Friday, January 29, 2010

Haiti Relief Efforts

The Woodbury City Public Schools are each helping the Haiti relief effort in different ways.

There was an article in the Gloucester County Times yesterday about the Evergreen Avenue Elementary School's effort -- a collection spearheaded by one of our 5th grade students at Evergreen. Click here for a link to the article.

At West End, a similar campaign is currently under way. Principal Myers reports that two students at West End proposed a similar idea. These girls created a flier and worked with Mr. Myers to get the word out to the school. They are currently collecting funds and will be presenting their donation to the American Red Cross next Thursday at 9 a.m.

Walnut's SLAG club (Scholars, Leaders, Athletes, and Gentlemen) is in the process of planning a service project that will focus on raising money for Haiti Relief. They plan to get more information out to the Walnut community in the near future.

Finally, the Jr.-Sr. High School has had a busy week raising money this week. Approximately $675 has been raised so far -- with one more day to go. There was a specific activity each day:

Monday: Soft Pretzel sale after school

Tuesday: Hoops for Haiti. Proceeds from the Woodbury vs. Gateway Basketball game will go towards the Haiti relief efforts.

Wednesday: Hat Day. Students (and adults) will pay $1 for permission to wear a hat for the day.

Thursday: Pin Vivadelli to the wall. SHS students buy pieces of duct tape—enough to tape Mr. V to the wall!

Friday: Pin Braddock to the wall. JHS student buy pieces of duct tape—enough to pin Mr. B to the wall!

And. . . . here are some pictures of the successful taping of Mr. Vivadelli's at Thursday's lunch:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


(We received information about this program -- open to juniors and seniors --yesterday. See your counselor for help regarding the application process.)




Please help share the following opportunity …

Bank of America is looking for tomorrow’s community leaders today. We are asking for your help to identify outstanding young people who are passionate about making a difference in our community.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation Student Leaders program is an exciting component of our signature philanthropic program, the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative®. We need your help to spread the word about the opportunities available to eligible high school juniors and seniors through this unique program. Please note that the deadline for students to apply is February 17, 2010.

Since the program’s inception in 2004, Bank of America has recognized more than 1,000 Student Leaders as exemplary high school students with a passion for helping their communities. Selected Student Leaders participate in a paid summer internship with a designated local nonprofit organization where they experience first-hand how they can help shape their communities-now and in the future. To enhance their leadership experience, awardees also participate in a six-day, all-expense paid Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC provided by Bank of America. The nonprofit internship and Student Leadership Summit exposes students to leadership aspects in civic, nonprofit and business arenas. Our goal is to nurture and develop our country’s next generation of community leaders – for our neighborhoods, our cities, and beyond.

To learn more about the program and for details about the online application process, visit the Bank of America Charitable Foundation website.

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Case of Emergency . . .

It is a warm (for January), rainy morning, but if this was snow, you would want to be connected to Gloucester Alert.

By signing up and registering your e-mail and/or cell phone and selecting one of the Woodbury City Public Schools, you will receive a message whenever there is an emergency matter that is conveyed to parents. This includes early notice about any snow closing/delay.

Go to the Gloucester Alert website and register today: Gloucester Alert

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mix-It-Up Day

Donna Lacovara, our school district SAC (Student Assistance Coordinator) prepared our 6th grade students for "Mix-It-Up Day" by visiting each class in advance and providing an overview of the program.

The students were randomly assigned to lunch tables on the day of the program. Upperclassmen (high school students) or adults in the school were assigned to each table and led the discussions. While students ate, the following prepared questions were discussed:

Welcome to Mix-It-Up Day
December 11, 2009
1. Introduce yourself and then quickly go around the table and ask each student to introduce him/herself and use one adjective to describe him/herself (i.e. brave, confident, athletic, artistic)
2. Ask students to describe the diversity in our school. What do you like best about going to a school with students from mixed religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds?
3. What can be done to help students cross social boundaries and mix-it-up on their own more often?
4. Ask students how they feel about the “label” they were assigned at their table today.( i.e. Eagles, Jonas Brothers, etc.)
5. Quickly go around the table and ask each student to describe today’s activity in one word (please jot down these words on the back of this sheet as they are shared…NO NAMES please)

Ms. Lacovara returned to the 6th grade classrooms and provided some closure for the activity with a PowerPoint presentation -- sharing the pictures and reviewing some of the outcomes from the discussions at the lunchroom tables and follow-up writing activity that occurred back in the classrooms.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January Board of Education Meeting this Week -- Wednesday

The regular January meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for this Wednesday, January 20th. The location of the meeting will be the auditorium of the Jr.-Sr. High School. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.

This month, there will be a presentation regarding the new curriculum offerings planned for the 2010-11 school year including a new personalized learning plan initiative that the New Jersey Department of Education has promoted and a complementary "service learning" component that is part of the district's strategic plan. In addition, a new required finance course, Economics/Personal Finance, will be reviewed; this course will meet a new graduation requirement for next year's entering 9th graders.

The agenda for the meeting will be posted on the district's website during the course of the day (Tuesday).

Have a good day and week!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. -- Day of Service

The Jr.-Sr. High School is conducting a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service program on Monday, January 18th.

The program will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will be held in the Jr.-Sr. High School Library.

All in the school community are welcome to attend -- a light continential breakfast will be served.

(This is the second annual event. The program is still a small version of what is hoped to be an event that will capture the interest and invovlement of a large segment of the school community in the future.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009-10 Blogging, Continuted

Another impact on my blogging this year has been the competition from the district's website. Since I am the one who has been orchestrating the posting of pictures on the new "front page" of the website, I have been in competition with myself for items that can be posted in either location.

Because it is newer look to the district website, we have tried to maintain the website with pictures that would allow for a rotation of fresh images on a regular basis. Of course, coming off the posting of the H1N1 notice that was on the website for the last couple of weeks, this front page is currently in need of attention, but there have been over thirty different images rotated onto that page since the start of the school year. Each time the page is refreshed, a stored, current image is randomly displayed.

All of the images from the entire year are in the archive link at the bottom of the front page.

So -- all of this to say that here is another new item that I am juggling and it has had impact on the blog.

One more item for consideration, and I will get to that tomorrow. Have a good day!

Monday, January 11, 2010

4:38 A.M.

Well -- that has been the problem with the blog this year. This time, I did not wait until January to make a fitness resolution -- I started back in the end of August. At that time, my family joined a gym and I decided that I would go to the gym, or work-out in some fashion, every day. The guidelines for exercise that you read about indicate that we should exercise something like five or six days a week. I know that, if I give myself that one day off, it will cause a problem: every morning that I would wake up and if it was cold or I was sore, I would be looking to take the day off. Therefore, I committed to every day.

I am simply better getting this exercise in first thing in the morning. Thus, that is where the 4:38 a.m. time comes in to play. That time for my alarm to go off so that I get to the gym by 5 a.m. and back by 6:00 a.m. Time to eat, shower, and dress -- and get to Woodbury.

What I have lost has been my typical blogging time. Over the course of the years of blogging, I have found that I gravitate to the morning. My habit was to wake, check e-mail, complete a blog entry, etc. I was managing okay this year without this morning time for blogging -- until basketball season hit. My work at school requires a decent number of night time commitments, but now there has been the added juggling of the basketball shuttles. We have been getting four kids to five different basketball teams since November. With whatever other work (home or school) that has to get accomplished, the blog has been taking a back seat.

So -- no promises. I am pleased that I have found a routine that has been working in terms of my fitness plan; that has to stay. There have been a few other factors that have impacted my work on the the blog this year -- and I will cover that in an additional posting or two this week.

Stay tuned! Have a great week.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Vaccinations on Thursday

The Gloucester County Health Department will be holding a clinic here at the Jr.-Sr. High School this Thursday, January 7, from 4 p.m. through 7 p.m. (The last hour has not been advertised to the general public and is set aside to handle Woodbury school community members.)

There is more information on the front page of the district's website.

We will be sending out a final reminder by the automated telephone system. Does this telephone system help as a reminder for these types of events? I suspect that different systems are preferred by different people -- blog, slip of paper home with a student, postcard mailing, automated telephone, e-mail. Obviously, we do not use all of these systems for each event. And -- we have not yet ventured into the Facebook/tweeter (is that the right term -- getting old!)world . . .yet.

Anyway -- here is one more flu shot reminder.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year -- 2010

I have not read much about this topic, but it has been a point of some conversation in my own home: Is it "two thousand ten" or "twenty ten" -- 2010? I believe that this year's graduating class refers to the year as "two thousand ten." It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the media, etc.

I hope that everyone in the school community had a restful, enjoyable holiday season. With the four boys in our home, it was nice to have a break from the hectic pace of preparing lunches for the next day, packing gym/sports clothes, practices/games, and homework.

We had another small dusting of snow over the break -- on a Saturday. I like the Saturday snows (hopefully, no more 20+ inch varieties!).

Enjoy your January. We have a variety of important happenings in the schools that I will try to write about on this blog -- a New Jersey Department of Education Collaborative Assessment and Planning for Achievement (CAPA)visit at the Jr.-Sr. High School and the preparation for the 2010-11 school year budget are in the forefront of our work. Obviously, the most important work is what is happening in the classrooms with the students.

Welcome back.