Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Random Acts of Kindness

Everyone needs validation. A good way to spread good vibes and positive thoughts is through Random Acts of Kindness. These days we are exposed to a lot of negativity and our academic community is affected by it.  In an effort to change this negativity, we are getting our students and staff to participate in Random Acts of Kindness.  

There is a bulletin board set up in the senior wing for you to pick a Random Act of Kindness. The board will be up all year with each class taking a marking period to update and keep the envelops filled.  

If you receive a random act of kindness, share with us who and what the act was by using the hashtag #kindnessWHS .  Take a picture, thank them back and share your thoughts. Let's keep spreading a positive message.  

Validation. What is it? It’s getting feedback from others that “what I do and what I say matters to you. You hear me. You see me. You think of me. You thank me. You acknowledge my accomplishments. You appreciate my efforts.”
Linda Sapadin, PhD,

Week of Respect at WHS

The following activities will take place at WHS during our Week of Respect:

Monday, October 3:  World Day of Bullying Prevention - Students and staff will wear blue.

Tuesday, October 4:  9th and 10th grade students will be attending a presentation by the Ganley Foundation. 

This heartfelt and empowering presentation offers educational basics and insights into the world of youth depression and suicide through real life stories and expert input.  The shared perspectives of a mental health expert and suicide attempt survivor encourage a dialogue with the audience which carries forward their message about the importance of mental health, depression awareness, suicide prevention and how to obtain help.

Wednesday, October 5:  the 11th and 12th grade students will be attending a presentation by Gian Paul Gonzalez.

Mr. Gonzalez has traveled across the nation as a motivational speaker for many corporate, athletic, government and educational institutions.  His message of being "All In" has reached people across the world.  Gian Paul earned a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and is founder of an organization called Hope and Future, which is dedicated to helping inner city youth.  Gian Paul is represented by A Vision in Motion Speakers Bureau.

Friday, October 7:  Students and staff district-wide will wear orange and jeans. 

Week Long Activities
We will have a "Wall of Respect" where students, teachers, staff can write a positive message, a thank you note to someone, or anything that sets a positive tone for the school community.   These messages can be anonymous or signed.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Peer Mentoring Program at WHS

This year at WHS we started a peer mentoring program for the freshmen class. Our National Honor Society students have taken ownership of the program and have a lot of great activities planed for the year.

Senior and National Honor Society President, Sarah Armstrong, wrote this guest blog post to summarize the program.

Peer Mentoring Program

Objective: To provide freshmen students with a senior peer mentor in the National Honor Society as a guide throughout high school.

The transition from middle school into high school is no easy task. Senior NHS members aim to help freshmen tackle the challenges of adjusting to high school, as it is an environment that requires time to get used to. This program provides an opportunity for freshman students to hear truth and advice from those with experience, which will lighten the load by letting them know they have someone to turn to.

Freshmen have been sorted into groups of eight or nine classmates and have been assigned to a NHS group leader.  The groups will meet at 7:30 AM once a month on a Friday morning. The NHS members will be in touch with their groups via group message or email.  All students are highly encouraged to attend, as these meetings will provide them with a great deal of information including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Getting acclimated to high school
  • Peer pressure
  • Schedules
  • Schoolwork
  • Sports
  • NHS
  • Current events
  • Getting involved / clubs
  • Student council
  • Study habits
  • “How to succeed in ____” (ex: a certain class, being an active member of the community, being a good friend, participating in school functions, etc.)
  • Social groups and being friends with a range of people
  • Volunteering
  • Ideas on how we can make life easier at WHS

Freshmen should also feel encouraged to reach out to their NHS group leader at any time regarding any questions they may have pertaining to life as a high school student.

All meetings will be held at 7:30 AM

Friday, September 23
Friday, October 21
Friday, November 18
Friday, December 16
Friday, January 20
Friday, February 17
Friday, March 17
Friday, April 28
Friday, May 26
Friday, June 9

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Understanding the Graduation Requirements

PARCC results for the 15-16 school year were mailed home on Friday, which have some ramifications related to graduation requirements. 

Over the last two years, the NJ Department of Education has made changes and updates related to high school graduation requirements.  Last year, the New Jersey Department of Education approved the threshold score points (‘cut points’) to define the performance levels on the PARCC assessments.
On August 3, 2016, the State Board of Education approved updated state regulations for the high school graduation assessments requirements in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for the Classes of 2017 through 2021 and beyond.
NJDOE memo regarding Graduation requirements August 2016
Students graduating as members of the classes of 2017 through 2019 (Current Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors) can meet graduation assessment requirements through a variety of ways, including:

(1) Achieving passing scores on certain PARCC assessments;
(2) Achieving certain scores on alternative assessments such as the SAT, ACT, or Accuplacer (See chart below); or,
(3) The submission by the District of a student portfolio through the Department’s portfolio appeals process.

(Special Education students whose Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) specify an alternative way to demonstrate proficiency will continue to follow the graduation requirements set forth in their IEPs.)

The Class of 2020 (Current Freshman) can demonstrate graduation assessment proficiency through the same alternative means as those in the Classes of 2017 through 2019, provided that students in the Class of 2020 take all end-of-course PARCC assessments for which they are eligible as of the effective date of when the amendments were adopted by the State Board of Education. 
(According to the state memo, all current 9th graders must take the PARCC)

For the Class of 2021 (Current 8th Graders) and thereafter, students who have not demonstrated proficiency on the ELA 10 and Algebra 1 assessments and have taken all end-of-course PARCC assessments for which they are eligible, can demonstrate graduation assessment proficiency by meeting the criteria of the portfolio appeals process.

In addition to the PARCC Assessment, students can meet the graduation requirement by demonstrating competency in one of the alternative assessments approved by the NJDOE in both English Language Arts and Math. See chart below.

English Language Arts
PARCC ELA Grade 9 >= 750 (Level 4) or
PARCC Algebra I >= 750 (Level 4) or
PARCC ELA Grade 10 >=750 (Level 4) or
PARCC Geometry >= 725 (Level 3) or
PARCC ELA Grade 11 >= 725 (Level 3) or
PARCC Algebra II >= 725 (Level 3) or
Prior to 3/1/16 SAT Critical Reading >= 400 or
Prior to 3/1/16 SAT Math  >= 400 or
3/1/16 or later SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section >= 450 OR SAT Reading Test >= 22
3/1/16 or later SAT Math Section >= 440 OR SAT Math Test >= 22
ACT Reading or ACT PLAN Reading >= 16 or
ACT or ACT PLAN Math>= 16 or
Accuplacer Write Placer >= 6 or
Accuplacer Write Placer ESL >= 4 or
Accuplacer Elementary Algebra >= 76 or
PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading
(Prior to 10/15) >=40 or
PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading  After (10/15) >=22 or
PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Reading
(Prior to 10/15) >=40 or
PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Reading  After (10/15) >=22 or
ACT Aspire Reading >= 422 or
ACT Aspire Math >= 422 or
ASVAB-AFQT Composite >=31 or
ASVAB-AFQT Composite >=31 or
Meet the Criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal
Meet the Criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back to School Night Video 2016

For the parents who could not make it to this year's Back to School Night, here is the my video for the night.  

HUGE Thank You to Danny Rinaldi, Sergio Scardigno & Jake Schwencke! This video is all them and they did an amazing job!!! 
Thank you Mr. Meltzer for creating a TV Production program that creates pieces like this.