Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Woodbury Fall Festival

(This notice comes from the City of Woodbury.)

Attention all Children

Bike decorating contest – Sat., October 3, 2009 @ 5:30pm.

The annual Woodbury Fall Festival parade will be held this Saturday, October 3rd (rain date -- Oct. 10th).

The parade committee is planning a spectacular parade this year. Our theme will be “Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.” We will be honoring all our returning veterans. You can help us with this celebration by entering our bike/wagon/ stroller in the decorating contest.

This contest is open to all children (you do not have to be a Woodbury resident) and is sponsored by our local Police Benevolent Association.

Prizes will be given -- so decorate your bikes in a patriotic theme.

Please meet at the Woodbury high school parking lot near the stadium (second level fenced-in parking lot) at 5:30 pm. Children will be joining the parade when it gets to Hunter Street and will ride or walk until the parade ends at the Walgreens.

Parents/guardians should accompany children who are participating.

Bike helmets are required. No child will be allowed to participate without a helmet.

For additional information, please contact Dottie Lange at the Monogram Shoppe (845-9299).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Division I College Sports

Counselor Dan Howey reported that three Woodbury High School students have verbally committed to play sports at college for the next academic year -- all at Division I schools:

Brothers Jared and Isiah Roberts have made a verbal committment to accept offers from the United States Naval Academy and Dyshawn Davis has made a similar committment to play football at Syracuse University.

Though the time period that allows for the formal commitments does not start until later this school year and the verbal commitments are not binding, it is exciting for these students to have these opportunities and conversation early in their senior year.

Courier Post -- Roberts

Gloucester County Times -- Roberts

Courier Post -- Davis

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jr.-Sr. HS Sporting Events

On the district website, there is an easy link to the website "" You simply go to the "ATHLETICS" tab on the bar across the top of the home page and select "SCHEDULES."

On that site, you will see a two-day snapshot of what is happening today and tomorrow in the world of Woodbury atheletics. You can also request schedules for specific sports teams, etc. Also, you can use the system to transfer data directly into your computer's calender (though I have not tried that feature) -- that way, for example, you can have the entire soccer season downloaded.

Below is an example of the two-day look. It does not copy perfectly into this blog software, but you get the idea. On the actual website, the format is much easier to read in terms of the layout.

TODAY'S EVENTS - Monday Sep. 28

Boys Varsity Soccer VS Woodrow Wilson H. S. FRANCIS AVE 3:45PM
Girls Varsity Soccer @ Haddon Heights High School DEVON AVE 3:45PM
Girls JV Soccer @ Haddon Heights High School DEVON AVE 3:45PM
Girls Varsity Tennis VS Overbrook High School WEST END 3:45PM
Boys JV Football VS Sterling High School WOODBURY 3:45PM
Boys Jr. High Soccer @ Pine Hill Middle School PINE HILL 4:00PM
Girls Jr. High Soccer VS Pine Hill Middle School FRANCIS AVE 4:00PM

TOMORROW'S EVENTS - Tuesday Sep. 29

Girls Varsity Field Hockey @ Overbrook High School HS 3:45PM
Boys Varsity Soccer @ Overbrook High School HS 3:45PM
Boys JV Soccer @ Overbrook High School HS 3:45PM
Girls Varsity Soccer VS Overbrook High School FRANCIS AVE 3:45PM
Girls JV Soccer VS Overbrook High School FRANCIS AVE 3:45PM
Girls Varsity Tennis @ Collingswood High School Click for directions HS 3:45PM
Girls Jr. High Field Hockey VS Pine Hill Middle School PINE HILL 4:00PM
Boys/Girls Varsity Cross Country @ PAULSBORO/WD @ WD PARK 4:00PM

Friday, September 25, 2009

Website Welcome Letter

(Below, you will find the new "welcome" message that is included as part of the Superintendent section of the district website. I thought I would post it here so that you can get a feel for the areas of focus for this 2009-10 school year. Also, there are some hyperlinks included that may interest you.)

Office Of The Superintendent

A Message from the Superintendent:

Welcome to the Woodbury Public Schools website.

The 2009-10 school year provides rich opportunities for our students to experience success in their individual learning endeavors. We are excited to be in our second year of implementation of the district’s strategic plan. Due to this community generated, five-year plan, many exciting initiatives are making each school day a rewarding experience for all.

A couple of our larger initiatives this year include activities designed to develop the whole student and produce a result that will show increased academic success across all disciplines. Our elementary students (grades 3-5) are engaged in “Responsive Classroom” practices; this program features a morning class meeting daily to reinforce learning and promote overall success. Similarly, the Junior High students are participating in a program designed for their age group that incorporates the same type of approach and goals – “Developmental Designs.”

The High School students have a wide array of new opportunities presented under the “Option II” program. This is another strategic plan initiative, and the use of this creative scheduling option has already begun to change the landscape of what a typical high school experience encompasses.

I encourage you to explore the hyperlinks above for more information. As educators, we are proud of the work that we do each day. Our focus is on the children and we look to meet the needs of each in as individual a way as possible.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions that you may have regarding our school programs. Also, check out my superintendent’s blog – there is a link on the left-hand side of the home page of this district website.


Joseph Jones, III

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Farmer's Market

(I received this in an e-mail from the City of Woodbury and thought I would pass it along so that some of you may remember to take advantage of the availability of the market. [Though I am not sure about the use of the apostrophe -- I will leave that debate for the English classes.])

Thursday afternoons

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

in the train station parking lot

open rain or shine

Two more weeks for the Market to be open. There is a great Fall harvest waiting for you, and some summertime favorites still available.

See you at the Market!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Minority Task Force

Woodbury has had a Minority Task Force (MTF) for approximately ten years now. Last night, the group held its first meeting of this school year. I am always pleased to be able to participate in the exchanges that take place at these meetings -- they have been very engaging and positive.

Last night, Daymond Rhodes, the young man who was the focus of yesterday's blog entry, gave an inspirational look at the positive impact that the Future Teachers program at Woodbury has already had on him and the young students with whom he is working. Daymond was joined by four other high school students.

The MTF is comprised of a wide cross-section of the school community -- students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members without children in our system. Also, the group represents a diverse racial mix.

I will write more about the group in the future. Also, we will be posting the general purpose and objectives on the website.

There are only three scheduled meetings of the MTF this year. Please give consideration to marking your calendar for our next meeting -- Tuesday, February 2, 2010. It is a 6:00 p.m. meeting that takes place in the Jr.-Sr. High School library.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Daymond Rhodes -- first WHS student to participate in the Future Teachers Program

(Submitted by – Director of Pupil Personnel, Ed Murphy and Walnut School Principal, Dr. Jeff Adam)

As part of the district Strategic Plan, we are determined to develop personalized educational experiences for all of our students throughout the district. One method to achieve this goal is through the Option II program coordinated by Kathy Stalter Allen. Ms. Allen works with students to develop experiences outside of the traditional classroom that enable them to earn credit towards graduation.

One of the opportunities available through this Option II program is the newly developed Future Teachers Program. This program allows seniors interested in becoming educators to participate in a field experience at one of our neighborhood elementary schools.

Daymond became the first WHS student to take advantage of this field placement at the Walnut Street School. After completing his traditional school work during the first portion of the day, Daymond has a quick lunch and then reports to Walnut Street for the balance of his day.

At this point Daymond has been assigned primarily to the 2nd grade class but also spends some time with the kindergarten students. Daymond is excited about this opportunity and enjoys the chance to work hands-on with children. Although he has only been at Walnut for a short time, he is already making an impact on students, and the experience has solidified his desire to enter the teaching profession.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I missed my post yesterday. I try to get one up each day, but inevitably some days get by me.

Yesterday was an exciting day in the Jones house. The last of our four boys hit the magical “double digit” birthday. We have made this 10th birthday a special one. The birthday child gets to decide on a unique destination that he, mom and dad attend. The tradition has also been that a grandparent can be invited along, if desired.

So – yesterday’s event included a dinner at a restaurant in Philadelphia’s Chinatown for the boy who loves Chinese food but has never eaten in a Chinese restaurant. This was followed by a trip down Broad Street to Citizen’s Bank Park were we watched an exciting Phillies win from seats that were on the field – right near the ballgirl on the left field side. Exciting.

It isn’t often in a house with four kids that one gets to get out by themselves with mom and dad. So, the “double digit” birthday celebration has been something that each has prized. I am sure that the location does not really matter, in the end, but it has been a fun ride: NYC and the “Lion King;” Flushing Meadows, NY to watch the U.S. Open tennis tournament, and seats at a March Madness second round doubleheader at the Wachovia Center. Each boy picked the location well in advance of the birthday so that we could secure the tickets and make the necessary arrangements. Then, we would have close to a year to wait for the big day.

Traditions – both big and small – are what make a family unique. The traditions can be much simpler -- from crazy birthday chants to a family game night. They become part of the glue that helps bind a family together.

Traditions play a similar role in schools. People look forward to the traditional events and these help connect generations. The traditional senior portrait, senior hallway banner, senior trip, elementary assemblies, 6th grade trip, or Thanksgiving Day football rivalry are just some examples. Since this school district has been in existence since the early 1900’s, there have been any number of traditions – some that have held over long periods of time and some that have been around for shorter periods. Though traditions may change over time, the stories about the traditions of the past still have the same ability to connect generations.

I think it is time to add a new tradition to the Jones family. I want to get to a few more fun events – but it cannot be the triple digit birthday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Great Catch

This was fun to watch last night during the Phillies game television broadcast. A father caught a foul ball and watch what happened:

((Video removed from youtube!))

What really impressed me was the father's reaction; he responded very well to the situation. Great catch, high-fives all around, and then the ball was gone! That parental response (or teacher response) to a child's action is very important. How do you handle unexpected situations like this? Kids will always surprise us with what they say and do -- and how we respond to those things has an impact.

(Note: If you are trying to watch this at a computer at the school, I am not sure if these videos will show through the district's filter. You may have to check back from a home computer.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Board of Education Meeting -- This Wednesday

The regular, monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held Wednesday, September 16, 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.

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back-to-School Nights

Most of you are probably well aware of the upcoming Back-to-School Nights. Just to be sure, let me post them here:

Elementary Schools: This Thursday, September 17th
Jr.-Sr. High School: Next Thursday, September 24th

I hope that everyone has a chance to get out and meet his/her child's teacher(s). If you have any questions regarding the programs, do not hesitate to contact the school principal.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Evening Library Hours -- All Are Welcome

The Jr. Sr. High School Library will be open from 5pm to 7pm. starting Monday, September 14th. (Monday through Thursday)

The school district is attempting to fill a void -- the Woodbury City Public Library is closed during those hours.

All students are welcome -- any grades. Parents may accompany their children.

Students and parents should enter the building by the New/Gold Cafeteria in the back of the building. Everyone is asked to sign in with the librarian when entering the library.

There are computers with internet connectivity available for use during these hours.

Check with your child's building principal if you have any questions.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Got Tickets?

Do you have tickets to the opera, ballet, a play, or musical? How about tickets to a sporting event?

The Woodbury Public Schools will continue to act as a "clearinghouse" for extra tickets. We will get these tickets into the hands of families in our district. You will be able to provide an opportunity to one or more of our students -- an opportunity that may not be something he or she would typically experience.

In a July 9, 2006, letter to the editor in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Carolynn Schneider of Glassboro wrote how a trip to a "free" concert when she was a high school student introduced her to the "glory of classical music experienced in person. That first free concert led to three generations of Philadelphia Orchestra season-ticket holders . . ."

Maybe you can be the one who sparks a new interest. Even a chance for a child to witness a Phillies game in person is something that can have lasting, positive impact.

Contact my secretary, Mrs. Hoffman, at 856-853-0123 EXT. 214 if you have tickets to donate, or e-mail her at

If you can provide us with lead time, it is appreciated, but we will be able to "turn around" the tickets with little notice.

You will be able provide a child a wonderful, new opportunity!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


With the start of the new school year, we try to reach back and find the routines that helped get us successfully through the days prior to summer.

In my house, that means trying to remember everyone’s showering time in the morning. There are five that have to get in and out in a short period of time. So you can see why that is such an important procedure to re-establish quickly.

Also – lunches have to be prepared. . . backpacks set for the next day and positioned somewhere where they and any other material for the next day will not be forgotten.
What day is gym? Do you need a change of clothes?

Breakfast -- money for lunch – you know the drill.

It will take a little while for the right routine to be established that allows the morning to move through in a way that gets everyone off and ready for a day of learning.

Our teachers are working to establish similar routines for the classroom. What will work this year? There is a new effort in many of the elementary grades to help in this process. We are implementing a program called Responsive Classroom. I will be able to share more about that in the coming weeks. Also, the Junior High School teachers are expanding their use of Developmental Designs – a similar program for middle school age students.

In a few weeks, routines for this new school year will start to become established. If you are a parent, help your child find the routines that will lead to success. This is especially important for things such as homework completion and overall school readiness.

Again – have a great school year.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Welcome Back

Here we go again! I am not sure how many blog readers will be checking in on Day 1, but hello to those of you who thought to give a look.

For some, it is hard to let go of the carefree days of summer, but it cannot last forever (or else it would have to be renamed – I think some will tell us that would be called “retirement!”). For those of us getting back to the reality of school, let’s focus on the fact that the return for this next school year presents new opportunities for all – students, teachers, principals, and parents.

What new routines will you establish this year to make the school year a success? The start of a school year lets you reinvent who you are when it comes to your “school world.”

The district is ready for the second year of implementation of our Strategic Plan. (I will have more to write about on this topic in future posts.) Teachers and school administrators were active throughout the summer months involved in many professional development programs connected to the Strategic Plan and in other endeavors that will help make for an exciting school year.

For now – I welcome you back. The Woodbury City Public Schools are a special place. We are looking forward to working together to make the 2009-10 school year the best it possibly can be for all.