November 2018 Spotlight
Mark your calendars for the following dates:
- Thursday/Friday, November 8th/9th - School Closed for NJEA Convention
- Wednesday, November 14th – 7:30 PM Education Foundation (EFLS) Meeting – Point Road
- Thursday, November 15th - 7:00 PM Board of Education Meeting
- Thursday/Friday, November 22nd/23rd - School Closed for Thanksgiving
- Wednesday, November 28th – 9:15 AM PTO Meeting – Markham Place Media Center including a Curriculum Café
Parent Teacher Conferences on the Horizon
Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, November 16th and the evenings of Monday, November 19th and Tuesday, November 20th. There will be early dismissals on all conference days as well as on Wednesday, November 21st. As discussed in the August Spotlight, Little Silver has historically operated on quarterly assessment periods. Therefore, report cards have been issued four times a year. Beginning this school year, the Little Silver School District is shifting to three annual assessment periods, or trimesters. This change is coming as a result of the work that our Standards-Based Report Card Committee completed over a two-year period. Parents can expect the following:
Report Card Issued
September 6th - December 7th
December 10th - March 15th
March 18th- End of School Year
Last day of school
At Point Road, students attend their Related Arts classes (Art, Music, STEM, Technology, PE) all year long, based on days of the 6-day cycle. Therefore, parents of Point Road students can expect to see all grades posted by trimester. At Markham Place, students attend quarterly Art, Music, STEM, and Technology courses throughout the year; therefore, the timelines for these courses will not mirror the trimester calendar. Parents are encouraged to utilize the Parent Portal of Genesis periodically to view their child’s current grades. The grades for these courses will be reflected on the report card once the course has been completed. Please note that PE and Spanish will be reflected by trimester. Parents of Markham Place students can see grades 24/7 on the Genesis Parent Portal. Parents of Point Road students received progress reports via the Parent Portal on October 19th. In addition, parents receive regular feedback via Friday Folders and Google Classroom throughout the trimesters.
October 31st marked the annual Halloween Parade at Point Road. As usual, the costumes did not disappoint!
One of the many Markham traditions is the annual Halloween window painting. Under the direction of the Art Teacher, Nicole Lawlor, Markham Place students lined the streets of Little Silver, painting Halloween themes on the windows of local businesses. Markham 7th and 8th grade students also enjoyed their Halloween dance. A Spooktacular evening was had by all! Click to see the 1 minute movie
Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
At times, individuals have been overheard saying, “My child is being bullied.” Little Silver’s Board of Education Policy 5512, Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying, defines the parameters of an incident that would be considered “bullying” as opposed to student “conflict”. All students need to learn how to maneuver through conflict with others as they grow and mature while seeking the assistance of teachers, counselors and parents. Please talk with your child when conflict occurs. Not all “conflict” constitutes “bullying.” There are distinct differences between “Conflict” and “Bullying” based on the parameters of the Anti-Bullying Right Act. For the specific parameters of the School Board Policy, please click on the policy link above. A brief distinction between conflict and bullying includes:
* Does not disrupt the operation of the school day
* Has the effect of upsetting or bothering another student
* A reasonable person should know that it could possibly place a student in fear of physical or emotional harm
* A reasonable person should know that actions could possibly cause physical or emotional harm to a student
* Environment and education are not interfered with
* There could be momentary physical or emotional harm to a student
* Substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school day
* Has the effect of insulting or demeaning students
* A reasonable person should know that actions will place a student in fear of physical or emotional harm
* A reasonable person should know that actions will cause physical or emotional harm to a student
* Creates a hostile environment by interfering with a student’s education
* Causes severe or ongoing physical or emotional harm to a student
Respect Week (October 1st-5th) and School Violence Awareness Week (October 15th-19th) Recognized
The Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Law designates the first full week of October as a “Week of Respect” in New Jersey. School districts are directed to observe the week by providing age-appropriate instruction focusing on preventing harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The NJDOE designates the third full week of October as “School Violence Awareness Week.” The New Jersey Legislature has set aside both weeks to highlight these very important issues. However, the Little Silver Schools work hard to maintain a clear, consistent message throughout the school year about positive school climate and student behavioral expectations. Through the collaborative support of staff, parents and students, we work to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students and staff.
During Respect Week, teachers at Point Road facilitated lessons incorporating the theme of “respect.” The Guidance Counselor visited classrooms and discussed respect, and being “mindful” in how we respond to others. As a schoolwide effort, posters were created that reflected the school theme of being: Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Learn! Students enjoyed wearing mismatched socks to school on Sock It to Bullying Day as well as Little Silver Spirit wear on Unity Day. Fourth grade students also participated in the Sandy Hook Promise. Sandy Hook Promise trains students and adults to know the signs of gun violence so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.
During School Violence Awareness Week, teachers at Point Road facilitated violence awareness lessons. The guidance counselor visited classrooms and discussed conflict resolution and “debugging.” As a schoolwide effort, the teachers’ classroom doors were decorated with a safety theme including: Classroom Safety, Bicycle/Walk to school safety, health/wellness safety, bus/traffic safety, or cyber safety.
The Markham Place Students in grades 5 and 6 also engaged in the Sandy Hook Promise. The theme for the month of October was “Start with Hello.” Peer leaders paired with 5th grade homerooms to develop a positive school climate. Teachers and students began to develop a culture where everyone is greeted during homeroom. The Markham Place guidance counselor met with fifth grade students in small groups to get to know all students and follow-up with the “Start with Hello” presentation.
Wednesday, October 24th marked National Students against Violence Everywhere Day. Awareness was raised by having students wear purple and orange. On October 26th, Markham Place engaged in a Kith (Multi-grade Social House) activity that focused on the “Hello Activity” and developing an inclusive school environment.
Student Council Officers also unveiled their School Rules video to the student body.
It’s OK to be Different – Teaching Children Respect and Empathy
Building a culture of acceptance within any community is important. In the lives of our impressionable, developing children it is critical. To that end, The Little Silver School District takes the NJ Department of Education guidelines very seriously, particularly as it relates to Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB). While the field of education has evolved incredibly over the last decade in this area, our ever-changing world and society calls us to be vigilant in readdressing the relevance and scope of the policies set forth by our state. HIB legislation passed this summer recommends schools address issues facing the LGBT student community.
To address these recommendations, our Markham Place health teacher and guidance counselor will be rolling out a new program entitled Embracing the LGBT Community. Embracing the LGBT Community is Unit 6 of a more extensive program entitled, It’s OK to be Different, which teaches students empathy and respect. This unit of study will be taught beginning this winter to our 7th grade students.
This year, It’s OK to be Different celebrates 40 years since the program began. Over the course of those 40 years, six units of study were created:
- Building Friendships: Be a Buddy Not a Bully (Pre-K, Kindergarten)
- Understanding Disabilities (1st/2nd grades)
- Respect for Different Learners (2nd/3rd grades)
- Celebrating Cultures (3rd/4th grades)
- Courage to Care (5th-8th grades)
- Embracing the LGBT Community (6th-8th grades)
Selecting appropriate curriculum materials is a task our administrative and teaching staff takes seriously. The selection of Embracing the LGBT Community was no different. Since the district already owns and utilizes the Courage to Care unit of study at Markham, the district ultimately felt that the Embracing the LGBT Community unit was well-done and included a litany of resources to use.
On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, there will be a parent meeting from 7:00-9:00 PM in the Markham Place Cafetorium. In addition to school administrators, we will have panel discussion including experts in the field. While the unit of study will be in our 7th grade curriculum, the meeting is open to parents of any grade level who wants to attend.
What is mindALIGNED?
During this 2018-19 school year, Little Silver is embarking upon a school-arts partnership relationship with the Count Basie Center for the Arts. During our October professional development days, teachers in grades 1 and 5 were trained in the implementation of mindALIGNED. This program is spearheaded by the Basie, in partnership with over 20 organizations, foundations, arts partners, and artists. One of the many goals of the program is to increase schools access to arts engagement and creative learning. It encompasses techniques that span across disciplines that teachers embed into their instruction. We look forward to exploring the academic, artistic, and social-emotional benefits of the mindALIGNED program as the year progresses.
Little Silver ROCKS PARCC 2018 Test Results
PARCC 2018 Test results are in, and Little Silver faired extremely well compared to other NJ State schools. We are proud of our staff and students!
Substitute Teachers, Substitute Instructional Assistants, and Lunch Aides Wanted!
Little Silver is seeking substitute teachers, instructional assistants, and lunch aides. Applicants need not be teacher certified. If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher, you need to have 60 college credits. If you are interested in becoming a substitute instructional assistant and/or a substitute lunch aide at Point Road, you also need 60 college credits. The substitute teacher pay rate is $85 a day, whereas the pay rate for a substitute instructional assistant is $75 a day. The lunch aide rate is $11.50 per hour. If you are interested in serving in any capacity, please contact Judy Lyons at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-741-2188.
Did you know that you can access information about your child’s grade level curriculum by viewing the Rubicon Atlas link on our Curriculum page of our website at http://www.littlesilverschools.org/curriculum.html