Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Parent Conferences in November

Last week concluded our Back-to-School Nights for the district. The Junior-Senior high program was held on Wednesday. The elementary schools held their programs the previous week.

Now, please mark your calendar for the next, important chance for you to formally connect with your child’s teacher – parent conferences. For the last few years, the district has been holding these during the short week of school that precedes the Thanksgiving holiday.

Elementary Schools:
Monday, 11/21. Afternoon and Evening
Tuesday, 11/22. Afternoon
Wednesday, 11/23. Morning

Junior-Senior High School:
Tuesday, 11/22. Afternoon and Evening

Please note that, as part of the district’s Strategic Plan, the following is an Action Plan:

“Require parent participation in district-wide teacher conferences in order to enhance individual student achievement.”

The reason for the inclusion of this Action Plan was to clearly establish for parents, especially parents of our 6th-12th grade students, that they should be in attendance at conference time and use this opportunity to further establish the important school-home connection. During the development stage of the Strategic Plan, it was made clear that for some parents there was a level of uncertainty with regard to whether they should attend parent-teacher conferences if their children were performing well in the class. The inclusion of the action plan to require attendance at conferences is to help remove any doubt.

Building principals will provide reminders about the upcoming conferences and then also follow up by sending out letters to those who miss attending. There is another opportunity later in the school year, in February (2/22/12), for those who are unable to get to the November session; attendance in February will also satisfy the district’s expectation. Finally, any conference that you hold with a teacher outside these official conference days will also suffice to satisfy the required parent conference.

We look forward to working with you throughout the school year to help ensure the success of your child.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Spotlight on Ms. Blizzard

Ms. Chritine Blizzard

Teacher of Enrichment

Elementary Schools

• Name: Christine Blizzard

• College(s) and degrees(s): The College of New Jersey B.S., Elementary Education and Math/Science/Technology

• Work experience: Enrichment Teacher, Hillside Public Schools

• Favorite books
o fiction: The Harry Potter Series
o nonfiction: Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson

• Favorite television show: Glee

• Last movie I loved: Toy Story 3

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Queen’s Greatest Hits

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: My dad- he died when I was a baby, and I would love to get to know him and to see how much alike we are.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: Ocean City, NJ. I love laying on the beach and hearing the waves crash.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to: Wash my car- It’s been over a year!

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Cows!

• Favorite sports team: Philadelphia Phillies

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: A cruise to anywhere warm and sunny.

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: Mrs. Borucki, my second grade teacher, was such a dedicated and loving teacher. She encouraged me to work my hardest and never give up on my dreams. I still keep in touch with her today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Did Not Exercise This Morning

Routines work for many of us. For me, a daily routine is to exercise first thing in the morning -- every day, seven days a week. That way, it is done and, as I read one time, you are always glad, when you are finished, that you completed something good for your health.

But . . . today, I am off my routine. Now, I have to find time to make it happen. I am here at school with a Board Of Education committee meeting during the early part of this evening, so it will be a late night workout of some sort. Not fun -- and something that is less likely to happen.

Routines work well with our children. Students who have good routines when they come home from school can structure their time for success.

*When does homework get done?
*Where in the house is the best place for homework completion?
*How much time will be dedicated to homework?

Once the routine is established, there is a greater likelihood of success:

Home from school, snack, 1/2 hour of television, 1 hour of work, 1 hour free time, dinner, finish homework (if needed), free time.

What is your child's homework completion routine? Talking about the routine and the value of having this structure may help.

One routine for our Jr.-Sr. High School students to incorporate into their day (if time allows) is to attend WORKPLACE after school in the library. There, any student can have a nice place to go to complete homework where computers, college age tutors, and certified mathematics and language arts literacy teachers are available to assist. A snack is provided, too.

The elementary schools will be starting a form of WORKPLACE in each of their buildings a bit later in the school year.

Good luck. (and, good luck to me working in my exercise now that I am off my daily routine!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Woodbury Girls Tennis Tops in Gloucester County Singles Play

Congratulations to our girls tennis team players.

Maddie Graziani plays first singles on the team and Isabella Schoning plays at second singles.

Over the weekend, the annual Gloucester County Times Tennis Tournament took place. This tournament features tennis players from across the county. The singles competition came down to our two top players playing each other for first and second place. This same thing happened last year.

Maddie won that last match and caputured her third straight Gloucester County title.

Again, congratulations to both young ladies.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spotlight on Mrs. Crowley

Mrs. Kerri Crowley

Teacher of Spanish

Jr.-Sr. High School

• Name: Kerri L. Crowley

• College(s) and degrees(s): Douglass College, Rutgers University - B.A. in Spanish, B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, B.A. in Information Technology & Informatics
Rowan University - M.S.T. in Secondary Education

• Work experience: This is my first year teaching!
I work/have worked at TD Bank since April of 2006 as a Senior Customer Service Representative and Certified Consumer Lender.

• Favorite books
o fiction: Anything written by Charlaine Harris - she is my favorite author! Also The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown, and many more!
o nonfiction: The Next Catastophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters by Charles Perrow and Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol

• Television Show: Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives

• Last movie I loved: The Shawshank Redemption - I just saw it for the first time!

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing: Adele "21"

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why: My great-grandmother Rose D'Angiolini, who I had the privilege to spend 11 years of life with learning to speak Italian, cook, and laugh. I'd give anything to spend some more time with her.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful: Shenandoah National Park

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

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild): Cats - I am definitely a cat person!

• Favorite sports team: Philadelphia Flyers (I am a HUGE hockey fan)

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip: A leisurely cruise through the Mediterranean Sea!

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession: The teacher who inspired me to enter the profession was working at a newly established charter school in Houston, TX. She was teaching a Bilingual Pre-K class and she was so passionate about working with the children and she put her heart and soul into every lesson. Seeing how hard she worked and how much the kids were learning every day was so motivating. I realized quickly that I belong in a classroom, using my passion for language and love for children as impetus for creating engaging lessons. I am very thankful I had the opportunity to go see Celeste Baretto in action, or I may never have found my way into the profession I love so much!

• Anything Else: Although I am a Spanish teacher, I also speak Arabic and Italian as well. From my studies at Rutgers University, I can also read French, German, and Aramaic (Biblical Hebrew).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

White & Gold -- Community Edition

The White & Gold -- Community Edition has traditionally been an item mailed to all Woodbury residents. Unfortunately, the cost of the production of the newsletter has caused the Board of Education to reconsider this past practice, and we have shifted to an electronic delivery.

Today, we attempted to use e-mails stored in the student management system, PowerSchool, to get the copy of the most recent edition out to the parents of our students. We also targeted a number of other people affiliated with the school and the larger Woodbury community and sent it to the e-mails that we had on record for these individuals.

Over time, our e-mail distribution list for those interested in this publication will grow. Also, the document is able to be accessed on the district's website -- at the bottom of the opening page.

Here is a link that should take you right to the most recent issue:

Please pass word along to others to be sure that as many as possible are getting a chance to keep up with our school news. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Current Woodbury Alumni on College Rosters

Dan Howey, one of our Senior High Counselors, put together the following list. As he points out, it is impressive to see how many student athletes from Woodbury are currently participating in a sport at the collegiate level:


Isaiah Roberts: Navy

Marc DiRugeris: Chestnut Hill

Kenny Moore: Slippery Rock University

Megan Fox: Wilmington University

Marcus Davis: Ramapo College

(The original list forgot to include Dominique Sellers -- a freshman at Rosemont College)


Shawney Kersey: Penn State University

Dyshawn Davis: Syracuse University

Jared Roberts: Lafayette College

Brian Purnell: University of Delaware

Tyler Jenkins: Rowan University

Eric Blackwell: Rowan University

Matt White: Rowan University

Michael Paige: Saint Vincent's College


Robert DiRugeris: Ohio State University


Eric Ulmer: Bentley University

Michael Ulmer: Stone Hill College


Kevin Brown: Rutgers (New Brunswick) University

Jacqui Nisbett: Rowan University

Alexis Gligor: University of Delaware

. . . thanks for sharing, Mr. Howey!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Woodbury on Twitter

Some of our administrators will be experimenting with Twitter this year. Check them out . . .

Jason Vivadelli, Evergreen Avenue Principal @ Evergreen_Elem
Vince Myers, West End Principal @ WestEnd_Elem
Jeff Adams, Walnut Street Principal @ Walnut_Elem
Denise Dunham, Jr.-Sr. High School Principal @ Woodbury_JrSr
Grant Shivers, Jr.-Sr. High School Athletic Director @ HerdsSports_WHS
Ed Murphy, Director of Pupil Personnel Services @ WPS_Counseling

Friday, September 09, 2011

Spotlight Postings on Fridays

Each year, I have posted in the blog entries that "spotlight" our new faculty members. These are typically Friday postings. For the next few Fridays, I will get information out to you about the following individuals.

The list of new hires is shorter than it has been in the recent past. It will only take a couple of months to cycle through the eight names below. We welcome each to the district (and, in the case of Mr. Vivadelli, to his new assignment!).

Stay tuned . . .


Ellen Grimes
Assistant Principal
High School

Jason Vivadelli
Principal, Evergreen
Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction: Grades PreK-5


Jr.-Sr. High School
Kerri Crowley - Spanish
Surinder Kaur – Science

Christine Blizzard – Elementary Enrichment
Joanne Ferrara – Preschool
Emily Mason – Elementary Instrumental Music

Mary Moody – Media Specialist

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Access to the Internet

This is an offer that Comcast has been advertising over the summer months. It will apply for some of our families. We are providing those families with the information in a direct mailing, but it may be helpful for more in the school community to be aware and help inform families about this resource, if appropriate.

Therefore, I am printing the specifics of the new Comcast initiative here:

Bringing the Internet to your home is easy and affordable

Now you can connect to the Internet at home - for school, work, communicating with others and so much more.

How to qualify:

To qualify for $9.95 a month Internet service and a low-cost computer, your household must meet all these criteria:

1.Be located where Comcast offers Internet service
2.Have at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
3.Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
4.Not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment

How to apply:

1.Call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) to request an application
2.We will mail you an application. Complete and return it, along with lunch program documents from your child's school
3.We will notify you by mail about the status of your application. Allow 7-10 days for a response.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

We are Back . . . and my Blog Entries are Back, Too

Hello. It was a much longer hiatus from blogging than I imagined, but I am back. Today, we started our first student day for the 2011-12 school year. Even though it rained, it was a successful start in all of our school buildings.

Even our students were ready to get back to school (well, most of them!). Our teachers understand the important role that they play in the education of Woodbury's children and value the faith and trust that has been placed in them by you.

Here are some pictures of my day as I moved about the district buildings:

I hope that your child(ren) had an enjoyable first day. We look forward to working in partnership with our families and the Woodbury community to create a valuable, personalized learning experience for all.

We work to prepare our students to "meet life's challenges with courage, confidence and pride." [Woodury Strategic Plan -- Mission Statement]