Friday, October 31, 2014

STEM Meet @ WHS on November 11

On Tuesday, November 11, Waldwick High School will be hosting a STEM meet with five other high schools.  Students will be presented with a "Design Problem Task" and be given a few hours to brainstorm, design, and create the task.  Students will be using:
Lego pieces
(2) NXT Mindstorms bricks
(6) Touch sensors and cables
Batteries for NXT brick and/or recharging unit
BYOD for any research ( iphones, laptops)
The five high schools involved with this meet are: Bloomfield, Fairlawn, Northern Highlands, Old Tappan and Waldwick.  Each school will have two teams of five students competing.  In addition, each school will bring two extra students who will create two additional exhibition teams comprised of one student from each of the five high schools.

Twelve teams will be competing throughout the day on various tasks which include: Creating a "Design Document," Prototype Development, STEM Connections Document, Testing Prototypes and Final Presentation/Demonstration.  The task focuses on key NJ Core Standards.

Students will be judged using a Rubric (STEM Meet) by eight outside judges.  We are very excited to have an amazing panel of judges who have a wide range of expertise in the fields of STEM.

  • Ken Jones - Mechanical Engineer, works with nonprofit organization called "Warfighter Engaged" and goes to Bethesda, Maryland to the Walter Reed VA Hospital.
  • Steve Cohen - Coordinator of UAS and Mechatronics Education, BCC.
  • Steve Holly - retired engineer, software, IT, R.F. design.
  • Drew Zahradka - Stevens Institute, Mechanical Engineer.
  • Garrett Joyal- Stevens Institute, studying to become a Mechanical Engineer with focus in Biomedical Engineering.  Spent over a year of internships at Stryker Orthopedics working on developing hip and knee replacements.
  • Michelle Easter - Mechanical Engineering Senior at Stevens (graduating May 2015) with Robotics Concentration.  Currently working at Princeton University to design custom mechanisms to automate some of their laser lab experiments.  Completed two summer internships focused on theoretical study of nano and quantum optical systems at Kirtland Air Force Research Laboratory.  Physics and Computer Science background from previous institutions (Hunter College).  K-12 Outreach Committee Chair for Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society's NJ Alpha Chapter. 
  • Al Ziesler - Stevens Institute, Mechanical Engineer.
We also have a very special guest joining us, US Marine SSgt. David Crouse.  More on David and his role in the STEM meet in a future post. 

What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. We focus on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning.

A huge thank you needs to go Mr. Drechsel (Technology Teacher @ WHS) for coordinating this event along with the other coaches:  
Bloomfield - Mike Warholak; Northern Highlands - Al Mugno and Greg Delorenzo; Northern Valley Demarest Old Tappan - Dave Janoz and Steve Maietta

State Playoff Time for the Warriors

How about those WARRIORS!!!

The NJSIAA state playoffs have been posted and here are seeds and game times:

Girls Volleyball #15 Seed will play at HOME on Wednesday, 11/5, @ 4pm against North 13 Street Tech 

Official NJSIAA Tournament bracket  (Girls VB)

Girls Soccer # 2 Seed will play at HOME on Tuesday, 11/4, @ 7pm against Boonton

Official NJSIAA Tournament bracket  (Girls Soccer)

Boys Soccer #1 Seed will play at HOME on Monday, 11/3, @ 4pm against Wallkill Valley 

Official NJSIAA Tournament bracket  (Boys Soccer)

The football team plays tomorrow @ Rutherford HS at 1pm.  This is their final game that counts towards the state playoff power points.  Once their seed and opponent is finalized, it will be posted. 

WarriorNation please come out and support the teams.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

WHS Class of 2015 - 700 Group

As Principal, I get to celebrate student successes throughout the year for many reasons.  This year I want to officially introduce the 700 Group! This group represents students that scored 700 or higher on the SAT.  

Scoring 700 or higher is quite an accomplishment and something we are extremely proud of at WHS.  

The Class of 2015 - 700 Group

700 SAT (Critical Reading)
Natalia Bastante (720)
Calla Chennault (760)
Andrew Fucarino (760)
Jesse Martens (740)
Julia Post (720)

700 SAT (Math)

Andrew Fucarino (790)
Jesse Martens (700)
Colleen Moran (710)

700 SAT ( Writing)

Isabella Ayvaz (710)
Linda Buffington (710)
Andrew Fucarino (750)
Armando Gonzalez (750)
Jesse Martens (730)
Jamie Patronick (730)
Julia Post (730)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Organize your life - Start Here

Ms. Cassidy, Guidance Secretary found this great resource on staying organized.   Below is a great sample of the kind of valuable resources you can find on this site. 

Link to: Big Future by The College Board


Put the most important tasks at the top, even if they're things you're dreading, and tackle them first. Include things you want to do on your list too, so you have items you're looking forward to. Try motivating yourself with a reward if you get to everything on your list.

That way, if you find yourself with extra time—while on the train or bus or waiting for an appointment—you can get something done.

It's OK to say no if your friend asks you to go to a movie one night but you have a test the next morning. Instead, find a time that works for both of you and go see the movie then.

Are you a morning person or a night person? You'll be more efficient if you work when you're at your best.

Set up a time devoted only to studying or homework. Shut off your phone and respond to calls or texts when your work is finished. Don't check email or surf the Web (except when you need to for the work you're doing) during this time either.

Figure out how much time you usually spend on your activities and then create a weekly schedule to follow. Determine how much free time you have before you add any commitments. And don't forget to schedule time to relax.

If you find yourself wasting time on unimportant things, stop, check your to-do list and get back to what's at the top. Maybe you're procrastinating because you're not sure how to move forward on a school project. If that's the problem, check with your teacher to clear things up so you can get moving.

Your brain needs rest to perform at its peak. If it's time to sleep, list the things you still need to get done on the next day's to-do list and go to bed.

P.S.  Parents can find a lot of great information too!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Turning over the WHS Twitter account to Students.......YES REALLY

For Spirit Week and hopefully many more weeks to come, I am handing over the high school Twitter account to students.   The idea behind this is to really get a student perspective on what goes on at WHS. 

Students will be tweeting about their academic day, social interactions, athletic practices/games, club meetings and especially this week, all the school spirit.  

The only guidelines I gave the students were:
Remember you are representing yourself, your family, Waldwick High School and ME (Mr. Carroll).   

This week's guest "Tweeters" are:

Seniors Allison Reynolds (President of National Honor Society) and Armando Gonzalez (President of Student Council).  They will have full control of the @WaldwickWHS Twitter account.   All tweets for the week will be signed AR or AG so we know who they are from.  

I can't wait to read the tweets and see all the great pictures!  #Ownit

Photo credit:
There is no such thing as too much or too little trust - either you trust fully or you don't!

Friday, October 10, 2014

WHS Yearbook News - Class of 2015 "Early Years"

News from the Yearbook Advisors 

Early childhood pictures are needed for the "Senior Early Years" section of the yearbook--group pictures work best so we can feature as many students as possible; however, individual photos are accepted as well.  This section immediately follows the senior portraits (it has nothing to do with the senior ad pages).  This is a two page spread, so not every picture we receive will be featured. Since we do not have access to a scanner, it is best to send a digital file to either Mrs. Kish or Mrs. Dojer. The deadline for submission is Friday, November 21.  Please email either one of us a scanned JPEG copy of your child's picture (if they (or you) want them in this section).  

If you have any questions, please let us know.  

Danielle Kish

Sarah Dojer

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pink Out - Friday 10/10

Friday Night’s Football Game is a 

"Pink Out” 

for Breast Cancer Awareness!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NEW Graduation Requirements for the Classes of 2016, 2017 & 2018

The New Jersey Department of Education recently posted (9/30/14) a memo regarding graduation requirements for the Classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018.   Prior to this memo, all high schools in New Jersey were under the impression that as the State transitioned from the HSPA to the PARCC, there would NOT be a required exam for students to pass to receive a high school diploma.  This memo changed all of that.  The actual state memo can be found here: Graduation Requirements Class of 2016, 2017 & 2018.

What does this mean for the current juniors, sophomores and freshman?

Students will be able to satisfy the state requirements of demonstrating proficiency in English Language Arts and Mathematics in the following ways:

For current juniors (Class of 2016) in math courses covering content beyond Algebra II, they will not be expected to take PARCC End of Course Assessments in mathematics; however, the students must still demonstrate competency in mathematics in order to receive a state-endorsed diploma.  

If you were wondering what the passing score on the PARCC is, that will not be determined until the Fall of 2015.  We will keep you informed as the State releases this information.

As I mentioned, this memo was only released by the State about a week ago.  I will be sitting down with the guidance counselors in the near future to discuss a plan moving forward, as well as the best way to present this information to the students.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

WHS Parent Resource

The App "Yik Yak" was recently in the news so I felt it was important to share with you some information related to the topic.  

Here are two news stories related to Yik Yak

Local schools dealing with 'Yik Yak' app bullying
Bullying leads to district banning app 

In our constant effort to stay up-to-date on current technology, teach digital citizenship and model good use of social media, there are times when students make poor choices and use these online tools for inappropriate behavior.   

I hope the information below is helpful in starting a conversation with your child about the significance of protecting their online identity and the importance of what they are posting online and the consequences that could effect their future.  

We are in this together and if you need support in any way, please reach out to the HS administration, guidance counselor or teacher. 

The following information came directly from a blog post with permission from Carl Hooker - Social Media Awareness: A letter for Parents  

More about Yik Yak

Yik Yak is the latest in a line of social media apps using location services to post messages to those around the user. These messages are anonymous, but they are not untraceable. This app has had many issues across the country at both high school and college level. While Yik Yak claims to have set up a Geofence (blocking cell data) around our schools, there are cases where students have been able to go out of range to post their messages. Here are some steps you can take as a parent to identify if this app is a problem for your child and what you can do to prevent its use.
If your child has the app, you can search what Yaks they have posted by clicking on “Me” and “My Yaks” inside their app. This will show you what they have posted, but know they can delete their yaks. However, you can see if they have ever posted on Yik Yak (even if they deleted the posts) by checking their “Yakarma” points in the upper left corner. By default, it’s set to 100.  If they voted on a yak, posted a yak, replied, or shared, the number will change.

Next steps –

If your child is a Yik Yak user, a conversation needs to happen with him/her about why they feel the need to be on the app. We are recommending all parents delete the app from their students devices, especially since Yik Yak policy states that you need to be of “college age” to use the app.  If you don’t see the app, but suspect it may have been downloaded, you can also check in   the Updates section of the App Store under “Purchased” on your child’s phone.  All apps ever downloaded are stored in there.
While deleting the app takes care of the immediate issue, there may be a larger issue at hand when it comes to the use of social media by your child. Please take this opportunity to have that conversation about how NOTHING on the internet is truly anonymous or temporary. 

Here’s a great article by Psychologist Diana Graber about 3 Things Kids Need to Know About Yik Yak.  I particularly love this excerpt from the article about Yik Yak and other apps that may follow it:

Here are articles about students being arrested for improper use of Yik Yak.  They can help our students understand the seriousness of bad behavior on social media. 

So….What Else is Out There?
Like the above article states, there is always a new “something” when it comes to technology and social media.  Being aware of what else is out there doesn't necessarily solve the problem, but it is a good place to start for parents.  Here are a few apps/sites to be aware of that have been making the rounds with teens nationally:
For a complete list of these and other social media sites gaining popularity with Teens, check out this Common Sense Media article on 15 Sites and Apps Kids Are Heading to Beyond Facebook
Again, awareness is just the first step.  We need to continue to have an open conversation about this and everything else happening in their lives.  Social media may be a new thing, but there has always been a need to discuss issues and problems with our teens well before Yik Yak and long after it’s gone.

Where Can I Get Help and Support?
Common Sense Media is a tremendous free resource for information from age-appropriate ratings of movies and video games to “best of” app lists for parents and kids.  We especially encourage you to check out the “How-to” section on Cyberbullying.  It includes many great resources for parents to use when addressing these topics with their kids including things like: “How do I monitor my teen online without “spying”?” and “What should I do if my kid is bullied online?”

The above information came directly from a blog post by Carl Hooker - Social Media Awareness: A letter for Parents  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WHS September Students of the Month

September Students of the Month 
2014 – 2015

JULIA POST – Julia, a senior, has been a student in our Spanish Program since freshmen year.  Julia is currently taking AP Spanish Language and Culture and is doing an excellent job in this course.  What separates Julia from the rest is her genuine interest and desire to learn not only the mechanics of the language, but also the cultural intricacies of it.  Julia also makes a difference because she looks for opportunities to learn more and to put into practice her language skills outside of school.  She plans to continue on to college to study International Business, a career that will allow Julia to apply her experiences in the four years she was exposed to the best the World Language Spanish Program has to offer.

BERNARD FREDERIC – Bernard, a senior, is currently enrolled in Design and Engineering Seminar.  He chose to take the course twice because he has an interest in robotics.  Last year, Bernard entered the robotics VEX competition with a team and plans on entering the competition again this year.  Bernard’s dedication towards design and engineering needs to be recognized because it takes a lot of time and preparation to be competitive.  Among other strengths, Bernard has excellent communication skills.

LINDA BUFFINGTON – Linda, a senior, has been a Captain of the Tennis Team for three years.  She is a very devoted student not only to tennis but to her academics as well.   Linda has been playing some very challenging matches this year at second singles and has shown determination to do her best each match.  She played in the county tournament this past weekend beating her first opponent, and played an excellent match in the second to lose to one of the top 2nd singles players in the county.  Linda is an excellent role model and leader for all of her peers.

RYAN SEMUS – Ryan, a senior, is the Captain of the Cross Country Team and has shown an unbelievable level of leadership.  His commitment to the sport, as well as his school work, is extremely obvious to all of his team mates.  Ryan's ability to always give his teammates advice in a very constructive way also sets him apart.