Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Evergreen Ave. School Dance

(This entry was written by Mrs. Breland, Evergreen Avenue Elementary School Principal)

Evergreen Ave. School sponsored its first school dance, inviting parents and family members. The dance was not your typical school dance, where a boy asks a girl to the dance. It was inclusive of everyone. Over 200 students, parents/guardians, teachers and neighbors all joined in the fun, making the dance successful.

Students had been practicing their dance moves for weeks in gym class. In addition to learning about sports and games, students learned group dances such as the “Chicken Dance”, “Cotton-eyed Joe,” “Cha Cha Slide,” etc. They were able to put their moves into practice Thursday night. All proceeds for the dance will go towards student activities. The PTO partnered with the school and provided pizza and drinks for attendees for a nominal fee.

Excitement was in the air as large groups of students moved across the floor in unison. What a great evening of fun and community.

Monday, September 29, 2008

MAP Testing: September/October

Woodbury Public Schools will participate in a district-wide initiative of MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing for grades two through ten. The assessment is new to our senior high school students; we administered this testing in grades two through eight last school year.

These tests determine your child’s instructional level and measure academic growth during the school year, and from year to year in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. The goal is to provide teachers with current academic levels of performance in an effort to target specific areas of instruction for our students.

MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests that your child takes on a computer. That means that the test becomes more difficult the more questions your child answers correctly. When your child incorrectly answers a question, the test becomes easier. Therefore, your child has taken a test specifically created for his or her learning level. In addition, your child should already know the information presented on the test because the tests are so closely aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and Woodbury’s literacy and mathematics curricula.

MAP will be administered to all students in grades two through ten twice a year – once in the fall and again in the spring. The data from the spring assessment will show areas of growth and/or concern. Parent reports will be generated after the spring assessment and mailed to the home.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the building principal or the Ms. Antoinette Capodanno, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, at extension 218. For more informational resources for parents regarding MAP testing, access the Document Library at www.nwea.org and download the online Parent Toolkit.

Thank you for your support of your child’s education.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spotlight on Ms. Bourquin

Kathryn Bourquin

Teacher of Social Studies

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name:

Kate Bourquin

• College(s) and Degrees(s):

Fairfield University - B.A. Political Science

The College of New Jersey - M.A.T. Secondary Education (Social Studies)

• Work experience:

South Amboy High School: Two years high school history

• Favorite books:

o fiction: My Sister's Keeper; A Thousand Splendid Suns
o nonfiction: Standing Tall by C. Vivian Stringer

• Favorite television show:

Eagles games on Sunday or Monday Night

• Last movie I loved:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:

Sara Bareilles or Toby Lightman

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:

Ms. Piotrowski, my 5th grade teacher; she was the inspiration for me to become a teacher.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:

Kelly Drive

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

Win money in Atlantic City

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):


• Favorite sports team:

Philadelphia Eagles

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

Egypt or Fiji

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:

My 5th grade teacher was very caring. One day on a social studies test that was returned to me, she wrote on the top of the paper, "You're really good at social studies. You should be a social studies teacher!" At the end of school that day, I went up to her and told her, "I think you're right." The next week, she let me teach social studies class.

That small event has motivated me to become the best, most caring teacher that I cam be. I hope that I can have that same impact upon one or more of my students.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Community Service Coordinator Position

I was in a meeting the other day where reference was made to how Woodbury would be looking to hire a person(s) to supervise those mandated by the courts to complete community service. The city uses this additional resource of manpower on the weekends. The current, longtime supervisor is a retired Woodbury educator, Don Hall.

The work is weekend work. Since working every weekend can be difficult for many individuals, the city would entertain the idea of sharing the responsibility among two different supervisors.

If you or someone you know is interested, you can contact Tom Bowe, City Administrator, at 856-845-1300, ext. 120.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Board of Education Meeting -- Tonight 7 p.m.

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held tonight, September 24th, at 7:00 p.m.

The board meetings are now scheduled to be held in the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium. This location will provide easier access -- especially for any handicapped individuals. Entrance to the building can be made through the lobby doors by the auditorium, across from the Cap Paine gymnasium.

The agenda for the board meeting is posted on the district website. (agenda)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jr.-Sr. High School Back-to-School Night

This Thursday is the Back-to-School Night at the Jr.-Sr. High School. The program is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

For this or any other event, you can often locate a form or notice that was sent home from any of the schools by going to our website (www.woodburysch.com).

Click on the "Forms and Notices" selection on the far left hand side of the front, main page. (There is also a link on each of the individual school pages if you click on the school in the drop downs "Schools" section of the website.)

There you will find posted copies of the various fliers, letters, etc. that go home with the students.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Walnut Street School adopted by BJ’s Wholesale Club

(This entry was submitted by Dr. Adams, Walnut Street School Principal)

One of our Strategic Plan strategies focuses on efforts to reach out to the community and develop partnerships with local businesses. We are pleased to announce that BJ’s Wholesale Club has Adopted the Walnut Street School for the 2008-2009 school year.

As an adopted school Walnut will be provided with volunteers, donations and other ancillary support by the local BJ’s Club in Deptford. Local BJ’s community representative, Bibiana De Castro, has already met with Walnut administration and the Walnutt HSA in order to plan the year long partnership.

The tentative schedule for the year involves BJ’s pledged support of the following activies:
  • October – Physical Education Dance-A-Thon
  • November – Food Drive
  • December – Holidays Around the World
  • January – BJ’s In-Store Fundraising Event
  • February – Family Night Bingo
  • March – Dr. Seuss Read Across America
  • April – Prep for ASK Testing
  • May – Book Fair/Ice Cream Social
  • June – Field Day
Walnut Street is looking forward to the relationship with BJ’s and the chance to work together in order to meet the needs of our students and the broader Woodbury community.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spotlight on Mr. Galloza

José L. Galloza, Jr

English Teacher

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

José L. Galloza, Jr

College(s) and Degrees(s):
La Salle University - BA Sec. ED (English)

• Work Experience:
I worked as a Non-teaching Assistant in a Philadelphia public high school for 17 years.

• Favorite books:
o Fiction: Life of Pi, Siddhartha
o Non-Fiction: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

• Favorite television show:
The Sopranos

• Last movie I loved:
The Dark Night

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Jimi Hendrix, because I would like to learn to play the guitar and write lyrics.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Ocean City, NJ

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

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:
Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, & Cubs (Harry Carey R.I.P.)

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
Vieques, PR

Other information about Mr. Galloza -

  • I am an avid Cubs fan (“Holy Cow!”), having lived in Chicago for a total of 8 years.

  • I recently graduated from La Salle University (May 2008), where I attended evening classes for ten years while working for the School District of Philadelphia (thanks for the tuition assistance!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Elementary School Back-to-School Night

Reminder: Tonight – Thursday, September 18 -- is Back-to-School Night at our three elementary schools.

Next Thursday, the Jr.-Sr. High School holds this same event for parents.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Like the town crier of yesteryear, you can get your school community information in one spot – except now it is right here on the computer. You – whether parent or student (grades 6-12) – can log into the new computer gradebook, Powerschool, and click on the icon for “School Bulletin.”

The Jr.-Sr. High School is posting the same information that is read to the students daily during homeroom announcements. It is a great way to keep up with club activities, sporting events, SAT testing, etc.

You should have received log-on information for Powerschool in a late summer mailing. If you misplaced your access codes, simply contact the counseling office; they will be glad to help. (853-0123, ext. 211 – Ms. Fisher)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Differentiated Instruction

A blog entry contributed by Toni Capodanno, our new Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction:

Over the summer break, our 6th grade teachers continued their participation in training on Differentiated Instruction. In support of our district-wide Strategic Plan, select teachers attended a national workshop held in Chicago where the concept and strategies for differentiating instruction in classrooms were introduced and modeled. The conference was a “train the trainer” event, and the participants learned ways that content, instructional strategies, student activities, performance tasks and assessment tools can and should reflect learning styles and individual needs of students. These strategies were brought back to Woodbury and shared with the entire 6th grade team of teachers during local summer sessions.

There has been a year-long focus on professional development around the topic of Differentiated Instruction targeting our 6th grade faculty. Ultimately, all of our district schools will receive training in Differentiated Instruction through grade level meetings and professional development as we continually strive to provide the highest level of academic rigor and support for all our students and close achievement gaps.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Play Ball

A fun time can be had during any of the three sports seasons (fall, winter, or spring) as a spectator of a Woodbury High School team. A schedule for the sporting events is very easy to get on line.

Go to the school district site (www.woodburysch.com). On the drop down menu across the top, move your cursor to “Athletics” and then click “Schedules” on the menu that drops down.

This will take you to a “two-day” look at what is happening. You can then switch to a week-long view, month-long view, or a view by sport.

Take a look now while you are thinking about it to see how easy it is to find out when and where a team is playing. It will be a resource that you can turn to throughout the year for any sport in any of the three seasons.

If your child is an elementary student, it is still a fun time to come out and watch the “big kids” play a sport that he or she may be currently participating in at a youth level.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Spotlight on Ms. Dubé

Amanda Faith Dubé

Teacher of Grade 1

Evergreen Avenue Elementary School

• Name:
Amanda Faith Dubé

• College(s) and Degrees(s):
Shippensburg University, Bachelor's of Science in Education

• Work experience:
I was a kindergarten aide last year at Evergreen Elementary School, before that I taught swim lessons and tutored children in math and reading.

• Favorite books:
o fiction: SAIL, by: James Patterson
o nonfiction: The Diary of Anne Frank

• Favorite television show:
General Hospital

• Last movie I loved:
The Bourne Ultimatum

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Rascal Flatts: Me and My Gang

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
I would like to have lunch with my mom's parents because I never met them!

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Ocean City, NJ

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Travel outside of the United States

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
Siberian Husky

• Favorite sports team:
Philadelphia Phillies

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
I will never forget my fourth grade teacher; she is the person who motivated me to want to be a teacher. She taught me that every child can learn in his/her own way.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Personalizing Education

The Woodbury Public Schools are working hard to earn the recognition as a “leader in personalizing education.” This is a new phrase that is part of the new mission statement of the district. We may not always get it right, but it is a concept that is paramount in our thinking and present in our decision-making.

I point this out at this time of the year because I want to be sure that you take the teachers and principals at their word when they indicate to you that you should reach out and ask any questions, express concerns, or share ideas. I am sure that you will hear this from them as you met up at Back-to-School Night events.

Simply pick up a phone, send an e-mail or arrange for a visit. We truly want to hear from you about your experiences and your child’s experiences in our schools. We are working together to make the Woodbury Public Schools the best educational experience for all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Junior High Smartboards

After the success of our laptop initiative in the elementary schools (K-5): COWs -- Computers On Wheels, we wanted to enhance technology opportunities into our sixth grade. This year, with the renovation of the Annex classrooms (the building that houses our 6th grade classes), we added Smartboards to each classroom.

Each Smartboard is permanently mounted to the classroom wall and utilizes a fix, ceiling mounted projector. This set-up allows for easy, daily access by the teacher to the technology. In addition to these eight 6th grade classrooms, we also installed new Smartboards into the 7th & 8th grade mathematics and science classrooms.

Our teachers are already excited about the possibilities. There are many opportunities to provide interactive lessons for students. Also, there is a wealth of prepared teacher support items that can be accessed and used to enhance lessons.

Below, I have included two links to youtube clips. One shows a student at the Smartboard completing an interactive mathematics fraction matching game. The other is a quick, comprehensive overview of the Smartboard technology.

As you can imagine, it is likely that it will not be long before this item becomes a standard teaching tool in all classrooms.

Interactive Math Game: Sample 1

5 minute Overview: Sample 2

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Strategic Plan

During this 2008=09 school year, the Woodbury Public Schools will begin the first year of implementation of our new Strategic Plan. Information regarding the plan is posted on the school district's website.

The link below will take you to a summary about the development of the plan, an outline of the overall plan and a listing of the associated action steps that will be carried out to accomplish the plan over the next five years.

Woodbury's Strategic Plan

SAT – Last Call

For blog readers who happen to have a senior looking to take the October SAT test at Woodbury, here is a very last minute reminder from the counseling office:

The registration deadline for the October 4th SAT test at Woodbury is TODAY. Stop by or call the counseling office for more information.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Welcome Back!

We finally are up and running at all schools. Walnut students started back this morning. We were delayed at Walnut due to construction related issues. I thank the parents and our staff connected with the Walnut Street School for their patience and support.

We had a beautiful day to welcome everyone this morning, and we have every expectation that this school year will have good things in store for all.

Mark your calendars -- Back-to-School Night for parents will be happening before you know it.

  • Thursday, September 18th for the elementary schools
  • Thursday, September 25th for the Jr.-Sr. High School

Wishing everyone a successful school year!