for best children’s audio book. For more info, visit www.wwrt.org. Classes celebrated the letters N, D and C with theme days featuring neckties, denim and comfy clothes respectively. The classic children’s book, Corduroy was also a favorite of staff and students for reinforcing the letter C. Holiday parties were fun for all, and parent helpers were vital in organizing them. Parents also helped students with crafts that adorned the bulletin boards in the hallways and they read stories highlighting Chanukah, Christmas and other celebrations of the season. It was a very eventful month for the students and staff associated with Mrs. Fischer’s kindergarten classes. First, they were introduced to Miriam Volfovich who transitioned into the role as Mrs. Fischer’s maternity replacement. They also enjoyed a baby shower hosted by parents in both the AM and PM classes as well as holiday parties. The children will be delighted to learn that over the break, on December 25, Mrs. Fischer gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Kayla. Activities in line with our Moss School goal to introduce students to world cultures included parents coming in to conduct two cultural presentations in Mrs. Fischer’s class, one for Israel and one for Italy. A parent also visited the music classes to help Mrs. Thomas teach a song from the Ukraine. In the area of student health, the Moss School Nurse, Mary Kay Sessa, completed and sent the annual tuberculosis report for NJDOE. She also reviewed and returned a demo on epipen skills for teachers. Mrs. Sessa also completed vision exams for 90% of the students. Eight children were referred for further evaluation. Hearing exams have begun for selected students. A new substitute nurse was approved for the district and Mrs. Sessa reviewed bloodborne pathogens and Hepatitis B vaccine with her. The Moss School “book tree” went up 12/8 and we have been collecting gift cards for booksellers in order to assist the Bethune School in New Orleans in their efforts to restock their school library. The book tree will remain up until 1/26 and we will continue to collect the gift cards. Fire Drills: December 12 – 9:15 AM and 1:55 PM; December 19 – 2:20 PM and 9:15 AM CAMPBELL Bob Gugliara, Principal December is normally a busy and important month. Numerous things were anticipated with excitement, such as: the distribution of Campbell’s 1st marking period report cards on Dec. 1st., and the approaching holidays and special events that make Campbell School an exciting and special place to learn. Campbell School’s PTO Holiday Bazaar was December 9th. The event took place in Campbell’s all-purpose room. Large displays of items were available for purchase by the students. Mrs. Paula Best deserves a big thank you! Campbell’s Student Council organized a toy drive. The annual toy drive at Campbell collected over 200 toys for the children in Newark. Helen Stummer, a Metuchen resident, is our area contact. The toys were distributed to apartment house groups at Apostle House, a family shelter in Newark. This project was coordinated by Kathy Keers-Nolde and Eileen Dyas for the student council. Campbell’s Student Council collected over 17 huge bags of coats for the “Jersey Cares Coat Drive.” The Campbell School Student Council members were helped along by Ms. Keers-Nolde and Mrs. Dyas. It is always amazing how many coats are donated. This is an extremely useful project. Campbell School’s “We Deliver Post Office” was very busy in December. Fourth graders and Campbell postmasters Nancy Hanley and Kelli Redding have been directing a small army of students in order to provide a service that fosters writing friendly letters. The Post Office is located in the Campbell lobby. Mail is dropped off every Tuesday and delivered by 4th grade mail carriers by Friday. Everyone seems to love getting letters in the mail. The Campbell Scoop published its December edition. The school newspaper has a large number of student reporters and other staff personnel. We would respectfully remind everyone who has received the Scoop to read it and enjoy. A copy of The Campbell Scoop can also be found on the Campbell School website. This will be posted on line shortly by Jonathan Nolde. The third grade classes enjoyed an assembly by the Lenape Lifeways Educational Program. All seven third grade classes were able to enjoy the slide show presentation and discussion. The assembly also included authentic artifacts and hands-on objects which the students could enjoy. This curriculum-based presentation was well-received. Students at Campbell received their school pictures in December from Marty Hyman Studios. Everyone was happy to have had the pictures arrive before the holidays. Everyone always looks so very special in their elementary school photo! They become family treasures. Phyllis Oppenheimer, from AAA, came to visit the 3rd grade. She presented a program about New Jersey. This was part of the 3rd grade ICE program. Mrs. Oppenheimer talked about all the wonderful places to visit in New Jersey. She distributed travel guides, maps and fun fact guides to all the students. We want to thank Mrs. Oppenheimer for donating her time to our students. Student Council coordinated a “Hat Day” on Friday, December 1st. The students were allowed to wear hats to classes. Many of the hats were very creative and cute. The students enjoy wearing them. They are not usually allowed to wear hats in school. Kathy Keers-Nolde is coordinating a project with The Lakeview School. They have a 3 rd grade and a 4th grade class that have paired up with the same at Campbell. Mrs. Chris Donohue’s 3rd grade and Mrs. Minelli’s 4th grade are the two classes they have been working with at Campbell. This is a great learning experience for our students. Lakeview visited Campbell School on the 7th and Campbell is visiting Lakeview inJanuary. Our students have met and interacted. They developed a pen pal relationship between the classes. Various means of communication have been used. Not all the Lakeview students can use pen and paper. Our students are very excited. Judy Alfaro and Melissa Arias visited the two classes and discussed how the students would differ from them and how they would be the same. The training was a great success. The visit was even better. The students realized how much they have in common with each other. The students are looking forward to the visit in January. The Bell Choir from a local organization visited the school on the 22nd. The musical program was wonderful for our students. The bells and chimes were introduced to all the students. They heard how beautiful they could sound. The program was a wonderful holiday treat for all. Erin Deverin, the 3rd grade teacher in charge of Drama Club, had her Footlighters put on a play, “Goldilocks Goes to Court”. The performance was wonderful and the 3 rd grade audience enjoyed it greatly. Robert J. Cenker, aerospace systems consultant to industry and NASA, visited Campbell School to initiate the 4ICE unit, “Space Camp.” He shared his experiences in space through pictures and stories. Selected by RCA as payload specialist, he flew for NASA on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986. The students were most fascinated by videos demonstrating weightlessness. Mrs. Dulce Isler came into Mrs. A. Gonzales’s 4th grade to teach students about the traditions of Hanukkah. The presentation included a story and potato latkes. The same class enjoyed Mrs. Gresy Johnson teaching the students about Honduran holiday traditions. The Cub Scout Den #6, Pack #69, of Metuchen planted two trees that were donated by Home Depot. This was part of the Cub Scouts taking care of the planet achievement activity. We thank Mrs. Nancy Conroy for her help with this project. Fire Drill Log: December 11 – 1 pm; and Safety Drill December 21 –1:40pm EDGAR Kathryn Glutz The month of December demonstrated the generosity and concern of the Edgar Middle School community. The New Jersey Cares Coat Drive sponsored by the 5 th/6th Grade Student Council was an overwhelming success with the donation of bags of gently used coats. The 7th/8th Grade Student Council sponsored a successful Toys-For-Tots drive. New, unwrapped toys were donated for needy children. Our fifth and sixth grade students participated in the Adopt-A-Family program where more than $1600 in donations were collected to purchase gifts for less fortunate families. Additionally, 8 bins of food were collected as part of the Builder’s Club Holiday Food Drive. Middle school students participated in the National Geographic Bee this month under the direction of social studies teacher, Ken Graf. Three finalists, Jonathan Rice, Sean Dacey, and Kathryn Sweatman competed for the school championship at a sixth and seventh grade assembly. These students participated in a jeopardy-style format competition with Ken Graf acting as host and moderator. Sean Dacey was crowned school champion and he will take a state test to determine eligibility for state competition. The Rutgers University Science Explorer Bus visited EMS this month for a three day period. All eighth grade students visited the bus for a 90 minute exploratory science session on electricity. Eighth grade science teacher, Ed Ronk, was responsible for arranging this program for our eighth grade physical science students. Actor Wilmer Valderrama visited EMS this month and spoke to the entire student body during an assembly program. Mr. Valderrama is starring in the movie, Unaccompanied Minors, with EMS sixth grade student, Quinn Shepard. Mr. Valderrama has appeared for eight seasons on the “The 70’s Show” and also plays on the MTV show entitled, “Yo Momma”. During this presentation, the actor provided strong messages to kids about the importance of homework, succeeding academically, and learning from one’s mistakes. Eighth grade students attended a performance of “The Outsiders” at the theater at Rider University. Students had read the classic novel in their language arts class prior to attending the show. EMS music students performed at the Downtown Metuchen Tree Lighting ceremony this month. String performers included Connor Babos, Joscelyn Poll, Ben Eisner, Jamie Wooding, Skye Elkins, Katie Sweatman, and Oliver Owens. Band performers included Nyasa Cusmai, Meredith Reatz, Danisa Schiff, John Pesce, Sarah Greenfeder, Daniel Ayzenberg, Krishan Patel, John Lombardi, Micayla Bransfield, Eric Jeney, Elizabeth Klapper, Rachel Vermane, Connor Babos, and Josh Adlerman. Congratulations to Orchestra director Margie Thomas and Band Director Robyn Keyes for their efforts at this community event. The 5th/6th Grade Winter Concert was held this month. Ensemble groups in band, chorus, and orchestra treated parents and guests to an enjoyable evening of music and song. Fifth grade students participated in a holiday party prior to the winter recess. All students were treated to snacks, music, and an Edgar Trivia Game as they prepared for the upcoming holidays. Parents helped to organize and host this event which was held in the multi-purpose room. The 7th/8th Grade Student Council held their annual holiday dance this month. The event was enjoyed by seventh and eighth grade students and those staff members in attendance. Fifth grade students participated in Explorer Day. This culminating event was an opportunity for fifth grade students to demonstrate their knowledge of early explorers by presenting oral reports dressed in period attire. The program was attended by parents and other fifth grade classes. The Spanish Club attended a field trip to enjoy a performance by Alejandra Dondines Dancers of the Americas. The program included music and dance from several South and Central American countries and the Caribbean. Twenty-seven students along with Spanish instructors, Lisa Chango and Barbara Biancamano, attended this cultural field trip. Laura Nemer attended two professional development courses, “Brain Compatible Learning” and “I Can Do It” (classroom management) through NJEA. Math students in Danielle Brabston’s classes were involved in a number of classroom activities during the month highlighted by the following: Pre-algebra 2 students worked on factor trees in which they illustrated breaking composite numbers into primes on tree branches, Algebra 1 students drew pictures using lines and wrote equations for each line that resulted in the picture, and Connected Math students used pattern blocks to discover the similarity between shapes. Seventh grade students in Christine DeSimone’s General Music class completed a movie scoring project in iMovie and GarageBand. They have also written and recorded Blues lyrics on GargeBand. Fifth grade students are creating compositions on GarageBand that will become part of an iMovie presentation using artwork selected by students. Two additional iMac computers have been added to the General Music class through a Metuchen Education Foundation grant. Kristin Bruno’s language arts students created their own parody of the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Students also wrote winter tales and Hanukkah tales that were presented in class prior to the winter recess. Ginny Wetzel’s ICE-5 students completed their research and have begun designing and creating their news segments based on the collected research. Sixth grade Life Studies students completed a study skills units with a five-page flipbook which incorporated five elements of effective study skills. Students also completed their unit on good manners which will be presented through Power Point presentations. Marilyn Lewis attended the Annual Conference of the International Dyslexia Association. One session, presented by Mary Farrell, Ph. D. showed the benefits of using a “text to speech” program offered on Microsoft Word software. Marilyn Lewis’ fifth grade language arts students created buildings with Legos and then wrote about their creations using the details and sequencing that was used in their design. EMS is proud of our student recognition program. Every month a student is selected in each grade who positively contributes to the school by extending themselves in areas such as academics, citizenship, or community service. The Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce is supporting this endeavor by providing a gift to each recipient. Students of the Month for December are as follows: Michelle Wakeman (Grade 8), Kendra Best (Grade 7), Corey Reisch (Grade 6), and Jim Hampsey (Grade 5). Congratulations to this month’s students. Fire Drill Log December 4th (8:50 am) and December 14th (1:50 pm). OFFICE OF CURRICULUM Paul Pineiro Curriculum Planning and Writing One of the sessions offered at The Creative Classroom: Integrating Math and Technology, featured the Connected Math Program. This session was attended by Ed Albanese, Danielle Brabston, and Joann Zebrowski. Teachers from various districts shared their best practice tips with respect to the program and new supplementary materials were introduced. Teacher Express: A Tutorial Guide and ExamView Pro Test Generator are two computer programs that will help the teachers in developing assessment tools and individual instructional lessons. Both have been obtained for the Connected Math Teachers. Language Arts and Social Studies Supervisor, Terrie Snyder, met with ninth grade teachers to continue planning for AIE grant and to discuss research for the artist, currently in process. The group also discussed activities for January and February. Special Programs: Field Trips, Gifted and Talented, Special Services and Basic Skills Metuchen High School’s Math Team competed this month at J.P. Stevens High School in Edison. Our top scorer was Soha Shah followed by Yana Bukovskaya, Katie Graziano, and Frank Lombardi. The Metuchen High School Robotics Team participated in the RoboRocks Robotics Competition held at Middlesex County College. Teachers Tom Vahalla and Yoko Kato accompanied the eleven students and advised them both prior and during the competition. The team’s hard work and performance at the competition helped them earn the Winning Spirit Award. The Experience Based Career Education (EBCE) class has been busy personalizing and filling desktop publishing orders, preparing advertising flyers, and keeping record of sales and payments. Items that were created using MS Publisher and Word were offered for sale to the staff. The proceeds from the sale of business cards, holiday return address labels, and holiday gift labels, in addition to donations received, were used to purchase toys to assist the Key Club’s collection for Toys for Tots. The EBCE students took a trip to Franco Manufacturing on Prospect Street in Metuchen to learn about graphic design and manufacturing careers. Six classes of Foods students prepared a Hanukkah treat for staff and students. Using hot oil and many pounds of potatoes, delicious latkes were served. Every food student constructed a gingerbread house. These houses ranged in size from tiny cracker houses to the multi-story houses baked from graph paper plans. Origami Challenge took place on December 21 and December 22. Ann Krizko and Marae McGhee worked on a two day project with origami modular pinwheels that change into octagonal forms. Students from the Math and Food classes were divided up into teams of six and presented the challenge of creating a poster made of the pinwheels that represented a math or food concept. A winning poster was selected and each of the team members received a prize. On December 5th, 6th and 7th, the Rutgers Science Bus visited Edgar MS. The bus was parked outside the school for students to visit. This is a science classroom on wheels. Students visited the bus during their Science classes. They were on the bus for an hour and a half. The topic was electricity. This activity served as an introduction to electricity for some classes and a good review and reinforcement for classes that had already begun studying electricity. The students in Mr. Ronk’s fifth period Science class have participated in an “exchange of lessons” program with the Lake View School of Edison. During the first part of this exchange, students will be visiting Edgar Middle School. Plans are being made for our students to visit the Lake View School for a science lesson sometime in the spring. The Lake View School is located across from the “lake” in Roosevelt Park. The School is a fully accredited private school for children with multiple disabilities. Over 175 students receive academic lessons along with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and vocational skills. Although the School is operated by the Cerebral Palsy Association of Middlesex County, many of the students have additional physical and developmental disabilities. On Tuesday, November 28th, 10 students from Lake View visited Edgar Middle School and participated in Mr. Ronk’s science class. On Thursday, November 30th, 10 more students visited and participated. Georgiana Ryan took drama students to a performance of Phantom of the Opera. The Bands, Orchestras and Choruses at Edgar School and Metuchen High performed their winter concerts on December 13 and December 17 respectively. Edgar Middle School students performed for the town “Tree Lighting Ceremony” December 8 Curriculum Initiatives, Resources and Materials Lenny Szkodny was the recipient of a MEF grant for the purchase of a band saw for the Woodshop. The band saw will not only be used by the students in Woodshop, but also will be beneficial to the Robotics Team, art students and for school-based projects. Sherry Lifson was the recipient of an MEF grant for the purchase of graphing calculators for her math classes. The grant will allow her to purchase 25 graphing calculators and a View screen LCD Panel. Language Arts and Social Studies Supervisor, Terrie Snyder, met with ninth grade teachers to continue planning for the AIE (cultural activities) grant and to discuss research for the artist, currently in process. The group also discussed activities for January and February. Terrie Snyder met with ROGATE students who are in the critical issues cluster. They are to begin work on individual research activities. ROGATE is the after-school enrichment program offering challenging academic project work. Articulation: Department and Grade Level Meetings Joann Zebrowski, Supervisor of Mathematics and Practical Arts, met with the staff members of the Mathematics and Practical Arts Departments. Topics discussed included mid-term exams, placement recommendations for the 2007-2008 school year, and the departmental goal. Joann Zebrowski, Supervisor of Mathematics, met with the Edgar School math teachers, grades 5-8. Topics discussed included mid-term examinations, placement recommendations for 2007-2008, instruction and technology, and peer observations. Joann Zebrowski, Ann Henshaw, and Sandy Vorensky met in order to begin to organize the Saturday morning Math GEPA review program. The program will be held on the following Saturday mornings: February 10, February 24, March 3, and March 10. In anticipation of the Science HSPA being included in State Reporting, The High School Science Department is developing a course that will offer remediation and reinforcement to students that are at-risk for failing. The Band and Music Parent meeting was on December 12. The World Language Department at EMS met to discuss language selection for incoming 8 th graders on Dec. 21. The High School Music Department met on December 28 to discuss the spring music department trip. Testing The High School received HSPA results for the October testing. Results will be shared soon with the BOE and the public. Professional Development Joann Zebrowski attended and ESTEEMS Phase II Partner meeting at Rutgers University. The district has been involved in this program for the past three summers and looks forward to continuing the relationship during the summer of 2007. ESTEEMS (Establishing Excellence in Education for Mathematics and Science) is a two week summer institute in Math and Science which provides standards-based content related professional development in mathematics and science for regular and special education classroom teachers. Terrie Snyder organized after-school workshops with Edgar School Language Arts Teachers. They worked on developing writing skills via narrative, informational and persuasive texts. Staff members attended the following professional development opportunities in December: Social Skills Training and Frustration Mgmt. 12/1/2006 Broyles Julie EMS J. Baker Social Skills Training and Frustration Mgmt. 12/1/2006 Deibert Joanne EMS J. Baker Social Skills Training and Frustration Mgmt. 12/1/2006 DeLair Sharon EMS J. Baker 12/1/2006 Goldstein Elaine EMS Mean Girls 12/1/2006 Hollenbeck Joy EMS Mean Girls Social Skills Training and Frustration Mgmt. 12/1/2006 Rescorl Allyson EMS J. Baker Social Skills Training and Frustration Mgmt. 12/1/2006 Riles Michele MHS J. Baker Music & Movement Through Your Day - 12/1/2006 Lombardi Regina Moss online course 13th Annual Early Literacy & Reading 12/2/2006 Anderson Julie Camp. Recovery Conf 13th Annual Early Literacy & Reading 12/2/2006 Hanley Nancy Camp. Recovery Conf 12/4/2006 Keers-Nolde Kathy Camp. Hands on Health Conference 12/4/2006 Minelli Michelle Camp. Principals in Training Workshop Presentation of Soccer Legislation to 12/4/2006 Graf Ken EMS NJSIAA members 12/5/2006 DeLuca Sandy MHS Monmouth University Counselor Workshop 12/5/2006 Lifson Sherry MHS ESTEEMs Program 12/5/2006 Ruhno Nora MHS ESTEEMs Program 12/6/2006 Albanese Ed EMS Achieving Success with ASK 5, 6, 7 12/6/2006 Brabston Danielle EMS Achieving Success with ASK 5, 6, 7 12/6/2006 Glave Patricia MHS INFOLINK Fall Membership Meeting 12/6/2006 Miranowic Mary MHS NJ SMART training 12/6/2006 Toro Jo Ellen MHS NJ SMART training 12/7/2006 DeLair Sharon EMS ESTEEMs Program 12/7/2006 Scharf Sandy EMS ESTEEMs Program The Creative Classroom: Integrating Math 12/8/2006 Albanese Ed EMS and Technology The Creative Classroom: Integrating Math 12/8/2006 Brabston Danielle EMS and Technology The Creative Classroom: Integrating Math 12/8/2006 Krizko Ann MHS and Technology The Creative Classroom: Integrating Math 12/8/2006 Lewandowski Janis MHS and Technology The Creative Classroom: Integrating Math 12/8/2006 Zebrowski Joann Superv and Technology 12/11/2006 Brokaw Patricia EMS Modifying and Adapting Instruction 12/11/2006 Kuchar Eileen EMS Modifying and Adapting Instruction 12/11/2006 Stoner Marcie EMS Modifying and Adapting Instruction 12/11/2006 Ulmer Bob MHS Tri-State awards winner brunch Motivating Uninterested, Disillusioned & 12/12/2006 Goldstein Elaine EMS Disruptive Sts. 12/12/2006 Gouveia Michele EMS ESTEEMs Program 12/12/2006 Henshaw Anne EMS ESTEEMs Program 12/13/2006 Broyles Julie EMS NJ ASK 5, 6, 7 Sp. Ed. preparation wksp 12/13/2006 Graziano Judith EMS ESTEEMs Program 12/13/2006 Seidnberg Robin EMS NJ ASK 5, 6, 7 Sp. Ed. preparation wksp 12/14/2006 Redding Kelli Camp. Track & Field Clinic 12/14/2006 Holleran Martin MHS All-Star track & field clinic 12/15/2006 Redding Kelli Camp. Track & Field Clinic 12/15/2006 Holleran Martin MHS All-Star track & field clinic 12/18/2006 Kato Yoko MHS Roborocks Robotics Competition 12/19/2006 Opitz Amy BOE ACCESS for ELLs Registration training 12/19/2006 Cheung Judi Assoc of Student Assistance Professionels 12/22/2006 Wright James MHS Supervision of yearbook club pictures DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL SERVICES Bob Capra, Supervisor of Special Services The Child Study Teams continue to provide evaluations, development of Individual Education Plans (IEP), direct services such as counseling, crisis intervention, behavioral planning, tutoring, consultations with teachers, and case management. The Edgar School Child Study Team, which includes School Social Worker Evette Collier, Learning Disabilities Teacher/Consultant Joanne Deibert, and School Psychologist Silvia Pastor, along with Special Education Teachers Julie Broyles and Sharon DeLair, Inclusion Coordinator Michele Riles, and Behavioral Consultant Michael Selbst presented a parent orientation describing the Edgar School Learning Center. The orientation included parents of current and prospective students, teachers, and administrators. The program is designed to develop the social skills of students whose disability affects their ability to intuitively learn appropriate behaviors in specific social situations. The students’ language arts instruction is provided at each student’s educational level, while helping the students to better comprehend the emotional content of the material. Skills such as listening comprehension, abstract reasoning, inferential thinking, empathy, etc. are addressed in connection with appropriate reading material. Additionally, there are structured social skills lessons. The goal is to teach critical social skills necessary for the students to function appropriately across environments, including school, home, and community. Staff members monitor the students’ behavior, social skills, and academic progress, providing immediate feedback with a focus on positive reinforcement. There is a combination of individual and group contingencies to motivate the students, while helping them to develop greater intrinsic motivation. Aside from the above mentioned persons, a number of representatives from the Pennington – Hopewell Valley Regional Schools also attended. At Metuchen High School, Learning Disabilities Teacher/ Consultant Janet Irenski met with a number of students and their parents and a representative from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to develop transition services for those students eligible for the Division’s services. DVR offers job training, planning, and evaluations for students diagnosed with learning disabilities. Many of our students have taken advantage of DVR’s services after graduation. Ms. Irenski is also an active member of the high school Intervention and Referral Service team and the Core Team, both of which offer services to at-risk students. She also coordinates services with the Commission for the Blind for our visually impaired students. Dr. Silvia Pastor, the School Psychologist at Edgar School and the High School spent much of December preparing for the Learning Center orientation. Dr. Pastor continues to provide crisis intervention for students in severe distress and behavioral planning for those students requiring specific behavioral plans. She also attended “Coffee Talk,” a parent support group at Edgar School. Learning Consultant Joanne Deibert, aside from her regular testing and case management responsibilities, participated on the bi-weekly Intervention and Referral Service Team and the Edgar School Leadership Team. Campbell School Learning Consultant Pat Broadbent has been busy visiting several of the out-of-district schools that she case manages including Bright Beginnings, the county program for multiply handicapped and autistic students. Moss School Learning Consultant Chris Cuthbertson continues to coordinate assessments of our pre-school youngsters, as well as participating on the school’s Intervention and Referral Service Team. Ms. Cuthbertson also visited several out-of-district programs to observe current students and referred children in an integrated setting. In December, the parents of special education students at Moss School, the students, and their siblings were invited to an evening holiday party in the Moss School gym. Parents provided arts and crafts projects, pizza, and desserts. Approximately 35 youngsters ranging from age 3 to 14, and 25 parents attended. Director of Special Services, Robert Capra, represented the Special Education Department. Parents arranged to have a volunteer play children’s’ songs and tell stories. Everyone had a great time. The party gave parents an opportunity to meet each other, allowed working parents to participate, and gave the kids an opportunity to play with their friends. GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT Sandra DeLuca, Director of Guidance Jill Landgraber attended the “Mean Girls” workshop in Atlantic City on December 8. Sandra DeLuca attended the Counselor Day Workshop at Monmouth University on December 5. The role of the parent of the college age student was the focus of the presentations. SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT Terri Sinatra The district expressed public concern over proposed changes in school districts by the legislature in order to create property tax relief. Many Metuchen residents attended a district and PTO sponsored symposium on December 6. Our elected legislative representatives attended as well as our mayor. It was a thoughtful discussion of what has been an on-going problem for New Jerseyans. Job meetings regarding the MHS renovation project continues throughout the month. The district also continued maintaining an evening police presence at the high school to ensure the safety of students in the building after regular school hours. The budget process continued with the presentation of the audit report and a budget calendar on December 5 and baseline data on December 12. On Tuesday, December 12, there was a meeting of the committee that will oversee the safety grant received several months ago by a consortium of Middlesex county school districts. The emphasis was on preparation for a pandemic flu outbreak. Members of the Middlesex County Public Health Department presented very helpful information on this topic. The State Department of Education will be adding new requirements to our Safety Manual. Pandemic flu preparation will be a component. On Monday, December 18, Business Administrator Mike Harvier attended one of three public hearings scheduled by the New Jersey Department of Education to discuss the recently released Report on the Cost of Education. The purpose of the report is to calculate the costs that New Jersey school districts face in meeting state performance and accountability standards. Annual holiday festivities took place in all schools as well as in the Central Office and everyone left for winter recess.
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