Thursday, June 25, 2009

Graduation Follow-up

Again, congratulations to our graduates. We were fortunate to make it through a brief shower last night and enjoyed an excellent evening on the field.

There was an article about the program in the Gloucester County Times and pictures posted on the Courier-Post website.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Graduation Tonight

Congratulations, Class of 2009! Tonight is our graduation.

Unfortunately, it will be a day with one eye on the sky and the other on Right now, they are calling for a 30% chance of rain. Graduation is set for 6:30 p.m. -- rain or shine. We will be in the gymnasium in case of inclement weather.

A decision will be made as we get closer to graduation time. The school will have a system in place to communicate to the students if there is a change to the gym.

A message will also be posted on our district website indicating where we will be holding the event. We will try to hold off until as late as possible to make the call but will have something posted by 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Get Ready for Wolfram|Alpha

A parent of a West End student sent an e-mail to me knowing that I have an interest in mathematics education. She was sharing information about a new website -- a "computational knowledge engine" -- called Wolfram|Alpha.

This is an amazing site that will require some rethinking of how mathematics teachers at all levels approach their work with students.

Here is the site: Wolfram|Alpha

ALSO: Here is a copy from a college mathematics instructors blog site. It provides some additional summary information:

Don’t get W|A Implications? Try these examples.

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Wolfram|Alpha is a “computational search engine” built by Wolfram Research (the developers of Mathematica). W|A (pronounce this as “walpha” if you’d like) is similar in appearance to the search engines that we are used to and easy to use. It’s not that W|A will replace other search engines, because it won’t. It’s more of a missing piece in the search engine puzzle. W|A provides a collection of data, formulas, computations, and interpretations that are different from other search engines.

Although the media has stressed data-driven examples (for example, type your first name to see a graph of the frequency of that name over time), the ability of W|A to function as a combination of CAS and natural language computational system is stunning. Let me illustrate with a couple of examples for you to try yourself. Simply follow the links below to see how W|A handles these search requests:

126 (make sure to click on “other historical numerals”)
convert 125 m^3 to gallons
sphere r=7 cm
Line (2,7) and (3,1/2)
Solve x^2-6x=16 (make sure to click on “show steps”)
4 – x^2
Triangle 7,8,9
limit x->3 (x-3)/(x^2-9) (again, make sure to click on “show steps”)
integral (x^2)sin(x^3) (“show steps”)
sum 1/n^2
New York City, Chicago
convert 78 to base 5

There are several differences between W|A and traditional CAS systems. The first, which you should have noticed after those examples, is that the less you ask for, the more you get. W|A just assumes you want all relevant computations and information that it can generate: graphs, solutions, alternate forms, derivatives, integrals, area under the curve (if bounded), and steps (if they are available). W|A provides quick and painless access to all sorts of data that has been organized so that it can be cross-referenced. In this sense, W|A could be a valuable tool for us in helping students to see the connections between concepts within mathematics and in relating mathematics to the real world.

On the other hand, you’re probably also seeing that there could be implications with academic dishonesty, especially in online and hybrid courses. We will all have to individually decide whether W|A is off limits, and if so, how we can possibly enforce it. Ready or not, W|A is now available on any computer with Internet access and on most SmartPhones.

It is up to us to think about (with as much advanced notice as possible) how we want to embrace, adopt, accommodate, or regulate the use of W|A in our courses. This is a conversation we should have in every department at every level of mathematics, including both full-time and part-time instructors. It is a conversation that we should have with our colleagues in the partner disciplines and with our colleagues at our transfer institutions.

Monday, June 22, 2009

PTSA Holiday House Tour

The Jr.-Sr. High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) will be hosting the Holiday House Tour in December 2009. The group is currently looking for Woodbury homes to finalize the list of houses that will be part of the tour for this upcoming holiday season.

The house tour is set for Saturday, December 5th from 3 to 8 pm.

Currently, five individuals have committed to having their homes included. PTSA is looking for a few more to add to the tour.

Anyone interested can call Mrs. Gail Parham at 845-4824 or Mrs. Linda Lonabaugh at 853-7705.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Senior High School visitors to Evergreen

(A posting from the Jr.-Sr. High School R.E.B.E.L. club)

On Wednesday, June 10, 2009 a group of Woodbury High School’s R.E.B.E.L. anti-tobacco club (Reaching Everyone By Exposing Lies) visited Ms. Lyons and Ms. Frazier’s second-grade classes.

R.E.B.E.L. students explained who they were and the purpose of their club before reading An Uninvited Guest, a story about the dangers of secondhand smoke, to students. Each student received a copy of the book to take home and discuss with his/her family. Evergreen students are helping R.E.B.E.L. spread their “Clear the Air” message by toting their themed backpacks and pencils! The students also enjoyed a visit by the R.E.B.E.L. mascot, “Ciggy Butts” who distributed Frisbees and “Smarties Don’t Use Tobacco” packs to students.

Thank you Mrs. Breland, Ms. Frazier and Ms. Lyons for welcoming us into your classrooms!

[See more about New Jersey R.E.B.E.L.]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fresh Produce every Thursday

(This information comes from the City . . . )

Thursday afternoons

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

in the train station parking lot

Today is Opening Day for the Farmers Market.

There will be many returning farmers & vendors, and some new ones too!

Our friends “One Way Express” will be playing their tunes

and let’s all HOPE that the sun will be out (or at least that it won’t rain).


Darmo’s Farm – corn, tomatoes, eggplants & peppers

Del’s Delights – hand crafted soaps, balms and creams

Henri’s Hotts Barbeque – Texas style smoked ribs, brisket & chicken

La Baguette French Bakery – French bread, croissants, tarts & turnovers

Monteleone Farm - produce, melons & greens

Muth Farm Flowers– field grown cut flowers

Orchardview Farm – peaches, apples, pears and produce

Pleasant Valley Farm – berries, cherries, plums and herbs

S & S Kitchens - home made fruit breads, jams & pickles

See you at the Market.

Buy FRESH and buy LOCAL at the Woodbury Farmers Market.

Bring a friend ... tell a friend

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Board of Education Meeting -- Wednesday, June 17

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held today, June 17, at 7:00 p.m.

The board meetings are held in the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium. Entrance to the building can be made through the lobby doors by the auditorium, across from the Cap Paine gymnasium.

At this June meeting, a Junior High School homeroom will present an overview of the Developmental Designs activities that have become part of the opening day routine on Fridays. The Board of Education will also be addressing a change in the bell schedule for the Junior High School -- arrival 15 minutes earlier each day -- to allow a fuller implementation of Developmental Designs during the 2009-10 school year.

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

World Language Honor Celebration

(a posting from the High School World Language Department)

It is a Woodbury Language Department tradition to honor the students who have achieved a grade point average of 90 or better for each of the marking periods. These students are dedicated, enthusiastic and pleasure to have in class. They have a passion for language, and it is evident. We as a department recognize all of their hard work and as a small token of appreciation we honor them at the end of each academic year.

Monday, June 15, 2009


(posting and pictures provided by the 5th grade teachers!)

On Thursday, May 28th, fifth grade students from all three elementary schools in the district met at West End to celebrate the completion of a science unit on Environmental Education. The celebration, Re-Use-A-Palooza, allowed these fifth graders to become more aware of ways in which the world can reuse, reduce, and recycle products. The objective was to create and advertise a product made from recyclable materials that could be useful in everyday life.

Parents, teachers, and students gathered in the West End auditorium. Projects were displayed, and ballots were cast to select the most creative, functional, and best use of recycled material project. Enrichment students, Rachael Sima, K’Yanna Wesley, and Ryan Toole, also presented a Power Point presentation on pollution.

The event was a huge success with over two hundred in attendance. Awards went to

• Walnut: Laura Knecht, Mariani Torres, Joelle Murray -- “Special K Music Kit”,
• West End: Jessica Rolfing, Isabella Minniti, and Sarah Juliano --“Bird Condo”, and
• Evergreen: Ta’Hee Shields, Sha’Kir Hollingsworth, and Derek Lane -- “Re-Use-A-Boat.”

It was clear that all fifth graders learned from this meaningful experience while having fun.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Two Posts

Check out the two postings below about Woodbury events this weekend -- Friday and Saturday.

Epple Children's Garden -- Saturday

Please consider joining the Woodbury Rotary as they dedicate and open the . . .

~Epple Children’s Garden~
honoring the memory of pediatrician
Dr. Lawrence K. Epple
and his beloved wife
Nancy Johnson-Epple
on Saturday, June 13, 2009.
Garden opens 9:30am; dedication 11:00am.

Bring a bulb or flower…children will be able to plant a flower in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Epple.

For more information or questions, visit the Woodbury Rotary website ( Rotary Park on Barber Ave. is near the Evergreen Ave. intersection.

Friday June 12th – Broad Street Activities

• Woodfest
• Taste of Woodbury
• Imaginart

All activities will go on rain or shine.

The Taste of Woodbury will feature food samplings from 18 different vendors at 15 locations along Broad Street. Tickets for the Taste cost $15 and may be purchased at city hall, the Woodbury Library, Woodbury Antique Centre or Foxfire Accessories. The Taste runs from 6:00-9:00.

All Woodfest activities are free. Restaurants and shops participating in the Taste will also be open for regular customers.

Finally, come and checkout the unveiling of the Greater Woodbury Art Council’s latest art project, Imaginart, featuring artistic window displays throughout Broad Street.

Here is the schedule of Woodfest events:

• Too Blue Dogs-- blues and cover band; La Piazza di Scottos Presbyterian Church
• Mr. Tujays.-- classic rock band; Kemble Methodist Church
• Toni Bennecchi with Raymond Sanborn -- keyboards strings, vocals and more; Woodbury Antique Center
• Karaoke; White House Building
• Karin McGarry and Heidi Louis -- classical and other selections for the flute and cello; The Spot
• The Junkyard Dogs – six-piece band playing a wide variety of musical genres; Presbyterian Church
• 5th Block -- five decades of rock and roll; Veteran’s Park/Goodwill Bldng

In addition to the musical performances Woodfest ’09 will offer the following FREE activities:

Family Activities:

6:30-7:00 Story time with Mrs. J -- story time and a light craft at the Taste of Philly Pretzels
7:00-9:00 Bead Crafts at Foxfire Accessories.
7:00-9:00 Sidewalk Chalk Art and Face Painting in front of The Antique Center or G.G. Green Building.

Poetry Series:

Poetry open mike at Taste of Philly Pretzels from 7:30-9:00.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Woodbury Students at City Council

One parent e-mailed me to state the following:

Mr. Jones, My husband and I attended the City Council Meeting last night. Our school should be very proud. What a wonderful group of students selected to represent Woodbury High School. Their self confidence, poise, and knowledge of government was overwhelming. I was not only proud as a parent, but also as a member of the Woodbury school system. Please thank Mrs. Goode and Mr. Ford, they have certainly done a great job. If you go to the city website they have already posted the group picture and writeup from last night.

Interesting, I heard from at least two other individuals who were there and they provided very similar feedback. How exciting!

Here is the picture and caption from the city's website:

Several students attending Woodbury High School assisted in conducting the business of the governing body at the regular Council Meeting of the City of Woodbury on Monday, June 8, 2009. This is the 8th year for this program, which was started by Councilwoman Roberta Schreyer, who passed away earlier this year.

The students were given an overview of City government by the Mayor, City Council Members and City officials. Students then asked questions to officials in an open forum discussion and later participated in the regular City Council meeting.

The following Students participated – Ted Johnson, James Jones, Mansara Hassan, James Torres, Zoe Mowl, Kyle Parham, Zachary Sharp, Christian Schoning, Renia Singleton, Helen Cromwell and Reshetta Roundtree. Elected Officials pictured include – Mayor Robert Curtis, Council President Barry Sloane, Councilwomen Gwendolyn Brown and Heather Tierney, Councilmen Tom Louis, Bill Fleming, Joe Villari, Harry Trout and Patrick Pottillo. Also present are – Gloria Goode, School Social Worker, Tom Bowe, City Administrator, Roy Duffield, Assessor and Gail Scheffler, Registrar.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fruit and Vegetable Program

West End Elementary school was selected to participated in the United States Department of Agriculture's Fruit & Vegetable program for the 2009-10 school year. This is the same program that Evergreen Avenue School benefited from this year.

See today's Gloucester County Times article for a bit more information.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ronald McDonald House of South Jersey

I received a flier recently from the Ronald MacDonald House of South Jersey regarding their "Snack Drive." The flier states the following -- "Help us help families needing to visit one of our 14 Family Rooms in 8 Southern NJ Hospitals."

Items they are collecting include individual snack packages of crackers, pretzels, chips, and breakfast bars; fruit & pudding cups; microwave soups; juice boxes and water.

For more information you can contact them at or 856-966-4663.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Shakespeare was never like this!

On Thursday of last week, the ninth-grade Honors English students performed a mock trial to determine the guilt of Tybalt in the death of Mercutio.

These same students studied, interpreted and performed the next day some of the key scenes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Teacher Maria Lario directed the students to stay true to the story while creatively intrepreting the scene. The students were allowed to alter time period and setting. The performances were part of Make-it-Shakespeare day - a culminating celebration of the students' study of the influential writer.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Light Rail Meeting: June 11th, 6:30 p.m.

Rail line open house meetings set for Camden, Woodbury, Blackwood and Glassboro

by Gloucester County Times
Wednesday June 03, 2009, 9:17 AM

CAMDEN -- Proposals for regional transit will be examined at four open houses scheduled by the Delaware River Port Authority.

The proposed plan, endorsed in May by Gov Jon S. Corzine, includes a light rail line from Camden to Glassboro with stations in Gloucester City, Woodbury and Pitman; a Bus Rapid Transit system utilizing Routes 42 and 55; and improving connections with New Jersey Transit's Atlantic City Rail Line.

The open house format will allow those who are interested to view the plans in detail and speak directly with officials about the proposed projects.

All of the open houses will take place between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., with the first on June 10 at Rutgers University, Main Lounge of the Campus Center, 326 Penn St. in Camden.

The second open house will be the following day, June 11, at the Woodbury High School Cafeteria, 25 N. Broad St. in Woodbury.

The third open house will be June 17 at Camden County College Civic Hall located in the Connector Building, 200 College Drive in Blackwood.

The fourth and final open house will be June 18t at Rowan University's Chamberlain Student Center, 201 Mullica Hill Road, in Glassboro.

. . . This is an important issue for the Woodbury community. There is good, introductory information, with maps included, at

Thursday, June 04, 2009

$1.7 Million Dollars Short

Late last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the new funding formula for education in the state of New Jersey was constitutional. In many ways, this is good news for Woodbury. Though many districts are finding fault with the new formula, the new calculations in this formula take into account factors that are favorable to Woodbury.

We experienced a significant increase in aid for the 2008-09 school year and that resulted in a strong tax decrease for our residents. Unfortunately, though the formula indicated that a similar increase in aid should have been received by Woodbury for this upcoming 2009-10 school year, the governor determined to cap all districts receiving increases at 5%.

Thus, the issue begins to sound similar to problems with past school funding plans in New Jersey -- a formula not fully funded.

The article from the Gloucester County Times linked to this blog entry notes that, "The court said the constitutionality of the funding formula is based on the condition that the state continues providing the necessary amount of money required under the law."

That's interesting -- and something that we will be pursuing. We would like to see the formula provide the necessary amount of money required under the law. For Wooodbury, that would mean an additional 1.7 million dollars for next year.

I will keep you posted on our efforts to highlight this concern for those who are in a position to help.

GCT Article

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

First Week of June

This is a busy week with evening activities for the Jr.-Sr. High School . . .

Monday -- Senior High Choir Concert (8 p.m.)
Wednesday -- Senior Students vs. Faculty Basketball Game (6 p.m.)
Thursday -- Junior High Choir Concert (8 p.m.)

Also, all of our schools are closed on Tuesday for the New Jersey primary elections. The elementary schools are all used for the purposes of the election.

Evening Library Hours– The Library is Open!

In our five-year strategic plan, there is a goal to provide evening hours in the library media center to our community. We started this in January 2009. The program continues to grow each week.

Junior and Senior high school students make up the list of users on most evenings; several elementary students are regular visitors as well.

The number of users is largely determined by school assignments; the volume is heavier when research projects are due across a grade level; tutoring sessions have been the most recent reason for many.

The majority of our users are there to use the internet – reading and composing emails – communicating to friends and teachers.

The Evening Library Hours program operates every Monday through Thursday; 5 – 7 p.m. This fills a void created when the Woodbury City library closes.

Adults are asked to provide identification upon admittance. The lobby doors by the auditorium on the Cap Paine side of the school should be used for entry.

This is a valuable opportunity for our community; we are happy to be able to serve you in this way!