13 Reasons Why…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

You may have recently read about a new television series entitled “13 Reasons Why”. Originally released as a book in 2007, this series is popular among teenage students and involves adult themes such as rape and suicide. I would encourage all parents to carefully monitor access to this program. The American Psychological Association states: “We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series. Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters. While many youths are resilient and capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughtful conversations with them about the show is vital.”

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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2017-2018 WMTPS Budget…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

At the Board of Education meeting held last night, the Board approved the 2017-2018 budget. Budget highlights include:

  • No increase to the local tax levy
  • The total budget decreased by 1.02%
  • The general fund decreased by $626,373 or 0.85%

We thank you for your continued support and will maintain our efforts to provide the best possible education for our children at the lowest possible cost to our taxpayers.

Tonight at Macopin Middle School at 7:00pm, the District will host a special presentation If I Could Have a Do-Over. Our guest speaker is John Halligan and his son, Ryan, died by suicide in 2003. Mr. Halligan’s presentation will cover the lessons learned too late for his family regarding how to deal with bullying and teen depression. This special presentation is open to all community parents and was featured on the front page of The Record yesterday as part of a larger discussion about teen issues. Our District was identified as being one of the most progressive districts in this area. This recognition is largely due to our systemic focus on the social and emotional wellness of all our children. I hope to see you tonight. Educational child care (STEM and Makerspace) for school-aged children will be provided.

Lastly, please note that schools will be closed on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, for one unused snow day.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

“All In”…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Spring is PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing season for students in grades 3-11. Though this is only the third year of the PARCC, students in New Jersey have been completing standardized testing for many years. I am writing this to inform parents of some recent changes to the state and national landscape. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) of 1965. On a more practical level, there is one change of note that I believe is important to share with our community. Effective with the 2017 administration of the PARCC exam, students who “refuse” to take the PARCC will count against our school/district on the test. Excessive refusals/failures will have a negative effect on a school’s or district’s progress towards goals and will be prominently featured on the School Performance Report. We encourage all our students to complete the PARCC to the best of their ability and hope that the entire WMTPS community (students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc.) pulls together and is “all in” for our community.

 

Lastly, the Township of West Milford will be spraying for gypsy moths from May 15 – June 16. There will be a one hour “no spray” time period each day from 7:30am-8:30am.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2017-2018 Preliminary Budget…

Dear West Milford School District Community,

 
Last night at the Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the 2017-2018 Preliminary Budget. This tentative budget increased by only 1.68% and the general fund increased by only 1.92%. Moreover, our administrative costs are lower than the regional limit indicating a student-centric budget that limits administrative overhead and maximizes resources directed to the classroom.

Next, the budget will be sent to the Executive County Superintendent for approval and will be advertised on our website and in the local newspapers. The Board will vote on the final budget at the April 25 Board of Education meeting. This meeting is also known as the Public Hearing on the Budget and will begin at 7:30pm at Westbrook School.

Thank you for all your support.

 
Best,

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

State of the District Report…

Deat WMTPS Community,

 

Earlier this week at the Board of Education meeting, our administrative team presented the first annual State of the District Report. This report highlighted some (but not all) district programs and activities that occurred over the past year and provided a preview of special activities for next school year; I hope you enjoy it.

Please save the date: Monday, March 20, 2017 – Second Annual Grades 5-8 Digital Citizenship Night @ Macopin School and be on the lookout for additional information coming home.

Lastly, congratulations to Jillian Crane, a student at Marshall Hill for winning the 2017 Passaic County Clerk’s Poster Calendar Contest! Her artwork will be featured in December. Congratulations also to Dorothy Moran and Donna Stinziano, both Marshall Hill students, for winning Honorable Mention in the same contest.

 

Best,

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

CASA Community Awareness Dinner…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

The West Milford Community Against Substance Abuse (CASA) is hosting a Community Awareness Dinner on Saturday, March 11 from 6:30-8:30 at the Recreation Center. This event is open to all West Milford residents and parents and WMTHS students are encouraged to attend. For additional information, the flyer is attached.

The arts are alive @ WMTHS! Congratulations to the Jazz Ensemble (directed by Matt Gramata) and Jazz Choir (directed by Doug Heyburn) for finishing in first place and fourth place, respectively, in the highly competitive Berklee Jazz Festival in Boston last weekend. Our students competed against schools from across the country and brought that Highlander Pride to Massachusetts.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Three New State Schools of Character…

Dear WMTPS Community,

Last week, we were notified that three of our schools have earned awards from Character.org and the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional, and Character Development (NJASECD) for their efforts in promoting social-emotional wellness in our students. I am thrilled to announce that Paradise Knoll earned the prestigious title of State School of Character and Apshawa School and West Milford Township High School earned Honorable Mention/State School of Character. As a State School of Character, Paradise Knoll joins Maple Road, Upper Greenwood Lake, and Macopin, which is also a National School of Character. Teaching the whole child – academics as well as social and emotional health – is important every day in every one of our schools.

I would also like to invite our parents and stakeholders to two events that tie in neatly with these efforts. On Wednesday, February 1 from 6:30-8:30pm, nationally acclaimed prevention expert, Timothy Shoemaker will present Defend Your Teen at Hawthorne High School (160 Parmelee Ave., Hawthorne). This event is free for all.

On Monday, March 13 at Town Hall, the West Milford Township Health Department will sponsor an education program called Stop Bullying Now! This program will begin at 6:00pm and refreshments will be available.

We hope to see you at these events and will continue to notify the school community when new educational opportunities arise.

Best,

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools