Thursday, August 28, 2014

MUCH-ANTICIPATED TEACHER LETTERS ARRIVING TODAY

The word is out! The much anticipated teacher letters seem to be arriving today in many homes.

The kids who wait and wait and wait to find out who their teacher will be get ready to find out, if you haven't already.

We asked former Superintendent Brian Osborne years ago why they come this late. His answer: it gives less time for the numerous parents who seek to switch their children to a different class.

Fair enough. 

Do yourself a favor, if your child, or you, does not like the teacher he or she is given, give it a chance. Learning to deal with adversity and a teacher they may not like is one of the best lessons.

And, who knows, just because you have heard that a teacher is tough or bad or whatever, does not mean they are.


EXTENDED TOWN HALL HOURS BACK NEXT WEEK

From the Township today:

Town Hall Extended Hours Resume on 9/2

Please be reminded that extended Town Hall hours during Township Committee meeting nights (first and third Tuesday of the month) resume next week on Tuesday, September 2nd. All Town Hall Departments will be properly staffed to provide assistance to the public until 7:00PM.
Thank you.

COPS RESPOND TO DAMAGE REPORT AT SHED

...Scanner reports police responding to a report of a "completely shattered" window at Shed on Baker street. The store is open.

GREENHOUSE SIGN UP DATE ANNOUNCED


BAKER STREET REPAVING SPARKS SHUTDOWN

More shutdowns on Baker Street occurring now as the repaving we have reported on continues, scanner says Baker will be shutdown from Burnett to Dunnell.


And the rest of Baker ready to go as well

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

REPAVING ROAD SHUTDOWN HAS BEGUN, LIBRARY ISSUES NOTICE

Scanner indicates the first major closing for re-paving is happening now with Dunnell Road now shutdown from Baker Street to Oakview and Baker likely to follow later today from the train trestle to Valley Street.

This also from the Maplewood Library today:


 
Maplewood Memorial Library

 
Paving Work Continues  



Repairs on Baker Street are ongoing. Milling will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) in preparation for repaving.

Expect intermittent closures of the street, and prepare to park on Burnett St. or in town, although pedestrian access to the Main Library may also be limited at times.

While the road work continues, you can choose Hilton as the pickup location for your requests, and you can return your materials in the book drop at either location.

You can place requests and renew some items online by logging into your account here.

We can help you by phone as well. Please have your library card with you when you call.

We're very sorry for the inconvenience to our patrons.




IAN GRODMAN'S ALS ICE BUCKET

Looks like Maplewood Democratic Party Chair and former Township Committeman Ian Grodman became the first local official to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

He shared the video with us below. Who will be next?

video

WILL THE TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE TAKE THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE?

With all of the ALS ice bucket challenges going on, we reached out recently to each member of the Township Committee to ask what they want to do.

The responses were mixed, with Marlon Brownlee saying he had no plans to do it, Kathy Leventhal saying she would get back to us and Jerry Ryan noting: "I'm not organizing anything but I'm game."

As for India Larrier and Mayor Vic De Luca, they offered no responses either way yet.

But the rumors and gossip and scuttlebutt seem to indicate something may be in the works among the TC members for a good bucket bath.

We hope so!

BAKER, DUNNELL STREET CLOSINGS FOR PAVING THIS WEEK



Sign on Dunnell Road tells the story

From the Township website:


PAVING OPERATIONS TO BE DONE WEEK OF AUG. 28TH. 

WORK ON BAKER WILL BE DURING THE DAY BEGINING THURSDAY AND 
THERE WILL BE NO PARKING ON BAKER ST. DUNNELL ROAD WILL BE FROM 9 PM TO 5 AM. NO PARKING ON DUNNELL DURING THESE HOURS. 

 Baker St. will be repaved from the RR trestle to Valley St. and Dunnell Road will be repaved from Baker St. to Oakview Ave. In order to reduce disruptions to traffic and commuters, the paving work will be done during the nighttime hours. We appreciate your patience during the construction. Plans for this work can be viewed on the Township website at 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WHY IS THAT NJ TRANSIT POLICE TOWER THERE?

You might have wondered, as we did, why the New Jersey Transit Police erected a rather large tower at the Maplewood train station.

No, it's not some new high crime response, according to NJ Transit Spokesperson Nancy Snyder. She said it's just part of routine monitoring of safety down the line.

She tells us, "The police towers are stationed throughout the system in support of NJTPD's crime prevention efforts. We randomly place the towers at different locations."

Good to know! 

NEW CHS PRINCIPAL PENS WELCOME LETTER TO PARENTS

From new Columbia High School principal Elizabeth Aaron today:



CHS Logo   School District of South Orange and Maplewood

COLUMBIA HIGH SCHOOL

17 Parker Avenue • Maplewood, New Jersey 07040973-762-5600 x1012 FAX 973-378-5234

Dear Columbia High School Families:

I hope that you are enjoying a fun and restful summer.  

It is with great pride that I assumed the role of Principal of Columbia High School on July 1. I look forward to working with you to make Columbia High School the best-performing school in the nation, one where we work together to meet the academic, intellectual, social, and emotional needs of each of our students every day.

Last year, as Assistant Principal, I had the good fortune to work with now-retired Principal Smith and Assistant Principal Healy. They, the students, teaching faculty, staff, and community of our two towns greeted me with enthusiasm and were supportive as I transitioned into the position and were even more so after I accepted the position of Columbia’s principal.   The high standards, commitment, and deep talents of our teachers and the work they do with our students everyday are, I believe, the best that our public schools have to offer. I look forward to working in partnership with them and you in the years ahead.  CHS students and teachers produce some of the most impressive academic, artistic, and athletic results in the entire state. We look forward to building on the work done in previous years this school year and for years to come.

This year we welcome Ms. Cheryl Hewitt and Mr. Charles Ezell as Assistant Principals. Mr. Ezell joins us as Assistant Principal for Grade 9 and Ms. Hewitt is the Assistant Principal for Grade 10. Mr. Michael Healy will guide our juniors through this important year in their lives, and Dr. Jennifer Giordano, Director of Guidance and Counseling Services, will act as grade-level administrator for all matters relating to our seniors as they move toward graduation on June 24th.

The expectations we set for our students are high, and our goal at CHS is to make sure that every student is challenged, nurtured, engaged, and supported every day. High school is a four-year journey. Your students (and you) may encounter choppy waters some days and smooth sailing on others. We are always here to support them and you.  Our Guidance and Counseling staff, the district’s Special Services team, ESS, The Loft, our Intervention and Referral Services and 504 processes, the district’s Parenting Center and social workers, and, most importantly, your child’s teachers, are here to guide them and you on their path toward graduation.  Our teachers are here in the afternoons for academic support through our afterschool conference periods, and our library stays open after school for students to do homework and research. Our partnership with the Achieve Foundation, our own Peer Mentoring program, and other community organizations allow us to refer students for academic support and guidance as needed and to support their efforts toward excellence.

Your student, of course, bears primary responsibility for his or her own efforts and attitude – which are the two primary determinants of achievement and success. How our students choose to come to school is critical to their success. Their choice to be on time every day, with homework done, with eyes and ears tuned toward instruction, ready to engage with their coursework and teachers seriously and with their peers in a way that is supportive and constructive – these are the building blocks of achievement that will allow them to shine and be successful. 

Please stay engaged and support your students with us throughout the year by:

·         Staying current on district and school news on the district website, www.somsd.k12.nj.us

·         joining and supporting the CHS Home School Association (HSA) at www.columbiahsa.org

·         attending school athletic,  arts  and other events

·         following Ms. Aaron on Twitter at @CougarPrincipal for updates and insights to the great things that happen at CHS each week

·         asking your child to share his or her concerns, successes, frustrations, and learning experiences at the dinner table, in the car, at breakfast, or whenever your family life and schedules permit you to have conversations that show your student that you value school and their efforts toward being a successful student

·         attending Back To School Night to hear from your child’s teachers (Wednesday, October 1), and, most importantly,

·         communicating with your child’s guidance counselor, teachers, and grade-level administrators when you have questions,  concerns and compliments

Also, please mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 15. On that morning, all sophomores and juniors will report to school at 8 am to take a free PSAT. All other students report at 10:45 am to begin their academic day. This administration of the PSAT, funded by our district, allows all of our sophomores and juniors to assess their academic skills and progress to date and informs our understanding of areas of academic strength and potential as they move through high school toward the worlds of work, higher education, careers, and vocations. Find out more about the PSAT at collegeboard.org.
A revised Student/Family Handbook will be available on our website for the start of this new school year. Please take time to review it with your child and be in touch if you have any questions. Please note procedures for lateness, absences, and expectations for student conduct. Please take some time to speak with your child about the need for thoughtful and responsible use of social media, and please be aware that our policies regarding cell phone use at school are designed to help our students and staff focus on instruction.
Finally, enclosed please find an important update from Dr. Giordano regarding class schedules at Columbia this year.  
I look forward to the school year with you and your child, and thank you in advance for supporting our work here at CHS.  Go, Cougars!



Best regards,

         Elizabeth M. Aaron, MAT, M.Ed.
         Principal

REC DIRECTOR RESPONDS TO DIVING BOARD TEAM COMPLAINTS

We told you last week about the new Maplewood Pool diving team's complaints that it could not get new diving boards that were supposedly promised by Recreation Director Keith Knudsen. 
Head Coach Kayla Spinelli told us then that the team had raised $400 on its own toward a new board and the department had promised to order them, but never did.
“They never ordered it. The money we had for the boards was no longer there,” she said about the department, adding that new boards can cost as much as $5,000. “We cannot join a diving league if we don’t have the boards.”

Knudsen, who had been on vacation, responded today with this email:

Kayla asked me for a better diving board at the beginning of the season so that her
participants could be prepared for visiting other pools for the diving league (new
this year).

I explained to Kayla that if I had enough funds left in the pool budget that we
would get a new diving board at the end of this season. Kayla had also found a pool
that will donate their professional board to us at the end of the season (which is
in good shape).  Next year, we will have either one or two professional diving
boards.  Thank you.