Monday, November 30, 2009

Woodbury National Honor Society

(This post was sent to me by Sharron Knauss and Dianne Clement, Co-Advisors - National Honor Society)

The National Honor Society is sponsoring a service project to support the Gloucester County Animal Shelter. The Items collected can be sent to the High School Library. The shelter is in need of the following items:


Anti-bacterial hand soap (any type)

Spray Bottles (16 oz – 22 oz.)

Dishwasher detergent (powder only)


Laundry Detergent – HE only please (front loader)


Old towels and blankets

Newspapers – bagged or wrapped

Paper towels

Paper plates 6” round

Duct tape

Clear gallon size zipper bags

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

For the longest time, we were hosting Thanksgiving on an annual basis. A house full of family and friends is a nice way to celebrate the holiday. Over time, we have drifted into a somewhat regular pattern of hosting every other year. This is our year to visit, and I have come to appreciate being the visitor on this holiday -- no house to clean from top to bottom and the cooking responsibilities are lessened.

However you are enjoying the holidays -- I wish you well. Though it does not seem as if this will be a cold day that calls for an active fire in the fireplace, winter will soon be upon us. Enjoy.

A wonderful way to start the day is with Thanksgiving Day football. Come out and and be part of the annual Woodbury vs. Gateway competition. The game is home with a start time of 10:30 a.m. See you there.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Parent Conferences This Week

Our elementary schools have conferences scheduled for this week -- you should have an appointment already set with your child's teacher. If you have a question, please contact the school's office.

The Jr.-Sr. High School conferences are scheduled for Tuesday, November 24.
  • The afternoon session is from 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • The evening session is from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
An appointment is not part of the process -- simply show up and meet with the teachers you desire to see.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Woodbury Holiday House Tour

Woodbury Holiday House Tour - Sponsored by the Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School PTSA

Mark your calendars -- and consider purchasing tickets in advance.

The annual tradition of the Woodbury Holiday House Tours is scheduled to occur on Saturday, December 5, 2009. Tours will begin at 4:00pm and will be offered throughout the evening until 8:00pm. Refreshments will be served at the Woodbury Mews.

The cost for tickets is $18 when purchased in advance at either the Woodbury Public Library or Foxfire Accessories. Tickets purchased on the day of the tour are $20 and available only at the Woodbury Mews.

If you have any questions, please call: (856)845-4824 or (856)853-7705.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Board Meeting -- Tonight

This evening, the regular meeting of the Woodbury City Board of Education will take place at the Evergreen Avenue School in the All-Purpose Room. The board will hold three of their monthly meetings at the different elementary schools throughout this school year (Walnut in February; West End in May).

There will be a presentation by the Evergreen Elementary School at the beginning of this meeting.

The agenda for the November meeting can be found on the district website. Agenda.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Terrific Kids

The Kiwanis International organization located here in Woodbury runs the elementary school "Terrific Kids" program that occurs in each of our three schools. Each month, the Kiwanis members come out to the schools and recognize students who were nominated by their class teacher as a "Terrific Kid." T-shirts and awards are presented and pictures are taken. The Kiwanis group forwards the information on to the local newspaper. You will often see our students spotlighted in the Gloucester County Times due to this program.
Thank you to the Woodbury Kiwanis!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Halloween Safety

Our School Resource Officer, Ptl. Dan Steigerwald, along with our Student Assistance Counselor, Donna Lacovara, visited our Elementary Schools to reinforce Halloween safety to our students. Ptl. Steigerwald visited each classroom to talk to the students about being safe this Halloween. Each student was given a reflective trick-or-treat bag complete with safety tips compliments of Woodbury City Public Schools and the Woodbury Police Department.

(Pictured above is Ms. Stankiewicz’s class from Evergreen Avenue School proudly displaying their bags. )

Some of the messages the students discussed with “Officer Dan” were: always walk with an adult, don’t visit homes that do not have lights on, wear brightly colored clothing, carry a flashlight, let an adult check all of your candy before you eat any and do not eat any candy that is already opened or exposed.

We hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Operation Medicine Cabinet

(We just received information about this on Thursday -- I am passing it along here for the readers of the blog. Woodbury's site is listed as the Police Station on Broad Street.)

SUBJECT: Operation Medicine Cabinet-Saturday, November 14th

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing with information about an important project we are undertaking in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, and many other law enforcement and community organizations across the state. This project is called "Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey," and its objective is to raise awareness regarding the potential dangers of prescription drugs and the unintended availability of such dangerous drugs to teenagers in our own homes.

Every day, 2,500 youth age 12 to 17 abuse a pain reliever for the very first time. More teens abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana. In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens ages 12 to 17 reported abusing prescription drugs. Among 12- and 13-year-olds, prescription drugs are the drug of choice. Because these drugs are so readily available, and many teens believe they are a safe way to get high, teens who wouldn't otherwise touch illicit drugs are more likely to abuse prescription drugs.

Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey will be held Saturday, November 14, 2009 from 10 am until 2 pm, in more than 420 municipalities.

Through this initiative, all New Jersey residents will have the opportunity to properly dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines in an anonymous manner. For more information including details of where citizens can drop medicines off in their communities, simply visit our website at and click on the map of New Jersey.

Needless to say, this is a critical prevention effort which can save lives and help in steering young people away from the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

We are proud that we are taking action to address this troubling trend and that this is the first statewide initiative of its kind in the nation. However, we need to ensure widespread participation, so I am encouraging you to share this information broadly within your community.

Thank you so much for your assistance. If you have questions or would like more information, please visit

Anne Milgram
Attorney General

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall Sport Tournaments

Many of the high school fall sports teams competed in this year's NJSIAA South Jersey playoffs: boys soccer, girls soccer, field hockey and girls tennis all played in the first round of their respective tournaments. The tennis team advanced and lost in a close match in the second round.

This Saturday, the last remaining fall sport team competes in its tournament. The football teams will play Pennsville at home. The game time is 1:00 p.m. Good luck.

You can check out the tournament brackets at the NJSIAA website: There is a drop-down selection for tournament brackets at the top of the page.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Four Years of Blogging (Is that a word?)

This is the fourth year for my Superintendent's blog. Doing a blog entry every day is not always the easiest thing. I have found the most success in making it part of my early morning routine. I have also been fortunate to have various teachers and administrators eager to spotlight their students and, as a result, a good bit of the information that ends up on the blog comes from others.

Two items of note.

1. Did you see that the blog's "look" changed a bit over the last week? My son, Corey, who is now a sophomore in high school revisited the formating work that he did when he was back in seventh grade and gave the site a fresher appearance. He did not like the way the older posts were listed on the sidebar to the right -- now they are clustered by year. There are a few other changes, but the essence remains the same.

2. I am in competition this year with our new district website. We now have rotating images on the front page that change every few weeks. This is another avenue for our students and programs to be featured. Already this year, a number of items that would have been blog fodder have been placed there instead of on the blog. I hope that is working for everyone! An example is the trip that Mrs. Platt's students took. Yesterday, it was posted on the front of the website. If it was a blog item, it would have had a bit more space and more of the images could have been used (see below), but it is nice to have the students spotlight on the main district site. Any feedback it welcomed as to how you think we can best serve the interest of the students and schools with regard to publicizing our happenings.

Have a great day.

Camp Edge Trip

On Monday, October 26, Mrs. Platt's Evergreen class went to Camp Edge in Alloway, New Jersey, for the day. Students hiked, had a biology lesson on the food chain, ate a camp lunch, played science games and kayaked on the lake to see a beaver dam and other wildlife.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Rising to the Occasion

(This was passed along to me a while ago by Mrs. Dunham, Jr.-Sr. High School Principal. Ms. Chandler teaches some of our special needs students. Ms. Cohen is the districts academic coach for AVID -- Advancement Via Individual Determination.)

As a teacher you want to believe that if you put your students in a challenging situation they will rise to your expectations. You think of various ways you can make an impact and hopefully they will “get it!” A few weeks back my students did “get it,” and they surprised me!

It started when I was finishing my paperwork during a prep and I had the privilege of watching Mrs. Cohen teach AVID Strategies to Ms. O’Donnell’s Study Skills Class. The strategies she was teaching the students were intriguing and sparked my interest. I was trying to pay attention to my work, but instead, I found myself drifting to hear -- then look – then believe that she could come to my class and work with my students.

Why would I have to believe that she could work with my students? My class struggles with reading, writing, and language in general. Many of the basic skills that students acquire by 5th grade for various reasons elude my students. So, I take a different approach to establishing academic goals to be accomplished by the end of the year. I shoot for the big idea and hopefully they “get it.” Here, I was thinking I could put my students in a position that could frustrate them because the work level is geared to help students who will most likely go to college. As I continued to listen to Mrs. Cohen, she had such a passion that I became more of a believer; I began to wonder if she would come to my class. Well, she must have been thinking the same thing, and we began talking to set up a time for her to visit with my students.

When she came to my class, I prepared my students about her arrival, and they were ready. Mrs. Cohen brought an article about “text messaging.” The goal for students was to realize that writers use various sources to gain information to make an article. As she began the lesson, Mrs. Cohen was getting their minds prepared through discussion and gathering their background knowledge on texting. The ideas they had and higher thinking skills they were using through questioning were wonderful. They were “getting it.” Then, we moved to the text. Most of my students are non-readers. However, that did not stop them. We used grouping to pair non-readers with readers and it worked! Here were my students reading a higher level text, discussing sources, and making inferences from this reading. I was so proud of them! I was so pleased to see that they rose to the occasion. I know that in the past I have put my students in situations where I would challenge them to meet my expectations. This time I pushed myself to raise my expectations, and they taught me to never stop raising the bar! I am grateful for such a wonderful learning experience.

Thilana Chandler (HS Self-Contained Teacher)