October 2017

A monthly e-newsletter to keep you connected to your District


A NOTE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

Each October, all public schools throughout the State of New Jersey recognize the Week of Respect and Violence Awareness Week to highlight the importance of treating everyone with compassion and respect.

Despite the chaos we see and read about in the world around us (which are examples of what NOT to do), our schools come through once more with opportunities to show our students the proper way to treat and care for one another. Click here to view a list of the Week of Respect and Violence Awareness Week activities that took place throughout our schools this month. From expressions of unity and positive character to "stomping out violence" and reviewing safety protocols, our students engaged in learning experiences that will last them a lifetime.

Remember, these are not lessons that should end in October. Our students are watching and learning from us each and everyday; therefore, as adults let's promote and model these positive themes online and in person at all times.

- Dr. Gonzalez

DECEMBER 12, 2017 REFERENDUM: VOTER EDUCATION UPDATE

The WRSD voter education series is in full swing with over 10 presentations completed since the start of the school year to parents, community leaders, and each town's Mayor and Councils. In November, we have referendum information presentations scheduled as follows:

    • 8: Township Golden Seniors
    • 13: George School PSO
    • 14: Westwood Recreation Department
    • 15: Westwood Public Library & Washington PSO
    • 28: Westwood Regional Middle School PSO (includes a facility walkthrough)
    • 29: Twp. of Washington Public Library
    • 30: Brookside PTO

For times and locations of any of these presentations, check out the complete presentation schedule here.

As we continue to present to our community about the upcoming referendum, there are several questions that come up often. Therefore, to provide you with answers to the most frequently asked questions, we've added an interactive FAQ section to our online referendum portal. Click here to view the FAQs and feel free to email the Superintendent if you have any additional questions that we can add to the list.

OCTOBER BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

The October 19 Board of Education meeting was filled with celebrations of student and school-wide achievements as we honored "Excellence in Education" displayed in its many forms.

Click the links to view the AGENDA and ADDENDUM for the October 19, 2017 meeting.

2018 National Merit Scholarship ProgramThe National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and scholarship that is open to all U.S. High School students who meet published entry requirements. The Westwood Regional Board of Education congratulates the following students for their accomplishments.

National Hispanic Scholar: based on students' PSAT score during the 2016-17 school year and scoring in the top 2.5% among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NMSQT test takers in our region.

WRMS and Jr/Sr High School students of the month


College Boards Advanced Placement (AP) Student Scholars – the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program offers students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. The Westwood Regional Board of Education commends and congratulates the following students for their accomplishments and thanks the families who attended the Board meeting to accept the recognition on behalf of the students who have graduated. It was a proud night for all.

Berkeley Elementary School Recognized as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School

2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored at an awards ceremony November 6-7, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Since the last newsletter, the Board of Education has not adopted any new policies; however, any policies currently under review can found here and ALL final policies and regulations can be found on the district website under the Board of Education drop down menu.

Student Representatives Report

10.19.17

Click here to view an archive of the 2017-18 student representative reports from the Jr/Sr High School.

Revised NJDOE Science Assessments Coming Spring 2018

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is in the final phase of the state-required procurement process for the new science assessments that will be administered this school year. The NJDOE expects the procurement process to be finalized in the coming weeks, at which time they will release detailed information and guidance for districts on the new science assessments. However, to assist school districts in preparation for such changes, the NJDOE has provided the following information so far:

  • The science assessments will be administered in grades 5, 8 and 11. There will be no 4th grade science assessment this school year. The grade 11 high school assessment will be a comprehensive science assessment rather than an end-of-course high school biology assessment.
  • The new science assessments will be computer-based tests and will feature technology-enhanced items.
  • The new science assessments will be administered in spring 2018 and will be aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science, which all school districts were required to implement by the 2017-18 school year.

As described above, once the procurement process is finalized, information and guidance about testing dates, procedures and other operational details will be released to districts. This information will be relayed to the Westwood Regional parents/guardians once it is available. In the meantime, check out the video below for an overview of the NGSS.

Statewide Assessments Annual Report

Each year, the district reports to the district board of education and the public on the performance of all students on the New Jersey standardized testing system (N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1). The Administrative Leadership Team presented the results for our school district at the August 24 and September 14 Board meetings. The presentation included results for: PARCC, Access for ELLs, the Dynamic Learning Maps, NJASK Science, the NJ Biology Competency Test, AP, SAT, and ACT. In reviewing the results, we found that our district schools often out performed the State average; however, in all cases, these results are considered along with many other measures to help us refine practices and implement interventions for the continuous growth of ALL students.

As always, we are proud of the efforts and performance of our students and teachers. If you have any questions about our results, don't hesitate to reach out to your school's principal.

Statewide Assessment Presentation 2017-2018.pdf

Each month we highlight a member(s) of our school district staff who demonstrate a commitment to our motto "Excellence in Education". This month we are pleased to present ...

Jasmine Yoo

Brookside / Berkeley General Music and Choral Teacher

Ms. Jasmin Yoo is the General Music and Choral director at both Brookside and Berkeley Elementary Schools. She has also served as the Vocal Director of the performing arts club (JPAC) at the Westwood Regional Middle School for the past nine years. Ms. Yoo earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, and completed her Master’s in Music at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is in her tenth year of teaching at WWRSD.

Music has always been Ms. Yoo’s creative outlet for self-expression and as a teacher, she designs fun and engaging lessons that immerse young students in the world of music and movement. Her aim in the classroom is to provide all students with the grounds to discover and develop their own interests in music through each of the weekly activities. She encourages each child to think, take risks, perform, create, appreciate and be open to new experiences.

As a part of the Visual & Performing Arts department, Ms. Yoo loves collaborating with her fellow music colleagues whether it is through playing piano for district choir concerts, chaperoning music field trips, or coordinating new activities to enhance the department’s programs and curricula. Outside of the music classroom, Ms. Yoo enjoys traveling the world, practicing yoga and meditation, and spending quality time with her family and friends.


WRSD Leaders in Education

In addition to our regular spotlight, this month we are pleased to present news of three members of our educational community who were recognized for their "Excellence in Education".

Michael Fiorello - Berkeley Elementary School Principal

2017 Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the U.S. Secretary of Education announced that Michael Fiorello, principal of Berkeley Elementary School, is one of eight recipients of the 2017 Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership. The Bell Award honors exemplary school leaders as part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Principals are nominated by their school communities during the final stages of the National Blue Ribbon Schools application process. Click here to learn more.

Dan Vivino - Assistant Principal / Director of Athletics

NJSIAA Service Award Recipient

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletics Association (NJSIAA) announced that Dan Vivino, Assistant Principal and Director of Athletics at the Jr/Sr High School, is the 2017 recipient of the NJSIAA Service Award. This special award honors services in the field of interscholastic athletics and dedication to student-athletes over an extended period of time.

Mary-Liz Wren - High School Psychology Teacher

NJCSS Teacher of the Year

At the recent NJCSS Conference at Rutgers, Mary-Liz Wren was honored as the New Jersey Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year. At the event, Mrs. Wren also co-presented a session on Best Practices and Methods in Teaching Pyschology. Congrats Mrs. Wren!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

School Calendar 2017-18.pdf

NOVEMBER

  • 9-10: District Closed
  • 16: Board of Education Meeting
  • 22: District Early Dismissal
  • 23-24: District Closed

DECEMBER

  • 14: Board of Education Meeting
  • 25-29: District Closed

JANUARY

  • 1: District Closed
  • 4: Board of Education Annual Organizational Meeting
  • 15: Schools Closed for Students (Staff Professional Development)
  • 18: Board of Education Mid-Year Personnel Meeting