February 15, 2018…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

As you have already heard, yesterday there was another school shooting. This time it was in Parkland, Florida. Please note that if you believe your child is distressed, we have a full complement of trained counselors working in our schools and they are all ready to meet with your child and share essential resources with families.

Psychology Today published an excellent article that will help parents and children cope with these types of situations. The article is entitled, How to Talk to Kids About Mass Shootings and Attacks and contains some positive actions we can all take to manage this dreadful situation. Some excerpts are below:

  • The most important thing is to reassure them that you will take care of them and keep them safe, and that there are many more good people in the world than bad. For older kids, you could say, “There have always been tragedies that people cope with by having faith, talking, and helping others.” Reassure them that shootings and attacks are very unlikely to happen to them, their friends, or family.
  • Ask how they feel about the event and validate their feelings, “It’s OK to be scared and sad, and I feel that way too. But I know we’ll be okay.” Don’t emphasize your own fears you may have, because kids look to us for reassurance and calmness.
  • Emphasize the help and sympathy from strangers who care about victims and that people are working hard to keep things like this from happening again. Talk about how your family can help such as by donating money or time, or sending letters to victims’ families or communities.
  • Ask if they have any questions (it’s okay not to have all the answers) and say you’d like to talk again whenever they want. Say it’s good to talk about concerns but there’s a point where it’s better to get away from the topic—when it doesn’t help but just makes us sad, worried, or angry.

 

Sincerely,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Star Math and Three New State Schools of Character…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Over the past two weeks, students in grades 2-8 have completed the second administration of STAR Math Assessment. You will be receiving a copy of this report along with your child’s report card later this week. Please check the percentile rank (PR) metric which compares your child to students in the same grade from across the nation. This percentile rank may have changed since the first administration in late September.

Earlier this school year, we asked all stakeholders to complete the 2017-2018 Culture and Climate Survey. At the January 23rd Board of Education meeting, we shared the results of the survey with the Board and with the community. Since this was the second year of this survey, we were able to disaggregate the data and make year-over-year comparisons. The overall trend is positive. Some survey highlights:

  • An 18.8% increase of respondents who strongly agree that, “Teachers treat students with respect”.
  • A 20% increase of respondents who strongly agree that, “Other adults at school treat student with respect”.
  • A 21.5% increase of respondents who strongly agree that, “The school encourages students to perform kind actions”.
  • A 30.3% increase of respondents who strongly agree that, “Students treat other students with respect, regardless of differences”.
  • A 43% increase of respondents who strongly agree that, “Students are willing to help other students, even if they are not friends”.

We will use this data to continue to improve our culture and climate so our teachers can teach and our students can learn in a safe and secure learning environment. Moreover, three of our schools – Apshawa, Westbrook, and West Milford High School have earned the prestigious distinction of being named as a State School of Character. These three schools join *Upper Greenwood Lake, Paradise Knoll, *Maple Road, and *Macopin as State Schools of Character. Congratulations also go to Marshall Hill for being named as an Honorable Mention State School of Character.

Lastly, congratulations to WMHS Wrestling Coach Taylor Pevny on being named as Passaic County Wrestling Coach of the Year! Coach Pevny is a Highlander alumnus and an outstanding example of our #HometownPride.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

*Also honored as National Schools of Character.

Public Service Announcement…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

I hope this message finds you enjoying a restful Holiday break. I am writing to inform you that there is an anonymous website that is requesting our students send inappropriate photos of themselves to this website. We are working collaboratively with the West Milford Police Department and Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and they will be investigating this matter. In the meanwhile, it might be prudent to discuss some online safety tips with your children.

If you believe your child has been the victim of a cyber-crime, please contact the West Milford Police Department Juvenile Bureau at 973-728-2800

 

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Parent Conferences…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

In October, our high school staff hosted the first annual Highlander Showcase and Expo. This evening provided our students and their parents the opportunity to see the curricula, programs, and faculty of WMHS as well as its student-centered environment. Mr. Jordan and our WMHS TV Science students made a brief highlight video of the evening.

 

On November 2nd, students and parents in grade 5-8 attended the first ever Substance Awareness and Family Empowerment (SAFE) night at Macopin School. Attendees were able to learn in different breakout sessions and heard from a dynamic keynote speaker. Special thanks, again, to our TV Science students for producing a recap video of the event.

 

This week is our parent conferences. We encourage our parents to use this time to focus on the academic achievements and progress of their children. Specifically, if you are the parent of a child in grades 1-6, you will be receiving your child’s Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Reading Level. Parents of students in grades 2-8 will also be receiving their child’s score on the STAR Math assessment. This data will reveal your child’s grade level equivalent and national percentile in mathematics.

 

Lastly, I hope you all enjoy some time with your families and loved ones and, on behalf of the Board of Education, I wish you all a relaxing Thanksgiving Weekend.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Assessment Data, K-9 Searches, and More…

Dear West Milford Public Schools Community,

 

At the Board of Education meeting last night, District administrators shared with the Board and with the community the results of our 2017 standardized assessments. These assessments included the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Advanced Placement Tests (AP), and the PSAT/SAT. This presentation can be found on our website by clicking here. We hope that this data, along with other pieces of data (Fountas and Pinnell, STAR Math, etc.), will be useful to parents and teachers alike and the forthcoming discussions at parent-teacher conferences will be productively used to complement the District’s continued movement towards academic excellence.

Last week, in a partnership with the West Milford Police Department, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, and Passaic County Sheriff’s Department, our District conducted no-notice K-9 searches at Macopin Middle School and West Milford High School. K-9 units searched both buildings and I am pleased to report that no contraband was found in either building. We are happy that our proactive and educational approach is paying strong dividends with healthy children and a safe and secure learning environment. Additional searches will be scheduled for later this school year.

Lastly, I hope to see you all at the Highlander Showcase and Expo tomorrow night, October 19 from 7:00pm-8:30pm @ WMHS. Come learn what Highlander Pride is all about and see our wonderful high school building and programs in action.

 

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Passaic County Teacher of the Year…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Congratulations to Nicole Petrosillo, Language Arts Teacher at WMHS for being named Passaic County Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Petrosillo was first selected as the West Milford Teacher of the Year and then a panel of administrators, teachers, and parents selected her as the County Teacher of the Year. “New Jersey has many great teachers, and this award is a tribute to the talent, professionalism, and dedication of these 21 educators to inspire the children they teach,” State Education Commissioner Kimberly Harrington said. A panel of educators will select the State Teacher of the Year after another extensive round of interviews. Each State Teacher of the Year is then invited to a ceremony at The White House.

Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Petrosillo.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

#1stDayWMTPS…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Today we welcomed back our students and started the 2017-2018 school year. The administrative team traveled around the district and visited each building. Their reports were consistent – smiling children and happy teachers. In addition to beginning the academic portion of our school year, we also are “kicking off” fall sports for our student-athletes.

Last night we welcomed renowned speaker, Gian Paul Gonzalez, to the fifth annual Sports Community Kickoff. Over 400 student-athletes and parents attended and learned about our “Highlander All In” spirit and the importance of showing gratitude and appreciation towards our benefactors. Mr. Jordan made a wonderful preseason hype video for the entire community; I trust you will enjoy it.

We have our first Varsity Football game tonight @ 6:45 vs. Passaic Valley @ McCormack Field. Please come out and support our student-athletes as well as our award-winning WMHS Band.

Lastly, consider following us on twitter…

District: @WestMilfordTPS

Athletic Department: @WMAthleticDept

Superintendent of Schools: @WestMilfordSupt

Director of Education: @daniel_novak_WM

Director of Special Services: @DrMcQuaidWM

…and liking our Facebook page @WestMilfordSchools

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools