Thursday, December 21, 2006

Enjoy the Winter Break

We have an early dismissal day scheduled for tomorrow. I wish all in our school community an enjoyable break. The time with family and friends is special. Enjoy.

We look forward to an exciting new year – 2007 will be another successful year for the Woodbury Public Schools.

We return to school Tuesday, January 2, 2007.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tonight's Concert -- 8:00 p.m.

There has been a bit of confusion regarding the start time of this evening's choir concern. The event will be held in the newly re-opened high school auditorium and starts at 8:00 p.m.

The show features selections performed by the --

*Sixth Grade Choir
*Seventh & Eighth Grade Choir
*High School Concert Choir, and
*High School Traveling Choir

Woodbury High School
Ninety-Eighth Annual Holiday Concert
December 20, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Board of Education Meeting -- Tonight

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education is scheduled for this evening at 7:00 p.m. The meeting is held in the Board Conference Room on the first floor of the high school building.

At upcoming Board of Education meetings during the balance of this school year, representatives from one of our schools will be in attendance to present an update highlighting activity within the building. This evening, the high school starts off these presentations. The Jr.-Sr. High School presentation will focus on the World Language Department and the AVID – Advancement Via Individual Determination -- program.

Also, the architect will be present to update the Board on the status of the Walnut Street School heating, ventilation, and air conditioning project.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jr.-Sr. High Choir Concerts

We just received word that the correction to our auditorium seating has been completed, and the room is now available for use.

Therefore, this Wednesday’s choir performance will be held at the school! We are pleased to have our new room back in operation. Doc Maddison will be speaking with our students today regarding the change.

Jr. High performance @ 6:30 p.m.
Sr. High performance @ 8:00 p.m.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Spotlight on Ms. Harrison

Danielle Harrison

Teacher of Grade 2

West End Memorial School

Danielle Harrison

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Rutgers University – Bachelor’s Degree – African American Studies; Elementary Education

• Work experience:
Cherry Hill Public Schools (long-term sub – 4th grade)
Camden Charter School (long-term sub – 5th grade)

• Favorite books
o fiction: Polar Express
o nonfiction: The First Day of School, by Harry Wong

• Favorite television show:
America’s Next Top Model

• Last movie I loved:
Akeelah the Bee

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Beyoncé (B-Day)

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Martin Luther King. He was an inspiration to all people for Civil Rights and peace in this country.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Florida (Orange Lake Resort)

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Filing all my paperwork and bills at home

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:


• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
A teacher I will never forget was my fourth grade teacher at West End, Miss Schaffer. She was very loving, funny, and she cared for her students. She also had great classroom treats to share on Fridays!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Emergency Alert System

Mrs. Pennell, our school Business Administrator, was very impressed with a presentation regarding a county service that we will be looking to employ in the near future. I have attached below some information about the Roam Secure system from the company’s website. Gloucester County has purchased access to the system and is making it available to schools in the county. Woodbury is excited about what the system will allow for our schools as a way to provide information to our community in the case of emergencies.

This information is very preliminary -- kind of advanced, insider’s information for blog users. I anticipate that it will take some time to finalize our connection with the county service. Once we have that completed, we will advertise the chance for families to join.

From the Roam Secure website:

Roam Secure® is the leader in deploying and managing emergency text alerting systems with its flagship product the Roam Secure Alert Network (RSAN™). RSAN is setting the national standard for text alerting each day as more and more people join the tens of thousands of government leaders, first responders, employees, critical infrastructure security personnel, businesses and citizens that rely upon the award winning emergency alerting system. RSAN has continually proven reliable and successful at reaching out to citizens, employees and key personnel over the past several years during all types of routine emergencies and regional crises. RSAN’s patent-pending technology delivers targeted information quickly and efficiently, with the capability to send 18,000 messages per minute, per server and it has delivered millions of messages during all-hazards events.

RSAN leverages text-based technology, such as SMS, to reach text-enabled devices including pagers, cell phones, PDAs, Blackberry, Treo, satellite phones, XM Satellite radio, instant messaging and e-mail. These messages provide essential information to targeted groups about where to go, what to avoid, and other important time-sensitive information to secure public and personal safety during an emergency. RSAN also provides efficient two-way communication, through a combination of cell phones, pagers, Blackberry, PDAs, email and desktop alerts. Cities, Counties and States use RSAN for routine paging and dispatch and to warn millions of citizens and businesses in seconds with specific, targeted information during emergencies. RSAN has also been attributed to saving lives during severe weather, helping find missing children and elderly persons and tracking down crime suspects.

In the United States alone more than 194 million adults carry their cell phones with them at all times, and more than 37.5 billion SMS messages were sent in the first 6 months of last year – making text communication an imperative way to reach individuals anywhere, anytime. In addition, as proven time and again during the London bombings, 9/11 and hurricanes Katrina and Rita – text works when other traditional forms of communication fail.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Teacher of the Year Program

Each year, the district recognizes a teacher from each of our schools as a representative of the high quality work occurring in the classrooms. In early January, we will be sending out nomination forms to all homes by way of our students; I will provide a reminder here on the blog when the handouts are sent.

A committee will meet in early February to make the selection. That committee consists of Board of Education members, teachers, parents, and citizens without children in the system. We have internal mechanisms for selecting the Board of Education members and the teachers on the committee.

If you are interested in serving as a parent/citizen member of the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, please send me an e-mail. (There is a link off to the right hand side on this blog site.) Please indicate if you have children in the system and what grades/schools they attend. It is best if our parent representatives have children currently attending two different schools in the district (elementary/Jr.-Sr. High school).

There are only a couple spots available on the committee. A decision on the committee membership will be made in January. Parent/citizen participation is important and appreciated.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All Systems Go

With colder temperatures in recent days, we have had a good chance to test the new geothermal systems at the Jr.-Sr. High School, West End, and Evergreen. We are pleased to report that the overall performance has been good. The system can be controlled remotely through an Internet connection so that troubleshooting can occur at all hours and from locations off-site.

Additionally, a significant cost savings results from the capabilities to regulate temperatures during the day and to shift to unoccupied modes during “off” hours. An added advantage of geothermal, the ability to use the ground temperatures to provide cool air during the hotter weather, will have to wait until the later spring months to be fully appreciated!

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning renovations to the Walnut Street School will be reviewed by the architect at this month’s board of education meeting (next Tuesday). It is anticipated that the specifications for the Walnut system will be ready to be approved at the January meeting; they will then be put out to bid. The work at Walnut is slated for the spring and summer months.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Robotics Team Update

I have yet to hear all the details about this past weekend’s trip to Auburn University for the Robotics Team, but I am told the message by cell phone from Alabama was that our team placed 21st out of 49 teams.

That was a very respectable finish since Woodbury’s team consisted of junior high school students and ninth graders while other schools were composed of all high school students. Additionally, some of the other schools competing at this regional site have participated in the past competitions.

All in all, an exciting, impressive, first-year effort for Mr. Ford and the students on the team. Congratulations!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Spotlight on Ms. Chandler

Thilana Chandler

Special Education Teacher

Evergreen Avenue School

Thilana Chandler

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Rowan University – Bachelor’s Degree – Special Education

• Work experience:
West Deptford H.S. – Grades 9-12 – Reading Teacher
Durand Academy – Preschool Disabled Teacher
Volunteer – St. John of God – Preschool Multiply Disabled Class

• Favorite books
nonfiction: Your Best Life Now, by Joel Osteen

• Favorite television show:
Dancing With the Stars and American Idol

• Last movie I loved:
End of The Spear

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Israel Houghton and a New Breed Another Level Live

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Harriet Tubman. I would like to just hear her experiences first-hand and listen to the courage in her voice. It would be great to be able to see such a strong woman who helped so many people reach freedom.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Red Bank National park at sunset

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Cleaning out my basement

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:


• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
My very own remote island where I can be pampered all day long

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mr. Haige. He empowered me to conquer my fears of math and helped me succeed. His class was entertaining, energetic, fun, and a place where it was okay to make a mistake. Mr. Haige helped me grasp Algebra, and I passed the class. I also came away knowing that teachers can make a difference -- if they believe they can make a difference. Teachers are the key to students succeeding!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jr.-Sr. High School Parent Conferences

Today marks the second and final day for parent conferences at the Jr.-Sr. High School. Teachers are available this afternoon (1:30 – 3:00 p.m.) and again this evening (6:00 – 8:00 p.m.).

The conferences are being held in the cafeterias and library --
Old Cafeteria: Junior High School
New Cafeteria: Senior High School
Library: Special Area Teachers

This is a good opportunity to touch base with some of your child’s teachers to review first marking period student performance.

The afternoon conference time is likely to be less crowded; if you can make that time, it is highly encouraged!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Music Tonight -- Elementary Winter Concert

This evening, our annual elementary Winter Concert will take place at the Evergreen Avenue School. Elementary students from all schools in the district -- grades four and five -- who are involved in the choir and band will perform.

The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. Please arrive early – parking is a challenge. Come and enjoy the music!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

White & Gold -- West End Edition

As I mentioned earlier in this school year, we are trying to unify various school publications under the common heading of "White & Gold." West End has had a tradition of providing a detailed newsletter to the families who have children attending this school. The title of that publication has been updated to White & Gold -- West End Edition.

Mr. Myers, the new principal at West End, is excited to announce that this publication is now available on-line. It can be accessed through the district website. Go to the district site -- find West End in the "Schools" drop-down selection -- and select "School Newsletter" from the choices on the left side.

This way, if you lose the hardcopy of the newsletter or are somewhere away from home, you will always have access. Additionally, older issues are archived. You will find the first three months' issues for the 2006-07 school year available on-line.

  • Woodbury Public Schools
  • Monday, December 04, 2006

    Stadium Update

    The contractor who has been working on the stadium anticipates accelerating the amount of work on the site in the upcoming weeks. Some of the early prep work has begun, but the more significant demolition work should be started either this week or next. The timeline for this project has all work being completed prior to the end of this school year.

    It will be exciting to see the stadium and field restored to a status that will allow for competition!

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Technical Difficulty -- Stay Tuned

    The Friday Spotlight should be posted either later today or over the weekend. There are some technical difficulties with posting the picture. (Not bad -- this has been a very reliable sight -- and free!; actually, the difficulties are not with the blogger site but rather with our local technology.)

    Anyway, enjoy your weekend. The weather takes a bit of a turn -- seems like today's high temperature will be 69 degrees while starting tomorrow and continuing through next week the high temperatures will be in the 40's! It was only a matter of time.

    By the way, as a benefit to the faithful White & Gold blog edition readers, I will try to post any school closing information here once a decision is made. That may make this a more popular destination during the upcoming winter weeks!