Thankful – An Educator’s Perspective

Although it is a rather dreary day, my thoughts are brightened by the actions that I have seen in our schools. I am forever thankful for being a part of this process…the process of education.

Each day, I am reminded by action. I am reminded by selfless acts of heroism inside and outside of the classroom; teachers and staff making a daily difference in the lives of others. We often hear about the deeds of teachers who, deservingly, get praise for all of the “awesomeness” that they bring to school everyday. I am thankful to witness these heroes all day, every day. They inspire me to be better and motivate me to continually look for new ideas, innovations and tools to support what they do. Thank you, teachers and staff.

If you asked any teacher what they are thankful for during Thanksgiving, they would undoubtedly include in their list, “I’m thankful for the kids I teach.” What is sometimes missed during this time is how much our students bring richness to our lives and how we, as educators, are inspired by them. We are so thankful for the opportunity to share knowledge and bring challenge to our students’ lives. We are so grateful to have daily interaction with each of them. Thank you, students.

I know that we are also grateful to work in a terrific place with great kids, caring colleagues and supportive parents. As Boyer states, “Parents are our students’ first teacher.” We are so appreciative of parents – the lessons that you have taught your kids, the smile that shows appreciation when you see us in the hallways, and the support for education that you clearly demonstrate. Thank you, parents.

As we break to celebrate Thanksgiving, please know how thankful I am for our teachers and staff, our students and our parents. I hope you all have a wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving.

AHS soars at NJ FFA Career Development Envents

Yesterday, the Allentown FFA participated in the New Jersey FFA Career Development Events at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. We are pleased to announce the following results:
Fruit and Vegetable ID: Placed 1st out of 27 Teams
Renee Stillwell- 1st Individually
Alissa Lebers- 5th Individually
Jeremy Posluszny- 8th Individually
Christopher Faunce- 16th Place Individually
Milk Quality and Products- Placed 1st out of 18 Teams
The team will represent NJ at the National FFA Convention in Louisville KY in October 2015
Madison Lofgren- 1st Individually
Matthew Gold- 3rd Individually
Joanna Ricci- 13th Individually
Meredith Dauphars- 25th Individually
Land Judging & Homesite Evaluation-Placed 1st out of 14 Teams
The team will represent NJ at the National Land & Homesite Evaluation in Oklahoma City, OK
Alexis Daesener- 1st Individually
Christa Lebers- 2nd Individually
James Collins- 15th Individually
Alissa Veit- 23rd Individually
Turf Management- Placed 2nd out of 12 Teams
Ryan Bolz- 4th Individually
Jacob Peters- 6th Individually
Caleb Brown- 9th Individually
Vincent Viviano- 14th Individually
If you see these students, please congratulate them on this accomplishment. They worked extremely hard and represented Allentown High School very well!
Congratulations Dale, Denise and Allison!!!!! (FFA Advisors)

Great Day of Learning at the UFRSD!

I saw some terrific learning activities as I walked around the UFRSD. I am reminded each day how fortunate I am to work in a district that has one sole purpose – supporting/facilitating learning for kids!

My morning started before the kids arrived as I joined the monthly “OT/PT Breakfast” in Newell. A room filled with teachers taking part in a 30-minute professional development (PD) activity. Teachers gathered to hear about techniques and tools for supporting  students with sensory issues. I was amazed at how knowledgeable our presenters were and how eager all teachers were to try something that helped our kids.

When I returned to my computer, I was greeted by a summary and brief report about a conference that was attended by multiple middle school teachers, featuring Mary Ehrenworth – Reading and Writing Workshop GURU.

I was able to get out of my office to visit AHS and SBMS to talk to a few teachers and administrators. All of our conversations focused on kids!

Later in the day, I received a tweet from our GT teacher at SBMS that said,

At Rutgers gifted conf. @AsstSuperUFRSD let’s start a convo- good stuff about PARCC and gifted ed!
11/20/14, 1:35 PM

At 2:30 p.m., I visited Mrs. Potash’s 4th grade where I was treated to an oral history and information about the State of NJ. Students were knowledgeable and made eye-to-eye contact. Loved my visit.

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Finally, I was invited to watch as two AHS teams competed to become the AHS representative in the Panasonic Creative Design Challenge – a challenge that requires teams to “apply a wide range of mathematical, mechanical and electric design skills.” They accomplish this by building a device that can complete 3 tasks:

  1. Navigate down an inclined ramp without tipping over
  2. Air drop an injured survivor to safety
  3. Retrieve 3 ping pong balls (water counts more than land)

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Needless to say, there was a lot happening in the UFRSD. The reality is…not much different than most days. #UFRSDproud

Newell ES to Host Partnering Up for the PARCC

Newell Elementary School to Host: Partner Up for the PARCC: Preparing Our Learners for Success in School and Beyond—Join Us Wednesday, Nov., 12th 6:30-8:30PM

The PARCC, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is a standardized evaluation that will be administered to students in third through twelfth grades during the spring of 2015.   As schools across the country implement rigorous educational and assessment standards aimed at preparing all students for success in college, workplace and life, the faculty of Newell Elementary School recognizes that “it takes a village to raise a learner”. We invited you to join us for our first Partner Up Learning Adventure. The goal of this parent-teacher collaboration is to:

  1. Review our school’s current levels of performance on standardized and benchmark assessments
  2. Create an opportunity for parents and teachers to engage in active conversation and collaboration in the areas of literacy, mathematics and technology
  3. To provide members of our school-home community with “take-home” resources, websites, and strategies that foster continued success for all students

What: Partner-Up Learning Adventure with Literacy, Mathematics and Technology Stations

Who: Newell Elementary Faculty and Parents

When: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Where: K-2 focus group meets in Newell Room 127; 3-4 focus group meets in Newell Media Center