Sunday, February 28, 2016

Shadow a Student Challenge - CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

On Monday, February 29, I will be taking part in the “Shadowing a Student Challenge.” I will be joining school leaders from 23 countries and all 50 states.  Right now there are over 1,117 school leaders taking part during the week of February 29 - March 4.

My schedule has been cleared, selected a student and will spend the day as a member of the Waldwick High School student body.  I will be reflecting on the day and plan on sharing my experience. The goal for the day is to see what our school looks like through the eyes of student.  At the end of the day my homework will be to identify what's going well, what could be better and what questions or ideas are sparked by this experience.

I am looking forward to being a student again (I think).

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Change to Math Sequence for Class of 2020

Waldwick High School is excited to announce we are changing our math sequence starting with the Class of 2020 (Current 8th Graders).  Starting this September, all incoming freshman will be taking Geometry and the new college prep sequence will be Geometry, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus.  This change does not affect the honors sequence.  

After two years of researching the advantages of making this change, we determined this would be best for the students of Waldwick High school.  This proposed change was presented to the Board of Education at two of the Curriculum Committee meetings (October 2015 & January 2016)  and spoken about at the February 8 Board Meeting.  Some of the key reasons for this change are:

  • All classes K-8 have Geometry standards in their curriculum
  • High School Algebra 1 does not have any Geometry standards; therefore, it is more beneficial to move Geometry closer to the MS level and Algebra 1 to come before Algebra 2
  • With the new common core standards in 8th grade, the 8th grade students are being taught enough Algebra skills to be successful in Geometry

We truly believe this will be a great benefit for our students and have a positive impact on the overall math program at WHS.

Monday, February 22, 2016

PARCC Testing 2016

We are entering the second year of PARCC testing and starting in April, students in grades 9, 10 and 11 in ELA (English Language Arts) and Math (Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2) will participate in the updated version of the PARCC (Partnership For Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests.  One big change from last year is that students will only be taking the test once during the school year.   

Just like last year, the assessments are computer-based and aligned to our curriculum.  The PARCC testing is designed to help the teachers and staff  understand  how well we are preparing our students toward the goals of the CCSS as well as offering a snapshot of individual student growth at each grade level. This information along with the  internal assessments that are used, helps teachers to support the learning of each child.  In addition, we use the information gained from PARCC to help adjust our total program to ensure the overall student growth at every grade level.  

Some useful links to understanding PARCC:

PARCC Testing related to Graduation Requirements
Back in December the Department of Education released the threshold score that students need to achieve on each of the six PARCC Assessments.  The link below is to a blog post I did back in December which reviews the graduation requirements that need to be meet for all current high school students.  As you will see in the post, I also included the additional ways students can meet the graduation requirements through the approved alternative assessments.  
Graduation Requirements - Class of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 

Testing Week Students will be using their Chromebooks to take the assessments.  Because of the Chromebooks, we have cut down the number of days the testing will take.   As we get closer to testing I will share more information about:
  • Modified schedule for all seniors 
  • Testing procedures for all 9, 10 and 11 graders
  • Daily schedule for students once testing has ended

PARCC Testing Schedule for ELA
Grade Level
Wednesday 4/20
ELA Unit 1
9, 10, 11
110 Minutes
Thursday, 4/21
ELA Unit 2
9, 10, 11
110 Minutes
Friday 4/22
ELA Unit 3
9, 10, 11
90 Minutes

PARCC Testing Schedule for Math 
Grade Level
Monday 4/25
Math Unit 1
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
90 Minutes
Tuesday, 4/26
Math Unit 2 & 3
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
90 Minutes each

If you have any additional questions, please contact me via email or give me a call.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sticks and Stones Presentation - Class of 2019

Internet and cell phone technology have revolutionized the way we learn and interact. The benefits are immense, but so are the potential dangers. For teens in particular, cyber-bullying, harassment, stalking, spying, sexting and sexual predation are reaching dangerous levels throughout the country.

In order to help reinforce safe online behaviors, we will be showing the film, "Sticks and Stones" on Thursday, February 25, 2016, to all 9th Graders (1:30pm start). This film addresses many of these issues in a hard-hitting but realistic way.  The film was co-produced by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Chase Wilson, the Emmy-nominated creators of the DWI prevention film, "Stoned Cold."

Several important lessons will be highlighted during the film presentation and classroom discussions.  We encourage you to talk to your child about the film after they view it, in particular:
  • The nature and consequences of bullying on the victim and bystanders;
  • The dangers of sharing compromising photos online;
  • The inappropriateness of hate speech;
  • The ways that online communications can lead to real world consequences;
  • The problems inherent in online communication (Particularly the ease by which people can be fooled by a person assuming someone else’s online identity).
If you have questions/concerns about your children participating in this program, please feel free to contact Ms. Hused at 201-652-9000, Extension 5020. For any parent who would like to view the film before hand, we have copies available that can be loaned out.

This is the trailer for Chase Wilson Education's "Sticks & Stones," a film about the dangers of cyber bullying funded and distributed by The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office of Northern New Jersey. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

WHS January Students of the Month

January Students of the Month
2015 – 2016


ALLISON JOHNSON - Allison, a senior, does outstanding work in her Personal Finance and Software Applications classes. She works very well individually or in groups to complete activities and projects.  She goes “above and beyond” to get things done. One example is Allison’s work in formatting and organizing a recently completed Course of Studies booklet. In addition, Allison is very creative in design work and problem solving. Allison maintains an “A” average in her Personal Finance and Software classes. Good job!!!   


ANTHONY TUTSCHEK - Anthony, a junior, is very deserving of Student of the Month honors for Instrumental Music. He has been involved with the WHS band for the past four years. Anthony began as  a trombone player,  then switched to tuba at the end of his freshman year. Anthony has demonstrated a tremendous amount of improvement over the last two years. He was chosen to participate in the Bergen County Band by audition this past fall, after competing against other tuba players from all over the county. In addition to his contributions as a musician, Anthony has also served as the Manager for the Marching Band this past season. He is a fine leader, one who demonstrates a high level of commitment to all of the school’s musical ensembles. It is a pleasure to have a highly-motivated student like Anthony in the music department. Congratulations!


JESSICA TURNER Jessica is a sophomore on the Varsity Girls Basketball Team. This season on the court Jessica is averaging ten points per game, leading the team in scoring. She is also averaging eight rebounds along with three blocks per game. This past month Jessica surpassed 250 rebounds for her career. Besides being an outstanding athlete, Jessica has a great attitude always coming to practice and games ready to get better. Jessica excels in the classroom as well. Currently she maintains A’s and B’s in all of her courses. Jessica is everything a Warrior student-athlete should be.

JACK ROSEN Jack is a senior on the Indoor Track Team this winter. This past month, Jack piled up a bunch of medals beginning with a medal in the 300 meters at the Paul Schwartz Invitational at FDU. He then added two medals at the NJIC League Championships in the triple jump and as a member of the 4x4 relay team. Jack is a hard working athlete who looks to keep improving everyday as the state meets come up in February.