“Excellence Prevails Wherever a Raider Sails!”

Our mission is to work with the school community to provide a safe educational environment where students are stimulated to become lifelong learners, equipped with the knowledge and analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills to meet the demands of college and/or careers as informed citizens in a globally competitive market.

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

•        District Receives Two Sustainable Jersey Grants:
http://www.trschools.com/community/hssiegrants

Week in Review

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsriverhseast, www.twitter.com/tomsriverhseast and www.instagram.com/tomsriverhseast (I believe my previous emails were incorrectly linked).

We held our monthly security drill Monday afternoon.  We tested our Lockdown procedures without incident.  We met as a team prior to the drill and tested staff understanding of emergency communication procedures with our new phone system.  Mr. Dennis Weidenbush and I attended the Board Super Safe Committee meeting Monday evening.  We reported on our character education program at East and the qualitative differences we have made since we began the program three years ago.  I have been asked to head the district Wellness and Social Emotional Committee, which I will do as I feel the success of our students is dependent upon our ability to connect the personal variables which impact student outcomes.  Our Attendance Committee met after school to finalize our February ‘Got Attendance’ campaign.  We are looking forward to initiating the activity to support our goal to promote the importance of positive school attendance to student success.  

On Tuesday, Mr. Dan Duddy spoke to our Seniors about the importance of making good decisions and forgiveness.  Mr. Duddy spoke about the loss of his child resulting from a drunk driving accident and forgiving the individuals involved as a means of moving on and living his life.  Our students were appreciative of the opportunity to listen to Mr. Duddy.  Our Cultural Awareness Committee met during the day to discuss how we are going to support student success within our cultural diverse student population.  Besides our inherent obligation to support the individual needs of all of our students, schools are now accountable to addressing various subgroups identified on our school report card which are not meeting state target expectations.  Our Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, and Students with Disabilities are our three subgroups in need of improvement.  We are beginning the process of growth and met about addressing our Hispanic population first.  Mrs. Liz Rodriguez, our Spanish Heritage Advisor, Mrs. Adrienne Gold, our district ESL Supervisor, Mrs. Erin Anders, East Assistant Principal, and I all met to discuss our initial plan.  We will be promoting an awareness campaign first, which began Thursday of this week (see below).  Mr. Kevin McCann awarded the Freshman Academy Awards during period 5 lunch (see below).  We cancelled our Curriculum Committee meeting after school.

Our district held our ½ Day Professional Day on Wednesday.  Staff members attended various guest speakers on respective curricular topics.  Our Character Counts Club members were in the hallways handing out lollipops as a gesture of kindness Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday, we held Conference-Conference sessions all day for staff members on promoting cultural awareness in the classroom setting.  We shared the rationale for the program and specific issues related to our Hispanic population which impact overall school success.  We discussed our future plans to support the awareness process and ended with a conversation on what we can do now to support our goal.  We provided staff members with a cultural awareness survey and resources to support the program.    

On Friday, we held our monthly fire drill without incident.  I attended the planning meeting for the District Wellness and Social-Emotional Learning Committee.  We will be meeting with next week to develop subcommittees and an awareness program.  

I would like to congratulate Edward Richards, Cierra Jacobsen, Danielle Shaffrey, Samantha Varga, and Ava Roth for being recognized as students who appreciate the importance of education to individual success.  The above students were nominated by their teachers for coming to school with the intention of doing their best.  I value students who pursue excellence with a positive mindset.  Thank you Edward, Cierra, Danielle, Samantha, and Ava for being positive reflections of our school community.  Each student received the Principal’s Excellence Award!

I would like to thank Denezia Hymes for sharing her special talent with our school on Friday morning.  Denezia is waiting to hear back from America’s Got Talent whether she will be moving on to the next round.  Denezia sang us a beautiful song which we played over the announcements.  She was amazing!  We wish her luck as I am more than confident she will do great things in her life!

Congratulations to Ms. Jamie Blondina for being accepted to participate in the 4K For Cancer program this summer.  Ms. Blondina will be running from San Francisco, California to Boston, Massachusetts helping to change lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer.  Ms. Blondina will look to raise money for the cause to support her adventure.  I will be providing information via our Newsletter over the next few months.  If you are interested in supporting, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Blondina at Jblondina@trschools.com.

Congratulations to Mrs. Gina Taaffe for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  We selected Mrs. Taaffe for her professional pursuit to add value to our Honors Level electives.  Mrs. Taaffe is looking to add social-emotional learning components into the classroom setting to improve student outcomes.  Great job Mrs. Taaffe and thank you for all you do!

Athletically, congratulations to Michael Conklin for his 3rd Place finish at Shore Conference this weekend!  The team qualified for the State Sectional Tournament which will begin on Monday!  Good luck Coach Reid and our boys!  Great job girls basketball for their impressive wins over HS South and Pinelands this week.  Congratulations to our boys swimming team for their victory over Brick!  Our boys basketball beat Ridge on Saturday!  Keep up the great work kids!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Kevin McCann for all he does in addition to his expected assistant principal responsibilities.  Mr. McCann works extremely hard to support our Freshman Academy and STEAM Academy programs.  Mr. McCann spent considerable amounts of personal time reviewing applications for next year’s students.  I would also like to acknowledge Ms. Jamie Blondina for her efforts to add value to this world through her commitment to spread awareness of childhood cancer.  Her willingness to participate in a summer-long run across the country to promote her convictions is admirable.  Great job to Mrs. Liz Rodriguez for spending her day presenting to staff members at the Conference-Conference sessions to promote cultural awareness.  Mrs. Rodriguez spent considerable amounts of personal time organizing her talk and training session for our staff.  Finally, I would like to acknowledge Mr. Greg Roth for his commitment to meet on various days after school this week to promote our school commitment to improve student outcomes through positive behavior.  Mr. Roth is looking to increase student accountability and provide preventative methods regarding class cuts.  


Did you Know?

15 Interesting Facts About Education Around The World They Don’t Teach You In School

1. The City Montessori School in Lucknow, India, is the largest school in the world in terms of number of students, with more than 32,000 students.
2. The students in China receive the most homework in the world. At an average, teenagers do a whopping 14 hours of homework in a week. Consider yourself lucky, you didn't have to!
3. Pakistan does not give children a legal right to free education. Only children between the ages of 5 and 9 are entitled to compulsory education.
4. Summer vacations in Chile start from mid-December and end in early March. That's 3 whole months away from school.
5. France has the shortest school year from August to June and also the longest school day.

I will provide another 5 facts next week.  

(https://www.scoopwhoop.com/Interesting-Facts-Education-Around-The-World/#.gn9922xwh)

Freshman Academy/STEAM

Congratulations to the following students for being recognized as Academy Award Winners:

TEAM BLACK
Most Improved – Reise Teartt
Most Spirited – Gianna Visaggio
Character Education – Alexander Kalina
Best All Around – Brooke Santos

TEAM BLUE
Most Improved – Matthew Garippa
Most Spirited – Alexandra Williams
Character Education – Riley Adams
Best All Around – Colin Mirabile

TEAM SILVER
Most Improved – Robert Duane
Most Spirited – Michael Mezza
Character Education – Kylie Walsh
Best All Around – Alexander Heid

Attendance Matters

Fighting chronic absenteeism with student support initiatives
Tom Strasburger, Vice President, Strategic Alliances, Public School WORKS

In 2017, the media increasingly highlighted chronic absenteeism in the nation’s schools. When students skip school – whether it is because they are being bullied, they do not feel safe at school, or there are factors at home that prevent them from going to school – it creates a serious negative impact.

In addition to the obvious effect absenteeism has on a student’s academic success, it also impacts their social and emotional well-being. Many students receive services at school they could not receive otherwise, including free-and-reduced breakfast and lunch, counseling and other wraparound services, and more. Missing out on these services can have serious long-term effects for the student. Additionally, chronic absenteeism also affects a district’s funding.

Schools get federal and state funds based on daily attendance, so if students are chronically absent, schools end up taking a hit in funding. For example, Los Angeles Unified School District’s attendance task force found that if each of its students attended one more day of school last year, the district would have received an additional $30 million in funding. This is a significant amount of money, but it is simply because of the district’s size and is based on other data. However, the impact is scalable to any size district.

Because of the detrimental side effects of absenteeism, schools and districts are beginning to recognize the importance of implementing intervention programs. These initiatives include bullying reporting and prevention programs; additional training to help educators and administrators identify and intervene on non-academic barriers to success, including homelessness, childhood abuse, mental health concerns, and teen dating violence; and the creation of additional student support groups.

(https://www.eschoolnews.com/2018/01/05/industry-experts-10-education-trends-2018/2/)

Character Counts

7 REASONS CARING IS A STRENGTH

In today’s society, it often seems as though being cold towards others is seen as being “strong,” and showing feelings and emotions is equivalent to being “weak,” especially for men.

People say if you don’t care then you’ll never get hurt, and if you hold no expectations for people, you’ll never be disappointed. While, in theory, these statements are true – they don’t take into account one very important piece of the puzzle:

We are all human, and we all have wants, needs, and emotions. Ignoring our very most inner core is, I would argue: A weakness.

Here are seven reasons why caring is actually a strength.

You can build a support system.
It has almost become a badge of honor to say you don’t “need” someone. Of course it’s true that nobody needs someone. Nobody needs to have a friend or a significant other – but it does improve life in multiple ways.

We all find ourselves going through a tough time every now and then. Maybe you’ve lost a job or ended a relationship. Maybe you’ve gotten sick, or maybe you’ve even lost someone you care about. Regardless of how big or small your challenge is, it’s hugely helpful to have people you’re close to in your corner.

This will allow you to borrow strength from them during hard times and more easily find your way back to happiness.

It gives you the ability to help others.
If someone walks around with the presupposition in their head that people are naturally “bad” or “evil” or untrustworthy, how do you think they will approach those they don’t know? There will be an automatic aversion away from kindness, because that person doesn’t deserve it anyway, right?

How can we function and progress as a species if this is how we see each other? I believe each person is inherently good. The goodness is buried deeper inside of some than others, but overall – we just want to be loved, cared for, and respected.

Whether it is giving a dollar to a homeless person or starting a fundraiser for a cause you’re passionate about, without choosing to care for others, your ability to make a difference gets taken away.

You can learn and grow from relationships.
Relationships are a lot like playing the lottery. You might have to lose repeatedly, but if you never play, you’ll never win. Each person we encounter and build something with, no matter how long or short, provides us with an opportunity to learn and grow as a person.

If we refuse to enter into any intimate situation because we think we might get hurt, we never have the opportunity to have these experiences.

I will provide the remaining reasons in next week’s newsletter.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Speaking to students and staff, public speaking appears to a significant source of anxiety within the school environment.  In preparation for college and careers, without the skills to overcome this obstacle, I fear many of our students are not capable of doing their best.  I thought I would begin a series of articles/discussion on this topic you can share with your child.  Please feel free to reach out with me with questions.

Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety

Fear of public speaking is incredibly common, and not just in those with anxiety. While anxiety tends to fuel public speaking fears, nearly anyone can suffer from this type of phobia. Public speaking anxiety is one of the most common fears shared amongst most of the general population, and unfortunately these days few people have the tools necessary to overcome this fear.

After the Speech is Over

One thing that many people don't realize is that what you do after a speech can also affect how well you are able to handle the next time you speak. If you sit in the corner and think about all of the things that went wrong, then you'll worry about the next speech more. If you allow yourself to feel too "relieved" as well, you'll reinforce the idea that what you did was scary, and increase the likelihood of fear next time. Consider the following:

Write Down 10 Positives
The mind has a tendency to focus only on the negative, but the truth is that ample positive things occurred during the speech. Make sure that you acknowledge them for yourself. Even if you had a terrible presentation and stumbled over every word and cried on stage, there are things that you can write out that were positive. For example, remembering some important lines, some degree of eye contact, speed of talking - don't worry about the negatives and write out the positive things so that you're not letting your mind increase your anxiety.

Don't Party
There's a tendency after big speeches to celebrate. After a college graduation, for example, many people go out and celebrate. Some celebration is okay, but keep it moderated. You don't want to see the speech as something tremendous you overcame, and partying too hard can actually cause more anxiety. If you must go out, keep it as low key as you can, and don't try to numb your high emotions.

Give the Speech Again
Finally, if you did have a truly bad presentation, or you simply can't stop focusing on the negatives, give the speech one more time in the comfort of your own home, either to your family or to your dog or to nobody at all. One of the problems is that your last memory of giving the presentation is up on stage when you were anxious. Replace it, by having your last memory be of you sitting in your pajamas talking to a wall with a poster of a cat hanging from a tree branch.

I will provide further tips in next week’s newsletter.

(https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/public-speaking-anxiety)

Issues

I do not have anything to report this week.

This Week at East

We are meeting with the ‘Y’ to bring in mental health counseling for at-risk students on Monday.  I have a district principal meeting Tuesday morning and we are holding our 8th Grade Transition meeting in the evening at East.  I will be meeting with our 9th, 10th, and 11th graders during lunch to review safety procedures during lunch periods.      

Information

Eighth grade parent night (Class of 2022) is on Tuesday, January 30th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.  Ocean County College has created an orientation/registration program for current seniors. This program includes a visit at High School East from an Ocean County College Representative who will walk you through the application and then if needed you would sit for the Accuplacer placement test.  A few weeks later you will be bused to OCC for an orientation and OCC will provide lunch!  See your counselor for more information.  The registration deadline for the March 10th SAT is 2/9/18.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The counselors will be visiting the English classes to give students scheduling information for the 2018-2019 school year. Course requests will need to be entered via parent portal. The course selection guide is available on the district's curriculum webpage.  The OCVTS Open House is on Thursday, 2/1/18 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.  The Blue Claws is hosting a job fair on Saturday, 2/3/18, from 8am-2pm. Must be at least 16 yrs. old. Please contact Steve Woloshin 732-901-7000 for more information.  The registration deadline for the March 10th SAT is 2/9/18.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The 8th Annual Philly Science and Engineering Day is on Saturday, 2/3/18 at Drexel University.  Visit www.phillymaterials.org for more information

PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  If interested in participating on our school gift auction scheduled in April, please reach out to Mrs. Platten.  

Sponsors

Special thanks to our anonymous donors for our Raise Craze Fundraiser!  The donors purchased a 43” LCD Smart Television to auction off in support of our goal to promote positive school behavior!  Thank you!

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Health Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal


Did you miss me?  I did not send out a News Blast the week of the 8th as we did not have enough to report with the snow days.  Let me first begin to say, WAY TO GO VIKINGS!!  I have been waiting for a very long time to see my team go far in the playoffs!  I silently have suffered for many years (I watched the Vikings lose in their last Super Bowl versus the Raiders)!  The way the won gives me hope that maybe….just maybe we can get back!

Week in Review

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsriverhseast, www.twitter.com/tomsriverhseast and www.instagram.com/tomsriverhseast (I believe my previous emails were incorrectly linked).

It was nice to actually get through a full week of school this past week.  However, a broken water line and a delayed opening certainly did not make the transition easy.  The students and staff were great, as expected, dealing with the various obstacles.  We are looking forward to resuming our committee meetings next week as we continue our goal to move East forward in line with our vision and mission.  

The big event this week was our Service Professional of the Year and Teacher of the Year Parade on Friday.  I would like to congratulate Mrs. Martha Mills as our 2017-2018 Service Professional of the Year.  Mrs. Mills is paraprofessional at East and has been working with our special needs students for approximately the past 7 years.  She is a valued employee at East because she truly embodies the inherent values of an educator – she loves children unconditionally.  I have observed her interactions with her students and am appreciative of her kind, caring, and supportive attitude.  What I appreciate most about her is how calm she is addressing difficult scenarios which are always in the best interest of her students.  She is organized and helps to maintain structure in the school day and works exceptionally well with other staff members and parents to meet the needs of her students.  I enjoy her creativity in problem solving and providing instruction, she knows how to most effectively support student achievement.  Most importantly, Mrs. Mills brings a smile and a positive attitude to school each and every day.  The attitude is contagious and she makes working at this school that much better for us all.  Congratulations Mrs. Martha Mills – our 2017-2019 Service Professional of the Year!

Our Teacher of the Year is a person who is a truly valued member of our school community.  He has worked at East for approximately 15 years, providing our students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in their future college and career endeavors.  He also provides the types of skills which extend beyond our walls, providing students with important life lessons to become value-added citizens.  I think what most students appreciate about this teacher is his genuine love for teaching and children.  He loves his subject matter and teaches it with passion and enthusiasm.  He engages his students with humor and makes the lesson relevant.  What I appreciate most about him is his character – he is a role model for our students and a leader amongst our staff.  He comes to school each and every day with the intent to make a difference and is someone who is willing to do anything for another person.  His personal relationships with others and positive attitude are what make him so unique and loved in this building.  This teacher coaches, runs our mentoring program, and volunteers to participate in various extracurricular activities.  He is what we stand for as a school institution.  Congratulations Mr. Douglas Trumble, our 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year!

I would like to thank everyone who provided feedback to our committee on the two recipients.  Thank you too to Mr. Douglas Miller, Ms. Jessica Sanford, and our amazing Band for their efforts to march to the locations to recognize the winners in our ceremony!  I had a great time announcing the winners and was pleased to observe such genuine support for Mrs. Mills and Mr. Trumble!   Congratulations and thank you both for all you do!

I would like to congratulate Brandon Lombardo and Erica Jackson for being named as our January Seniors of the Month!  Brandon is an AP student and ranked in the top 25 of his class.  He has been involved in numerous activities and sports, having participated in Key Club, Character Club, volleyball, basketball, and football.  Brandon balances a heavy course load while also finding other ways to contribute to HSE.   Erica is an AP student and ranked in the top 10 student of her senior class.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Peer Leadership, and TEAM.  Erica participates in the Interact Club and the Environmental Club.  She volunteers her time at the YMCA and the Jersey Shore Animal Center.  Erica hopes to study Animal Science at the University of Maryland in college!  Great job Brandon and Erica for being such positive reflections of our school community.

Good luck to Oakley Mastej and Brielle Mowad for being accepted to compete for a position into the Governor’s School of Sciences.  James Kaari and Danielle Bragen will be representing East and competing in Engineering.  The program broadens the scholars’ appreciation and knowledge of science through exposure to a range of scientific topics and scientists.  Emphasis is placed on engineering and science for high school juniors who possess outstanding skills and display unusual abilities and interests in the field.  The program introduces scholars to a hands-on research experience in a student’s area of interest through a series of courses, laboratories, projects, lectures, and other activities centered on math and science.  Students benefit from working with professors in Drew and Rutgers University’s strong undergraduate science and engineering programs, and they learn about possible career paths from the faculty and from some of New Jersey’s leading industrial, governmental, and academic representatives.  Our students will move on to compete against top students in the state for an invitation to the program.  Good luck Oakley, Brielle, James, and Danielle!

I would like to wish Angelica Santiago-Axalco good luck as she competes for an invitation to the New Jersey Scholars Program (NJSP).  NJSP is an intensive academic program for 39 of the most intelligent, outgoing, and highly motivated students in the state.  During a 5 week residential program, scholars will explore specific topics from an interdisciplinary perspective at the historic Lawrenceville School campus.  Good luck Angelica!

Congratulations to Jordan Carlton and Tlalli Escobedo for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Jordan and Tlalli found the personal belongings of a peer and turned the material in to the Main Office!  The belongings were returned to their owners!  Thank you Jordan and Tlalli for being positive reflections of our school community!

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Melissa Reimertz for being named our Employee of the Week!  Mrs. Reimertz was selected for her efforts to promote effective communication skills in her English class as well as her efforts to promote our Thespian Honor Society!  Mrs. Reimertz takes pride in demonstrating to her students how to apply the textbook concepts through appropriate written and verbal applications.  Mrs. Reimertz also volunteers her personal time to provide our thespians with opportunities compete in events which support personal interests in the field of acting, singing, film writing, directing, and set design.  Thank your Mrs. Reimertz for going above and beyond!

I would like to congratulate Ray Kleinschmidt for his Superior designation at the New Jersey Thespian Festival this past weekend in Robbinsville, New Jersey.  Mrs. Reimertz informed me that we also received Superior ratings in dance, monologue and makeup.  We also earned a Silver level for our school and a Best Fundraising Award!  Great job Troop 459!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to recognize the wonderful efforts of our School Resource Officer, Mr. Tommy Herbst.  This is Officer Herbst’s first year at East.  He is a well-respected presence in the hallways and cafeteria each day.  He has established positive relationships with our student body and enjoys the job!  We are fortunate to have him!  I would also like to acknowledge our outside Security Officer, Mr. Gary Stiles, for all he does.  Mr. Stiles directs the morning traffic in rain or shine.  He takes school safety very seriously and adds tremendous value to our school.  I would also like to acknowledge our night custodian, Mr. Dave Constantine for his efforts to make our school look beautiful.  Mr. Constantine is always looking for ways to ensure the school is cleaned and prepared for the next day of education.  Mr. Constantine enjoys what he does and he brings a smile and positive attitude to work each day!  

Athletically, our girls basketball team beat Southern Regional before losing to Jackson this past week.  Our boys won two out of three this week, beating Jackson and Saint John Vianney!  Great job kids!  Great job to our boys and girls bowlers for outstanding performances this week!  Our girls lost their three games, but competed with pride!  Our boys won two out of three, beating Central and Brick Township.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the kids in action!  Keep up the great work Coach Clark and Kanarkowski!  Our swimming teams lost this week against Jackson and Barnegat.  The Ice Hockey team lost to HS North.  Keep your heads up!  I did not receive scores for our chess and/or cheerleaders at the time of this writing!

Did you Know?

Here are a few tips you can do at home to support the career development of your child:

1) Teach conversational skills. Students need to feel comfortable "in their own skin" and know about themselves. They should be able to hold a conversation with anyone (not just their friends and peers, but also adults).  The most successful college students -- the excellent networkers -- were those who were taught at a young age to talk to adults (friends of parents, for example).

2) Incorporate the world of work into the lessons. Find examples of how history relates to current professions. Find model texts that are career-related. For example, demonstrate how people can use math in everyday life -- and what mathematicians do in finance or insurance, as engineers or in computer science.

3) Ask your child about her career goals at each level.  Perhaps students can keep a K-12 career portfolio or log, something that poses questions about goals at each stage of the game. It's a way to help students reflect back to see if there are patterns emerging.

4) Encourage your child to keep in touch with her friends from school. Networking is the number one way that people get jobs. If students don't do this (or feel uncomfortable doing this), they will have difficulty finding out about job opportunities, interviewing for jobs, etc.

(https://www.edutopia.org/blog/career-readiness-starting-early-young-learners-heather-wolpert-gawron)

Freshman Academy/STEAM

We are in the process of reviewing applications for the 2018-2019 school year.  The STEAM make-up test is scheduled for January 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM at the HSN Media Center.  

Mr. Kevin McCann will be recognizing Freshman Academy awards this week.  Our Academy teams will be discussing a possible Spring Field Day following the success of our previous event!

Autism/Life Skills Academy

Our Life Skills Academy students made a homemade chicken pot pie in our classroom kitchen. We offered it to the staff and it SOLD OUT!  Staff were able e kids were able to interact with them to practice their social skills and also their math skills as they used the cash register to cash them out.

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Ryan Arnold, John Budinski and John Akel for being recognized as our Attendance Matters Students of the Month.  Each of the above maintained perfect attendance for the month of December!  Congratulations to Sofia Sasso for being recognized for perfect attendance for the year to date!  All of the named students received WaWa gift cards for their efforts!  Congratulations to Ms. Marissa Regad for winning the Homeroom with the best overall attendance for the month of December!  Ms. Regad’s students will receive a bagel and donut breakfast!  Congratulations to Nick Ballaccomo, Craig Bamburak, and Nick Bushell for being recognized as students who attended school on time every day for the month of December.  Each of the above received one of our Attendance Matter – Your Education Matters t-shirts!    Keep up the great job kids!

A review of our attendance data for December followed similar trends.  We observed 25 more total students with perfect attendance comparing December 2017 to December 2016.  We averaged 1.4 fewer absences per day.  Friday was our worst attended day of the week with our seniors being the most problematic class.  Regarding lates, we averaged 1 fewer per day comparing December 2017 to 2016 with our seniors being our most problematic class.  Our total number of cuts was slightly down and averaged 1.5 fewer per day.  We will be working on this!  Seniors continue to be our most problematic group here as well.  

Character Counts

Our Character Counts Club initiated their positive school behavior programs this week.  We held our ‘Hello/Smile’ Wednesday and ‘High Five’ Friday to great success!

I would like to congratulate Kristian Cosme and Morgan Roma for being named our December Character Counts Students of the Month!  Kristian and Morgan were selected for demonstrating the ideals inherent in our character pillars.  Kristian was noted for being considerate of others, self-disciplined and always striving to be his best, open minded, and helps others in need.  Morgan was selected for be respectful, enthusiastic, and hard working.  She enjoys helping others in class, remains positive at all times, is eager to improve as a student and person, and is heavily involved in our school.  Thank you Kristian and Morgan for being positive reflections of our school community!

Reviewing our December data, we observed similar trends in number and types of referrals compared to previous months.  Our most significant behavior issue is attendance (although we are improving every year).  We observed 28 fewer cuts and 173 fewer referrals this month compared to December 2016.  Our insubordination and disruptive behavior referrals are relatively the same in comparison to a year ago (slight reduction).  Our cuts and lates to school are the most problematic areas to address.  The following is a breakdown of the discipline types:  Cell phones (0.7%), cuts (27.3%), cutting detention (7.3%), disruptive behavior (18%), inappropriate behavior (2.7%), inappropriate language (1.4%), insubordination (8.7%), lates to school (26%), truancy (0.5%), school policy (5.3%), and assault (0.7%).

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Speaking to students and staff, public speaking appears to a significant source of anxiety within the school environment.  In preparation for college and careers, without the skills to overcome this obstacle, I fear many of our students are not capable of doing their best.  I thought I would begin a series of articles/discussion on this topic you can share with your child.  Please feel free to reach out with me with questions.

Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety

Fear of public speaking is incredibly common, and not just in those with anxiety. While anxiety tends to fuel public speaking fears, nearly anyone can suffer from this type of phobia. Public speaking anxiety is one of the most common fears shared amongst most of the general population, and unfortunately these days few people have the tools necessary to overcome this fear.

Visualization and Relaxation
Your next step is to try to get used to the fears you're going to have. Do this only after you've practiced thoroughly. Then, imagine a huge crowd of people judging you. Imagine upset faces and anger. Imagine the things that will cause you anxiety.

Once you've done that, you should start to experience a bit of anxiety. Your heart rate should increase a little and your fear should start to take over. Once that happen, take some deep breaths. Try to relax. Imagine those frowning faces mean something better. Imagine that they really love your speech, and they're glaring at you because they can't handle it. Try to calm yourself down until you feel better, then keep going.

Once it no longer brings you anxiety, give the speech and imagine you're giving it in front of a hostile audience. See if you can calm yourself down while giving the talk without any distractions. That'll help you get used to it.

Get Used to Embarrassment
You can also try a strategy that some people use to get over their social phobia. You can try to get used to the idea of embarrassment. If you no longer fear embarrassment, your ability to overcome some of your public speaking fears will be cured with it.

How to do this is up to you.  You can try to say "hi" to everyone you walk past. It's not that important what you do, but it is important that you do a lot of it. You do it until you it bores you, and you stop worrying about whether people are judging you.

This isn't a cure for public speaking anxiety on its own, but every little but helps.

I will provide further tips in next week’s newsletter.

(https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/public-speaking-anxiety)


Issues

Inclement weather!  Please know I am aware of the challenges of coming to school following and/or during inclement weather days.  I will always do my best to work with our students considering the challenges of coming to school and being on time during these difficult times.  However, I hold attendance high on my list of expectations for students and expect all students to take the appropriate measures to ensure they arrive to school safely and on time.  During inclement weather days, I expect our students to ensure their car is cleaned, warmed up, and they leave earlier than normal to ensure they arrive to school on time.  I do this myself and expect my children to do the same.  Traffic is always more problematic due to the conditions, which is why we need to get up earlier to ensure a safe and timely passage.  Also, as a friendly reminder, the Dunedin entrance is for staff ONLY!  I want to thank our wonderful parents who are supportive of our school pattern and who demonstrate the ideals inherent in positive school behavior and character!    

This Week at East (1/16 – 1/19)

We are holding our PTO meeting at 6:00 PM Tuesday, the 16th in the Main Office Conference Room.  Our Behavior and Climate Committees will meet after school on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.  

Information

Eighth grade parent night (Class of 2022) is on Tuesday, January 30th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.  Ocean County College has created an orientation/registration program for current seniors. This program includes a visit at High School East from an Ocean County College Representative who will walk you through the application and then if needed you would sit for the Accuplacer placement test.  A few weeks later you will be bussed to OCC for an orientation and OCC will provide lunch!  See your counselor for more information.  New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!  PSAT scores reports will be distributed to the 9th and 10th graders by the English teachers.  The Option II Personal Finance final exam is on January 18th & 19th.  Any Junior or Senior interested in Option 2 Personal Finance for semester 2 must see their guidance counselor for an application.  The registration deadline for the March 10th SAT is 2/9/18.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The OCVTS Career Discovery Day is on 1/27/18. This is a great opportunity for students and adults to learn about available career and technical programs.  Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.



PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  If interested in participating on our school gift auction scheduled in April, please reach out to Mrs. Platten.  Our next meeting will be held at HSE in our Main Office Conference Room on Tuesday, January 16th at 6:00 PM.

Sponsors

Special thanks to our anonymous donors for our Raise Craze Fundraiser!  The donors purchased a 43” LCD Smart Television to auction off in support of our goal to promote positive school behavior!  Thank you!

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Health Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone enjoyed time with family and friends over the break.  I had a wonderful time.  Too good.  Now I have to spend the next few months working off all of my fun!  However, I enjoyed watching games, attending family events, and watching movies.  We didn’t travel this year, so we had more time at home, which I enjoyed.  I am looking forward to getting back to school and really doing our best to move East forward!  

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

•        District, RWJBarnabas Health Partner to Create Healthier Communities: http://www.trschools.com/community/rwjbhandtrrs

•        Mobile Breakfast Academy Premieres at District High Schools: http://www.trschools.com/community/mobilebreakfast

•        Student Service Team Makes Difference in Dominican Republic: http://www.trschools.com/community/raidersinservice2017

•        Hour of Code Reveals the Fun in Computer Programming: http://www.trschools.com/community/hourofcode

Week in Review

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  

I attended a Principal meeting Monday morning and discussed using our data to support school growth.  Many of our programs we have implemented through our committees are data driven and we look forward to continued school improvement in support of student success.  We held our College and Career Connection Committee meeting after school Monday afternoon.  The group discussed our project to develop websites for our parents as references for the college and career process.  Please go to the following sites for support.  (https://classroom.google.com/u/0/c/NTc5NjE2NzUwN1pa and http://www.trschools.com/hseast/Guidance.asp).  Thank you to Mrs. Kim Truhan and Mrs. Ann Millard their efforts to develop the respective sites!  Monday was Jingle Bell Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.

Our Behavior Committee continues to send representatives into our school Alternate Education Plan (AEP - formerly In-School Suspension) to discuss with students the importance of appropriate school behavior to achievement.  Our goal is to ultimately reduce the types of behavior which most negatively impact student outcomes.  Mr. Dennis Weidenbush’s initial reports suggest a positive trend towards decreasing the number of students in AEP.  Our Peer Leaders ran our Holiday Activity Tuesday for our 9th grade class during lunch period.  Students were asked to share out what they were thankful for and then to place the statement(s) on our Giving Tree.  We held our staff Holiday Secret Santa after school in the Media Center.  Our staff shared gifts and enjoyed delicious food.  We also took the time to recognize Mr. Ted Gillen as he will be leaving our staff in January to become our District Athletic Director.  Congratulations to our Band for their outstanding performance at our Holiday Concert Tuesday evening.  Great job Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Doug Miller for your guidance and direction!  Tuesday was North Pole Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.

We held our Teacher of the Year and Service Professional of the Year meeting 8th period on Wednesday.  The group of former winners discussed various staff members and ultimately selected two very deserving individuals.  We will announce next week during our annual ceremony.  Our Community Outreach Committee met briefly after school and discussed developing improved methods to gain stakeholder support.  We offer opportunities for our parents and local business organizations to partner with our school to improve student outcomes.  Although we are moving forward, we have room for improvement.  Wednesday was Holiday Movie Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  Great job to Owen Donovan for delivering a fabulous presentation at the Board Meeting Wednesday evening.  Congratulations to Mrs. Erin Anders, our new assistant principal.  Mrs. Anders was approved to replace Mr. Gillen at the meeting.  Mrs. Anders is a graduate of East. She was a member of the National Honor Society and a three sport athlete during her tenure here. Mrs. Anders attended The College of New Jersey and played basketball for the school.  She majored in Math and Science Education and became a member of our staff approximately 11 years ago.  Mrs. Anders taught Algebra I and Pre-Calculus.  We are excited to add Mrs. Anders to our administrative team and know she will add tremendous value!  

We held our monthly professional development session for our staff Thursday morning as part of our Kevin’s Corner Workshop.  Mr. Kevin McCann presented on defining rigor through assessments.  One of our academic goals this is year is to challenge our students in the classroom environment to support the application of the types of skills required to be successful in college.  We followed the workshop with 8 periods of Conference-Conference.  I shared out on methods to make homework more meaningful.  We discussed ensuring homework has a purpose, is efficient, the type which students assume ownership, demonstrates competence and is appealing.  Our Autism Academy held our annual Holiday Party in the Media Center on Thursday.  The kids appeared to have a wonderful time!  Great job to Mrs. Kristin Delucci and our Chorus for an outstanding performance at the Holiday Concert Thursday evening.  I though the kids were incredible and I really enjoyed seeing such a large turnout to support the kids.  We celebrated Ugly Sweater Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  

We held our Holiday Pep Rally Friday morning.  I enjoy this event more than any other throughout the year.  The kids are in a festive mood and energized for a spirited event!  Great job to Mrs. Amanda Lauria and Ms. Noel Aleseo for running the event.  Great job to Mrs. Janine Hatton and Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald for coordinating our Dance Team’s performance at the Pep Rally.  The kids did a great job.  I wanted to thank the staff for keeping the rest of day productive.  Every day counts at East and I encourage our students and staff to take every opportunity to ensure they are applying themselves to the best of their ability.  We concluded our Spirit Week with Holiday Explosion as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  

Congratulations to Brendan Smith for winning the 43” LCD Television as part of our Raise Craze Fundraiser.  Brendan raised more than 250 dollars by demonstrating Random Acts of Kindness.  Special thanks to Mr. Dennis Weidenbush and our Character Counts Club for raising more than $4,000 to raise awareness for ‘kindness’.  

Special Thanks to Mrs. Cathy Angiletta, Mrs. Lynn Masellis, and Ms. Nicole Foy for running our RHR Cookie Baking activity last week.  The activity provided time for mentors and mentees to bond and to participate in a festive activity.  

Congratulations to Mark Binz for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Mark demonstrated empathy to our special needs students in support of their Holiday Party this week.  Mark came to school dressed as Santa and volunteered his personal time to provide joy and cheer to our students.  Thank you Mark!

Congratulations to Raisa Thunig Pichardo for receiving an ‘Excellence’ Award from me for her commitment to arrive to school under difficult personal conditions.  I appreciate people who value their education and are committed to personal success!  I also would like to acknowledge Billy McNab for his eye for safety.  Billy acknowledged a potential safety scenario and immediately alerted a staff member who was able to investigate the ‘concern’.  Fortunately, all was well.  However, I am proud of Billy for taking ownership in school safety!  Billy was awarded with a school Safety Award!

I would like to congratulate Mr. Dennis Weidenbush for his commitment to promote positive school behavior at East.  Mr. Weidenbush organized and helped run our Raise Craze Fundraiser during the month of December.  Mr. Weidenbush helped to raise approximately $4,000 for our cause.  Great job Mr. Weidenbush and thank you for your efforts to help our students to develop social and emotional skills!  You are our Employee of the Week!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to acknowledge Mr. Kevin Cohen for his continued pursuit of excellence in and out of the classroom environment.  Mr. Cohen adds tremendous value to our school and is a catalyst for student achievement.  I’ve observed Mr. Cohen many times over the years and take great pride in his ability to promote enthusiasm for his subject matter in ways most educators envy!  Mr. Cohen is also our girls basketball coach and continues to succeed year after year.  Keep up the great work Mr. Cohen.  I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Kyle Austin for his continued support of students who have career aspirations in the television production industry.  Mr. Austin is a loved educator and helps to run our TV-21 Studio.  Mr. Austin is always willing to support various school-related projects.  Mr. Austin was the inspiration behind our school’s Hurly Competition a few years ago where the school competed in Huntington Beach, California.  You can catch the various videos on YouTube.

Congratulations to our Wrestling Raiders who won our first quad on 12/23. We beat Keyport, Manchester and Donovan Catholic. Our boys traveled to the Hunterdon Central Classic on 12/28 and Brandon Austin took 2nd, Dakota Mongaliri 3rd and Eddie Totten 4th.  Keep up the great work boys!  Our girls and boys basketball teams beat HS South but lost to HS North before the break.  The boys lost in the WOBM Tournament.  Our girls beat Donovan Catholic.  Our boys bowling team beat Southern before the break.  Our swimming teams lost to Brick.  Our hockey team lost to Brick but beat West Windsor-Plainsboro on the 30th.  We wish the kids good luck as the season progresses!

Did you Know?

Two weeks ago, I provided and article on how parents can support their child’s school.  I am looking for parent volunteers to provide workshops to our students on leadership, resume building, public speaking, time management, organization strategies, and/or goal setting and follow through.  If interested, please contact me at pthomas@trschools.com.  

Thank you to the parents who responded.  I will be setting something up shortly.

Freshman Academy/STEAM

Freshman Academy

Our 3rd Annual Freshman Academy Food Drive was a success, with 22 meals delivered to families in need for the Holidays! Congratulations to the Blue Team for donating the most canned goods. Thank you to the HSE Ambassadors for co-hosting the food drive!

December Freshman Academy Awards will soon be announced during freshman lunch.  We are working with the Peer Leaders on a team building activity for our January Lunch Academy.

STEAM

The STEAM Academy entrance exam and performance task will be held on Saturday, 1/6/18, in the High School North Media Center from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Please arrive by 8:45 am. Bring your school ID and a pencil.

Planning has begun for our BRAND NEW Anatomy and Physiology Lab. Academy teachers and district administration recently visited the state of the art Anatomy and Physiology Lab at Ocean County College for input.

Autism/Life Skills Academy

The Autism and Life Skills Academy students participated in various fundraisers before the Holiday Break.  Our students sold dessert platters and gift jars!  Our special needs students participated in several activities while working cooperatively with our mainstream students to develop more of a team mentality in our halls!  Great job to all involved!

Attendance Matters

As a friendly reminder, please go to the following link and click on Policies.  Type in 5200 to review our District Attendance Policy.

http://www.straussesmay.com/seportal/Public/pubELANOnline.aspx?id=0e1d1b55c5644d6496660d0d1c675905

Character Counts

As a friendly reminder, please go to the following link to review the District Code of Conduct:

http://www.trschools.com/Parents/docs/20160308_121821_33.pdf

Our January Character Counts Pillar is ‘Commitment’.  Students and staff will participate in an activity demonstrating an understanding of the pillar.  Thank you Ms. Nicole Foy for putting the lesson packets together!

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Speaking to students and staff, public speaking appears to a significant source of anxiety within the school environment.  In preparation for college and careers, without the skills to overcome this obstacle, I fear many of our students are not capable of doing their best.  I thought I would begin a series of articles/discussion on this topic you can share with your child.  Please feel free to reach out with me with questions.

Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety

Fear of public speaking is incredibly common, and not just in those with anxiety. While anxiety tends to fuel public speaking fears, nearly anyone can suffer from this type of phobia. Public speaking anxiety is one of the most common fears shared amongst most of the general population, and unfortunately these days few people have the tools necessary to overcome this fear.

How to Reduce Public Speaking Anxiety
A little bit of anxiety as you prepare for a big speech or presentation is common. Even the best speakers in the world get a small amount of anxiety before they get on stage or speak in front of a large group. You should never expect yourself to be completely anxiety free. What you need is for that anxiety to fuel you into giving a great speech, not hold you back from speaking.

When your fear of public speaking overwhelms you, you need help. The problem is that we have a tendency to focus on the mistakes, so it's not always easy to overcome that anxiety right away. One mistake (and yes, everyone makes mistakes), and you may accidentally convince yourself that your fears were justified.

In order to cure your public speaking anxiety, you need to make smart decisions before, during, and after you speak. Some people get public speaking anxiety just by talking in front of their friends when their friends are in large groups. That type of anxiety may be more related to social phobia.

In this case, we're talking about learning to speak in front of a group. It may be planned (such as a presentation at work) or unplanned (such as talking at a meeting when you have a good idea), but you still need to make the right choices and deal with your anxiety directly.

Below are strategies that will help you overcome your public speaking anxiety.  

Before Your Speech or Talk

Practice Thoroughly
Obviously practice is step one, and the step that you need to complete beyond adequately. You practice for several reasons. You practice to remember your speech or your lines. You practice because it turns the act of speaking into more of an instinct. You practice because you become more familiar with what giving your speech and speaking up is like, so that if you do lose your way and your speech is derailed you have an easier time making your way back.

But you need to over-prepare. Don't just stop because you think you know it. Stop when you're annoyed that you have to keep doing it. Then do it three more times. The point isn't just to know your speech. The point is to know it so well that you don't even want to give it anymore. That's when you're ready to go.

I will provide further tips in next week’s newsletter.

(https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/public-speaking-anxiety)

Issues

I do not have anything to report this week.

This Week at East (1/2 -1/5)

We will get back into the swing of things as soon as we return from the break.  I will be organizing our monthly activity calendar, professional development schedule, and other monthly activities.

Information

Last day for track changes is January 5, 2018.  



PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  If interested in participating on our school gift auction scheduled in April, please reach out to Mrs. Platten.

Sponsors

Special thanks to our anonymous donors for our Raise Craze Fundraiser!  The donors purchased a 43” LCD Smart Television to auction off in support of our goal to promote positive school behavior!  Thank you!

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Health Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  g

I finished the interviewing process to replace Mr. Ted Gillen’s position Monday morning.  We identified a highly qualified candidate who will be Board Approved on the 20th.  I followed the interviews with a professional development session discussing the importance of the use of data in moving a school forward.  We discussed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the impacts to our schools in terms of addressing reportable metrics.  I enjoy evaluating numbers and developing programs/initiatives to support areas in need of improvement.  The workshop was productive.  Our Attendance Committee convened after school and discussed refreshing our current methods to move our attendance participation forward.  I will begin our Attendance Matters promotional posters using students and staff this week!  We held our Lockdown Drill period 1 without incident.  We began our lunchtime clubs in the Media Center this week.  Finally, students dressed as either Heat Miser or Cold Miser as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit!

We began our Fall PARCC testing for Algebra I students who did not meet the graduation criteria Tuesday morning.  Special thanks to Mrs. Monica Santamaria for her organization to ensure the testing process was completed without incident.  We celebrated Holiday Formal Day.  I enjoyed observing the students and staff dressed so nicely.  Our Behavior Committee met electronically Tuesday afternoon and discussed the organization of the group as we look to reduce class cuts and other targeted behavior.  Our PTO met Tuesday evening.  The group is in the process of preparing for our Spring Gift Auction fundraiser.  I spoke to the ladies about defining school success and gathered feedback for our professional development.  

We continued our PARCC testing Wednesday morning.  We celebrated Red versus Green Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  Our Curriculum Committee convened after school and discussed establishing relevance in our lessons.  We sent out emails that evening to provide resources for staff as they develop lessons which promote the topic.  I like to provide weekly/monthly professional development tips with respective resources to help our teachers develop more engaging, relevant and rigorous lessons.  

We were all surprised to wake up Thursday morning to a delayed opening.  However, I enjoyed the extra hour of sleep.  I was disappointed in the number of students who showed up late to school following the delayed opening.  I made an announcement and informed all of students and staff that I still expect students to show up on time and be ready to learn on delayed openings.  Students are expected to use additional time to warm and clean their cars before departure.  Students are also expected to leave early enough to ensure a slow and safe drive while arriving on time to school in the inclement conditions.  I acknowledged all of our walkers who arrived to school on time, as I appreciated their challenges in comparison to others.  Student names were placed into a drawing and were selected to win various prizes!  We welcomed our new phone system Thursday and spent the day being trained on the new technology.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentor group held a Cookie Baking activity between mentor and mentees all day Thursday.  I appreciated observing the positive student and staff relationships and eating the delicious cookies.  We cancelled our Climate Committee meeting.  Thursday was Family Photo Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.

On Friday, various students participated in the ASVAB testing process at the Pine Belt Arena.  Several of our after school activities were cancelled due to the inclement weather.  I wonder if the current trend bodes for a ‘snowy’ winter?  Friday was Holiday P.J. Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Katie Goodall for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Goodall teaches Geometry and Algebra 2.  Mrs. Goodall runs a tight ship and demands the best from her students each and every day.  Mrs. Goodall was selected for going above and beyond for her students.  Mrs. Goodall volunteers personal time to meet with students in need of additional support during her lunch, conference, and duty periods.  I always appreciate teachers who are student-centered!  Thank you Mrs. Goodall for being a positive reflection of our school community.

Congratulations to Tyler Sacko for being accepted into the All South Jersey Region Orchestra for the Viola!  Great job Tyler, I am very proud of you!  

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to acknowledge Ms. Amanda Gregorek for her work in providing innovative and engaging student lessons.  I observed a lesson on teaching students in our STEAM Academy how to identify cancer cells.  Students identified the material necessary to conduct the laboratory and were provided with the respective background information.  Students assessed characteristics of healthy cells and used their critical thinking skills to identify the cancer cells.  Great job Ms. Gregorek!  I dropped in to Mrs. Lynn Masselis’ lesson on the environmental impacts of fracking.  I informed the kids how my relatives in the Ohio Valley are going to be receiving money from the companies doing the work (which is a huge incentive).  However, I informed them of the potential impacts on the local environment and drinking water supply.  Great lesson.  I also observed Mrs. Casey Daniels this week.  Mrs. Daniels’ students were writing responses to requests for Elf on the Shelf.  Students learned how to write for a specific audience and provided a community service.  I acknowledged the efforts of paraprofessional Mrs. Martha Mills.  Mrs. Mills is a long serving member of our Autism Academy.  Mrs. Mills loves her job and goes above and beyond to support her students.  I appreciate how she always finds a way to make personal connections to our students!  Keep up the great work Mrs. Mills!

Congratulations to our Robotics Team for their impressive performance this weekend!  We finished 3rd after losing in the semifinals at the Southern Scuffle in Williamstown, N.J.  East also won the Connect Award for outreach to the community in events such as Makerfest, Hour of Code, and our trip to Silver Bay.  Great job Mr. Walt Patelunas and Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli for guiding such a wonderful group of young scientists on this adventure!

I would like to congratulate David Wardell for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Dave was acknowledged by a staff member for supporting our special needs students.  I have personally observed the David’s growth as a person working with our special needs students and am very proud of him.  He displayed gentlemanly behavior in assisting a staff member and student on to a bus for a field trip.  He is kind and considerate and we appreciate him!  I would like to congratulate Aisling Jones-Wollerton for not only being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week, but for also having one of the coolest names I know!  Aisling was recognized for returning a lost cell phone to the Main Office.  The phone was returned to the owner.

Congratulations to our boys swimming team for their victory versus Central Regional this past week!  Our girls basketball team opened the season with a dramatic victory over Brick Memorial Friday evening!

Did you Know?

Last week I provided and article on how parents can support their child’s school.  I am looking for parent volunteers to provide workshops to our students on leadership, resume building, public speaking, time management, organization strategies, and/or goal setting and follow through.  If interested, please contact me at pthomas@trschools.com.  

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

Our Academy Teams will be supporting their annual Holiday Food Drive between December 4th and the 18th.  We are asking for canned or boxed food donations.  The team with the most donations will receive a prize!  All donations will be sent to local families in need!

Mr. Kevin McCann met with Academy teacher this week and provided guidance to support improving instructional outcomes, rigor in the classroom, and assessments.  Great job Mr. McCann.

Autism/Life Skills Academy

Our Academy students participated in the Cookie Baking activity this week.  I dropped by the Life Skills Academy classroom and spoke to Mr. Tom Trotta at length.  We are going to be offering an internal field trip for interested staff members on the academy to learn more about the types and needs of students we have in our academies.  Students will also learn how to be a Cap student for the program and careers in the special education field.    

Attendance Matters

Please be reminded that even during inclement weather delays, students are expected to arrive to school on time.  Please ensure your child takes the appropriate measures to ensure a safe passage to school.  Evaluating our November attendance data, approximately 700 of our students exhibited perfect attendance (50%).  Not bad, but I would like to see better.  We averaged an overall 93.4% attendance rate.  In comparison to last November, we observed 31 fewer students with perfect attendance.  We averaged approximately 8 fewer absences per day with Wednesday being our worst attended day of the week.  Our seniors are still our most problematic group.  Please note, we will be taking privileges away from students who are not in good standing at East regarding attendance beginning in January.  We averaged approximately one fewer late per day compared to last November.  Our student cuts were down (slightly) in comparison to last November.  Our junior class was our most problematic group regarding lates to school.  Our Behavior Hearings will be adding another remedial layer to provide an understanding and accountability to positive school attendance beginning in January.  

Congratulations to Nyzere Davis, Daniel Higman and Abigail Freeman for being recognized as our Attendance Matters Students of the Month.  All three students exhibited perfect attendance.  Great job to Joe Scott for being recognized for perfect attendance to date!  All of the students will be receiving gift cards from WaWa!  Great job to Daniel West, Casey Bird, and Marissa Donato for being recognized for demonstrating the importance of arriving to school on time.  Each student will receive one of our Attendance Matters – Your Education Matters T-Shirts!

Character Counts

Reviewing our November data, we have observed a positive trend in decreased school violence issues (knock on wood).  I am thankful to share that we have not reported a physical altercation this year.  Hopefully we will finish the 2017 school year on a positive note!  Our number of cuts is slightly improved compared to a year ago!  We observed 188 separate student referrals which required consequences; mainly issues related to school lates, cuts, and disruptive behavior.  However, we have noted decreases in the data in comparison to previous years!  The following is representative of the types and relative percentages of discipline referrals for the month of November:  Cell phones (1.6%), cuts (28.7%), cutting detention (5.8%), disruptive behavior (15.4%), drug policy (0.5%), inappropriate behavior (1.0%), inappropriate language (2.7%), insubordination (6.4%), lates to school (33%), late to class (1%), truancy (0.5%), smoking (0.5%), and school policy (2.7%).

We are in the process of establishing our Behavior Hearings in order to remediate the targeted behavior as previously noted in various newsletters.  I will share out on our progress.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Speaking to students and staff, public speaking appears to a significant source of anxiety within the school environment.  In preparation for college and careers, without the skills to overcome this obstacle, I fear many of our students are not capable of doing their best.  I thought I would begin a series of articles/discussion on this topic you can share with your child.  Please feel free to reach out with me with questions.

Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety

Fear of public speaking is incredibly common, and not just in those with anxiety. While anxiety tends to fuel public speaking fears, nearly anyone can suffer from this type of phobia. Public speaking anxiety is one of the most common fears shared amongst most of the general population, and unfortunately these days few people have the tools necessary to overcome this fear.

What Causes Fear of Public Speaking?
Fear of public speaking - also known as Glossophobia - has its roots in social phobia. It comes from the fear of being judged, which stems from all of the attention that people place on you when you're speaking. Ideally, you need to be able to deliver a loud, effective speech. Yet doubts over our own ability combined with the knowledge that others are forced to pay attention to the words we share can create a feeling of fear that is tough to shake.

Public speaking fear can only be reinforced as well. No one gives a perfect speech. If you go up there and do a great job, but make a few mistakes, your mind tends to focus on the mistakes, and your fear is then confirmed.

In addition, there is reason to believe that the modern day lifestyle makes Glossophobia more common than it had been in the past. Consider the following:

•        More and more people spend their free time in less public situations, like online, which requires not only no public speaking, but also allows for complete anonymity. Those that spend a lot of time online become less used to the idea of talking in public and being judged.

•        More and more people have work related communication that requires less speaking in public as well. Now you can send emails, talk on the phone, or use online workrooms. No longer do you need to worry as much about others looking at you and judging you, which is a problem for future public speakers because it means less experience speaking in public.

It doesn't matter if you're younger or more experienced - the modern day lifestyle has less interaction with other people, which can only increase the ease to which people develop public speaking anxiety.  More to follow on this article in next week’s newsletter.

(https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/public-speaking-anxiety)

Issues

I do not have anything to report this week.

This Week at East (12/18 – 12/22)

We will conclude our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit this week with Jingle Bell, North Pole, Holiday Movie, Ugly Sweater, and Holiday Explosion Day.  We will hold our Holiday Pep Rally on Friday (this one is always fun).  I am participating in a district administrative meeting Monday.  Our College and Career and Community Outreach Committees will meet this week.  Our Peer Leaders will hold their Academy Workshop on Tuesday.  Our Band and Chorus are holding their annual Holiday Concerts on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.  Our Teacher and Service Professional of the Year Committee will decide our respective recipients on Wednesday.  Mr. Kevin McCann will provide professional development Thursday morning for interested staff on increasing rigor through assessments and I will hold a full day of Conference-Conference on topics related to homework – too much/too little and is it meaningful?  

Information

Parents interested signing their daughter up for Girls Space, please reach out to Ms. Bush at cbush@trschools.com.  The mission of Girls Space is to provide a safe place where today’s young women workshop and practice different skills of leadership, self-worth and self-esteem, while building self-concepts to aid in the tools of being empowered women in their future lives.  

Students will receive their PSAT scores online starting December 11th.  Students who provided their email address on their PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet will receive an email reminder from College Board explaining where and how to view their online scores.  Juniors: The New Jersey Scholars Program is an intensive academic 5 week tuition-free summer program held at the Lawrenceville School. The topic this year is "Mind and Body - The Future of Being Human".  See your counselor by 12/20/17 for more details.  The last day for a track change is Friday, January 5th.  The registration deadline for the February 10th ACT is 1/12/18.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  Governor's School applications need to be returned to the guidance office by Tuesday, 1/2/18.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  If interested in participating on our school gift auction scheduled in April, please reach out to Mrs. Platten.

Sponsors

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

News 12 covered the township and district’s initiative to adopt Beaumont, TX, and we encourage our families to consider donating a gift card to the cause:http://www.trschools.com/community/news12silverbay

Week in Review (11/27 – 12/1)

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  

Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli held our ‘Hour of Code’ Monday and Tuesday all day in the Media Center.  Students learned basic coding techniques as they related to computer games.  The idea was to promote careers in the computer science field.  The kids looked like they were enjoying the challenge.  Our Art teachers took students to an exhibit in Island Heights Monday morning.  Special thanks to Central Administration for allowing our students the opportunity to attend the event and to further our appreciation of the Fine Arts!  We began our monthly character lessons on Humility.  

We held our ½ Day Professional Development for staff Tuesday afternoon.  Various staff members and outside organizations presented on the following topics:  Restorative, Mental Health Tips for the Professional, Mindfulness, Character Education, Extracurricular Clubs and Activities, Learner-Active Technology-Infused Classroom, Mural Paintings, ClassDojo, Mental Health Issues in the Classroom, Autism Awareness, Sustainable Education, Teaching Leaders Through an Athletic Model, and our New Phone System.  I would like to thank Mrs. Gina Taaffe, Thompson Health Care, Ms. Carrie Bush, Mr. Dennis Weidenbush, Mrs. Cindy O’Donnell, Mrs. Erin Calicchio, Mr. Kevin Kanarkowski, Ms. Norma DeNoia, Mr. Bill Dishon, Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald, Mr. Brian Smith, Mr. Jim Cartnick, Mr. Chris Polhemus, Mrs. Danielle Muska, Mr. Steven Ebert, Dr. Joe Soporowski, Mr. Ted Gillen, and Mr. Jay Attiya for volunteering personal time to support our EastCamp!


Our Interact Club held our annual Blood Drive Wednesday in the Media Center.  Special thanks to Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald and our club members for running the event to great success!  I announced our November winners for attendance, behavior, and other awards in the afternoon.  See below.  Mrs. Dawn Aulisi, Student Assistance Coordinator, hosted discussion on the dangers of illegal and underage gambling.  Thank you to Mr. Ken Litwak from the Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey for volunteering to meet with our students!

On Thursday, I spent the day interviewing candidates to replace Mr. Ted Gillen as our assistant principal.  We interviewed highly qualified personnel and will make our selection after final interviews next week!  We held our monthly fire drill without incident in the afternoon.  We began our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit on Thursday and celebrated with ‘Holiday Hat Day’.  

Students and staff dressed in their favorite flannel t-shirts as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit on Friday!  We held our student-staff faculty basketball game Friday evening.  I was very pleased to see such a wonderful turnout!  Of course, our teachers were under tremendous pressure to maintain their unbeaten record versus the students.  I added a little more pressure at halftime as I informed the teachers that they would no longer be a member of this staff if they did not produce the goods Friday evening….the staff won comfortably by more than 20 points.  I think I’ll take my motivational talk on the road as it seemed to bring out the best in the teachers!  I would like to thank the girls and boys basketball parents for their support at the game running the concession stand and gift auction!  

On Sunday, I attended our staff Family Fun Hour at East.  Staff members brought their children to meet Santa in the Media Center.  Our assistant principal, Mr. Vern Rutter, played the part very well.  I know he was uncomfortable in the suit, but he was a convincing Santa.  The kids loved him.  Of course, a few were scared and cried during the pictures.  But, we all had a good time!

I would like to congratulate Mr. Brian Smith for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Smith extended his comfort zone and volunteered to present at EastCamp this past week.  His presentation provided a method for our staff to make personal connections with our parents on student outcomes.  The program allows parents to gain immediate updates on behavior and academic achievement as they occur in the classroom setting.  Great job Mr. Smith in your presentation as staff members in attendance gained insight to support our school growth!  

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I observed Mr. Dennis Weidenbush’s World Affairs class.  Mr. Weidenbush’s classroom is creatively design to promote character in his daily lessons.  He presents posters and quotes on every wall illustrate the importance of citizenship.  Mr. Weidenbush greets every student as they enter the room with a handshake and supports an expectation of excellence!  I observed Mr. Kyle Sandberg’s PE class on ‘game day’ as his students competed for the championship in volleyball.  The kids were extremely motivated for the title.  I enjoyed observing the smiles and competitiveness in class and the overall good behavior on display!  Great job kids and Mr. Sandberg!   I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Vern Rutter for volunteering

his personal time to be Santa at our staff gathering.  I was nervous for him as it comes with tremendous responsibility.  The little ones were very cute as they took a picture with Santa and received a gift.  Mr. Rutter is always willing to do anything for kids which is something I admire about him!  

I would like to congratulate Evan Otten for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Evan was acknowledged for finding the personal belongings of a peer and bringing them in to the Main Office.  The material was returned to the owner!  Thank you Evan for being a positive reflection of our school community!

Congratulations to Jack Goodall and Cady Diehl for being recognized as our Senior’s of the Month.  Jack is an AP student and ranked in the top 25 of his class.  He is a three sport varsity athlete at East (football, basketball, and baseball).  He has earned straight A’s during his first three years and spends personal time volunteering at his local church.  He hopes to study Business at Rutgers University in the fall.  Cady is a member of our National Honor Society, Math League, History, Medical, and Robotics Clubs, and is President of the French Club.  Cady earned a 5 on the AP History Exam and spends much of her free time at her local dance studio.  Congratulations to Jack and Cady for being positive reflections of our school community!

Congratulations to Mrs. Kaitlin Mahony for being recognized as our Mentor of the Month.  Mrs. Mahony was selected because she is considered a very caring person by her mentees and is someone who is trusted and supportive.  Mrs. Mahony has been a volunteer student mentor for many years and is valuable resource at East.  Thank you Mrs. Mahony for being a positive reflection of our school community!

Did you Know?

Parents play an important role in the success of a school.  Below are a few ideas how you can help!


SEVEN WAYS PARENTS CAN SUPPORT THEIR CHILD'S SCHOOL

Studies show that parental involvement has a direct positive benefit on students' academic achievement. If you're looking for new ways to support your child's school outside of volunteering in the classroom or donating to the school fundraiser, here are seven ideas on how you can help make your child's school a better place:

Join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), or school advisory board. Your school's PTA (or similar organization) is one of the most important links between you and your child's school. It is designed to enhance school-parent communication and help parents be more involved in their children's education. PTA will help you get to know teachers and other parents and learn the most effective ways to suggest and implement changes at

your school.

Enrich the learning experience. Great schools do more than teach students what they need to know for standardized tests. Find ways to enhance your child's classroom. Talk with the teacher or principal about potential enrichment activities and ask how you can help. If your child's teacher is interested in offering students learning opportunities outside of the classroom, offer to help coordinate and/or facilitate.

Share your knowledge. Perhaps you have an interesting job, hobby or life experience that you could share with a class or group of classes. If leadership is your strength, consider devoting some time to coaching a sports team or advising a fledgling but important student group.

Improve communication. At any school, good communication with families is a key to success. You could help create a parent newsletter (or improve the newsletter your school has) or start a phone tree. Ask your child's teacher how you can help him or her stay connected to classroom parents.

Be an advocate for your school. Sometimes, being a resource for your school can be as simple as writing your school board members or legislators about issues that are important to the school. Attend a school board meeting on behalf of your grade or class or in support of an initiative. If you see an area of improvement at your school, explore the proper channels to voice your ideas.

Help increase financial and other resources. Aside from school fundraisers, there are other ways you can help your school secure needed funding or supplies. Help research or apply for federal or private grants to benefit specific school programs. If you have access to materials the school needs, why not make a donation?

Help other parents. If you are bilingual, you could volunteer to help translate at parent-teacher meetings or translate signage and materials for the school. Volunteer to provide transportation for students or parents to attend functions they could not otherwise easily attend. If you have particular expertise, offer to host a parenting seminar and share your knowledge with other parents.

With a little creativity, you can find many ways to help your child's school be an enriching academic environment—and a vibrant and welcoming community for all students and their families.

(https://huntingtonhelps.com/resources/blog/seven-ways-parents-can-support-their-childs-school)

Freshman Academy/STEAM

Our Academy Teams will be supporting their annual Holiday Food Drive between December 4th and the 18th.  We are asking for canned or boxed food donations.  The team with the most donations will receive a prize!  All donations will be sent to local families in need!


Autism/Life Skills Academy

Last week our students of the Life Skills Academy worked together to prepare chili. The students all helped to prepare the recipe!  On Friday, our classroom kitchen was open to all High School East staff so they could help themselves to our homemade dish. Our students continued to practice their cash register and social skills as they interacted with well over a dozen different staff members throughout the day!

Attendance Matters

As the concept of chronic absenteeism gains traction across the country, some people are under the mistaken impression that it’s just a politically correct way of saying truancy. Educators, policymakers and journalists often use the words interchangeably, describing the same, old problem with the same, old solution.

In fact, the two terms describe different aspects of our absenteeism problem and require different approaches to bringing students back to school every day.  First, let’s take truancy, a term that generally refers to unexcused absences. In the past, federal law required states to track truancy but left it to states to come up with the definition. California schools have tracked the number of students who are truant which is defined as missing three days without a valid excuse or are late three times to class by 30 minutes. In contrast, in Maryland, schools have monitored habitual truancy, defined as missing 20% of the school year (which is 38 days in a 180 day school year).

With its focus on unexcused absences, truancy naturally leads to a focus on compliance with the rules. Students are missing school without an excuse, skipping school and violating mandatory attendance requirements. Fixing the problem becomes a question of ensuring compliance, often left to front-office administrators, and in the most severe cases, to the legal system. Policymakers often recommend punitive consequences for truancy – such as suspensions, jail time and fines – for children and parents. Some communities and courts have devised effective approaches to reducing truancy, but in other places, punitive efforts are pushing students out of school.

Chronic absenteeism, on the other hand, incorporates all absences: excused, unexcused and suspensions. The focus is on the academic consequences of this lost instructional time and on preventing absences before students miss so much school that they fall behind. It recognizes that students miss school for many understandable issues such as asthma or homelessness or unreliable transportation, for which a punitive response is not appropriate. But what helps is working with families to share the importance of attendance and to fix the underlying problems that lead to absenteeism.

Given this broader focus, addressing chronic absenteeism becomes an issue for the entire community. Medical providers can help address health challenges; transit and housing agencies can resolve other barriers to attendance; volunteers from businesses and faith communities can mentor

students and support families. These approaches can also reduce truancy.

Like truancy, chronic absence has no common definition, though many researchers and schools monitor how many students are missing 10 percent or more of the school year. That’s about two days a month, or 18 days in most school districts. The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights this spring will release data showing how many students miss 15 or more days.

This data represents the first time that many schools and districts will know how many students are missing so much school that they are falling behind academically.  What’s the right response to this new information?  Rather than launching a punitive crackdown, educators and community partners should use the opportunity to dig deep into their numbers to determine who is missing too much school and why. Taking a data informed, non-punitive approach that draws upon insights from students, families, teachers and community partners is what leads to strategies that can improve attendance and achievement.

(http://www.attendanceworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Chronic-Absence-and-Truancy-Click-here-to-download-2.pdf)





Character Counts

Congratulations to Jared Heckel and Erica Fischer for being named our Character Counts Students of the Month.  Jared was selected for his personal and academic growth in school this year.  Jared accepts ownership of his outcomes and has put forth his best effort to achieve success.  Jared made the Honor Roll for the first time this past quarter.  We are all very proud of Jared!  Erica was chosen because she is a very kind person to all she meets.  She respects everyone regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs.  She is responsible for her outcomes and comes to school with the intent to do her best.  She prides herself on positive school attendance.  Great job Jared and Erica for being such positive reflection of our school community!

In line with our character initiative, take a look at the below article to help move East forward!

Twenty Strategies to Help Your Children Develop Good Character

The following suggestions are excerpted from Dr. Helen LeGette’s book, Parents, Kids & Character: Twenty-One Strategies to Help Your Children Develop Good Character. She brings to the reader knowledge and experiences from her highly successful 33-year career as a leader in education — as a teacher, counselor and administrator. She knows that children who have limits in the home and parental expectations of good character have a much greater chance at success in school and in a career. Her book offers ideas that can be implemented in any family home.


I will provide two tips per week for your reference.

Show respect for your spouse, your children, and other family members. Parents who honor each other, who share family responsibilities, and who resolve their differences in peaceful ways communicate a powerful message about respect. If children experience respect firsthand within the family, they are more likely to be respectful of others. Simply stated, respect begets respect.

Model and teach your children good manners. Insist that all family members use good manners in the home. Good manners are really the Golden Rule in action. Whether the issue is courtesy or other simple social graces, it is in the home that the true thoughtfulness for others has its roots.

(http://charactered.net/parent/parenttwenty.asp)



Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Go on a summer school

A final option – best taken alongside the other advice in this article, rather than instead of it – is to book yourself onto an academic summer school. Taking part in a summer school would allow you to learn away from the pressures of the classroom and exams, reinvigorating your love of learning and inspiring you to take a more determined approach to your studies. What’s more, summer schools are great for helping you get to grips with trickier subjects, so this could be a good solution to your underperforming subjects as well. Take a look at our summer school courses to find one to help you start improving your grades. It’s not just an option in the summer.

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

Please take a look at the below link which discuss ‘Juuling’, a new vaping device.  The vaporizer looks like a USB flash drive.  The device uses stored electricity to heat a liquid of vapors, which are then inhaled by the user.  According to the links, the liquid is mixed with flavored water-type mixtures to liquid nicotine to THC (active ingredient in marijuana).  Please be reminded that the devices are prohibited on school property and will be handled in accordance with our tobacco and/or substance abuse policies.  Students may also receive fines for use on school property.  


(https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/15/where-teenagers-are-high-school-bathrooms-vaping/IJ6xYWWlOTKqsUGTTlw4UO/story.html)

Parents, please do not send your child to school with electronic cigarettes.  The cigarettes are illegal and will be handled in accordance with our school tobacco and possibly substance abuse policies.  Please refer to https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/concerns-explode-over-new-health-risks-vaping for further support.  Also please contact the Office of the ROIC Narcotics Analysis Unit at DMI@gw.njsp.org for further information on the impacts of exposure of vaping substances in a school.    



This Week at East (12/11 – 12/15)

We will resume our committee meetings this week, with the Attendance, Behavior, Curriculum, and Climate meeting Monday through Thursday, respectively.  The 12 Days of Holiday Spirit continues with Snow Miser versus Heat Miser, Holiday Formal, Red versus Green, Family Photo, and Holiday P.J Days next week.  Looking forward to seeing the students and staff in festive attire!  We are holding our monthly security drill this week.  Our Peer Leaders will be running our Lunchtime Clubs beginning this week in the Media Center.  We will be holding our Fall PARCC testing on the 12th through the 14th for select students.  Our PTO will hold their December meeting Tuesday at 6 PM in the Main Office Conference Room.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders will hold their annual cookie baking activity on Thursday!    

Information

Parents interested signing their daughter up for Girls Space, please reach out to Ms. Bush at cbush@trschools.com.  The mission of Girls Space is to provide a safe place where today’s young women workshop and practice different skills of leadership, self-worth and self-esteem, while building self-concepts to aid in the tools of being empowered women in their future lives.  

Students will receive their PSAT scores online starting December 11th.  Students who provided their email address on their PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet will receive an email reminder from College Board explaining where and how to view their online scores.  Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Georgian Court University is on 12/15/17. Seniors need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  Seniors who have a college application deadline of January 1st need to submit their paperwork to their counselor by December 13th to ensure delivery by 12/22/17.  Juniors: The New Jersey Scholars Program is an intensive academic 5 week tuition-free summer program held at the Lawrenceville School. The topic this year is "Mind and Body - The Future of Being Human".  See your counselor for details.  OCVTS will be visiting HSE on Monday, December 11th to make their yearly presentation to the Sophomores during their gym classes.  Applications for the Ocean County Arts Program must be mailed by 12/18/17.


PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  Our next meeting will be held at East on the 19th at 6:00 PM.




Sponsors

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

•        District Officially Future Ready: http://www.trschools.com/community/futureready

•        Jingle Bells Run 2017 on Dec. 3 to Help Fund Student Scholarships:  http://www.trschools.com/docs/2017/11/2017-App_Jingle-Bells-Run.pdf

•        News 12 covered the township and district’s initiative to adopt Beaumont, TX, and we encourage our families to consider donating a gift card to the cause:http://www.trschools.com/community/news12silverbay

Week in Review (11/27 – 12/1)

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  

Busy week at the Home of the Raiders!  We held our Attendance Hearings on Monday.  Our team met with students who are in violation of our attendance policy and discussed with parents how to address the respective behavior.  The committee discusses remedial measures and incentives for improved behavior as student success is dependent upon being in school every day and on time.  Great job to the committee for their continued efforts to support individual student needs and to establish the expectations of a Raider.  

On Tuesday, I spent each period meeting with staff members in our Conference-Conference periods discussing what defines a successful school.  I presented in previous meetings the variables which are identified on the school report card and the other qualitative variables which are not necessary used in school formulas to define success.  I discussed the NCLB and ESSA Acts, report cards, rankings, and impacts to the school community.  Based on the above, staff members began articulating their thoughts as to what defines a successful school.  We discussed each comment as it relates to our school vision and mission.  My objective is to run the staff through these exercises to increase ownership and accountability to expected outcomes and to also foster pride in the types of outcomes we find to be representative of our values and beliefs as a school community.  Parents, please feel free to email your thoughts as to what you believe defines a successful school!  I will be discussing this topic at our next PTO meeting on the 19th of December.  This is a very important topic to discuss if we are looking to align all of our school stakeholders to a common goal!  We held our monthly safety drill in the afternoon to assess our ability to evacuate a school building when an exit pathway is blocked.  The students and staff performed without incident!

We officially launched our Random Acts of Kindness fundraiser, Raise-Craze, on Wednesday.  Assistant principals spoke to the students in each of the lunch periods, I made announcements, and emails were sent to our parent group informing them of the fundraiser.  I am not concerned about making money for the activity as I am to promote awareness for the importance of positive school behavior.  I am attaching a form for you to sign up if you are interested.  We are essentially looking to encourage our students, staff, and parents to perform random acts of kindness and in the process, raise money for various school and community organizations (see attached).  I met, briefly, with our National Honor Society students to discuss their required service learning projects.  I encouraged the members to think about teaching others how to become successful students and people of character through their personal journeys.  Mr. Greg Roth conducted a presentation to our Attendance Committee on how our school program Genesis could be more effectively used to communicate with parents on attendance issues.  I was delighted to hear as we are looking to reduce time spent on addressing this issue during the school day and to better support parents.  Great job Mr. Roth!  

Our Raiders Helping Raiders (RHR) mentoring group held a professional development workshop during conference periods on Thursday for interested staff members on helping your mentee to apply problem solving skills and emotional regulation.  We believe many of the issues which result in disciplinary behavior are a consequence of a student’s inability to control their reactions to various issues.  The workshop will support teaching the required skills to improve student school outcomes.  Great job Dr. Robin Lowery for providing the workshop for our group!  I held a Behavior Hearings meeting with interested staff members after school on Thursday.  The meeting was very well attended in our goal to remediate the types of behavior which most impact student success in the school setting.  We targeted class cuts, insubordination, disruptive behavior, HIB, and school violence.  The committee discussed the various issues and ran through alternative measures we could use to address the behavior.  We are planning on using our Attendance Hearing’s formula to attempt to modify the behavior.  More to follow as we move forward.

We met with Dr. Marc Natanagara and Ms. Norma DeNoia on Friday as we prepare to develop a Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab in Room E-06.  Dr. Natanagara procured a $100,000 grant from the Hovnanian Group to promote our STEAM Academy.  Human Anatomy teacher, Mrs. Marybeth Kretz, outlined her ‘wish list’ of materials and outline for the class.  I am looking forward to beginning work on the renovations!

I would like to give a great big ‘Shout Out’ to Mrs. Melissa Reimertz and her Thespian Honor Society students for their efforts to perform A Charlie Brown Christmas this weekend.  Mrs. Reimertz volunteered her personal time to support this student initiative!  The play was a huge success and I wanted to thank the parents and community members who attended!

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Amy Santonastaso for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Santonastaso is always up for a challenge and prides herself in supporting the various school initiatives, particularly the ones which are community related.  Mrs. Santonastaso’s students were instrumental in bringing in food to support our Thanksgiving Food Baskets last week.  She prides herself in teaching character skills to her students and providing leadership opportunities for her students to take ownership and accountability of their outcomes in her class.  When you walk in to the class, you are greeted by the class ‘greeter’.  Each student in the class owns a role in the success of running a class conducive for achievement.  I applaud Mrs. Santonastaso for all she does and for being the type of teacher students admire!  

We participated in the Township’s Time Capsule project this week.  Mr. Chip Phillips and our TV-21 students created a DVD which embodies the character of East to bury as part of the project.  I provided an introduction for the DVD and am pleased we were able to provide support!

A great big ‘Shout Out’ to Anthony Marinelli for being recognized as WOBM Student of the Week.  I presented Anthony with his certificate on Friday.  We are proud of Anthony as he is a well-rounded student and fine representative of our school community.  Anthony is eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship during the random drawing in June.  I want to thank Mr. Kevin Williams from WOBM for his continued support of our school!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to recognize the efforts Mrs. Kaitlin Mahony.  Mrs. Mahony teaches Fashion and Design.  I observed a lesson on a Fashion T-shirt Logo Competition.  Students were provided with the tools to create a t-shirt which would be marketable and reflected ‘fashion’ in some way.  The kids were really in to the activity.  Keep up the great work Mrs. Mahony.  I always enjoy stopping by Mrs. Kelly Zyskowski’s class.  Her students always seem to be in a good mood!  Mrs. Zyskowski loves what she does and her students learn from her efforts.  Mrs. Zyskowski teaches math, which is a subject many students struggle with.  However, she gets the job done!  I would also like to recognize the daily efforts of Mrs. Barbara Ennis in our Guidance Office.  Mrs. Ennis is the first secretary you meet when you walk in to the office.  She always has a smile on her face and is hard at work supporting student and staff needs.  I acknowledge her efforts and want her to know she is greatly appreciated!  I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our Head Custodian, Mr. Mike Yost.  I could write a novel on what Mr. Yost provides our building on a daily basis.  We could not run without him.  Mr. Yost handles the types of chores which support so many facets of our daily routines.  His work ethic is exceptional and he always performs his duties to the best of his abilities.  Mr. Yost is the backbone of everything we do as a school.  If you see him, let him know how much he is appreciated!    

Athletically, congratulations to our school hockey team for their impressive victory over HS North.  HS East and South are now combined resulting from low participation numbers between the schools.  East and South are called ‘Southeast’!  Great big shout out to the boys and girls bowling teams for their impressive victories this week as well!  Keep up the great work Mr. Kevin Kanarkowski and Mrs. Julie Clark.  

Did you Know?

Parent involvement in a child's education is crucial. When parents get involved in their children's education, children are more likely to do better in school, be better behaved, have more positive attitudes toward school, and grow up to be more successful in life.

How can you be more involved?  Check out this link for help:  http://neatoday.org/2014/11/18/the-enduring-importance-of-parental-involvement-2/

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

Our Academy Teams will be supporting their annual Holiday Food Drive between December 4th and the 18th.  We are asking for canned or boxed food donations.  The team with the most donations will receive a prize!  All donations will be sent to local families in need!

Autism/Life Skills Academy

The special needs students of the Life Skills Academy have been busy running "Coffee Corner", Raider Nation's first coffee shop operated by our special needs students and offered exclusively to East staff. Our students are learning life skills when they use the cash register, greet staff at the door and stock supplies.  One of the greatest aspects of Coffee Corner is that our students are enjoying meeting and interacting with various staff members each day.

Attendance Matters

Looking for ways to improve your child’s attendance, take a look at a few simple tips below.

•        Visit the school regularly and reinforce in your child’s mind that school and home are connected – it is an integral part of the whole family life.
•        Familiarize yourself with rules, procedures, and specific ways parents can be involved in the school.
•        Know your child's teachers. Tell them about your child and ask questions on how you can support what they are teaching.
•        Communicate with other parents about what works and what does not work; address concerns and approach the problem as a group.
•        Include yourself in school decisions and network with parent leaders, representatives and families through activities like the PTO, back to school nights, and school events- and stay active.
•        Participate in trainings and workshops to build your own leadership skills and deepen your knowledge of excellent schools and education programs.

Character Counts

Twenty Strategies to Help Your Children Develop Good Character

The following suggestions are excerpted from Dr. Helen LeGette’s book, Parents, Kids & Character: Twenty-One Strategies to Help Your Children Develop Good Character. She brings to the reader knowledge and experiences from her highly successful 33-year career as a leader in education — as a teacher, counselor and administrator. She knows that children who have limits in the home and parental expectations of good character have a much greater chance at success in school and in a career. Her book offers ideas that can be implemented in any family home.

I will provide two tips per week for your reference.

Model good character in the home. As William Bennett observed in The Book of Virtues, “there is nothing more influential, more determinant in a child’s life than the moral power of a quiet example.” It is critically important that those who are attempting to influence children’s character in positive ways “walk the talk.”

Be clear about your values. Tell your children where you stand on important issues. Good character is both taught and caught. If we want children to internalize the virtues that we value, we need to teach them what we believe and why. In the daily living of our lives, there are countless opportunities to engage children in moral conversation.

(http://charactered.net/parent/parenttwenty.asp)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Hire a private tutor

As a last resort, if the ideas listed in previous newsletters haven’t worked for you, you might consider hiring a private tutor to help you improve your grades for a particularly tricky subject. Some extra tuition may be just what you need to help bring your grade up, as you’ll benefit from one-to-one tuition in an environment in which you might feel more able to ask questions without the fear of speaking up in front of your peers. If you think this would help you, speak to your parents and suggest that they place an advert in the local paper if they’re willing to cover the cost of private tuition for you.

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

Please take a look at the below link which discuss ‘Juuling’, a new vaping device.  The vaporizer looks like a USB flash drive.  The device uses stored electricity to heat a liquid of vapors, which are then inhaled by the user.  According to the links, the liquid is mixed with flavored water-type mixtures to liquid nicotine to THC (active ingredient in marijuana).  Please be reminded that the devices are prohibited on school property and will be handled in accordance with our tobacco and/or substance abuse policies.  Students may also receive fines for use on school property.  

(https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/15/where-teenagers-are-high-school-bathrooms-vaping/IJ6xYWWlOTKqsUGTTlw4UO/story.html)

Parents, please do not send your child to school with electronic cigarettes.  The cigarettes are illegal and will be handled in accordance with our school tobacco and possibly substance abuse policies.  Please refer to https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/concerns-explode-over-new-health-risks-vaping for further support.  Also please contact the Office of the ROIC Narcotics Analysis Unit at DMI@gw.njsp.org for further information on the impacts of exposure of vaping substances in a school.    

This Week at East (12/4 – 12/8)

We will begin our Character Counts Lesson on Humility this week!  Staff will choose an avenue to conduct the lesson and will discuss the topic and look to apply the concept through various school activities.  I thoroughly enjoy reading the Behavior Committee’s lesson to promote positive school behavior.  I will be interviewing candidates to replace Mr. Ted Gillen’s assistant principal position this week.  Our Teacher of the Year and Service Professional of the Year nominations are due this week.  We will hold our monthly professional development ½ day schedule on Tuesday.  I am excited to host our EastCamp, where staff members present on various instructional and personal development topics.  The event is always fun!  We will conduct our monthly fire drill to assess our evacuation procedures later in the week.

Information

Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Georgian Court University is on 12/15/17. Seniors need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  Seniors who have a college application deadline of January 1st need to submit their paperwork to their counselor by December 13th to ensure delivery by 12/22/17.  Juniors: The New Jersey Scholars Program is an intensive academic 5 week tuition-free summer program held at the Lawrenceville School. The topic this year is "Mind and Body - The Future of Being Human".  See your counselor for details.  OCVTS will be visiting HSE on Monday, December 11th to make their yearly presentation to the Sophomores during their gym classes.  Applications for the Ocean County Arts Program must be mailed by 12/18/17.

Teacher of Year and Service Professional of the Year

Toms River Regional Schools staff and families are excited to participate in the NJ Department of Education’s Governor’s Educator of the Year annual program.  The GEOY highlights educational innovation, student learning, and the rewards of teaching, recognizing and honoring the contributions of outstanding pre-K through grade 12 classroom teachers and educational services professionals who possess a special talent for inspiring a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities and are leaders in their fields.

Nominations may come from parents and colleagues and are due no later than 3PM Monday December 11, 2017. Our school Teacher of the Year also has the chance to become County and State Teacher of the Year, so the more you share in your nomination, the better! Please see the below for details.

Your team will use the attached rubric to determine your building teacher and service professional of the year and enter the winners’ info into the state website using this procedure:

·       Go to homeroom.state.nj.us
·       Choose GEOY
·       ID: 5190
·       User: [firstinitiallastname]
·       PW: TRADM[last 4 digits of phone ext]

PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  Our next meeting will be held at East on the 19th at 6:00 PM.

Sponsors

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Health Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Welcome back!  I hope our students and parents enjoyed Thanksgiving and time with family and friends.  My parents and one of my brothers came up and spent time in New Jersey.  We watched plenty of football and ate plenty of food.  How is it fair that we celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then the Holiday Season in such a short period of time?  A few weeks of bliss and a year of working off the ‘fun’.  Hopefully I will be able to exert more resolve to eat healthy in the next weeks.  We’ll see how that works out!  Hopefully you had the time to reflect on the things you are most thankful for.  I am thankful for being the principal at this wonderful school filled with the best students and staff in Toms River!

Special thanks to Mrs. Jenn Groff for her efforts to beautify our front entrance again!  Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Mrs. Groff placed beautiful decorations to raise our spirits for this Holiday Season!  I think we can all appreciate her time and kindness!  

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

High School East is designated as a Future Ready School.
•        http://www.trschools.com/community/futureready

High School East honors HSE Alum, Petty Officer, 3rd Class Denis Miranda
•        http://www.trschools.com/community/hsemilitary

Week in Review (11/20 – 11/23)

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  

Check out our new Google Classroom site to support students and parents as part of our college and career connections.  Special thanks to Mrs. Kim Truhan for her efforts to develop the below link.  Our goal is to support choosing a career, college, and the application process.  We also look to provide financial aid and scholarship information to our families.  Please note that his link is a dynamic link, meaning we are currently growing and will be adding information as we become more aware of the needs of our parents.  Please feel free to send me an email with your feedback as to how we can better support your interests.  (https://classroom.google.com/u/0/c/NTc5NjE2NzUwN1pa)

We held a short but productive week at the Home of the Raiders.  Our STEAM Academy hosted guest speakers from Rutgers University.  The Society of Women Engineers spoke to the kids about careers in the field.  We conducted our monthly fire drill to test our ability to respond to a fire emergency.  We ran the drill without incident.  I held several meetings with our Character Counts Club members as we prepare for our school fundraiser and awareness campaign to promote positive student-student relationships in our building.  We held our monthly Freshman Academy Awards to recognize students who accept responsibility for their outcomes and challenge themselves to be their best!  See below section for results.  Mrs. Ann Millard conducted another College Workshop discussion for interested students.  Mrs. Millard discussed the procedures to follow after being accepted into a college or university.  Mrs. Millard also discussed financial aid and scholarships.  

High School East was recognized by the Department of Education (NJDOE), New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) as a “future ready” school based on an assessment of our curriculum, instruction, finance, leadership, assessment, facilities, professional learning, and community partnerships.  Special thanks to Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Marc Natanagara, for his efforts to have our school recognized for this award.  Dr. Natanagara spent a considerable amount of personal time completing the application process, and we appreciate him for his efforts!

Congratulations to Mrs. Casey Daniel and Ms. Candice Schultz for being recognized as our Employee(s) of the Week.  Ms. Daniel and Mrs. Schultz coordinated our Thanksgiving Food Drive for families in need.  Both of our teachers spent considerable amounts of personal time to ensure we were able to provide the necessary resources in support of the activity.  Thank you Mrs. Daniel and Mrs. Schultz for being positive reflections of our school community.

I would like to give a great big ‘Shout Out’ to our very own, Mr. Ted Gillen, for being promoted to our District Athletic Director.  Mr. Gillen is one of our assistant principals, but has always had aspirations of pursuing a career in the athletic field.  Mr. Gillen led High School East to a State Championships in boys soccer in 1985 as a player.  He continued his career at Penn State University, where he was recognized as a Regional All-American.  He was a finalists on the men’s 1986 Olympic Soccer Team, drafted in the inaugural Major League Soccer season for New York Metrostars, and received two ‘caps’ as a member of our men’s National Soccer Team before hanging his boots up.  Mr. Gillen was a former assistant coach at James Madison, Syracuse, and Maryland Universities.  He pursued a career in the financial field before becoming an educator.  He was our boys soccer coach and led our team to three Sectional Finals, two Shore Conference Finals, and several Class A South Titles before becoming an administrator.  Mr. Gillen ran our Coach’s Committee and has been an instrumental force in establishing a positive school culture at East.  We will miss him as a regular on our staff, but as we always say, Once a Raider, Always a Raider.  He will forever be one of ours.  We wish Mr. Gillen the best in his new position!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to recognize the efforts of Physical Education teachers, Mr. Charlie Diskin, Mrs. Jenae Koon, Mr. Kyle Sandberg, and Mrs. Julie Clark, for their efforts to establish a competitive and fun classroom environment during my observation this past week.  I walked in to the gym and was pleased to observe the kids actively engaged in competitive games.  What I appreciated most about the drive-by observation were the smiles and laughter.  The kids were having fun and demonstrated positive behavior towards their peers!  I would like to also acknowledge Mr. Rick Weber, History teacher to our 9th grade students.  As soon as I walked in, the entire class greeted me and welcomed me in to the room.  I appreciated how every student was engaged in the lesson and actively participating.  Mr. Weber is competent and presents the content material in a manner which most students would feel is conducive to higher learning!  Keep up the great work!  I would finally like to acknowledge Mrs. Lynn Masellis, our Environmental Science teacher, for her efforts to make our lobbies a little more aesthetically pleasing.  Mrs. Masellis placed plants in the respective gym and cafeteria lobbies.  I appreciated her kindness!

Did you Know?

Choosing the Right College or University

Choosing a college or university to attend is a major life decision, but it’s not one that you have to make alone. U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings can take some of the stress out of the school research and selection process and help students find a college that’s a good fit.

The rankings provide a good starting point for students trying to compare schools. The four overall rankings – National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges – are based on factors that indicate academic quality, such graduation rates and faculty resources.

But the best school for each student, experts say, is one that will most completely meet his or her needs, which go beyond academics. This is why U.S. News offers dozens of more-focused rankings and lists to help prospective undergraduate students compare schools based on the qualities that matter most to them, such as ethnic diversity on campus and percent of students who live in university housing.

Chances are, there’s a ranking or list that's relevant to you. For example, veterans can research the schools that are best-equipped to serve them; students interested in historically black colleges and universities can explore the HBCU rankings; and international students can learn which schools already have a strong non-U.S. student community on campus.

Affordability is another key consideration for students and their families, so U.S. News created lists of Best Value Schools and schools that award merit aid to the most students. The Paying for College knowledge center offers additional insights and tips about different types of education aid, including grants, loans and scholarships.

In addition to the rankings, prospective students can explore extensive statistical profiles for the more than 1,800 schools in the U.S. News Best Colleges directory. These profiles are packed with information about a school’s cost, financial aid policies, admissions requirements, student body and more. Families can see additional data points by signing up for the U.S. News College Compass.

Together, the rankings and profiles can help students learn about a range of school options – public and private, large and small – throughout the country, some of which they might not have considered before. They are valuable tools that can help you find a college or university that’s right for you.

(https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges)

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

Great job Mr. Kevin McCann for your efforts to coordinate our guest speakers from Rutgers University on engineering careers this week for our Academy students.  Mr. McCann also made presentations to our Intermediate school students to promote an awareness and expectations of the STEAM Academy program.

Mr. McCann and I presented the Freshmen Academy monthly awards this week to deserving students.  Congratulations to the following leaders:

Silver Team
Most Improved:  Matthew Luty
Most Spirited:  Payton Moroney
Character Education Student of the Month:  Isabella Flores
Best All Around:  Yusuf Ahmed

Black Team
Most Improved:  Cameron Finegan
Most Spirited:  Casey Shepard
Character Education Student of the Month:  Julia Panepinto
Best All Around:  Jackson Meyer

Blue Team
Most Improved:  Michael Madera
Most Spirited:  Samantha Cicardo
Character Education Student of the Month:  Jayda Knight
Best All Around:  Brianna Morris

Autism Academy

Did you know that one in 60 people are diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and accounts for 1.5 million of the US population? Although genetic and environmental factors are believed to cause ASD, there is currently no medical cause for this growing disorder.  

Here at High School East, the three Autism classrooms are designed and integrated to meet the unique needs of our learners. The three autism teachers including Mr. Chris Polhemus, Mr. Steve Ebert, and Mrs. Danielle Muska work collaboratively to create a unique, specialized environment to facilitate independence and education in preparation for post 21 placements. Although students receive individualized behavior and education programs, all students are constantly working toward the goal of independence.

A large aspect of our independence is being able to live independently and support both our financial, safety, and health needs. Here at the Autism Academy, the academic foundation is grounded on these crucial principles.  Academics are based around functional skill sets. These skills sets are meant to facilitate school jobs. Some of the daily jobs that are done at HSE are breakfast packaging, supplies delivery, mail, sanitizing door handles, laundering rags for the custodians, sweep hallways, wipe tables, clean windows, paper delivery, shredding, copies,  school mailings, etc.

In conjunction with their daily jobs students create and prepare Thanksgiving and Holiday dessert platters. They also create Holiday cards and ornaments to sell to support community based learning. In addition, the students help design, sell and distribute t-shirts and sweatshirts.


Attendance Matters

When Kids Refuse to Go to School

How to recognize what's called 'school refusal' and how to get kids back in class by Rachel Busman, PsyD

The term “school refusal” used to be more or less synonymous with truancy, invoking a picture of kids hanging out on the street corner, or holed up in their bedrooms playing video games.

While it is true that some game-playing might well be involved, it’s important to understand that school refusal is not the same as playing hooky. It isn’t driven by the allure of having fun outside of school, but rather by an aversion to school itself.

Problematic patterns
Everyone resists going to school once in awhile, but school refusal behavior is an extreme pattern of avoiding school that causes real problems for a child. School refusal is distinguished from normal avoidance by a number of factors:

•        How long a child has been avoiding school
•        How much distress she associates with attending school
•        How strongly she resists
•        How much her resistance is interfering with her (and her family’s) life.

Including all these aspects is important, because a child can still have school refusal even if she attends school most days. I’ve worked with kids who have missed only a day or two of school, but they’ve been tardy 30 times because their anxiety is so extreme it keeps them from getting to school on time. Kids with school refusal might also have a habit of leaving early, spending a lot of time visiting the nurse, or texting parents throughout the day.

Suspicious sick days
Often kids with school refusal will start reporting unexplained symptoms like headaches or stomachaches. Anxiety does manifest in physical ways, so their symptoms could be indicative of that. As a parent, the first thing you want to do in this situation is get your child checked out by a pediatrician; you don’t want to overlook a medical problem. But it may be that going to school is her problem.

Sometimes resistance to attending school is just a little blip on the radar, and it can be easily remedied. Maybe your child had the flu and was out for a good amount of time, and now she is having a hard time making the transition back to school. Suddenly she’s getting clingy and anxious about all the homework she missed.

In this scenario, it is important not to prolong time at home. Instead, you want to have a conversation with the teacher and with your daughter. You want to be able to tell her, “We’ve talked to your teacher, and he knows you were sick. I know you’re worried, but he understands. It’s time to get back to school.” Then she returns to school and often things go relatively smoothly.

Similarly, some kids in school experience blips of anxiety after vacations. The key point is to get children back in school as soon as possible.

More serious concerns
When school refusal starts to become a bigger problem—it’s going on for numerous days, weeks or even months—you should reach out and ask for help. This includes kids who go to school but only attend partial days because they are spending a lot of time in the nurse’s office and getting sent home early from school.

For more serious cases of school refusal, the first step in treatment is getting a comprehensive diagnostic assessment. While school refusal is not a diagnosable disorder, it often accompanies disorders like separation anxiety or social anxiety. A complete assessment helps treatment professionals understand what is underlying school refusal, allowing them to tailor therapy to your child’s particular situation.

Listen up
It’s also possible that something specific is happening at school, like bullying or a difficult class. This doesn’t mean you should immediately jump in and ask your child who doesn’t want to go to school, “Who’s bullying you?” But it is important to know what is going on in your child’s life. You should expect to hear what her teacher is like and how homework is going. You should also have a sense of the kids your child is hanging out with. These are all things that should come up in everyday conversation. And if your child mentions that something happened that day, perk your ears and put down whatever you were doing and listen in a nonjudgmental way, because it could be important.

Reaching out
Treatment providers working with kids who have school refusal will often use cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps kids learn to manage their anxious thoughts and face their fears. While kids who are anxious might disagree, the best way to get over anxiety is actually to get more comfortable with feeling anxious. Kids need the chance to see that they can attend school and their worst fears won’t happen. Exposure therapy, which reintroduces kids to the school environment gradually, is very effective at this. In the very beginning of treatment, this might mean driving by the school or walking through its empty halls on the weekend. From there kids can work up to attending one or two classes and then eventually attending a full day towards the end of treatment.

It’s best to be proactive and catch school refusal as soon as you can. Unfortunately, the longer a child misses school, the harder it is to get back in the routine, because being absent is very reinforcing. I have worked with families that describe getting ready for school like it’s a battle complete with huge tantrums. Sometimes the morning gets so challenging and exhausting that mom and dad just give up and say, “Fine, stay home; I’ll go pick up your homework.” It’s a very understandable situation, but again, letting it continue puts kids one day further from being back at school. It is important for parents to know that the sooner the child gets back to school the better, and reaching out for help is an important first step.

(https://childmind.org/article/when-kids-refuse-to-go-to-school/)

Character Counts

Our November Character Pillar is ‘Responsibility’.  Every student is expected to participate in the monthly lesson presented by period 3 teachers.  Students will define ‘responsibility’ and investigate various scenarios which ask student to reflect how being responsible would resolve the problem.  Staff are afforded various mediums to present the lesson.  

We will begin our Character Counts fundraiser we can all be proud of!  We are running an online fundraising platform centered on kindness beginning on Wednesday, November 29th.  During this fundraiser, our students will be serving others while raising money for our school.  There are no pledges, no selling--just kindness!  I will be sending out a news blast on the 29th to provide details on the activity!

I will be organizing our Behavior Hearings this coming week to address the specific types of behavior we deem to be inappropriate in our building.  I will provide details to our parents following our organizational meeting.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.


Make learning more fun
Sometimes students underperform because they have simply lost the motivation to learn. It’s not surprising, when the pressure of exams and doing well at school takes away the enjoyment of learning. It’s easy to get so focused on achieving top grades that you forget that learning can actually be fun – and not only that, but it’s much easier to do well when you’re enjoying it. If studying has become a chore for you, it’s time to put the fun back into learning. You could do this by gamifying your studies, or by trying some of the ideas in our article on 15 ways to make studying less stressful.

The adjacent link will support this week’s tip.  Check it out at:  https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/7-ways-gamify-studies.html and https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/studying-fun.html

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

Please take a look at the below link which discuss ‘Juuling’, a new vaping device.  The vaporizer looks like a USB flash drive.  The device uses stored electricity to heat a liquid of vapors, which are then inhaled by the user.  According to the links, the liquid is mixed with flavored water-type mixtures to liquid nicotine to THC (active ingredient in marijuana).  Please be reminded that the devices are prohibited on school property and will be handled in accordance with our tobacco and/or substance abuse policies.  Students may also receive fines for use on school property.  

(https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/15/where-teenagers-are-high-school-bathrooms-vaping/IJ6xYWWlOTKqsUGTTlw4UO/story.html)

Parents, please do not send your child to school with electronic cigarettes.  The cigarettes are illegal and will be handled in accordance with our school tobacco and possibly substance abuse policies.  Please refer to https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/concerns-explode-over-new-health-risks-vaping for further support.  Also please contact the Office of the ROIC Narcotics Analysis Unit at DMI@gw.njsp.org for further information on the impacts of exposure of vaping substances in a school.    

This Week at East (11/27 – 12/1)

We will have a busy week at the Home of the Raiders.  We are holding our Attendance Hearings for students who are non-compliant in terms of the attendance policy.  We are meeting as a group to discuss our behavioral issues of concern.  We will hold our monthly security drill and will look to launch our Character Counts fundraiser.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentor group will host a professional development topic on "Teaching Distress Tolerance Skills to your Mentee: Techniques to Improve Problem Solving and Emotional Regulation".  I will be meeting with our NHS students in support of professional development topics and service learning projects in line with our school vision and mission.  We are offering Conference-Conference sessions all day to staff members to articulate our measureable outcomes as a school.  I will also be interviewing viable candidates for the assistant principal position opening at East due to Mr. Gillen’s promotion.  I look forward to providing all of the outcomes in our next newsletter.

Good luck to all of our winter athletic teams as they officially begin on Monday.

Information

Media Center Highlights:  The shortened month of November was not short on activities.  The month started off with the Algebra I teachers hosting “Conferences and Connections”. On November 1, math teachers Erin Anders, Nicole Foy, Marissa Granato, Christina Gregus-Bowker, Lori Martz, Jackie O’Keefe, and Kelly Zyskowski invited their Algebra I students and their parents to an evening presentation in the Media Center in order to create a positive connection, provide meaningful feedback about student progress, and review for the quarterly exam with National Honor Society students. Overall it was a productive evening for all involved.

The Photography Club hosted its monthly meeting in the Media Center after school on November 16th.  Discussions included a project of taking head shots of cast and crew members in the upcoming school play was as well as future planned projects by club advisor Mrs. Marianne Steinhart.  For more information on the Photography Club, please contact Marianne Steinhart at msteinhart@trschools.com .  

On the evening of November 16th, the Hispanic Heritage Club held their family Thanksgiving dinner.  Members and their families joined hostess Spanish teacher Mrs. Liz Rodriguez for an evening that included authentic Hispanic food, music, and a PowerPoint presentation that highlighted the experiences of HSE students during their recent humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic.  It also gave the parents an opportunity to visit high school East as well as interact with other parents, teachers, and administrators.  A good time was had by all!  For more information on the Hispanic Heritage Club, please contact Liz Rodriguez at lrodriguez1@trschools.com

The Freshman Academy teams met in the Media Center during their lunch period on November 28th, 29th, and 30th.  The black, blue, and silver teams participated in activities conducted by Peer Leadership students, including “2 Truths and a lie” and charades centering on responsibility.  Kudos to the Peer Leadership students, advisors Rachel Hay and Stacie Nadeau, and Assistant Principal Kevin McCann for hosting an enjoyable and educational event for the freshman.

Just a reminder that the National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring to students seeking help in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.  Tutors are available after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Media Center and no appointment is necessary.  For more information on National Honor Society tutoring, please contact advisor Laura Morgan at lmorgan@trschools.com

Please check back for future Media Center updates!

Teacher of Year and Service Professional of the Year

Toms River Regional Schools staff and families are excited to participate in the NJ Department of Education’s Governor’s Educator of the Year annual program.  The GEOY highlights educational innovation, student learning, and the rewards of teaching, recognizing and honoring the contributions of outstanding pre-K through grade 12 classroom teachers and educational services professionals who possess a special talent for inspiring a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities and are leaders in their fields.

Nominations may come from parents and colleagues and are due no later than 3PM Monday December 11, 2017. Our school Teacher of the Year also has the chance to become County and State Teacher of the Year, so the more you share in your nomination, the better! Please see the below for details.

Your team will use the attached rubric to determine your building teacher and service professional of the year and enter the winners’ info into the state website using this procedure:

·       Go to homeroom.state.nj.us
·       Choose GEOY
·       ID: 5190
·       User: [firstinitiallastname]
·       PW: TRADM[last 4 digits of phone ext]

PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  

Sponsors

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal


District News!

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

•        Update on a busy start to the school year for Toms River Regional Schools: http://www.trschools.com/community/fallupdate

Week in Review (10/30 – 11/3)

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  

We returned after the Fall Break on Monday to a rainy day.  However, I enjoyed chatting with the kids throughout the day in the hallways.  We cancelled our fire drill due to inclement weather, but will retest later in the month.  I interviewed a candidate to replace our vacant Physics position in the afternoon!  I am always impressed with the value graduates from TCNJ bring to the interview process.  Keep up the great work TCNJ!  

Our Raiders Helping Raiders (RHR) mentor group participated in a YOGA activity throughout the day on Tuesday.  Mrs. Marci Brush, a certified instructor, provided the lessons for our students and staff.  Special thanks to Mrs. Brush and Mrs. Erin Anders for organizing and running the event!  Mrs. Ann Millard continued her College Workshop series on Narrowing Choices and Application Checklists.  Great job!  Our school Safety Team met after school to discuss activities we have conducted to support our objectives of reducing HIB and inappropriate behavior.

On Wednesday, former Toms River student, Ms. Melissa Neavear, presented to our STEAM students on Osteopathic Medicine.  I met with our Raiders In Service in the afternoon and spoke to the kids about their recent trip to the Dominican Republic.  Mrs. Liz Rodriguez and her team shared pictures and stories on building homes for people in need.  I found the experience humbling and was very proud of the team!  I would have loved to have gone, but they have tarantulas the size of a football field roaming the area.  I would never have slept.  I met with National Honor Society leaders to discuss specific service learning projects in support of our school vision and mission.   I will be meeting with NHS members next week to help in their specific leadership projects.  We held our annual PowderPuff competition Wednesday evening.  Our seniors clearly led the way in a competitive game.  Our halftime show is always fun and enjoyed the efforts of the boys as they entertained the crowd.  Thank you to Mr. Bill Dishon and Mrs. Megan Rankin for running a fun and safe evening for the kids!    

Mrs. Rodriguez held our annual Spanish Heritage Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday evening in the Media Center.  The event was well attended and celebrated our culturally diverse student population.  Great job Mrs. Rodriguez for all you do to promote tolerance and diversity!  I enjoyed meeting our parents and appreciated the efforts of our students to make the event memorable.  We also held our Junior Parent and Financial Aid Night in the Cafeteria.  Special Thanks to Mrs. Rapolla from Berkeley College and Ms. Wagner from Georgian Court University for providing our parents with the respective information.  Thank you too to our guidance counselors for coordinating the event.

I committed to getting into the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade lunches to talk with the kids about our commitment to improve student-student relationships and our No One Eats Alone program.  I was cautiously optimistic that I would receive positive interest in supporting the program.  I informed the kids that I want to create a school environment where every student feels connected and safe.  I informed the kids this activity was purely voluntary but encouraged participation and asked the kids to extend their comfort zone.  Students were provided with icebreaker questions to support the activity.  Interested students picked up the questions and sought out a peer who they did not know.  The participating students engaged in a conversation to essentially get to know the other person.  Once they felt comfortable enough, I quizzed what they learned about the other person.  They then placed their name in bowl to be selected for WaWa gift card prizes.  I was pleased with the participation and attitude of the kids!  Special thanks to Craig Bamburak for developing the questions and supporting the program!

Great job to Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and our Robotics team members for their commitment to promote STEM knowledge and skills at East.  Students from the AP Computer Science class are participating in a Cybersecurity Competition in November and December. The US Air Force Association's Cyberpatriot Competition is presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation. Round 1 was held on Nov 3rd and Round 2 will start December 8th.  Parents from East’s Raider-ShortCircuits held their first parent group meeting in preparation of the season which starts with the first competition on Saturday, November 18th.  Our Robotics team placed 11th out of 26 teams during this weekend’s Cherokee Fall Harvest Festival Competition.  Mr. Walt Patelunas informed me that the kids did a tremendous job!  

Congratulations to Seniors-of-the-Month, Jordan Daly and Mackenzie Casias.  Jordan is ranked in the top 15 of his class, is a member of the Spirit Club, Raider Nation and the basketball and baseball teams.  Jordan is Chairman of the Character Club while receiving the Academic Excellence Award for the past 3 years.  Mackenzie is an AP student, member of the National Honor Society, Interact and Key Club, Ambassadors, Yearbook and Science League.  She is also a member of our girls soccer and tennis teams.  Mackenzie is Editor-In-Chief of the Raider Readout school newspaper.  She scored a 5 on her AP US History Exam and is ranked in the top 5 of her class.  Great job Jordan and Mackenzie for being positive reflections of our school community.  

Congratulations to Jillian Conklin for tying the girls soccer scoring record on Wednesday afternoon against Jackson Memorial.  Our girls played one final game (make-up) following our defeat in the Sectional Final against Allentown.  Jillian ties a 20 year old record held by former Raider and Tennessee Volunteer, Lindsey Wiest.  Jillian scored her 35th goal of the season and I would like to congratulate Jillian, her teammates for supporting her, and coaches for providing a positive experience.  Jillian will be competing for Monmouth University next fall!  Good luck Jillian!

Congratulations to Anthony Marinelli for being selected as a WOBM Student of the Week!  Anthony was selected by our East staff for his involvement in extracurricular activities and his work ethic towards his personal endeavors.  Anthony exemplifies kindness and character and is a positive reflection of what High School East strives to become!

Congratulations to Mrs. Liz Rodriguez for being named our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Rodriguez works to ensure our Spanish speaking students are an integral part of the East culture.  Mrs. Rodriguez has done a wonderful job breaking down cultural barriers in our building.  I appreciate Mrs. Rodriguez’s commitment to excellence, doing her very best to be her best – for her students.  Her Thanksgiving Dinner was a well-organized and attended event which promoted a family mindset and appreciation for tolerance and diversity.  Her Raiders In Service program provided students of various races with an opportunity to come together in support of a common goal.  Great job Mrs. Rodriguez!  Thank you for being a positive reflection of our school community!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to recognize the efforts of Mrs. Marci Brush for supporting our Raiders Helping Raiders monthly activity.  Mrs. Brush spent the entire day providing opportunities for our mentors and mentees to make personal connections in a fun and healthy way.  I would also like to recognize the efforts Ms. Carrie Bush for her efforts in supporting our Mindfulness Club.  The Club is designed to support personal methods of relaxation.  I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Mike Alfieri for volunteering to take on our Debate Club!  I am very excited about this as I believe every student needs to learn how to effectively problem solve, work with others, and communicate.  This club will be an avenue to develop those skills in healthy competitive environments.  

Did you Know?

College Is Expensive?

Average total cost of attendance of an in-state public school in the New England region is $26, 891.  Average total cost of attendance of an out-of-state public school in the New England region is $40, 403.  Average total cost of attendance of a private school in the New England region is $54,860.

People aren’t saving enough?

Only 17% of parents saved at least $5,000 for college.  

College is not an expense, it is an investment in your child’s future?

College graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree earn $56,500 a year versus $35,400 a year for a high school graduate (Master’s degree = $70,000, PhD= $91,000, Professional Degree = $102,200).  College graduates have lower smoking rates, higher levels of civic participation (including volunteering, voting, and blood donation), and lower levels of unemployment.  

The private college counselor business has been booming?

26% of high-achieving students hired an independent college consultant.  The average family hiring an educational consultant in the U.S. is a public-school family making a middle-class income.  The average ratio of American public high-school students per guidance counselor is 476 to 1, and guidance counselors spend an average of just 38 minutes discussing each individual student’s college search and application process.  

Help is available and the key is finding it?

The 120 colleges with the largest endowments in the country have a total of $320 billion dollars of endowment available.  83.5% of students attending private colleges receive a college grant; the average discount (FREE MONEY!) is nearly 40%.  

Finding the “right school” saves you money, the “wrong school” will cost you?

60% of students attend more than one 4-year college.  Only 36% of students graduate in 4 years.  Only 57.5% of students graduate in 6 years.

(http://college-insights.com/did-you-know/)

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

We are holding STEAM Talks today for our Academy students.  Students from Rutgers Engineering Department will present on careers in the field.  Special thanks to the Society of Women Engineers for taking the time to meet with our kids!  Mr. Kevin McCann will host our monthly Academy Awards this week recognizing students who have gone above and beyond!  Mr. McCann will also be presenting on our Academy to the three Intermediate Schools.  Good luck Mr. McCann.

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Josh Joyce, Mark Murtha and Alex Wisnewski for being selected as our Attendance Matters students who attended school every day this month on time!  Each student received an Attendance Matters t-shirt!  Congratulations to Nicholas Costa, Luke Dunton, and Katie Moderno for being selected as our Attendance Matters students who exhibited perfect attendance for the month of October.  Special congratulations to Nicholas Ventre for his recognition of attending every day in September and October.  All of the respective students received a WaWa gift card.  Congratulations to Mrs. Kelly Zyskowski’s period 1 class for winning the Homeroom with the highest percentage of student attendance for the month of October.  Mrs. Zyskowski’s kids will receive a bagel and donut breakfast!  Keep up the great work!

Parents, maybe you can help to provide me with your ideas how we can improve school attendance.  I have provided, and will continue to provide, documentation indicating the importance of school attendance to student achievement.  However, take a moment to reflect on the following questions and if interested, send me your response(s).

Attendance Café –

Appetizer:  How was school attendance for you when you were a student? Did you go every day? Did you miss a lot?

Entrée:  Did you know that children who miss 18 or more days of the school year (2 days a month) starting in kindergarten are less likely to learn to read by third grade and graduate from high school?  What are some of the obstacles that parents face in getting their children to attend school every day?  What are some ways that parents can overcome these obstacles? How can you help other parents overcome these obstacles?

Dessert:  Conversation reflection: Volunteer to be on East’s Attendance Committee.

Character Counts

Congratulations to Youssef Abdelrehim and Mikayla Youngman for being recognized as our Character Counts Students-of-the-Month.  Both students were recognized by their peers and staff for demonstrating positive school behavior in support of individual success.  Youssef takes tremendous pride in taking responsibility for his outcomes.  Mikayla is comfortable enough to extend her comfort zone in helping others when needed.  

As part of our Character Counts initiative, I am attempting to establish the importance of positive behavior to individual success through teaching our students the values inherent in our pillars.  I am also looking to demonstrate to our students how the respective behavior correlates to success beyond our walls at High School East.  

How to Teach Children to Have Positive Attitudes

In a world filled with negativity, violence and suffering, a positive attitude can make life more manageable. Although it's impossible to fully control life events, you can control your reactions to what happens. This attitude enables you to develop the strength to deal with life’s challenges. When children develop a positive attitude early in life, positive thinking becomes a habit that can ease the pressures associated with growing up.

Step 1
Teach your children to control their inner monologues. These are the statements they constantly repeat to themselves in their minds, such as “I’m so bad at math. I’m never going to pass the class.” Help them replace these negative statements by stating, aloud or silently: “I might be having a hard time understanding math, but I will keep trying and reach out to others for help with it, like my teachers, parents and other students.”

Step 2
Remind your children that being positive or negative about an event that has occurred in their lives is their choice. Teach your children this by using an example, such as “Staying angry at someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to suffer.”

Step 3
Try to create a positive environment in your home by watching funny movies, telling jokes and stories. Explain to your children that just smiling and laughing can help shift your brain chemistry and make you feel good, according to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.

Step 4
Provide your children plenty of affection in the form of kind words, hugs, kisses, high fives and pats on the back.


Step 5
Help your children develop hobbies they are good at to increase their confidence. You can, for example, encourage your child who has a lovely singing voice, to take voice classes to help her develop her singing ability more.

Step 6
Encourage your children to keep a journal to keep track of accomplishments and disappointments. When your child experiences a disappointment, have him reflect on the lessons he can take from the experience to avoid repeating the mistake in the future. Praise him for showing maturity and recognizing the lesson and for taking a proactive approach to mistakes instead of dwelling on them.

(https://www.livestrong.com/article/77539-teach-children-positive-attitudes/)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Allow plenty of time for revision

If you’re achieving lower scores than you’d hoped for on timed tests or mock exams, it could be because you’re not allowing enough time for revising for them. This may be because you know it’s not ‘the real thing’, but practice exams are just as important as real ones. They show you which areas you need to spend more time on, and achieving good grades in them will give you a confidence boost. Treat them as seriously as you would a real exam, allowing yourself plenty of time to revising for them. Better still, revise everything you learn as you go along, so that you learn it properly first time round and have less need for revision. Also, be sure to read our articles on effective revision techniques for science students and humanities students.

The adjacent link will support this week’s tip.  Check it out at:  https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/revision-study-skills-tips-science-a-level-students.html and https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/shrewdly-strategic-revision-study-skills-humanities.html

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

I wanted to thank our parents who follow the appropriate morning and afternoon traffic pattern process.  We expect our students to demonstrate the ideals inherent in our character pillars while they are on school property, and we hold the same expectations for our parents and visitors.  Please do not enter along the Dunedin entrance as that entrance is for our busses and staff ONLY.  Please drive all the way down to the flagpole in the front of the building to drop your child off in the morning.  Please drive slowly and safely, there is nothing more important than school safety!  

Parents, please do not send your child to school with electronic cigarettes.  The cigarettes are illegal and will be handled in accordance with our school tobacco and possibly substance abuse policies.  Please refer to https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/concerns-explode-over-new-health-risks-vaping for further support.  Also please contact the Office of the ROIC Narcotics Analysis Unit at DMI@gw.njsp.org for further information on the impacts of exposure of vaping substances in a school.    

This Week at East (11/20 – 11/23)

Our STEAM Academy will be hosting another presenter this week.  Students from Rutgers will be sharing out information on careers in the Engineering field from the Society of Women Engineers.  Our Character Counts Club will meet to host our school fundraiser to promote positive school behavior.  We will be receiving an award at the Board meeting for being selected as a Future Ready School.  Mrs. Millard is holding another College Workshop Wednesday morning.  Remember, we have a ½ day on Wednesday with dismissal time of 11:40 am for all of our students.  We are off Thursday and Friday this week to celebrate Thanksgiving.  

Information

Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 11/21/17 and Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Stockton University is on 12/4/17. Seniors need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  The next senior college workshops are on Wednesday, Nov 22nd and 29th. The topic will be: Accepted...Now what? Financial aid and scholarships. Sign up in Guidance.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

Are you interested in helping us select our Teacher and Service Professional of the Year?

Toms River Regional Schools staff and families are excited to participate in the NJ Department of Education’s Governor’s Educator of the Year annual program.  The GEOY highlights educational innovation, student learning, and the rewards of teaching, recognizing and honoring the contributions of outstanding pre-K through grade 12 classroom teachers and educational services professionals who possess a special talent for inspiring a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities and are leaders in their fields.

Nominations may come from parents and colleagues and are due no later than 3 PM Monday December 11, 2017. Our school Teacher of the Year also has the chance to become County and State Teacher of the Year, so the more you share in your nomination, the better! Please see the attached for details.

If interested, enter your selection information into the state website using this procedure:

·       Go to homeroom.state.nj.us
·       Choose GEOY
·       ID: 5190
·       User: [firstinitiallastname]
·       PW: TRADM[last 4 digits of phone ext]

PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  

Sponsors

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

I hope everyone had a wonderful break from school and enjoyed the time with the family.  I had a very busy week.  I attended the football game Friday evening and was proud of our students and athletes for another spirited performance.  I watched the boys and girls cross country teams compete at the Central Jersey Sectional Championships on Saturday.  Congratulations to our boys for their 4th place finish and qualification for the State Meet.  I took my daughter to visit Scranton University on Sunday for an Open House.  I enjoyed the visit and thought more of the school following the orientation.  We scheduled ‘wisdom teeth extraction’ on Monday for one of my daughters, so that was our Monday and Tuesday.  She was feeling better by Wednesday and we headed to Annapolis to visit my family.  I spent the day in downtown Annapolis on Thursday and attended another Open House on Friday (Towson University).  I had a great time at home and spending time with my parents and brothers.  We headed back to Toms River on Saturday morning and I became a handyman and put up shelves for my mother-in-law in her new home that afternoon (scored big points).  I spent Sunday wondering where my week went, but enjoyed a peaceful day watching football!  My Vikings are 7-2.  I am waiting for the ball to drop as it always does with them!  But, loving life at the moment!  

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

•        Update on a busy start to the school year for Toms River Regional Schools: http://www.trschools.com/community/fallupdate

Week in Review (10/30 – 11/3)

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  Thank you Mr. Mike Nichol for running our accounts and supporting our goal to keep our parents informed!

We wrapped up our Spirit Week with Costume Day on Monday and Cat versus Pumpkin Day on Tuesday.  I was impressed with the creativity from the students and staff!  I participated in judging the respective contest categories and enjoyed the parade through the hallways for all of the contestants.  I have to congratulate Mrs. Gayle Robinson for her victory this year as the best staff costume (she was a Mermaid).  Our Interact Club held our annual Safe Trick-or-Treat Monday after school.  Our various clubs and organizations sponsored doors and provided treats for our little guests.  The kids were adorable as they wandered through the hallways with their parents!  

We concluded Spirit Week Tuesday.  I was not initially sure how to interpret the Cats versus Pumpkin theme, but appreciated the creativity once I observed the outfits.  I wanted to congratulate our Band and cheerleaders for their performance at the Parade Tuesday evening.  Great job to Mrs. Melissa Reimertz and our Thespian Honor Society for placing 2nd in their respective costume category.  The kids dressed in their Charlie Brown Christmas outfits in preparation for our December 1st and 2nd play (to be held at HSE at 7:00 pm).  Thank you also to Mr. Dennis Weidenbush and our Character Counts Club members for representing East with pride!  The kids held our National School of Character banner for all to see!  Great evening!  

We initiated our Character Counts monthly lesson on Wednesday.  The theme is ‘Responsibility’ for November.  Teachers will present a lesson at their convenience to foster a better understanding of this important life skill.  We held our monthly faculty meeting after school.  I presented on staff updates, friendly school and professional reminders, and finished with a discussion on measuring school success.  We will articulate our measurable outcomes considering State criteria at our December faculty meeting(s).  I will report out on the details.  Thank you to Mrs. Erin Anders for coordinating our Conference Connections Wednesday evening for our Algebra I students/parents.  Parents were provided with instructional tips to support their child in preparation for the Quarterlies.  Great job math team!

I dusted off the cobwebs and brought out my notes on Diamonds as I presented a lesson to Mrs. Erin Cosentino’s students Thursday afternoon.  I taught the students the historical significance of the mineral, why it is considered so valuable, uses, formation, mining, and how to purchase a Diamond (cut, color, clarity, and carat).  We also discussed how the mineral is used today in terms of the engagement ritual.  The kids were so nice!  

I went into the lunches and spoke to the kids about our No One Eats Alone program we are looking to initiative after the Fall Break.  I spoke to the kids about the importance of making all of our students feel personally connected to the school and a part of the success.  We do not want students feeling isolated as we are all a part of the East family.  Our goal after the Break will be to begin with Ice Breaker activities to get students to extend their comfort zone and to make new acquaintances.  Ultimately, we want the lunchroom to be an area where every student has a personal responsibility to support the well-being of a peer.  We concluded the week with a very moving ceremony to honor a former Raider and Navy Seal, Denis Miranda, who paid the ultimate sacrifice serving his country in Afghanistan.  We invited the Miranda family, Band, Chorus, local military personnel, school officials, and interested students and staff to participate in the ceremony.  Mrs. Kristin Delucci and our Chorus sang a few beautiful songs to begin the ceremony.  I spoke about character and how our Military Club initiated this ceremony to honor men and women of character – those who put others before themselves, who are willing to make personal sacrifices for their beliefs and to make our country a better place.  Mr. Scott Kenny spoke about the meaning behind the display.  Joey Gamboa spoke about Denis’ career as a Raider and Navy Seal while Mr. Brian Cerbone spoke about Denis as his former swimming coach.  Mr. Phil Beachy conducted the Wreath Ceremony and the Band concluded by playing a few songs before marching in the hallways.  The family and guests attended a brief refreshment session in our Main Office Conference Room following the ceremony to discuss Denis and our next project to honor all of our former staff members and students who have served and/or are currently serving in the Armed Forces.  Special thanks to Mr. Scott Kenny and Mrs. Helen Klem for organizing the ceremony!  I was proud of our students and staff that day!

I would like to give a great big ‘Shout Out’ to Mrs. Kim Truhan for completing the New York Marathon over the Break.  This is Mrs. Truhan’s 3rd Marathon!  I asked her how she felt afterwards and she said, “Tired”.  I guess I should have seen that coming.  But great job Mrs. Truhan, we are proud of you!  What an accomplishment!  

Congratulations to Mr. Scott Kenny for being recognized as our Employee of the Week!  Mr. Kenny is our school Security Officer and the Advisor to our Military Club.  Mr. Kenny takes tremendous pride in his work at East supporting our at-risk student population.  Mr. Kenny spent months designing the display case to meet military expectations.  He coordinated with the Miranda family, Band, Chorus, special guests, students and staff to make the ceremony memorable for the family.  I was so proud of Mr. Kenny and wanted to recognize his efforts this week with this award!  Thank you for all you do Mr. Kenny!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to recognize the efforts of our Algebra I team for supporting the Conference Connections evening on the 1st.  Mrs. Erin Anders, Mrs. Lori Martz, Mrs. Christina Gregus-Bowker, Ms. Melissa Granato, Mrs. Kelly Zyskowski and Mrs. Jackie O’Keefe were part of the team which supported the evening.  I appreciate the efforts to go above and beyond to ensure our students have the resources to meet their curricular demands.  I did not have the names of the NHS students who were also present that evening, but would like to thank those that attended as well!  Great job math team!

Athletically, we concluded our fall season over the Break with our football team, boys and girls cross country and girls soccer.  I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all of our coaches and student-athletes for putting themselves out there to be judged.  Our coaches put in the time to provide positive environments for our athletes and stress the importance of ‘team’ and ‘character’.  Being a member of extracurricular activities actually helps to develop the life skills needed for success on and off of the athletic field.  Our kids learn about responsibility, accountability, respect, teamwork, communication, leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, and time management and organization skills.  The benefits are tremendous and I encourage all of our students to be involved in some extracurricular activity (athletics and/or club) to develop a diversified portfolio of skills.  Keep your heads up girls soccer team!  You played in the Sectional Final for the 2nd time in the past 4 years and you represented your school with pride.  Our boys cross country qualified for the 3rd State Meet in the past 4 years and finished running personal bests!  Proud of you guys!  We will report back in athletics as soon as our Winter season begins!

Did you Know?

Colleges are looking for a well-rounded applicant capable of succeeding at the next level.  When evaluating applicants, colleges will look at a student’s grade point average and class rank (to determine how well you performed and how you compared to your peers), AP and Honors level courses (to see if you challenged yourself and took rigorous courses comparable to the college level), challenging extracurricular activities (to determine how comfortable you are to extend your comfort zone and your ability to complete tasks successfully), volunteer and work experience (to assess your leadership qualities and civic mindset), test scores (to evaluate your college and career readiness as it compares universally to your peers), quality recommendation letters (to gain an understanding of your personal attributes which may provide a better picture of the value you will add to the college), a well-written essay (to assess your communication, critical thinking and creative skillsets), and any talent or passions you may have (to determine what makes you essentially ‘you’).  

(https://www.collegechoice.net/what-colleges-are-looking-for-in-application/)

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

Former Toms River student, Ms. Melissa Weaver, will be presenting to our STEAM Academy students on the 15th.  Ms. Weaver is an award winning ASR student currently pursuing her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine.  Ms. Weaver will speak to the kids about the field, career opportunities, and knowledge and skills required to pursue a degree in the Biological Science Field.    

We are holding Freshmen Lunchtime Academy meetings with our Peer Leaders between the 28th and 30th of November.  Our October Freshmen Academy Awards will be announced the week of Thanksgiving.

We are also holding STEAM Academy presentations at the Intermediate Schools on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of November.

Attendance Matters

A review of our October attendance data indicates a dip in our recent form.  We have observed growth each month leading up to this past October.  We observed fewer students with perfect attendance and our daily average attendance rate was slightly below our expected number.  However, our PSAT testing on the 15th was a key contributing factor to the elevated numbers of absences and/or lates for the month.  Mondays continue to be our most problematic day of the week for absences and lates to school and our seniors documented the lowest attendance rates of the four grade levels.  We continue to address class cuts through our policy procedures.  I was disappointed with the outcomes for this month, but will continue to reinforce our expectations with our students and staff through the many activities we introduce to stress the importance of why attendance matters!

Why Does Attendance Matter?

Every school day counts in a child's academic life...

A missed school day is a lost opportunity for students to learn. In this era of increased accountability for states, districts, and schools, the connection between student attendance and learning is being studied more than ever before. As a result, education agencies are asked with increasing frequency to report attendance data in a standard manner to allow comparisons across organizations and jurisdictions.

The primary rationale for high-quality attendance data is the relationship between student attendance and student achievement. Teacher effectiveness is the strongest school-related determinant of student success, but chronic student absence reduces even the best teacher's ability to provide learning opportunities. Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance. This relationship between attendance and achievement may appear early in a child's school career. A recent study looking at young children found that absenteeism in kindergarten was associated with negative first grade outcomes such as greater absenteeism in subsequent years and lower achievement in reading, math, and general knowledge.

Poor attendance has serious implications for later outcomes as well. High school dropouts have been found to exhibit a history of negative behaviors, including high levels of absenteeism throughout their childhood, at higher rates than high school graduates.  These differences in absentee rates were observed as early as kindergarten, and students who eventually dropped out of high school missed significantly more days of school in first grade than their peers who graduated from high school. In eighth grade, this pattern was even more apparent and, by ninth grade, attendance was shown to be a key indicator significantly correlated with high school graduation.

The effects of lost school days build up one absence at a time on individual students. Penalties for students who miss school may unintentionally worsen the situation. The disciplinary response to absenteeism too often includes loss of course credits, detention, and suspension. Any absence, whether excused or not, denies students the opportunity to learn in accordance with the school's instructional program, but students who miss school are sometimes further excluded from learning opportunities as a consequence of chronic absenteeism.

(https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/attendancedata/chapter1a.asp)

Note:  Our Raiders Helping Raiders (mentor program) and Attendance Committee have made tremendous strides in improving overall school attendance at HSE.  We have observed significant reductions in our chronic absentee rates through the efforts of these programs.  We have also observed a reduction in our number of students who drop-out of school (recent data have shown a break in this trend which we hope to rectify this year).  Making sustainable growth in student attendance is a monumental effort which requires the efforts of all of our stakeholders.  We ask our parents to support our initiatives through our PTO and local businesses through our Community Outreach program.  I am looking to observe growth in student achievement (reflected on our test scores) resulting from our improved attendance in the near future.

Character Counts

A review of our behavior data this month confirms similar trends.  Class cuts and lates to school make up the majority of our disciplinary issues.  The following is a breakdown of the discipline types we observed this past October:  cellphones (7.5%), cuts (38%), cutting detention (4.1%), disruptive behavior (11.9%), drug policy (0.3%), inappropriate behavior (0.6%), inappropriate language (1.5%), insubordination (5.7%), lates to school (22%), lates to class (1.3%), fight (0.3%), smoking (0.3%), and school policy (5.9%).  We are implementing a monthly Behavior Hearing for students who demonstrate consistent negative school behavior which impedes personal achievement beginning this month.  The Hearings will be conducted in a similar manner as our monthly Attendance Hearings, where students, parents, and staff will sit down to review the respective deficient behavior and to put in place remedial measures to support student growth.  I look forward to reducing our overall numbers of inappropriate behavior issues!  

As part of our Character Counts initiative, I am attempting to establish the importance of positive behavior to individual success through teaching our students the values inherent in our pillars.  I am also looking to demonstrate to our students how the respective behavior correlates to success beyond our walls at High School East.  

The Qualities Colleges Want

“What is it that makes you unique, and how will you contribute to the life of our campus?” That’s what admission officers want to know, according to Earl Johnson, dean of admission at the University of Tulsa. To gauge what students can bring to their campus, they look for these types of qualities:

•        Leadership
•        A willingness to take risks
•        Initiative
•        A sense of social responsibility
•        A commitment to service
•        Special talents or abilities

Overall, colleges want a mix of students to create a rich campus community. They want the class valedictorians, says Marty O’Connell, executive director of Colleges That Change Lives. But they also are looking for “students who are going to be involved in a lot of activities and students who are musicians and students who are athletes and everything in between.”

(https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/applying-101/character-counts-what-are-colleges-looking-for)


Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Improve your memory

Many students struggle to remember all the information they need for exams, and this brings their grades down. With so much to learn across many subjects, remembering facts, figures and arguments is a pretty monumental task, and you need to arm yourself with some effective memory aids to help you. You’ll find more tips on improving your memory in our article on memory techniques for exam preparation.

The adjacent link will support this week’s tip.  Check it out at:  https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/memory-tricks-exam-success.html

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

I wanted to thank our parents who follow the appropriate morning and afternoon traffic pattern process.  We expect our students to demonstrate the ideals inherent in our character pillars while they are on school property, and we hold the same expectations for our parents and visitors.  Please do not enter along the Dunedin entrance as that entrance is for our busses and staff ONLY.  Please drive all the way down to the flagpole in the front of the building to drop your child off in the morning.  Please drive slowly and safely, there is nothing more important than school safety!  

Parents, please do not send your child to school with electronic cigarettes.  The cigarettes are illegal and will be handled in accordance with our school tobacco and possibly substance abuse policies.  Please refer to https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/concerns-explode-over-new-health-risks-vaping for further support.  Also please contact the Office of the ROIC Narcotics Analysis Unit at DMI@gw.njsp.org for further information on the impacts of exposure of vaping substances in a school.    

This Week at East (11/13 – 11/17)

We are looking to conduct our monthly fire drill to assess our ability to react to potential safety issues.  Our RHR mentor group is hosting a Yoga activity on Tuesday to build personal relationships between mentor and mentees.  Our Climate Committee is hosting a moving night on Tuesday for our staff (should be fun).  Our Safety Team will meet to discuss HIB data and information to support our goal to reduce this type of behavior in our building.  We are holding our STEAM talks with guest speakers Wednesday afternoon.  I will be meeting with our students in the lunchroom to conduct our first ‘No One Eats Alone’ activity.  Our junior and senior girls will compete in our annual PowderPuff competition Wednesday evening!  I always look forward to the game and halftime show!  We are holding a Financial Aid Night on Thursday at 7 pm for interested parents on paying for college.  Our Spanish Heritage Club will hold their annual Thanksgiving Dinner in the Media Center (great food!).  We will be holding a meeting to discuss providing extracurricular type activities during lunch to support our No One Eats Alone program on Friday (more to follow).  I will be meeting with our Raiders In Service Club to hear all about our recent trip to the Dominican Republic!  Should be interesting!      

Information

College Information Night is on Thursday, November 16th at 6:00pm in the HSE Student Center. Topics will include: how to choose a college/university, standardized testing, admission options, financial aid options, academic records, and a timeline for college planning.  Financial Aid Night is on Thursday, November 16th at 7:00pm in the HSE Student Center. Topics discussed will be: FAFSA, state aid, scholarships and loan information.  The next senior college workshop is on Tuesday, November 14th. The topic will be: Narrowing choices and application checklists. Sign up in Guidance.  Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 11/21/17. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  

Sponsors

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below links highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

•        District Accepts Honor as “Distinguished Organization of the Year”: http://www.trschools.com/community/chamberawards

•        Statement on Transportation: http://www.trschools.com/community/docs/2017/10/Parent-letter-regarding-buses-10_24_17.pdf

Week in Review (10/23 10/27)

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsrivereast, www.twitter.com/tomsrivereast, and www.instagram.com/tomsrivereast.  Thank you Mr. Mike Nichol for running our accounts and supporting our goal to keep our parents informed!

We held our School Spirit Week in preparation for Halloween on the 31st.  Monday was Sports Jersey Day, Tuesday was Which Witch is Which Day, Wednesday was Pink Out, Thursday was Pajama Day, and Friday was Flannel Day.  Monday and Tuesday of next week will be Costumes and Pumpkins versus Black Cats Day, respectively.  

Our girls group, Girls Talk, met on Monday in support of developing the skills necessary to overcome personal obstacles.  Great job Ms. Carrie Bush for coordinating the semester sessions.  If your daughter is someone who could benefit from a support group, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Bush at cbush@trschools.com.   I interviewed another candidate for the music teacher opening.  I would like to thank Mr. Mark Figueroa, our Band Co-Director, for his love and commitment for his subject matter and our children.  Mr. Figueroa will be moving to Pennsylvania in November and we will miss his enthusiasm in the classroom and with our Band!  

On Tuesday, we held our monthly Attendance Hearings for students who are not in compliance with the district attendance policy.  Thank you Mrs. Kristi Klem-Koskowski and our team for holding these very important meetings to emphasize the importance of positive school attendance to student achievement.  We began our Character Counts In-School Suspension (ISS) support plan to spend a few periods each week meeting with students who are in ISS to stress the importance of positive school behavior on individual achievement.  Mr. Dennis Weidenbush provided discussions and activities in line with our school vision and mission.  We hope to reduce the amount of incidents of ISS behavior in the near future.  Mrs. Ann Millard continued her college workshop series.  Mrs. Millard presented on ‘Narrowing Choices and Application Checklists’. Great job Mrs. Millard!  

I met with our Core Team Wednesday during period 1 to discuss school issues of concern, mainly safety.  We meet monthly to ensure all of our key personnel are informed of relevant information related to school safety.  We held our monthly Safety Drill on Wednesday morning.  We learned areas to work on related to Bomb Threat Evacuation procedures.  I made an announcement to the students and staff about treating the drills as an actual emergency.  You play how you practice, and if we were ever in such an emergency, we need to be at our best.  I met with our Attendance Committee and Community Outreach group, Raiders In-Service, Wednesday afternoon.  Mrs. Liz Rodriguez and Mrs. Lucia Doulong discussed moving our Journeys to School forward following our group of East student’s return from the Dominican Republic (DR) this November.  We will be using real-world information from the DR to share out to our students at East about the challenges students from other countries face simply trying to get to school.  It certainly puts things in to perspective for our students.  More to follow.    

Mr. Kevin McCann hosted our monthly professional development series for interested staff members before school on Thursday.  Mr. McCann spoke to the attendees about time management tips to improve student outcomes.  We followed up the professional development session with our Conference-Conference workshops.  We decided to present the same morning topic to the rest of our staff during each period workshop.  We spoke to staff members about planning, grading, communication, behavior, and organization tips to improve student outcomes.  The workshops were well attended.  We held our district professional development workshops at East after school.  Mr. Mike Nichol provided our staff with support on Gmail and Genesis.  Mr. Nichol did a wonderful job.  I followed up and presented a workshop on Measuring School Success – A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis.  We discussed the variables which define a successful school and introduced our thoughts as to how we are doing.  I shared how the State Department of Education uses a School Report Card to assess school strengths and weaknesses in relation to other New Jersey schools.  I presented on the respective categories and components within each category used for analysis.  I followed up on how various State funded organizations utilize the report card criteria to rank schools.  I shared our school data information on historical rankings and tied the rankings into impacts on community property value.  My goal is to educate our staff on how we are assessed and why it is important to address the variables for success.  Through this process, I would like to identify variables unique to our community which support our expectations as a school community.   Needless to say, the topic sparked considerable discourse.  More to follow as we continue our process.

On Friday, I met with our Character Counts Club members committed to our ‘No One Eats Alone’ project.  The group discussed how we can implement the program without creating further anxiety to our targeted students.  I really enjoyed the ideas to support the program and look forward to implementing our first activity.  Our Band paraded through the hallways Friday afternoon to end another wonderful week at the Home of the Raiders.

Congratulations to our Character Counts and Interact Club members for their participation in Sandy’s Angels this weekend.  We had the highest participation level of any of the other schools and subsequently received a $500 stipend from Ocean’s First Bank.  Great job Mrs. Lisa Petrozzello for all of your hard work getting our school involved.  Great job Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald and Mr. Dennis Weidenbush for your school support!  

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to recognize the efforts of Mrs. Laura Morgan.  Mrs. Morgan is our National Honor Society Advisor and our AP Literature teacher.  We have held many curricular discussions over the past few years about how to work towards our school vision and mission.  Mrs. Morgan shared her student’s work with me on Thursday and discussed how proud she was of their efforts to critically analyze a piece of literature.  I read the many reviews and informed Mrs. Morgan that this is her barometer for school achievement.  If our students can think critically and communicate effectively in writing, we are doing something right.  I congratulated her for her passion and commitment to develop well-educated and highly ethical graduates!  I also recognized the efforts of Mr. Mike Nichol for taking on the responsibility to educate our staff on the computer program Genesis and Gmail at the faculty meeting. I am aware the presentation took a significant amount of personal time to put together, but he did because I asked him.  I would like to thank Mr. Nichol for all he does in our school, as a Spanish teacher, soccer coach, and administrative support of various school programs.  Mr. Nichol also spent several hours helping to dissect our School Report Card Narrative and to complete in the new format.  Great job Mr. Nichol!  Finally, I would like to acknowledge Mrs. Julie Clark for always being such a positive influence on her students and athletes.  Mrs. Clark always comes to school with a smile and willingness to make her class and team a welcoming and safe place.  I appreciate Mrs. Clark’s efforts this year as our Field Hockey Coach.   Mrs. Clark led our girls to a 10-8 record and a Quarterfinalist place in the State Tournament!  Thank you Mrs. Clark for all you do!

Athletically, I would like to congratulate our Field Hockey team for an outstanding season.  We lost in the Quarterfinals of the State Tournament to the #1 seed.  We made significant improvements from the previous year!  Great job girls.  Our girls soccer team beat Southern Regional and Brick Township this week.  We play Monday the 30th versus Brick in the State Tournament at East.  Good luck girls!  Our boys soccer team lost to Point Pleasant Beach and Shore Regional, but beat Brick Township.  Good luck in States boys!  Our football team lost to Marlboro Saturday afternoon.  Our volleyball team lost to Brick Memorial.  

Did you Know?

The 21 best jobs of the future

21. Elementary school teachers, except special education
20. Nurse practitioners
19. Financial managers
18. Electricians
17. Licensed practical and vocational nurses
16. Lawyers
15. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
14. Medical and health services managers
13. Software systems developers
12. Market research analysts and marketing specialists
11. Physical therapists
10. Personal financial advisers
9. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
8. Computer and information systems managers
7. Management analysts
6. Accountants and auditors
5. Physicians and surgeons, all other
4. Computer systems analysts
3. Software applications developers
2. General and operations managers
1. Registered nurses

Check out http://www.businessinsider.com/the-21-best-jobs-of-the-future-2015-12/#2-general-and-operations-managers-20 for more information on the respective jobs (project new positions by 2024, median annual earnings in 2014, what they do, and typical educational requirements).  

Congratulations to Mr. Jamie Dirk for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Dirk was chosen for his relentless pursuit of student achievement.  Mr. Dirk loves his kids and his students love him.  Mr. Dirk teaches Biology and prides himself in making personal connections to his kids.  He is actively involved in various clubs and organizations and volunteers his time to support student interests.  Mr. Dirk is one of those teachers who makes a difference because he cares.  Thank you Mr. Dirk for being a positive reflection of our school community.  

Congratulations to Mrs. Kellyanne Orbin for being acknowledged as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ initiative.  Mrs. Orbin was recognized by our Raiders Helping Raiders group for being an exceptional mentor to her mentees.  Keep up the great work Mrs. Orbin!  I would also like to recognize Ariana Pryor for turning in a cell phone to the Main Office Friday afternoon.  Ariana, you are a model citizen!  Thank you Mrs. Orbin and Ariana for being positive reflections of our school community.  

I would like to recognize Haley Wyckoff, Amere Keith, and Thomas Maher for being recognized as Respectful Raiders this week.  Haley is a big help with her peers and helps in support of daily activities.  Amere found loose dollar bills and turned them in to the Main Office.  Thomas lost electronic equipment and turned them in to the Main Office.  Thank you Haley, Amere, and Thomas for being positive reflections of our school community.  

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

STEAM teachers utilized the Humanities Block Scheduling for the first time this week.  Mr. McCann reported to me he observed outstanding presentations.  The Robotics Field in our Makerspace room (N3A) is set to be installed shortly.  Frosh Academy teachers met with Mr. McCann to discuss cross-curricular project based learning ideas.  Teachers also discussed the outcomes of the Field Day and decided to hold another in the spring.  

Attendance Matters

Importance of Attendance in Work Ethics

Attendance is among the 10 employee work ethics most valued by employers, according to Tennessee Technology Center at Hartsville. Although employers are willing to help employees develop skills, most expect workers to already possess work ethics. Employee work ethics -- such as teamwork, respect, appearance, productivity, attitude and attendance -- are behaviors and attitudes people bring to the workplace. Although education, training and experience are important, employers increasingly look at work ethics as equally important in hiring or retaining employees. Attendance, like all work ethics, affects every aspect of the workplace and the business.

Attendance

Employees who show up for work on time more often than not and give proper notice of absences or tardiness are practicing good attendance. Attendance as a work ethic includes sticking to work schedules, being ready to start work on time, remaining on the job during the workday to complete duties and limited use of leave. Attendance can be quantified and verified, and employers keep employee attendance and leave records. When employers check references, they may ask about attendance. The most qualified job applicant can lose out because of attendance problems. Poor attendance says a candidate is insensitive to co-workers, unaccountable for his responsibilities and uninterested in company success.

Impact on Workplace

The absent or tardy worker affects co-workers and clients. Absenteeism creates more work for others or leaves important work undone. One worker’s absence or habitual lateness in a small business can disrupt production schedules, cause others to reschedule planned leave and reflect badly on the company if customer service suffers. Poor attendance also causes bad feelings among co-workers who follow the rules and practice good work ethics.

Cost to Business

Businesses create staffing plans to meet important operations needs, and each worker fills a critical role. Attendance affects the company’s bottom line, reflected in the costs to hire temporary workers to fill in for absent employees and the cost to replace and retrain fired employees. Poor attendance can result in ineffectiveness, loss of productivity and loss of customers or clients, all of which affect company earnings and profits.

Effect on Other Work Ethics

A worker who fails to understand the effect of poor attendance on his workplace also may lack other work ethics. Work ethics interconnect to create the ebb and flow necessary for a well-functioning workplace. Character requires dependability, reliability, responsibility and discipline. The chronically absent or tardy cannot practice good teamwork, which requires coordination to achieve common goals. Poor attendance appears to others as a lack of cooperation and respect.

(http://work.chron.com/importance-attendance-work-ethics-5082.html)

Character Counts

As part of our Character Counts initiative, I am attempting to establish the importance of positive behavior to individual success through teaching our students the values inherent in our pillars.  I am also looking to demonstrate to our students how the respective behavior correlates to success beyond our walls at High School East.  

Character in Business – How to Achieve It

Character in Business – How to Achieve It
By Elizabeth L Hamilton

Character in business draws great attention in its absence, but how important is its presence? We who are decision makers have little time to consider moral values in the fast-paced world of commerce. Forced to act quickly, we may pass over the moral implications of an action we are about to take. Gradually, we may give high moral values diminishing amounts of attention. Then someone shines light on an unethical practice, and we realize that it is vital to achieve a high level of character in business.

Build Proper Foundations

Character in business is critical from the very inauguration of a company. As an organization’s founders, we must value high morals and inject them strategically into the groundwork. We must ensure that company bylaws, mission statements, and goals all are ethically strong. We must lay strong moral foundations throughout if we hope to have character in business. We cannot expect to erect an ethical company on unethical or ethically flawed foundations.

Build a Strong Infrastructure

Professor Dennis Moberg, nationally respected scholar of management ethics, and holder of the Gerald and Bonita Wilkinson Chair of Management and Ethics at Santa Clara University, knows a lot about character in business. It is his main field of research.

Professor Moberg says that ethics must become instinctive for an organization’s leadership. He believes the exercise of high moral values must begin with leadership to achieve critical character in business.

Suppose we agree with Moberg. Suppose you and all other leaders in your organization begin by building personal moral values. What can you as a leader do after that to achieve character in business?

Hire Ethical Attitudes

If you as a leader are determined to achieve character in business, you will labor at the outset to hire the best possible employees for your company. Whether you are hiring custodians or accountants, you will look for the best. You will carefully interview potential candidates for indications of impressive skills and experience, of course, but you will not hire solely on the basis of abilities.

You will look at attitudes as well. What is so important about attitudes? Several studies done at Harvard and Stanford Universities found that attitude is far more important to success than an individual’s education, experience, intelligence, or special talents!

Their research showed:

· As much as 85% of success was due to attitudes

· As little as 15% of success was due to abilities

Did they mean positive attitudes? Is that what you must find to ensure the success of potential employees and, in turn, the success of your company – positive attitudes?

Hardly. The exercise of a positive attitude by every employee is not a guarantee that you will achieve character in business. We read often about people whose positive attitudes cause them to bankrupt a company through fraud. They were positive they could succeed, but their goals were white-collar crime.

Character in business demands positive attitudes produced by ethical attitudes.

Ethical attitudes are positive because they feed on such high moral values as diligence, determination, confidence, perseverance, responsibility, resourcefulness, trustworthiness, efficiency, and respect. Ethical attitudes refuse negativity with moral values such as joy, love, peace, compassion, and friendliness.

As you wrestle with the tactical need to attract and keep the most effective workers, you will want to look for applicants with ethical attitudes. You will reckon with the fact that skills matter far less than character in business.

Require Character in Business Connections

Character in business demands integrity and trustworthiness in every relationship. You must require character in business connections:

Within your company. Leadership and employees must learn to understand and exercise appreciation for one another. You will want everyone to exercise kindness, cooperation, consideration, sincerity, self-control and more in their interactions with one another. Backstabbing must be taboo. There must be no gossiping at the water cooler. You will want to strive, instead, for a close-knit, caring atmosphere. High moral values smooth relationships and increase productivity.

With vendors. Vendors, or suppliers, provide goods or services to your company. You must be sure everyone in your company treats them with integrity and honesty. You must show them respect, flexibility, and tolerance. There must be no cheating on orders or payments. Fighting with vendors is not a luxury you can afford. You will maintain good relationships with them if you exercise forgiveness when errors are made and commitment to your contracts with them.

With customers. These people are the lifeblood of your company. Contrary to the timeworn saying, the customer is not always right, but the success of your organization rests squarely on the relationships you have with customers. If they stop wanting to buy your products or services, you will have to close your doors. You will want to be sure your employees take that to heart, and show great respect for customers. Every member of your team must exercise toward every customer traits such as attentiveness, dependableness, gentleness, truthfulness, patience, trustworthiness, and tactfulness.

Conclusion

Character in business is not automatic. You must work at it. The benefits, however, are well worth the time and effort you invest.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Elizabeth_L_Hamilton/525098

http://EzineArticles.com/?Character-in-Business—How-to-Achieve-It&id=3611904

Because at High School East Character counts in any language, Mrs. Rodríguez’s Spanish 3 classes created index cards with anti-bulling/respect messages using their most recently acquired language skills: commands.  The task consisted of:

-choosing a verb not learned in class
-verifying if the verb is regular or irregular when it’s conjugated
-creating one index card with a positive command
-creating another index card with a negative command
-applying the grammar rules for positive and negative commands formation.  

Some of the most commons messages are:

Positive commands        Negative commands
Difunde amor. (Spread love)        No seas groceso. (Don’t be rude.)
Deten la intimidación. (Stop the intimidation.)        No envies malos mensajes. (Don’t send bad messages.)
Ayuda a otras personas. (Help other people.)        No digas cosas ofensivas. (Don’t say offensive stuff.)
Sé amable. (Be kind)        No seas hiriente. (Don’t be hurtfull.)
Sé respetuoso. (Be respectfull)        No te rindas. (Don’t give up.)
Respeta las decisiones de otros. (Respect other people decisions.)        No tengas mala actitud. (Don’t get a bad attitude.)
Ama a todo el mundo. (Love everybody.)        No molestes a otros. (Don’t bully others.)
Deten el odio. (Stop hate).        No digas el secreto de alguien más. (Don’t say other people secrets.)

Great job Mrs. Rodriguez!

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Find the right learning style for you

If you’re academically underperforming, another possible reason could be that you haven’t found the right learning style for you. We’re all different, and each of us has our own way of studying that yields the best results. Perhaps you just haven’t found your most effective studying style yet. If you’ve been trying to work on your own, for example, you might find it easier to work with a friend or two, so that you have someone else there to motivate you. To help work out the best learning style for you, have a read of our article on how to find the learning style that suits you best.

The adjacent link will support this week’s tip.  Check it out at:  https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/revision-study-style.html

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

I wanted to thank our parents who follow the appropriate morning and afternoon traffic pattern process.  We expect our students to demonstrate the ideals inherent in our character pillars while they are on school property, and we hold the same expectations for our parents and visitors.  Please do not enter along the Dunedin entrance as that entrance is for our busses and staff ONLY.  Please drive all the way down to the flagpole in the front of the building to drop your child off in the morning.  Please drive slowly and safely, there is nothing more important than school safety!  

Parents, please do not send your child to school with electronic cigarettes.  The cigarettes are illegal and will be handled in accordance with our school tobacco and possibly substance abuse policies.  Please refer to https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/concerns-explode-over-new-health-risks-vaping for further support.  Also please contact the Office of the ROIC Narcotics Analysis Unit at DMI@gw.njsp.org for further information on the impacts of exposure of vaping substances in a school.    

This Week at East (10/30 – 11/3)

I thoroughly enjoy this week at school.  I love seeing the kids dressed in costume and the excitement of Halloween.  We are hosting our Safe Trick or Treat Night at HSE between 4 and 6 pm.  All are welcome.  Our Band and Cheerleaders will march in the Halloween parade Tuesday evening.  I am looking forward to seeing our Character Counts Club march behind the Band to proudly display our National School of Character recognition last spring.  We are holding our monthly Faculty Meeting after school on Wednesday and will host various clubs and organizational meetings this week.  I will speak to the kids about our No One East Alone initiative, which I hope to begin this week.  Our Band will parade through the hallways to thank Mr. Figueroa, one last time, for his commitment to excellence.  

Information

College Information Night is on Thursday, November 16th at 6:00pm in the HSE Student Center. Topics will include: how to choose a college/university, standardized testing, admission options, financial aid options, academic records, and a timeline for college planning.  Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 11/21/17. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.  Financial Aid Night is on Thursday, November 16th at 7:00pm in the HSE Student Center. Topics discussed will be: FAFSA, state aid, scholarships and loan information.  OCC is offering a SAT prep class. Call 732-255-2077 for more information.  The registration deadline for the December 2nd SAT is 11/2/17.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The registration deadline for the December 9th ACT is 11/3/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

There will be a Gift Auction for former High School East student, Anthony Somma, on November 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm at the East Dover First Aid on Garfield Avenue.  All proceeds will benefit the Somma family to cover medical costs for Anthony.  Please email asomma87@gmail.com with any questions.  

I wanted our parents to know that I received a wonderful letter from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) this week indicating how well our alumni are doing at their institution.  Our students boast a GPA average of 3.33, one of the highest marks of any of their cohorts.  Grate job teachers!  

PTO

If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  

Sponsors

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below links highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

•        K-5 Professional Development Day Dedicated to Social Emotional Learning: http://www.trschools.com/community/socialemotionalPD

•        Career Academies Launched in District’s Three High Schools: http://www.trschools.com/community/careeracademies

•        High School North invites district parents, guardians, families, and community members to take part in an Oct. 19 book discussion of Station Eleven: http://www.trschools.com/community/docs/2017/10/2big-read-book-discussion.pdf

•        This week’s Big Read events include a Doomsday presentation at Ocean County Library Oct. 18; a public book discussion of Station Eleven at HSN Oct. 19; and a trivia night at Bahama Breeze restaurant Oct. 20. All information can be found at: http://www.trschools.com/community/bigread

Week in Review (10/9 – 10/13)

Another fabulous week at the Home of the Raiders!  We held our District Professional Day on Monday.  Supervisors across the district provided professional development topics in support our school vision and mission.  Our staff felt the day to be productive and I am looking forward to hearing how the topics are infused into our everyday practice.  

Mrs. Ann Millard held Senior College Workshops all day in the Lecture Hall.  Mrs. Millard spoke to the students about letters of recommendation and the importance of an activity resume in the college application process.  Mrs. Millard also discussed the scholarship application process.  Our next workshop will be held on the 24th on differentiating between New Jersey colleges and universities.  Great job Mrs. Millard!  We held our Curriculum Committee meeting after school in the Main Office Conference Room.  We discussed breaking down a lesson and providing support to our staff on more effective ‘Do Now’ activities.  Each committee member was tasked with conducting research on an innovative idea which we can share out to the staff on fostering student engagement as soon as our children enter the classroom.  I will share out how we are doing as the year progresses!  

We held our PSAT testing on Wednesday to great effect!  I sincerely thanked all of our students and staff for their positive mindset and behavior during the testing process.  We tested all of our 9th, 10th, and select 11th grade students and our attendance rate was wonderful.  Our non-testing juniors and seniors were provided with a college workshop from Mrs. Melissa Rapolla of Berkeley College and a presentation on the importance of safe driving practices by Mr. Mike Nemeth.  Our College and Career Connection Committee convened after school and discussed ways we can better inform our parents of the college application process.  We developed a Google Classroom document and will be providing the respective information to our students and parents as a resource.  I am excited for this project as we look to better support our parents with postsecondary educational tips.  Once we have a more detailed model, I will share out with our parents.  Special thanks to Mrs. Kim Truhan for her extraordinary efforts to continue to provide our students with college and career information.    

We partnered with the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) and hosted our Big Read on Thursday in the Media Center.  OCHD hosted "stations" to educate students about health, pandemics, preparedness, and more, all through the lens of Station Eleven and Superstorm Sandy.  Students learned about the measures in place support how our community would address a pandemic.  Students learned how we would address various disease/virus and/or radioactive issues, the role of government organizations in the support of monitoring and controlling the spread of the contamination, and infectious control and vaccination methods.  I enjoyed learning about the topic!  Our ScIP Committee convened to discuss our goal to implement staff professional development, support for our new teachers and the Danielson teacher observation model.

We held our Freshman Field Day on Friday (See below).

I would like to congratulate Dan Doherty, Dominic McKeon, Jake Campbell, Jared Heckel, and Thomas Maher for being recognized as Respectful Raiders this week.  All five of our students demonstrated and act of kindness towards a peer and we appreciate their attitude!  Thank you Dan, Dominic, Jake, Jared, and Thomas for being positive reflections of our school community!    

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I interviewed Mrs. Gina Taaffe and Mr. Jamie Dirk this week and stopped in to observe Mr. Mike Alfieri.  Mrs. Taaffe teaches American History.  She values her passion for her subject matter and zest for life as components to her success as an educator.  Mrs. Taaffe makes it her goal to improve the individual learner, not only in regards to academics, but also the mindset for success.  Mrs. Taaffe enjoys adding in Mindfulness training to improve the classroom culture for achievement.  Students are receptive to her approach and enjoy knowing a teacher looks to development all aspects of our student learners.  Mrs. Taaffe also takes great pride in her personal professional development, always looking for innovative ways to make better connections to her students.  Mrs. Taaffe is a supporter of our Character Counts initiative and provides monthly lessons to her students on the relationship of positive school behavior to academic achievement.  Ultimately, Mrs. Taaffe is looking to develop the knowledge and skills in her students to become creative and informed decision makers.  Thank you Mrs. Taaffe.  Mr. Jamie Dirk teaches Biology to our 10th grade students.  Mr. Dirk is very active in school activities and our girls cross country and track and field coach.  His goal is to create an educational environment where students look forward to coming to class.  Mr. Dirk is a licensed chiropractor and enjoys bringing in real-world experiences to the classroom setting.  He feels the personal connections foster student achievement and spark career awareness in the Life Sciences.  Mr. Dirk is always looking for ways to improve his instruction and actively participates in various professional development activities that demonstrate relevance.  Mr. Dirk appreciates his commitment to make personal connections to his students.  He relates well to the kids and even considers himself a kid at heart!  Mr. Dirk is a former graduate of High School East and feels the school to be a part of what he stands for as an educator.  He takes tremendous pride in the success of the school and is always looking to grow!  Keep up the great work Mr. Dirk.  I was able to observe Mr. Mike Alfieri teach a pretty creative lesson on demonstrating personal thinking processes to the transfer of electrons between atoms.  The topic was interesting as Mr. Alfieri talked about a relaxation technique and how his mind created images of various topics.  He related the process to the transfer of the electrons (way too sophisticated!).  Great job Mr. Alfieri!

I wanted to congratulate our boys soccer team for making the Shore Conference Tournament this season.  We beat Southern Regional on Thursday in overtime to make the cutoff!  Good luck next week Coach Konopka.  Our field hockey team beat Jackson Memorial, High School South, and Barnegat to wrap up a tremendous week!  Keep up the great work girls, we are proud of you!  Congratulations to the tennis team for our victory versus Brick.  Our gymnastics team beat Central Regional on Friday!  Way to go!  Our volleyball team struggled this week, but that is ok!  They work hard and are great kids!  Keep your head up!  The football team lost Friday evening, but things still look good.  I am hoping for the kids we reach the postseason!  Good luck!

I wanted to congratulate Mr. Mike Nichol for running a successful Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser at his APACHE CrossFit gym Saturday morning!  Mr. Nichol ran a team competition workout to raise funds for impacted women.  I was partnered with Jillian Conklin (we crushed everyone…because of Jillian).  Mr. Dennis Weidenbush partnered with Joey Gamboa and Ms. Candice Schultz partnered with Brandon Lombardo.  Mrs. Christie Maguire and Mrs. Jenn Muscillo partnered to round off our East combatants!  Great job everyone!    

Did you Know?

•        70% of parents see the development of technology skills as critical to their child’s future success
•        98.5% of high school students report using the internet in school, with 46% using it daily
•        96.5% of high school students are required to use the internet to complete homework assignments
•        87% of districts allow students to bring personal devices (such as smartphones and tablets) to school
•        Mobile learning is the top priority of school IT leaders
•        Budget issues are the number one challenge school IT Leaders face in “planning and implementing technology enabled learning environments”
•        30.3 million school lunches are served each day, including 20.1 million free and 2 million reduced price
•        14.57 million school breakfasts are served each day, including 11.53 million free and 0.86 million reduced price
•        45.2% of school districts use Medicaid to expand health related services for students (such as immunizations, asthma and diabetes treatment and vision/hearing screenings)
•        School nurses serve an average of 924-1,072 students and 3 school buildings

(https://learningfirst.org/sites/learningfirst/files/LFABacktoSchoolFactSheet2017.pdf)

Congratulations to Ms. Alison Mika for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  I chose Ms. Mika because she is an educator committed to student and personal excellence.  Ms. Mika is a Freshmen Academy and STEAM teacher.  She has taken responsibility of piloting our LATIC and Big Read programs.  The level of additional work has been tremendous, but Ms. Mika was willing to take the responsibility as she is fully committed to preparing our students for their future endeavors.  Thank you Ms. Mika for demonstrating the Raider Spirit!


Freshmen Academy

Mr. Kevin McCann held Freshman Academy teacher conferences this week to discuss cross-curricular project based PLCs (professional learning communities).  We held our monthly Freshman Academy Awards on Wednesday.  The following were the respective winners:

Silver Team
Most Improved:        TBD        
Most Spirited:        Shayla Rotunno
Character Counts Student of Month:             Mikayla Youngman & Gianna Spade
Best All Around:        Payton Moroney  

Black Team
Most Improved:        TBD        
Most Spirited:        Sarah Pasqualetto
Character Counts Student of Month:             Nick Evgeniou
Best All Around:        Joy Dionio  


Blue Team
Most Improved:        Ashley Zitt        
Most Spirited:        Jessica Scarpa
Character Counts Student of Month:             Ryan Carlevale
Best All Around:        Raisa Thunig  

We held our Freshman Field Day Friday afternoon.  The kids were so excited all day for the competitions.  I observed their faces throughout the events and they genuinely appeared to be having fun!  I was happy to watch their excitement and thanked the teachers, particularly Mrs. Michelle Schindler, for all their hard work preparing for this event!  Congratulations to the Silver Team for winning the overall competition.  Congratulations to the Blue Team for winning the Spirit Award and the Black Team for having the most students dressed in their team colors!  

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Kasey Boag, Paul Deluca and Giana Nucci for being recognized as our Perfect Attendance Winners for September.  Each student received a WaWa Gift Card.  Congratulations to Mrs. Kristen Mason for being the Homeroom with the highest percentage of student attendance for September.  Mrs. Mason’s students will receive a bagel and donut breakfast this week!  Congratulations to Samantha Alexander, Louis Gallo, and Rachel Trentacosti for being recognized as students with ‘zero’ lates to school this month.  Each student received one of our Attendance Matters – Your Education Matters t-shirts!  Great job kids!

Our September data yielded positive numbers, yet again.  I am pleased to observe the strides we are making to ensure that our students appreciate the importance of positive school attendance.  We averaged 95.6% attendance rate for the month, with 856 of our students demonstrating perfect attendance.  We averaged 63 absences per day, with Mondays being our most problematic day of the week.  We averaged approximately 33 lates to school per day, with Friday being our most problematic day of the week.  Looking at our various classes, our junior population averaged the highest number of absences per day compared to the other classes while our seniors posted the highest number of lates per day (they drive).  We are working on the addressing problematic days with fun activities and announcements throughout the day every Monday and Friday to entice greater school participation.  We will be looking into meeting with our senior class and possibly revoking parking privileges for problematic students.  School attendance is compulsory, we expect our students to come to school and to be on time.  Of note, we are still observing improvements in our number of ‘rush hour’ lates each year.  Thank you parents for supporting our commitment to best prepare your children for their college and career endeavors!  

Character Counts

Congratulations to Fabriole Andre and Zachary Wilson for being names our September Character Counts Students of the Month!  Fabriole was selected for going out of her way to support a new student at East in need of a friend.  Fabriole went out of her way to sit with the new student and to make personal connections.  The student was made to feel significant and a part of the East family.  Great job Fabriole.  Zachary was selected for his commitment to civic service.  Zach was promoted to Eagle Scout over the summer and was heavily involved in designing, planning, and constructing a Bocce court at the Toms River Elks.  His teachers view him as a kind and considerate student!  Thank you Fabriole and Zachary for being such positive reflections of our school community!

Our September behavior data reflected mild improvements in our number of incidents of insubordinate and disruptive behavior.  However, we did observe a spike in the number of incidents of students cutting classes.  Unexcused absences from school or from class deprive students of the educational and classroom experiences deemed essential to learning and may result in retention at grade level or loss of credit or removal from a course that would count toward the high school diploma in accordance with policies of the Board.  Please reinforce the importance of positive school behavior to student achievement!  The following is a breakdown of the discipline types and respective monthly percentages:  Cell phones (0.5%), cuts (24.7%), cutting detention (4%), disruptive behavior (7%), insubordination (7%), lates to school (44.9%), late to class (1.5%), truancy (1%), vandalism (1%), fight (1%), school policy (3%), and assault (0.5%).  Of note, we have observed a decrease in the number of insubordination and disruptive behavior referrals in comparison to September 2016.  We have also observed a significant decrease in the overall number of incidents of HIB reporting in comparison to September 2016.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Improve your note-taking skills

One of the reasons you may have identified for underperforming is that you’re not taking good enough notes. Hurriedly scrawled notes from class can be difficult to make sense of when you come to revise from them, or even to write an essay based on them. It’s all too easy to misunderstand your own notes and fail to get a strong enough grasp of the topic. It’s imperative, therefore, that you produce good notes from each of your classes and from the books you use – notes that you can read, that are useful, and that are logically organized. If you make notes by hand – in class, for example – try to type them up at the end of the day, while they’re still fresh in your mind.

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

We do not have a significant amount of issues to address, as most students are adhering to school policies.  Please reinforce with your child the importance of maintaining this behavior throughout the year.  Do not forget to review and sign the Student Policy Checklist Form.

This Week at East (10/16 – 10/20)

We are holding our Behavior, Attendance and Climate Committee meetings this week.  Mr. McCann will be meeting with our STEAM Academy teachers to review block scheduling and LATIC lessons.  Mr. Joe Soporowski will be meeting with our History teachers on how to infuse science into the curriculum.  Our monthly professional development topic will be presented to the staff on Friday morning.  We will also be interviewing candidates to replace our Physics and Music teacher openings.  

Information

The guidance counselors have started meeting with seniors to provide them with college information and an unofficial copy of his/her transcript. Seniors are also being asked to complete a senior questionnaire. The responses gathered will be used to present workshops to help guide students through their educational and career planning.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.  The next senior college workshop is on Tuesday, October 24th. The topic will be: Differentiating among the NJ colleges and universities. Sign up in Guidance.  NJ Natural Gas is sponsoring a free College Admissions- Secrets and Strategies Workshop at Brookdale Community College on October 18th at 6:30pm.  Please call 732-938-1035 for more information and registration.   Ocean County College is hosting a Fall Open House on Thursday, October 19th from 6pm-8pm.  Call 732-255-0400 to register.  Ms. Cavanaugh from the Ocean County Arts Program is coming to HSE on Thursday, October 26th to give a presentation to students during their lunch period.  The Job Opportunity board has been updated.  Check out what stores are hiring.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

PTO

The High School East PTO is having a fundraiser on Thursday, October 19th at Margarita's restaurant on Rte 37.  Proceeds will go towards scholarships for the students and activities for the students and staff.  The fundraiser is taking place all day for Eat in or Take out.  Please bring a flyer with you!  You can pick it up in the Main Office or download it from the PTO Facebook page.  The PTO thanks you for your support!

Sponsors

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal


I would like to give a great big ‘THANK YOU’ to Mrs. Jenn Groff for her love of HSE!  I think by this time many of you observed the beautiful fall arrangement as you entered school property.  Mrs. Groff and her wonderful team spent Saturday morning beautifying the area and I could not be more proud of her and her team!  I would like to thank CBJ Farms and Mr. Joseph Garcia for donating the plants, materials, and time for this project!  We will post pictures on our website to show everyone the beautiful work!  Thank you again Mrs. Groff!

Who says lightning can’t strike twice?  Way to go football team!  I am so very proud of the kids and the coaches who are continuing their fight for success.  I especially appreciate the way they are doing it, with character.  I received an email from a teacher at South after our loss a few weeks ago.  The teacher commented that even in defeat, our boys demonstrated good character.  He held the door open for the kids as they entered the locker room following the game and the entire team responded with ‘thank you sir’.  He was impressed.  I am impressed with our entire program (coaches, athletes, cheerleaders, Band and of course, Raider Nation).  I would also like to give a great big ‘shout out’ to our parents who support our program, I see your passion for our school and love for our children.  Thank you for helping move the Band equipment, running fundraisers for the kids, showing up to events to support the team, and all of the positive energy you bring.  I can sense the growth we are making to become our best!  We play North next Friday and I expect to see everyone out supporting the Raiders!

Week in Review (9/25 – 9/29)

We held our Freshman Lunchtime Academy Workshops this week to make personal connections between peers.  The workshops were run by our Peer Leaders.  Thank you Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau for your help!  We held our Community Outreach Committee meeting after school to review yearly goals and to identify businesses to spotlight for supporting East activities.  I attended the Thespian National Honor Society Induction Ceremony Monday evening in the Media Center.  I would like to congratulate all of our inductees (Joseph Bryant, Brandon Byrnes, Zack Gamble, Raymond Kleinschmidt, Kara McGuiness, John Morris, Abigail Perez, Kelly Pesciotta, Joseph Slevin, Mallory Tonra, Victoria Wiley, and Julia Zulin)  and current members for demonstrating EXCELLENCE in the Arts!  Great job Mrs. Melissa Reimertz for supporting student interests in such productive ways.  Look for our very first Fall Play in a few weeks (A little bird told me that it will be Charlie Brown Christmas).

Our PTO met for the first meeting of the year Tuesday evening at East.  Thank you to the parents who attended in support of HSE.  I have added a section for the PTO later in the Newsletter for specific meeting details.  

Our Anti-bullying and Affirmative Action teams participated in district discussions on Wednesday to refine school procedures and to discuss the Week of Respect and Anti-Bullying campaigns.  Mr. Vern Rutter, Ms. Carol Ann Salvaggione and Mr. Robert D’Ippolito attended from HSE.  Mr. Ted Gillen attended the District Hall of Fame meeting after school at the Main Office.  The committee is looking to nominate candidates for the next induction ceremony.  We tested our Shelter-In-Place emergency safety drill procedures without incident Wednesday afternoon.  Great job everyone!  

Mr. Kevin McCann ran our monthly staff professional development on The 5 Priorities of Classroom Management Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m.  One of our school goals is to increase student achievement through improved classroom management/instruction.  Mr. McCann discussed 5 strategies to entice and motivate student learning, which include; developing effective working relationships with students, training students how learning takes place in your classroom, protecting and leveraging time, anticipating student behaviors in well-written lesson plans, and establishing standards of behavior that promotes student learning.  The workshop was well attended and I look forward to observing our growth!  Mr. Mike Nemeth organized a Safe Driving Seminar for our 9th grade students on ‘texting while driving’ and the ‘Move Over Law’.  Mrs. Donna Setera was the guest speaker.  Mrs. Setera lost her son to a traffic accident in 2010 and has since been educating new drivers on the impacts of texting while driving and moving over to another lane when they see a police officer administering support to another vehicle on the side of the road.  The presentation was moving and effective!  I attended Attendance Committee’s/World Language National Honor Society’s workshop in the Media Center on appreciating the importance of positive school attendance (Journeys to School – A Different Perspective).  Student speakers (wearing our new ‘You’re Education Matters – Attendance Matters’ t-shirts) presented on the various challenges children in other countries face just to attend school for the day.  I must admit, I was moved by the commitment and appreciation for the importance of education these children had as they knew this was the only way for them to carve a life out of poverty.  I feel our culture has created an apathy for the importance for education, evident by poor school attendance and lack of effort towards academic endeavors.  We often take for granted what we have in this country and the opportunities to become whatever it is we want to become.  It all happens through education!  Observing children climb ladders up mountains, cross damaged bridges over ravines, zip line across canyons and walk through dangerous terrains for hours to get to school helps to put things in perspective for all of us.  I hope to share this presentation with a wider audience.  I think the kids will have a better appreciation for the importance of a quality education and will minimize the limiting factors contributing to poor attendance after having observed this presentation.  Thank you to Jake Ryan, Ray Kleinschmidt, Drew Diehl, Cady Diehl, Abby Perez, Erica Fischer, and Angelica Vittone for preparing the presentations and review games!  Special thanks to Mrs. Lucia Doulong for this creative idea and time spent coordinating the seminar!  Absolutely wonderful!

We conducted our monthly Conference-Conference sessions for interested staff all day Friday.  Staff were able to select one of three topics to discuss (measuring school success and evaluating HSE growth, HSE school culture and the Disney Way, and classroom management techniques).  The conversations were held each period throughout the day and were run by our administrative team.  I attended a Principal Meeting for the larger portion of the afternoon to discuss district issues and moving forward.  Friday was High Five Friday and another school spirited day!  Love ending the week with these activities!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I interviewed Mr. Dennis Weidenbush and Mrs. Jenn Muscillo to gather information on their personal goals and value they bring to East.  Mr. Weidenbush informed me that he strives to be remembered as an educator who was loved by his students because he models the types of behavior he expects from his students.  Mr. Weidenbush is our Character Counts Club Advisor and has retained more than 170 students committed to making East a school of character.  Mr. Weidenbush values his commitment to teaching topics in World Affairs while providing life lessons to his kids.  Mr. Weidenbush wants his kids to be accountable and to take responsibility for their outcomes.  He is passionate about ensuring our school produces not only smart students, but good ones too.  I appreciate all he does for me and our school, thank you!  Mrs. Jenn Muscillo teaches Spanish 1 to our 9th grade students.  Mrs. Muscillo would like to be remembered as an educator who gave her all through her final year in education.  She values her ability to establish personal relationships with her students and her commitment to increase the rigor within her courses.  Mrs. Muscillo believes students need to become critical thinkers and is structuring her lessons to promote the life skill.  Mrs. Muscillo is looking to further her professional growth through workshops aimed at motivating the unmotivated learner!  I value staff like Mrs. Muscillo because she seeks to improve her trade in support of student achievement; and she does it with love for the kids.  Thank you Mrs. Muscillo for all you do!


Congratulations to Carlee Lang for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Carlee found the personal belongings of another peer and turned them into the Main Office.  Thank you Carlee for being a positive reflection of our school community!

Athletically, our football team earned another impressive victory versus Manchester High School Friday evening.  The boys played a tremendous game and were supported by our marvelous Band and cheerleaders.  Our girls soccer team lost a tough one to High School North on Friday, but beat Brick and Central this week.  The boys soccer beat Brick, Central, and North to cap off a tremendous week.  Great job Coach Konopka.  Our volleyball, field hockey and tennis teams suffered a few losses this week, but I know the kids are working hard!  Stay positive!  The volleyball team did beat Central on Thursday, way to go!  Congratulations to our gymnastics team for their victory over Colts Neck!          

Did you Know?

•        50.3 million students are enrolled in 91,430 traditional public schools and 6,450 public charter schools
•        3.13 million teachers work in public schools
•        9.4% of public school students are English language learners
•        13% of public school students ages 3–21 receive special education services
•        Per pupil spending is $11,222
•        83% of students graduated high school—the highest graduation rate in the nation’s history
•        69% of recent high school graduates enrolled in 2-year or 4-year college
•        Over 2.6 million students took over 4.7 million AP exams in 2016
•        Public high school graduates earn an average of 3.6 career/technical education credits

(https://learningfirst.org/sites/learningfirst/files/LFABacktoSchoolFactSheet2017.pdf)

Congratulations to Mr. Kyle Sandberg for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  I chose Mr. Sandberg because of his passion to make East a better place – through his instruction and coaching.  Mr. Sandberg loves his students and prides himself on making personal connections to our students.  He helped run the Pep Rally last week, is constantly seeking to connect the football team to the community, and is promoting positive school behavior with his students.  Thank you Mr. Sandberg for being a model educator!




Freshmen Academy

Freshman Academy students participated in a Question Web exercise to promote personal connections between team members.  One of our goals this year is to develop positive student-student relationships.  The activity was run by our Peer Leaders under the guidance of advisors Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau.  The students held a spool of string and answered a question related to the activity before throwing it to another student in the group.  The string eventually created a web, and the Peer Leaders connected the individual responses to the group, stressing the strength of the web being stronger with greater diversity and uniqueness.   Great activity!

Attendance Matters

I will provide September attendance data in next week’s newsletter.

• Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.
• Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
• By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
• By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
• Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
• Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
• Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.
Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter for what you can do if any of the above are issues for your child.

(http://www.attendanceworks.org/about/what-can-i-do/parents/)

Character Counts

I will provide behavior data in next week’s newsletter.  

Vanguard is one of the largest investment firms in the world.  They maintain their success based on competence, competitive drive, and strong moral qualities.  Check out the article below on why character counts in an organization.  

Why character counts

'Do the right thing'

In fulfilling our mission to take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success, we know that words alone won't cut it. Our clients rely on us to ensure our interests are aligned with theirs. That's why every Vanguard crew member knows that we emphasize three core values: integrity, focus, and stewardship.

Here's how we translate these values into action:

Integrity

We were founded on the revolutionary idea that our investment management company should not have outside owners—and we hold true to that principle. Vanguard is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders. Vanguard's ownership structure means we have no conflicting loyalties. It's in everyone's interests—our clients' and thus ours—to uphold the highest ethical standards every day. When making decisions, we are guided by a simple statement: "Do the right thing."
Focus

It's in our clients' best interests to keep a long-term perspective in every business decision we make. This approach means, for example, forsaking short-term gains if they sacrifice our fund investors' long-term interests—even if that means temporarily closing top-performing funds to better manage the volume of cash flowing in. That long-term perspective is embodied in Vanguard's investment philosophy, which guides how we manage our clients' assets. Our philosophy emphasizes the time-tested principles of asset allocation, diversification, and low costs.

Stewardship

When our clients choose to invest their money with us, they are entrusting us with a huge responsibility—and it's one we take to heart. We consider ourselves caretakers of our clients' investments in the widest sense. This commitment explains why we endeavor to keep costs low, prudently manage risk, and always work at making it easier for others to do business with us.

We also strive to ensure that companies in which our funds invest are subject to the highest standards of corporate governance. Our advocacy on this front is driven by our policies and guidelines that reflect our long-standing views on best practices. These standards guide our engagement with corporate directors and management and our funds' proxy voting.

(https://about.vanguard.com/what-sets-vanguard-apart/why-character-counts/)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  This week’s tip is short, but effective.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Talk to your teachers

Your teachers know you best, so it’s worth talking to them when you’re drawing up a plan of action for improving your grades. Ask them where they think you need to improve, and they’ll probably have some advice on how you can go about it. Coupled with the advice in the rest of this article, this should allow you to tailor an action plan to your personal situation.

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

We do not have a significant amount of issues to address, as most students are adhering to school policies.  Please reinforce with your child the importance of maintaining this behavior throughout the year.  Do not forget to review and sign the Student Policy Checklist Form.

This Week at East (10/2 – 10/6)

This is our Spirit Week and Week of Respect!  I will be reporting back on the many activities in support of the above!  We play HSN in our Homecoming game Friday evening at East.  Our dance will be held Saturday evening in the gymnasium.  

Information

The OCPGA College Fair is on Thursday, October 5th @ 6:00pm at the Hackensack Meridian Health Arena (located at HS North).  The guidance counselors have started meeting with seniors to provide them with college information and an unofficial copy of his/her transcript. Seniors are also being asked to complete a senior questionnaire. The responses gathered will be used to present workshops to help guide students through their educational and career planning.  The next senior college workshop is on Tuesday, October 10th. The topic will be: Activity resumes and letters of recommendation. Sign up in Guidance.  The SAT is on November 4, 2017.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The ACT is on October 28, 2017.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  The PSAT is on Wednesday, October 11th.  We encourage all 9th and 10th graders to take it.  Any course dropped after Friday, October 13th will result in a withdrawal grade on the student's transcript.  NJ Natural Gas is sponsoring a free College Admissions- Secrets and Strategies Workshop at Brookdale Community College on October 18th at 6:30pm.  Please call 732-938-1035 for more information and registration.  Ocean County College is hosting a Fall Open House on Thursday, October 19th from 6pm-8pm.  Call 732-255-0400 to register.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

7 reasons to take the PSAT:

1)  It's great practice for the SAT. Students can get familiar with the test structure, directions, and content.
2)   Boost confidence (especially for students with test anxiety).
3)  Connect to colleges. The Student Search Service allows colleges to identify students based on intended major and GPA. Students can receive brochures and other college information.
4)  The PSAT measures skills and knowledge and provides information about the student’s progress towards college readiness.
5)  Juniors who take the test may be selected to partake in scholarship and/or recognition programs if they meet the qualifying score.
6)  Discover your AP Potential. PSAT scores are used to identify students who have the potential to do well on AP exams.
7)   It’s free for TRRS students!

Below are links to our district website which highlight the wonderful growth of our district.

·        The link to Our Story, a comprehensive recap of district accomplishments over the past several years as well as current and future initiatives: http://www.trschools.com/docs/2017/09/2Our-Story.pdf

·        The district has been named 2017 Distinguished Organization of the Year by the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce: http://www.trschools.com/community/distinguishedorg

·        Toms River’s first NEA Big Read kicks off Oct. 2 and lasts throughout the entire month. For all information including a timeline of events, visit the Big Read Website: http://www.trschools.com/community/bigread

·        Toms River Regional Schools is on Instagram! Follow us @ tomsriverregionalschools. (And, if you haven’t already, ‘like’ and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Toms-River-Regional-School-District-130499970433878/?scrlybrkr.

College board has decided not to send the hard copy PSAT 8/9 Student Guides to our schools for distribution prior to the Fall Administration of the PSAT 8/9.  Collegeboard has e-mailed us a link to download the guide.  (Please see the e-mail from CollegeBoard below)

https://mail.trschools.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=iP9QcWZHLHYumMarIkiWJN3K_LwdzPOtrmnu15m7t92tCE_6IgnVCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2fnoreply.collegeboard.org%2f15a41a1c2layfousiaxbqo6yaaaaaaazaxxia22mz6myaaaaa

PTO

Our PTO met on September 26th at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Office Conference Room.  I presented the Principal’s Agenda (school goals, school updates, and ideas for fundraisers/activities).  The committee established meeting dates for the remainder of the year (October 2nd, November 14th, December 12th, January 9th, February 13th, March 13th, April 10th, and May 8th).  All times will be 6:00 p.m. in the Main Office Conference Room.  I discussed with the committee getting parents to support after school tutoring and running student workshops on life skill development.  If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  

Sponsors

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

I wanted to congratulate our football program for the win Friday evening!  The victory versus Southern High School was our first in over 4 years.  I could not have been more proud of the manner in which the kids and coaching staff handled themselves over the past two weeks.  They maintained their commitment to improvement while presenting a positive attitude.  Their win was a product of Raider Excellence and I think good things will come their way as the season progresses!  Keep up the great job Coach Sandberg.

I also wanted to congratulate our Band for another outstanding halftime performance.  Ms. Sanford and Mr. Figueroa have produced a very committed and subsequently successful program.  The kids are really operating at a high level, evident by our repeated first place finish at our competitions the past two years.

I wanted to finally thank our Raider Nation for their devotion to school pride and their unwavering support of our program.  The kids were out in force and full of energy as they supported the team.  I enjoyed watching the team run to the stands to thank Raider Nation for their support!  

If interested, we are holding our first PTO meeting Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM in the Main Office Conference Room.  I hope to see you there!

Week in Review (9/18 – 9/22)

We held our first Attendance Committee meeting after school on Monday.  The group of teachers and various staff members discussed our goals for the school year and the importance of maintaining our current programs which have supported our growth to date.  I will be sharing throughout the year our data and respective initiatives to support improved student attendance.  

On Tuesday, I met with the Special Education Department to discuss issues of concern and how to best meet student educational needs.  We held a productive meeting with Supervisors Mr. Mike Lee and Mrs. Joy Forrest.  We host the Autism Academy at East and we love the kids.  We have an exceptional group of staff members who are dedicated to meeting the safety, educational and personal needs of our kids.  Thank you Mr. Steve Ebert, Mrs. Danielle Musca, Mr. Christopher Polhemus, Mr. Tom Trotta, Ms. Dru Fonseca, Mrs. Lisa Varley, and our wonderful paraprofessionals who dedicate their day to our special need students.  Mr. Ted Gillen met with our Behavior Committee after school.  The committee discussed goals for the coming school year and supporting the current school expectations in line with our National School of Character recognition.  I will report out to you in our Newsletters throughout the year on our initiatives and growth.  Mr. Kevin McCann ran a two day workshop for Intermediate South teachers on Block-Scheduling. Mr. McCann is a curriculum expert (in my opinion) and continues to add value to our district outside of just High School East.

We held our first Security Drill Wednesday afternoon.  We tested our Shelter-In-Place procedures without incident.  Our Climate Committee met and discussed goals for the school year.  The committee is going to look to create a school culture which promotes excellence.  We are looking to model our environment from the ‘Disney way’.  The committee discussed our initial steps and how we can accomplish our goal to be a place where staff want to come to work as they feel supported to be the best professional they are capable of becoming.  I’ll share out our first idea in next week’s Newsletter.  I am looking forward to a great year!  The district held our first Board Meeting Wednesday evening.  I wanted to congratulate Owen Donovan for his fabulous presentation.  Owen is our school Student Body President and will be our representative for the year.  Owen was calm, cool and collective as he shared out why East is the place to be!  Great job Owen!

We were off on Thursday for a religious holiday.  I spent the day reviewing college applications with my daughter as we begin the process of college acceptances.  I must say, what has happened to education where the cost of attending a four-year institution is as much as purchasing a new home?  Things have changed since I was in school (then again, we used rocks to draw pictures on cave walls back then).  You have to pick the right degree to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.  I’ll share out on the process throughout the year.  

On Friday, our PTO held an Uncle Dood’s Donuts fundraiser along with our normal Patio Party and High Five Friday.  We held our Fall Pep Rally in the morning.  The cheerleaders did a tremendous job keeping the event lively and the kids entertained.  The juniors won the tug-a-war again (I didn’t see that coming).  Great job Coach Sandberg, Coach Aliseo, and Coach Lauria for making the event something to remember!  The Band marched throughout the hallways period 8 to get the kids ready for the game Friday night.  I conducted and observation of a potential teaching candidate at High School South in the afternoon.  I looked very funning walking into the building wearing all black with a Raider shirt on in a sea of maroon.  However, the sea parted as I walked through the hallways…There is Nothing Greater than a Raider!



Congratulations to Joe Scott and Mallory Feigin for their recognition as our Seniors of the Month.  Joe and Mallory are AP students, in the National Honor Society and active participants in various clubs and organizations in pursuit of personal interests and goals.  Both students are well-rounded individuals and highly motivated student-athletes!  Thank you Joe and Mallory for being such positive reflections of our school community!


As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I interviewed Earth Science and ASR teacher, Mr. Walt Patelunas on Monday.  Mr. Patelunas values his commitment to growing as an educator even though he has been teaching for quite some time.  Mr. Patelunas looks to connect his content material to real-world applications and prides himself on teaching his students the importance of learning how to make informed decisions.  He feels he has added his value over the years by making personal connections to the kids through his classroom demeanor (I’ve observed the enthusiasm).  I interviewed English teacher, Mrs. Gayle Robinson on Tuesday.  Mrs. Robinson is committed to instilling the importance of positive communication with her students.  Her goal is to get her students to become better readers and writers.  She takes pride in providing and academic environment where students feel free to explore without the fear of failure.  She values her kindness and passion to help students who are at-risk due to family hardships.  I think we all appreciate an educator who places the well-being of others first and foremost!  I stopped in to check in on two of our newest additions to the Raider staff later in the week.  I observed a lesson in Ms. Alex Chiodi’s Chemistry class on Wednesday.  Ms. Chiodi is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware.  She earned her degree in Education with a chemistry certification.  Ms. Chiodi taught a lesson on the metric system.  The students were actively engaged and Ms. Chiodi made time to meet with students individually to address questions or concerns.  Great job!  I stopped in to observe Mrs. Jeanine McLaughlin’s chemistry class on Thursday.  Mrs. McLaughlin brings more than 20 years of experience as an educator in several states across our country.  She comes highly recommended as an educator who makes a difference!  Mrs. McLaughlin teaches our AP Chemistry course and is doing a wonderful job!  She was reviewing laboratory procedures with the kids and explaining the grading rubric.  I know our students are going to do very well this year!  Great job!

Congratulations to Carlee Lang, Deonna Joyner, Amanda Economides, and Gianna Bimonte for being recognized as a Respectful Raiders this week.   All of the above students committed a random act of kindness and I appreciate what they stand for!  Thank you Carlee, Deonna, Amanda, and Gianna for being a positive reflection of our school community!

Athletically, our football team won!!  I am so happy for the kids and the coaches (parents too).  We played like lions and I think the program will be heading back in the right direction!  Congratulations to our field hockey team for their wins versus Central Regional and Toms River South this week.  Our volleyball team beat Jackson Memorial on Tuesday.  Congratulations to the girls soccer team for their win over Southern Wednesday afternoon.  

Did you Know?

•        Education not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. (Albert Einstein)
•        Laughter helps increase memory and learning.  Incorporating humor into lessons helps to increase test scores.  (A study by Ziv, 1976)

Freshmen Academy

Our Academy teams will be holding Peer Leadership workshops next week.  The objective is to help our freshman develop individual academic and personal goals.  Our Peer Leaders will help the kids to create the respective goals and will provide further workshops how to support the goals through positive school behavior.  

Attendance Matters

When is too sick to send to school?

Send me to school if…

I have a runny nose or just a little cough, but no other symptoms.  I haven’t taken any fever reducing medicine for 24 hours, and I haven’t had a fever during that time.  I haven’t thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours.

Keep me home if…

I have a temperature higher than 99.6 degrees even after taking medicine.  I’m throwing up or have diarrhea.  My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the doctor if…

I have a temperature higher than 99.6 degrees for more than two days.  I’ve been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days.  I’ve had the sniffles for more than a week, and they aren’t getting better.  I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I’m having trouble breathing after using an inhaler).

(http://www.attendanceworks.org/about/what-can-i-do/parents/)


Character Counts

Character Counts: What Are Colleges Looking For?

What are college admission officers looking for when they read your application? They take into account more than your GPA and test scores. Your character and the personal qualities you can bring to a college are important too. That’s why you need to think about your goals, accomplishments and personal values and figure out how you can best express those in your applications.

The Qualities Colleges Want

“What is it that makes you unique, and how will you contribute to the life of our campus?” That’s what admission officers want to know, according to Earl Johnson, dean of admission at the University of Tulsa. To gauge what students can bring to their campus, they look for these types of qualities:

•        Leadership
•        A willingness to take risks
•        Initiative
•        A sense of social responsibility
•        A commitment to service
•        Special talents or abilities

Overall, colleges want a mix of students to create a rich campus community. They want the class valedictorians, says Marty O’Connell, executive director of Colleges That Change Lives. But they also are looking for “students who are going to be involved in a lot of activities and students who are musicians and students who are athletes and everything in between.”

Your Application Shows Your Qualities

So how do you show colleges what’s special about you? Personal qualities are not easy to measure, but admission officers look at the items listed below for clues to an applicant's character.

Extracurricular activities: What you do outside the classroom reveals a lot about you. That’s why some applications ask for details about extracurricular activities. But remember, it’s not the number of activities that’s important. Admission officers want to know what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown from participating in these activities.

Summer jobs and activities: Your summer experiences provide insight into your character. And holding a summer job at a fast-food restaurant can build as much character as attending a prestigious summer learning program. It's all about what you’ve gained, what you’ve learned and how you communicate that.

College essay: The college essay gives you the opportunity to show the admission officers who you are and how you will contribute to the college campus.

Mike Sexton, vice president for enrollment management at Santa Clara University, says that when admission officers read student essays, they ask themselves, “Would you like this person to be your roommate? Would you like to work on a group project with this person?” The essay can reveal the answers to these questions more than any test score can.

Letters of recommendation: Recommendation letters can tell a lot about the kind of person you are. A teacher who knows you well can give insight into not just your academic strengths but also the qualities you display in class, such as leadership or fairness.

(https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/applying-101/character-counts-what-are-colleges-looking-for)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Work out where you’re falling short

You need to work out which areas need targeting before you can draw up a plan of action, so the next step is to figure out the areas in which you’re underperforming, and why. Are your grades consistently lower than you’d like them to be across all your subjects, or is there one particular area you’re struggling with that’s bringing down your overall performance in a particular subject? Take a look at your grades over the last few months and look for patterns. Has there been a general decline in academic achievement, or have your grades in certain areas always been lower than you’d hoped? Are your grades always low in the same areas, such as one problem subject? You’ll probably already have a vague idea of the answers to these questions, but seeing your grades written down on paper – perhaps even in graph format – can help you see things more clearly.

Next, think about the reasons why you’re not performing to your full academic potential in the areas you’ve identified. Are there external factors that may be negatively affecting your grades, such as a family problem or worrying about a social situation at school? Are you struggling with any particular academic skills that might be dragging you down, such as essay-writing or note-taking? And are you studying in a way that works for you? These are all factors that could be affecting your academic performance, so once you’ve isolated what the problem is – it could be a combination of more than one of these issues – you’ll be able to start tackling it. If the problems are external, you’ll need to take steps towards getting them to a point at which they no longer adversely affect your studies; seeing a counsellor might help, for instance. If they’re academic, read the rest of this article for some suggestions on how you can improve.

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

We do not have a significant amount of issues to address, as most students are adhering to school policies.  Please reinforce with your child the importance of maintaining this behavior throughout the year.  Do not forget to review and sign the Student Policy Checklist Form.

This Week at East (9/25 – 9/29)

We are holding our end-of-month Attendance Hearings for students in violation of our attendance policy.  We will resume our committee meetings as our Community Outreach, College and Career Connection and Curriculum teams will meet to discuss yearly goals.  We are holding a faculty meeting on Wednesday after school.  Our Core Team will meet to discuss issues of concern on Wednesday as well.  We are offering our staff our monthly professional development on classroom management on Thursday morning.  We are hosting Conference-Conference sessions for staff to engage in conversations that help move the school forward throughout the day on Friday.  Mrs. Aulisi is hosting a county SAC meeting at HSE to address substance abuse issues with teens.  

Information

Senior College Workshop series this Tuesday, September 26th. The topic will be: The College Search: How to start!  Sign up in Guidance.  The OCPGA College Fair is on Thursday, October 5, 2017 @ 6:00pm at the Hackensack Meridian Health Arena (located at HS North).  The SAT is on November 4, 2017.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The ACT is on October 28, 2017.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  The PSAT is on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  English teachers distributed PSAT student guides to the 10th graders. Grade 9 student guides are available through College Board. The link is: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/psat-8-9-student-guide-2017-18.pdf?ep_mid=11405323&ep_rid=52477392.  Ocean County College is hosting a Fall Open House on Thursday, October 19th from 6pm-8pm.  Call 732-255-0400 to register.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.
Media Center Highlights:

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year at High School East, where there’s Nothing Greater Than a Raider!  The Media Center is up and running with 2 computer labs and side computers, for a total of 65 computers!  Several new subscription databases have been purchased by the Media Center, including Britannica School, Science Direct Journals, and STEM database.  I encourage all students to try out these new online resources!

Spanish teacher Mrs. Liz Rodriguez and the Hispanic Heritage students created a bulletin board display in the Media Center honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from September 15th through October 15th.  The bulletin board displayed English words that have a Spanish origin – very interesting!  Great job Mrs. Rodriguez and Hispanic Heritage Students! For further information, please contact lrodriguez1@trschools.com

The Photography Club held its first meeting in the Media Center on September 12th.  Advisor Mrs. Marianne Steinhart welcomed new and returning members.  Future projects were discussed.  For additional information, please contact Mrs. Steinhart at msteinhart@trschools.com

The National Honor Society offers peer tutoring in the Media Center after school every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:45 until 2:25.  Subjects covered are Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.  Tutoring is free and no appointment is necessary.  For further information, contact NHS advisor Ms. Laura Morgan.

Please stop in to the Media Center for research on a computer, school work at a table, or just a quiet place to read!  We are open before school starting at 6:30 am, during lunch periods and study halls, or after school until 2:25.  Check back next month for more Media Center Highlights.

Sponsors

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

Week in Review (9/11 – 9/15)

We recognized the historical significance of 9/11 on Monday.  I shared a schoolwide message of appreciating the importance of tolerance – accepting others for who they are.  I discussed how diversity makes the world that much more beautiful.  Former S.R.O, Pete Sundack, spoke to our 9th grade class at an assembly on the events of 9/11.  He did a wonderful job!  Mr. Ted Gillen spoke to our In-School-Suspension teachers after school to put together a plan to more effectively support our need of remediate inappropriate behavior.

Select students participated in the district ASVAB testing at the Poland Springs Arena to meet State graduation criteria Tuesday morning.  I participated in a workshop in the morning to support more effective teacher observation strategies.  I felt the workshop was wonderful and am looking forward to getting into the classrooms to support our teachers with their instructional strategies.  Mr. Ted Gillen and I met with our fall athletes at our assembly after school.  We spoke to the kids about expectations and reminding them of our Code of Conduct.  We wish our student athletes success this season.  

Science Supervisor Charlie Evers and I met with candidates to fill our opening staff positions.  We met qualified candidates and believe we will be moving forward to fill our needs.  We will be offering after-school support to our 9th grade students who did not meet the State graduation criteria for PARCC testing.  Mrs. Lori Martz has volunteered to coordinate the tutorial testing support, thank you!  Mr. Kevin McCann began his monthly Freshman Academy Team Meetings with our staff.  Mr. McCann focused on supporting SMART Goals for all of our teachers and teams.  

I spoke to the 9th, 10th and 11th grade students periods 1, 2, and 3, respectively, Thursday morning.  My objective this year was to make a more personal connection to the kids and to discuss my expectations for the 2017-2018 school year.  I informed the students the importance of understanding they are here to prepare for their future college and career endeavors, to do their very best each and every day, to be kind, respectful, and to come to school with a positive mindset – be happy.   I felt the discussions to be productive and am optimistic we will observe growth this year.  I am committed to providing an academic environment conducive for student achievement.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders (student mentor group) met after school to discuss the new school year objectives.  We have a program designed to support at-risk student needs.  I am proud of the efforts of our staff to volunteer personal time to meet individual student needs.  

Our Spirit Club provided face painting and hot chocolate for students to kick Friday morning off correctly.  DJ Alfierious played a little ACDC to ‘rev up’ our engines as the kids entered school.  I met with our senior class during period 1 to ensure all grade levels participated in my talk to make the most of your stay at East.  The seniors were responsive and I hope they take the initiative to leave a positive legacy behind.  We ended the day with the Band and cheerleaders marching through the hallways during period 8.

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I interviewed our Student Assistance Coordinator, Mrs. Dawn Aulisi.  Mrs. Aulisi set a personal goal to educate our students on substance abuse issues and addiction.  Mrs. Aulisi believes in the importance of students being educated to make informed decisions.  Mrs. Aulisi is a valuable resource at East.  I met with Mrs. Erin Anders this week as well and she was excited to apply her skillsets in support of student achievement.  Mrs. Anders runs our RHR Program and is very involved in developing growth-oriented instructional lessons.  Mrs. Anders also shares a passion to work within our committees to improve the school culture to foster a positive mindset.  Thank you Mrs. Aulisi and Mrs. Anders for all you do and your commitment to our children.  

Congratulations to Andrew Massa for being recognized as our first Respectful Raider this year.  Andrew turned in a lost ring to the Main Office.  Thank you Andrew for being a positive reflection of our school community!

Athletically, I was at our game versus South Friday evening.  I thought the kids played very well.  We were unfortunate not to have won.  It is a fine margin between victory and defeat.  The Band was fabulous the cheerleaders kept the crowd entertained!  Keep moving forward, we will get our win.  Special ‘Shout Out’ to our Raider Nation for promoting school spirit!  Congratulations to the Band for their 1st place finish, again, this weekend at their competition.  We scored our highest point total in the respective competition.  We are picking up where we left off last year!  Congratulations to the boys and girls soccer teams for victories over High School South this weekend!  

Did you Know?

•        In Australia, the School of the Air broadcasts lessons via radio signals to far-flung pupils living in remote areas.
•        Of all the schools in the world, the largest is in India. It is called the City Montessori School and it has over 32,000 students.
•        China is the country where kids get most homework. Teenagers in Shanghai do a staggering 14 hours a week at the kitchen table.
•        Children living in Pakistan have no legal right to a free education and compulsory education only runs between the ages of five and nine.
•        Summer holidays last from the middle of December to early March in Chile, giving children three months off.
•        The country with the shortest school year and the longest school day is France.
•        Children in Germany are given a special cone called a Schultüte full of pens, pencils, mini books, snacks and other presents that can only be opened when they start school.
•        Canadian kids are taught a lot of their lessons in both French and English.
•        In Brazil, where lunch is an important event, children start school at 7am and at noon go home to eat with their parents.
•        The children in Holland all start school on their fourth birthday so there’s always someone new in class.
•        England is home to the world’s old boarding school – The King’s School in Canterbury, which despite being established in 1567, provides a full modern education, complete with up-to-date, quality equipment and supplies.
•        Even if it’s a weekend or a holiday, Russian children always start school on ‘Knowledge Day’, which is 1st September.
•        The smallest school in the world is in Turin, Italy and has just one pupil.
•        Finland has one of the oldest school starting ages in the world, as well as one of the most successful education systems. It’s seven years old.
•        Boys and girls are educated separately in Iran until they reach university. Even teachers must be of the same gender as the classes they teach.
•        In Kenya, children don’t have to go to school but most of them do.
•        Because of the flooding problems faced by the country, Bangladesh has no fewer than 100 boat schools. Each one has internet access, a library and is solar powered.
•        America is where you’ll find the world’s oldest teacher, Agnes Zhelesnik, who is 101 years old.
•        One of the subjects taught in Icelandic schools is knitting.
•        The primary school is Phumachangtang, Tibet, is thought to be the highest school in the world at 5,373 meters above the sea.

Freshmen Academy

Academy Team teachers met with Mr. Kevin McCann discuss the program, SMART Goals, and collaboration.  The teams identified a date for our Field Day in October.  I look forward to observing the growth of our teams this fall!

Attendance Matters

Getting your child to school on-time, every day, unless they are sick, is something that you can do to ensure your child has a chance to succeed in school. While others can help, you are the bottom line. You can promote good attendance when you:

•        Establish and stick to the basic routines (going to bed early, waking up on time, etc.) that will help your child develop the habit of on-time attendance.
•        Talk to your child about why going to school every day is critical and important unless they are sick. If your child seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher, administrator or afterschool provider to get them excited about going to school.
•        Come up with back up plans for who to turn to (another family member, a neighbor or fellow parents) to help you get your child to school if something comes up (e.g. another child gets sick, your car breaks down, etc.).
•        Reach out for help if you are experiencing tough times (e.g. transportation, unstable housing, loss of a job, health problems) that make it difficult to get your child to school. Other parents, your child’s teacher, principal, social worker, school nurse, afterschool providers or community agencies can help you problem solve or connect you to a needed resource.
•        If your child is absent, work with the teacher to make sure she or he has an opportunity to learn and make up for the academics missed.

(http://www.attendanceworks.org/about/what-can-i-do/parents/)

Character Counts

We are looking to not only create smart graduates, but good ones too.  We believe that through positive school behavior, students are more likely to achieve personal goals and to add value to their community.  From “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, students can win people to your way of thinking:

•        Show respect for the other person’s opinions.  Never say, “You’re wrong.”
•        If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
•        Begin in a friendly way.
•        Get the other person saying, “Yes, yes” immediately.
•        Let the other person do a great deal of talking.
•        Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
•        Try honestly to see things from the other persona’s point of view.
•        Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
•        Appeal to the nobler motives.
•        Dramatize your ideas.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I included the following tip as I believe it to be a critical component to student success.  Give this a try and let me know how you make out.

Adopt a positive mental attitude

In the face of lower-than-expected grades, it’s only human to react by feeling disappointed with oneself. When you’re frequently receiving lower grades than you’d hoped for, you may start to feel depressed or defeated, and feel like giving up. The first step on the road to improving your grades is to turn this negativity on its head. You need to be positive about the situation if you’re to stand a chance of improving it. Acknowledge that your grades aren’t what you’re aiming for, but believe that you can do something about it. Start by mentally taking control of the situation: instead of thinking “I’m a failure”, think “I can and will do better than this.” Don’t give up – take positive steps towards achieving the improvement you’re more than capable of achieving.

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

We do not have a significant amount of issues to address, as most students are adhering to school policies.  Please reinforce with your child the importance of maintaining this behavior throughout the year.  Do not forget to review and sign the Student Policy Checklist Form.

This Week at East (9/18 – 9/22)

We are resuming our committee meetings this week, as our Attendance, Behavior, and Climate Committees will meet to discuss goals for the 2017-2018 school year.  We are off on Thursday and return Friday for a full day of school.  We will test our first Security Drill this week and will resume our Patio Party Friday morning.  Mr. Gillen will be running a workshop for our coaches on Tuesday.  

Information

The OCPGA College Fair is on Thursday, October 5, 2017 @ 6:00pm at the Hackensack Meridian Health Arena (located at HS North).  The Ocean County Mall's holiday job fair is on Saturday, 9/23 from 12pm-3pm Call 732-244-8200 for more info.  The SAT is on November 4, 2017.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The ACT is on October 28, 2017.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  The PSAT is on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  English teachers distributed PSAT student guides to the 10th graders. Grade 9 student guides are available through College Board. The link is: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/psat-8-9-student-guide-2017-18.pdf?ep_mid=11405323&ep_rid=52477392. College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

In support of the relief efforts for Texas, Toms River Regional Schools will be collecting items at Toms River Police Department and the People’s Pantry.  For more information please contact Tammi Millar at 848-992-0126.

NJ Connect for Recovery offers free, confidential support at 855-652-3737.  NJ Connect also runs Family Education Workshops, where participants will learn skills to deal with substance abuse disorders that may be affecting your family or relationship.  The 10 week series starts on September 13th between 7 pm and 9 pm at the Mental Health Association in Ocean County (25 South Shore Drive, Toms River 08753).  For more information, please contact Hope Shawlinkski at hshawlinski@mhanj.org or at 732-244-0940.

Sponsors

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Heath Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Review (5/22 – 5/26)

We held a Beach Safety Assembly on Monday morning to all of our 9th grade students.  We thank USLA president, Gene Hession for taking his personal time to meet with our children.  We concluded our Curriculum Committee meeting after school and discussed next year’s objectives.  The district held our Field of Dreams fundraiser to great success.  Thank you to all of our parents, students, and staff who supported the event!  I continued the interviewing process to select replacements for math and science openings in the fall.

We held our final Community Outreach Committee meeting after school on Tuesday.  We were proud to welcome our incoming Raiders at our annual 8th Grade Transition Tuesday evening.  We elected to take the time to share out our expectations of a Raider utilizing our Peer Leaders and Character Counts students.  I was very impressed with the effort and outcome of our event.  I believe the kids left with a sense of high expectations through positive school behavior.  Thank you to Mrs. Rachel Hay, Mrs. Stacey Nadeau, and Mr. Dennis Weidenbush for providing the guidance and support to effectively run our evening!  Sharing Hope was held in the Media Center for families impacted by substance abuse.

On Wednesday, we held our district ½ Day Professional Development at East.  Staff from varying backgrounds and/or interests provided professional development opportunities.  Topics included School, Home, and Community Relationships, Mindfulness, Cross-Curricular Instruction, School Climate, College and Career Connections, Questioning Strategies to Foster Intellectual Engagement, A Guide to Effective Fundraising, Character Education in the School Setting, How the Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational use in NJ will Impact our Students, Understanding Student Mental Health and Educational Impacts, Mental Health Tips for the Professional, and Yoga and Meditation for Stress Relief.  Thank you to Anthony Battaglio for representing our Character Counts Club at the Rotary Club meeting Wednesday evening!  Great job Anthony!  

Mr. William Dishon attended the Ocean County Roundtable Breakfast Thursday morning as he represented HSE as our Teacher of the Year.  We held a STEAM meeting in the morning and through the creative efforts of Mr. Kevin McCann and Ms. Norma DeNoia, we were able to create a more rigorous schedule for our incoming Academy students.  I attended the Choral Concert Thursday evening.  As always, Mrs. Delucci puts on a beautiful show!  Great job kids!  I also was fortunate to have been able to attend the Art NHS Ceremony in the Media Center.  Congratulations to our new Inductees!  The exhibit is incredible.  We have truly talented students!  Thank you Mrs. Karen Seeland for your efforts to inspire your students to strive for Excellence!

Our Peer Leaders participated in a day-long workshop in preparation for integrating new students Friday morning.  I continued my interview schedule for staff openings.  We held our Conference-Conference periods 1 through 8 on Friday.  We discussed how we were going to address our March topic, Increasing Rigor in the Classroom Setting.  We will be looking to infuse the ideas next fall as we strive to improve student outcomes.

Week (5/30 – June 2)

We held our annual Academic Awards Tuesday evening.  I enjoy this evening as we are able to effectively recognize students for their commitment to their educational outcomes.  I spent the day interviewing math position candidates at HSN all day, and gained an appreciation for the demands placed on other schools.  I commend Principal Keller and his staff for their commitment to meet the needs of their students!  

We began our Biology Competency Testing Wednesday morning.  Thank you to Mrs. Monica Santamaria for her efforts to ensure a smooth operating process.  We held our Senior Scholarship Night in the evening to great success.  Congratulations to Mrs. Ann Millard and her secretary, Ms. Kimberly Picnic for making the evening memorable for our kids.  I met with several candidates for our science openings.  

We held our final Fire Drill Thursday morning.  I attended our National Honor Society Induction Ceremony hosted by our NHS members.  Thank you to advisor, Mrs. Morgan for ensuring a well-organized evening.  Congratulations to all of our Inductees that evening!

We held our final Security Drill Friday morning.  Our Band held their Band Festival in the evening at HSE.  What a wonderful event as students from various feeder elementary and middle schools were invited to connect with our current students and staff.  I was unable to attend, but did view the pictures and it looked incredible.  Thank you Ms. Sanford and Mr. Figueroa taking your personal time to coordinate the Festival.  We held a meeting to coordinate our National School of Character Picnic.  I continued to interview candidates for our science openings.

Week (6/5 – 6/9)

I met with all of our potential Driven to Excellence winners Monday morning to review the Field Day on the 7th.  I met with several candidates for our Technology opening as well as our math and science in the afternoon.

We held our Three-Sport Athlete Breakfast Tuesday morning.  We recognized student-athletes who have competed in three varsity sports over the course of the year.  We also acknowledged Josh Laprise for winning a total of 12 letters during his tenure at East.  Our Coaches Committee felt the effort of our students to balance academics with their extra-curricular athletic demands is something we need to begin acknowledging.  Athletic Director, Mr. Joe Arminio, Athletic Coordinator, Mr. Brian Cerbone, Assistant Principal in charge of athletics, Mr. Ted Gillen, and I spoke to the kids and presented the awards.  We held our ½ Professional Day in the afternoon.  Most of our staff attended departmental meetings in the afternoon.  We held our Ensemble Concert in the evening!  Great job kids!

Our students participated in the district Driven to Excellence Program Wednesday morning.  Our kids enjoyed friendly competitions with HSN and HSS, food, and the opportunity to win a new Chevy Spark car.  Unfortunately, our students were not selected and were subsequently not in the running for the car.  However, we still had fun!  I continued interviewing for staff openings.  

We interviewed again for respective openings in the morning.  Our Senior Choral Showcase was held on Thursday evening.  Great job kids and Mrs. Kristen DeLucci for going above and beyond!

Friday was quite an eventful day.  We held our annual Retirement Parade period 2.  The Band paraded through the hallways as our retirees made one final lap.  The kids lined the hallways and cheered on the retirees.  We concluded the parade with our Chorus singing a farewell song!  I would like to acknowledge Mrs. Fran Shubert (Guidance Secretary), Mrs. Sue Werner (Technology Teacher), and Mrs. Diane Morrissey (Career Teacher) for their wonderful years of service to our students.  They will all be missed as they embarked on their new journey.   We wish them health and happiness!

Week (5/12 – 5/16)

We held our Perfect Attendance Breakfast for all of our students who have been able to commit to coming to school every day and on time.    What a wonderful accomplishment. We are holding Senior Night Tuesday evening.  Senior Exams begin on the 13th and will end on the 19th.  We will have ½ days beginning on the 16th.    

Congratulations to our June Seniors of the Month, Michael Bonafide and Mackenzie Huttemann.  Michael is a member of our NHS, Ambassador, and is Vice President of our Character Club.  Michael ran cross country and track and field at East while performing in community service projects to support charity.  He is an enthusiastic and is viewed by our staff as a positive role model.  Mackenzie is an AP student and member of our NHS.  She is ranked in the top of our senior class.  She is a member of TEAM, Ambassadors, and Interact and Key Club.  She consistently produces high quality work in the classroom and plans to pursue a degree in Nursing at the University of Delaware.  Mackenzie was a member of our Field Hockey and Lacrosse teams.  Thank you Mike and Mackenzie for being positive reflections of our school community!

Media Center Highlights:

May has been a busy month in the Media Center, hosting many events.  During the beginning of the month, the Media Center hosted the last of the PARCC exams as well as some of the Advanced Placement exams.

On Monday, May 8th, the Media Center hosted the Special Prom.  Utilizing the decorations from the Junior Prom held the previous weekend, the Media Center was transformed into a scene from Arabian Nights.  Kudos to Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald for coordinating the event as well as thanks to Mrs. Robin Cicero, Mr. Steve Ebert, Ms. Danielle Muska, Mr. Chris Polhemus, and Mr. Tom Trotta and the student volunteers for all of their help and support.  A good time was had by all!

The Media Center hosted the SAT Honor Roll and Community Service Breakfast on Friday, May 19th.  Students were honored for their high scores on the SAT exam as well as the students who accumulated 40 or more hours of community service.  Principal Thomas spoke with the students and congratulated them on their achievements before eating a delicious breakfast.

The annual Art Show was held in the Media Center on the evening of Thursday, May 25th.  Art teachers Mrs. Erin Calicchio, Mr. Bill Dishon, Mrs. Katie Koenigstein, and Mrs. Karen Seeland display their student’s artwork for the community to see.  The amazing artwork will be on display until the end of the month.

The Ocean County Library Teen Services librarians conducted the annual Summer Read book talks on May 25th, 26th, and 30th.  Each day they informed a different grade of English classes about the books that they may choose from to read this summer.  The complete lists, response sheets, and additional information can be found online on the High School East Resources for Students tab as well as at http://www.trschools.com/students/Summer

Information

Our Quarterly Exam Schedule is as follows:

June 13 – Period 8 (Seniors)
June 14 – Period 1 and 2 (Seniors)
June 15 – Period 3 and 4 (Seniors)
June 16 (1/2 Day) – Period 5 and 6 (Senior and Underclassmen)
June 19 (1/2 Day) – Period 7 and 8 (Senior and Underclassmen)
June 20 – Period 3 and 4 (Underclassmen)
June 21 – Period 1 and 2 (Underclassmen)

I would like to thank all of our senior parents for your support over the past four years.  I hope that we have been able to meet your expectations to best support your child’s needs.  I wish you and your family the best and remember…Once a Raider, Always a Raider!

Have a wonderful summer!

Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (5/15 – 5/19)

We held our final Attendance Committee meeting Monday after school.  We discussed our data for the year and our observable improvements resulting from the efforts of the committee.  We cited goals and activities for next year and decided to reconvene in August to be ready for next school year.  

I conducted interviews for a math position at HS East on Tuesday.  We interviewed highly qualified candidates and were pleased with the process.  Our Behavior Committee met and supported the preparation for the June 9th National School of Character Celebration at East.  I would like to thank Mrs. August and Mrs. Petrozzello for their support in this process.  Mrs. August and Mrs. Petrozzello have been instrumental in connecting to local businesses for donations!  Thank you!

We hosted our Senior Prom Assembly Wednesday morning.  Thank you to Mr. Mike Nemeth for coordinating Mrs. Molly Berkowicz as our guest speaker.  Mrs. Berkowicz is an emergency room nurse and has had years of experience dealing with drunk driving accidents.  She relays the importance of making safe decisions to our kids and shows them what happens when teenagers do not.  The kids were attentive and well behaved!  Very proud of them.  Mr. Ted Gillen and I then spoke about Prom, Graduation, and various end-of-year senior issues.  We want our seniors to be safe and to continue to make good decisions.  I interviewed potential math teacher candidates again in the afternoon.  Our College and Career Connection Committee met after school and they discussed progress to date and next year goals.

I wanted to thank Sofia Moderno for representing East with dignity and pride at her final Board Meeting Wednesday evening.  Sofia took the time to write a speech and deliver our school’s message in front of hundreds of strangers every month at the meetings.  I was able to observe Sofia’s growth in the process and was very proud of the way she represented our school.  Sofia will be attending the University of Delaware in the fall (Go Blue Hens!) and will be majoring in nursing.  The career choice is fitting for Sofia because she is an extremely intelligent and caring person!  Thank you Sofia for a wonderful year!

I met with our Character Counts students in the morning and they conducted a dry-run of their presentation at the NJ School of Character Convention tomorrow morning.  Drew Ugara, Tom Dalessio, Mike Bonafide, and Ed Wolf each shared our school’s journey to becoming a National School of Character.  I loved the presentation and was very proud of their commitment to improving HS East through their efforts!  We held another planning meeting after school for our Celebration on the 9th.  Our Climate Committee supported the preparations.  I interviewed candidates again after school for the math position and were able to narrow down the list for demo-lessons next week.  

I attended the Spring Band Concert Thursday evening at East.  I wanted to thank Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Mark Figueroa for putting on another amazing show.  Our two teachers are very passionate about their field and their enthusiasm portrays on our students.  I was impressed again how ‘professional’ the kids are becoming in their efforts at these events.  As I have grown older, I have learned to appreciate the finer things in life (music) and admire those who are able to play an instrument to perfection.  I really enjoyed the Wind Ensemble’s version of ‘Eighties Flashback’ and the Symphonic Band’s version of the ‘Irish Tune from County Derry’.  Great night, thank you!      

We held our SAT Honor Roll and Community Service Breakfast on Friday morning.  I congratulated our academically gifted students and informed them of my expectations to use their gift wisely in their pursuit of college and careers.  I asked them to always be good citizens and to give back to their community.  I also spoke to our students who have accumulated 40 or more hours of community service.  I commended them for their mindset to help others and to add value to their community through their efforts.  Eleven of our students have accumulated more than 100 hours of service.  I would like to thank Board Member, Mr. Robert Onofrietti, for his support at this event.  Following our brief ceremony, we ate delicious food from Mrs. Patty Jamison.  We then reconvened and I spoke to the kids about their college and career ambitions and their service learning experiences.  I enjoyed the talk and appreciate what our kids are doing!  We really have good kids!

I spent the remainder of my day interviewing for science positions while our assistant principals held down the fort.  Our Character Counts Club members presented at the ceremony at Rider University.  Mr. Dennis Weidenbush and Ms. Nicole Foy accompanied our boys as they accepted our plaque on behalf of High School East.  I was informed how well the presentation went and cannot thank enough the students and staff for embracing the infusion of character in our school!  

Friday was Senior Prom!  Oh boy!  Always a fun but ‘nervy’ day.  The kids arrived at South Gate Manor looking like Kings and Queens!  They sure clean up nicely!  They ALL were so excited!  I love how the kids say hello as they enter the building and the boys shake our hands.  I love observing the relationships between the students and the teachers.  There is such a nice connection between the two.  There is something about this night every year where the mutual appreciation for each other is noticeable.  I think that everyone realizes that the four years is coming to an end.  Well, something that is not ending is my incessant desire to eat all of the wonderful desserts at this place…cake, cupcake and candy.  I had to run Saturday and Sunday to work that off (It was worth it though).

I wanted to thank our Mr. and Mrs. Sandberg for their efforts to participate in Pros versus Heroes Saturday in Seaside.  Our football team and cheerleaders represented East with pride!  Thank you kids for your commitment to giving back to our community.

Congratulations to Mrs. Megan Rankin for being selected as our Employee of the Week!  Mrs. Rankin teaches junior and senior level English.  Outside of what she does for her students academically, I appreciate the value she brings to East through her interest to make personal connections to our students.  Mrs. Rankin loves her students, provides a friendly smile, words of encouragement, and advice how to solve a problem.  Her students love her because she embodies respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, caring, fairness, and citizenship.  She is a role-model and is heavily involved in supporting the needs of our kids!  Thank you Mrs. Rankin for making a difference in our building!

I stand corrected!  I made a huge mistake in last week’s Newsletter, incorrectly identifying the name of one of our students in the Top.  I made the correction this week and I apologize to Alexandra Ryan for the issue!  The below is our Top 10 for the Class of 2017:  Haylie Montemurno (#10), Casey Masterson (#9), Christopher Contos (#8), Kyril Kavetsky (#7), Alexandra Ryan (#6), Ryan Labelle (#5), Taylor Pistone (#4), Christina Bilotti (#3), Sarina Paolillo (#2), and Kierstyn Elliot (#1)!

As part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I would like to commend Mrs. Jenn Fazzini and Mr. Matt Cicalese for all their efforts coordinating the Senior Prom and ensuring the evening was special for the kids!  I would also like to thank Mr. Chris Peck, Mr. Ed Kayler, Mr. Scott Kenny, Mr. Ted Gillen, Mr. Vern Rutter, Mr. Kevin McCann, Mr. Doug Trumble, Mrs. Rachel Hay, Ms. Amanda Gregorek, Mr. Kyle Sandberg, Mrs. Janine Hatton, Mrs. Marybeth Kretz, Ms. Candice Schultz, Mr. Matt Malagiere, Mrs. Sue Werner, Ms. Naomi Sorce, Mrs. Megan Rankin, Mrs. Katie Koenigstein, Mrs. Erin Calicchio, Mrs. Erin Cosentino, Mr. Kevin Cohen, Mr. Dennis Weidenbush, Mrs. Dawn Aulisi, Mr. Jamie Dirk, Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald, and Mr. Steve Ebert for taking their personal time to share in the Prom Friday evening!

Freshmen Academy

Mr. Kevin McCann met with Academy teachers during their Prep Periods to gain feedback on the status of the program and discuss future professional development workshops.  Mr. McCann discussed the Transition meeting on the 23rd.  

Attendance Matters

Below is a website discussing the importance of positive school attendance:

(http://www.americangraduate.org/blogs/latest-education-headlines/2015/09/01/every-day-counts-facts-on-attendance-achievement/)

Start Strong
Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict frequent absences later in the school year. Nearly half of all students that missed more than two days of school in September went on to miss almost a month of school.

Chronic Absences
An estimated 5 to 7.5 million students in the United States miss almost a month of school every year. This adds up to over a year missed by the time of graduation.

Early Absences Lead to Attendance Issues in Later Grades
Absenteeism starts early. One in 10 kindergarteners and first graders are considered to be “chronically absent.”

Chronic Absence = Missing two or more days per month
Research shows students who miss 10 percent of school, or two days per month, show negative academic progress. In some schools, that adds up to 18 days a school year and is considered to be chronic absence.

Third Grade Reading Level
Poor attendance can keep children from reading proficiently by the end of third grade, which is shown to negatively affect their chances of graduating on time.

Dropout Indicator
By sixth grade, a chronically absent student is shown to have a significantly higher chance of dropping out of high school.

Excused Absences Hurt Too
Excused absences are just as negative as unexcused ones. Suspensions add additional missed time in the classroom, which in turn increases the dropout risk.

At Risk Students are at Risk for Absence
Students from low-income families are four times more likely to be chronically absent. Reasons for this are often out of the student’s control, such as unreliable transportation, unstable housing, and a lack of access to quality health care.

Every Minute Matters
If a student is 10 minutes late to school each day, this adds up to missing more than 33 hours of class time. A student with a 90 percent attendance average for Kindergarten through 12th grade will miss over a year of accumulated time in the classroom.  

Character Counts

It’s not always easy to admit a mistake, persevere during tough times, or follow through on every promise made. It’s not always comfortable to convey the hard truth or stand up for your beliefs. In the short term, it may not be beneficial to do right by your customers, to put people before profits, or to distance yourself from a questionable relationship. BUT, in the long run, doing the right thing is the clear path to both success and happiness. Moral character matters.

Achieve peace of mind. People with character sleep well at night. They take great pride in knowing that their intentions and actions are honorable. People with character also stay
true to their beliefs, do right by others, and always take the high ground. (So refreshing.)

Strengthen trust. People with character enjoy meaningful relationships based on openness, honesty, and mutual respect. When you have good moral character, people know that your behavior is reliable, your heart is in the right place, and your word is good as gold.

Build a solid reputation. People with character command a rock-solid reputation. This helps them attract exciting opportunities “like a magnet.”

Reduce anxiety. People with character carry less baggage. They’re comfortable within their own skin, and they accept responsibility for their actions. They never have to play games, waste precious time keeping their stories straight, or invent excuses to cover their behind.

Increase leadership effectiveness. Leaders with character are highly effective. They have no need to pull rank or resort to command and control to get results. Instead, they’re effective because they’re knowledgeable, admired, trusted, and respected. This helps them secure buy-in automatically, without requiring egregious rules or strong oversight designed to force compliance.

Build confidence. People with character don’t worry about embarrassment if their actions are publicly disclosed. This alleviates the need for damage control or the fear of potential disgrace as a result of indiscretions.

Become a positive role model. People with character set the standard for excellence. They live their life as an open book, teaching others important life lessons through their words and their deeds.

Live a purpose-driven life. People with character live a life they can be proud of. They’re driven to make a difference and to do right by others rather than trying to impress others with extravagance. (Sounds like a wonderful legacy to me.)

Build a strong business. Doing the right thing is good business. Everything else being equal, talented people would rather work for — and customers would rather buy from — companies that do right by their people, customers, and communities. While unprincipled business tactics may provide short-term results, it’s NOT a long-term strategy.

The above was taken from an article of why character matters.  Check it out.

(http://www.franksonnenbergonline.com/blog/9-powerful-reasons-why-your-moral-character-matters/)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Have you been disappointed with your grades of late?

Even the brightest students can sometimes find themselves academically underperforming, often through no fault of their own. When students find themselves in this situation, it’s often because they’re stuck in a rut and are not sure what to do to improve. If this sounds like you, the first step is to work out the reasons why you may be underperforming, and the next step is to work out how to tackle the problem. If you’re not sure how to go about it, this article shows you what you can do to form an improvement plan to help you achieve the grades you know you’re capable of achieving.

1. Adopt a positive mental attitude

Brightening up your study space can help you stay upbeat.  In the face of lower-than-expected grades, it’s only human to react by feeling disappointed with oneself. When you’re frequently receiving lower grades than you’d hoped for, you may start to feel depressed or defeated, and feel like giving up. The first step on the road to improving your grades is to turn this negativity on its head. You need to be positive about the situation if you’re to stand a chance of improving it. Acknowledge that your grades aren’t what you’re aiming for, but believe that you can do something about it. Start by mentally taking control of the situation: instead of thinking “I’m a failure”, think “I can and will do better than this.” Don’t give up – take positive steps towards achieving the improvement you’re more than capable of achieving.
2. Work out where you’re falling short

Do you do well at the theoretical side of Math, but struggle with applying it to practical situations?

You need to work out which areas need targeting before you can draw up a plan of action, so the next step is to figure out the areas in which you’re underperforming, and why. Are your grades consistently lower than you’d like them to be across all your subjects, or is there one particular area you’re struggling with that’s bringing down your overall performance in a particular subject? Take a look at your grades over the last few months and look for patterns. Has there been a general decline in academic achievement, or have your grades in certain areas always been lower than you’d hoped? Are your grades always low in the same areas, such as one problem subject? You’ll probably already have a vague idea of the answers to these questions, but seeing your grades written down on paper – perhaps even in graph format – can help you see things more clearly.

Next, think about the reasons why you’re not performing to your full academic potential in the areas you’ve identified. Are there external factors that may be negatively affecting your grades, such as a family problem or worrying about a social situation at school? Are you struggling with any particular academic skills that might be dragging you down, such as essay-writing or note-taking? And are you studying in a way that works for you? These are all factors that could be affecting your academic performance, so once you’ve isolated what the problem is – it could be a combination of more than one of these issues – you’ll be able to start tackling it. If the problems are external, you’ll need to take steps towards getting them to a point at which they no longer adversely affect your studies; seeing a counsellor might help, for instance. If they’re academic, read the rest of this article for some suggestions on how you can improve.

I will provide the rest of the article in our next Newsletter.  The above was collected from:  

(https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/improve-underperforming-grades.html)

Issues

We held our Field of Dreams organizational meeting after school on Monday.  Christian Kane spoke to our group and we discussed our strategy to market the May 22, 2017 Blues Claws game.  Our initial goal is to sell as many tickets as we can to support the project.  Tickets are $20, which include entry into game and a t-shirt.  Children under 12 will eat free (hot dog, chips, and drink).  Please go to www.trfieldofdreams.weebly.com to purchase your ticket.  

This Week at East (5/22 – 5/26)

Monday is our Field of Dreams game at Blue Claws!  Hope to see you there!  We are hosting a 9th grade assembly on Beach Safety Monday morning.  We are hosting 8th Grade Transition Tuesday evening.  Wednesday we have ½ Day Professional Day at East.  Thursday is the County Superintendent’s Roundtable honoring our TOY and SPOY.  The Choral Concert will be held at 7:00 PM.  

Information

Seniors, please inform your guidance counselor of your post-secondary plans.  Students interested in academic summer programs can see Mrs. Millard for more information.  Construction Industry Day is on May 31st. Students can learn about HVAC, roofing, carpentry, plumbing, etc. Bus leaves HSE at 7:30am. Please see Mrs. Weinberger in guidance for a permission slip.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal


We will be celebrating our recognition as a National School of Character on June 9th.  Our Character Counts Club members are in the process of making the preparations for the event.  I am very proud of the students and staff for embracing the character mindset as part of our daily routine at East.  I hope that one day we will have a school filled with only the type of behavior that supports the personal and academic growth of our children.  I think if we are able to align all of our stakeholders to this common goal, we will achieve our desired results.  I ask that you continue to speak to your children about the importance of education and doing your best each and every day.  School is a place that should be respected and used as a resource to accomplish our personal goals.  We strive to graduate citizens who are prepared to add value to their community.

Week in Review (5/8 – 5/12)

We held our Special Needs Prom Monday afternoon.  I wanted to thank Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald, Mrs. Robin Cicero, and Mrs. Marianne Steinhart for their hard work organizing the event for our children.  Thank you to Mr. Steve Ebert, Mr. Chris Polhemus, Ms. Danielle Muska, and Mr. Tom Trotta for their love and affection for our special needs students each and every day!  The Prom was held in our Media Center, which was beautifully decorated.  Our students were picked up in a limousine and driven around the school parking lot.  The students were dropped off by Door #4 and were met by their escorts who walked them up to the Media Center.  Our students lined the hallways and showed them our appreciation as they made their way to the Media Center!  It was very nice!  The kids enjoyed delicious food, a photo booth, and music/dancing for the afternoon!  Great job everyone!

Tuesday was Teacher Appreciation Day.  We celebrated by providing our wonderful teachers a delicious variety of breakfast foods.  Thank you to Thompson Health Care for supporting our teachers and providing food too!  I took a moment and acknowledged the efforts of our teachers who balance their instruction, student needs, district and State demands, and their personal lives so very well.  I appreciate our teachers because they care and they do their best.  We always have room to grow, but they will always add to their plate when asked if it is in support of our students and school.  On behalf of our community, thank you Teachers for all you do!  We held our I & RS Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon in support our at-risk student population.  

Our science, math, and technology teachers participated in a STEAM Workshop Wednesday afternoon.  Wednesday was Nurses Appreciation Day.  We celebrated the services of Mrs. Michele Carter and Mrs. Sammi Hvidding as they do an outstanding job supporting our students and staff each and every day!  We concluded our day on Wednesday with our monthly faculty meeting.  I spoke to the staff for the last time this year as a group, informing them end-of-year activities and issues to address.  We discussed our retirement parade and dinner and acknowledged the efforts of key individuals over the course of the month.  

We hosted the district Fitness Day at HSE on Thursday.  Students from the three high schools participated in a variety of athletic events to determine the fittest students in Toms River.  Congratulations to all of our contestants from the three high schools who appreciate the importance of a healthy lifestyle to a productive life.  Thank you to the American Water Works Association for presenting our school with a $2,000 check for their support in producing a documentary of the Association.  Mr. Kevin McCann, Mr. Dan Batchelor, and I met with Dr. Natanagara to discuss the redevelopment plans of three classrooms to meet the needs of our STEAM Academy objectives in the fall.  We hope to upgrade the technology to make the rooms more STEAM friendly.  We held our final Graduation Committee meeting Thursday afternoon.  We wrapped up our preparations for the ceremony and have decided on our final details.  Great job to all of the committee members for taking the time to arrange for a beautiful ceremony.  I concluded the day with interviews for several math positions for the fall.  We are looking for teachers who are student centered and are willing to learn.  We like our staff members to be involved outside of the classroom environment and seek candidates who are able to apply their interests in the school setting.  

I met with our Character Counts Club members after school Friday to discuss our plans for the National School of Character Celebration.  We have a nice plan in place and will be looking for donations to support the event.  I will send out information in my next Newsletter if you are interested.

Congratulations to Mr. Tom Trotta for being selected as our Employee of the Week!  Mr. Trotta is being recognized resulting from his complete transformation of his classroom and curriculum to meet the long-term needs of his students.  Mr. Trotta works in our Autism Academy and has tremendous pride in his work.  Mr. Trotta believes in what he does and loves his students!  I observed his classroom a few weeks ago and was impressed at the variety of life skills opportunities provided to his students!  Thank you Mr. Trotta for all you do!

Congratulations to our Seniors of the Month, Pat Jagielski and Holly Phillips for being recognized for the month of May!  Pat is a member of our Theater Company, the Thespians Honor Society, Peer Leadership, and East Ambassadors.  He is a member of the East swim team and works as a lifeguard at the YMCA and at Island Beach State Park in the summer months.  He is passionate about Science and Computer Science and hopes to potentially study Biology in college.  Holly is an AP student and a member of NHS and ranks in the top 20 of her Senior Class.  Holly has been a member of our basketball, cross country and winter and spring track teams at HSE.  She is a member of TEAM, the School Improvement Team and is the President of the Interact Club.  Holly is also a member of our Ambassadors and PAWS.  Thank you Pat and Holly for being positive reflections of our school community!

Congratulations to Ms. Candice Schultz for being named as our Mentor of the Month!  Ms. Schultz is a wonderful selection, as she volunteers her time to meet with students in need and to provide appropriate guidance to make good decisions while in school.  Ms. Schultz is a well-respected staff member who students feel comfortable going to discuss personal issues of concern.  Thank you Ms. Schultz for caring!

Congratulations to our girls lacrosse team for winning the Principal’s Cup this spring.  The Cup is awarded to the athletic team which demonstrates the highest academic GPA.  The girls averaged 4.82.  Great job Coach Jenae Koon and our ladies for your commitment to academic excellence!  Each of our players will receive a free Jersey Mike’s sub!  Keep up the great work!

Congratulations to Mrs. Susan DeGoey for her efforts at the district orchestra concert Thursday evening at HSN.  

Congratulations to former Raider, Ryan Klem, for being selected to receive The
Arthur J. Grymes, Jr. Book Award at Stevens Institute this week.  The award was established in 1963 and is presented annually to the senior who demonstrates the greatest interest or proficiency in fluid dynamics.  Congratulations Ryan!

Congratulations to Lauren Rodgers for being selected as a part of The New Jersey Thespians’ Student State Board!

Congratulations to our following seniors who worked hard towards their academic achievements over a four year period of time and earned Top 10 Recognition:  Haylie Montemurno (#10), Casey Masterson (#9), Christopher Contos (#8), Kyril Kavetsky (#7), Ryan Alexander (#6), Ryan Labelle (#5), Taylor Pistone (#4), Christina Bilotti (#3), Sarina Paolillo (#2), and Kierstyn Elliot (#1)!

As part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I would like to commend our LATIC teachers for their efforts to find new strategies to meet the individual needs of our students.  I observed Mrs. Kristen Mason this week teach a LATIC lesson on the Power of Sustainability.  The students were able to choose the method in which they acquired and applied the content material.  I look forward to hearing how the lesson worked out!  

Freshmen Academy

Mr. Kevin McCann will be meeting with Academy teachers during their Prep Periods to gain feedback on the status of the program and discuss future professional development workshops.  Mr. McCann will also discuss the Transition meeting on the 23rd.  

Attendance Matters

Approximately 780 of our students demonstrated perfect attendance for the month of April!  GREAT JOB!  We have approximately 113 students still with perfect attendance for the year!  We averaged 94.1 percent daily attendance rate for the month of April (improvement from previous month).  We have observed a 0.2% increase in our daily average attendance from a year ago, which was up 0.5% from the previous.  We are making strides!  

We averaged 80 absences per day in April.  Fridays continue to be our most problematic day of the week (average of 94).  Our 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade monthly averages were 96.1%, 95.5%, 92.7%, and 91.7%, respectively.  Our seniors are our most problematic group.  The trend is discerning as it appears our student’s perception of the importance of their education wanes the older they get.  I need the help of our parents to continue to reinforce responsibility and accountability, traits which will support individual success as they migrate into college and/or the workforce.  

Our students averaged approximately 37.3 lates per day, the majority coming after rush hour.  We are working on trying to address these issues, which we have over the year.  But, we still need support from home to ensure our student appreciate the importance of coming to school on time.  Our seniors pave the way for the highest averages, 13.7 per day compared to our freshmen at 4.9 per day.

I have voiced my concern regarding more parental support for children who deem it appropriate to cut a class.   I find this type of behavior to be extremely detrimental to the personal and academic growth of a student.  Please speak to your child about the importance of maintaining positive school attendance throughout the year and their tenure at East if this issue applies to your child.  

To date, we have observed approximately 600 fewer lates to school than the previous year and 700 fewer absences.  Great, but we have room to grow!  

Character Counts

Congratulations to Mallory Feign and Fletcher Gest for being named as our Character Counts Students of the Month.  Mallory was selected for her grace and dignity which she conducts herself each and every day.  She is willing to help others and does so with humility and gentleness.  Mallory is hard working and motivates others around her to push for excellence.  Fletcher portrays the character pillars as part of his daily routine at East.  He treats his classmates and teachers with respect.  Fletcher is valued in our building because he is so polite, a character his peers appreciate about him!  Thank you Mallory and Fletcher for being positive reflections of our school community!

A review of April’s data indicates that we documented approximately 236 referrals for the month.  The Seniors accounted for the highest percentages, followed by our Sophomore, Junior, and then Freshmen Classes.  The targeted issues of concern were lates to school, cutting class, and insubordination this month.  The following is a percentage breakdown of our discipline types:  Cell phones (2.1%), cuts (40.3%), cutting detention (1.7%), disruptive behavior (8.0%), drug policy (0.4%), inappropriate behavior (0.4%), inappropriate language (0.8%), insubordination (10.2%), lates to school (33.5%), truancy (0.4%), school policy (0.8%), assault (0.4%), and parking violation (0.4%).

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

At most colleges and universities, about 10 percent of students struggle with concentration. These students typically blame non-school related distractions for their concentration problems.

However, researchers have shown that loud noises and other distractions do not affect concentration. Rather, distractions are created through the way students interpret them.

Creating a Study Environment
1.        Choose an area that will be exclusively used for studying
2.        Surround yourself with study aides
3.        Study in quiet areas without TVs and radios
4.        Do not study in areas where you’ll fall asleep or become groggy

When to Study
1.        Study during the early morning, afternoon, and early evening since you’ll better retain information. Avoid studying late at night.
2.        Study during times when you will not be distracted by friends, extra-curricular activities, or work responsibilities
3.        Don’t study when you’re tired. Get plenty of rest before long study sessions
4.        When you can no longer concentrate or become extremely tired, end the study session

How to Study & Concentrate
1.        When studying in distracting situations, move to a new setting
2.        During study sessions, jot down distracting thoughts. This will enable you to forget them and focus on studying
3.        Begin study sessions by identifying goals. This could include the number of homework problems to work through or pages to read
4.        Reward yourself for meeting your study goals, which could include going to the movies, reading a book, or other activities you enjoy
5.        Structure study sessions by organizing content to be studied into chunks. This will limit boredom during long sessions
6.        Schedule periodic breaks to clear your mind
7.        Do not study while you’re watching TV or socializing with friends
8.        If you struggle concentrating, schedule multiple short study sessions
9.        Schedule study sessions in advance to avoid possible distractions
10.        Remember that friends will not lose respect for you if you miss out on social gathering to study. There will always be time to relax and have fun
11.        Plan study sessions around content to cover rather than time. Constantly checking your watch is distracting

Diagnostic Matters
Identify which concepts are most important to understand before studying. In other words, determine the underlying concepts that must be understood to solve common problems. Also, identify your motivations for studying. If you’re motivated by a love of learning, it will probably be easier to find motivation. Likewise, have a long-term perspective. What you’re studying now may not be interesting, but neglecting to study can affect future job and graduate school opportunities.

The above was taken from the following website on Student Concentration Tips (https://www.collegeatlas.org/concentration-tips.html)

Issues

I would like to remind all of our senior parents that we do not condone ‘Senior Pranks’ and that there is no official ‘Senior Cut Day’.  I spoke to the Graduation Committee to remind their peers that they may lose their privilege to walk at graduation if we deem the behavior to be in violation of our expectations of a Raider.  Regarding our upcoming Prom on the 19th, please remind your child of your safety expectations.  We do expect our seniors to be in school on the 22nd.    

We held our Field of Dreams organizational meeting after school on Monday.  Christian Kane spoke to our group and we discussed our strategy to market the May 22, 2017 Blues Claws game.  Our initial goal is to sell as many tickets as we can to support the project.  Tickets are $20, which include entry into game and a t-shirt.  Children under 12 will eat free (hot dog, chips, and drink).  Please go to www.trfieldofdreams.weebly.com to purchase your ticket.  

This Week at East (5/15 – 5/19)

We are holding our monthly fire and security drills this week.  Mrs. Molly Berkowicz will speak to our seniors in preparation for Prom this week.  Mrs. Berkowicz’s topic will be prom safety.  Mrs. Dawn Aulisi will be meeting with all of our seniors during PE class to discuss Prom safety issues.  We are hosting our SAT 1800 Club and Community Service Breakfast Friday morning in the Media Center.  We are holding a STEAM Workshop at East following the morning ceremonies.  Senior Prom will be held at Southgate Manor Friday evening.    

Information

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Students who meet the annual hour criteria will be recognized at the Community Service breakfast on May 19th.  Opportunities in the Military Day is on May 19th from 9am-10:30am in the Lecture Hall. Interested students need to sign up in Guidance.  Seniors, please inform your guidance counselor of your post-secondary plans.  Students interested in academic summer programs can see Mrs. Millard for more information.  Scholarships are still available.  Please visit the HSE Guidance website for additional information.  The Job Opportunity board has been updated. Check out what stores are hiring!  Construction Industry Day is on May 31st. Students can learn about HVAC, roofing, carpentry, plumbing, etc. Bus leaves HSE at 7:30am. Please sign up in Guidance by Wednesday, May 24th.


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

Week in Review (4/24 – 4/28)

We held our Field of Dreams organizational meeting after school on Monday.  Christian Kane spoke to our group and we discussed our strategy to market the May 22, 2017 Blues Claws game.  Our initial goal is to sell as many tickets as we can to support the project.  Tickets are $20, which include entry into game and a t-shirt.  Children under 12 will eat free (hot dog, chips, and drink).  Please go to www.trfieldofdreams.weebly.com to purchase your ticket.  

Our Safety Team conducted exercises during lunch periods in an ‘Active Shooter’ scenario as a part of our monthly security drill.  Our Safety Team acted the components of A.L.I.C.E (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and escape) for our 9th - 12th students to perform in an emergency situation.  The drills were well received.  Thank you Mr. Ed Kayler and Mr. Scott Kenny for taking the time to develop the creative drill and to provide our students with an understanding of how to best prepare for an intruder intended on hurting others.  Our Climate Committee met after school Tuesday and organized final end of year activities.  We discussed Secretary’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, Cafeteria Lady Day, our retirement parade, retirement party, prom, graduation and senior night.  

Wednesday was Secretary’s Day.  We appreciate our ladies who come to work with a smile and willingness to help others.  Our ladies are kind and considerate and are the backbone of this school!  I would like to thank Mr. Helen Klem, Mrs. Brenda Cassidy, Mrs. Lisa Nigro, Mrs. Sheryl Middleton, Mrs. Melissa Friedman, Mrs. Lisa Robins, Mrs. Barbara Ennis, Ms. Kimberly Picinic, Mrs. Lisa Varley, Mrs. Marianne Steinhart, Mrs. Rose Porzio, Mrs. Sue Yajcaji, and Mrs. Joyce Willie for all you do to make East a wonderful place.  We appreciate you!

Our Behavior Committee met after school on Wednesday and discussed our final projects for the year.  We discussed our 3-v-3 basketball fundraiser for the Field of Dreams project.  We also discussed our Pay It Forward project to include all East students (generating an act of kindness for a stranger) and our support of our 8th grade Transition on the 23rd.  The kids were enthusiastic and well organized!  I have to commend the kids for their commitment to make our school a better place!  Congrats to Sofia Moderno for delivering another speech at the Board Meeting regarding the wonderful things going on in this building over the past month.  I presented an award to Tyler Sacko for his acceptance into the All-State Orchestra.  Congratulations Tyler and to Mrs. Susan Degoey for representing East with pride!

We held our Senior Graduation Committee meeting Thursday to vote on last week’s topics.  The committee made decisions on various portions of the ceremony to make it a better representation of their class.  The kids were excited and are looking forward to the 21st of June.  Our Thursday afternoon was quite busy as our Community Outreach, Character Counts Club, and Safety Team all convened after school.  Our Community Outreach discussed the success of the Y-Kids project we started this week and our painting of portions of the school cafeteria (project to begin on Friday).  Our Character Counts Club members convened as a group to discuss our objectives presented in Wednesday’s meeting.  Ms. Carol Ann Salvaggione presented to our Safety Team 2016-2017 school HIB data.  The data presented will provide direction for addressing the inappropriate school behavior for the next school year.  We will evaluate and place measures to move East forward.

We held our Senior Parent Reception Thursday evening.  A variety of speakers shared important information on yearbooks, senior prom, senior night, guidance issues, behavior expectations and student safety as it relates to prom and graduation.  Thank you parents for taking the time to attend and providing us with wonderful children!  We are looking to enjoy our end-of-year activities and to maintain a safe school environment.  If any of our senior parents were unable to make the evening, please have your child stop in to the Main Office to pick up the covered material.  

We held our Driven to Excellence drawings Friday morning as DJ ‘Alfierious’ played his morning song.  We will inform our selected students who will represent HSE in next month’s district drawing for a new car, donated by Pine Belt.  

I wanted to congratulate our Indoor Color Guard for a wonderful season to date.  I apologize as I was unable to make the show Sunday evening at HSE, but wanted our kids and family members to know how proud I am of them for representing East with pride!  Our kids have been competing at the highest level all season!  Keep up the great work and congratulations on your success!

Athletically, our boys lacrosse team continued their impressive run of form with victories Monday and Friday afternoon.  I was able to get to the game on Monday and thought the kid’s energy level and passion for their colors were inspiring!  Our girls golf team collected wins on Friday versus Central, Barnegat, and HS South.  Congrats to the baseball team for their victory Friday afternoon against Brick Memorial.  Although we may not have had success in other sports this week, I am more than aware of the kid’s efforts to work hard and I commend them for their commitment!  Keep focused!

Congratulations to Gianna Perez for being the 2017 Delegate for American Legion Girls State!  Congratulations also to Mr. Dennis Weidenbush for his recognition as the VFW Teacher of the Year between the three Toms River High Schools!    

Great job Ms. Carol Ann Salvaggione for coordinating our district OCPGA Spring College Kick-Off Fair on April 25th.  Speakers from HESAA spoke about financial aid.  The fair was free to families.  Do not forget that Construction Industry Career Day will be held on May 31, 2017 at the NJ Convention and Expo Center at 8:00 a.m. for interested juniors.  You can register online at www.cicdnj.org.  

Thank you to our Environmental Club members for their support of Seaside Park’s Beach Sweep on April 22, 2017.  Special thanks to Maysi Salt, who served as an assistant Beach Captain and handed out various materials, participated in giving the necessary instructions for the statewide clean-up effort, and otherwise facilitated the smooth transition of all the appropriate work.  Great job Raiders!  

I acknowledged Mrs. Kaitlin Mahony as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Mahony teaches our Fashion and Design course at East and does an amazing job with the kids.  Mrs. Mahony formerly worked in the industry and worked with celebrities like Beyonce.  Mrs. Mahony brings her wealth of experience and passion for the subject into her class and has done a tremendous job motivating her students.  Mrs. Mahony is also actively involved in several of our committees and volunteers her personal time to help improve the school environment.  I thank Mrs. Mahony for all she does and wanted her to know how much we appreciate her enthusiasm and committed to East Excellence!

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I observed Mr. Doug Trumble’s Humanities lesson Monday afternoon.  I was a celebrity judge on a class project.  The kids were asked to research a philosopher and to find terms related to the respective philosopher and to create an image based on the ‘theme’ of the philosopher.  The art projects were incredible!  I stopped into Mrs. Lynn Masellis’ Physical Science class Tuesday morning.  I observed students creatively exploring the concepts of compression and expansion waves as they relate to the movement of a ‘slinky’.  Fun lab!  I observed Ms. Deb Gould on Wednesday and Ms. Kelsey Chatten on Thursday teach a lesson on graphing mathematical equations and balancing chemical equations, respectively.  Both staff members did an outstanding job!  Thank you to all of our staff for continuing to move East forward!    


Freshmen Academy

Our next Lunchtime Academy meeting will address inappropriate use of technology through the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Attendance Matters

Please do not allow your child’s attendance to slip in the final few weeks of school.  Remember, we expect our students to come to school every day, on time, and ready to learn!  Thank you.

Character Counts

I will provide April’s behavior data in next week’s newsletter.

May’s Character Counts pillar of the month is Honesty (telling the truth; straightforward conduct).  Feel free to engage your child in a discussion of the below topics to support our monthly pillar.  

•        Have your child make a list of their most basic beliefs - ones on which they would not compromise. Have him/her select one of them to write a short story (real or imagined).

•        Ask your child to write a letter to someone at East whose integrity has impressed them.

•        Brainstorm all the excuses and rationalizations people give for lying, cheating, and stealing and have a discussion about them.  How valid are they?  What’s wrong with each of them?

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Our students should know how to get good grades.  I collected notes from the book, Getting the Most Out of High School and listed them below.  

•        Be Successful in the Classroom (if you pay attention in class, you have less to learn on your own)
o        Be in class, on time, every day.
o        Learn how to adapt to different teaching styles.
o        Bring everything you need with you to class.
o        Always do all of your homework.
o        Participate in class.
o        Don’t leave class with unanswered questions.

•        Study Smart (students who study smart spend less time studying, and yet they get better grades)
o        Find a good place to study.
o        Focus on one thing at a time.
o        Break large assignments down into smaller parts.
o        Do difficult assignments first, while you’re still fresh and alert.

Issues

We are getting more and more questions and concerns regarding the recent Netflix showing of “13 Reasons Why” by our students.  To support our staff, I distributed talking points which were created by the National Association of School Psychologist's (thank you Dr. Lowery for providing me with the information).  The miniseries portrays adults (parents, guidance counselors, administration) in an unfavorable light.  It is critical that students who have concerns about themselves or others to reach out to a trusted adult immediately.  Some students are curious and mentioning the miniseries because it is being talked about liberally on social media; however, others may be very interested because they are struggling with their own issues. The talking points link is https://www.save.org/13-reasons-why/.

This Week at East (5/1 – 5/5)


We begin our AP Exam schedule Monday morning.  Good luck to all of our students.  I will be meeting with Student Council on Tuesday.  We will hold our monthly fire drill this week.  Our Senior Graduation Committee will continue to move forward on our preparations for the big day!  Friday is Café Lady Day.  We will be recognizing the efforts of our ladies all day!  We will conclude our PARCC testing on Thursday.  Junior Prom will be held at HS East Saturday evening.  

Information

Register online for the June 3rd SAT at www.collegeboard.com by May 9th.  Students interested in academic summer programs can see Mrs. Millard for more information.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Students who meet the annual hour criteria will be recognized at the Community Service breakfast in May.  Scholarships are still available.  Please visit the HSE Guidance website for additional information.  The Job Opportunity board has been updated. Check out what stores are hiring!  OCVTS will be having a Career Expo on Saturday, May 13th from 9am-1pm at the Brick Center.  This is a great opportunity for seniors who are undecided about their post-secondary plans to learn about the various 10-month accelerated training programs.  Next week English teachers will be distributing one BlueClaws ticket voucher to each junior. The voucher is good for 1 ticket to the College Fair at First Energy Park on May 10, 2017 at 5:30pm. The students will also be able to enjoy the baseball that night against the Greenville Drive (Boston Red Sox Affiliate).

Media Center Highlights:
During the month of April, the Media Center celebrated many activities.  April is School Library Month, which is the American Association of School Librarians' celebration of school librarians and their programs.  The 2017 theme is “Because School Libraries Empower Students”, a sentiment that we embrace and believe that the Media Center is the learning hub of High School East!  Students are encouraged to read, utilize the available resources, or just take time to read a book.

April is also National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.  According to the Academy, National Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.  On April 27th, the Media Center celebrated National Poem in Your Pocket Day.  On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

PARCC testing is continuing during the month of April in the Media Center.  Regular testing takes place in the morning and make-ups take place later in the day.  The Media Center opens daily at 6:30 a.m. and remains open after school until 2:25 p.m. for student use in the event that we are closed due to PARCC testing.

Just a reminder that the National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring to students seeking help in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.  Tutors are available after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Media Center and no appointment is necessary.  For more information on National Honor Society tutoring, please contact advisor Ms. Laura Morgan at lmorgan@trschools.com

PARCC SCHEDULE

Testing Schedule:

•        Day 1- 3         – Mar 27-29        :         English 11                
•        Day 4- 5         – Mar 30-31        :         Make-up Testing

•        Day 6- 8         – Apr 3-5:                 Algebra II
•        Day 9-10         – Apr 6-7:                 Make-up Testing

•        Day 11-13         – Apr 19-21:         English 10
•        Day 14-16         – Apr 24-26:         Geometry

•        Day 17-19         – Apr 27-May 1:         English 9
•        Day 20-22         – May 2-4:                 Algebra I

•        Day 23-33        - May 12-19        :          Make-up Testing

We will be running our normal bell schedule throughout the testing period.  Our school attendance and behavioral policies will be enforced.  I will hold student assemblies for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to review PARCC and school expectations.  As a reminder, students are expected to come to school every day, be on time, and come prepared to learn!  Students are expected to do their best when they are testing!  I have all the confidence in our students and staff and know we will represent East with pride!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (4/3 – 4/7)

PARCC week two, au revoir!  We have completed testing for English Language Arts 11 and Algebra II.  With only a few minor glitches, the testing process was a success.  We will resume testing after Spring Break (see below schedule).  

Our athletic teams were in full swing this week for opening day(s).  We wish all of our student-athletes success as they represent East with pride!  Our Character Counts Club met after school on Tuesday and discussed moving many of their ideas to bridge the student-student gap more successfully in our building.  I was informed of the meeting and look forward to observing the various activities in action.  I attended a principal training session on LATIC (Learner-Active, Technology Infused Classroom) instructional strategies in the afternoon.  I am excited to begin looking at more creative ways to better engage students in instruction and to increase rigor and make personal connections to the content material.  

We celebrated Autism Awareness Month on Wednesday by wearing the color Blue.  Mr. Steven Ebert, Ms. Danielle Muska, and Mr. Chris Polhemus posted their puzzle activity pieces in the lower East Hallway in support of our wonderful special needs student population.

Our Raiders Helping Raiders conducted their ‘Eggstravaganza’ on Thursday to great success.  I received decorated gifts from many of our students throughout the day.  I appreciated the activity and opportunity afforded to link our mentors and mentees.  Great job Mrs. Erin Anders for organizing the event!  I met with our Peer Leader Advisors, Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau after school to discuss a more personal 8th grade transition.  At our last PTO meeting, parents discussed the importance of our incoming students to connect to current students in an effort to gain insight from a student’s perspective regarding life as a Raider.  We are in the process of organizing an event for late May.  Should be fun!  I will inform you of the results!

We held our Spring Pep Rally Friday morning!  The kids have been working hard balancing PARCC, end of quarter assignments, and extracurricular responsibilities and we wanted to let them know we appreciate them.  I was so proud of the school spirit on display through the various activities.  Our cheerleaders were incredible throughout their routine!  Our Dance Team did a fabulous job on their very first public performance!  I was able to sit back and observe all of the wonderful positive relationships between students and students and students and staff.  Our PTO hosted an Uncle Dood’s Donut sale in the morning and began selling our phone cases.  Mrs. Melissa Reimertz’s students held their First Acts Friday evening.  I attended and was very impressed with the effort and talent on display!  I commend the performers for putting themselves out there to be judged!  I also appreciate the efforts of our writers, directors, and crew for the outstanding efforts!  Great job kids!

I met with Mr. Christian Kane Friday afternoon and discussed his Field of Dreams project for children with disabilities in Toms River.  The objective is to create an experience for every special needs child and their family to enjoy a day at the park.  The field will be utilized throughout the year by YMCA programs, community events and for spring and fall special needs baseball seasons.  We will be supporting the project through our Community Outreach Committee, various clubs and organizations.  For more information, please visit the website, www.ocyma.org/TRFOD.  Our first activity will be to sell tickets to the May 22, 2017 game at 6:35 PM at Blue Claws stadium.  We will be looking to our parents to support this worthwhile initiative.  If interested, please email me at pthomas@trschools.com.  Thank you!

Congratulations to Ray Kleinschmidt for his exceptional performance on his American Association Teachers of German test this past week.  Ray scored in the 93rd percentile and received a free 3 week trip to Germany.  Great job Mr. Joel Tourjee for your efforts in support of Ray!

We acknowledged Matt Tice, Mrs. Christina Gregus-Bowker, and Mrs. Kellyann Orbin this week as part of our Why You’re Awesome initiative.  Matt found more than $50 in the hallway and turned in the money to the Main Office.  The money was eventually returned to the owner.  We acknowledged Mrs. Gregus-Bowker and Mrs. Orbin for their efforts to coordinate the RHR Eggstravaganza this past week!  Thank you all for doing wonderful jobs!

I acknowledged Mrs. Lucia Doulong as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Doulong teaches French at High School East and North.  Mrs. Doulong is passionate about her subject matter and has a wonderful relationship with her students.  I appreciate the ‘extras’ Mrs. Doulong brings to our building as a member of our Attendance Committee.  I attribute many of the various success stories to her creative ideas and energy to move our building forward.  Mrs. Doulong is also an advocate for positive school behavior and is always looking at ways to connect her curriculum to good character!  Thank you Mrs. Doulong for adding value to our school and your love for your students!

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I wanted to thank Mrs. Lisa Nigro for being the ‘rock’ behind the madness in substitute scheduling for the PARCC.  We are bringing in approximately 15-20 substitute teachers each day to cover classes as our teachers are administering the respective tests.  There are numerous adjustments to the schedule and Mrs. Nigro is always ahead of the curve!  Thank you Mrs. Nigro for keeping us organized!  I wanted to thank all of our students and staff who are committed to our mindset of coming to school every day, on time, and ready to learn.  I enjoyed the positive ‘vibe’ in our Pep Rally Friday morning which I believe to be a nice reflection of student and staff perception of the building.  It was wonderful to observe people helping people and being positive.  I appreciated the behavior.  Thank you parents who send your children to school with high expectations.  We appreciate YOU!  

Freshmen Academy

Our next Lunchtime Academy meeting will address inappropriate use of technology through the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Attendance Matters

We made relative data comparisons between March 2015 and March 2017 data, below are the respective results.
•        Observed 59 fewer students with perfect monthly attendance; 22 more students with overall perfect attendance for year; and 0.6% improvement in overall school wide attendance.
•        Observed an average of 20 fewer schoolwide absences per day; averaged 25 fewer absences per day on Mondays, 9.3 on Tuesdays, 13.6 on Wednesdays, 20.1 on Thursdays, and 13.5 on Fridays.
•        Observed improvements in sophomore and junior level attendance and decreases in freshmen and seniors comparing March 2016 and March 2017.  I was unable to evaluate 2015 as I did not collect data in same manner for individual class levels.  I also look at the total number of students who miss at least one day of school.  Comparing 2016 and 2017, we observed 27 overall fewer numbers of students who were absent at least once.
•        Regarding lates, observed an average of 7.6 fewer lates per day comparing March 2015 and March 2017.  Averaged 9.5 fewer lates per day on Mondays, 4 fewer on Tuesdays, 8.2 on Wednesdays, 1.7 on Thursdays, and 22.5 on Fridays.
•        Observed improvements in freshmen, sophomore, and senior lates (average 6.7 fewer).  However, we observed an average of 0.7 more lates for our junior class in this time frame.  There were 38 overall fewer numbers of students who were late at least once.      
•        Regarding cuts, observed 49 fewer overall cuts and averaged approximately 2.9 fewer per day.  We observed 11 fewer freshmen cut referrals, 14 sophomore cut referrals, 3 junior cut referrals, and 21 senior cut referrals.

To date, observed 642 fewer absences than last year at this time and 780 fewer lates to school comparing 2015-2016 to 2016-2017 to date.  Good!

Character Counts

Comparing the same time frame as above, observed the following:

•        Observed decreases in freshmen and sophomore percentages of referrals and increases in our junior and senior classes.
•        Observed a total of 75 fewer freshmen referrals, 6 more sophomore referrals, 22 more junior referrals, and 16 more senior referrals comparing March 2015 and March 2017.
•        Regarding school wide discipline type, we are observing similar trends in the types of inappropriate behavior (cuts, lates to school, cutting detention, lates to class, inappropriate behavior and language, insubordination, and disruptive behavior).  

For the past month, we addressed approximately 354 individual referrals with the juniors accounting for the highest percentage (33.9%).  The following is a list of the respective referral types with corresponding percentages:  Cell phones (3.9%), cuts (25.1%), cutting detention (6.8%), disruptive behavior (7.6%), HIB (0.3%), inappropriate language (0.3%), insubordination (11.3%), lates to school (31.6%), late to class (1.7%), threats (0.6%), truancy (0.3%), vandalism (0.3%), and school policy (1.5%).

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Our students should know how to get good grades.  I collected notes from the book, Getting the Most Out of High School and listed them below.  

•        Take Good Notes (having good notes to study from will help you do better on tests)
o        Pay attention and think about what your teacher is saying.
o        Recognize and write down the important information.
o        Take notes that are neat and easy to read.
o        If you’re absent, get copies of the notes you missed.

•        Know How to Read a Textbook (to help you remember what you read, go through these three steps)
o        Survey.  Before you start to read, look over the headings and words in bold and italic print.
o        Read.  Read the entire passage.
o        Review.  When you’re done, do a quick review of what you’ve read.

Issues

I have nothing to report this week.

This Week at East (4/18 – 4/21)

We return from Spring Break on the 18th.  We will resume PARCC testing on the 19th (see schedule below).  We will hold our Core Team Meeting on the 18th.  We will also conduct our Mindfulness Workshop for our RHR students.  I am hosting our first Senior Graduation Committee Meeting on the 20th to begin our process of planning out our ceremony.  I will also be meeting with our Union Representatives on the 21st.  

Information

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

I would like to thank Mr. Bill Morano for his generous donation to our Community Outreach Fund.  The money we gather from local community business leaders helps to support our school programs aimed at moving East forward.  Mr. Morano is a former educator at High School East and has always maintained a commitment to student success following his retirement.  Mr. Morano runs a very successful bus touring business.  I have taken a few over the years and commend their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.  I appreciate community members who are connected to our school vision and mission!  Check out his flyer for super deals on various trips.
(http://www.moranotours.net/flier.pdf)

Our college visit schedule is posted in our Guidance Office for student review.  However, we are hosting Ocean County College, The Paul Mitchell School, and Rosemont College on the 30th.  Mount Saint Vincent will be at East on the 31st.  

Mrs. Carol Ann Salvaggione organized our upcoming OCPGA Spring College Kick-Off Fair to be held on April 25, 2017.  There will be displays from more than 100 colleges and tech schools, plus the Military will be represented.  For more information, please email Ms. Salvaggione at csalvaggione@trschools.com.

Kindergarten Registration is now open.  Please visit www.trschools.com for full details and to register and schedule an appointment for either March 18, March 25 or April 29.

Below is our PARCC testing schedule.  Please contact your child’s counselor with questions.  Good luck Raiders!

PARCC SCHEDULE

Testing Schedule:

•        Day 1- 3         – Mar 27-29        :         English 11                
•        Day 4- 5         – Mar 30-31        :         Make-up Testing

•        Day 6- 8         – Apr 3-5:                 Algebra II
•        Day 9-10         – Apr 6-7:                 Make-up Testing

•        Day 11-13         – Apr 19-21:         English 10
•        Day 14-16         – Apr 24-26:         Geometry

•        Day 17-19         – Apr 27-May 1:         English 9
•        Day 20-22         – May 2-4:                 Algebra I

•        Day 23-33        - May 12-19        :          Make-up Testing

We will be running our normal bell schedule throughout the testing period.  Our school attendance and behavioral policies will be enforced.  I will hold student assemblies for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to review PARCC and school expectations.  As a reminder, students are expected to come to school every day, be on time, and come prepared to learn!  Students are expected to do their best when they are testing!  I have all the confidence in our students and staff and know we will represent East with pride!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (3/27 – 3/31)

Welcome back PARCC, we missed you!  We tested our English Language Arts 11 students Monday through Wednesday and held make-up testing Thursday and Friday of this week.  I was VERY impressed with the attitudes of our students and professionalism of our staff to ensure a smooth and efficient testing environment.  I commended the kids on Friday for their exceptional behavior.  Thank you mom and dad for providing us with such wonderful children!  We held our College and Career Connection Committee meeting after school on Monday.  We divided up the student survey data and will tabulate the results to support student interest.  Hopefully, we will be able to connect with local businesses in the respective fields to provide workshops and internships for our kids.  

Our Community Outreach Committee met after school on Tuesday and discussed our connection to Y-Kids.  We will be sending students to East Dover Elementary school to tutor and make personal connections with future Raiders.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentor group conducted their mural project Tuesday after school.  The new mural is in the upper East hallway.  The group will put the finishing touches on it next week.  Our hallways are littered with beautiful murals designed by Mr. William Dishon and Mrs. Erin Calicchio.  Our mentors and mentees actually do the painting, which is touched up by Mr. Dishon.  We held our monthly PTO meeting in the Main Office Conference Room Tuesday evening.  I spoke on the Principal’s agenda and then moved into fundraising ideas.  Our group will conduct another donut fundraiser on the 7th prior to our Spring Pep Rally.  We will also be selling cell phone cases to raise further funds for our school.   Thank you to our wonderful parents who took their personal time to attend the meeting!

We cancelled our Curriculum Committee meeting after school on Wednesday.  

Our Dance Team held a fundraiser at Margaritas Thursday evening while our Sophomore Class held one at Friendly’s.  Mrs. Dawn Aulisi held our Consent is Everything presentations Thursday periods 1 through 4 in the Lecture Hall.

I met with our seniors taking the Algebra II PARCC assessment Friday morning and discussed their graduation options.  Mrs. Aulisi concluded her Consent is Everything presentations Friday morning in the Lecture Hall.  I met with our spring coaches and discussed my expectations of our athletes.  I expect our coaches to relay the information and to hold their athletes accountable to the Code of Conduct.  I expect our athletes to compete with pride for their school, as they represent themselves, their team, coaches, parents, school, and community.  I view our student athletes as ambassadors of this school and role-models.  I am confident we will represent East to the best of our abilities!

I conducted our ‘How well do you know your teacher's’ activity a little different this week considering we were unable to make announcements.  I sent the following clues out to our staff (to solicit their response):  Graduate of High School North, attended Jimmy Carter’s inauguration, is a licensed scuba diver, loves to fish, and loves Cape May.  The answer was Mr. Joe Burns, of course.  Congratulations to Mr. Kevin Kanarkowski for providing the right answer.  Mr. Burns graduated HSN in 1976, attended college at the Virginia Military Institute and graduated in 1980, earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, is a licensed pilot, was a US Army paratrooper, and has been an English teacher at East for the past 31 years.  

I would like to thank Jessica Maccarone for doing such a beautiful job designing our poster to promote senior attendance on our problematic days (Mondays and Fridays).  We are selecting names of seniors in school every Monday and Friday to win great Prom prizes.  

Congratulations to Michael Fobian for his victory at our Mr. TRE contents Friday evening.  Michael outcompeted a group of seniors vying for the title.  I thought the kids did a great job and would like to thank them all for their efforts!  Thank you too Mr. Matt Cicalese and Mrs. Jenn Fazzini for successfully orchestrating such a large production!

Congratulations to Devon Englehardt for his acceptance into the All Shore Symphonic Band.  Devon was part of an auditioned ensemble that pulls talented students from Monmouth and Ocean County schools.  Devon was the only student accepted from both counties on his instrument, which is amazing for such a young performer!  Great job Devon, we are proud of you!

I wanted to thank our Robotics Team for presenting to Silver Bay Elementary School (I mentioned in previous Newsletter, but did not provide details).  We held four sessions with a 20 minute changeover of students in each session of approximately 200 4th and 5th graders.  Our team taught the little ones Ozoblockly/Oxobots, We-Doos Legos, and the Lightning Lab (Spheros, BB8, and Ollie) robotics block coding (What?  This is over my head).  Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli informed me the elementary students were engaged and had a wonderful time.  Our students were viewed as ‘rock stars’!
Congratulations to our Indoor Color Guard for their impressive 1st Place finish at this weekend’s competition.  This is our 3rd time finishing in first!  Great job kids, I am so very proud of you!  Keep up the great effort!

I acknowledged the one and only, Mr. Kevin Cohen as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Cohen could win this award every week.  He loves his subject matter and demonstrates completed dedication to the personal and academic success of all of his students.  He takes tremendous pride in being an educator, and loves this building.  He has a way of getting others to feel his passion for his subject matter and makes everyone feel as if nothing else matters.  His clubs and trips provide opportunities for students to participate in the historical significance of our local settings.  At the moment of this writing, he is here at school providing extra-help sessions for his students on their upcoming AP Exam.  Thank you Mr. Cohen for all you do for our students!      

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I wanted to recognize the various individuals in our school who keep this building moving so we are able to effectively provide all the things we like to think schools do for our children.  I would like to recognize Head Custodian, Mr. Mike Yost, for being the backbone of our building and being someone we can always count on the ensure we are able to do, what we do.  Mr. Yost is one of the hardest working people I have ever had the pleasure to work with.  Mr. Yost is able to adjust to constant scheduling modifications because he is so well organized.  He keeps the building clean and has pride in what he does.  So do we!  I wanted to recognized the real Boss at High School East, Head Secretary, Mrs. Helen Klem.  Mrs. Klem has been at East for years and has worked with many administrators before we became a team.  I admire Mrs. Klem for her ability to handle virtually every issue with complete professionalism.  She works hard, showing up early and leaving late almost every day.  I often have to inform her to go home.  I joke with her as there is virtually no question she does not have the appropriate answer for.  We feel assured having her at East guiding this building and meeting the needs of our students and staff.  She enjoys what she does, and we appreciate her!  Thank you Mrs. Klem for making my job that much better by supporting me in every capacity!  I wanted to also recognize our Security Officers, Mr. Ed Kayler and Mr. Scott Kenny for their devotion to school safety.  They have a wonderful rapport with our student population and are always looking to find ways to make East ‘safer’.  They created teams of students who look to school safety and service learning.  I am proud of their proactive approach to the most important thing we can do at East (safety).  Mr. Kayler and Mr. Kenny both promote positive school behavior and are advocates for our Character Counts program.  Thank you both for all you do, we are a better place with you in it!  



Freshmen Academy

Our next Lunchtime Academy meeting will address inappropriate use of technology through the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Mr. Kevin McCann turned over our proceeds from our Penny Wars we conducted earlier in the year to Relay for Life!  We were pleased to donate to the worthy cause!

Attendance Matters

I will present March’s attendance data in next week’s Newsletter.

Debunking the Myths About School Attendance

Myth 1: Attending Kindergarten Regularly Doesn’t Really Matter

Reality: Chronic absence (missing 10 percent of school days) in kindergarten is associated with lower academic performance in 1st grade, especially in reading for Latino students. For poor children, unable to make up for time on task, the poor performance extended through 5th grade. By 6th grade chronic absence is a clear predictor of dropout. By 9th grade, missing 20 percent of the school year is a better predictor of dropping out than test scores.
Chronic absence in the early grades and beyond can affect all students when teachers must spend time reviewing concepts for children who missed the lesson in the first place. And it can cost schools money when state funding is linked to attendance. Chronic absence can serve as an early warning signal that a child or a school is headed off track. It can reflect unhealthy economic and social conditions.

Myth 2: We don’t need to worry about large number of students missing school until middle or high school.

Reality: While absenteeism is more widespread in secondary school, it still affects vast numbers of younger students. Nationally, one in 10 kindergarten and 1st grade students miss a month of school every year. In some districts, as many as one in four students in the primary grades are missing too much school time. This isn’t just truancy, since most young children don’t stay home without a parent’s knowledge. It’s important to address the problem in the early grades before a student heads off track academically and bad attendance habits become entrenched.

Myth 3: Most school already monitor when students are chronically absent.

Reality: Even when teachers take the roll daily, the data they collect is not typically analyzed to reveal chronic absence patterns. Rather, most schools measure school-wide attendance—or they track truancy, which doesn’t capture excused absences. When school districts analyze all absences, they are often surprised at how many students are missing 10 percent or more of the school year.
Even if schools track absences for individual students, they often don’t analyze patterns that can reveal when a particular neighborhood or classroom is disproportionately affected. These patterns can suggest the best remedies for reducing absences.

Myth 4: Because families are ultimately responsible for children getting to class, there’s not much schools can do to improve attendance.

Reality: Schools across the nation are starting to track chronic absence and seeing better attendance. The first step is analyzing the data to find patterns that can inform the response. Look for:

•        Systemic reform – Baltimore cut its middle school chronic absence rate in half in large part due to structural changes. The city shut down its most troubled middle schools and created, instead, kindergarten-to-eighth grade campuses that kept sixth graders more engaged or sixth-to-12th grade schools that could serve older students retained in lower grades. At the same time, officials actively reviewed their discipline policy and took a strong stance against suspending students for minor, non-violent offences. For example, they ceased suspending students for truancy.

•        Barriers to attendance – A careful analysis can reveal pockets of chronic absence that can be addressed with tailored responses. If absences are clustered in one neighborhood, consider a school bus or safe walking route; if asthma or other chronic illness is the problem, beef up health services. If parents don’t understand the consequences of absence in the early grades, educate them. If chronic absence is clustered in a particular classroom, examine whether the teacher needs help developing stronger partnerships with parents and a more engaging curriculum.

•        Targeted community responses – If the broader strategies don’t work, bring together schools, health and social services to reach out to children and families on a case by case basis. Use attendance clerks and volunteer mentors to check regularly with families and use public and nonprofit agencies to provide transportation, counseling or other needs.
(Attendance Works)

Character Counts

I will present March behavior data in next week’s Newsletter.

A school committed to character strives to become a microcosm of a civil, caring, and just society. It does this by creating a community that helps all its members form respectful relationships that lead to caring attachments to and responsibility for one another. This involves developing caring relationships between students and staff, among students (within and across grade levels), among staff, and between staff and families. These caring relationships foster both the desire to learn and the desire to be a good person. All children and adolescents have needs for safety, belonging, and the experience of contributing, and they are more likely to internalize the values and expectations of groups that meet these needs. Likewise, if staff members and parents experience mutual respect, fairness, and cooperation in their relationships with each other, they are more likely to develop the capacity to promote those values in students. In a caring school community, the daily life of classrooms and all other parts of the school environment (e.g., hallways, cafeteria, playground, sports fields, buses, front office, and teachers’ lounge) are imbued with a climate of concern and respect for others.
(Exert from Character.Org)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Establish a goal to complete all assignments.  Use the Homework Tracker (previous Newsletter) to record each assignment, its due date, and the date you actually complete it.  Do this for one week.  If you completed every assignment, bravo!  If you failed to complete one or more assignments, you need to work harder at establishing this good habit.  For some goals, an 80 percent or 90 percent rate is very good.  In this case, however, anything less than 100 percent in unacceptable.  So, if you fell short during your first attempt, try again.  Ask your parents to help by giving you reminders, checking your Homework Tracker, etc.  If you have very bad habits in this area, ask your teachers to use the Daily Check Sheet (see Appendix A) to help you keep on track.
(Good Students, Good Habits)

Issues

I have nothing to report this week.

This Week at East (4/3 – 4/7)

High School East is so very proud to support Autism Awareness.  We are asking our staff to wear Blue every Wednesday in April and to participate in a ‘puzzle project’.  More to follow.  Our RHR mentor group will participate in ‘Eggstravaganza’ on Thursday.  Mentors and mentees will dye eggs and participate in other fun activities.  I will be attending an administrative training session on new methods to promote engagement, relevance, and rigor in the classroom environment Tuesday afternoon.  Our Character Club will be meeting after school on Tuesday.  We have our April Faculty Meeting after school on Wednesday to discuss next month’s Biology Testing.  We will hold our monthly fire drill this week.  Our Spring Pep Rally will be held on Friday.  We will test our Algebra II students in PARCC this week.  Good luck kids!    

Information

Media Center Highlights:  The expression “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” is fitting not only for our weather but for the events in the Media Center during this past month.  March events started during the first week, with the Freshman Academy students participating in a presentation by Peer Leadership students during their lunch period.  Activities included ice breaker “Would You Rather…” questions designed to get everyone to speak and feel comfortable.  Kudos to Vice Principal Kevin McCann, Peer Leadership students, Peer Leadership advisors, Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau, and Freshman Academy students who took part in the event!

The Photography Club held their meeting in the Media Center on March 22nd.  Members reviewed their texture, depth of field, and shadows projects from last month and received new projects including taking landscape shots and practicing using their ISO.  Two new members joined the club and hopefully next month members will be able to go outside to take photos.  For more information, please contact either Photography club advisor, Math teacher Mrs. Lisa Marotto at lmarotto@trschools.com or Media Secretary Mrs. Marianne Steinhart at msteinhart@trschools.com.

New Jersey Makers Day was celebrated on March 24th at locations throughout the state, at schools in our district, and in our high school East Media Center.
New Jersey Makers Day celebrates the culture of “making” in New Jersey through a variety of events and activities, where individuals can build, code, play, and learn in a hands-on environment.  East students were joined by Ocean County Teen Services Librarian Cecilia Pasqualicchio, utilizing book art and blackout poetry with our students.  Thanks to Ms. Pasqualicchio, our participating teachers Mrs. Tammie Pagano, Mrs. Sam DeBartolomeis, Ms. Ali Mika, Mr. Kyle Austin, and Mrs. Karen Seeland, and their students.  The creative juices were flowing!

Just a reminder that the National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring to students seeking help in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.  Tutors are available after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:45 until 2:25 in the Media Center and no appointment is necessary.  For more information on National Honor Society tutoring, please contact advisor Ms. Laura Morgan at lmorgan@trschools.com.

March went out like a lamb with the beginning of PARCC testing in the Media Center computer labs during the final week of the month.  Good luck to all students taking the state PARCC test!

Do you know what you are going to do after high school? Interested in visiting a 4 year college to learn about the benefits of continuing your education? Find out how Berkeley College can help you get started on your new career. There will be a trip to Berkeley's Woodbridge campus on Friday, April 7th from 8:30am - 1:15pm. Please sign up in Guidance.

Register online for the May 6th SAT at www.collegeboard.org by 4/7/17.

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

I would like to thank Mr. Bill Morano for his generous donation to our Community Outreach Fund.  The money we gather from local community business leaders helps to support our school programs aimed at moving East forward.  Mr. Morano is a former educator at High School East and has always maintained a commitment to student success following his retirement.  Mr. Morano runs a very successful bus touring business.  I have taken a few over the years and commend their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.  I appreciate community members who are connected to our school vision and mission!  Check out his flyer for superdeals on various trips.
(http://www.moranotours.net/flier.pdf)

Our college visit schedule is posted in our Guidance Office for student review.  However, we are hosting Ocean County College, The Paul Mitchell School, and Rosemont College on the 30th.  Mount Saint Vincent will be at East on the 31st.  

Mrs. Carol Ann Salvaggione organized our upcoming OCPGA Spring College Kick-Off Fair to be held on April 25, 2017.  There will be displays from more than 100 colleges and tech schools, plus the Military will be represented.  For more information, please email Ms. Salvaggione at csalvaggione@trschools.com.

Kindergarten Registration is now open.  Please visit www.trschools.com for full details and to register and schedule an appointment for either March 18, March 25 or April 29.

Below is our PARCC testing schedule.  Please contact your child’s counselor with questions.  Good luck Raiders!

PARCC SCHEDULE

Testing Schedule:

•        Day 1- 3         – Mar 27-29        :         English 11                
•        Day 4- 5         – Mar 30-31        :         Make-up Testing

•        Day 6- 8         – Apr 3-5:                 Algebra II
•        Day 9-10         – Apr 6-7:                 Make-up Testing

•        Day 11-13         – Apr 19-21:         English 10
•        Day 14-16         – Apr 24-26:         Geometry

•        Day 17-19         – Apr 27-May 1:         English 9
•        Day 20-22         – May 2-4:                 Algebra I

•        Day 23-33        - May 12-19        :          Make-up Testing

We will be running our normal bell schedule throughout the testing period.  Our school attendance and behavioral policies will be enforced.  I will hold student assemblies for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to review PARCC and school expectations.  As a reminder, students are expected to come to school every day, be on time, and come prepared to learn!  Students are expected to do their best when they are testing!  I have all the confidence in our students and staff and know we will represent East with pride!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (3/20 – 3/24)

We held our PARCC Dry-Run Monday morning to assess our ability to effectively conduct the test utilizing our current technology applications.  Fortunately, all went well!  I attended a Principal Meeting in the morning to discuss various school policies and the PARCC testing dynamics.  We will be ready for Monday, March 27, 2017.  Our counselors began meeting with homeroom classes to provide friendly PARCC reminders following our assemblies last week.  Our Attendance Committee convened after school in the Main Office Conference Room and discussed our goal to improve Monday and Friday attendance, especially with our senior class.  We discussed extrinsic motivational factors as students in attendance on the respective days will be placed in a drawing to win Prom prizes.  We discussed our current trend of moving Movie Monday trivia and Fun Friday trivia forward.  I like the direction the committee is going and thank the staff for their efforts to improve school attendance.

We held our district ½ Day Professional Development Day on Tuesday.  District Supervisors met with their respective teachers in support of improved instruction, Academy initiatives, and various curricular needs.  

Mr. Mike Nemeth brought in a representative (retired Lieutenant from West Windsor Police Department) from NJM Insurance Co. to speak to our 10th grade students on graduated driver licensing laws, distracted driving and seatbelt laws.   The objective was to reinforce previously taught Drivers Theory content material.   We held our Behavior Committee meeting after school on Wednesday.  The committee met with the Character Counts Club members and created a great idea to promote a positive mindset in the school.  The committee and club decided to initiate a ‘Pay it Forward’ Day where we attempt, over a course of a month, to get a positive comment to every student in the school.  The students decided to take the idea back to their club to determine the logistics.  I am actually looking forward to implementing this wonderful idea!  Mr. Kevin McCann met with a group of our students who will be attending our STEAM Academy in the fall and provided a brief overview of the program.  

We held our monthly Security Drill on Thursday morning to test our ability to evacuate a building when an exit pathway is blocked.  The students and staff made the appropriate adjustments!  Great job!  I made one final PARCC announcement to the students and staff reminding them of the testing dynamics, school testing and bell schedule, and principal expectations.  I held staff Conference-Conference sessions periods 1 through 4 in the Main Office Conference Room.  We discussed the differences in College Prep versus Honors level instruction, student and parent expectations, and issues of concern from a school perspective.  We are looking to raise expectations within our academic setting and feel that we need to do a better job articulating behavioral and curricular expectations between the two.  More to follow as we move this topic forward.  We postponed our Climate Committee meeting after school.

Our Peer Leaders participated in training sessions all day Friday.  I wanted to thank Mrs. Stacey Nadeau and Mrs. Rachel Hay for all of their preparatory work in support of developing student leaders in our hallways.  I know the kids received high quality training and am appreciative of the commitment of all involved to be our best!  I completed the second half of the Conference-Conference sessions periods 5-8 in the afternoon.  We continued the healthy discussions on raising expectations through increased accountability.  Mr. McCann wrapped up the week with school walkthroughs for perspective STEAM Academy students.  Media Specialist, Mrs. Diane Harz, hosted an activity for all interested staff members on Friday regarding NJ Maker’s Day.  

I acknowledged Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau as ‘Employee(s) of the Week’.  I really appreciated the efforts of Mrs. Hay and Mrs. Nadeau to help our students to develop the skillsets required for success in college and careers.  Mrs. Hay and Mrs. Nadeau are passionate about their Peer Leader Organization and take tremendous pride in supporting the personal growth of our students.  I have met with the two on several occasions this year and certainly appreciate the amount of work involved in conducting a workshop like they did on Friday.  Thank you both for all you do in and out of the classroom environment.  You both are positive reflections of our school community.

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I observed Mrs. Cathy Angilletta teach a lesson on parallel circuits to her physics students Monday morning.  Mrs. Angilletta connected the concepts of the Total Resistance Formula and Ohms Law to household energy usage.  I found the lesson interesting as Mrs. Angelitta discussed the differences between newer and older homes and tripped circuits.  On Tuesday, I observed a fun lesson in Mr. Doug Trumble’s Humanities class as students presented on their projects from Dante’s Inferno.  The kids created connections from personal experiences and really developed innovative projects while adding tremendous insight.  I enjoyed the time in the class.  On Wednesday, I observed Mrs. Casey Daniels review for a test with her Freshman Academy students.  Mrs. Daniels has a warm and inviting personality and her students respond positively to her classroom demeanor.  I appreciated the layout of the desks (conducive for participation) and the decorations displaying positive messages and student work.  Great job Mrs. Daniels.  On Thursday, I observed AP History teacher, Mr. Matt Malagiere, teach a lesson on taxes in preparation for his ensuing AP Exams in May.  Students reviewed the origins of our current tax brackets and system.  Students were highly engaged and participatory as they appeared to have a wonderful connection to Mr. Malagiere.  Mr. Malagiere continued the discussion on governmental allocation of the respective income.  Great job Mr. Malagiere.  On Friday, I acknowledged the efforts of Mrs. Susan DeGoey for her passion and commitment to our musically inclined students.  Mrs. DeGoey loves the Arts and always gives her best to provide a rich and rewarding experience to all of her students.  I appreciate Mrs. DeGoey’s positive attitude towards her work and love for her students.  Thank you Mrs. DeGoey!

I would like to provide a ‘GREAT JOB’ to our very own, Tyler Sacko.  Mrs. DeGoey informed me that Tyler has been accepted into the ALL STATE HONORS CHAMBER ENSEMBLE!!!  He won a position in the Viola Section.  Mrs. DeGoey also informed me that Joey Sacewicz, Andrea Rouse, Michael Fobian and Kyril Kavetsky performed at the Teen Arts Festival and did wonderful jobs!  I was informed that Tyler and Andrea received critiques of excellence!  Congratulations Tyler, Joey, Andrea, Michael, and Kyril!  

I was able to attend William Plate’s Eagle Scout Ceremony on Sunday.  I was impressed with the level of accomplishment over such a long period of time.  The Scout Leaders had many wonderful things to say about William and his commitment to the organization and living as a value-added citizen!  Congratulations William!

Congratulations to Anthony Danzi and Skyler Mancini for being acknowledged as ‘Respectful Raiders’ this week.  Anthony found the personal belongings of another East student and turned them into the Main Office.  Skyler helped a teacher pick up her ‘Art Cards’ when she dropped them in the hallway.  Thank you Anthony and Skyler for being positive reflections of our school community.

Freshmen Academy

Our next Lunchtime Academy meeting will address inappropriate use of technology through the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Congratulations to the following Freshmen Academy Award winners:

Blue Team
Most Improved – Elizabeth Burns
Most Spirited – Jarion Gonzaga
Character Trait (Caring) – Elizabeth LaSalle
Best All Around – Sean Brown

Black Team
Most Improved – Sofia Gjonbalaj
Most Spirited – Brooke Slomkowski
Character Trait (Caring) – Amanda Dempsey
Best All Around – Hannah Endean

Silver Team
Most Improved – Anna Joyner
Most Spirited – Evan Czenis
Character Trait (Caring) – Gianna Bimonte
Best All Around – Katia Moderno

Attendance Matters

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRONIC ABSENCE AND TRUANCY?

As the concept of chronic absenteeism gains traction across the country, some people are under the mistaken impression that it’s just a politically correct way of saying truancy. Educators, policymakers and journalists often use the words interchangeably, describing the same, old problem with the same, old solution.
In fact, the two terms describe different aspects of our absenteeism problem and require different approaches to bringing students back to school every day.

First, let’s take truancy, a term that generally refers to unexcused absences. In the past, federal law required states to track truancy but left it to states to come up with the definition. California schools have tracked the number of students who are truant which is defined as missing three days without a valid excuse or are late three times to class by 30 minutes. In contrast, in Maryland, schools have monitored habitual truancy, defined as missing 20% of the school year (which is 38 days in a 180 day school year).

With its focus on unexcused absences, truancy naturally leads to a focus on compliance with the rules. Students are missing school without an excuse, skipping school and violating mandatory attendance requirements. Fixing the problem becomes a question of ensuring compliance, often left to front-office administrators, and in the most severe cases, to the legal system. Policymakers often recommend punitive consequences for truancy – such as suspensions, jail time and fines – for children and parents. Some communities and courts have devised effective approaches to reducing truancy, but in other places, punitive efforts are pushing students out of school.

Chronic absenteeism, on the other hand, incorporates all absences: excused, unexcused and suspensions. The focus is on the academic consequences of this lost instructional time and on preventing absences before students miss so much school that they fall behind. It recognizes that students miss school for many understandable issues such as asthma or homelessness or unreliable transportation, for which a punitive response is not appropriate. But what helps is working with families to share the importance of attendance and to fix the underlying problems that lead to absenteeism.

Given this broader focus, addressing chronic absenteeism becomes an issue for the entire community. Medical providers can help address health challenges; transit and housing agencies can resolve other barriers to attendance; volunteers from businesses and faith communities can mentor students and support families. These approaches can also reduce truancy.

Like truancy, chronic absence has no common definition, though many researchers and schools monitor how many students are missing 10 percent or more of the school year. That’s about two days a month, or 18 days in most school districts. The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights this spring will release data showing how many students miss 15 or more days.

This data represents the first time that many schools and districts will know how many students are missing so much school that they are falling behind academically. What’s the right response to this new information? Rather than launching a punitive crackdown, educators and community partners should use the opportunity to dig deep into their numbers to determine who is missing too much school and why. Taking a data informed, non-punitive approach that draws upon insights from students, families, teachers and community partners is what leads to strategies that can improve attendance and achievement.
(Above article from Attendance Works)

Character Counts

Fairness is our character pillar of the month.  I ran across an interesting article on the internet I thought I would share (below).

FAIRNESS IS MORE REWARDING THAN MONEY
(Posted at 16:22h in Fun Facts & Materials by CHARACTER COUNTS!)  

UCLA neuroscience and human-behavior researchers have demonstrated a link between fairness and reward in the brain. “Receiving a fair offer activates the same brain circuitry as when we eat craved food, win money, or see a beautiful face,” lead author Golnaz Tabibnia explained in UCLA’s Newsroom.

The experiment utilized the ultimatum game, a test in which money is divided between two parties. The “proposer” determines how the money will be split. The “responder” can either accept the offer (in which case both parties keep the cash) or reject it (in which neither party gets anything, thus penalizing the proposer for making an unfair offer). There’s no chance for reciprocity because participants only play once.

During the test, Tabibnia and her team charted the responders’ brain activity with functional MRI. When a proposed offer was fair, such as $5 out of $10, the reward center in the responder’s brain was triggered. On the contrary, when a responder received a lopsided offer, like $5 out of $23, the region associated with disgust was aroused.

Even though responders in both examples would get the same amount ($5), most who received a fair deal ($5 out of $10) accepted the offer while nearly half of those who were given a bad deal ($5 out of $23) rejected it. Fewer than 2% accepted offers with a 10% – 90% split. This is significant because logically even 10% of the money would have been a gain.
“We had never thought of ethics or fairness as being tied to neurons,” Joy Hirsch, Ph.D, of the Program for Imaging and Cognitive Sciences at Columbia University in New York, told WebMD.

“Certainly money is rewarding,” Tabibnia stated in the Los Angeles Times. “But more and more research is suggesting that our social relations with other people…can be very strong determinants of our happiness and satisfaction.”

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Establish a goal to stay on task in ‘English’ class.  Complete one section of the Learning Log for every English lesson.  Attempt the goal for one week.  If you succeed in recording something you learned, a question you had, and something you wanted to learn more about – congratulations!  If not, repeat as needed until concentrating in class becomes a well-established habit.  Enlist help from teacher and/or peers when you have trouble identifying something you learned.  Repeat this process as needed, one class at a time.  Remember that habits are created through repetition.  Repeat often enough, long enough and you will create this habit!
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

I have nothing to report this week.

This Week at East (3/27 – 3/31)

Our PARCC testing window will begin on Monday (see schedule below).  We are more than prepared and I anticipate our students doing well on the test.  Our committees will reconvene this week, as our College and Career, Community Outreach, and Curriculum will meet after school in the Main Office Conference Room.  Raiders Helping Raiders will conduct their monthly activity Tuesday after school, as our mentors and mentees will participate in the creation of another beautiful mural in a selected stairwell.  Our Dance Team is hosting a fundraiser at Margaritas Thursday evening.  Our Mr. TRE contest will be held in the Student Center Friday evening!  


Information

Do you know what you are going to do after high school? Interested in visiting a 4 year college to learn about the benefits of continuing your education? Find out how Berkeley College can help you get started on your new career. There will be a trip to Berkeley's Woodbridge campus on Friday, April 7th from 8:30am - 1:15pm. Please sign up in Guidance.

Register online for the May 6th SAT at www.collegeboard.org by 4/7/17.

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

I would like to thank Mr. Bill Morano for his generous donation to our Community Outreach Fund.  The money we gather from local community business leaders helps to support our school programs aimed at moving East forward.  Mr. Morano is a former educator at High School East and has always maintained a commitment to student success following his retirement.  Mr. Morano runs a very successful bus touring business.  I have taken a few over the years and commend their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.  I appreciate community members who are connected to our school vision and mission!  Check out his flyer for super deals on various trips.
(http://www.moranotours.net/flier.pdf)

Our college visit schedule is posted in our Guidance Office for student review.  However, we are hosting Ocean County College, The Paul Mitchell School, and Rosemont College on the 30th.  Mount Saint Vincent will be at East on the 31st.  

Kindergarten Registration is now open.  Please visit www.trschools.com for full details and to register and schedule an appointment for either March 18, March 25 or April 29.

Welcome back PARCC, we missed you!  Below is our PARCC testing schedule.  Please contact your child’s counselor with questions.  Good luck Raiders!

PARCC SCHEDULE

Testing Schedule:

•        Day 1- 3         – Mar 27-29        :         English 11                
•        Day 4- 5         – Mar 30-31        :         Make-up Testing

•        Day 6- 8         – Apr 3-5:                 Algebra II
•        Day 9-10         – Apr 6-7:                 Make-up Testing

•        Day 11-13         – Apr 19-21:         English 10
•        Day 14-16         – Apr 24-26:         Geometry

•        Day 17-19         – Apr 27-May 1:         English 9
•        Day 20-22         – May 2-4:                 Algebra I

•        Day 23-33        - May 12-19        :          Make-up Testing

We will be running our normal bell schedule throughout the testing period.  Our school attendance and behavioral policies will be enforced.  I will hold student assemblies for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to review PARCC and school expectations.  As a reminder, students are expected to come to school every day, be on time, and come prepared to learn!  Students are expected to do their best when they are testing!  I have all the confidence in our students and staff and know we will represent East with pride!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (3/13 – 3/17)

We held ‘Attitudes in Reverse’ assemblies for our junior students on Monday in the Lecture Hall.  The topic was mental health education and suicide prevention (myth versus facts).  

Our Teacher of the Year (Mr. Bill Dishon) and Service Professional of the Year (Mrs. Monica Santamaria) were honored at the monthly Board meeting Wednesday evening.  I would like to thank all of our educators for their service to our children.  I am fortunate to work with professionals who have committed their careers to the well-being of children.  I observe the wonderful acts of kindness and dedication to supporting student personal and academic growth every day in this building.  Thank you East teachers, counselors, secretaries, custodians, nurses, food service personnel, paraprofessionals, security officers, supervisors, and administrators who are committed to making a difference in the life of a child! Thank you to Sofia Moderno for presenting on East ‘happenings’ this past month at the Board meeting.  Sofia does a tremendous job in front of a large audience!  Keep up the great work!

I held PARCC Assemblies Thursday morning during periods 1 through 3 for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students, respectively.  My objective was to educate our students about the test, provide principal expectations, and to review the testing schedule.  I discussed standardized tests and graduation requirements, public concerns/perceptions about PARCC, subsequent school obstacles to meet participation rates and test success while maintaining a ‘normal’ academic day.  I emphasized the importance of respecting the testing environment and school policies.  I provided the students with my expectations and personal thoughts in support of State expectations.  Mr. Greg Roth followed my discussion and held a motivational talk with the kids.  Mr. Roth focused on applying yourself and doing your best at every opportunity, it is what we expect of our kids at East – Excellence.  Thank you Mr. Roth for your time, energy, and passion to support our students!

I met with our Union Representatives Friday morning to discuss issues of concern and to support a positive school climate.  

Congratulations to Shannon Rios for winning the ‘How Well Do You Know Your Teachers?’ this week.  I informed the kids that this particular teacher was in a Ska Band in high school, went to Rowan University, loves Sunflowers, favorite animal is a dog (read A Dog’s Purpose and cried), and can play the bagpipes after receiving free lessons from our local fire department.  The answer was Ms. Jessica Sanford, of course.  Ms. Sanford grew up in Ocean County and lived in Lacey until college graduation.  Ms. Sanford studied Music Education at Rowan University, where her primary instrument focus was the saxophone.  She learned how to play all of the instruments, but admits she is better at some than others.  Her first teaching job began here at East and we are glad she has become such a predominate figure in our building, helping to move our Music Department and Band forward!  Thank you Ms. Sanford for your passion for your field and love for your children!      

I acknowledged Mr. Greg Roth as our ‘Employee of the Week’ for his time to discuss doing your best on the PARCC as part of our assemblies Thursday morning.  Mr. Roth spent a considerable amount of time organizing his thoughts and preparing for his discussion.  I know these types of things are not easy, as they come from the heart and are organic.  Putting into words your emotions and connecting to school expectations can be a challenge.  However, Mr. Roth did a fantastic job!  I was ready to take the test myself after hearing his words of encouragement!  Thank you Mr. Roth for adding tremendous value to our school!

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I observed Mrs. Liz Rodriguez teach a lesson to her Spanish Heritage students on Wednesday.  I honestly did not understand too much, but was able to make out the objective of conjugating sentences.  I really appreciated Mrs. Rodriguez’s room, as it was beautifully decorated and so warm and inviting.  The kids were actively involved and were well conditioned to participate and add value to classroom discussions.  I observed Mr. Greg Roth’s three presentations to our 9th – 11th grade students in our PARCC assemblies on Thursday.  I coached with Mr. Roth many years ago and appreciate his passion for always doing the right thing.  Mr. Roth is a man of integrity and values his ability to positively influence children.  Mr. Roth did an outstanding job!  On Friday, I observed Mr. Steven Ebert’s class as he, Ms. Danielle Muska, and Mr. Chis Polhemus welcomed our incoming middle school students to High School East.  The students participated in a building walkthrough, life skills sessions, and various activities to acclimate our little Raiders to East.  I commend our special needs teachers for their level of patience, competence, and love for our autistic students.  They really do a wonderful job!    

Freshmen Academy

Monthly Academy Awards will be announced in lunch this week.  Our Academy teachers will be meeting next week during common planning periods.

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Cheyenne Bamburak and Trevor Zabilowicz for winning gift cards for Perfect Attendance for the month of February.  Congratulations to Mikayla Youngman for winning the gift card for Perfect Attendance for the year to date!  Congratulations to Mr. Phil Beachy for winning 1st prize for the Homeroom with the best attendance for the month of February and to Mrs. Jen Muscillo for her Homeroom’s 2nd place finish.  Both teachers will receive a bagel and donut breakfast for their respective classes.  Great job all around!

Character Counts

March’s character pillar is ‘Fairness’.  Staff were provided with a variety of non-affirmative action and/or women in history month lesson plans.  Staff were able to select topics on Raiders Random Acts of Kindness, listing things we do personally and in society which are unfair, identifying issues in media describing fairness, and discussions in society where men and women are treated differently.  Staff members were also provided with opportunities to analyze gender equity (past, present, future), why we celebrate Women in History Month, and an activity describing ‘Fair Cents’.  Thank you Ms. Nicole Foy for providing guidance for our staff as we teach our expectations regarding ‘Fairness’ in our hallways.  

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Establish a goal to use a homework diary in every class.  Bring your diary to school every day.  Take it to every class in which the homework is assigned.  When you first arrive in class, put your diary on your desktop.  Record the homework for each class.  If there is no homework that day, write something like “Science:  No HW”.  Use a wall calendar at home to record your success rate every evening as you should be doing this every day in every class.  Anything less than 90 percent success rate is unsatisfactory.  Ensure you have established a firm habit of using your homework diary.  For more rapid success, work on this goal with a classmate.  When one forgets, the other may remember.  
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

I have nothing to report this week.

This Week at East (3/20 – 3/24)

Our Attendance Committee, Behavior Committee and Climate Committees will reconvene this week to help move East forward.  ALL students are welcome to attend.  We are hosting our district ½ Day Professional Development on Tuesday of this week.  School leaders will be presenting on curricular growth objectives.  We are hosting Conference-Conference informational sessions Thursday and Friday on the differences in College Prep versus Honors level instruction.   I will be attending a Principal meeting and we will hold our monthly security drill.

Information

I would like to thank Mr. Bill Morano for his generous donation to our Community Outreach Fund.  The money we gather from local community business leaders helps to support our school programs aimed at moving East forward.  Mr. Morano is a former educator at High School East and has always maintained a commitment to student success following his retirement.  Mr. Morano runs a very successful bus touring business.  I have taken a few over the years and commend their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.  I appreciate community members who are connected to our school vision and mission!  Check out his flyer for super deals on various trips.
(http://www.moranotours.net/flier.pdf)

Our college visit schedule is posted in our Guidance Office for student review.  However, we are hosting Manor College on the 16th.  Ocean County College, The Paul Mitchell School, and Rosemont College will be here on the 30th.  Mount Saint Vincent will be at East on the 31st.  

Kindergarten Registration is now open.  Please visit www.trschools.com for full details and to register and schedule an appointment for either March 18, March 25 or April 29.

Welcome back PARCC, we missed you!  Below is our PARCC testing schedule.  Please contact your child’s counselor with questions.  Good luck Raiders!

PARCC SCHEDULE

Testing Schedule:

•        Day 1- 3         – Mar 27-29        :         English 11                
•        Day 4- 5         – Mar 30-31        :         Make-up Testing

•        Day 6- 8         – Apr 3-5:                 Algebra II
•        Day 9-10         – Apr 6-7:                 Make-up Testing

•        Day 11-13         – Apr 19-21:         English 10
•        Day 14-16         – Apr 24-26:         Geometry

•        Day 17-19         – Apr 27-May 1:         English 9
•        Day 20-22         – May 2-4:                 Algebra I

•        Day 23-33        - May 12-19        :          Make-up Testing

We will be running our normal bell schedule throughout the testing period.  Our school attendance and behavioral policies will be enforced.  I will hold student assemblies for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to review PARCC and school expectations.  As a reminder, students are expected to come to school every day, be on time, and come prepared to learn!  Students are expected to do their best when they are testing!  I have all the confidence in our students and staff and know we will represent East with pride!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (3/6 – 3/10)

Our school Crisis Management Team held a debriefing session Tuesday morning to discuss our procedures for moving forward during a crisis scenario.  We will be making recommendations for the district.  Sharing Hope (Tea and Truth) met Tuesday evening in the Media Center to discuss substance abuse in the home.  Community members are welcome to attend.  The meetings will be held at High School East every first and third Tuesday of the month.  For more information, please contact Mrs. Dawn Aulisi at daulisi@trschools.com.  I met with Student Council period 7 Tuesday afternoon to discuss our meeting with Character.org on Friday.  We discussed getting the information out to all of our students regarding behavioral expectations.

Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Mark Figueroa were able to bring Mr. Winston Byrd to High School East to meet with our school musicians Tuesday during period 8.  Mr. Byrd is an accomplished trumpet player who has built a reputation for melding his professional style to a wide range of musical genre including classical, blues, pop, jazz and improvisation. Performing since the age of 17, Winston has devoted himself to music while honing his skills on tour, in the studio and performing live with legendary names in the industry.

At the forefront of the jazz-fusion movement, Winston continues a love of jazz that began in the 7th grade where legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson and Arturo Sandoval began to influence his playing. After graduating from high school in 1991, he decided not to attend New York University to study Clinical Psychology and instead set out to make his mark on the music industry, and jazz specifically. His reputation began to soar as his artistry for hitting the higher notes grew and captured the attention of many in the music industry.

It was the early attention of fellow trumpeter Jon Faddis who would not only become a role model and mentor, but also who opened the door for Winston to become a member of the world famous Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.

Winston continues to hone his craft, pushing his playing and composing styles in new directions and constantly evolving as a musician. His professionalism has earned him recognition and praise from his peers as he cements his position as one of today’s leading jazz performers (Winstonbyrd.com).  I am sure our students were able to take valuable information from the talk in hopes of pursuing their own musical ambitions!  

Mrs. Karen Bright and a team of counselors from the Ocean County Traumatic Loss Coalition were present at East all day in support of staff members resulting from the recent loss of one of our students.  The team provided guidance resources for those in need.  Thank you Mrs. Bright for your time.  I attended a brief meeting with Mr. Walt Patelunas, Dr. Marc Natanagara, and local business leader Mr. Calebrese in support of our Robotics Team.  Mr. Calebrese is offering his services to help move our program forward.  Thank you Mr. Calebrese for your interest and support!

Our Raiders Helping Raiders conducted their mid-year review meeting after school on Thursday.  The team discussed their successes and offered advice to mentors in support of their mentee.  They planned upcoming events and are looking forward to ensuring they do their very best to help our at-risk student population.  I met with our Character Counts Club members in charge of our Friday inspection.  The team members were more than prepared to show East in the best possible light.  I was very impressed with the leadership and organization of the team assigned to facilitate the inspection!

On Friday, members of Character.org were on site to inspect the culture and climate of our building and to assess whether High School East meets the expectations of a National School of Character.  We were awarded the State School of Character based on a review of our application.  However, National recognition requires a site visit.  The team only attends schools that are being seriously evaluated for the honor.  The evaluators were provided with an active schedule with school and district administration, our Behavior Committee members, parents, community members, counselors, school committee leaders, teachers from various disciplines, and our Character Counts students.  The team was escorted throughout the building to inspect hallways, classrooms, lunch, and gym.  They were looking to determine whether our pillars are infused into the curriculum and daily life at East.  

Character is a reflection of our value and beliefs.  Assessing a school’s character is therefore a reflection of what we stand for as educators and a community.  The team assessed our standard we have established in our building through our ‘character’ program.  I am aware that I speak for most of our staff and parents in stating that we have so much pride in what we do, what we stand for, and how it is positively reflected in our efforts as parents and educators.  We work extremely hard to ensure our students measure up to our expectations of ‘Excellence’ (doing your best).  Our goal on Friday was to provide a picture of who we are and why we deserve to be a National School of Character.  We will find out in May.

Our Safety Team held presentations in the Lecture Hall periods 2 and 3 on Friday regarding national issues of sex trafficking.  

Congratulations to Craig Bamburak and Analise Einhorn for being recognized as part of our “Why You’re Awesome!” initiative.  Craig went out of his way to return a lost ring to the Main Office and Analise was recognized for baking cookies for her classmates.  

Congratulations to Kalah Knight for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Kalah found the personal belongings of a peer and turned them into the Main Office!  Thank you Kalah for being a good person!

Congratulations to William Plate for being recognized for his Eagle Scout Badge later this month.  William will be receiving the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts program.  The honor takes years to achieve.  Each member must earn at least 21 merit badges and must demonstrate excellence in service and leadership.  William will receive the rank of Eagle Scout on March 26, 2017.  Great job William!

I acknowledged Mrs. Kellyanne Orbin as our ‘Employee of the Week’ for her work to promote positive school behavior with her students.  Mrs. Orbin and her students create monthly bulletin boards and exhibits throughout the school demonstrating our character ideals!  Thank you Mrs. Orbin for teaching your students that character counts!

Congratulations to Tyler Wardell for being selected as the winner in our Academy Awards for Best Production Design lottery.   Tyler won a gift certificate to AMC Theaters compliments of professional screen director Mr. George Lee McDonald.

Congratulations to Mark Gatanis and Alexandra Ryan for being recognized as our March Seniors of the Month.  Mark is ranked in the top 20 of his class.  He has participated in winter and spring track, baseball, basketball and the golf teams, besides playing four years of soccer at HSE.   He is a member of the History Club, Fishing Club, and Physical Fitness Clubs.  He is also a regular volunteer in the Writing Center.   Alexandra is an Honors/AP student and is a member of National Honor Society, Eastside Theater Company, Thespian Honor Society, Ambassadors, A Capella, and TEAM.  She is also a member of the JV and Varsity Tennis Teams.   Alexandra volunteers at the Holy Cross Youth Group and the Vacation Bible School.  She is also the best ‘yodeler’ East of the Mississippi!  Great job Mark and Alexandra.

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized our athletic trainer on Monday, Mr. Jacob McCartney.  Mr. McCartney has been a wonderful addition to our staff this year.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and a positive attitude.  Our kids love him for his enthusiasm for the position.  I appreciate being at the games and watching him in action as he provides support to our athletes on so many levels.  I recognized Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Mark Figueroa for their efforts to bring in such a gifted musician to meet with our kids on Tuesday (see above).  However, I respect all that Ms. Sanford and Mr. Figueroa stand for in terms of their appreciation for the Arts.  Ms. Sanford and Mr. Figueroa love what they do and they have a way of getting the most out of our student musicians as a part of the Band and Jazz Ensembles!  I recognized Mrs. Tonya Rivera, English Supervisor, on Wednesday for her relentless pursuit to provide our teachers with the tools to support student achievement.  Mrs. Rivera is passionate about her work and is always looking for methods to improve our trade!  You have been a tremendous addition to our district this year!  I recognized custodian, Mr. Les Hegyes on Thursday.  Mr. Hegyes works very well with our students and staff and always does what he can to support building needs.  Mr. Hegyes provides a positive attitude to his job and takes pride in our building.  Thank you Mr. Hegyes.  I wanted to recognize our Character Counts student leaders on Friday (although this is a staff ‘thing’), especially Tom Dalessio, Mike Bonafide, and Ed Wolfe.  Tom, Mike, and Ed took the day to meet and greet our Character.org guests, facilitate the timing of the various speakers, walk our guests throughout the building, and speak to our student population about appropriate behavior.  Tom, Mike, and Ed demonstrated the ideals inherent in our pillars and the leadership skills required for future success.  All three students were exemplary representatives of High School East!  Thank you gentlemen and to our various Character Counts Club members (including Drew Ugaro who had the vision and passion to begin our club).    

Freshmen Academy

Monthly Academy Awards will be announced in lunch this week.  Our Academy teachers will be meeting next week during common planning periods.

Attendance Matters

I was finally able to get to February’s attendance data.  Approximately 577 students exhibited perfect attendance for the month (42% of population).  We observed a 92.4% daily average attendance rate.  Our 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade student attendance averaged 94.3%, 93%, 91.4%, and 89.6%, respectively.  Monday was our most problematic day of the week (averaged 21 more absences above the monthly average).  Our juniors and seniors were observed to average 30 absences per day, relative to our freshman at 19 per day and sophomores at 21 per day.  We totaled 1,816 total absences for the month of February.

Regarding lates to school, we averaged approximately 39 per day.  Fridays were our most problematic day of the week (52 per day).  Our juniors and our seniors continue to lead the way, averaging approximately 12 students per day.

Looking at the bigger picture, we documented 739 fewer absences to date in comparison to last school year.  We have also documented 775 fewer lates to school than last school year to date.  We have 33 more students with perfect attendance than February 2016, but 19 fewer overall for the school year compared to 2016.  We observed 271 fewer absences comparing February 2016 and 2017, which is wonderful.  We also have 249 fewer lates to school comparing February 2016 to February 2017.  We noted 80 fewer overall student tardies (lates) in February 2017 than in 2016 and 41 fewer students absent in February 2017 than in 2016.  

We are observing positive trends.  However, if you are a parent of a junior and/or senior, please speak to them about the importance of coming to school every day and on time.  It is not a right to demonstrate poor attendance simply because you are older and you drive to school.

Character Counts

Congratulations to our Character Counts Students of the Month, Angelique Vittone and Philip Lingat!  Angelique was acknowledged for her kindness towards her peers and teachers.  She does whatever she can to make the school more enjoyable and is always caring to others.  Angelique comes to school with a smile on her face and you can get a feeling that she loves whatever she does!  Philip was recognized for his respect he demonstrates towards his classmates and teachers.  Philip is viewed within our halls as a warm and caring individual who treats others with kindness.  His teachers have commented that he always goes out of his way to say ‘hello’.  Thank you Angelique and Philip for being such positive reflections of our school community!

We documented a total of 96 class cuts for the month of February.  I was not pleased.  Students will be losing class credit resulting from the excessive absences from class per Board Policy #5200.  Our sophomore and junior classes experienced the highest percentages of cuts this month.  We addressed approximately 284 individual referrals with the juniors accounting for the highest percentage (32%).  The following is a list of the respective referral types with corresponding percentages:  Cell phones (3.9%), cuts (33.8%), cutting detention (3.1%), disruptive behavior (11.6%), HIB (0.7%), inappropriate language (1.7%), insubordination (8.5%), lates to school (33.1%), late to class (1.1%), school policy (1.1%), and parking violation (0.4%).

We made significant strides last school year in reducing the number of overall referrals.  However, this year, we have observed approximately 153 more than last year to date.  I am not pleased with this trend, but will continue to reinforce our expectations through our Character Counts initiative.  

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Establish a goal to eat a proper breakfast every morning.  Keep a record in your homework diary or on your wall calendar.  If you ate a proper breakfast every day, congratulations!  If not, repeat as needed until eating a breakfast becomes a well-established habit.  If you already have bad habits in this area, begin by aiming to eat a proper breakfast at least three times a week, and then increase your goal gradually to seven times a week!
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

I thought it would be appropriate to place a new program Ms. Carrie Bush is offering at East, Girls Space, in this section.  Girls Space will provide weekly workshops with topics ranging from self-esteem building to teen issues with relationships/friendships, body image and goal setting.  It this program sounds like it may benefit your daughter, please feel free to contact Ms. Bush as cbush@trschools.com.

This Week at East (3/13- 3/17)

Our Sharing Hope group will be hosting ‘Attendance in Reverse’ guest speakers on Monday regarding substance abuse issues in our community.  We will be recognizing our Teacher of the Year, Mr. Bill Dishon, and our Service Professional of the Year, Mrs. Monica Santamaria, at the Board Meeting Wednesday evening.  I will be presenting to our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students in a PARCC Assembly on Thursday.  I will meet with our Union Representatives Friday morning.  

We will reconvene our committees next week as we look forward to moving East forward.

Information

PARCC SCHEDULE

Testing Schedule:

•        Day 1- 3         – Mar 27-29        :         English 11                
•        Day 4- 5         – Mar 30-31        :         Make-up Testing

•        Day 6- 8         – Apr 3-5:                 Algebra II
•        Day 9-10         – Apr 6-7:                 Make-up Testing

•        Day 11-13         – Apr 19-21:         English 10
•        Day 14-16         – Apr 24-26:         Geometry

•        Day 17-19         – Apr 27-May 1:         English 9
•        Day 20-22         – May 2-4:                 Algebra I

•        Day 23-33        - May 12-19        :          Make-up Testing

We will be running our normal bell schedule throughout the testing period.  Our school attendance and behavioral policies will be enforced.  I will hold student assemblies for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to review PARCC and school expectations.  As a reminder, students are expected to come to school every day, be on time, and come prepared to learn!  Students are expected to do their best when they are testing!  I have all the confidence in our students and staff and know we will represent East with pride!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

As you may be aware, High School East experienced the death of one of our students this past week.  We are all deeply saddened by this loss and have had our crisis management procedures in place to help our children with their reactions to this tragedy.  Our district crisis team is supplemented by many community resources who are available to talk with you regarding your child and the reaction to this tragedy. Your child may have some unresolved feelings that he/she would like to discuss with you.  You can help your child by listening carefully, not overreacting, accepting his/her feelings, and answering questions honestly according to your beliefs.  If you have additional questions or feel the need for further assistance, you can contact our counselors and/or refer to my previous Newsletter for community resource assistance.  

Week in Review (2/27 – 3/3)

Our I &RS Committee convened Tuesday morning in support of our at-risk student needs.  We held a faculty meeting after school on Wednesday to review our upcoming PARCC schedule.  Our RHR conducted their March activity Thursday on ‘Mindfulness’.  Our STEAM Committee reviewed applications for next year’s program in the afternoon and selected the qualified candidates.  We conducted our monthly fire drill Friday morning without incident.  Our Attendance Committee continued their Friday Fun Day trivia for prizes throughout the day.  Students responded to various scientific questions and placed their names and answers in a hat to be chosen for prizes.  The kids had fun (I think the ladies in the Front Office enjoyed it more…).  Spring athletics began on Friday and we are all looking forward to watching the kids in action!

Congratulations to our Indoor Color Guard for their first place finish in this weekend’s competition.  This is our 2nd first place finish.  We are all very proud of the kids!

Congratulations to Samara Carter for being recognized as part of our “Why You’re Awesome!” initiative.  Samara went out of her way to help a staff member with an ID issue.  Great job Samara!

Congratulations to Daniel Balton for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Daniel found a cell phone in the gym and turned it into the Main Office!  Thank you Daniel for being a good person!

Congratulations to Michael Gibson for being recognized as 92.7 WOBM Student of the Month.  We selected Michael for his positive attitude he brings to East each and every day.  Michael is polite, kind, and caring.  I appreciate Michael as I believe he is a positive reflection of our school community.  Michael is eligible to win a $1,000 college scholarship.  Great job Michael!

Congratulations to our Chess team for a great finish to the year in the States!  The kids performed admirably!  Congratulations to the girls and boys basketball teams for their performances in the States.  The boys lost in round 1 and the girls to Ocean City in round 2.  Congratulations to A.J. Meyers for his 5th place finish in States this weekend in Atlantic City.  We are proud of you A.J.

I acknowledged Officer Mark DeGrandis as our ‘Employee of the Week’ for his support on so many levels at High School East.  Officer DeGrandis is more than an authoritative figure in our building, he is an educator.  Officer DeGrandis works with all of our kids to provide career guidance when needed.  He mentors many of our at-risk students and has been extremely supportive in dealing with problematic issues in our building.  Officer DeGrandis is our School Improvement Team Advisor and takes tremendous pride in East!  Thank you for all you do!    

Congratulations to Mrs. Rachel Hay for being recognized as our Mentor of the Month.  Mrs. Hay has dedicated endless hours to the Raiders Helping Raiders program for a number of years.  Her willingness to take time out of her day and support the needs of her mentees is an asset to our building.  Her mentees mention her caring and kind demeanor and great listening skills as the reason she develops connecting relationships.  Great job Mrs. Hay!  

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized Ms. Amanda Gregorek’s lesson on Tuesday where she completed a lesson connecting biology and engineering.  Ms. Gregorek is working with Stevens and will be published in a new NSTA manual for educators.  I observed Mr. Kyle Sandberg teach a lesson to his students about stereotyping in Health Class.  The kids presented various stereotypes and discussed their opinions and impacts of the stereotypes in society.  I recognized our counselors this week for their hard work addressing challenging issues as professionals.  We are fortunate to have such a strong group of educators in our building committed to our students!




Freshmen Academy

Our Peer Leaders presented to our Academy teams this week.  The Peer Leaders divided the teams into groups and presented various Ice Breakers and activities to develop a comfort level to actively participate and to break down personal barriers between peers.  The objective was to develop interpersonal and communication skills.  Thank you to our Peer Leaders for your efforts!  

Attendance Matters

I will provide February’s attendance data in next week’s newsletter.  

Beyond the talking points for parents, you should target some messages to students of all ages. As they grow older, they need to hear this message from peers, as well as teachers and parents.

1. School is your first and most important job. You’re learning about more than math and reading. You’re learning how to show up for school on time every day, so that when you graduate and get a job, you’ll know how to show up for work on time every day.

2. Students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate and find good jobs. In fact, a high school graduate makes, on average, a million dollars more than a dropout over a lifetime.

3. School only gets harder when you stay home too much. Sometimes it’s tempting to stay home because you’ve got too much work or you don’t understand what’s going on in class. But missing a day only makes that worse. (Attendance Matters)

Character Counts

I will provide February behavior data in next week’s newsletter.

Mr. T’s Character Tips:
•        Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
•        Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
•        Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
•        Be forgiving of yourself and others.
•        Ge generous.

What does character and citizenship look like?

Perseverance – I finish what I start even when it is difficult.  I do not give up when faced with challenges or obstacles.  I complete all tasks and assignments to the best of my ability.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Establish a goal to exercise at least three times every week.  Exercise for at least 20 minutes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday (change days to meet your schedule).  Keep a record in your homework diary or on your wall calendar.  If you exercised every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, congratulations!  If not, repeat as needed until regular exercise becomes a well-established habit.  Your success depends on your consistency over a long period of time.  For that reason, I suggest that you continue repeating this goal for at least six months.
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

I thought it would be appropriate to place a new program Ms. Carrie Bush is offering at East, Girls Space, in this section.  Girls Space will provide weekly workshops with topics ranging from self-esteem building to teen issues with relationships/friendships, body image and goal setting.  It this program sounds like it may benefit your daughter, please feel free to contact Ms. Bush as cbush@trschools.com.

This Week at East (3/6 – 3/10)

We are holding day 2 of our Attendance Hearings this week.  I have not set the schedule for March at the time of this writing.  However, a committee from Washington, D.C. will be at East all day Friday to observe the dynamics of our school to determine whether we should be classified as a National School of Character.  We were identified at the State level, but will be interviewed and inspected for the next level on Friday.  

Information

Dear Parents/Guardians:

In the coming months schools across New Jersey will administer the PARCC assessment in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for Grades 3-11. Our district’s 2017 testing window is March 27-May 19, 2017.  Specific information pertaining to your child’s school and grade will be sent to you by the principal prior to testing. The actual time and days for testing vary across grade levels and may reflect a shorter window than above.

PARCC provides a deeper level of information about student progress than previous tests which makes it a valuable tool to measure student performance. The assessment identifies areas where a student may need additional support as well as where he or she has mastered the content and can be challenged to go deeper into the subject matter. No single test can give a complete picture of achievement, but when combined with course grades and teacher reports, a clearer understanding of individual student progress is gained and performance can be monitored over time.

As per directives from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and to be compliant with Federal requirements, Toms River Regional Schools will schedule all students in grades 3 – 11 to take all required state assessments as per N.J.S.A. 18A:7C-1, N.J.A.C. 6A:8-4.1 (a) (b), and District policies 2622 Pupil Assessment and 5200 Attendance related to student participation in state assessments. Since PARCC is part of the mandated educational program, schools are not required to provide an alternative educational program for students who do not participate in the statewide assessment.

The Toms River Regional School District prides itself on treating all children with dignity and respect on a daily basis. Our goal is to ensure a testing environment that follows all protocols and procedures and is not disruptive to the students taking the assessments.  We are committed to student achievement and the PARCC assessment raises the bar for our students to ensure they are on the path to success. We are confident that with the quality instruction delivered by our dedicated educators and your support; our students can meet and exceed these expectations.

If you should have any questions regarding PARCC, please do not hesitate to visit our PARCC FAQ webpage at http://www.trschools.com.   Also, a full explanation of the testing graduation requirements by graduation year can be found on the NJDOE’s website http://www.nj.gov/education/assessment.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to your child’s education.

Sincerely,
Estee Mailot
Estee Mailot, Ed.D.
Director of Funded Programs/District Test Coordinator

PARCC SCHEDULE

Testing Schedule:

•        Day 1- 3         – Mar 27-29        :         English 11                
•        Day 4- 5         – Mar 30-31        :         Make-up Testing

•        Day 6- 8         – Apr 3-5:                 Algebra II
•        Day 9-10         – Apr 6-7:                 Make-up Testing

•        Day 11-13         – Apr 19-21:         English 10
•        Day 14-16         – Apr 24-26:         Geometry

•        Day 17-19         – Apr 27-May 1:         English 9
•        Day 20-22         – May 2-4:                 Algebra I

•        Day 23-33        - May 12-19        :          Make-up Testing

We will be running our normal bell schedule throughout the testing period.  Our school attendance and behavioral policies will be enforced.  I will hold student assemblies for our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to review PARCC and school expectations.  As a reminder, students are expected to come to school every day, be on time, and come prepared to learn!  Students are expected to do their best when they are testing!  I have all the confidence in our students and staff and know we will represent East with pride!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (2/21 – 2/24)

We held our Core Team Meeting Tuesday morning to review our school, staff, and student issues of concern.  The team works collaboratively to resolve school-based issues.  Our Curriculum Committee convened after school and worked with our student volunteers to develop a survey to provide our staff to help better guide our instruction to best meet student learning needs.  The students created a sample lesson plan and the information gathered from the meeting will be shared with our staff at our March Faculty Meeting.  East’s Tea and Truth was held at 6:00 PM for families impacted by substance abuse.  

We held our monthly security drill on Wednesday and tested our Shelter-In-Place procedures.  The students and staff performed wonderfully.  We held our Community Outreach Committee meeting after school and discussed our students participating in tutoring Y-Kids, supporting an Oceans of Love fundraiser, and possibly contacting Children’s Specialized Hospital for volunteer work.  

We held Conference-Conference all day in the Main Office Conference Room for staff to attend during teacher Conference periods.  I discussed staff updates, LATIC (learner-active-technology-infused classroom), East happenings, and miscellaneous principal topics.  Mrs. Melissa Reimertz held Career Day in the movie industry.  I was unable to make the various movie topics, but heard the talks to be very interesting!  Our College and Career Connection Committee hosted our Raiders on the Rise Lecture Series in the afternoon.  Joe Checker, a graduate of the Class of 1997, spoke to our students about his time at East and his career in journalism.  Joe began his love for writing as our Sports Editor in the Raider Readout.  Joe graduated from OCC, Rowan University, and New York University.  Joe began his professional career writing about mutual funds and then worked his way to the Wall Street Journal. Joe currently works for a Public Relations company, Peppercomm.  Joe’s message to our kids centered on pursuing careers in a field you love.  Thank you Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald for setting up the talk.

We would like to thank our PTO for providing our staff with a delicious breakfast Friday morning!  The timing was perfect and we were all very appreciative of the kindness!  I would like to extend a very special thank you to Trisha Apanel, Ceil Cocco, Theresa Dutcher, Wendy Arnold, and Kim Platten!  Thank you ladies for always attending meetings and being the face of the committee!  We appreciate you!  Mr. Kevin McCann hosted part 2 of a professional development opportunity for our staff on student engagement from a student perspective.  Staff members were provided with an opportunity to implement a provided strategy and to engage their colleagues in a discussion on the respective results.  I enjoyed the stories of the various examples provided in the meeting and look forward to next month’s activity.

Our Attendance Committee reviewed our monthly data and decided to attempt to place another spin on addressing our respective problematic days, Mondays and Fridays.  We held our Friday ‘Fun Day’ prizes for students who were in school that day.  We provided an assortment of prizes for students to choose in hopes of boosting our attendance on these days through extrinsic motivational activities (we are of course providing educational components to develop intrinsic motivation for personal success through increased school attendance).  Congratulations to Kiersten Elliot, Andrea Rouse, Daniel Facchiano, Amanda Barreres, and Rennee Ciufia for being selected throughout the day.

On Friday afternoon, students and staff participated in the production of a grant proposal video to address the Heroin epidemic in our community through an understanding of the science behind addiction.  I would like to thank Jarrett Weiss, Christina Bilotti, Abbey Gillen, Mackenzie Huttemann, Isabelle Wiley, Nick Fairfield, Michelle Meyers, Sarina Paolillo, Taylor Pistone, Kelly Mulvaney, Oakley Mastej, Keara Bruno, Mike Fobian, Jackie Francisco, Marissa Spirito, Joey Del Deo, and Julia Harrold for their involvement!

Congratulations to Grace Medina and Jennifer Martinez for passing the Seal of Biliteracy Exam.  The passing of the test combined with their passing English Assessment scores indicates their proficiency in both English and Spanish.  Both students will receive a seal on their high school diploma at graduation.  

Congratulations to Ethan Leon for winning this week’s ‘How Well Do You Know your Teachers’ competition.  I provided the following facts about a staff member:  She has a B.S. in Biology from Rowan and a B.A. in Secondary Education from Stockton; she loves Disney and her favorite ride is The Tower of Terror; she enjoys baking; she is a rescue dog mom; a graduate of HS South (we won’t hold that against her); loves the movie Pretty Woman; and her favorite book is the Hot Zone.  The answer was Ms. Amanda Gregorek, of course.  Ms. Gregorek is furthering her education by working on her Master’s Degree at Rowan and with Stevens on infusing engineering in Biology.  Ms. Gregorek is a wonderful teacher!  

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Kristi Klem-Koskowski for being named our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Koskowski was selected for her commitment to improving student attendance through creative ideas and support for student needs.  Ms. Koskowski runs our Attendance Hearings and provides me will of my data to evaluate areas of concern and discern growth.  I appreciate all she brings to East and know I could not do my job without her!  Thank you!

At the time of this writing, I did not have athletic results from last week.  I will provide in next week’s Newsletter.  However, I was informed that A.J. Meyers placed 3rd in the Districts and will be representing East at the State Tournament in Atlantic City!  A.J. is more than just a tremendous athlete, he is a gentleman!  A.J. will also be attending Columbia University next fall on an athletic/academic scholarship!  A.J. is a positive reflection of our school community!  We wish you best in States A.J.

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I observed Ms. Danielle Olsen on Tuesday teach a wonderful lesson on ‘The Zombie Apocalypse’ to her Life Skills students.  I found the topic interesting (I enjoy The Walking Dead show) and appreciated the efforts of the students to apply textbook concepts to the group project.  The students utilized an assortment of skills (problem solving, communication, and interpersonal) to develop an idea to create a society protected within a compound from ‘zombies’.  The students incorporated their knowledge of science (environmental), social studies (laws), math (engineering) and English (communication) to create their team project.  On Wednesday, I observed Mrs. Jennifer Mika’s lesson celebrating Black History Month.  Mrs. Mika’s students viewed the movie, Remember the Titans, and discussed historical issues surrounding race.  I recognized the efforts of Mrs. Brenda Cassidy for all she does in the Main Office!  Mrs. Cassidy is a very kind and caring staff member who will do anything to help a colleague.  Mrs. Cassidy provides me my weekly behavior data tables to assess progress on our school initiatives.  Mrs. Cassidy collects every discipline referrals and documents in the system.  Mrs. Cassidy collects the data and provides me with a table indicating the grade and referral type for assessment.  The effort is above and beyond her normal duties and I appreciate the quality work Mrs. Cassidy provides East each and every day!  Thank you Mrs. Cassidy for coming to work each day with a smile on your face and willingness to help another person!  On Friday, I acknowledged the efforts of our PTO.  I really would like to thank our key PTO members mentioned above for their considerate efforts to show our staff appreciation!  The mood was very positive on Friday and I know effort to provide us with food took plenty of planning and required an early rise Friday morning.  Thank you!!

Freshmen Academy

We will resume our Lunch Academies this week.  Our Peer Leaders will be presenting to the students.

Attendance Matters

I am providing a few tips how you can help us improve your child’s attendance.  If you are having problems with your child in terms of absences and/or lates to school, please feel free to contact your child’s assistant principal for support.  I am sure, if you read these Newsletters, that we view attendance as a reflection of the mindset for success.  We expect our students to come to school every day, on time, and be ready to learn!  

Parents Can Improve Student's Attendance

•        Let your child know that you believe school is important
•        Set a regular bedtime/curfew on school night's that is appropriate for your child's age
•        Provide a plan for getting your child to school on time
•        Do not support children leaving school early during the school day
•        Regularly check your child's attendance and academic progress with your child's teacher or the school's attendance designee
•        Schedule all appointments for before or after school hours
•        View lateness as unacceptable behavior
•        Notify the school as soon as possible if your child has a prolonged absence due to illness or hospitalization
•        Make sure excuse notes are returned (within three days of the absence) for all absences

Character Counts

We are being recognized as a State School of Character.  We are in the process of being evaluated for National recognition.  The team will be at East in March to assess our building dynamics and culture.  I will keep you informed.

Why Is Character So Important?  Character is a pattern of behavior, thoughts and feelings based on universal principles, moral strength, and integrity – plus the guts to live by those principles every day. Character is evidenced by your life’s virtues and the “line you never cross.” Character is the most valuable thing you have, and nobody can ever take it away.

Why Character is Important.  Character in life is what makes people believe in you and is essential both for individual success and for our society to function successfully. Each individual must do his or her part every day by living a life of integrity.  Integrity is adhering to a moral code of honesty, courage, strength and truthfulness – being true to your word. When you don’t exhibit integrity, other people get hurt. But you hurt yourself even more.  When you cheat, your “success” is false. When you break a promise, you are showing that your word is meaningless. When you lie, you deceive others and lose their respect.  All of those examples destroy your reputation and break the trust others have in you. Without your good reputation and trustworthiness, your relationships fail.

Relationships and Success.  Relationships are the foundation for success in life.  For example, when you destroy the relationships with your friends, you will have no friends. You will be isolated and alone.  If a student promises not to cheat, but does, he is taking unfair advantage to put himself ahead of others without deserving it. He can ruin his reputation, his academic record and his job prospects forever.  When a businessman makes a promise to customers and doesn’t deliver, he destroys his relationships with his customers. His customers go elsewhere and his business fails.  By breaking your relationships, you break the foundation for success in your life. What is true success? For example, who is more successful? Someone who is famous and makes a great deal of money, or someone who has no fame, makes little money, but is a great parent? Today, in school, is too much emphasis being placed on “good grades” and “high test scores” – so much so that are these things, rather than good character, how we define success?

Conclusion.  Your good character is the most important asset you have. It takes a lifetime to build but can be lost in an instant. Once lost, it is difficult to regain. Your true character is revealed when no one else is looking. Often, people decide to act based on short term gain, or an easy fix to a problem and end up doing the wrong thing.  The old adage “you are what you do” is true. Failure to consider the long term consequences of your acts can be disastrous. By study and focusing on the importance of character, you will be guided by principles, moral strength, and integrity to do the right thing. Nothing is more important for true success in your life.
(http://www.citrs.org/what-is-character/why-is-character-so-important/)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Successful students can be distinguished from the average student by their attitudes and behaviors. Below are some profiles of a typical "A" student.  

The "A" Student - An Outstanding Student

ATTENDANCE: "A" students have virtually perfect attendance. Their commitment to the class is a high priority and exceeds other temptations.
PREPARATION: "A" students are prepared for class. They always read the assignment. Their attention to detail is such that they occasionally can elaborate on class examples.
CURIOSITY: "A" students demonstrate interest in the class and the subject. They look up or dig out what they don't understand. They often ask interesting questions or make thoughtful comments.
RETENTION: "A" students have retentive minds and practice making retentive connections. They are able to connect past learning with the present. They bring a background of knowledge with them to their classes. They focus on learning concepts rather than memorizing details.
ATTITUDE: "A" students have a winning attitude. They have both the determination and the self-discipline necessary for success. They show initiative. They do things they have not been told to do.
TALENT: "A" students demonstrate a special talent. It may be exceptional intelligence and insight. It may be unusual creativity, organizational skills, commitment - or a some combination. These gifts are evident to the teacher and usually to the other students as well.
EFFORT: "A" students match their effort to the demands of an assignment.
COMMUNICATIONS: "A" student's place a high priority on writing and speaking in a manner that conveys clarity and thoughtful organization. Attention is paid to conciseness and completeness.
RESULTS: "A" students make high grades on tests - usually the highest in the class. Their work is a pleasure to grade.
(http://homepage.usask.ca/~clv022/success.htm)

Issues

I thought it would be appropriate to place a new program Ms. Carrie Bush is offering at East, Girls Space, in this section.  Girls Space will provide weekly workshops with topics ranging from self-esteem building to teen issues with relationships/friendships, body image and goal setting.  It this program sounds like it may benefit your daughter, please feel free to contact Ms. Bush as cbush@trschools.com.

This Week at East (2/27 – 3/3)

We are holding our monthly Attendance Hearings Monday in the Main Office Conference Room for students/families who are not in compliance with our respective policies.  We are holding our monthly I&RS Committee meeting Tuesday for students in need of additional school resources.  We are holding our monthly faculty meeting Wednesday after school to review testing procedures for PARCC later in the month. Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentor group will hold our monthly activity on ‘Mindfulness’ throughout the day on Thursday.  Our STEAM Academy Committee will review applications on Thursday afternoon.  We will hold our monthly fire drill this week as well.    

Information

Dear Parents/Guardians:

In the coming months schools across New Jersey will administer the PARCC assessment in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for Grades 3-11. Our district’s 2017 testing window is March 27-May 19, 2017.  Specific information pertaining to your child’s school and grade will be sent to you by the principal prior to testing. The actual time and days for testing vary across grade levels and may reflect a shorter window than above.

PARCC provides a deeper level of information about student progress than previous tests which makes it a valuable tool to measure student performance. The assessment identifies areas where a student may need additional support as well as where he or she has mastered the content and can be challenged to go deeper into the subject matter. No single test can give a complete picture of achievement, but when combined with course grades and teacher reports, a clearer understanding of individual student progress is gained and performance can be monitored over time.

As per directives from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and to be compliant with Federal requirements, Toms River Regional Schools will schedule all students in grades 3 – 11 to take all required state assessments as per N.J.S.A. 18A:7C-1, N.J.A.C. 6A:8-4.1 (a) (b), and District policies 2622 Pupil Assessment and 5200 Attendance related to student participation in state assessments. Since PARCC is part of the mandated educational program, schools are not required to provide an alternative educational program for students who do not participate in the statewide assessment.

The Toms River Regional School District prides itself on treating all children with dignity and respect on a daily basis. Our goal is to ensure a testing environment that follows all protocols and procedures and is not disruptive to the students taking the assessments.  We are committed to student achievement and the PARCC assessment raises the bar for our students to ensure they are on the path to success. We are confident that with the quality instruction delivered by our dedicated educators and your support; our students can meet and exceed these expectations.

If you should have any questions regarding PARCC, please do not hesitate to visit our PARCC FAQ webpage at http://www.trschools.com.   Also, a full explanation of the testing graduation requirements by graduation year can be found on the NJDOE’s website http://www.nj.gov/education/assessment.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to your child’s education.

Sincerely,
Estee Mailot
Estee Mailot, Ed.D.
Director of Funded Programs/District Test Coordinator

Media Center Highlights:

Although February is a short month, many events were held in the Media Center.  Since February is Black History Month, several educational displays and selections of books were presented throughout the Media Center.   Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.

On February 7th and 21st, the Media Center hosted an evening of “Tea & Truth” offering individuals and families who have loved ones who abuse drugs or alcohol to join High School East families for support.  All students, staff members, and East community members are welcome to attend the twice-a-month meetings and babysitting is available for future dates.  For additional information, please contact the Student Assistance Coordinator Mrs. Dawn Aulisi at daulisi@trschools.com

The Photography Club hosted its monthly meeting in the Media Center after school on February 15th.  Club members discussed their photographs of last month’s project on various textures.  They also discussed their next project which involves depth of field and shadows.  The next meeting will be on March 22nd in the Media Center.  For more information on the Photography Club, please contact club advisors Mrs. Lisa Marotto at lmarotto@trschools.com or Mrs. Marianne Steinhart msteinhart@trschools.com  

On February 17th, Mrs. Jen Fazzini’s Honors Biology students in periods 3 and 4 held a Saguaro National Park Guest Village Design Expo in the Media Center.  Over the course of their Ecology unit, through a series of lessons and activities, the students had studied ecological relationships with an emphasis on the Sonoran Desert. They had examined species adaptations and interactions and the complexity and balance that supports the exchange of energy and matter within food webs.  The students were challenged to design a permanent guest village within the Saguaro National Park in Arizona. The design had to provide a true desert experience to visitors while emphasizing sustainable design, protection of the natural environment, and energy and resource conservation.  Their main goal was to create a sustainable village that would not greatly affect the natural environment of the Sonoran Desert.  Working in groups (architecture firms), they developed a presentation about their project and presented their proposals to the Planning Board (student volunteers).  Congratulations to the period 3 winning architecture firm Casillophoe Resorts made up of Cassidy Wojcik, Jillian Shaffery, Christopher Tice and Joseph Sasso and the period 4 winning architecture firm Sonoran Oasis Resorts consisting of Raisa Mangulabnan, Tyler Lin, Robert Pero and Sydney Huttemann.  Kudos to Mrs. Jen Fazzini for the innovative, student-driven unit!  

Just a reminder that the National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring to students seeking help in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.  Tutors are available after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:45 until 2:25 in the Media Center and no appointment is necessary.  For more information on National Honor Society tutoring, please contact advisor Ms. Laura Morgan at lmorgan@trschools.com

This week the sophomores will have the opportunity to speak with their guidance counselors regarding their 2017-2018 schedule. Students will be brought to the guidance office by their History teacher during assigned periods.  Course requests forms need to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to the guidance office.

Students who are interested in attending vocational school next year should speak to their guidance counselor about visiting a vocational school program to gain first-hand knowledge about the program. Student visitation week is March 14th - March 17th.

Register online for the April 8th ACT at www.actstudent.org by 3/3/17.

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

Our National Honor Society is sponsoring Public Speaking Seminars Fridays after school until 2:30 PM for interested students.  The objective is to support students who suffer from Glossophobia (anxiety or fear of public speaking) or need help with speaking in class or giving presentations.  NHS students will help teach how to become a better speaker.  I think this to be a worthwhile activity and hope ALL of our students take the time to attend!  


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Tuesday was Valentine’s Day, and in the spirit of the day, we wanted to recognize two former Raider high school sweethearts, Jason and Cindy Asay.  We stumbled across their ‘Class Couple’ senior Yearbook picture from 1991 and know they have two wonderful children currently at East, Lexi and Brianne.  We thought it would be fun to recognize their story since it originated from our school.

Jay and Cindy began dating in their sophomore year at East.  As juniors, they were voted Junior Prom King and Queen.  Jay and Cindy were later voted Class Couple in their senior year (the picture we noted).  Jason was captain of the football and wrestling teams and Cindy was captain of the softball team.  Since their high school days, Jason has been employed as a Union Ironworker in Trenton, working on various projects like Kingda Ka at Great Adventure (I will never ride that monstrosity).  Cindy worked as a waitress while attending Ocean County College.  Cindy eventually earned her Associates Degree in Criminal Justice/Political Science and currently works for the Township of Toms River as an Assistant Records Manager.  

Jason and Cindy were engaged on December 17, 1997 and were married on July 3, 1998.  Jay and Cindy have two wonderful daughters, Brianna and Alexis.  Brianna is a junior at East and Alexis is a freshman.  Cindy informed me that it was surreal dropping their children off for the first time at East, as her children would be walking the same hallways she and Jason did not too long ago!  They currently live in the house Jason grew up in.  Cindy informed me that that have so many wonderful memories of the home and appreciate the opportunities their children have to share in their history.  

Cindy informed me their wonderful relationship is based on their motto, “live well, love much, and laugh often”.  Jay and Cindy have been together for more than 30 years.  Congratulations and what a great Valentine’s Day story!


Week in Review (2/13 – 2/17)

The district participated in our yearly QSAC observation on Monday.  The inspection team did not make their way to East, but I was informed of the team appreciation for the efforts of the Toms River Regional Schools for their curricular growth.  I was happy to hear.  We were acknowledged by WOBM for winning the Cupid Award and received the prize by Sue Mall from the station.  We were apparently voted the most ‘romantic’ school.  I made the assumption we were acknowledged because we are so very kind to others.  I spoke to all of our students during lunch periods about school attendance and behavior data and being recognized as a State School of Character.  I explained to the kids the problematic areas I am looking to address and what we are doing to make the growth.  Students were encouraged to participate in our monthly committee meetings this week.  Our Attendance Committee met after school and discussed addressing our most problematic attendance days, Mondays and Fridays.  We developed several very entertaining ways to further promote awareness and to recognize compliance.  

Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  We had fun in the Main Office providing kids with movie quotes from romantic comedies/dramas for prizes throughout the day.  We provided quotes from Jerry Maguire, Dirty Dancing, The Princess Bride, The Notebook, Casablanca, Pocahontas, Twilight, and Forrest Gump.  The kids were great!  We held our Behavior Committee meeting after school.  We discussed creating a Character Counts Club (which is currently moving forward).  We discussed creating a Random Acts of Kindness Bulletin Board and attempting to market student interest and involvement.  Great meeting.  

On Wednesday, our Safety Team held professional development for staff members on Preventing Child Abuse.  Thank you to Safety Officer, Mr. Ed Kayler, for setting up the meeting.  We held our Climate Committee meeting with our students after school.  The committee discussed Class Spirit Days each month and upperclassmen adopting underclassmen (if interested) to create a positive and supportive school culture!  Looking forward to observing the growth of these ideas!  Thank you to Sofia Moderno for presenting on behalf of HSE at the monthly Board meeting!  

Mr. Ed Goodman held our annual Hoops 4 Hearts in the gymnasium Thursday and Friday.  Mr. Goodman set up the fundraiser a little different this year, as he challenged our Academy Teams to raise money for the worthwhile cause.  Mr. Goodman informed me that we raised more than $400 alone from our freshmen!  Thank you kids!  Our overall goal is to raise more than $1,400.  Mr. Goodman utilizes the efforts of professional athletes like Russell Wilson to inspire his civic efforts.  All of our proceeds are donated directly to the American Research Association.  Students received prizes for donations.  Lessons were tied into the fundraiser, as students learned about heart rate, cardiovascular exercise, facts about the heart, and obesity.  Our Safety Committee met with interested students to work collaboratively on creating a High School East Military Support Team Thursday morning.  The team is looking to fundraise for a monument for fallen former Raider, Dennis Miranda.  Dennis was killed in Afghanistan and we thought we could honor him and all of our military graduates with a monument by our school flagpole.  I met with Peer Leadership Advisors, Mr. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau to discuss our March activity with our group.  After school, Mr. Ted Gillen met with our spring coaches to discuss the respective season and expectations.  I met with our College and Career Connection Committee.  We provided students with a career survey and decided it would be beneficial for all of our sophomore class to take the survey.  We will disseminate next week.  Finally, Mrs. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Mark Figueroa conducted our Winter Concert in the evening.  I thought the kids were tremendous and did a wonderful job.  I look forward to these evenings as our concerts always have a way of putting things into perspective for me!  Great job with the solos and the presentation!

On Friday, I met with school Union Representatives to maintain an open line of communication regarding issues of concern.  We discussed our character lessons and expectations within the building.  We held a productive meeting!  Our Raiders Helping Raiders conducted their Friendship Lights activity period 3 in the auxiliary gym.  I was not able to get to the presentation, but Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli informed me that the presentation was nice and the kids enjoyed the experience.  Mr. Kevin McCann held a 10-Minute In-Service for interested teachers regarding best practices on student engagement from a student’s point of view.  

Congratulations to our boys basketball team for being recognized as our first team to receive the ‘Principal’s Cup’.  The Cup will be awarded to one athletic team per season with the highest academic record (determined by GPA).  We would like to begin recognizing academic excellence in athletics.  We are proud of our boys team for demonstrating their commitment to their schooling, and boast an average 4.507 GPA.  Way to demonstrate the power of ‘student’ in student-athlete!  I appreciate the boys for maintaining a successful balance between academics and extracurricular activities.  I would also like to acknowledge Trevor Zabilowicz for being names the Shore Sports Central Jersey Player of the Week! Trevor hit a three-pointer with five seconds left to give East a 50-48 win over Jackson Memorial.  Trevor scored an 11-point fourth quarter for the Raiders, and finished with a team high 18 points in the game.  

Congratulations to our Color Guard for their first place finish this weekend at a competition in Pennsylvania!  I am looking forward to the season and am very proud of our kids!          

Congratulations to Mrs. Jenn Fazzini and student Mei Fang Wang for receiving a Board Award from the Waksman Institute, Student Scholars Program at Rutgers University Wednesday evening!

Congratulations to Nick Fairfield for winning this week’s ‘How Well Do You Know your Teachers’ competition.  I provided the following facts about a staff member:  He is a graduate of HS East and earned a degree in Elementary Education; he has a huge hat collection with well over 200 hats; his #1 dream in life is to be on The Price is Right and play Plinko; two of his favorite things he’s ever done was going to the Superbowl and visiting the Vatican on Easter Sunday; and his wife loves he is able to get flowers for free whenever he wants.  The answer was Mr. Matt Malagiere, of course.  Mr. Malagiere attended Rowan University on an academic scholarship.  He also has a twin brother who looks nothing like him (I actually taught both Mr. Malagiere and his brother their freshman year at East as a student-teacher – they were both great students).  

Congratulations to Alexis Fernicola, Olivia Guardabascio, and Grace Denisco for being recognized as Respectful Raiders this week.  All three students found personal belongings of another student and turned the material into the Main Office!  Great examples of good character!

Congratulations to Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli for being recognized as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ initiative.  Mrs. Signorelli worked with our mentors to set up our Friendship Light activity.  Thank you!  Congratulations to Tyler Middleton for being strong enough to support a student conflict before it escalated into an altercation.  Thank you Tyler for being a good citizen!  

I would like to personally congratulate former teacher and coach, Mr. Alex Zuleweski, for being chosen to be inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Hall of Fame!  Mr. Zuleweski coached various sports at East, but was our school’s first Head Outdoor Track and Field Coach.  I am proud of you Coach Zulewski for being recognized for your efforts to instill excellence in all of your athletes!    
   
I would like to congratulate Mr. Edward Goodman for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  We selected Mr. Goodman for his commitment to the Hoops 4 Heart fundraiser!  Mr. Goodman takes tremendous pride in everything he does, and felt this to be a worthy activity to devote his time and energy.  Mr. Goodman advertised via personal contacts, emails, announcements, and letters to solicit support.  Mr. Goodman ultimately met his quota and raised approximately $1,400!  Great job Mr. Goodman!

Athletically, our boys varsity basketball continue an impressive run of victories against Pinelands and Wall this week.  Our girls won Round 1 of the Shore Conference Tournament, but eventually lost to powerhouse Neptune in Round 2.  Our hockey team lost to Ocean Township and our wrestling lost in a meet on Saturday.  Good luck to all of our teams and individual athletes who will be competing in State Tournaments this week!

I wanted to provide a great big congratulations to former Raider, Austin Sommerer!  Austin was recently highlighted in the TR Patch for leading the world’s largest student-run philanthropy (THON) from Penn State University.  Austin is the executive director of THON, which helps to raise funds to assist families of children fighting cancer.  We are very proud of Austin for his civic mindset!  Check out the entire article on the following link. http://patch.com/new-jersey/tomsriver/meet-toms-river-native-who-leads-penn-states-thon-worlds-largest-student-run


As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized the efforts of several staff members this week.  I observed Mrs. Cathy Applegate teach a highly entertaining laboratory on whether Double Stuff Oreos really have ‘double’ the stuffing.  The students were provided a ‘standard’ Oreo cookie and a Double Stuff Oreo cookie.  The kids were asked to design an experiment to determine the appropriate answer.  I told Mrs. Applegate I would like to participate and I simply ate a handful of the various types (I told her the experiment was inconclusive and I needed more cookies to get the answer…she escorted me out of the room).  On Tuesday, Mr. Matt Cicalese and I engaged in a meaningful discussion of how he utilizes the art of film to draw inspiration in his lessons.  Mr. Cicalese appreciates how he can connect the content material in meaningful and relevant ways through this forum.  Mr. Cicalese is a highly entertaining educator committed to promoting various forms of communication in all of his students.  I enjoy my visits.  On Wednesday, I observed Mrs. Katie Koenigstein teach an interesting lesson in art class with her students.  She demonstrated Jim Dine’s practice of creating art in class.  The kids were engaged in applying tissue paper to a cardboard backing and allowing it dry.  Students then created layers by drawing over the dried tissue paper in line with the Valentine’s Day theme.  Kids drew hearts and colored in with specific markers.  This technique is used in ‘art therapy’.  I was actually talking to Mrs. Koenigstein to create a project at a faculty meeting where each department created an image and we posted the image reflected of their department in the hallways.  Great lesson!  On Thursday and Friday, I observed Mr. Ed Goodman’s PE classes as part of the Hoops 4 Heart fundraiser.  I was impressed with Mr. Goodman’s organizational skills and commitment to the activity.  Mr. Goodman met with the various sections and reviewed key heart facts with the kids to establish importance for the activity.  Students willingly volunteered to participate and Mr. Goodman was eventually able to meet his goal!   Thank you to all of our students who helped!

Freshmen Academy

Congratulations to our Academy Award Winners this month!  I would like to acknowledge the following students from the following teams:

Silver
Most Improved:                Victoria Waldron
Most Spirited:                Jillian Shaffery
Most Committed:                Taylor Sexton
Best All-Around:                Makenzie Vaz

Blue
Most Improved:                Dan Bruno
Most Spirited:                Gabi Diskin
Most Committed:                Katie McGivern
Best All-Around:                Anthony Chersevani

Black
Most Improved:                Fernando Aguilar
Most Spirited:                Sarah Boettger
Most Committed:                Isabella Romana
Best All-Around:                Matt Roach

Great job kids!  We are all very proud of you!

Attendance Matters

The following is from High School, Working Together for Lifelong Success.  

Teens who attend school regularly have strong bonds to their school and are more likely to graduate.  Good attendance also creates a habit that can carry over into work later.  Consider these tips.

Set Expectations.  Being out for even a day or two a month can hurt your child’s performance.  Tell her that only acceptable excuses are illness, family emergencies, or pre-approved college visits.

Discuss Results.  Point out that missing school means she’ll have to make up coursework.  If she falls behind, she may have to retake courses.

Keep in Contact.  Write notes or call attendance lines for excused absences so the school knows your child’s not skipping.  If she does skip, contact the school so you can write a plan to get her back on track.

Character Counts

The following is from High School, Working Together for Lifelong Success.  

Encourage Respect
Teaching your teen to be respectful at home can make her more considerate and improve her relationships with friends, teachers, and bosses.  Try these ways to promote respect.

Address the Behavior.  When your adolescent sighs, stomps off, or talks back, it may seem easier to overlook it than to discuss it.  But letting her get away with it won’t help her – or you – in the long run.  Take the time to talk about her behavior and set consequences.

Offer Strategies.  Discuss appropriate ways for her to handle situations where she tends to be disrespectful.  For instance, she often asks for your input and then rolls her eyes at your suggestions, spell out what she could do instead (“Say, ‘Thanks, but I’m not sure that will work because…”).  Or agree on a look or gesture that quickly communicates to her, “Think of another way to react!”

Respond Respectfully.  Demonstrate respect with how you react to her behavior.  If you’re in public, you might pull her aside to keep the matter private.  Let her know what she did was wrong.  Then, explain what will happen if her rudeness continues (your shopping trip will be over, and she won’t get the new shoes she wanted).

Tips to Improve School Outcomes


The following is from High School, Working Together for Lifelong Success.  

Listen To Your Teen
As my daughter has gotten older, I’ve noticed that she doesn’t talk to me as much.  So when she does feel like chatting, I try to take advantage of the moment and listen to her.  

I’ve noticed that it’s best if I do less talking and more listening.  Sometimes, if I sit quietly with her, she’ll keep sharing.  And other times, I’ll simply ask questions like “What do you think?” or “What would you have done?”

Also, I make an effort to respond with what I think she is saying.  The other day she mentioned the school play that she’s going to be in.  I said something like, “It sounds like you’re excited about the play but nervous about how you’ll perform.”  She said that she was nervous and that she felt a little better just admitting it out loud.

I told her I was looking forward to being part of the audience.  And I let her know I’m here to talk about it – or about anything else she wants to share.

Issues

I do not have anything to report this week.

This Week at East (2/21 – 2/24)

Our Core Team will meet Tuesday morning to discuss student, staff, and safety issues of concern.  Our Curriculum Committee will meet after school.  Tea and Truth meets at 6:00 PM Tuesday evening in the Media Center for interested family members.  We are holding our monthly security drill on Wednesday.  Our Community Outreach Committee will meet after school in the Main Office Conference Room.  We are holding Conference-Conference all day for interested staff members to discuss school-related issues and growth.  Mrs. Reimertz is hosting a career workshop for interested students for the film industry Thursday morning in the Lecture Hall.  We are holding part 2 of our 10 Minute In-Service Friday morning at 6:30 AM for interested staff members to share out how their activity worked in the classroom environment.  

Information

Our National Honor Society is sponsoring Public Speaking Seminars Fridays after school until 2:30 PM for interested students.  The objective is to support students who suffer from Glossophobia (anxiety or fear of public speaking) or need help with speaking in class or giving presentations.  NHS students will help teach how to become a better speaker.  I think this to be a worthwhile activity and hope ALL of our students take the time to attend!  

Lacey Township High School will be holding a Career and Job Fair on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM.  Local employers with full and part-time or summer work will be available for discussion.

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Volunteer hours need to be submitted every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

Register online for the April 8th ACT at www.actstudent.org by 3/3/17.


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (2/6 – 2/10)

Mr. Kevin McCann attended a STEAM Academy meeting for East on Monday afternoon to prepare for the entrance exam testing scheduled for the 11th.  We are looking forward to welcoming our new students in the fall.  

I met with Student Council Representatives period 7 on Tuesday to further discuss moving forward with our plan to promote student involvement in extracurricular activities.  We spoke about the electronics policy and my thoughts for maintaining a firm stance.  I always appreciate a student’s perspective!  I attended a Principal Meeting to discuss next week’s QSAC visit.  The group will be inspecting various schools within the district to evaluate instructional quality in the classroom setting.  We will be accountable for ensuring appropriate student engagement and meaningful lessons.  More to follow in next week’s newsletter.  I was able to get to the girls and boys bowling match in the afternoon.  I was very impressed with the talent on display from both teams.  The kids really appeared to be having fun and the coaches were wonderful in their instruction and support!  Great job Mr. Kevin Kanarkowski and Mrs. Julie Clark.

We conducted our monthly fire drill as the weather felt like spring on Wednesday.  I attended our girl’s basketball fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings in the evening.  The fries were delicious!  I know I shouldn’t be promoting fries, but they were worth the calories (and the extra gym time to burn them off)!

School was cancelled due to inclement weather on Thursday.  Our ½ Day Professional Day was cancelled as well.  I was anticipating a little more snow, but appreciated not having to shovel the 6-12 inches they predicted!  

I attended another meeting on Friday with Assistant Superintendent, Mr. John Coleman.  We spoke about our school vision, direction and outcomes.  I anticipate growth in many of our school testing variables as we look to build the foundation for success at East.  I attended a small portion of the wrestling match Friday evening.  I wasn’t able to stay very long, but appreciate the effort that goes into preparing to compete!  The nutrition, technique, and physical conditioning really demonstrate a commitment to success.  I give the kids tremendous credit!

Thank you to Mr. McCann, Mr. Dirk, Mr. Peck, and Ms. Mika for supporting our STEAM Academy testing on Saturday morning.  Interested students participated in the performance assessment portion of the entrance process.  Selected students will be notified in March.  We held our Winter Formal Saturday evening.  The kids looked incredible (cleaned and dressed nicely).  I was unsure who they were!  It is great to see the kids having fun!  They practically stormed the gate when the doors opened!  They were so excited to dance the night away!  I love being an educator and am fortunate to be around such wonderful children (young adults).

I would like to congratulate Mr. Kevin Kanarkowski and Mrs. Julie Clark for being recognized as our Employee(s) of the Week.  I selected Mr. Kanarkowski because of his positive attitude he brings to school each and every day.  He always looks at the positive of every situation.  I appreciate his enthusiasm for his subject matter and his athletic responsibilities.  He has done a wonderful job with the bowling team, as his boys have been state ranked and competitive in every season.  They qualified for the quarterfinals for the first time on Monday at their respective tournament!  Great job Mr. Kanarkowski!  I selected Mrs. Julie Clark because she too brings a positive attitude to her work and coaching endeavors each and every day.  Mrs. Clark maintains such a positive outlook on life and her attitude is contagious.  Her students love her!  I appreciate Mrs. Clark’s efforts as our field hockey and bowling coach.  She ensures the kids are enjoying themselves as they represent East with pride.  Mrs. Clark is a member of our Coach’s Committee and designed a school trophy we will be awarding this winter to our athletic team with the highest GPA.  We are looking to promote Excellence, and felt this award would acknowledge our commitment to foster the mindset to do your best!  Thank you Mrs. Clark!  

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized the efforts of several staff members this week.  I acknowledged Mrs. Melissa Friedman’s efforts in the Main Office on Monday.  Mrs. Friedman puts in a shift each day from the moment she arrives to the moment she leaves school.  Mrs. Friedman addresses student and parent concerns at the Main Desk, works with Mr. Rutter with the various administrative responsibilities, and handles the multitude of tasks required in her position so effortlessly.  I appreciate her positive demeanor and willingness to go above and beyond.  I recognized our school nurse on Tuesday for her relentless pursuit of supporting school safety.  Mrs. Sammi Hvidding takes pride in her ability to support emergency response scenarios and has done a tremendous job expanding her role at East.  Mrs. Hvidding works with our special needs students (garden), supports the Community Outreach Committee, PTO, I&RS Committee, Attendance Committee, and promotes healthy lifestyles in our health classes while fulfilling her expected job responsibilities.  Keep up the great work Mrs. Hvidding.  On Wednesday, I recognized Mrs. Jenae Koon for her efforts to support our improved supervision plan in the locker rooms.  We were dealing with issues of theft for more than a week and were able to reduce/eliminate the issue through Mrs. Koon’s persistence to reinforce school policies in the locker room.  Thank you Mrs. Koon for your help!  I recognized the efforts of CST counselor, Mr. James Cartnick on Thursday (even though we were not here).  Mr. Cartnick is a former Service Professional of the Year.  I appreciate Mr. Cartnick’s expertise to support our students with learning disabilities.  He is a valuable resource when dealing with students in need of support.  He works hard and maintains an excellent rapport with his students and our parents.  Finally, I recognized Mr. Brian Cerbone on Friday for his efforts as our school Athletic Coordinator and accountant.  Mr. Cerbone balances his teaching responsibilities with running our school budget and athletic issues.  His responsibilities require competence and strong organizational skills.  Thank you Mr. Cerbone for being someone I can count on.

I wanted to congratulate Josh Carlin for his recent Eagle Scout recognition!  The award is an acknowledgement of a person’s leadership, character, and civic mindset.  I rate students like Josh highly as I know they will add value to our community!  Great job Josh, I am proud of you!

Congratulations to our East family for voting on the WOBM Cupid Contest.  We won and are acknowledged as the ‘most romantic’ high school (I will interpret this as we are kind to one another).  We will be receiving the award Monday morning.  Look at the website for details!

Congratulations to Mackenzie Melton for winning the ‘How Well Do You Know your Teachers’ competition this week.  I informed the kids this particular teacher enjoys vacationing in Yellowstone Park and the Grand Canyon, walks her dogs 3-5 miles per day and plays tennis 3 times per week, played softball at Rider and was a dorm President, coached softball, tennis, and cheerleading at East, and has a serious addiction to candy (who doesn’t?).  The answer was Mrs. Diane Morrissey, of course.  Mrs. Morrissey has skied in Colorado, Utah, Vermont, Maine, Canada, and California.  She won 2nd place in her age group at the Atlantic City 7K, snorkeled in various Caribbean islands, and was an advisor for FBLA, DECA, and the Ski Club.  Thank you Mrs. Morrissey for all you do at East!

Congratulations to our Competition Cheerleading squad for their impressive wins at the National Championship last weekend.  Our team competed in the Battle of the Boardwalk, a national cheer and dance competition, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.  The girls took first place in their division as well the title of Grand Champion, which meant they earned the highest score out of all schools in their category!  Great job Coach Brianne Sandberg and Coach Noel Aliseo!

Congratulations to Team Titan or their impressive finish at the FBLA competition at the end of January.  Erica Fischer, Olivia Valenta, and Pearl Bengali competed with more than 200 teams in 12 weeks across the state of New Jersey.  Our girls finished 7th in our region in our first outing in the competition.  Great job Mrs. Janine Hatton for your support!

Congratulations to our Robotics Team, Short Circuits, for their impressive performance in a competition this weekend!  The team finished in 9th place (26 total teams).  I am aware each respective competition requires an additional test to the demands placed on our robot.  The kids are doing a tremendous job and I appreciate what goes in to preparing for the competitions!   Keep up the great work!

Athletically, we had a relatively productive week!  Congratulations to the wrestling team for their wins against Barnegat, Pinelands and Neptune!  Our girls basketball team posted impressive wins against Jackson Memorial, Central, and Atlantic City this week!  The boys bowling team placed 6th at the OCT Open.  The boys basketball team beat Jackson Memorial, but lost to Central on Friday.  However, the boys improved in comparison to the first time we played Central!  I would have to say this is the best review we have had for a while and I’m very proud of our kids and coaches!

Freshmen Academy


We will be announcing our February Academy Awards this week in lunch.  Our Peer Leaders will meet with the various teams next week due to the inclement weather day on Thursday of last week.  I will provide details in our next Newsletter.  Mr. McCann will be meeting with academy teachers for professional development opportunities.  

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Anthony Danzi, Hadley Jensen, and Olivia Mowery for winning our January Perfect Attendance competition.  All three students received WaWa gift cards or their efforts.  Congratulations Angela Rizzo for winning the Perfect Attendance award to date.  Angela also received a WaWa gift card.  I would like to thank the above students and all of our other students who maintained perfect attendance in January.  I believe the efforts are a reflection of the student’s commitment to their future and, of course, Excellence!  Congratulations to Mrs. Melissa Reimertz and Ms. Nicole Foy for winning the homeroom with the best average attendance for the month of January.  Both classrooms won a bagel and donut breakfast!  Keep up the great work!  

A review of January’s attendance indicates an overall attendance rate of 92%.  Our freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior rates were 93.4%, 92.7%, 92.2%, and 89.6%, respectively.  We averaged approximately 106 absences per day.  Mondays (127/day) and Fridays (111/day) continue to be our most problematic days of the week.  Approximately 60% of our students were absent at least one day in January.  We averaged approximately 47 lates per day in January, with Friday our most problematic day (53/day).  Our seniors are our most problematic group, averaging approximately 15 lates per day.  Comparing January 2016 to 2017, we documented approximately 350 more absences and 200 fewer lates to school.  However, comparing 2016 and 2017 to date, we have observed approximately 500 fewer overall lates and 500 fewer overall absences.  We are still looking to make strides in improving our attendance rates with our senior class.

Character Counts

Congratulations to Matt Tice and Erica Johnson for being recognized as our Character Counts Students-of-the-Month.  Matt Tice was nominated for his work ethic and participation in extracurricular activities (trumpet playing, schoolwork, etc.).  He shows respect to his teachers and others, commits to anything he does, exemplifies the ideals inherent in the character pillars, and will take responsibility for his actions.  Erica is committed to her school and dance life.  She is always ready to learn at school and commits to school attendance.  She comes ready to learn something new every day. Erica is a team player and constantly cheers teammates on. She supports her peers in their personal endeavors.  Great job and congratulations Matt and Erica.  

Reviewing our January behavior data, we observed a decrease in the overall number of referrals compare to the previous month and the previous January.  Our biggest issues still are attendance related (lates to school and cutting class).  However, I am focused on improving our issues related to insubordination and disruptive behavior (addressed through our Character Counts initiative).  The following reflects a summary of our January behavior data:  cell phones (2.4%), cuts (30.2%), cutting detention (6.3%), disruptive behavior (11.5%), HIB (0.3%), inappropriate behavior (0.3%), inappropriate language (1%), insubordination (11.8%), lates to school (25%), lates to class (2.8%), threats (0.3%), truancy (0.3%), vandalism (0.3%), fight (1.4%), smoking (0.3%), school policy (5.2%), assault (0.3%), and parking violation (0.3%).  

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should PAY IT FORWARD:

1.         Spread the spirit of GIVING to others.
2.        Be TRENDSETTER.
3.        Show others you CARE.
4.        Prove that one good deed can make a DIFFERENCE.
5.        Live your life to the FULLEST.
6.        Make new FRIENDS.
7.        Give people hope that KINDNESS still exists.
8.        Be a POSTIVE influence on others.
9.        Make other people wonder why you’re SMILING.
10.        Make a total stranger’s day AWESOME.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

The following is from High School, Working Together for Lifelong Success.  

When your high schooler learns new information, does he try to think about it from different perspectives?  If so, he’s learning to be a critical thinker.  Students who think critically can draw conclusions, evaluate arguments, and analyze what works or doesn’t work – making them more ready for college and careers.  Sharpen your teen’s thinking skills with these ideas.

Ask Open-Ended Questions
Help him evaluate information by posing questions that have more than one right answer.  (“Should we explore space?”) Or encourage him to make a choice and explain it.  (“Which Jane Austin book do you like best?  Why?”)  

Consider All the Facts
Suggest that your child come up with positive, negative, and interesting points about a question in the news.  Example:  “Should school be year round?”  After reading several articles, he might say:  “We could learn more” (positive).  “It would be harder to get a summer job” (negative).  “Some schools already do this” (interesting).  This approach will help him sort facts, clarify his thoughts, and reach a conclusion.

Organize Information
Play this critical thinking game.  Together, list 10 items in your family room (books, magazines, a vase, a television, a sofa).  Then, have each person put the objects in order from most useful to least useful for a made-up scenario (planting a garden, getting ready for a trip).  There are no right or wrong answers – this activity just helps kids learn a way of thinking.

Issues

Please review the school policy expectation form parents were asked to read and sign in September.  We have a School Handbook posted on our website for your review as well.   I will continue to hold firm that East is a school, not a playground.  This is a place where students come to grow socially, emotionally and academically.  I expect our students to respect the ideals inherent in our school character pillars at all times while on school property (including athletic events and social functions).  You may look up respective school policies on our district website.  Please feel free to call me with questions.

This Week at East (2/6 – 2/10)

Mr. Ed Goodman will be sponsoring our Hoops for Heart on February 16 and 17 in the gymnasium.  Mr. Goodman is hoping to raise approximately $1,200 during the two day campaign.  If you have an interest to donate to the worthy cause, feel free to send donations to Mr. Goodman (Hoops 4 Heart).  QSAC inspections will be held on Monday within the school district.  Our Attendance, Behavior, Climate, and College and Career Connection Committees will be meeting this week after school.  Please encourage your child to become an active member in our school growth and participate in the meetings.  Our PTO will be hosting a staff breakfast Tuesday morning to show their appreciation for their hard work.  Our Winter Concert will be held in the Student Center at 7:00 PM Thursday evening.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders will conduct our Friendship Bracelet Workshop Friday morning.  I will conduct a 10 Minute In-Service Friday for interested staff members.  Our Safety Team will be hosting a professional development workshop on school issues of concern.

Information

Casino Pier will be at East in the Student Center on February 14th and February 23rd during student lunches to talk to interested students about summer employment opportunities.  They have jobs for ages 14 and older.  They will also have material for their job fair that is being held on March 18th and 19th.  

This week the freshmen will have the opportunity to speak with their guidance counselors regarding their 2017-2018 schedule. Students will be brought to the guidance office by their History teacher during assigned periods.  Course requests forms need to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to the guidance office.

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Volunteer hours need to be submitted every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

Register online for the April 8th ACT at www.actstudent.org by 3/3/17.

Well, how about our play this week?  I thought it was amazing!  I gave it 5 Raiders out of 5 (I may be a little bias).  So, a great big shout out to the cast and crew of Young Frankenstein.  I was truly inspired with the commitment and application of such unique skills – singing, dancing, acting, and behind the scenes.  I loved Alexandra Ryan’s yodeling, Ray Kleinschmidt’s humor, John Morris’ commitment to his character, everything about Danny Holts’ performance, Katarina Jones’ pure joy on stage, Lauren Rodgers’ singing, Michael Fobian’s scene stealing performances, Becky Malinowski’s spot-on portrayal of Frau Blucher, Ben Petruk’s radiant voice, Colin Ward’s physical humor as the monster, Zack Gamble’s monster scene (pouring hot soup on the monster), and Ryan Holt as the Shoeshine Boy!  There were so many other amazing performances, we should all be proud!  Thank you Mrs. Kristin Delucci for your efforts to ensure the success of our play!  I looked forward to this play for quite some time and must admit I am a little down now that it is over.  I will have to purchase the DVD!

I took some time today to reflect on our experiences with our kids at East.  I was thinking of the stories portrayed in movies of the influences of teachers on student lives, how teachers inspire students to great heights.  However, our students do the same for us – they give us reasons to come to school and feel pride in our building.  We watch the kids compete in sports, perform in plays, the band, chorus, and participate in various clubs and activities while balancing grades, friends, and issues at home.  We acknowledge their challenge and admire them for their perseverance.  I know I speak on behalf of all of our staff, but thank your children for making our jobs the best in the world.

Week in Review (1/30 – 2/3)

Our Curriculum Committee convened after school.  We welcomed students to our meeting for the first time this year.  We solicited feedback from the kids regarding how students learn, what makes a teacher effective, and other student-supported instructional topics to help guide our professional development to best meet student learning needs.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Dawn Aulisi hosted a meeting with various Student Assistance Counselors from around the County and outside mental health organizations to support our goal to meet the needs of our at-risk student population.  The objective of the meeting was to line up what the outside organizations can do for our students and create an in-house support system for students suffering from mental health issues in hopes of supporting positive school outcomes.  Our I & RS Committee met after the meeting and aligned students in need of additional support with school resources and programs.  Our Community Outreach Committee convened after school with our interested students.  We decided to utilize the committee to give back to the community through service learning projects.  We are looking at doing something for children with cancer.  More to follow.  

Our College and Career Connection Committee hosted our Vocational Career Day at High School East on Wednesday.  Representatives from the various schools set up tables to demonstrate the respective curriculum and application for our interested students.  I appreciated the efforts of Mrs. Elise Weinberger to set up the event.  I hope students benefited from the experience.  

Thursday was all about our school play.  The school was buzzing with excitement.  I asked all of our play kids to come down to meet with me and to take a picture.  I enjoyed chatting with the kids and appreciated their enthusiasm.  I asked the crew how they are able to move equipment in and out in the dark, they gave me the tips.  I also praised them for their ability to balance grades, home, and the play so successfully!  What a talented group of kids!

On Friday, staff nominated students as part of the Driven to Excellence program.  We continue to select students each month who demonstrate growth personally and academically through their efforts in the school environment.  We will hold our district drawing for an eventual winner in June.

I would like to congratulate Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald for being named as our Employee of the Week.  I was able to observe Ms. Fitzgerald’s support of a student in need and spend the appropriate time needed for help.  Ms. Fitzgerald also made personal commitments to support our committees this week and to engage our student population in the process.  Ms. Fitzgerald is a teacher who loves her job, and it shows.  Thank you.

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I stopped in to Mrs. Erin Calicchio’s classroom on Monday.  Mrs. Calicchio took the time to explain to me a very cool art project her students were working on which connected to good character.  Mrs. Calicchio’s students used their knowledge of primary and secondary colors to draw creative hearts depicting a personal story where they received an act of kindness from another person.  On Tuesday, I observed Mrs. Kellyann Orbin’s work for promoting positive school behavior.  Mrs. Orbin is a special education instructor, but quite the artist.  I appreciate Mrs. Orbin’s display outside of her room depicting applications of our character pillars.  Thank you!  On Wednesday, I observed Mr. Kyle Austin teach our elementary education students how to run a TV-21 show.  Students were given roles and Mr. Austin provided oversight to each of the students from Cedar Grove Elementary.  Mr. Austin is a well-respected educator at East.  His students love him!  On Thursday, I acknowledged the efforts from Mrs. Barbara Ennis.  Mrs. Ennis is one of our guidance secretaries and does a wonderful job.  What I appreciate most about her is her positive attitude she brings to East every day.  She is always smiling and appears to love her job!  Thank you Mrs. Ennis!  On Friday, I acknowledged Mr. Konopka’s efforts to construct the Solar System in our upper hallways.  Mr. Konopka’s students participated in the project and created the planets in relative proportion to each other and distance from the Sun.  Facts and other interesting information are on display as a student walks from the Sun to Neptune (Pluto was included, for old time sake).      

I would like to commend Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald and Mrs. Elise Weinberger for being acknowledged as a part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ program this week.  Both staff members went above and beyond for students in need.  Thank you Ms. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Weinberger!  

Congratulations to Michael Goodall for being recognized as a ‘Respectful Raider’ this week for finding the personal belongings of another student and turning them in to the Main Office.  Thank you Michael!  

Congratulations to John Matthew (Matt) Tice and Christina Bilotti for being recognized as our Seniors-of-the-Month.  Matt is a member of NHS and a leader in our school band.  He is a section leader and plays trumpet in our jazz ensemble.  He was voted class musician by his peers and can be seen playing in ETC’s production of Young Frankenstein.  Matt is ranked in the top 20 of his class and plans to attend Penn State and major in aerospace engineering.  Christina is also a member of NHS, Interact and Key Club, Peer Leadership, the Medical Club and the Environmental Club.  Christina is a member of our field hockey team and works as an Ambassador.  She is ranked in the top 5 of her class and is hoping to pursue a career in Medicine.  Congratulations to Matt and Christina for being positive reflections of our school community.  

Congratulations to Trinity Rodgers for winning the ‘How Well Do You Know your Teachers’ competition this week.  I informed the students the staff member in question graduated from TCNJ with a degree in Psychology and Spanish, graduated from HS South (we won’t hold that against her) in the top 10% of her class, was an ocean lifeguard for 15 summers and competed yearly in swimming and rowing competitions, and travelled to the corners of the planet hiking with friends.  The answer was Mrs. Jenn Muscillo!  Mrs. Muscillo teaches Spanish I.  She attended school in Spain to better connect her to her content material.  Mrs. Muscillo has been married for 8 years and has a beautiful daughter in preschool.

Athletically, I was not provided information at the time of this writing, so I regretfully am unable to provide details other than I am aware our boys and girls basketball teams beat Southern on Thursday and our boys bowling team has won 8 of our last 10 matches!!  Great job kids!  I am going to attempt to get to the bowling match this week in Brick!  I will report back next week.

Freshmen Academy

Next week our Academy teams will participate in a Lunch Academy run by Peer Leaders.  We will participate in an activity applying our February Character pillar (Caring).  We will also recognize our January Monthly Academy Awards this week!  

Attendance Matters

I will provide January’s attendance data in our next Newsletter

Below is remainder of the article I provided in last week’s Newsletter.

Beyond meeting the requirements of federal law and being currently available to all districts, chronic absence offers additional advantages to state education officials. First, by adopting chronic absence as an ESSA indicator, the officials will ensure that schools and districts include this proven measure in their needs assessments and school improvement processes. Second, chronic absence data can provide guidance to schools about how to use hard-to-quantify characteristics, such as school climate and youth and parent engagement to direct their efforts.  Typical school climate data are collected from student, parent and/or teacher surveys. The surveys provide extensive information, but results often are hard to distill and interpret, particularly when they are not completed by large numbers of participants. Their utility can be enhanced, however, if they are used purposefully to add nuance to assessments of students’ attendance barriers, and to identify the reasons for, and solutions to, poor student and family engagement.

Indeed, as states develop their accountability systems, they should consider combining chronic absence with other measures of engagement and school climate. Incorporating rates of suspension, expulsion, student mobility and school climate measures along with chronic absence is a holistic approach that can offer important insights to schools about how to improve student achievement. It might, for example, clarify the extent to which high levels of absence are due to excessive suspensions or the lack of a welcoming, engaging school environment. Given recent research showing the interrelationship among chronic absence, school discipline, climate, mobility, and achievement, districts would be well advised to incorporate all of these measures in improvement plans.

What are the Solutions?

First and foremost, it is critical that educators and community stakeholders use a problem-solving, rather than blaming, approach to addressing chronic absence. States and districts should use chronic absence rates to identify those schools and districts that need support and technical assistance. Next, districts and schools should analyze their chronic absence data and use the results to engage community partners in efforts to remove attendance barriers, solicit resources, and spread positive messages about the importance of daily attendance. The Attendance Works website (www.attendanceworks.org) offers a wealth of additional strategies to help districts, schools, and communities reduce chronic absence. One of the most effective ways to address chronic absence is with a comprehensive, multi-tiered system of supports that combines prevention with early and consistent interventions –as determined by individual students’ needs. Legal action should be used only as a very last resort.

Every Student Succeeds Act Timeline

Considering these options and choosing the most appropriate measures is a time-consuming, time-limited process. Education stakeholders and administrators would be well advised to keep the following timeline at top of mind:

September 2016-December 2016

• During this period, states should consider the legislative, regulatory, and policy changes needed to align with ESSA and its final regulations. • Competitive grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education after September 30, 2016 will be governed by ESSA, rather than by NCLB, statutes. • The U.S. Department of Education will issue its final ESSA regulations by December 10, 2016.

January 2017-September 2017

• State legislatures must enact changes to law that are necessary to execute their plans and comply with final ESSA requirements. • With community input, state departments of education must complete their plans and submit them to the U.S. Department of Education in March of 2017, with an as-yet unconfirmed option for states to request an extension until June 2017. • The U.S. Department of Education must approve state plans. States must implement plans to meet ESSA’s expectation that most provisions are operational in the 2017-18 academic year.

September 2017 and beyond

• The implementation and impact of the ESSA accountability rubric should be monitored. States must modify the rubric over time to ensure that the measures provide meaningful and actionable data for schools.
(Attendanceworks.org)

Character Counts

I will provide January’s behavior data in our next Newsletter.

February’s pillar is ‘Caring’.  Staff members are asked to provide a lesson demonstrating the ideals inherent in being kind, compassionate and show you care, expressing gratitude, forgiving others, helping people in need and being charitable and altruistic.  

The objective of the CHARACTER COUNTS is to help each student:

•        Develop moral character and commitment in its use.
•        Improve decision-making qualities.
•        Demonstrate integrity, honesty promise-keeping and loyalty which are essential in relationship building and career readiness.
•        Demonstrate respect for authoritative figures and others without regards to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or other distinguishing attribute(s).
•        Make accountable for their actions and the consequences of choices made.
•        Increase cognitive skills related to being just and fair with others.
•        Display compassion and a concern of well-being for others.
•        Demonstrate their civic duties and social responsibilities.
                                                                   
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Please go to the below website to download the form, Post-Report Card Evaluation, to ask your teachers to fill out when you want to find out where your teachers think you need to improve.

http://GoodHabitsGoodStudents.com/
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

We have been dealing with a few issues of theft in the girls locker room between classes.  We have alerted our staff and security for additional supervision.  Please remind your child to properly secure their belongings in their respective locker and/or in the teacher’s office.  

This Week at East (2/6 – 2/10)

We will be meeting with the kids in lunch to talk to them about the State School of Character designation and what it means to our school.  Mr. Vern Rutter will speak to the kids about setting goals.  I will be attending a Principal Meeting on Tuesday to discuss our QSAC visit on the 13th and PARCC.  I will meet with our Student Council Representatives on Tuesday during period 7 to move our goal to increase student involvement in school activities.  We will test our fire drill procedures this week as well.  The district is hosting a ½ Professional Development Day for staff on the 9th.  

Information

Next week the freshmen will have the opportunity to speak with their guidance counselors regarding their 2017-2018 schedule.  Students will be brought to the guidance office by their History teacher during assigned periods.  Course requests forms need to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to the guidance office.

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

Volunteer hours need to be submitted every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

Register online for the April 8th ACT at www.actstudent.org by 3/3/17.

The yearbook will be extending the deadline for senior/baby ads until February 10th!

I have been asked to post an ad for our newly formed ‘No Limitz’ Dance Club (so proud of the kids for taking the initiative).  Mrs. Janine Hatton has volunteered to be the advisor.  Auditions will be held after school on Friday in room W-10.  All interested students should contact Mrs. Hatton for further information.  

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Great news!  Following a review of our application, the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional and Character Development (NJASECD) identified High School East as State School of Character.  We will remain this status for a period of three years, through 2019.  Our score sheet was forwarded to Character.org in Washington, D.C. for consideration in the National Schools of Character program.  

We are truly committed to our mission and are aware that the path to success is a product of good character.  Students who are committed to respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, caring, fairness, and citizenship are more likely to achieve personal goals and to add value to their community.  We are aware that this acknowledgement does not imply we are devoid of problems.  However, High School East accepts this recognition to signify our intent to create a culture of excellence through increased student and staff expectations and behavioral outcomes.

My plan is to stay committed to raising expectations through appropriate education and to demonstrate how positive school behavior will impact personal and academic achievement while creating a civic mindset.  We must continue to work as a team to support the growth and development of our children.  I appreciate our partnership and look forward to one day actually creating an educational environment conducive to self-actualization!  

Week in Review (1/23 – 1/27)

We held our monthly Security Drill on Monday and tested our ability to react to a Lockdown scenario.  Parents, please reinforce with your child the importance of following the appropriate procedures to ensure the safest possible environment in light of an actual emergency.  Our Steam Academy Committee convened in the morning to review our performance assessment questions and respective grading rubric for our application process.  We developed three creative questions to assess a potential candidate’s critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills.  Our Attendance Committee meeting was postponed due to the inclement weather Monday afternoon.  We will reschedule in February.  I attended a district training on appropriate documentation and use of our General Funds Account Monday afternoon.
Our Core Team convened Tuesday morning to discuss student, staff, and various issues of concern.  I find the meetings productive as we are able to collaborate on creative ideas to resolve problems.  Our Attendance Committee hosted our monthly Attendance Hearings for students who are not in compliance with our attendance policy.  Thank you Mrs. Kristi Klem-Koskowski for coordinating the monthly meetings.  I met with our Building Representatives to ensure we are all moving forward together and to discuss any issues of concern.  Thankfully, we have a wonderful staff committed to school objectives and are student-centered!  I have a great job and am fortunate to be working at East!  Our Behavior Committee met after school with interested student representatives.  We discussed school objectives, our character program, and current student issues of concern.  Ideas were generated to support our growth mindset using the student population as a resource.  More to follow.

Our I & RS Committee convened Wednesday morning to support students in need of additional resources.  Please feel free to contact me if you believe there may be more we can do to help your child personally and academically.  Our Climate Committee met after school and discussed ways to help promote a more positive feel to our building.  Approximately 30 or so students attended the meeting.  They were relatively quiet considering the number in the room.  However, following my information, we agreed upon bringing a friend and more ideas to the table next month.  We shared what we are currently doing to promote staff and student morale.  I anticipate a productive meeting in February.  I attended a STEAM Academy meeting with local business leaders and central administration in the evening.  Mr. Kevin McCann shared out on our progress at East and we discussed our vision and expectations regarding the skills required for success in our academy and how we are going to solicit support from local business leaders.  More to follow.

On Thursday, Mrs. Dawn Aulisi hosted our County Student Assistance Coordinators meeting at HSE.  Guest speaker, Lt. Dudzik, Special Operations of TRPD, conducted a presentation on Drug Recognition.  Former HSE student, Mrs. Alicia Cook, came back to speak to our students about the disease of addiction in an assembly in our Lecture Hall later in the day.  Mrs. Cook shared stories of the impacts on families and spoke about her book titled, Heroin is the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Me.  I thanked Mrs. Cook for her time and look forward to having her back in the spring.  We held our College and Career Connection Committee meeting after school.  A rather large number of students turned out to share methods of how we can help our student create a vision of life after East.  I would like to be able to demonstrate how an interest can lead to a degree and then a career.  We currently bring in various industries to speak to our students about careers and have our staff share information regarding colleges.  

On Friday, Mr. Kevin McCann held a 10 Minute In-Service for interested staff on developing leadership within the classroom environment.  Staff viewed a brief video of a dancing guy and observed how the individual created a movement through his actions.  Staff were asked to think of strategies the guy used in the video and to adapt them to their classroom setting.  I enjoyed the professional development!    

I would love to include more updates from our week at East, but would end up writing a dissertation to convey all of the wonderful activities.  Please continue to monitor the Daily Bulletin on our Website for updates on our clubs and various other organizations.

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Elise Weinberger for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Weinberger put in quite a shift last week between meetings, dealing with student issues of concern, and supporting volunteer school activities.  We appreciate Mrs. Weinberger’s commitment to do her best for her students.  She cares and it shows.  She is extremely thorough and prides herself on her work ethic.  Thank you Mrs. Weinberger for all you do.

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I am giving a great big shout out to our counselors this week.  I have observed tremendous growth in their development as a team over the past few months.  They are beginning to work closer and to collaborate more effectively to resolve student issues of concern.  I rely on their expertise to feel they commit to doing their best for their students each and every day.  I am proud of them and respect what they stand for.  Thank you Mrs. Monica Santamaria, Mrs. Ann Millard, Ms. Carrie Bush, Mrs. Elise Weinberger, Ms. Carol Ann Salvaggione, Ms. Rachel Calhoun, and Mr. Robert D’Ippolito for raising the bar.  

Congratulations to Nicholas Bushell for winning the prize for ‘How Well Do You Know your Teachers?’  I gave the clues, this staff member’s motto is “Go forth bravely”, graduated with a double major in art and psychology, attended the University of Maryland, but graduated from Keene State College in N.H., spiders scare her more than anything on the planet, she owned her own graphic design company for 26 years, and her favorite color is Caribbean blue.  The answer was Mrs. Karen Seeland, of course!  Mrs. Seeland worked as a dental assistant and waitress while in college.  She appreciates dogs, but cats rule in her world.  She was a production manager for 7 years for a publisher of a Caribbean Island map company.  She loves to swim.  If Mrs. Seeland was deserted on an island, she could survive on French Fries and Roast Turkey (strange).  She makes the most delicious chicken soup and is incredible proud to be a part of a nation that allows freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble.  

Congratulations to Mrs. Eileen Lombardi for being recognized as our Mentor of the Month.  Mrs. Lombardi’s ability to connect and communicate with her mentee is evident as she has established a strong working relationship.  Her willingness to support and care for the students in a constructive manner is fantastic.  Mrs. Lombardi goes above and beyond to help make the mentoring program a success.

Congratulations to our chess team for their thrilling victory over North.  Captain, Kyril Kavetsky, beat North's 1st board and subsequently won another chess clock for East. This is the 15th time since 2000 that we have taken first in our League District. We go now to the 1st round of the League championship playoff on February 15th.  If we further qualify, go to the final rounds on the 22nd and then on to States in March.

Congratulations to our Robotics team for taking the opportunity to apply our knowledge and skills in a competition this past weekend.  We did not perform to our usual standards, but learned our weaknesses in order to make improvements.  Thank you kids and advisors for your courage!   Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli informed me that our team participated in a community outreach activity this week.  We were invited to Family Engineering Night at Silver Bay to share on our progress at the high school level.  Special thanks to the Grunin Foundation for their generosity in donating supplies and funds to support our district's technology initiative.  

Athletically, our girls bowling team lost three matches, while the boys lost 2 but beat Toms River North on Friday.  Our hockey team lost 2 games, but beat Lacey on Friday.  Our boys basketball team beat Toms River South and Atlantic Tech this week.  The girls basketball team beat High School South and Pinelands.  Both teams lost to North on Thursday.  Our swimming teams both lost to High School North.  Our wrestling team lost to High School South and Donovan Catholic.  Congratulations to Sam Bragen for her 3rd place finish in the pole vault with a jump of 9’6” at the Shore Conference Track and Field Championships.    

Freshmen Academy

We continued to share out on our STEAM Academy initiatives with our Freshman Academy staff during conference periods.

Attendance Matters

Chronic Absence: Our Top Pick for the ESSA School Quality or Student Success Indicator - A Policy Brief

What is Chronic Absence and What is its Impact?

Most children miss a few days of school each year without long-term consequences. However, when they miss many days, the effects are almost always negative. Researchers have defined absences as “chronic” when they reach the level at which a child’s school success is at significant risk. Chronic absence is different from truancy, which counts only unexcused absences, and average daily attendance, which reports the average number of students who attend school each day. As early as pre-kindergarten, students who are chronically absent are less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade and more likely to be retained in later grades.  Chronically absent kindergartners are also less likely to develop the social skills needed to persist in school.  The problems multiply for students who are chronically absent several years in a row.  By sixth grade, absenteeism is one of three early warning indicators that influence whether students will graduate from high school.  By ninth grade, it’s a better predictor of graduation than eighth grade test scores.  And, even if they manage to graduate, high school students with a history of chronic absence are less likely to enroll and persist in college. Importantly, chronic absenteeism, especially when defined as a percentage of days missed, is a leading indicator and can reveal that a student needs help long before test scores or grades do.

Why Choose Chronic Absence as the ESSA School Quality or Student Success Indicator?

Chronic absence is one of the few metrics available now to all states and that meets or exceeds the rigorous ESSA selection criteria for indicators. We have summarized these requirements below:

ESSA Indicators Must:

•        Be applicable to every student All enrolled students are included in attendance counts; no students are excluded.

•        Provide summary and disaggregated data Chronic absence rates can be reported separately for all subgroups of students in a school, district, and state.

•        Be comparable across a state’s school districts States already have protocols that standardize attendance taking and reporting. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has recently required states to track and report a standard measure of chronic absence. As a result, chronic absence rates will be comparable within states and, unlike many indicators, across the nation.

•        Be able to distinguish differences in performance among schools Chronic absence levels vary substantially among students and schools within any district or state. These variations are not random; they represent meaningful differences in student engagement, achievement, and success.

•        Be valid Test scores are measures of test success, which can be strongly or weakly related to subject matter mastery. Chronic absence, on the other hand, measures how much school has been missed.

•        Be reliable Counting errors aside, taking attendance and computing chronic absence repeatedly will yield a consistent result. Have a proven Impact on Achievement An abundance of studies link chronic absence to academic achievement. Click here for a compilation of research on chronic absence and its relationship to student success.

•        I will include the remaining portion of this article next week.  Here is the link

•        (http://www.attendanceworks.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ESSA-Brief_083016-1.pdf)

Character Counts

I thought this story fitting considering our nation’s political concerns at this time.  This is character!

Imagine having to talk parents into giving up their children with the promise that you only may be able to save them from an otherwise near-sure fate of death. Could you picture carrying this enormous responsibility for the safety of total strangers, all the while risking your own life?

That is exactly what Irena Sendler did. A Catholic social worker in Poland during the Holocaust, Irena snuck into the Warsaw ghetto—risking her life day after day—in order to rescue Jewish children before they could be sent to concentration camps. With the help of the Polish underground resistance, Irena saved 2,500 Jewish children’s lives before being sentenced to death herself and forced into hiding for decades. She spent the rest of her life trying to reunify the Jewish children with any remaining family members, and wishing she had done more.

In the midst of unimaginable horror, throughout a war that persecuted entire populations, Irena felt a responsibility to her fellow human citizens—regardless of their religion or ethnicity. She learned from an early age, “If you see someone drowning, you must jump in to save them, whether you can swim or not.” Her profound courage and compassion serves as a lasting testament to the power of accepting responsibility for the greater good and taking actions to improve the lives of others.
(https://charactercounts.org/irena-sendler-unsung-hero-and-paragon-of-responsibility/)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I gathered the following from Mrs. Kim Truhan’s lesson on ‘How Successful People Think’.  Please refer to the link below for support.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iPLKdjtC6U

The video will present how you can get the same results as other successful people, ways to you can get emotionally fit, habits, traits, tendencies, routines, and mannerisms that you improve and make you successful.  Take a look and let me know your thoughts.  

Issues

I have nothing to report this week.

This Week at East (1/30 – 2/3)

Big event this week folks!  Our Eastside Theatre Company is performing Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein February 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.  Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American horror comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein.  The film is an affectionate parody of the classic horror film genre, in particular various film adaptations of Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein.  Young Frankenstein ranks in the top 20 or so greatest comedies of all time!  I am so very excited to see the play as the movie is one of my all-time favorites.

We will continue welcoming our student representatives at our school committee meetings this week.  We host our Curriculum and Community Outreach Committees Monday and Tuesday, respectively.  Our PTO will be meeting Tuesday evening at East (6:00 PM) for interested parents willing to help move the school forward.  We will meet in our Main Office Conference Room.        

Information

From the Office of Curriculum and Instruction:

Toms River Regional Schools are continually seeking to improve curriculum, instruction and assessment to challenge students and offer them multiple paths to success. In that vein and consistent with the Mission of Toms River Schools, students in Grades 6-12 will be offered an alternate assessment for their third marking period quarterly exam. Instead of taking written exams on one set date, students will be collecting pieces for portfolios marking period-long or choosing and completing performance-based tasks to demonstrate their mastery and application of concepts. All students will receive grading rubrics before completing the tasks to give them maximum control over the outcomes.
As with all assignments, if students are absent from class/school, they will be fully responsible to make up work and submit on the assigned deadline.

If you have any questions, please contact the Supervisor of Instruction for the content area or Ms. Norma DeNoia, Director of Curriculum 6-12.

Media Center Highlights

The new year in the Media Center began right away on January 3rd when we hosted an evening of “Tea & Truth”, offering individuals and families who have loved ones who abuse drugs or alcohol to join High School East families for support. A second meeting was held on January 17th.  All students, staff members, and East community members are welcome to attend the twice a month meetings and babysitting is available for future dates.  For additional information, please contact the Student Assistance Coordinator Dawn Aulisi at daulisi@trschools.com

Brian Smith’s American History 1 classes participated in a lively “1775 Town Hall Debate” in the Media Center on January 24th.  It was the Loyalists vs. the Patriots in a “war of words” in order to decide whether the colonists should remain loyal to Great Britain and oppose the Revolution or join the Patriot movement and declare independence from Great Britain.  The Patriots were victorious and the move towards independence began!

The Photography Club hosted its monthly meeting in the Media Center after school on January 25th.  Activities included photographing various textures and reviewing the projects from last month.  Three new members joined the photography club. The next meeting will be on February 15th in the Media Center.  For more information on the Photography Club, please contact club advisors lmarotto@trschools.com or msteinhart@trschools.com  

Just a reminder that the National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring to students seeking help in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.  Tutors are available after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Media Center and no appointment is necessary.  For more information on National Honor Society tutoring, please contact advisor Laura Morgan at lmorgan@trschools.com

Guidance Counselor Highlights

The counselors visited the English classes to give students scheduling information for the 2017-2018 school year. Course requests forms need to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to the guidance office.  The course selection guide is available on the HSE website.

The registration deadline for the March 11th SAT is 2/10/17.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The OCVTS Career Discovery Day is on 1/21/17. This is a great opportunity for students and adults to learn about available career and technical programs.  Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.

The OCVTS Open House is on Thursday, 2/2/17 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Go to www.ocvts.org for more information.

The 7th Annual Philly Science and Engineering Day is on Saturday, 2/4/17 at Drexel University.  Visit www.phillymaterials.org for more information

Other

The yearbook will be extending the deadline for senior/baby ads until February 10th!

Note:  We are providing opportunities for our students to participate in our school committees this month.  Please see the ‘Information’ Section below for details.  


Week in Review (1/17 – 1/20)

Monday was Martin Luther King Day.  We pride ourselves at East celebrating his values and beliefs to promote tolerance, respect, and excellence.  Although a challenge, I hope East will one day be a school absent of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  We are working hard on educating our students through our Character Counts initiative to promote positive school behavior and to teach citizenship.  I encourage parent participation in our program through our PTO.  Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 6:00 PM in our Main Office Conference Room.

I met with our Student Council Representatives on Tuesday afternoon.  I asked the students to bring ideas back to the meeting how we were going to promote positive student-student relationships.  In our prior meeting, students felt that promoting involvement in extracurricular activities would be the most effective method to connect students to the school in positive ways.  In doing so, students would develop the relationships which would promote the expectations of our character program.  Our Representatives will be developing a survey to determine individual involvement and interest with the hopes of linking students (buddy system) with common interests.  More to follow.

We held our 8th Grade Transition Meeting Tuesday evening.  I shared my expectations for our students and the school vision/mission.  Mr. Ted Gillen spoke to the parents about our Freshman Academy and Mr. Kevin McCann spoke about the STEAM Academy.  Head Counselor, Mrs. Monica Santamaria, spoke to the parents about the testing and curricular expectations at the high school level.  We stressed student involvement throughout the evening.  Mrs. Dawn Aulisi concluded the presentation with a few brief words regarding substance abuse support for families in need.  

We held Conference-Conference for our staff periods 1 through 8 on Wednesday.  The objective is to provide an opportunity for members to openly share concerns, brainstorm on resolving various school issues, and to utilize the time to reconnect as a staff.  The staff mentioned in a few of the periods how students are demonstrating a lack of respect for school policies regarding electronics (especially in the hallways).  I reminded the staff of our policy and informed that our administrative team would be more visible in the hallways between every changeover to reinforce expectations.  Please discuss our electronics policy with your child.  I attended the Board meeting Wednesday evening and wanted to thank Sofia Moderno for presenting on behalf of HSE.  Sofia shared out on all of the wonderful things going on in our building.  

Our College and Career Connection Committee hosted a ‘Staff Talk’ Thursday morning.  Mrs. Karen Seeland spoke about her experiences at the University of Maryland.  Mrs. Seeland informed the kids about the campus life, academics, athletics, and various other college interests.  I met with Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau after school to discuss our Peer Leadership program.  We are looking to further support our goal to involve all of our students in a form of extracurricular activity and to make personal connections to East.  We will be hosting a workshop in February for all of our selected students in need of support.  I look forward to the positive outcomes generated from this activity.  

I hosted an early morning professional development for interested staff members on ‘Strategies for Motivating Students’.  The workshop provided staff members with an understanding of the factors which contribute to intrinsic motivation and connected with instructional strategies to promote the mindset.  I attended a Principal Meeting in the afternoon and discussed QSAC, PARCC, HIBs, and various other school issues.  

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Lori Martz for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.    Mrs. Martz is a Freshman Academy Algebra I teacher and member of our STEAM Academy planning team.  Mrs. Martz is a Professional Registered Engineer and brings a wealth of experience to her job as an educator at East.  I have observed Mrs. Martz many times and always appreciate her ability to connect the content material to the learner in meaningful ways.  Thank you Mrs. Martz for your commitment to Excellence and love for children!  You make East a better place.

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I observed history teacher, Mr. Brian Smith, present a lesson where students dissected a political cartoon on Tuesday.  I appreciated Mr. Smith’s connection with his students, as the classroom was warm and welcoming.  Students appeared engaged and were accountable.  Great job Mr. Smith.  On Wednesday, I recognized Mr. Joel Tourjee and Mr. Matt Polhemus for their efforts take a personal interest and create a student-centered club.  Mr. Tourjee volunteered to advise our new ‘Skateboard’ club, which was recently Board Approved.  Mr. Polhemus loves the Ocean and volunteered to advise our newly approved ‘Surf Club’.  From my understanding, we have approximately 40 students looking to participate.  Great job!  On Thursday I observed veteran teacher, Mrs. Kelly Zyskowski, teach a lesson on the Greatest Common Factor addressing algebraic equations.  I appreciated Mrs. Zyskowski’s demeanor and classroom management style.  Students were participatory and demonstrated competence through an active discussion.  On Friday, I recognized athletic secretary, Mrs. Rose Porzio, for her efforts to always provide quality work for our coaches.  What I appreciate most about Mrs. Porzio is her willingness to support the needs of her colleagues, even though the efforts are not her responsibility.  She is the ultimate team player and we all acknowledge her value at East!      

I would like to commend Olivia Valenta for being acknowledged as a part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ program this week.  Olivia was noted for finding keys and turning them into our Main Office.  The keys were returned to the owner.  

Congratulations to Jake Shuster and Ryan Monica for being recognized as a ‘Respectful Raider’ this week.  Jake and Ryan went to the aid of a peer who appeared to be ill.  The student fell to the floor and Jake and Ryan came to the student’s assistance.  Jake and Ryan brought the student to the nurse’s office for help.  Thank you Jake and Ryan for being model citizens!  Thank you as well to Daniel Doherty for finding a purse in math class and delivering it to the Main Office.  The purse was returned to the owner!  Great job Daniel!  

Congratulations to Tyler Sacko and Erica Jackson for being selected to represent HSE at the Governor’s School in the Sciences.  The program broadens the scholars’ appreciation and knowledge of science through exposure to a range of scientific topics and scientists.  The program introduces scholars to a hands-on research experience in a student’s area of interest through a series of courses, laboratories, projects, lectures, and other activities centered on math and science.  Students benefit from working with professors in Drew University’s strong undergraduate science program, and they learn about possible career paths from the faculty and from some of New Jersey’s leading industrial, governmental, and academic representatives.  Great job Tyler and Erica!

Athletically, it appears to have been a better week!  Our girls basketball team beat Central Regional and Brick Memorial while the boys team lost both games.  Our hockey team lost to Brick Memorial.  Our boys bowling team beat Southern Regional while our girls team lost to Southern.  Both boys and girls swimming lost to Brick Memorial.  Our wrestling team also lost to Brick Memorial on Saturday.  I know the kids are working hard, that is all I can ask!

Freshmen Academy

Mr. McCann met with Academy teachers this week to present the STEAM Academy and to discuss collaborative planning periods.


Attendance Matters

Please take a look at the below link which discusses the differences between chronic absences and truancy.  

http://www.attendanceworks.org/chronic-absence-v-truancy/
(Attendance Works)

Character Counts

Does character education actually help in academics?

Yes, character education can greatly help students with their academic subjects as well. Diligence and a sense of responsibility are some of the main core values taught in character education. With these students will learn how to focus on their studies, and more importantly they will have the drive that will make them want to do well in their academic subjects.

Building character also helps them to interact properly with their teachers and fellow students, turning their classroom into a better learning environment.

Does character education really work?

Research done on the subject found out that schools that employ character education have fewer incidences of disciplinary referrals, suspensions, and truancy. The positive environment that it brought to schools also increased attendance and has also brought about a significant improvement in academic performance of the students.

What your children learn from character education will be useful to them as they engage and interact with other people in society. For them to become upstanding members of their communities, they need to know the proper way to treat other people, and these are the things that they learn and understand through character education.
(http://www.teach-nology.com/currenttrends/character_education/)
                                                                   
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Please go to the below website to download the form, Post-Report Card Evaluation, to ask your teachers to fill out when you want to find out where your teachers think you need to improve.

http://GoodHabitsGoodStudents.com/
(Good Habits, Good Students)


Issues

Please review last week’s Newsletter.  Please remind your child of their responsibilities for their educational outcomes as a high school student.  If there is a concern regarding a grade on an assignment and/or assessment, please encourage your child to communicate with the teacher.  If an issue is not resolved, please have your child reach out to his/her counselor for support.  If the issue is still not resolved, please feel free to set up a parent-teacher conference for clarification.

This Week at East (1/23 – 1/27)

We are hosting our Committee meetings this week and are opening up to our students.  I am seeking serious and committed students looking to improve school outcomes (see below for meeting dates and times).  I firmly believe including all stakeholders in the growth process is key to meaningful and long-term growth.  Hopefully, we will have a large and supportive turnout.  We will conduct our January Security Drill this week.  I have a meeting to discuss our school funds Monday afternoon.  Our Core Team will be meeting Tuesday morning prior to our January Attendance Hearing meetings.  Our Attendance Committee holds monthly meetings for students who are not in compliance with our attendance policy to not only hold the student/family accountable, but to provide ideas for support.  Our bi-monthly Tea and Truth meeting will be held at East at 6 PM in the Media Center for families impacted by substance abuse issues.  Our I & RS Committee will convene Wednesday morning in the Main Office Conference Room.  Our Safety Team will host a drug awareness workshop Thursday morning.  We will hold our Driven to Excellence drawings Friday morning.

Information

The following is a list and brief description of our school committees in support of our Vision/Mission.  We are encouraging our students to become active participants in the process to ensure we are involving all of our stakeholders in the growth of our school.

•        School Improvement Panel – Curriculum:  the goal of the committee is to develop relevant instructional strategies to better engage students in the learning process; through student-centered and project based learning objectives.  In the process, to increase rigor, make personal connections, and to develop student analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills.

•        Attendance Matters – Committee to promote the awareness of the importance of school attendance and the connection to academic achievement; to re-evaluate school procedures to prevent poor attendance and to support at-risk students using school-related data.

•        Behavior Committee – To establish behavioral expectations within the school setting to maintain a safe and orderly environment and to provide educational support to remediate inappropriate behavior using school-related data; the committee is looking to promote the values of tolerance and respect and to develop good citizenship skills.

•        Climate Committee – The committee is designed to promote a positive school culture through stakeholder involvement in school-related issues; role is to develop climate where staff and students are intrinsically motivated to meet school and personal expectations of excellence – empowerment; extrinsic resources.

•        Community Outreach Committee – Develop ‘Raider Parent-Teacher’ connection to connect school with the home to improve school outcomes by aligning and supporting expectations.

•        College and Career Connection – Role is to develop an understanding of the relationship between personal interests, curriculum, college degrees, and careers; Help students explore colleges and universities  for information and entrance requirements; and to help students develop job-specific skills to meet the demands of a globally competitive market.

•        School Improvement Panel – Role is to ensure, oversee, and support the implementation of the district’s evaluation, professional development (PD), and mentoring policies at the school level; Connecting data to professional development.

•        Safety Committee – Role is to ensure the school is safe, secure, and peaceful and is a catalyst for the prevention of school crime and violence; Partner with community to provide quality information, resources, consultation, and training services regarding school safety and drill procedures; and to assist students and staff in reducing the risk to occupational safety and health hazards within the school environment.

Our Attendance Committee will meet after school on the 23rd in the Main Office Conference Room.  The Behavior Committee will meet on the 24th, the Climate on the 25th, and the College and Career on the 26th.  The Curriculum will meet after school on the 30th and the Community Outreach will meet on the 31st.  Parents, you are always welcome to participate as well.  We encourage parental support through our PTO, which next meets on Tuesday the 24th of January at 6:00 PM in the Main Office Conference Room.

All students who are currently enrolled in Option II Personal Finance must complete the course by Monday, January 23, 2017. The final exam is on 1/30/17.

Any Junior or Senior interested in Option 2 Personal Finance for semester 2 must see their guidance counselor for an application.

The registration deadline for the March 11th SAT is 2/10/17.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The OCVTS Career Discovery Day is on 1/21/17. This is a great opportunity for students and adults to learn about available career and technical programs.  Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.

The OCVTS Open House is on Thursday, 2/2/17 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Go to www.ocvts.org for more information.

The yearbook will be extending the deadline for senior/baby ads until February 10th!


Week in Review (1/9 – 1/13)

We held our monthly faculty meeting on Wednesday.  Thank you to guest speaker, Mrs. Carly Scallon, for taking to time to share with our staff techniques to implement in the classroom setting to help ‘focus’ and prepare our students mentally for the day’s lesson.  Mrs. Scallon presented on the topic, ‘Mindfulness’, and ran the staff through an activity to demonstrate the effectiveness of the concept.  We all felt the professional development to be productive and are now looking forward to applying in our academic setting where appropriate.  We recognized wonderful staff updates and positive outcomes from our hard work.  We discussed raising individual and student expectations to create a culture of excellence.  There are many challenges, but we are looking forward to our growth.  We discussed safety issues of concern, staff training, character lessons, conference-conference periods, tightening up on our control of student behavior, and various other school initiatives aimed at improving the school environment.    

Our administrators and counselors met on Thursday to discuss our 8th Grade Transition meeting on the 17th of January.  We will be discussing school expectations, the Freshman Academy, STEAM, and life as a Raider through curricular and extracurricular expectations and activities.  We are looking forward to welcoming our Class of 2021.  

Friday was a marvelous day!  We officially recognized our Service Professional  and Teacher of the Year.  Congratulations to Head Counselor, Mrs. Monica Santamaria, for being recognized as our 2017 SPOY.  Mrs. Santamaria began at East 15 years ago as a Spanish Teacher.  Mrs. Santamaria changed her career objectives and became a guidance counselor 11 years ago, which proved to be a very successful move because she was able to apply her love for children, culture, and technical expertise to support the needs of our students.  She was promoted to Head Counselor in 2011 and is viewed as the ‘glue’ that bridges the gap between our curricular expectations and testing needs.  Mrs. Santamaria ensures the challenge of State testing is always conducted in support of our individual student needs and in compliance with State requirements (not an easy job).  I appreciate the professionalism, competence, and positive attitude she brings to East each and every day.  Her efforts make a difference at East!  Congratulations and thank you Mrs. Santamaria for all you do!

Our 2017 TOY is Mr. William Dishon.  Mr. Dishon is an extremely valued employee at East.  I appreciate his passion for his subject matter and his commitment to excellence.  Mr. Dishon not only conveys the importance of positive school behavior to personal and academic success with his students but he embodies the values and beliefs inherent in our character pillars – he is a role model!  Mr. Dishon is an accomplished artist and his visually stunning work is on display throughout our hallways (murals).  He is also a published artist, and was the illustrator in the children’s book titled, Host a Little Ghost and the Story of the Mystical Mums.  I would like to thank Mr. Dishon for always coming to school and doing his best for his students and in support of his colleagues.  We all enjoy his contagious enthusiasm.  Thank you for demonstrating to your students why the Arts are culturally important to all of us.  His instruction enables students to express themselves in ways that promote the creative mind and accept who we are as individuals and what we can become as citizens.  Thank you Mr. Dishon for being someone we could not do without!  You make East a better place!

I always enjoy recognizing our SPOY and TOY.  We get the Band to parade to the respective office/classroom while I am making the announcement.  We like the surprise on the staff member’s face when we stop at their location.  The Band plays a few wonderful uplifting songs and we have a brief ceremony.  

We held our STEAM Committee meeting in the afternoon Friday.  We discussed the entrance exam performance assessment and subsequent rubric.  We brought in highly qualified staff to support the process.  The Committee of teachers consists of Mrs. Cathy Applegate (Chemistry Teacher and Professional Engineer), Mrs. Lori Martz (Math Teacher and Professional Engineer), Ms. Amanda Gregorek (Biology Teacher and Stevens Institute STEAM trainer), Mr. Brian Vernachio (AP Environmental Science Teacher and former manager of the Environmental Education Center) and Mr. Dan Batchelor (Computer Engineering and Design Teacher – 27 years).  Assistant Principal Mr. Kevin McCann will be the STEAM Academy Advisor.  Mr. McCann brings in a wealth of curricular expertise to East as a NJ Achievement Coach.  Mr. McCann has partnered in various school committees designed to improve school technology, instruction and assessments, curriculum development, professional development for staff, and has been our Freshman Academy Advisor for the past year at East.  I will support the committee in my capacity as building principal.  I am a Professional Registered Geologist and worked approximately 18 years in the environmental consulting industry.  I hope to add that value to the expertise already on our team!

I would like to congratulate Assistant Principal, Mr. Vern Rutter, for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.    Mr. Rutter came to the rescue of one of our students who was choking on his lunch.  Mr. Rutter performed the Heimlich Maneuver and saved the boy.  Mr. Rutter was calm, cool, and collective in a stressful situation and his ability to think clearly helped to support our distressed student.  Mr. Rutter is someone who truly cares about the wellbeing of others and always puts their interest before his own!  Thank you Mr. Rutter for all you do!

Congratulations to Mrs. Brooke Schilling for being recognized as our Raiders Helping Raiders Mentor-of-the-Month.  Mrs. Schilling was selected by our committee for being a role model for our students as a dedicated mentor for many years.  Her willingness to participate in the various projects with her mentee’s goes above and beyond.  She is positive and has an inherent ability to connect to children.  Thank you Mrs. Schilling for caring!

Congratulations to freshman Shaye Maxwell for being selected to intern with Congressman MacArthur this winter.  I admire Shaye’s commitment to follow her passion to pursue a career in politics.  Through her internship, she will be developing her communication skills, learning how to network, engaging in community projects, and learning the legislative process.  Good luck Shaye!

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I observed Mr. Mike Nemeth on Monday teach a lesson in physical education class.  Mr. Nemeth was actively engaged in playing various games aimed at developing coordination and teamwork.  The kids appeared to be enjoying the lesson.  I appreciate Mr. Nemeth’s positive relationship he has with his students.  I observed Autism Academy teacher, Mr. Tom Trotta, on Tuesday.  Mr. Trotta spent considerable amounts of time redesigning his classroom to better meet the needs of his students.  The room is spacious.  Mr. Trotta designed the room to support the development of life skills for his students.  He created an office space, laundry room area, district lunch box preparation station, and cleaning station using sinks.  The interior of the room was designed for instruction and support.  Great job Mr. Trotta.  On Wednesday, I observed Mrs. Janine Hatton teach a lesson on various marketing strategies in stores. The students dissected the layouts of food, clothing, and other forms of stores to support business needs.  The students were provided with an opportunity to design their own store layout working in teams.  Great idea and the kids were entertained.  On Thursday, I recognized the efforts of CST Secretary, Mrs. Lisa Varley.  Mrs. Varley is crucial to the organization and management of the group.  I appreciate Mrs. Varley’s efforts to always do her job responsibilities to the best of her abilities, and with a smile.  I recognized our wonderful STEAM team on Friday for all of their creativity and positive attitude to help design the STEAM initiatives.  Each of the committee members volunteered their time to support the program and did a wonderful job establishing performance assessments and rubrics for the application process.  Thank you!  

Congratulations to Andrea Morejon for winning ‘How Well Do You Know Your Teachers’ this week.  I provided the clues, this staff member is a year older than Mr. McCann, went to the same high school and college as Mr. McCann (but they never knew each other), attended law school for a semester before deciding to put his chemistry degree to work as a laboratory assistant, and is an avid WWE, New York Giants, Mets, and Notre Dame football fan.  The answer was Mr. Christopher Peck, of course.  Mr. Peck is married and has two children (both boys).  He is our AP Physics teacher, Interact and Key Club Advisor and works in the Main Office as an administrative assistant.  Mr. Peck earned his Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership from Georgian Court University and is seeking to become an administrator in our district.  Mr. Peck is a very popular teacher with our students because he cares and is involved!  

Athletically, looks like a pretty bad week all around in terms of wins and losses.  Outside of our chess team, we did not appear to observe success on the field.  However, as long as we are competing to the best of our abilities, I am satisfied.  

Freshmen Academy

Our Academy students will be participating in ‘Health’ Talks this week during PE class.  Mr. McCann will be meeting with teachers in the various teams to discuss next year’s STEAM Academy.

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Tyler Class, Robert Fortus, and Alyssa Larice for being recognized as our Monthly Perfect Attendance Winners.  Each student maintained perfect attendance for the month of December.  Congratulations to Anthony Marinelli for being recognized as our Year-to-Date Perfect Attendance Winner.  Each of the above students received gift cards to WaWa.  Congratulations to Mrs. Goodall and Mrs. Reimertz (tied) for being selected as the Homeroom with the best attendance for the month of December.  Ms. Schultz’s room placed second.  All of the respective winners will receive a free bagel and donut breakfast.  Great job to all involved!

I am going to open up our Attendance Committee to our student population in January to get them involved in improving school outcomes.  Some talking points are:

1.        School is your first and most important job. You’re learning about more than math and reading. You’re learning how to show up for school on time every day, so that when you graduate and get a job, you’ll know how to show up for work on time every day.

2.        Students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate and find good jobs. In fact, a high school graduate makes, on average, a million dollars more than a dropout over a lifetime.

3.        School only gets harder when you stay home too much. Sometimes it’s tempting to stay home because you’ve got too much work or you don’t understand what’s going on in class. But missing a day only makes that worse.


Character Counts

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character – this is the goal of true education.” – MLK Jr.

I couldn’t agree more with the above.  I will provide feedback at the end of the month regarding outcomes for the month of ‘Commitment’.  Being committed to your goals puts you in charge of your life!

A few of our staff members conducted the following activity as part of our Character Counts monthly lesson.  I observed the finish products in the hallways.  
                                               
Goal Collage - Assignment

•        Divide a piece of construction paper into 3 sections.  
•        Label the three sections (Educational Goal, Personal Goal, & Career Goal).  
•        Have students construct a collage representing each goal using magazines, drawings, and computer printouts.  
•        Below each collage, have students list the steps needed to accomplish each goal.  
•        Hang finished projects in the hallway for all to see.
                                                                     
                               
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Please go to the below website to download the form, Daily Check Sheet, to ask your teachers to fill out when you want daily feedback.

http://GoodHabitsGoodStudents.com/
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

Please review last week’s Newsletter.  Please remind your child of their responsibilities for their educational outcomes as a high school student.  If there is a concern regarding a grade on an assignment and/or assessment, please encourage your child to communicate with the teacher.  If an issue is not resolved, please have your child reach out to his/her counselor for support.  If the issue is still not resolved, please feel free to set up a parent-teacher conference for clarification.

This Week at East (1/17 – 1/20)

I am attending training on Least Restrictive Environments in Trenton on Tuesday morning.  We will be hosting our 8th grade transition meeting at 6:00 PM at the school for our incoming Raiders.  We will discuss school expectations, the Freshman Academy, STEAM, and the curricular and extracurricular life of a Raider.  We will host our Conference-Conference periods all day Thursday for teachers to provide feedback on school and staff issues of concern.  I will run a 10 Minute In-Service for interested staff on ‘Student Motivation’ Friday morning.  I will participate in a district administrative meeting to discuss the upcoming QSAC observations.

Information

The following is a list and brief description of our school committees in support of our Vision/Mission.  We are encouraging our students to become active participants in the process to ensure we are involving all of our stakeholders in the growth of our school.

•        School Improvement Panel – Curriculum:  the goal of the committee is to develop relevant instructional strategies to better engage students in the learning process; through student-centered and project based learning objectives.  In the process, to increase rigor, make personal connections, and to develop student analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills.

•        Attendance Matters – Committee to promote the awareness of the importance of school attendance and the connection to academic achievement; to re-evaluate school procedures to prevent poor attendance and to support at-risk students using school-related data.

•        Behavior Committee – To establish behavioral expectations within the school setting to maintain a safe and orderly environment and to provide educational support to remediate inappropriate behavior using school-related data; the committee is looking to promote the values of tolerance and respect and to develop good citizenship skills.

•        Climate Committee – The committee is designed to promote a positive school culture through stakeholder involvement in school-related issues; role is to develop climate where staff and students are intrinsically motivated to meet school and personal expectations of excellence – empowerment; extrinsic resources.

•        Community Outreach Committee – Develop ‘Raider Parent-Teacher’ connection to connect school with the home to improve school outcomes by aligning and supporting expectations.

•        College and Career Connection – Role is to develop an understanding of the relationship between personal interests, curriculum, college degrees, and careers; Help students explore colleges and universities  for information and entrance requirements; and to help students develop job-specific skills to meet the demands of a globally competitive market.

•        School Improvement Panel – Role is to ensure, oversee, and support the implementation of the district’s evaluation, professional development (PD), and mentoring policies at the school level; Connecting data to professional development.

•        Safety Committee – Role is to ensure the school is safe, secure, and peaceful and is a catalyst for the prevention of school crime and violence; Partner with community to provide quality information, resources, consultation, and training services regarding school safety and drill procedures; and to assist students and staff in reducing the risk to occupational safety and health hazards within the school environment.

Our Attendance Committee will meet after school on the 23rd in the Main Office Conference Room.  The Behavior Committee will meet on the 24th, the Climate on the 25th, and the College and Career on the 26th.  The Curriculum will meet after school on the 30th and the Community Outreach will meet on the 31st.  Parents, you are always welcome to participate as well.  We encourage parental support through our PTO, which next meets on Tuesday the 24th of January at 6:00 PM in the Main Office Conference Room.

8th grade parent night (Class of 2021) is on Tuesday, January 17th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.

All students who are currently enrolled in Option II Personal Finance must complete the course by Monday, January 23, 2017. The final exam is on 1/30/17.

Any Junior or Senior interested in Option 2 Personal Finance for semester 2 must see their guidance counselor for an application.

The registration deadline for the March 11th SAT is 2/10/17.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The OCVTS Career Discovery Day is on 1/21/17. This is a great opportunity for students and adults to learn about available career and technical programs.  Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.

The OCVTS Open House is on Thursday, 2/2/17 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Go to www.ocvts.org for more information.

The yearbook will be extending the deadline for senior/baby ads until February 10th!

Week in Review (1/3 – 1/6)

We held our STEAM Academy organizational meeting on Tuesday morning with guidance counselors and central administration.  We will be reorganizing our internal structure to meet the needs of the academy objectives.  We plan on making Mr. Ted Gillen our 9th grade Assistant Principal who will be in charge of running the Freshman Academy.  Mr. Kevin McCann will become our STEAM Academy administrator in charge.  I am looking forward to the growth of our school and feel Mr. Gillen and Mr. McCann are exceptional educators capable of moving our building forward.

Our incoming 9th graders will be the first class to participate in the program.  We will be offering three separate strands within the academy, Biomedical, Engineering, and Environmental Sustainability.  We will be offering new courses in Molecular Genetics, AP Anatomy & Physiology, Engineering, Calculus BC, and Environmental Sustainability.  With the infusion of the new courses, advanced technology and makerspaces, mentorships and internships, independent research and capstone projects, opportunity to earn credentials, and an interdisciplinary problem-solving approach to addressing the curriculum, we will be creating unique experiences that go beyond the general curriculum.  

The deadline for the application process is Friday, January 20, 2017.  Interested students will participate in an entrance exam on Saturday, February 11, 2017.  Notifications of acceptance will be made on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 with a commitment date of Friday, March 31, 2017.  Questions for the application process at East may be directed to Mr. McCann (kmccann@trschools.com).  

We held our monthly Fire Drill period 1 on Thursday without incident.  Our Staff College Talks continued in the afternoon as several of our teachers (Mrs. Kristen Mason, Mr. Mike Sciarappa, Mrs. Katie Koenigstein, and Mr. Brian Vernacchio) spoke to the kids about their college experiences at Stockton University.  The teachers also spoke about transferring into the university from Ocean County College.  I am aware the kids thought the talk was very informative.  Thank you for your efforts!


On Friday, I was able to play a part in Mrs. Laura Morgan’s lesson on The Feast of Fools.  Mrs. Morgan asked me to play the Lord of Misrule in celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, known as the Twelfth Night.  I was tasked with entering the room and creating a distraction from the current lesson.  I informed the kids that we were not going to participate in the current lesson, and we were subsequently going to read the play (comedy), The Twelfth Night.  I provided the kids with treats and must say, landed the role.  The kids did not know the act was planned and felt extremely awkward as they were doing whatever I asked, in defiance to the teacher.  Of course, when I left, Mrs. Morgan explained we set this up and how the comedy was related to the respective lesson.   I must say, I enjoyed the deviant role!

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Casey Daniel and Ms. Candice Schultz for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Both teachers spent considerable personal time organizing our Holiday Food Drives.  I rate individuals highly who put others before themselves.  I felt that Mrs. Daniel and Ms. Schultz put their heart into the activity to hopefully provide holiday cheer to those in need.  Thank you for being so caring!

Congratulations to Aimee Skeres for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Aimee found a binder in the cafeteria and turned it into the Main Office.  The binder was returned to the owner!  Thank you Aimee.

Congratulations to Anthony Parayno and Colby Dineen for being recognized as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ initiative!  Anthony was acknowledged for holding the door for students and staff during our security drill on Thursday morning.  Colby was acknowledged for being a responsible leader on the ice at the North-East hockey game!  Great job Anthony and Colby for demonstrating positive school behavior!        

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized Mrs. Marybeth Kretz on Tuesday as she taught a lesson on subdural hematomas.  Mrs. Kretz is a professional chiropractor and enjoys connecting the concepts to real-world experiences.  The students were able to observe a surgeon repairing an injury to the brain which caused excessive bleeding.  I thought the lesson was fantastic and the kids appeared to enjoy the application.  On Wednesday, I was able to observe Mr. Kevin Cohen teach a lesson on Thomas Jefferson and the Embargo Act of 1807.  Mr. Cohen is a unique teacher with an inherent ability to get the best out of his kids.  He demonstrates a passion for the subject matter, love of kids, expectations for excellence, and a story-telling skill set.  Great lesson!  On Thursday, I observed Ms. Kelsey Chatten teach a lesson on Oxidation in Chemistry class.  Ms. Chatten is new to High School East and did a wonderful job.  Ms. Chatten provided her students with a hands-on activity to assess content knowledge on the lesson objective.  Ms. Chatten is enthusiastic and willing to learn.  She will add tremendous value to our school!  On Friday, I observed Ms. Deborah Gould teach a lesson on solving algebraic equations.  I love math, so the lesson was inherently engaging to me.  I appreciated Ms. Gould’s work rate and ease to keeping the class moving forward while providing class and individual support when necessary.  Great job teachers!!  

Congratulations to Kyle Durovich for winning the ‘how well do you know your teachers’ this week.  I gave the clues, teacher majored in special education, criminology, and sociology, rowed 2 years at the Division I school, coached track and field at East for 6 years, coached a Meet of Champion in the Pole Vault, has been a lifeguard at Ortley Beach since he was 16 and is currently a Lieutenant!  Mr. Riley McConnel was the answer, of course.  Mr. McConnel attended Miami University and spent a year traveling the country after graduating.  He enjoys travelling to Europe and the Caribbean and particularly enjoys Turks and Caicos (sounds fun).      

Congratulations to Michael Fobian and Kelly Mulvaney for being recognized as our Seniors of the Month!  Michael is a member of the NHS, Writing Club, Environmental Club, Interact and Key Clubs, and East Ambassadors.  He is also a member of the Eastside Theatre Club as well as the Acapella Club.  Michael is an active member of his church and enjoys participating in Raider Nation.  He is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class and is highly interested in pursuing Communications or Media at James Madison University.  Kelly is an honors/AP student as well as a member of our NHS, Interact/Key Club, Peer Leadership and TEAM.  Kelly is a member of our cross country, winter track, and lacrosse programs while also a participant in Student Council, East Ambassadors and the Robotics Club.  She is ranked in the top 25 of her class and hopes to pursue Accounting or Finance in college.  Great picks this month and thank you Michael and Kelly for being positive reflections of our school community.  

Athletically, our winter seasons on underway.  Our boys and girls bowling teams lost to Brick Memorial, Toms River South, and Toms River North this week.  Our hockey team lost to Hopewell Valley but tied Toms River North this week.  Our boys basketball team lost to Brick Memorial and Brick Township this week.  Our girls team beat Brick Memorial and Brick Township!  Great job!  Our chess team beat Lakewood this week!   Congratulations.  Our boys swimming lost to Lacey.  Our girls swimming beat Lacey.  I did not receive information from our track or wrestling teams.

Freshmen Academy

A review of the Freshman Academy Leader Board shows the Blue team in first place, followed by the Black and then Silver.  The scores were tallied based on the results from the Penny Wars, Field Day, Field Day Color, Field Day Spirit, and most recent Food Drive.  The winning team will celebrate in the spring with pizza lunch!  Good luck!

Attendance Matters

A review of our December attendance indicates the following:
•        We have made strides in improving school-wide attendance as it relates to absences and lates to school.
•        We observed 530 fewer absences comparing December 2016 to December 2014.  We observed 231 fewer absences comparing December 2016 to December 2015.
•        We observed 324 fewer lates comparing December 2016 to December 2014.  We observed 58 fewer lates comparing December 2016 and December 2015.  
•        Comparing September 2016 through December 2016 and September 2015 through December 2015, we observed 876 fewer absences and 319 fewer lates to school.  We improved approximately 0.5% in overall attendance comparing the two time periods.  
•        We plan to continue to educate our students and families on the importance of school attendance on positive school outcomes.

Character Counts

Our goal is to provide all of our students with rich educational experiences in preparation of future college and career endeavors.  In doing so, we look to support the social and emotional growth to become value-added citizens through positive school behavior.  We are proud to announce our December Character Counts Students of the Month, Holly Phillips and Joe Scott.  Holly is a well-rounded and responsible student who always does her best at every opportunity.  She is polite, considerate, and treats her peers fairly.  She is considered a true citizen of High School East.  Joe is a respectful student, athlete, and friend.  He is committed to his sports and strives to be his best.  He is also fair and caring and respectful of others.  His peers view him as someone who puts others before himself!  Thank you Holly and Joe for being positive reflections of our school community!

A review of the December behavior data indicates the following:
•        Similar trends in data in terms of types and percentages.  Our main concerns still are related to attendance (absences, lates, and cuts).   We need support from home to help us to ensure that our students understand that we expect our students to come to school every day, on time, and ready to learn.  
•        Cell phones (1.5%), cuts (21.3%), cutting detention (3.7%), disruptive behavior (10.8%), drug policy (0.3%), inappropriate behavior (0.6%), inappropriate language (0.6%), insubordination (15.5%), lates to school (43%), lates to class (8%), truancy (0.6%), vandalism (0.3%), and fight (1.2%).  Note, the above numbers reflect December percentages of discipline types.
                                                                                                                                                                   
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Please go to the below website to download the form, Homework Tracker, to homework habit skills.

http://GoodHabitsGoodStudents.com/
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

I have had conversations with several of our upper level teachers who have conveyed to me that they are having issues with students (primarily seniors) who feel they are essentially ‘done’ for the year.  We typically run into these concerns during the New Year and must corral the behavior before it becomes a problem.  We will do our part to maintain academic integrity and promote excellence (doing your best) through our character education lessons and daily reminders.  Please engage your child in a conversation of the importance of learning, simply for the sake of learning.  Through this process, we develop the important interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills necessary to meet the demands of our future endeavors.  It certainly does not hurt to be a well-rounded student, capable of having an intellectual conversation on various subject matters.  I will be working with the staff at our Wednesday faculty meeting to promote the mindset of excellence and dealing with this annual problem.  I hope to begin the process of ridding our environment from this attitude, but it takes work on all of our part.  I will keep you informed.

This Week at East (1/9 – 1/13)

We are holding our Tea and Truth Tuesday evening in the Media for interested family members.  I will be meeting with our Student Council representatives Tuesday afternoon to discuss how we will do a better job connecting ALL of our students to East.  We are holding our January Faculty Meeting after school on Wednesday.  On Friday, we are going to recognize our Teacher of the Year and Service Professional of the Year during our annual ‘parade’.  I will inform you of the winners in next newsletter.  Our STEAM Academy team will be meeting in the afternoon to discuss our program on Friday in preparation for our 8th grade Parent Transition evening at East.

Information

8th grade parent night (Class of 2021) is on Tuesday, January 17th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.

New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!

PSAT scores reports will be distributed to the 10th and 11th graders by the English teachers.

All students who are currently enrolled in Option II Personal Finance must complete the course by Monday, January 23, 2017. The final exam is on 1/30/17.

Any Junior or Senior interested in Option 2 Personal Finance for semester 2 must see their guidance counselor for an application.

The registration deadline for the February 11th ACT is 1/13/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org

The registration deadline for the March 11th SAT is 2/10/17.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The OCVTS Career Discovery Day is on 1/21/17. This is a great opportunity for students and adults to learn about available career and technical programs.  Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Hello!  Welcome back from the holiday break!  I hope everyone had an opportunity to relax!  I enjoyed my time with family and friends!  We went to Maryland again to visit my parents and brothers.  I had fun in Downtown Annapolis with the beautiful weather earlier in the week.  I watched plenty of games and movies (I even took a nap here and there).  Of course, I ate too much.  Subsequently, I brought out my standard contract to eat healthier in the New Year!  Let’s see how long I can go this time!

Week in Review (12/19 – 12/23)

We completed our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit with Flannel Shirt Day, Formal Day, It’s Cold Day, Family Photo Day, and Holiday Explosion.  I was entertained with the wonderfully creative student attire throughout the week.  

On Monday, our Attendance Committee convened to meet with students/families in violation of our attendance policy.  We conducted our Holiday Door Decorating Contest during period 1.  Congratulations to Mrs. Kristen Mason (Gingerbread Scene) for winning first place!  Mrs. Naomi Source (Santa and Mannequin Christmas Scene) received second place honors and Mrs. Diane Morrissey (Selfie Elf) was recognized as 3rd best!  Each of the respective homerooms received a donut and bagel breakfast!  Thank you to all of our students and staff who participated in this coveted competition!  I was fortunate to win one year, back in 2006.  It was my greatest accomplishment leading my students to victory on the door-decorating battlefield!

On Tuesday, We held our monthly I&RS meeting in the Main Office Conference Room.   The objective of the committee is to work collaboratively with school personnel, families, and possible outside resources to meet the needs of at-risk students.  I met with Student Council Representatives period 7 to discuss the results of the student survey and to create programs to improve positive student outcomes.  The kids felt that we need to get more of our student population involved in school activities to promote a more ‘family’ feel at East.  We also discussed connecting students with common interests through surveys (volunteer).  I informed the team that I would like a proposal at our January meeting and to put something in place by February.  I will report back on our progress.  Our Tea and Truth group met in the evening in the Media Center.  Our PTO held our December meeting at 6 PM.  Thank you to our committed parents who take their personal time to support the needs of our school!  I wanted to commend Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Mark Figueroa for their outstanding efforts Tuesday evening at the Jazz Concert.  I enjoyed the new format and felt it to be relaxing and extremely entertaining.  The kids were tremendous.  I do not have many regrets in my life, but I wish I had learned to play an instrument when I was younger.  I appreciate the pleasure the efforts of a musician can bring to others through the special talent!  Great job kids!  

We selected our Teacher of the Year and Service Professional of the Year Tuesday after school.  I appreciated the efforts of the committee and the PTO to provide nominees.  The discussion was healthy and we all came to an agreement on our respective choices.  We will announce the results later this month!

I attended the Board meeting Wednesday evening.  Great job again to Sofia Moderno as she represented East with pride.  I wanted to thank The Olive Garden for providing food for our staff Holiday Lunch after school.  Mr. Grenci (Manager) wanted to show his appreciation for High School East and we gladly accepted!

Our Autism Academy hosted a Holiday Party periods 5 through 8 in the Media Center.  Thank you to all of our students and staff who supported the event to provide holiday cheer to our special needs students.  I was particularly impressed with the singing and dancing and all the delicious food!  I attended the Chorus Concert Thursday evening at East.  Great job Mrs. Kristin Delucci and intern Ms. Cynthia Morizzo for conducting an entertaining program!  I appreciated the talent on display.  I always enjoy this evening as the music has a way of putting me into the holiday spirit!  Thank you kids for the evening and I am very proud of you!

We held our annual Holiday Pep Rally Friday morning.  The event was filled with songs, dancing, and entertaining games!  The students and staff look forward to the pep rally each year.  I particularly enjoy the Musical Chairs activity, as we always seem to have a few laughs at the kids attempting to win (they are so competitive).  I would like to thank our Ambassadors, Interact, and Key Club members for volunteering to put together our Holiday Gifts for our families in need Friday morning.  Ms. Candice Schultz and Mrs. Casey Daniels delivered the gifts throughout the day.  Thank you!  

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Jenn Fazzini for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Fazzini teaches AP Biology at HSE.  She is a dedicated educator looking to expand her student interest and knowledge beyond the classroom environment.  I was impressed walking through the hallways after school last week and observing her room filled with enthusiastic students doing ‘extra’ work; essentially, going above and beyond.  Mrs. Fazzini takes tremendous pride in her efforts and appreciates the importance of academic achievement to future personal success.  Thanks for caring Mrs. Fazzini.

Congratulations to Nicholas McKee for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Nicholas observed one of his classmates walking alone in the hallway and went to his peer to accompany him to lunch.  Nicholas was also observed by his teacher helping a classmate complete a lesson activity.  Thank you Nicholas for demonstrating a ‘caring’ attitude!  I appreciate you!

Congratulations to Joey Carberry and Gabi Cabezas for being recognized as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ initiative!  Joey found a cell phone and Gabi a wallet in the hallways.  Both items were turned in to the Main Office.        

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized Science Supervisor, Mr. Charlie Evers for going above and beyond to support our staffing needs.  We recently hired a new Chemistry teacher and are very pleased with our selection.  We spent several months looking for a good fit for our building, and Mr. Evers did a tremendous job in the interviewing process.  I recognized our PE teachers on Tuesday, as I observed the ‘dance’ portion of the curriculum in the gymnasium throughout the day.  The teachers spent considerable amounts of time planning and structuring the lessons.  I was impressed at the level of student involvement.  I was also pleased to observe the positive reactions of the students as they participated in the lesson.  Great job!  I recognized Ms. Amanda Gregorek on Wednesday as she taught another STEAM-oriented lesson.  Her students were charged to create an optimum environment to grow a certain type of bacteria (needs CO2) using various lab equipment.  The lesson was interdisciplinary, and applied concepts in engineering and biology.  On Thursday, I recognized Mr. Steve Ebert for his efforts to ensure our special needs students enjoyed the holiday spirit through our Media Center and E1A Bloc Party this week.  Mr. Ebert does a tremendous job looking out for the best interests of our special needs students.  On Friday, I recognized the efforts of our custodian, Mrs. Theresa Bowcock.  Mrs. Bowcock is a positive person and does her job each and every day to the best of her abilities.  She comes to work with a smile and is always willing to do whatever is needed to support a colleague!  Thank you Mrs. Bowcock.

Congratulations to Victoria Leanor for winning the ‘how well do you know your teachers’ this week.  I gave the clues, teacher attended Michigan University, played field hockey, was a collegiate All-American, played for HS North’s State Champion Team, and is a member of the Toms River Hall of Fame.  The answer was Mrs. Katie Goodall!  Mrs. Goodall is a huge Wolverine fan, majored in accounting/math in college, taught for 3 years at HSN before teaching at HSE in 1998.  She loves listening to the band parade through the hallways on Fridays and watching Raider Nation in action.  She loves the beach in the summer and reading good books!  

Thank you to Mrs. Susan DeGoey and our orchestra for doing an outstanding job at the Greenbriar Woodlands show in December.  Mrs. DeGoey informed me that our very own, Samantha Potter, made an arrangement for "Baby Its Cold Outside".  Thank you to all of our musicians for making the lives of others that much better through the application of your beautiful skill!    

Freshmen Academy

Congratulations to our December Academy Award Winners!  The following recipients were selected by their teachers for going above and beyond!  

Silver
Most Improved – Ge’Ana Espinoza
Most Spirit – Michael Caputo
Character Counts – Kerrinne DiBuono
Best All-Around – Julia Zulin

Black
Most Improved – Mason Tampuu
Most Spirit – Megan Herbst
Character Counts - Kylie Watson
Best All-Around – Ellie Thomas

Blue
Most Improved – Dom Tangredi
Most Spirit – Gianna Rapolla
Character Counts – McKenzie Melton
Best All-Around – Gabby Cabezas

Congratulations to the Blue team for winning the Food Drive Competition!  We appreciate your support of our families in need!

Attendance Matters

I think this link is a good one.  It provides an illustration on who is affected, why it matters, and what families can do regarding chronic absenteeism.  We have done a good job in the past two years reducing the number of chronically absent students (87 fewer) at East.  However, we can do better.  
(http://www.attendanceworks.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/AW-Infographic-080515-2.pdf)

The following link may be helpful for our 9th grade parents: (http://consortium.uchicago.edu/downloads/8354whatmatters-parentfinal.pdf)

(Attendanceworks.org)

Character Counts

January’s Character Counts pillar is ‘Commitment’ (A pledge to a person, worthy goal, or concept).  Every East student will go through a lesson on Commitment and will participate in an activity to demonstrate understanding what Commitment is and how to apply it to daily life.  

A few ideas and activities to discuss with your child regarding Commitment:  
•        Share examples to which people are committed (the nation, vows of marriage, their work, family, volunteer work).
•        Are there levels of commitment?
•        What are some of the duties that you accepted for yourself? What duties have been imposed upon you?
•        Is there a danger in being partly or halfway committed to something?

•        Renew your commitment to something you’ve been doing halfway for a few weeks or months.

•        Write a letter of thanks to a local or national politician who has done a good job with one of his/her duties

•        Volunteer for a community service project.
o        Tutor a younger student

•        Read a story about commitment
o        Harold and the Great Stag by Donald Carrick
o        Kings Fountain by Lloyd Alexander
o        Moss Gown by William Hooks
o        Many Lives of Chio and Goro by Betty Jean Lifton
o        Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady by Selina Hastings

•        Read about Heroes and Heroines
o        Earl E. Bakken
o        Diane Fossey
o        Vince Lombardi
                                                                                                                                                                   
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Please go to the below website to download the form, Learning Log, to practice your concentration and focus classroom skills.

http://GoodHabitsGoodStudents.com/
(Good Habits, Good Students)


Issues

Regarding our January Character Counts pillar (Commitment), I would like to encourage our parents to support the PTO.  We meet once per month and establish objectives important for the growth of our wonderful school.  As I have stated in previous newsletters, student outcomes are dependent on a connected and committed effort from all of our respective stakeholders (student, home, school, and community).  We are working hard to bridge the gap between the stakeholders and to work collaboratively in support of our vision and mission.  I have read previous parent surveys requesting opportunities to be more involved in productive ways at the school.  We created our PTO to meet this need and to utilize parental resources to improve student outcomes.  I would love for all of our parents to be more involved and to know that you too can make a difference!  

Our next PTO meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 6:00 PM in the Main Office Conference Room (by Office).  

This Week at East (1/3 – 1/6)

I have not created our January calendar at the time of this writing, however, I will report back next week on our activities.

Information

Media Center Highlights:

December really is the most wonderful time of the year in the Media Center.  Our giving Raider students and staff donated blood during Central Jersey Blood Bank Blood Drive held in the Media Center on December 6th.  Sponsored by the Interact & Key Club under club advisor Chris Peck, the donations from our Raider students and staff are a simple act but can make a big difference in the lives of others.  Thanks to those who participated!  For More information on the Interact & Key Club, please contact Chris Peck at cpeck@trschools.com

On December 6th and 20th, the Media Center hosted an evening of “Tea & Truth” offering individuals and families who have loved ones who abuse drugs or alcohol to join High School East families for support. All students, staff members, and East community members are welcome to attend the twice a month meetings and babysitting is available for future dates.  For additional information, please contact the Student Assistance Coordinator Dawn Aulisi atdaulisi@trschools.com

The Media Center hosted an Hour of Code on December 9th.  What started as a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to show that anybody can learn the basics of computer code has become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science.  Computer Science club advisor and teacher Suzanne Signorelli did a great job coordinating the event so that every student was able to participate.  Thanks to Mrs. Signorelli and teachers Cathy Applegate, Matt Polhemus, and Mike Nichol who helped!  For more information on the Hour of Code or the Computer Science club, please contact Suzanne Signorelli at ssignorelli@trschools.com

The Photography Club hosted its monthly meeting in the Media Center after school on November 17th.  Activities included taking pictures of items at various angles as well as future planned projects by club advisors Lisa Marotto and Marianne Steinhart.  For more information on the Photography Club, please contact lmarotto@trschools.com or msteinhart@trschools.com  

8th grade parent night (Class of 2021) is on Tuesday, January 17th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.

The last day for a track change is Friday, January 6th.

The registration deadline for the January 21st SAT is 12/21/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the February 11th ACT is 1/13/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

There are no college visits the week of 12/19/16.

SENIOR PARENTS:  Here is a shortcut to order a 2017 yearbook:

http://shop.balfour.com/smi47385/catalog/category/view/s/yearbook-and-accessories/id/312795/

and if parents would like to purchase a senior ad:

http://shop.balfour.com/smi47385/catalog/category/view/s/yearbook-ads/id/312796/


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Last Friday there was a message written on the bathroom wall at High School East that was perceived to be a threat.   We have been in communication with our local law enforcement agencies and after a full inspection, they have reported that at no time was our staff or students in danger, however, our administration and safety officers will continue to remain vigilant in our schools in order to provide a continued layer of security.  

I spoke to our students and staff today and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at
pthomas@trschools.com.

Week in Review (12/12 – 12/19)

On Monday, we held our Holiday PJ Day as a part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  We conducted our monthly security drill in the morning without incident.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentor group conducted our annual Holiday Cookie Baking Activity with mentors and mentees.  Thank you to Mrs. Lynn Masellis and Mrs. Cathy Angilletta for supporting the activity.  

On Tuesday, our Autism Academy students delivered the cookies to our local senior citizen center and sang Christmas Carols at the event.  Our College and Career Connection Committee hosted a presentation called “Preparing for the Race” from Berkeley College.  The talk centered on the benefits of attending the college (see Mrs. Elise Weinberger in Guidance for information), such as; summer course and workshop opportunities, reduced fees, and types of degrees being offered.  The school is looking to partner with the Toms River Regional School District and is offering impressive incentives.  Regarding the presentation, students were provided with information to take more control of their well-being.  Students were encouraged to embrace healthy decisions for physical, social, and emotional growth as they prepare for the ‘race’ (life after high school).  Tuesday was our Red/Green Spirit Day.  

On Wednesday, our Core Team met to discuss various school, student, and staff issues of concern.  We are looking to improve upon our consistent issues which plague school safety.  Wednesday was our White Our School Spirit Day.  I met with representatives of Raider Nation after school in preparation for our winter basketball season.  We are looking to make East an intimidating place to play, but within our school’s behavioral expectations of good character.  I am looking forward to watching the games.  

On Thursday, North Pole was our theme for the 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  Mr. Lori Martz and I spoke to interested students as part of our Staff (College) Talks.  Mrs. Martz and I shared the history of the school, entrance requirements, academic majors, campus life, athletics, and our personal stories from our days as a Delaware Blue Hen.  I played soccer at the school and was a member of the fraternity, Kappa Alpha.  I majored in Geology and minored in Anthropology.  I informed the kids how ‘cool’ it was to spend the summers doing research out West and along the Delaware Shore to become a geology major.  I loved my time at the school, as it offered a strong education and opportunity for a social life.

On Friday, Holiday Movie was our Spirit Week theme.  I loved all of the references to Christmas Vacation, with Chevy Chase (one of my all-time favorite movies).  Our Safety Team/Behavior Committee hosted a BMX Assembly on Friday during period 2.  The title was "Bring your A Game to School"...Attitude, Ability, and personal Achievement.  I would like to thank the National Guard for sponsoring the assembly.  Students listened to motivational talks about being your best while observing unbelievable stunts from professional riders.  I particularly enjoyed watching the bikers jump over a petrified Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald.

I would like to congratulate Mr. Dave Costine (our night custodian) for being named our Employee of the Week.  I spend plenty of late evenings at East, and have the pleasure of observing Mr. Costine's exceptional work ethic.  Mr. Costine takes pride in his work and feels connected to East and our outcomes.  Mr. Costine has met with me on several occasions sharing information from his observations regarding student issues of concern.  We have been able to support students in need resulting from his efforts.  Mr. Costine reported the ‘threat’ indicated above through his diligence and thoroughness in his professional responsibilities.  We appreciate him!                                                                                                                                                                
Congratulations to Matthew Pringle for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Matthew went out of his way in lunch to provide a chair for one of our special needs students.  Matt located a chair and brought it the cafeteria for the respective student.  Thank you Matt.

Congratulations to Mr. Steve Ebert, Mrs. Kristin Delucci, Mr. Kevin McCann, Olivia Guardascione, Chandler Gibbons, Kristiana Tringali, and Mrs. Christine Maguire for being their recognition as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ initiative.  Mr. Ebert and Mrs. Delucci were acknowledged for their caroling efforts with our special needs students.  Kristiana and Chandler were acknowledged for helping a teacher carry supplies to class.  Olivia was spotted holding a door for others.  Mr. McCann was recognized for his professional attitude and commitment to our students and staff.  Mrs. Maguire was acknowledged for her production of a character video, where her students participated in a mannequin challenge depicting positive school behavior.  Great job everyone!      

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized Mrs. Christina Gregus-Bowkus for her efforts to support one of our at-risk students this week.  Mrs. Gregus-Bowkus is new to East, but embodies our spirit to help those in need.  I appreciate her caring attitude and commitment to student success.  I recognized assistant principal Mr. Ted Gillen on Tuesday for his relentless pursuit to support problematic student issues.  Mr. Gillen is a product of High School East and takes tremendous pride in school outcomes.  I appreciate how much he cares to hold students accountable, but to also provide an educational component to our discipline issues.  On Wednesday, I recognized one of our other assistant principals, Mr. Kevin McCann for his professionalism and commitment to school and student growth.  Mr. McCann is new to East and has also embodied the values and beliefs inherent in our goals.  Mr. McCann works very hard to provide professional development for our staff and supports our Freshman Academy lunch workshops.  On Thursday, I recognized Ms. Carrie Bush for her genuine caring approach to support our students in need.  I observed Ms. Bush console a student regarding a personal concern and was impressed with her ability to connect to the student and provide quality guidance to address the problem.  Ms. Bush cares about our kids!  On Friday, I recognized the efforts of Dr. Robin Lowery, our CST counselor.  Dr. Lowery is simply amazing at what she does.  She cares for our kids and works to the best of her abilities to support student personal and curricular needs.  I appreciate Dr. Lowery’s support to provide professional development for our teachers dealing with our at-risk student population!


Freshmen Academy

Our Academy teams will be hosting a Holiday Food Drive through December 21, 2016.   We are asking able students to bring in canned or boxed food for the holidays.  The team with the most donations will receive a bagel party and points.  All donations will go to our local families in need and will work with our Ambassadors.

We held our Peer Leadership Lunchtime Academies this week.  Thank you to Mrs. Rachel Hay and Mrs. Stacey Nadeau for creating a Question Web activity to break down personal barriers and to promote a caring community environment.  The students addressed questions from peers and shared out interesting information about each other.  In the end, the group worked collaboratively to determine common behaviors.  I enjoyed watching the activity.

Attendance Matters

What Does Research Reveal About Parent Attitudes Around Attendance?

As part of BoostUp, an anti-dropout campaign sponsored by the U.S. Army and the Ad Council, in depth interviews were conducted with low-income parents whose children missed more than 10 days a year in middle school. The Ad Council’s findings reinforced what we know about the myths of school attendance. Researchers found: »

Parents are consistent in saying they want a better life for their children and see high school graduation as key to that better life. This finding challenges the common perception that when children miss school, it’s a sign that their parents don’t care. »

Parents don’t make the connection between attendance in elementary and middle school and eventual graduation. They say they’ll get stricter when their child reaches high school. »

Parents have a problem with their children skipping school, but not with excused absences for illness, rest, family visits, avoiding bullying or even as a reward for good grades.

Parents believe that consecutive absences can affect academics, but do not realize that sporadic absences, occurring just once or twice a month, can also present a problem.

What the Ad Council research tells us is that we must help parents see the connections between their children’s attendance and future aspirations, and let them know we all care about their children’s education. It is also important to recognize that many of these misconceptions are not just held by parents. They are also reflected in the attitudes of many school staff and community members. Building a community-wide habit and culture of attendance requires helping everyone to debunk commonly held myths about attendance and make getting children to school every day a shared priority.

(http://www.thehatchergroup.com/videos/AW/AttendanceWorks_Mar132013.wmv) to watch our webinar, Bringing it Home: Engaging Parents as Critical Partners in Reducing Chronic Absence.

(http://www.attendanceworks.org/what-parents-really-think-about-school-attendance/) to read our blog post about the research.
(Attendanceworks.org)

Character Counts

What Is True Humility?

Have you ever committed a humblebrag?

Humblebrags gained widespread popularity across Twitter when Harris Wittels, a writer on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, coined the phrase to describe a brag clumsily couched in falsely humble phraseology.

Since Wittles started the Twitter account, which he uses to post examples of humblebrags, he’s gained almost 200,000 followers (His Twitter profile photo? A woman giving herself a gratuitous pat on the back).

“I think bragging sucks, don’t get me wrong, but I get it,” Wittels told the Wall Street Journal. “What I hate about a humblebrag is that people try to come off like they aren’t bragging. It’s people not being honest about their intention. Just tell us you are at an exclusive party. Don’t hide it behind a complaint about your dress not fitting.”

Humblebrags present an interesting question: What is true humility? Is it genuinely thinking less of yourself? Is it trying to sound less prideful than you actually are? Or is it something else—something deeper?

True humility isn’t about lowering yourself for the sake of keeping up appearances simply because it’s impolite to brag—but to do so for the sake of serving others. “Humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself,” as the British writer C.S. Lewis once put it, “but thinking of yourself less.”

Humblebrag underscore the idea that our pride has a way of leaking out, despite our efforts to disguise it in seemingly humble language. It also illustrates the chasm between authentic humility, and faux humility.

The dictionary defines humility as having a “low view of one’s own importance.” But humilitas, the Latin root of the word, means “to lower yourself,” as Macquarie University Professor John Dickson notes in his excellent book Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership. As he explores the origins of humility—which he says was first used in Roman culture during the second and fifth centuries AD—he defines it as “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.” Dickson’s definition of humility goes miles deeper than our culture’s comparatively crude use of the world.

True humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s not being outwardly humble, while harboring pride. And it’s not being weak. True humility is service to others, service to a cause greater than your own personal ambition.
(http://jeremiekubicek.com/what-is-true-humility/)  
                                                                                                                                                                 
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Please go to the below website to download the form, Form a Habit!, to practice your habit setting skills.

http://GoodHabitsGoodStudents.com/
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

Please look to find a way to support the school through the PTO.  We are holding our December 20, 2016 meeting at 6:00 PM in the cafeteria.  We will discuss fundraising activities to support school needs.

This Week at East (12/19 – 12/23)

We will conclude our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit this week with Flannel T-Shirt Day, Formal Day, It’s Cold Day, Family Photo Day, and Holiday Explosion.  We are hosting our very popular Holiday Pep Rally periods 2 and 3 on Friday.  The Olive Garden will be hosting our faculty lunch on Wednesday after school.  Thank you to Mr. Grenci, Olive Garden Manager, for generously donating the food in appreciation of our staff!  We are hosting our December Attendance Hearings on Monday; PTO and our Jazz Concert Tuesday evening, and Chorus Concert Thursday Evening.  The Board Meeting will be held on the 21st.  We will contest our much coveted Door Decorating Contest this week.  Good luck to all our Homeroom Teachers!      

Information

Kean University’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) presentation is on Wednesday, 12/21/16 at 9:30am in the HSE Lecture Hall. The EOF program provides access to higher education to financially disadvantaged students. Students must qualify both academically and financially to be considered for admission into Kean's EOF Program and EOF Grant.

Governor's School applications need to be returned to the guidance office by Friday, 12/23/16.

8th grade parent night (Class of 2021) is on Tuesday, January 17th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.

The last day for a track change is Friday, January 6th.

The registration deadline for the January 21st SAT is 12/21/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the February 11th ACT is 1/13/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

There are no college visits the week of 12/19/16.

SENIOR PARENTS:  Here is a shortcut to order a 2017 yearbook:

http://shop.balfour.com/smi47385/catalog/category/view/s/yearbook-and-accessories/id/312795/

and if parents would like to purchase a senior ad:

http://shop.balfour.com/smi47385/catalog/category/view/s/yearbook-ads/id/312796/


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (12/5 – 12/9)

Our Behavior Committee shared our Character Counts lesson on Humility on Monday.  All teachers will present the lesson to their respective period 1 class to further support our commitment to produce well educated and highly ethical graduates (see below).  We completed our application to be recognized as a State School of Character on Monday evening.  We were all relieved to have finally completed the process and were proud of our effort.  

On Tuesday, I met with representatives from Student Council to discuss a recent survey assessing student perceptions of student-student relationships.  Although East is a positive school environment, I believe we have room for growth and we can do much better in shaping our culture.  I provided the representatives with the survey data and asked them to document and assess before we meet again.  I would like the kids to actually go through the process to get a ‘feel’ of what is going on.  We hope to use the data to drive our support systems to create a culture of excellence at our school.  Mr. Ted Gillen met with our winter athletic teams and reviewed school expectations for the season.  We like to remind our student-athletes of their responsibility to be a positive reflection of our school community.  Thank you to our Interact and Key Clubs for hosting our Blood Drive in the Media Center.  Thank you Mr. Chris Peck for all you do to provide service learning opportunities for our students.  We held our Tea and Truth meeting at East at 6:00 PM for families impacted by substance abuse.    

We held our ½ Day Professional Day on Wednesday for our staff.  I presented on my goal to continue to move the school forward in support of our school vision/mission.  I spoke to the staff specifically about survey results regarding student-student relationships.  We connected the discussion to our school-specific HIB data.  Staff was provided with an opportunity to analyze the data and to engage in meaningful conversations with their colleagues on what they were observing.  Our next goal is to discuss how we will support meaningful plans to remediate negative student-student behavior at East in hopes of creating a caring community within our walls.    

Our Community Outreach Committee held our Community Roundtable Discussions with interested businesses on Thursday at 9 AM and 6 PM.  We specifically targeted local establishments in hopes of developing school-community partnerships to support our school mission.  I presented on our goal to improve the school setting to increase the personal and academic outcomes of our graduates.  I shared our school vision/mission and strategic plan to move the school forward.  I commented that the success is dependent upon an aligned and committed relationship between all school stakeholders (individual student, school, home, and community).  We discussed how the success of the school is reflective of the health of the community and the importance of developing a strong supportive relationship.  We discussed school needs, what businesses can do for us, and how we can help them.  I will present again in February.  We held our Hour of Code in the Media Center for all interested staff/students.  Thank you Mrs. Sue Signorelli for coordinating the event.  Students were provided opportunities to learn how to code.   We acknowledged our various students of the month (see below).  We began our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit with Ugly Sweater Day (there were plenty to go around…).

On Friday, Mr. Donald Brey from the local Lions Club conducted eye screenings for East students.  Mr. Brey brought in special equipment to determine nearsightedness and/or farsightedness as well as other issues of concern for selected students.  Reports were provided to the respective families for follow up.  The Lions Club is a generous donator for children’s eye care, providing screenings and eye care for families in need.  Thank you Mr. Brey for coming to East!  Friday evening was our student faculty basketball game.  Sorry kids, but it appeared that the teachers not only conduct ‘schooling’ practices in the classroom, but on the court as well.  The game was enjoyable to watch!  Great job to everyone who participated in the event.  Thank you to Mrs. Dawn Aulisi and our DART Coalition for running a campaign to bring about substance abuse awareness before the game.  Friday was our ‘Xmas’ in July Spirit Day.  I enjoyed the beach filled attire and the positive attitudes!

I was unable to attend, but Mrs. Melissa Reimertz conducted our first Extreme Theatre for interested students Saturday evening.  I will report back in our next newsletter with information.      

Congratulations to Kyril Kavestky and Sarina Paolillo for being recognized as our Seniors-of-the-Month for December.  Kyril is a member of NHS, the Chess Team, an avid piano player and an active member of his church.  He is ranked in the top 10 of his class and is highly involved in the Authentic Science Research course.  Kyril’s presentation on “Carcinogens in the Human Diet” won him a prestigious Emperor Science Award.  Sarina is an Honors/AP student and a member of our NHS, Book Club, History Club, Science League and Math League.  She volunteers in the Writing Center, Peer Leadership and Sail.  She is an accomplished musician who received First Chair Second Violin in the Garden State Philharmonic.  Both students are outstanding reflections of our school community!

I would like to congratulate our Security Guards, Mr. Gary Stiles and Mr. Rich Whitmeyer, for being recognized as our Employee(s) of the Week.  Mr. Stiles directs our morning and afternoon traffic, regardless of the weather.  Mr. Stiles takes safety very seriously and prides himself on promoting safe school practices.  Mr. Whitmeyer is our Door #4 Security Guard.  Mr. Whitmeyer also takes safety very seriously and does a very good job screening guests and ensuring we are following school visitation procedures.  Mr. Whitmeyer thoroughly enjoys his position and is always actively involved in school spirit activities.  Thank you both for all you do for our school!                                                                                                                                                                                            

Congratulations to Keith Baliatico, Lauren Torres, and Sandra Torres, for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Keith was kind enough to hold the door open for a young lady and staff member.  Lauren and Sandra found a phone in the cafeteria and brought it to the Main Office.  Thank you Keith, Lauren, and Sandra for being positive reflections of our school community.

Congratulations to Chris Amato, Mrs. Lynn Masellis, Mrs. Cathy Angilletta, Christina Bilotti, and Toni Passarelli for being their recognition as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ initiative.  Chris was acknowledged for being patient and helpful with his peers in lunch.  Mrs. Masellis and Mrs. Angilletta do a great job spreading holiday cheer and supporting our RHR Baking Activity.  Toni supported Mrs. Taaffe during a classroom activity.  Christina was acknowledged for helping Mr. D’Ippolito in Guidance download a scholarship application.    

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized Mrs. Jenn Fazzini for her work in promoting the scientific mind.  Mrs. Fazzini is our AP Biology teacher and caught her after school demonstrating to her students how to separate DNA strands.  Mrs. Fazzini works with Rutgers University and is doing a wonderful job promoting higher order thinking skills and demonstration relevance to her curriculum!  On Tuesday, I acknowledged the efforts of Mrs. Meghan Arminio in her English 2 Honors class.  Mrs. Arminio demonstrated her enthusiasm for the manner in which her students actively participated and demonstrated comprehension of the book, Of Mice and Men.  I appreciated how her instructional strategy supported the development of critical thinking and communication skills.  Great job!  On Wednesday, I recognized Mrs. Laura Morgan for her enthusiasm for her classroom instructional strategy to engage her students in a lesson.  Mrs. Morgan takes tremendous pride in providing her students with the knowledge and skills to apply classroom material in meaningful ways.  I am a proud principal when I observe staff so energized about a lesson!  Thank you Mrs. Morgan.  On Thursday, I recognized the efforts of Security Guards, Mr. Rich Whitmeyer and Mr. Gary Stiles, for helping to promote student and staff safety throughout the building.  Both of our employees assume ownership and accountability for their jobs.  On Friday, I recognized Mrs. Christina Gregus-Bowkus for her efforts to support her mentee.  Mrs. Gregus-Bowkus went above and beyond to ensure she was able to find personal connections to the building for her student.  Thank you for caring!

Congratulations to Dylan Ramos for winning the weekly, ‘how well do you know your teachers’.  I asked the students which staff member was a former Queen of her college, coach for more than 32 years, saved someone’s life, can ride a unicycle, and spends a month in Hawaii every year?  The answer was Mrs. Julie Clark, of course.  Mrs. Clark is a member of the district’s Hall of Fame for coaching her field hockey team to a State Championships in 1989.  She is a former Who’s Who in America, and current PE teacher at HSE.  Mrs. Clark coaches field hockey and bowling, and formerly coached lacrosse and basketball.  Mrs. Clark enjoys the feeling of family at East!

Winter seasons are up and running.  I will report back to you in our next Newsletter results.  Please check our website for our Daily Bulletin, which lists all of our club activities.

Freshmen Academy

Our Academy teams will be hosting a Holiday Food Drive through December 21, 2016.   We are asking able students to bring in canned or boxed food for the holidays.  The team with the most donations will receive a bagel party and points.  All donations will go to our local families in need and will work with our Ambassadors.

Our Academy teachers met this week to discuss progress and Freshman Fun Day feedback and preliminary planning for a future Field Day event.  We also discussed next week’s Lunchtime Academy with Peer Leaders and went over scheduled topics for upcoming meetings (academic integrity, school expectation, the role of a SRO, and organization/time management/test anxiety).  Mr. Kevin McCann also informed me the teams met about producing a video for next year’s 8th graders as they transition into high school.

Attendance Matters

Helping Parents


WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO
Educate families about the adverse impact of poor attendance on school achievement.  Inform parents about the positive incentives students receive for good attendance; consider recognizing parents as well for their role in their child’s attendance.  Notify parents that their child’s absence was noticed either through a call home or, if feasible, an email. Reach out to families to find out what is happening if children begin to miss school regularly. Where appropriate, refer families to available resources in the community.

WHAT COMMUNITY AGENCIES CAN DO
Teach parents about the importance of regular attendance starting in kindergarten. Help parents of older students understand that excessive absence is a critical warning sign for dropping out. Partner with schools to provide social work and case management supports to families of children with extended absences. Address barriers to attendance by offering services (economic supports, social services, etc.) at schools and referring families to other available resources in the community.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO
Help your child get into the habit and learn the value of regular routines. Teach your child that attending school is non negotiable unless they are truly sick. Build relationships with other families and discuss how you can help each other out (e.g., drop off or pick up children, babysit, translation assistance) in times of need or emergencies. Identify non-academic activities (drama, art, music, etc.) that can help motivate your child’s interest in school and learning and seek out schools that can offer those experiences.
(Excerpts from Attendance Works)

Character Counts

Congratulations to Lindsay Diehl and Tommy Dalessio for being recognized as our Character Counts Students of the Month.  Lindsay was recognized for demonstrating kindness and respect to her peers and teachers.  She works hard and takes responsibility for her school outcomes.  She is deemed a role model who exemplifies good character each and every day.  Tommy was recognized for being respectful towards his peers and teachers.  He takes responsibility for his own outcomes and challenges himself to improve by taking demanding courses.  Tommy treats all those he meets fairly and goes above and beyond to make sure he is trustworthy and reliable as a member of our school community!  Great job Lindsay and Tommy.  

How to Teach Kids to Be Humble

Although self-confidence is often toted as a desirable attribute, adding humility to the equation adds a perspective that ensures appropriate confidence. Being humble enables you to be courteous to people around you, listening to others, seeking to learn and placing others before yourself. Teaching children to be humble from the beginning enables you to build on the natural humility inherent in young children.


Step 1
Show your child to be humble by being humble. Don't place an emphasis on what you get done and what you have. Instead, focus on what is getting done. Part of being humble is understanding and accepting that you won't always get credit for what you do. For example, don't just say, "I cooked dinner for the party." Give credit to those who helped you by saying "Dinner is ready. Susan helped with the vegetables, and Randy helped with the pie." That places those who helped you before yourself.

Step 2
Participate in activities that help others. Take your child to clean a park, suggests Leadership for Success Institute. Volunteer at a hospital, cut a neighbor's grass or pick up trash along the highway. This helps your child to understand that service to others through being humble isn't a weakness.

Step 3
Play role-playing games with puppets or toys to encourage humility. Devise situations calling for a humble response and act them out with puppets. For example, you might teach your child how to accept a compliment by showing her an appropriate exchange between two puppets.

Step 4
Remind your children that even people who aren't as fortunate as you are still valued. A truly humble person realizes that everyone needs to be respected. Show your children how children in other countries live. Explain that the children are still children just like them but live in a different manner.

Step 5
Apologize for your mistakes and expect your child to do the same. Apologizing makes you place your pride aside, and it is one of the most humbling things you can do. Even if you are only a little wrong, apologize quickly without expecting anything in return.

Step 6
Encourage your child to set goals and use appropriate and ethical methods to reach those goals. A humble person won't use any questionable methods to reach a goal. Discourage cheating, lying and bad sportsmanship.
(http://www.livestrong.com/article/502504-how-to-teach-kids-to-be-humble/?scrlybrkr=08649191)
                                                                                                                                                                     
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Please go to the below website to download the form, Set a Goal!, to practice your goal setting skills.

http://GoodHabitsGoodStudents.com/
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

Please look to find a way to support the school through the PTO.  We are holding our December 20, 2016 meeting at 6:00 PM in the cafeteria.  We will discuss fundraising activities to support school needs.

This Week at East (12/12 – 12/16)

Following our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit, Monday is Holiday PJ Day, Tuesday is Red/Green Day, Wednesday is White Out, Thursday is North Pole Day, and Friday is Holiday Movie Day.  I will come in as Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation Friday!   Our RHR mentor group will conduct our annual Holiday Cookie Baking activity on Monday.  We will test our Lockdown procedures in a safety drill in the morning.  Our Autism Academy students will bring our RHR baked cookies to a Senior Citizen Center Tuesday during school to enjoy.  We will hold our Core Team Meeting Wednesday morning.  Our Peer Leaders will present to our Freshman Academy students this week to promote positive student-student interactions.  Our College and Career Connection Committee will host Berkley College (more to follow on this) Tuesday morning.  Our Raider Nation will meet after school to discuss the winter season and appropriate fan behavior.  Our College and Career Connection Committee will host ‘Staff Talks’ on Thursday for the University of Delaware.  On Friday, we are hosting a workshop/assembly for interested staff and students on promoting a positive mindset in the gym.  Friday will be our ‘High Five Friday’ and we will all be looking forward to that!      

Information

Dear Families,

In addition to always working to provide our children with the best education possible, our entire staff places their safety and well being in our classrooms, on our grounds, and in transit as a top priority.

The district transports nearly 13,000 students every day on a bus fleet of over 160 vehicles. Due to an outstanding cadre of drivers, training, vehicle maintenance, and your children’s cooperation, we are able to do so with few incidents. We want to remind everyone of the critical importance of wearing seatbelts to reduce the risk inherent in a moving vehicle.

New Jersey Statute Title 39:3B-11 states:
“Each passenger on a school bus which is equipped with seat belts shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt or other child restraint system that is in conformity with applicable federal standards at all times while the bus is in operation. Nothing in this section shall make the owner or operator of a school bus liable for failure to properly adjust and fasten a seat belt or other child restraint system that is in conformity with applicable federal standards for a passenger who sustains injury as a direct result of the passenger's failure to comply with the requirement established by this section.”

Each of our buses has a prominent sign highlighting this procedure, and our drivers will continue to remind students when they board the bus to be seated and fasten their seatbelts. We feel confident that you ask the same of them when they are in a family car, and it is just as important on the ride to and from school on a district vehicle.

Toms River Regional Schools

Seniors who have a college application deadline of January 1st need to submit their paperwork to their counselor by December 13th to ensure delivery by
12/23/16.

OCVTS will be visiting HSE on Wednesday, December 14th to make their yearly presentation to the Sophomores during their gym classes.

Governor's School applications need to be returned to the guidance office by Friday, 12/23/16.

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

The registration deadline for the January 21st SAT is 12/21/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the February 11th ACT is 1/13/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org

College visits the week of 12/12/16: Berkeley College

SENIOR PARENTS:  Here is a shortcut to order a 2017 yearbook:

http://shop.balfour.com/smi47385/catalog/category/view/s/yearbook-and-accessories/id/312795/

and if parents would like to purchase a senior ad:

http://shop.balfour.com/smi47385/catalog/category/view/s/yearbook-ads/id/312796/

I apologize for the delay in getting this Newsletter out.  We have had a very productive few weeks at East as we finalized our application to be recognized as a State School of Character.  As we forged our way through the application process, I was able to reflect on the culture of this building and the mechanisms in place to support our school goal to produce well educated and highly ethical graduates with a civic mindset.  We are beginning to infuse a character component within our instruction to develop a culture of excellence.  We do such a very good job in this building utilizing our clubs and various organizations as service learning opportunities to promote citizenship.  I am proud of what I observe in the classroom and in our hallways, and feel that High School East is moving in the right direction.  

Great news!  East was one of a very few schools where overall student participation on last year’s PARCC assessment met the State expectations for 95% participation.  I interpreted the information favorably, as the participation rate is a direct reflection of our school community’s expectations for excellence.  I know we worked hard to educate our students last winter on making informed decisions and why we wanted our students to participate.  Thank you parents for being positive reflections of our school community!

Week in Review (11/28 – 12/2)

We held our monthly Attendance Hearings on Monday for students/families in violation of our district attendance policy.  The committee works with the respective families to provide resources to support appropriate needs which contribute to poor attendance.  An action plan is developed and expectations established to promote the importance of coming to school every day, on time, ready to learn.  

Various members of our Behavior Committee worked to finalize our State School of Character application Tuesday through Thursday.  The team worked on compiling school outcome data, responding to writing prompts, and documenting evidence in support of our activities.  I was very proud of the effort to best represent our journey to promote good character.  We finished the application with a video highlighting our school culture as it relates to character education.  I believe that the foundation of our success as a public school depends on our ability to create a school culture committed to excellence (doing your best).  If you would like to view the video, please check out the following YouTube link (https://youtu.be/8D5y6A9U_LM).  I want to thank all of our staff who worked so very hard to complete the application.  However, I would like to especially thank senior, Ed Wolf, for his inspiring efforts to make all of us look and sound wonderful on the video.  Ed documented and led the efforts, I was very impressed!  Ed is a wonderful young man with a bright future!  Thank you Ed!  Ocean County College conducted a diagnostic test for our seniors who missed the test on November 1.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders held a special yoga class for our mentors and mentees with a focus on relaxation techniques in the Wellness Center.  Thank you Mrs. Marci Brush for donating your time!  

We held professional development for our teachers Wednesday during conference periods for interested staff members.  Mr. Kevin McCann conducted a workshop on establishing a culture for learning, with a special emphasis on our Danielson Teaching Model (Domain 2b).  Staff members participated in hands-on activities to further an understanding of the importance of content and learning, expectations for learning and achievement, and student pride in work.  Assistant Principal, Mr. Vern Rutter, conducted a workshop during lunch periods on the use of racist language and its damaging effects.  Students watched a video and experienced the effect of racist language on minority populations by watching various scenarios with the word neighbor substituted for the ‘N’ word. Discussion included language of the same sort relating to Hispanic and Muslim peoples. The importance of community was stressed. The concept that we are an extended family that is contained in a far larger setting than they experience at home was introduced. The fact that they needed to accept, whether they agreed or not, that others set the rules for them, here at East, and out in the world of work, and if they don't follow those rules they will not succeed.  Thank you Mr. Rutter for taking the time for our students!

On Thursday, Mrs. Dawn Aulisi (Student Assistance Coordinator) and Mrs. Sammi Hvidding (School Nurse) participated in Narcan training.  Heroin is an epidemic in Ocean County, and schools are preparing for the worst.  Take a look at the attached link for more information.    http://6abc.com/news/school-nurses-provided-with-overdose-reversing-drug-in-ocean-co/1634943/.  The district held our monthly principal meeting on Thursday, and I sent Mr. McCann on my behalf as I worked on our application.  QSAC, next week’s staff professional development day, and other district initiatives were discussed.  

We held our monthly Fire Drill on Friday morning.  Our College and Career Connection Committee hosted our Staff College Talks on Friday morning.  Mr. Jay McKelvey spoke to interested students on the U.S. Naval Academy, his alma mater.  Students learned of the academic and personal expectations of attending such a prestigious college.  Mr. McKelvey spoke about his personal experiences and athletic career as a member of the Naval Academy football team.  Thank you for sharing Mr. McKelvey.  

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Katie Medina for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Medina is a very soft spoken staff member at East, but is a true professional.  Mrs. Medina is well organized and committed to student growth.  She develops a caring classroom environment where students are free to explore without the fear of failure.  Mrs. Medina is also supportive of the needs of her colleagues, and does a tremendous job mentoring new staff members.  Thank you Mrs. Medina for adding value to our school community.                                                                                                                                                                                            

Congratulations to Cameron Gallagher for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Cameron was acknowledged for turning in a lost wallet to the Main Office.  Thank you Cameron for being a positive reflection of our school community.

Congratulations to Cassidy Gavin and Ed Wolf for being their recognition as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ initiative.  Cassidy was acknowledged for bringing in old magazines for projects for her former Art teacher, Mrs. Calicchio.  Thank you Cassidy for being so thoughtful.  Ed was acknowledged for making the character video for our application and doing such a fantastic job!

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized our staff members who worked so very hard for the past month getting our application together for State recognition.  Thank you to Mr. Dennis Weidenbush, Ms. Nicole Foy, Mrs. Kaitlin Mahony, Mrs. Erin Anders, Mrs. Janine Hatton, Mrs. Sue Werner, Mr. Mike Nichol, Mr. Ed Kayler, Mr. Jon Knight, Mrs. Liz Rodriguez, Officer Mark Degrandis, Mrs. Lisa Nigro, Mr. Greg Roth, Mrs. Helen Klem, Mrs. Melissa Friedman, Mrs. Rachel Hay, Mr. Phil Beach, Mr. Chris Peck, Mr. Kevin McCann, Mr. Doug Trumble, Mrs. Laura Morgan, Mrs. Megan Rankin, Mr. Joe Burns, Mrs. Monica Santamaria, Mr. Kyle Austin, Dr. Robin Lowery, Mr. Mike Yost, and students Ed Wolf, Nick Fairfield, and Dillon Clark for their efforts to demonstrate Raider Pride!  We will hear back in a few weeks as to whether we are accepted.  I will report back to you.

Winter seasons are up and running.  I will report back to you in our next Newsletter results.  Please check our website for our Daily Bulletin, which lists all of our club activities.

Freshmen Academy


Our Academy teams will be hosting a Holiday Food Drive through December 21, 2016.   We are asking able students to bring in canned or boxed food for the holidays.  The team with the most donations will receive a bagel party and points.  All donations will go to our local families in need.

Attendance Matters

I reviewed the November data and shared with the staff on Tuesday afternoon.  Approximately 730 students demonstrated perfect attendance.  Our daily average attendance rate was approximately 93.1%.  We averaged approximately 92 absences/day this month with Monday and Friday being the most likely day for student absences (average 107.5/day).  By class, our freshmen demonstrated the highest monthly attendance rate at 95.4%.  Our sophomores, juniors, and seniors demonstrated the following rates, respectively; 93.2%, 93.1%, and 90.6%.  We averaged approximately 43 lates per day (Tuesdays being the highest this month at 49/day).  Our freshmen averaged approximately 4 lates per day compared to our sophomores (11.4/day), juniors (13.1/day), and seniors (14.3).  

Approximately 56 separate referrals were received by our assistants for cutting class; averaging 3.7/day.  The juniors were the most problematic class, exhibiting 42% of the respective referrals.  There were no documented cuts from the freshman class.    

We averaged approximately 14 more absences per day, but 4 fewer lates per day in comparison to last month at East.  Comparing November 2015 to November 2016, we averaged approximately 15 fewer absences per day and approximately 11 fewer lates per day.  We observed 15 fewer total students with perfect attendance compared to November 2015.  We also observed 3 fewer chronically absent students in comparison to November 2015.  Our average daily attendance was approximately 0.6% greater than last November.  We average approximately 1.7 fewer cuts per day in comparison to last November.  

We plan to continue to collect data to discern trends and to develop support systems accordingly.  I hope to see the fruits of our labor maintained on a more consistent basis.

Character Counts

We addressed approximately 219 discipline referrals in November 2016.  The sophomore class accounted for approximately 32% of the respective referrals.  The freshman accounted for 20%, the juniors 25%, and the seniors 23% of the total number of referrals.  Freshmen issues were primarily lates to school and disruptive behaviors.  The sophomore issues were primarily class cuts, lates to school, and disruptive behavior.  The junior issues were primarily class cuts and lates to school.  The senior issues were primarily class cuts and lates to school.

The following is a percentage type of referrals:  cell phones (0.9%), cuts (25.6%), cutting detention (5.5%), disruptive behavior (12.8%), HIB (0.5%), insubordination (13.2%), lates to school (37%), late to class (2.3%), truancy (0.5%), assault (0.5%), and school policy (0.9%).  

Our biggest behavioral issues continue to be attendance related (lates, absences, cuts, and cutting detention).  Lates to school appeared to be the most concerning issue this month, gathering 37% of the referral types.  Insubordination and disruptive behavior appear consistent with previous years.  Our Behavior Committee will continue to educate our children on school expectations through our Character Counts Program.  We will work with our students, teachers, and parents to continue to seek an optimum educational environment for student success.                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                     
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Creating good habits is essential to promoting school success.  In accordance with Good Habits, Good Students, author Eric MacKnight acknowledges three (3) essential study skills.  Learn how to read a textbook efficiently.  Learn the tricks of good readers, who read faster because they actually do not read every word.  Take notes in a way that works for you.  Deciding what’s important is a big challenge of note-taking.  Learn how to prepare for tests.  This is where all of the time spent on developing good habits really pays off.
(Excerpts from Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

Please look to find a way to support the school through the PTO.  We are holding our December 20, 2016 meeting at 6:00 PM in the cafeteria.  We will discuss fundraising activities to support school needs.

This Week at East (12/5 – 12/9)

I will be attending a district professional development workshop on Monday on using data to drive instruction.  We will hold our winter season athletic meeting with all teams/coaches to review school expectations.  I will be meeting with our Student Council Representatives Tuesday to discuss our recent climate surveys and creating positive student-student relationship at East.  Our Key and Interact Clubs will be hosting our Blood Drive in the Media Center all day.  On Wednesday, the district is hosting our ½ Day Professional Day for all staff members.  We will be providing our staff with our HIB data and guiding them through the process of evaluating the data and developing methods to address.  Our Community Outreach Committee will be presenting to local businesses on creating long-term and meaningful partnerships to support our school’s mission.  We will be holding our annual Hour of Code Friday in the Media Center to promote the importance of computer programming skills.  We will announce our November Character Counts Students of the Month, Monthly Perfect Attendance Winners, and Seniors of the Month on Friday.  Spirit Week begins this week with Ugly Sweater Day and Christmas in July.  Good luck to our students and staff as they compete in our annual student-faculty basketball game Friday evening at 6:00 PM.    

Information

Seniors who have a college application deadline of January 1st need to submit their paperwork to their counselor by December 13th to ensure delivery by 12/23/16.

OCVTS will be visiting HSE on Wednesday, December 14th to make their yearly presentation to the Sophomores during their gym classes.

The registration deadline for the January 21st SAT is 12/21/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the February 11th ACT is 1/13/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org

Applications for the Ocean County Arts Program must be mailed by 12/18/16.

There are no college visits the week of 12/5/16.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  My parents and brother-in-law were up from Maryland and spent the weekend with us.  I enjoyed the company and watched plenty of football!  The Vikings are really disappointing me as we started 5-0 and now have lost 5 out of the next 6 games.  I completed decorating the house for Christmas and finished another portion on our State School of Character application.  I am ready for another good month at East.

Week in Review (11/21 – 11/23)

Our Behavior Committee Chairman, Mr. Dennis Weidenbush, spent the day interviewing staff and students and monitoring school activities at North Plainfield High School as we prepare our application to become a State School of Character.  Mr. Weidenbush enjoyed the observation and was able to bring wonderful ideas back to East.  Our school’s Safety Team met during period 3 on Monday and discussed our December Food Basket Drive.

We held our Freshman Field Day Tuesday afternoon (see below).  I wanted to thank all of our teachers who spent personal time to plan out our day of fun!  I am aware the students and staff enjoyed the competition and used the opportunity to build on our connection to East.  Assistant Principal Mr. Kevin McCann hosted a professional development workshop for interested staff periods 1-4 on Tuesday on Danielson Component   2b, Establishing a Culture for Learning.  Staff members were involved in hands-on activities to incorporate strategies to improve the expectations for learning and achievement, student pride in work, and the importance of the content and learning.  

We held our monthly security drill on Wednesday and tested our Evacuation procedures.  Our Ambassadors and Raiders Helping Raiders mentor group helped to package and transport our Thanksgiving food baskets throughout the day to East families in need.  Thank you to Toms River Football Club and Holy Trinity Church for donating turkeys!

I would like to congratulate Mr. Mike Nemeth for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Nemeth was selected for his efforts to support safe student driving.  Mr. Nemeth cares about the wellbeing of our students and works hard to ensure our students are educated on safe driving practices.  I also appreciate Mr. Nemeth as he volunteers each day to help cross our students and staff by Door #4.  Mr. Nemeth’s efforts further demonstrate his commitment to school safety!  Thank you Mr. Nemeth for being such a caring person!        

Congratulations to Brian Smith and Joe Bryant for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Brian was acknowledged for turning in a lost cell phone and wallet to the Main Office.  Joe was acknowledged for turning in a lost pair of glasses.  Thank you Brian and Joe for being positive reflections of our school community.

Congratulations to Alex Rodgers for winning the ‘How Well Do You Know Your Teachers’ contest Wednesday morning.  I asked which teacher is a twin, was a former Prom Queen at High School East, can’t ride a bike, and used to own a racehorse named Smart Justice.  Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald was the answer.  Ms. Fitzgerald teaches mathematics at East and is our school’s Student Activities Advisor.  She graduated East in 2003 and Monmouth University in 2007.  Ms. Fitzgerald began teaching at East in 2008.  She coaches softball and volleyball, and is actively involved in various school functions.    

Congratulations to cheerleading coach, Ms. Noel Aliseo, for being recognized in Donovan Catholic’s Hall of Fame ceremony last week.  Ms. Aliseo is a 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee for her role in their 4 time National Cheerleading Team.  Great job Ms. Aliseo.

Congratulations to Lauren Horbecewicz and Peter Wilenta for being recognized as our November Student Athletes of the Month.  Lauren has been a big part in our volleyball program since her freshman year.  She was selected to the 2016 Shore Conference All-Volleyball 2nd Team and to participate in the All-Shore and Senior All-Star Games this year.  Peter did a great job in football this season and is admired for his leadership skills on the field and in the classroom.  Peter just returned from the Dominican Republic as part of our Raiders In Service.  Peter helped to build a home for a family in need.  Thank you Lauren and Peter for being positive reflections of our school community!  

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized Security Officer, Mr. Ed Kayler, on Monday.  I am very appreciative of the effort Mr. Kayler makes to ensure not only our school is functioning safely, but that our students are involved in the process.  Mr. Kayler looks to educate our students on safe school practices, and teaches our students how to effectively communicate newly acquired information.  Mr. Kayler’s Safety Team meets every month and is tasked with promoting safety awareness, finding guest speakers, and promoting positive school behavior.  I recognized the efforts of all of our Freshman Academy teachers on Tuesday for their enthusiasm and efforts to conduct our Field Day.  I am aware of the efforts to organize the event and to thank them for caring enough to make the event fun and competitive.  I recognized the efforts of Ms. Candice Schultz and Mrs. Casey Daniels on Wednesday for their efforts to coordinate the Thanksgiving Food Basket Drive.  We received a list of East families in need and we delivered food for the dinner to the respective homes.  Ms. Schultz and Mrs. Daniel have spent a considerable amount of time aligning the various clubs and organizations to the food drive to ensure we were able to provide food and support to our families in need.  Thank you to all who were involved!
 

Freshmen Academy

Congratulations to the Blue Team for winning the Field Day competition.  The Blue Team won the Penny Wars and the Field Day events, which provided enough points to secure the victory.  Our teams competed in Tug of War, Musical Chairs, Relay Races, and a Tricycle Race.  The scoring on the field was combined with Penny Wars, Field Day Color, and Field Day Spirit competitions.  Overall, the kids had a wonderful time (in the cold weather).  

Attendance Matters

To support parental decisions regarding when is sick too sick to send to school, please refer to the following:

Send If:
I have a runny nose or just a little cough, but no other symptoms. I haven’t taken any fever reducing medicine for 24 hours, and I haven’t had a fever during that time. I haven’t thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours.

Keep at Home If:
I have a temperature higher than 99.6 degrees even after taking medicine. I’m throwing up or have diarrhea. My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the Doctor If:
I have a temperature higher than 99.6 degrees for more than two days. I’ve been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days. I’ve had the sniffles for more than a week, and they aren’t getting better. I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I’m having trouble breathing after using an inhaler).
(Attendance Works)

If you are interested in helping our goal to improve school attendance, please feel free to contact me at pthomas@trschools.com.  

Character Counts

Use the Language of Responsibility

Praise and encouragement will foster a positive relationship with your children and promote responsibility. Telling them you believe in them, that you think they can accomplish a task, that you believe they can follow your rules and meet your expectations and their obligations goes a long way toward helping them to believe in themselves. Your belief in them can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

•        Focus on what they did well rather than on what they didn’t do. Highlight the positive by ‘catching them being good.’ Find little pieces of responsible behavior to comment on and praise.

•        Be sure to celebrate progress and efforts as well as achievements. You don’t always have to reward progress with something tangible; giving recognition is a huge motivator for children.

•        You can remind your children of past successes to motivate them to persist and follow through with something.

Remember: Children need praise when they succeed and encouragement when they fall short. “Yay, you did this!!” or “I know you will be able to do this next time.”

Be aware of “trip words.” These are phrases people use to deny responsibility for their behavior. Don’t let your children get away with using them. Here are some examples of trip words and how you can respond:

Trip Words        What Not to Say        What to Say
I forgot        Well, okay. But don’t let it happen again.        I’m sorry you forgot; call someone to find out what your assignment is.
It wasn’t my fault. The teacher didn’t tell us it was going to be on the test.        How could you have known to study that?”        It is your responsibility to know all of the material covered, even if the teacher didn’t tell you it would be on the test.
I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings. I was just talking to Jenn about what happened over the weekend.        I know. That’s okay.        You need to find a way to help her feel better, to let her know you are sorry. It is never okay to hurt someone’s feelings.
                

(centerforparentingeducation.org)
                                                                                                                                                                     
Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Creating good habits is essential to promoting school success.  In accordance with Good Habits, Good Students, author Eric MacKnight acknowledges seven (7) study habits to promote such success.  Mr. MacKnight stresses finding a place and time for studying that works for you; review your classes every day; take study breaks to help you stay alert; use a planning calendar for projects; learn how to behave during formal examinations; practice good exam-taking strategies; and review tests and essays when you get them back.
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Issues

Please look to find a way to support the school through the PTO.  We are holding our November meeting tomorrow at 6:00 PM in the cafeteria.  We will discuss fundraising activities to support school needs.

This Week at East (11/28 – 12/2)

We are holding our November Attendance Hearings for students who are not in compliance with our attendance policy Monday at East.   I will be attending a Principal Meeting in the morning to discuss next week’s professional development day and HIB compliance training.  We are holding our Walker Drill during lunch periods Tuesday.  Ocean County College will conduct their diagnostic testing in the Lecture Hall in the afternoon.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentors and mentees will participate in a YOGA class to focus on relaxation techniques.  Our Behavior Committee will be working as a team to complete the State School of Character application Tuesday through Thursday this week in the Main Office Conference Room.  We are hosting our Conference-Conference professional development workshop on Wednesday for interested teachers on Danielson Component 2b.  We will conduct our monthly Fire Drill on Friday.  

Information

Have a funny bone?  Then look no further to our Eastside Theatre ‘Extreme’ activity on December 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the Student Center.  Students with an interest in acting, writing, and/or producing are afforded an opportunity to display their skills in our first Toms River Live Show!  See Mrs. Reimertz for details.

Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Stockton University is on 11/30/16. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.

Kean University’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) presentation has been rescheduled. Date and time TBD.

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

Seniors who have a college application deadline of January 1st need to submit their paperwork to their counselor by December 13th to ensure delivery by 12/23/16.

The registration deadline for the January 21st SAT is 12/21/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the February 11th ACT is 1/13/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org

Did you know that November is Family Involvement Month?  Please visit the following website to determine how you can help us to create a positive school-home partnership (www.doe.virginia.gov/families/).

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (11/14 – 11/18)

Our Behavior Committee met after school on Monday to discuss our strategy for completing the State School of Character application.  We are in the process of addressing the various components required to document our actions to promote positive school behavior and good citizenship.  I am very proud of our civic mindset to support our community needs through our various clubs and organizations.  Our application is due on December 5th.

Our Safety Team met on Tuesday and discussed recent HIB data and to bring in a guest speaker in December to promote school objectives.  Fortunately, our number of reportable HIB incidents is significantly reduced in comparison to last school year at this time.  I hope to observe a similar trend through the next reporting period.  Our Community Outreach Committee hosted a senior class workshop on ‘Stress Management’.  I would like to personally thank Thompson Health Care and Ms. Jenna Fleck for providing various speakers to support our school need.  We brought in the speakers on the respective topic resulting from conversations with students and staff regarding the increased level of anxiety as our students work to balance school and the college application process.  Our students were informed on identifying the stages of stress, impacts to the human body, and what can be done to reduce stress.  I hope our students who were able to attend felt the workshop to be productive.  Thank you again to Thompson Health Care!  We held our College Night at High School East Tuesday evening.  I would like to thank Mrs. Melissa Rapolla, Berkeley’s College Admissions Associate, for presenting to our families as they prepare for life after East.   Mrs. Rapolla provided information on how to choose a college/university, standardized testing, admission options, financial aid options, academic records, and a timeline for college planning.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders held a fundraiser at Chipotle Tuesday evening.  Thank you all that attended in support of our students.  Our Tea and Truth also held their bi-monthly meeting in our Media Center Tuesday evening.

Mr. Mike Nemeth brought in Mrs. Setara from Community Medical Center on Wednesday to discuss safe driving practices.  Mrs. Setara shared personal stories of accidents resulting from momentary lapses in concentration and encouraged our students to always be alert and to avoid electronic distractions.  Our Robotics Team received a small grant from Kiwanis Daybreak and we would like to thank Mr. Eric Pschorr for his generosity.  

Our Coaches Committee met after school on Thursday and discussed various athletic issues.  We discussed the impacts of our reduced school population on athletic participation.  We believe we can still maintain our competitive edge by encouraging many of our athletes to look to participate in multiple sports.  We will be recognizing our multiple sport athletes in a spring ceremony this year who have maintained strong academic standards and are deemed students of character.  Our Environmental Club hosted a ‘Finding Dory’ movie showing in the afternoon.  Our Spanish Heritage Club hosted their annual Thanksgiving Dinner in the evening.  We shared fabulous cultural food and listened to speeches from students and staff on the growth of tolerance and respect at East.  I am proud of Mrs. Liz Rodriguez’s efforts to integrate our Spanish speaking student population into the school environment.  I was pleased to hear from our parents how our students feel safe, involved, and connected to East.  Mrs. Jackie O’keefe and Mr. Rick Weber were honored guests at the dinner.

On Friday, our College and Career Connection Committee hosted our Staff College Talks during period 3.  Mr. Ted Gillen and Mrs. Diane Morrissey presented to our interested students on the pros and cons of attending Penn State University.  The students were provided with school paraphernalia and enjoyed the lively conversations from a staff’s perspective!  Our Raiders In Service met period 6 to share their personal journeys with me from their recent trip to the Dominican Republic.  Mrs. Liz Rodriguez and Mr. Jon Knight teamed with East students to help build a home for the needy.  The students shared their adventures and battles with local insects (and goliath bird-eating tarantulas).  Each student shared what they took away from the experience with me.  I was very proud of them and am looking forward to their future work as a group committed to supporting the needs of others.  We held our monthly fire drill without incident.

Congratulations to our junior class for winning the Powder Puff competition Friday evening.  The kids were competitive and appeared to have a great time.  Our cheerleaders were creative and entertaining!  Great job to all of our advisors, football coaches, and athletes for a wonderful evening!

Our History Club attended the annual Washington, D.C trip on Saturday.  I would like to thank Mr. Kevin Cohen for his passion for the subject and willingness to provide our students with opportunities to learn about our past through his trips.  Approximately 150 of our students attended the day-long adventure!      

I would like to congratulate Mr. Bill Dishon for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Dishon is an extremely professional educator who is passionate about the Arts.  Mr. Dishon was recognized because of his commitment to educating his students on the importance of the Arts in society.  Mr. Dishon is the only person who could have convinced me why Jackson Pollock’s painting style was so innovative, and subsequently, valuable.  I always enjoy my visits to his classroom to listen to his lessons.  His students are always engaged and appear to be expressing their artistic flair without the fear of failure.  They also appear to be having fun!  Great job Mr. Dishon!  Please feel free to check out his artwork, which is on display throughout the building in our cafeteria and gym lobby, hallways, and stairwells!        

Congratulations to Darren Scholl and Ellie Thomas for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Darren was acknowledged for his support to address a student conflict issue and Ellie for returning a cell phone to the Main Office.  Thank you Darren and Ellie for being positive reflections of our school community.

Congratulations to Margarita Colon for winning the ‘How Well Do You Know Your Teachers’ contest Friday morning.  I asked which teacher graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and played Division I football at the school.  I provided a clue; this particular teacher played in our 1981 State Finalist football team and graduated in 1983 from HS East.  Mr. Jay McKelvey was the answer.  Mr. McKelvey earned a degree in mathematics and later served in the Marine Corps following graduation.  He served 1 year in Okinawa and another 4 years in San Diego.  He followed his military service as a shipping manager for Airborne Express, earned his M.B.A at Rutgers University, and then worked as a Dow Jones internal corporate finance officer until he became a mathematics teacher at East.    

I would like to personally acknowledge Maysi Salt, Andrea Rouse, Matt Tice, Alyssa Morales, Rachel Keating, Camila Alonso, and Ben Campbell for being student leaders and ambassadors of East at the memorial vigil for a student at Intermediate South who recently passed away.  Our condolences go out to her family.  Our students performed at the ceremony and I wanted to thank them for caring enough to attend and perform for her family!  

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I observed Mr. Mike Alfieri on Monday teach a lesson on the environment of Iceland.  Mr. Alfieri shared a personal slide show from his recent visit (where he recently became engaged – congratulations).  I appreciated the personal connections he makes with his students and his ability to create a culture of respect and rapport.  I recognized Mr. Mike Nemeth on Tuesday for his efforts to bring in guest speakers for our students promoting safe driving and healthy lifestyles.  Mr. Nemeth has a wonderful connection to all of his students, as he makes himself available to support his student’s needs.  I observed Mrs. Kristin DeLucci on Wednesday teach a musical lesson.  Mrs. DeLucci must love coming to school every day as she promotes an inviting and respectful classroom environment.  Her students are always engaged and appear to be having fun.  Mrs. DeLucci has a way of getting all of her kids to express individual creativity without fear.  I recognized Mrs. Liz Rodriguez on Thursday for her efforts to conduct her Spanish Heritage Club Thanksgiving Dinner.  Mrs. Rodriguez is passionate about what she does and values the importance of her role in providing high expectations for her students.  The food was delicious and the evening was entertaining.  Great job!  On Friday, I recognized Mr. Jon Knight and Mrs. Liz Rodriguez for their efforts to promote East pride during their recent trip to the Dominican Republic.  Mr. Knight and Mrs. Rodriguez will be working with our group of students in Raiders In Service to develop service learning projects for our local community.  Thank you Mr. Knight and Mrs. Rodriguez for promoting good citizenship behavior in our students.  

Freshmen Academy

Our freshman class observed perfect attendance on Thursday of this week.  To celebrate, we raffled off two free tickets to an Olivia Holt concern in Freehold Friday evening.  Congratulations to Katherine Tschirpke for winning the tickets!  Hope you enjoyed the concert.

Our Academy teachers planned out our Field Day scheduled for the 22nd this week.  We plan on conducting Tug of War, Musical Chairs, Relay Races (eggs, dizzy bat, and wheelbarrow), and a Tricycle Race as part of the festivities.  Good luck to the competing teams!

Attendance Matters

Attendance is essential to school success, but too often students, parents and schools do not realize how quickly absences — excused and unexcused — can add up to academic trouble. Chronic absence — missing 10 percent of the school year, or just 2-3 days every month—can translate into third-graders unable to master reading, sixth-graders failing courses and ninth-graders dropping out of high school. Low-income students, who most depend on school for opportunities to learn, are especially harmed when they miss too much instruction.

Chronic absence is an alarming, largely overlooked problem that is preventing too many children from having an opportunity to learn and succeed. It affects 5 million to 7.5 million students— more than one in 10 — nationwide. This is not just a problem in middle and high school: It starts in kindergarten and preschool. It is a problem in districts of every size, urban, suburban and rural. The report, Mapping the Early Attendance Gap, shows that low-income children, English language learners, and children with disabilities miss the most school. In every state, missing too much school correlates with weaker standardized test scores. Read this research summary for more details.

Stemming this crisis is essential to our country’s economic and educational future. Growing recognition of its importance led to its inclusion in the recently passed Every Student Every Day Act, which reauthorizes federal funding for public schools. Chronic absence is a required reporting metric under Title I and Title II funds can be used for professional development about chronic absence.
The good news is this is a problem we can fix when schools and communities work with students and families, starting in the early grades to identify barriers to getting to school, help students overcome these barriers and cultivate a culture of attendance that encourages showing up every day even when it isn’t easy. This starts by helping everyone in the community recognize they have a stake and a role. It requires careful attention to data and strategic, locally tailored interventions to address attendance challenges.
(Attendanceworks.org)

If you are interested in helping our goal to improve school attendance, please feel free to contact me at pthomas@trschools.com.  

Character Counts

Being responsible is a key to children’s success both in school and in the larger world when they grow up. When they learn to take responsibility for their actions and their commitments, they get things done and people know they can be counted on to meet obligations and promises. These children are seen as trustworthy and dependable, they don’t make excuses when they make mistakes but rather own up to them and make amends, they are willing to take on new responsibilities and they are often self-starters. Such behaviors are important ingredients to success in school and in life.

Parents often confuse obedience with responsibility. Most parents would love their children to do what the parent asks, to follow directions and to not question their authority – understandable and important goals when raising children. However, this is not responsibility!! These behaviors would be classified as obedience.

Over time, most parents want children to accept ownership for a task or chore – the children do it because it needs to be done and accept that it is their obligation to do it. Over time, they may even initiate doing a task ‘because it needs to be done’, not because they are being told to do it. This attitude would be called responsibility. Parents may have to give up having things done exactly as they would like them to be done and on their exact timetable in order for a child to move from obedience to responsibility. But allowing a child to ‘do it his way’ will encourage a feeling of pride in accomplishment and foster a sense of responsibility.

Considering the shift from obedience to responsibility raises the issue of how involved you should be in helping your children to meet their commitments and complete tasks. Not wanting our children to fail can lead parents to do too much for their children; when this happens, the children don’t learn to take on the responsibility themselves. On the other hand, there are times when children do need guidance, support or information so that they can learn how to be responsible.
Finding the balance between over-managing and under-parenting is an art. Deciding when it is appropriate to step in and when it is more effective to let go and give the child space to do it his way will depend on the child’s maturity, past behavior with responsibility in general and with this task in particular, the developmental task the child is working on, the child’s temperament, and many other considerations.

Instilling the attitudes and traits that make children responsible occurs over years and involves many different pieces that make up the parenting puzzle.
(centerforparentingeducation.org)

I will provide the remaining portion of this article in next week’s newsletter.
                                                                                                                                                                           Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Creating good habits is essential to promoting school success.  In accordance with Good Habits, Good Students, author Eric MacKnight acknowledges nine work habits to promote such success.  Mr. MacKnight stresses using a homework diary in every class, every day; using class time productively (don’t waste class time or use effectively to ask for help); completing all of your assignments (even if late to promote the right attitude); filing your papers where you can find them (my pet peeve as a teacher); doing your homework as soon as it’s assigned – not the day before it is due; handing in work on time; coming to class prepared every day ready to learn; keeping a copy of major assignments; and being responsible about making up work when you have been absent.  
(Good Habits, Good Students)

Parents, if you would like a copy of the booklet, please email me and I’ll send you one.

Issues

Nothing to report at this time.

This Week at East (11/21 – 11/23)

Our student Safety Team will meet Monday during period 3.  Mr. Weidenbush will be observing North Plainfield High School in a professional day in support of our goal to become a State School of Character.  Freshman Field Day will be held on Tuesday November 22 (hope it is not too cold).  We are hosting a professional development workshop for interested teachers on Tuesday on topics related to our teacher evaluation model.  Mr. Kevin McCann will present on Domain 3c, providing support and resources to promote student engagement in learning.  Our Ambassadors will team with our Raiders Helping Raiders to host our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.  Students and Staff will collect food, prepare food baskets, and deliver the supplies to families in need.  We will conduct our monthly security drill on Wednesday.

Information

Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Stockton University is on 11/30/16. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.

Kean University’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) presentation has been rescheduled. Date and time TBD.

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

Seniors who have a college application deadline of January 1st need to submit their paperwork to their counselor by December 13th to ensure delivery by 12/23/16.

The registration deadline for the January 21st SAT is 12/21/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the February 11th ACT is 1/13/17.  Register at www.actstudent.org

College visits the week of 11/21/16: Ramapo College and Kean University

Did you know that November is Family Involvement Month?  Please visit the following website to determine how you can help us to create a positive school-home partnership (www.doe.virginia.gov/families/).

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal



Welcome Back!  I hope you had the opportunity to spend quality time as a family during our week off of school!  I spent last weekend painting the Living Room (fun).  I then worked on our Character School Application for a few days before heading down to visit colleges in South Carolina and Virginia.  My oldest is now looking at schools.  I always tell our parents to appreciate the time in high school as it goes by quickly.  I think I need to take my own advice!  I also couldn’t help but to think about our school’s dynamics in preparing our children for college and/or careers.  I hear what the colleges are looking for and believe we are doing a good job aligning the expectations.  However, I believe we can do better, and will continue to work through our committees to accomplish our vision and mission.  

I wanted to thank our East Veterans for their service to our country.  Mr. Rob Roma, Mr. Ed Kayler, Mr. Phil Beachy, Mr. Joe Burns, Mr. Jay McKelvey, Mr. Warren Reid, Mr. Bill Spice, Mr. Dennis Weidenbush, Mr. Rich Whitmeyer, and Mr. Les Hegyes all have served our country in various branches.  I spent last evening watching clips from D-Day survivors.  I could not imagine what they went through.  I always appreciate the sacrifices others have made for me and believe our Veterans to be people of character!  Thank you!  

Week in Review (10/31 – 11/4)

We held our Halloween Costume Contest Monday morning.  Congratulations to Jared and Jordan Daly and Frank and Anthony Capone for winning the Best Group category (Dragon Ball Z).  Olivia Guardabacio won the Most Original category (Jellyfish).  Justyn Roman won for Best Overall (Apocalyptic Survivor), Brian Rand won Funniest (Guy Fierri), and Taylor Masterson and Amelia Chiapetta won the Cutest category (Lilo and Stitch).  Congratulations also to our Office Secretaries for winning the staff contest.  They dressed up as Ghostbusters and the little green ghost.  They took my title away from me.  I will step up my game for next year!

On Tuesday, I attended a Danielson (out teacher evaluation model) refresher workshop with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Natanagara.  I felt the workshop to be productive and helped me to reconnect to the fine details when evaluating our staff.  I attended our Conference Connections, held by our math department, Tuesday evening.  Thank you to Mrs. Erin Anders, Ms. Nicole Foy, Mrs. Lori Martz, Ms. Marissa Granato, and Ms. Christina Gregus-Bowkus for organizing the evening for our parents.  The objective was to provide face-time with teachers on student progress and to provide resources in support of the quarterly exam.  Great job!  I met with our paraprofessionals after school and discussed expectations and reviewed our school safety plan.  Our Tea and Truth (for families impacted by substance abuse) met in the Media Center Tuesday evening.  Thank you to Abigail Gillen and Nicole Nigro for attending our Super Safe and Drug Free Schools Committee meeting Tuesday evening.  Abigail and Nicole spoke of the wonderful things we are doing at East to keep our school safe!          

We held our monthly faculty meeting after school on Wednesday.  I was excited to recognize so many of our staff or their positive contributions since our last meeting.  I thanked Mr. Walt Patelunas, Mrs. Cathy Angiletta, Mrs. Naomi Sorce, Mr. Eric Draesel, and Mr. Mike Konopka for their efforts supporting our temporary chemistry vacancy.  I recognized Ms. Carrie Bush and Mrs. Sammie Hvidding for writing a grant to seek funds to support student needs.  I recognized our Band Directors, Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Mark Figueroa for their successful efforts this fall.  I thanked Mr. Mike Alfieri and Mr. Matt Polhemus for supporting a substitute teacher.  I also thanked Mrs. Janine Hatton for her efforts to run the costume contest and her positive attitude.  I recognized Mrs. Sue Werner for her creativity in designing mugs and t-shirts to raise money for our PTO.  I asked every staff member to bring their own banana.  We provided ice cream and made banana splits!  It was nice.  I spoke to the staff about Press and Media, club/activity contracts, our Teachers Teaching Teachers initiative, commitment to apply to be recognized as a State School of Character, staff college talks, PTO fundraisers, East Google Classroom, Thanksgiving with grads, and other school related topics.  

We held our PTO fundraiser at Kohrs Ice Cream in Silverton Wednesday evening.  Thank you to our staff who attended and served the ice cream and to our families that attended in support of our school!  Thank you to our PTO members, particularly Mrs. Platten, for organizing the event.    

Our Core Team met Thursday morning and discussed methods to address student-student issues, particularly as it relates to personal conflict.  The group developed methods to better address and to seek outside resources when appropriate.  I attended a meeting with secondary level principals to discuss the PARCC testing schedule.  We discussed several ideas, and will share out as soon as we get approval for our proposed plan.

I met with our district Supervisors and Ms. Norma Denoia, our District Curriculum Supervisor, on Friday morning to discuss our professional development plan at East.  We shared out our school vision and mission and our plans to accomplish our goals to improve school outcomes.  We value our commitment to provide our students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in future endeavors, and feel our plan will meet our expectations.  I recognized our various monthly awards (see below) and our Band paraded through the hallways during 8th period to wrap up the week!

Congratulations to Mr. Steve Ebert for being recognized by his colleagues as our Mentor-of-the-Month.  Mr. Ebert goes above and beyond the role of a mentor.  He mentors multiple students who all call him an awesome person and someone they can talk to when they just need to be listened to.  Thank you Mr. Ebert!

I would like to congratulate Mr. Chris Peck for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Peck is a popular teacher in our building.  He is well liked by his students, because he cares.  I recognized Mr. Peck this week because of his efforts through the Interact and Key Club to run the Haunted Hayride and Safe Trick-or-Treat!  The events were well attended, and his efforts were well received!  Thank you Mr. Peck for all you do!  

Congratulations to our November Seniors-of-the Month, Ryan Labelle and Taylor Pistone!  Ryan is a member of our History Club, School Improvement Team, and is a student Ambassador.  Ryan plays soccer, is ranked in the top 10 of his class and plans on attending college and majoring in accounting!  Taylor is a member of our NHS and Thespian Honor Society.  She is involved in Peer Leadership, Interact and Key Clubs, Student Council, and TEAM.  She is also a member of our Robotics Club, Eastside Theatre Company, Environmental Compost and serves as a Writing Center Director.  She is a member of our tennis team and a Girls State delegate.  We are proud of her accomplishments of winning the Society of Women’s Engineer’s Merit Award and the President’s Volunteer Service award on two occasions.  She is ranked in the top 10 in her senior class and hopes to attend college to study neuroscience.  Great pics this month and congratulations Ryan and Taylor!

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized CST counselor, Mrs. Dru Fonseca on Monday.  I observed Mrs. Fonseca conduct several parent meetings and sat in on one of her weekly staff meetings with our special needs teachers.  I was very impressed with her caring approach towards our children and her professional demeanor in which she conducts her work.  Mrs. Fonseca is a valuable asset to our school!  I recognized Mr. Chris Polhemus on Tuesday.  Mr. Polhemus is one of our special needs teachers.  Mr. Polhemus is also a very caring educator.  He knows his students very well and is a problem solver.  I am very impressed in the manner which he runs his classroom, as he is extremely organized and connected to the learning needs of his students!  I observed Mr. Ed Goodman on Wednesday teach a fun PE activity with his 9th grade students.  Mr. Goodman could not help but to be involved in the game and to encourage his students to participate.  I was impressed with the level of respect towards Mr. Goodman and how every student was involved!  Great job Mr. Goodman!  I acknowledged Mrs. Gina Taaffe on Thursday for her efforts to support our staff development.  Mrs. Taaffe absorbs her surroundings and enjoys developing ideas to help move the school forward.  Mrs. Taaffe shared with me information on how we can better connect our instructional strategies to how the adolescent brain functions; essentially designing lessons that support the learning process.  We are looking at possibly providing our staff with this information in a workshop.  Finally, I recognized Mr. Phil Beachy on Friday.  Mr. Beachy’s lesson centered on Career Day, as he shared his educational background and professional experiences as the Naval Commander of Lakehurst during his military tenure.  Mr. Beachy shared his personal story and job duties as the leader of Lakehurst and his students were provided an opportunity to know Mr. Beachy outside of the school environment and how his educational background and skill sets afforded him the opportunity to be a Base Commander.  Thank you Mr. Beachy for sharing and for being such a wonderful educator at East!

Athletically, our girls soccer team lost in the State Tournament to HSS on Tuesday (3-2).  Great job this year girls, you can be proud!  Our volleyball team lost to  Morris Knolls in the State Tournament on Wednesday.  I spoke to the girls before they left and informed them how proud I was of their accomplishments this season!  They represented East with pride.  Our football team concluded their season at Brick.  I thought the kids played with pride and demonstrated good sportsmanship following our opening game!  Good job boys.  The boys and girls cross country teams concluded their season with strong performances at the State Meet.  Thank you to all of our fall athletes for competing with pride for your school.  I acknowledge your efforts and the challenges of balancing school and extracurricular activities.  Keep up the great work!

Freshmen Academy

Freshman Field Day is planned for Tuesday, November 22, 2016.  We will follow up next week with further details!

Mr. Kevin McCann spoke to the students about the monthly character pillar, Responsibility, during lunch periods.  

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Garrett Vaughn, Richard Graff, and Thomas Ryan for winning the Monthly Perfect Attendance Award!  Each recipient received a WaWa gift card!  Congratulations to Emily Rappisi for being acknowledged for winning the Year-to-Date attendance award and a WaWa gift card.  Congratulations to Mr. Phil Beachy’s period 1 class for winning the Homeroom with the best attendance record!  Mrs. Katie Medina’s period 1 class came in second.  Both homerooms will receive a bagel and donut breakfast!  Great job!

I shared our October attendance data with the staff.  We are following similar trends.  However, comparing October 2015 to October 2016, we have 40 more students with perfect attendance (our numbers between Sept and October are the best they have been in the past 4 years).  We have 470 fewer absences and 147 fewer lates between September-October 2015 and September-October 2016.  Our seniors were our biggest attendance issues in terms of absences from school for this month.  The first few days of the week were our worst attended days of school in terms of absences.  Friday was our worst attended day in terms of lates.  Our seniors are our class with the worst daily average of lates to school.  

Absences – averaged 78.6/day.  Ninth grade averaged 11.7/day, tenth grade averaged 22.9/day, eleventh averaged 20.6/day, and twelfth grade averaged 24.7/day.  Lates – averaged 47.1/day.  Ninth grade averaged 5.8/day, tenth grade averaged 10.1/day, eleventh grade averaged 13.2/day, and twelfth grade averaged 18/day.  Cuts – averaged 3.3/day.  We have made improvements in terms of cuts from class, but this statistic is not acceptable.  We are always looking for support from the home regarding this issue.  

Action Plan:  Continue to monitor and address through Attendance Committee objectives.  Third Attendance Hearings scheduled for November 28, 2016 to address deficient students regarding attendance related issues.  

Character Counts

Our entire staff will be providing a lesson on Responsibility in our period 1 classes.  We are committed to our efforts to teach our students to become accountable for our outcomes.  
                                             
Looking at our October behavior data, comparing October 2015 to October 2016, we observed similar trends in data (number and types of referrals).  Our biggest behavioral issue is attendance, as it has been since we have been recording data.  Our number of referrals for lates to school and cuts dominated the October behavior data.  

We observed 29 fewer cuts this month compared to last October.  However, we observed 3 more overall referrals compared to October 2015.  We observed 10 more cases of disruptive behavior compared to last October.  However, we observed 29 fewer incidences of insubordination (really trying to reduce these two).  

We recorded a total of 291 referrals (attendance and behavior) for October.  Freshman accounted for the lowest and seniors for the highest percentages of referrals.  We documented issues with cell phones (0.7%), cuts (20.6%), cutting detention (6.2%), disruptive behavior (11.3%), HIB (0.3%), Insubordination (6.5%), lates to school (48.5%), lates to class (1.7%), truancy (1%), smoking on school grounds (0.7%), school policy (2%), and assault (0.3%).  

Action Plan:  Continue to monitor through Behavior Committee.  Continue to implement character education within the school setting and recognize positive school behavior.  Educate frequent flyers and hold students more accountable.  I will revoke student privileges if behavior does not improve.  

Congratulations to Mackenzie Casais and Damian Chizan for being named our Character Counts Students-of-the-Month!  Mackenzie and Damian were chosen by their peers and our staff for demonstrating positive school behavior.  Mazkenzie was recognized for her polite and respectful attitude towards others.  She is described as a ray of sunshine with her positive attitude towards her school endeavors.  Damian was recognized resulting from his efforts to always open doors for others.  Damian takes personal time each day to hold the door open for his peers during lunch!  He is respectful and accepts diversity with open arms.  Damian comes to school prepared to do his best each and every day!  Mackenzie and Damian received our Character Counts t-shirt and will be pictured in our Character Counts Students-of-the-Month trophy case this week!  Thank you both for being positive reflections of our school community!
                                                                                                                                                                           Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Students should look to spend several months attempting to try out different types of goals (see previous newsletters for support).  In Good Habits, Good Students, it is recommended that students practice setting goals, sticking to them, and getting help from parents and teachers to accomplish the respective goal(s).  Based on the above, it is also recommended students choose one to work on for an extended period of time.  Use the information presented in previous newsletters that describe tips to improve school outcomes as a reference.  Identify a habit you are looking to improve, define a clear goal, keep a written record of your results, and seek support from your family, friends, and teachers.  (Good Habits, Good Students)      

Issues

Please continue to support the simple procedures and policies at East in our efforts to provide the best possible learning environment for your child.  Please speak to them about our cell phone/IPOD, attire, code of conduct, and attendance policies.  I have to tell you how frustrating it can be to continue to have to remind students of the above two months into the school year!  Thank you for your support!

This Week at East (11/14 – 11/18)

Our Behavior Committee will meet on Monday to discuss and organize our application for State School of Character.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders (mentor program is hosting their annual fundraiser at Chipotle between 4 PM and 8 PM on Tuesday.  Our Tea and Truth will hold their meeting at 6 PM in the Media Center.  Our Guidance Department is hosting our College Night at 6 PM in the Student Center (café) for all junior level parents looking for information on applying to college (how to choose a college/university, standardized testing, admission options, financial aid options, academic records, and a timeline for college planning).   Our Community Outreach Committee is hosting a senior workshop during period 7 lunch for all seniors struggling with the stress of college applications and balancing school work.  All seniors are encouraged to attend!  Our November Board meeting will be held on Wednesday evening at HSN.  Our Coaches Committee will meet after school on Thursday to support character education in athletics, parent communication, and other organizational tasks.  Our Spanish Heritage Club is hosting their annual Thanksgiving dinner at East Thursday evening in the Media Center.  We will hold our monthly fire drill on Friday and our Band will parade through the hallways again 8th period!  Our History Club will be attending their annual Washington, D.C. trip on Saturday!        

Information

College Information Night is on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 6:00 PM in the HSE Student Center. Topics will include: how to choose a college/university, standardized testing, admission options, financial aid options, academic records, and a timeline for college planning.

Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 11/18/16. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.

Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Stockton University is on 11/30/16. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.

The registration deadline for the December 3rd SAT is 11/3/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the December 10th ACT is 11/4/16.  Register at www.actstudent.org

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

The Job Opportunity board has been updated.  Check out what stores are hiring

Did you know that November is Family Involvement Month?  Please visit the following website to determine how you can help us to create a positive school-home partnership (www.doe.virginia.gov/families/).

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!
Mr. Thomas, Principal


We at High School East

are

Anchored in Integrity,

Devoted to Excellence,

and

Focused on results:

well educated and highly ethical graduates.

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

Week in Review (10/17 - 10/21)

I participated in our district Principal’s Meeting on Monday morning. We discussed attendance, school climate, HIB, PARCC, staff training regarding Affirmative Action, dealing with press and media, and other school related issues. We held our Behavior Committee meeting directly after school and discussed moving our Character Counts program forward. The ultimate goal is to observe a decrease in negative school behavior which contributes to poor student achievement. Through our character program, we hope to teach our students how to become responsible and productive citizens. Our committee is committed to the task of changing ‘culture’. We will be applying to be recognized as a state and national school of character. I also met with staff members who are filling in for our vacant chemistry position. We have a plan to get us through December, where our new teacher will begin in January.

On Tuesday, our assistant principals went into every 10th and 11th grade English class to speak on the importance of taking the PSATs on Wednesday. Mr. Greg Roth and Victoria Shufeldt spoke to 10th and 11th grade students during lunch periods to discuss that we not only want the students to participate, but to also do their best! Mr. Roth and Victoria stressed ‘Excellence’. Mrs. Dawn Aulisi held our annual Substance Abuse Reporting Training during periods 1-4 for staff members. Our Freshman Academy Awards for October were presented during period 5 lunch (see below for winners). Our Attendance Committee convened after school to discuss next week’s hearings to address students with poor attendance records. Attendance Officer Mrs. Kristi Klem-Koskowski reported the improvements in the overall school attendance and number of lates to date since our last report. I will provide the numbers in our next newsletter. Tea and Truth was held in the Media Center at 6:00 PM.

We held our PSAT testing on Wednesday morning. We observed a significant improvement in the number of students taking the test this year, which I believe to be a positive reflection on our school’s part to promote ‘Excellence’. Approximately 92% of our eligible students participated in the test. I did send an individual letter home to all of our students who did not participate in the test and informed the families of my expectations for full participation moving forward. Thank you to Mr. Kevin Cohen and Mr. Matt Malagiere for conducting a lesson on segregation for all of our 9th grade students during the testing window. Mrs. Aulisi completed her Substance Abuse Reporting Training for all staff members with periods 5-8 conference. Our Curriculum Committee met after school and we discussed implementing our Teachers Teaching Teachers program and how to more effectively achieve desired results.

October 17-21 2016

We attempted last school year, but the program did not seem to catch on with our staff. I am excited about our new approach, as I believe this program to be essential improve upon our instructional strategies to increase student achievement. The program will help to build a more collaborative approach to build strong teamwork among teachers across all grade levels and with other staff. When everyone is involved and connected to each other to identify problems and work on solutions, we become a school of excellence!

On Thursday, our Curriculum Committee hosted our monthly professional development for interested staff periods 1-4. Mr. Kevin McCann presented a lesson on the Foundations of Engagement through Effective Classroom Management and Lesson Planning. Attendees walked away with tools to improve the planning process of our instruction. Ideas were shared and staff members reflected on how they could improve to better engage their students. Our Behavior Committee members met with our winter coaches to discuss how they could infuse character education in our athletic setting. Thank you Mr. Dennis Weidenbush for your efforts to meet with our coaches and to provide our expectations for positive school behavior. Our CST intern, Ms. Jillian Dispoto, presented a workshop on Title IX as it relates to Transgender student rights.

Mrs. Erin Cosentino (Committee Liaison), Mr. John Coleman (Assistant Superintendent), and I attended a meeting as a part of our Community Outreach Committee with Mr. Adam Kuczynski from Honda of Toms River Friday morning. Our Community Outreach Committee presented to local businesses on how we can develop a positive school, home, and community partnership to improve school outcomes. During the presentations, I shared the importance of producing well educated and highly ethical graduates and the relationship to improved economic sustainability within our community. Mr. Kuczynski has generously donated a new Honda Civic as a part of our commitment to promote the mindset of coming to school every day, on time, and ready to learn. I will be following up on our new partnership with Honda in later newsletters. Thank you Mr. Kuczynski for your support! Our Band paraded through the halls on Friday in celebration of another productive week at East.

I would like to acknowledge our Raider Nation again for another positive outing Friday evening. At halftime, the Head Official informed me how impressed he was of our football players and the way they conducted themselves on the field and the support from the stands. He felt the kids demonstrated respect for their coach and our school. I was very proud! Do not forget, we are in the hunt for winning the New Jersey Best Student Section (Fans). Please get out and vote for our wonderful school at highschoolsports.nj.com! We can do this! Vote! Vote! Vote!

Congratulations to Mrs. Cathy Angilletta for being named our Employee of the Week. Mrs. Angilletta assumed a new teaching role this year to support our building needs. I cannot thank her enough for her team mentality. However, I chose Mrs. Angilletta this week for her commitment to her students, especially her mentee. Mrs. Angilletta is a person who really cares about the well-being of the others. She will do whatever it takes to meet someone’s needs, and I truly appreciate her kindness! Thank you Mrs. Angilletta for going above and beyond!

I would like to recognize Nicole Lim as a ‘Respectful Raider’ for turning the personal belongings of a parent into the Main Office. Thank you Nicole, as the material was returned to the owner.

As a part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative, I recognized several groups this week. On Monday, I wanted to recognize our Behavior Committee for their relentless pursuit to change the mindset of our students and staff. We want to be a school of excellence, reflected in our behavior and achievement. Our committee members are focusing specifically on our disruptive and disrespectful behavioral issues and to become a state and national school of character! The committee members have been working very hard outside of their normal professional duties. On Tuesday, I wanted to recognize our Attendance Committee for their promotion of positive school attendance through all of the activities and awards we promote. We have observed more than 540 fewer absences compared to last year at this time as well as 141 fewer overall lates to school. The committee members are diligent on maintaining our monthly hearing meetings and to provide fun ways to promote positive school attendance. I recognized our Curriculum Committee members for their creativity to promote our Teachers Teaching Teachers initiative on Wednesday. All of their work they do, they do above their expected professional duties. Thank you! I recognized our staff on Thursday for volunteering to go into a colleague’s classroom during their conference period to observe a colleague in action (they chose a name out of a hat and will make an appointment to visit). The observer will take notes and identify strengths of the teacher as it relates to our vision and mission objectives. We hope to unite our building, developing relationships outside of our comfort zone, and create a more collaborative approach to moving East forward. On Friday, I recognized our Community Outreach Committee for making the significant connection to a local business to promote the importance of coming to school every day, on time, and ready to learn. Overall, great week! I was happy!

Athletically, our tennis team lost to Donovan Catholic and Brick High School, but beat Central Regional on Wednesday. Our Volleyball team beat Brick Memorial, and Rumson-Fair Haven in the first round of Shores. Great job ladies! Our boys varsity soccer team continued their improved play with a victory over our rivals, High School North. We lost our last game of the season against Manalapan, but the kids improved and are poised for a good year next season. Our field hockey team lost to Brick Memorial and Southern this week. Keep your heads up! Our gymnastics team lost to Marlboro on Tuesday. The boys and girls cross country teams placed 4th and 5th, respectively, in the Counties on Thursday. Congratulations as the teams both qualified for Shores on Thursday, October 27, 2016. Our girls soccer team lost to Freehold Boro on Friday afternoon while our football team lost to Jackson Memorial Friday evening.

Freshmen Academy

Our Academy teams were provided with a post-secondary survey where we were looking at student interests, college, and career plans. We gathered the forms and will be evaluating the success of our College and Career Connection Committee to promote a vision of their future. Thank you Mrs. Kim Truhan for creating the survey and for evaluating the data.

Our October Academy Awards were presented this week. Congratulations to our students who were rec- ognized for demonstrating excellence. The winners were as follows:

Team Silver

Most Spirited – Alley Apruzzi

Most Improved – Michael Gray

Best All-Around – Faith Greenberg

Good Manners – Gianna Bimonte

Team Blue

Most Spirited – Brie Trentacosti

Most Improved – Dakota Mongaliri

Best All-Around – Cierra Jacobsen

Good Manners – Raylonda Carreker

Team Black

Most Spirited – Sara Thompsen

Most Improved – Tyler Middleton

Best All-Around – Vincent Faruolo

Good Manners – Justin Tucker

Attendance Matters

Why attendance matters:

If children don’t show up for school regularly, they miss out on fundamental reading and math skills and the chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers. Preliminary data from a California study found that children who were chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade were far less likely to read proficiently at the end of 3rd grade. (Attendance Works)

What families can do:

Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots. Build regular routines for bedtime and the morning. Talk about the importance of regular attendance and about how your child feels about school. Don’t permit missing school unless your child is truly sick. Use a thermometer to check for a fever. Remember that stomach aches and headaches may be signs of anxiety. Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session. Keep a chart recording your child’s attendance at home. At the end of the week, talk with your child about what you see. Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Ask a family member, neighbor or another parent for help Seek support from school staff or community groups to help with transportation, health problems, or no safe path to school. (Attendance Works)

Character Counts

I expect an East student to demonstrate the ideals inherent in positive school behavior. Our students should come to school every day, on time, with the intent on learning. I expect our students to demonstrate respect for their teachers and others. Positive school behavior is a reflection of a healthy community committed to Excellence!

One of our character pillars is ‘Responsibility’ (taking care of your duties and answering for your actions). Please engage your child in a discussion how they can support our initiative this month to demonstrate acts of ‘Responsibility’. Our goal this month is to promote:

Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Be diligent • Persevere • Do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others. (Character Counts)

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Set goals! The path to improvement begins with setting realistic goals. Students should define a goal, establish the action required to achieve the goal, determine how often the action will be required, when it begins, how it will be monitored, the time limit required to reach the goal, how the goal will be measured, and develop a process of revising the action plan, if necessary.

Set a goal (a form for recording your goal, assessing your success, and deciding on the next step). Form a habit (designed to help work on a single goal over several weeks or months and form a new habit). Develop a learning log (sheet to help you keep track of your behavior during class time). Develop a homework tracker (a sheet to help you monitor your good habits regarding homework). Develop a daily check sheet (to get daily feedback from teachers on how you are doing). Create a post-report evaluation (to help you figure out what your report card really means [see last week’s Newsletter]). (Good Habits, Good Students)

This Week at East (10/24 – 10/28)

We are holding our monthly attendance hearings Monday at East. Our College and Career Connection Committee will meet after school Monday afternoon. We will test our security drill procedures for our ‘Bomb Threat’ this week.

Our PTO meeting will be held at 6:00 PM in the Main Office Conference Room Tuesday evening. All are welcome! Our Climate Committee and Raiders Helping Raiders will be meeting on Tuesday as well. On Wednesday, we will hold our Safety Committee meeting. Powderpuff will be held Thursday evening on the turf at 6:30 PM.

Our Safe Trick or Treat will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 4 PM in our hallways for interested parents.

I look forward to another positive week.

Issues

Parents, we are allowing students to dress up in costume on Monday, October 31, 2016 in honor of Halloween. Please be sure your child’s costume is school appropriate! Thank you!

Information

College Information Night is on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 6:00 PM in the HSE Student Center. Topics will include: how to choose a college/university, standardized testing, admission options, financial aid options, academic records, and a timeline for college planning.

Ms. Cavanaugh from the Ocean County Arts Program is coming to HSE on Thursday, October 27th to give a presentation to students during their lunch period.

Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 11/18/16. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.

The registration deadline for the December 3rd SAT is 11/3/16. Register at www.collegeboard.org

The registration deadline for the December 10th ACT is 11/4/16. Register at www.actstudent.org

Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month. Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.

The Job Opportunity board has been updated. Check out what stores are hiring.

College visits the week of 10/24/16: Seton Hall University, Hofstra University, Florida Atlantic University, Albright College, William Patterson University, University of Alabama, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Wid- ener University, Randolph Macon College, Wagner College, John & Wales University. Students need to sign up in the guidance office.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK! Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (10/10 – 10/14)

 

Our staff participated in departmental professional development workshops on Monday.  Supervisors across the district held specific curricular meetings to promote student achievement.  I was informed by our teachers that they felt the meetings to be extremely productive.

 

We held our Community Outreach Committee meeting on Tuesday to discuss how we can better connect to our parent group.  Our objective of this committee is to develop a positive working relationship between the school, home, and community.  We are looking to develop a commitment to the school vision and mission and use all available resources to accomplish our goals.  The task is so very important to moving East forward.  I will continue to ask for parents to be actively involved as I do not feel we will be able to make the growth I hope to accomplish in the next few years without a more connected relationship.  Parents, please spread the word (emails, Facebook, etc.) that we are holding a PTO fundraiser at Kohrs Frozen Custard in Silverton on November 2, 2016 between 6 PM and 9 PM.  We are looking for interested staff and parents to help serve ice cream.  If interested, please contact Mrs. Trisha Apanel at tapanel@hotmail.com.

 

We were off of school on Wednesday, but returned Thursday.  The kids were rested and in good spirits throughout the hallways and in the classrooms.  Many of our staff have recognized a significant difference in student morale and feel the building is moving in a positive direction.  I love being in the halls between classes and talking with the kids.  They are being so kind!  We held interviews to fill a maternity leave position on Thursday afternoon.  The math candidates were well qualified.

 

We began promoting the PSATs on Friday.  We are looking to increase our sophomore and junior participation rate from the previous year.  The PSATs are offered at no cost to our students during the school day on the 19th of October.  We believe in the importance of taking the test, as it is great practice for the SAT. Participation in the test will boost confidence for students with test anxiety, connect our students to colleges and universities, measure skills and knowledge and provide information about the student’s progress towards college readiness, and recognize high achieving students and links to scholarship programs.  The PSATs will also help to discover Advanced Placement potential.  I would like EVERY sophomore and junior to take the test, it can only help!

 

I taught two lessons on Friday about Diamonds.  I brushed off the dust and cobwebs from my old notes and spoke to the kids about picking a quality diamond.  I showed the kids famous diamonds (I actually saw a red diamond…very rare), taught them the mystique behind the mineral, how diamonds formed in the earth’s surface, the origins of the engagement ritual, and how to pick a ‘good’ diamond based on the 4 C’s.  I was exhausted after only 2 classes (I’m getting old).  The process reminded me of the value many of our teachers bring to the table, as our instruction is not as easy as simply providing information, it is having to sell it!  The teacher’s personality, enthusiasm, classroom management, instructional strategy, and means to assess are so important to student achievement.    

 

Our Raiders Helping Raiders Mentor Group conducted a fun day of activities (Minute to Win It!) in the Main Office Conference Room.  The objective was to provide an opportunity for our mentors and mentees to connect in an environment that was free of ‘stress’.  I heard genuine laughter coming from the room the entire day and wanted to thank Mrs. Erin Anders and Ms. Nicole Foy for taking the time to organize and run the activities for the staff and students.  Our Band paraded throughout the hallways during 8th period in support of our Homecoming game that evening.  I ended the day interviewing candidates for our vacant chemistry position and meeting with our Science Supervisor and District Curriculum Supervisor about moving forward in this class of interest.

 

Our School Improvement Team conducted our first ever after school ‘Fun Day’ before the Homecoming game.  Various clubs sold merchandise and food.  The School Improvement Team set up games for the students as they waited for the football game to begin.  Thanks to Officer DeGrandis, Mr. Chris Pecks, Mrs. Sammi Hvidding, and Mrs. Rose Porzio for giving up their personal time to provide supervision for our Raider Nation students.

 

I wanted to once again thank our Raider Nation for their positive support of our football team, cheerleaders, and Band at the game Friday evening.  The kids were fabulous.  We are in the hunt for winning the New Jersey Best Student Section (Fans).  Please get out and vote for our wonderful school at highschoolsports.nj.com!  We can do this!  Vote!  Vote! Vote!

 

Wow!  What a beautiful Homecoming Dance Saturday evening.  I have to thank our wonderful coaches (Mrs. Brianne Sandberg, Ms. Amanda Lauria, and Ms. Noel Aliseo) and our parents for their work in making the evening incredible.  We hosted approximately 600 students and ended up moving the dance to the gym to accommodate the large number of kids.  The theme was popular and the kids were so well behaved.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time!  Congratulations to Phil Lingut and Sydney Schuler for being named Homecoming King and Queen!  Well deserved!  I wanted to also thank our custodians, especially Mr. John Bisciotti and Mr. Mike Yost for all of their efforts to make the accommodations in such a short period of time!  Thank you!

 

Congratulations to our Band for their wonderful performance at Met Life Stadium Saturday morning!  We placed 3rd out of 15 schools.  We scored 82.5 points out of a possible 100, our highest ever!  Great job kids and coaches!

 

Congratulations to Ms. Nicole Foy for being named our Employee of the Week.  Ms. Foy has been instrumental in moving our Character Education program forward and supporting our school vision.  Ms. Foy also spent considerable personal time organizing our Raiders Helping Raiders ‘Minute to Win It!’ day/activities.  Thank you Ms. Foy for going above and beyond!

 

I wanted to congratulate Coach Mike Konopka for recording his first win as our boys soccer coach Saturday morning.  The team is young and working hard.  I believe we are building a strong foundation for future success!

 

Congratulations to Kierstyn Elliot and Chris Contos for being recognized as our October Seniors of the Month.  Kierstyn is a member of NHS and the Interact Club.  She is an active member of East Ambassadors, the School Improvement Team and Peer Leadership.  She is an outstanding student and is ranked in the top 3 of her class.  Kierstyn hopes to pursue a degree in Engineering.  Chris is also a member of our School Improvement Team and Writing Center.  He is a varsity lacrosse and soccer player.  He is involved in the American Legion and St. Barbaras Church.  He is passionate about math and science and is considering computer science as a potential major in college.  Chris carries a 4.9 GPA and is ranked in the top 10 of his class.  Both students are model citizens and a positive reflection of our school community!

 

I recognized Ms. Nicole Foy on Monday as part of our ‘Excellence is Everywhere’ initiative.  Ms. Foy coordinated our monthly character lesson plan and organized our Raiders Helping Raiders ‘Minute to Win It!’.  Ms. Foy adds tremendous value to our school.  I recognized Mrs. Angela Howell on Thursday for her commitment to East.  Mrs. Howell will be leaving on maternity leave soon and is working extremely hard to ensure her classroom will be supported in her absence!  She really cares about her students.  I recognized Mr. Mike Yost and Mr. John Bisciotti on Friday for their efforts to support our Homecoming Dance location change in the morning.  Both custodians worked extremely hard to ensure student safety at the dance and that we would be able to accommodate the large numbers.  Thank you everyone!

 

We recognized one student as part of our ‘Respectful Raiders’ this week.  We acknowledged Quadjea Thomas for turning in lost cash ($20) to the Main Office.  Thank you Quadjea for demonstrating good character!

 

Athletically, our tennis team lost to High School South and Wall this week.  Our boys soccer team lost to Jackson Memorial and Southern, but recorded their first victory versus Brick Township on Saturday.  Our field hockey team lost to Jackson and High School South, but beat Barnegat on Friday.  Congratulations Coach Clark!  Our girls soccer team lost to Jackson Memorial and Brick, but beat Southern this week.  Our volleyball team continues to impress as we beat Southern and Jackson this week!  Keep up the great work!  Our gymnastics team lost at Brick Memorial on Thursday and our football team lost at home versus Brick Memorial.

 

Freshmen Academy

 

We continued with the Penny Wars for Oceans of Love.  Teachers selected the September monthly award recipients to be announced on the 18th (Most Spirited, Most Improved, Best All Around, and September Character Trait – Good Manners).

 

Attendance Matters

 

I will be tackling the issue of ‘chronic absenteeism’ and will be reporting back to you.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

 

• Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school. • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read. • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.  (Attendance Works)

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

• Set a regular bed time and morning routine. • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before. • Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots. • Introduce your child to her teachers and classmates before school starts to help her transition. • Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning. • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent. • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session. (Attendance Works)

 

Character Counts

 

Being responsible is an important character trait to producing well educated and highly ethical graduates.  We define ‘Responsibility’ as taking care of your duties and answering for your actions.  We are looking to educate our students to assume responsibility for their school outcomes.  Please engage your child in a discussion how they can become more responsible for their outcomes.  Our goal at East is to:

 

 

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

 

Review your report card, not just the grades, but also the comments regarding behavior and habits.  Do a self-evaluation of your efforts in the class.  Determine your strengths and areas in need of improvement.  Write them down.  Then, meet with your teacher to discuss areas he/she feels you need to improve.  Together, develop a plan of how to overcome this obstacle and make a goal on the needed improvement.  Discuss how you will monitor the progress and celebrate your success!           

 

This Week at East (10/17 – 10/21)

 

The big event this week is the PSAT test on Wednesday, October 19th.  History teachers, Mr. Kevin Cohen and Mr. Matt Malagiere, will conduct a lesson on segregation to all freshman students in the morning and our PE teachers will conduct a lesson on health and fitness to our seniors in the gym while the sophomores and juniors participate in the PSATs.

 

Our Behavior, Attendance, and Curriculum Committees are meeting this week to further last month’s goals.  Our Student Assistance Counselor will be conducting mandatory training for all staff members during conference periods on substance abuse and PESS reporting.  Assistant principal, Mr. Kevin McCann, will be conducting workshops to interested staff on classroom management techniques to improve student achievement Thursday and Friday.  Ms. Jillian Dispoto will be conducting a workshop to interested staff members on Transgender student rights.  I will be participating in a district principal meeting to discuss issues of concern.  If interested, our Tea and Truth will meet on Tuesday in the Media Center at 6:00 PM.

 

We begin our Anti-School Violence Week on Monday.  Security Officer, Mr. Ed Kayler, is coordinating the activities to promote positive school behavior.  We will be running our Clue and Clueless (Lucy and Ethel) bits during morning announcements and our anti-bullying, domestic violence, child abuse, and safety tips during lunch periods.  Members of our Safety Team will act out scenarios to support our message.

 

I look forward to another positive week.

 

Issues

 

I do not have any issues to report at this time.

 

Information

 

The PSAT is on Wednesday, 10/19/16 for all 10th and 11th graders.  Ocean County College is hosting a Fall Open House on Thursday, October 20th from 6pm-8pm.  Call 732-255-0400 ext. 2960 to register.  Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 11/18/16. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  The registration deadline for the December 3rd SAT is 11/3/16.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The registration deadline for the December 10th ACT is 11/4/16.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  Ms. Cavanaugh from the Ocean County Arts Program is coming to HSE on Thursday, October 27th to give a presentation to students during their lunch period.  College visits the week of 10/17/16: Lycoming College, Champlain College, Washington College, University of Maine, Georgian Court University, York College of PA, Drexel University, Monmouth University, Rowan University, Drew University, University of Tampa, Cabrini College, Felician University.  Students need to sign up in the guidance office.

 

The Thespian Honor Society is hosting a Flapjack Fundraiser breakfast on Saturday, October 29, 2016 at Applebee’s in the Ocean County Mall between 8 AM and 10 AM.

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!

Mr. Thomas, Principal

Week in Review (10/3 – 10/7)

We began our Week of Respect with morning announcements from staff members providing messages recalling examples of respect being demonstrated by them or to them of personal value and significance.  We followed the message with our morning songs connected to the theme.  Students provided messages on our announcement to ensure that we are all committed to demonstrating the ideals inherent in Respect.  Students were asked to think about what respect means and to appreciate the patience and wisdom teachers bring to the classroom each day.  Every homeroom teacher was also asked to present a lesson on Respect to further define the importance of this character pillar to becoming a responsible and productive citizen.    We held our Tea and Truth Tuesday evening for families impacted by substance abuse.  

Wednesday was our ‘Respect Yourself Day’.  We provided announcements and tips on how to raise your level of self-respect and to challenge yourself to reflect on what makes you, YOU.  Staff members supported breast cancer awareness by wearing pink.  We held our Core Team meeting Wednesday morning to review school safety, student issues, and staff concerns to ensure we are all aware of common problems and are prepared to support the needs of our stakeholders.  We held our faculty meeting after school and I discussed miscellaneous school issues and staff procedures to address.  I recognized the accomplishments of several staff members who have gone above and beyond to support our student and staff needs.  I concluded the meeting with a discussion of creating a culture of excellence at East.  We talked about school improvement and discussed common variables inherent in all high achieving schools.  Staff members were provided with opportunities to describe what does excellence in education look like and what we can do as an educational community to achieve a culture of excellence in our building.  We will build on this discussion.

We held our monthly fire drill on Thursday morning with no observable issues of concern.  We discussed over the announcements how respecting others leads us to tolerance, the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.  We value this pillar at East.  Students were challenged to think of a belief or opinion of someone that you did not agree with and to try to look at it from a different point of view.  Empathy, or the ability to understand the feelings of others, was a great place to start.  Our ScIP Committee met after school on Thursday to discuss how we were going to support our new teacher mentoring program, professional development plan, and our Danielson observation model.  We created a Google Classroom to post important information to support the committee objectives.    

On Friday, we held our ‘Respect Your School Day’.  The theme centered on leaving everything better than when you found it.  Students were challenged in the daily announcements to reflect on how they will leave East better than when they arrived and what memories will they leave with.  The daily challenge conveyed the importance of being on time and to respect that we all have a job to do.  When we are late, we impact others.  The band paraded through the hallways once again during 8th period in celebration of another wonderful week at East!  

I wanted to acknowledge the efforts of our football team Friday night.  I was very proud of the boys as they demonstrated a competitive spirit against a very good team.  The kids played with pride for their school and community, I noticed!  The band sounded amazing and Raider Nation really made for a tremendous atmosphere.  The kids were having fun and regardless of the score, supported each other.  I was a proud principal Friday and wanted all of our parents to know how much I appreciate our children!  

Congratulations to Ms. Carol Ann Salvaggione for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Ms. Salvaggione organized the district College Night at the Jersey Shore at the Pine Belt Arena Thursday evening.  I was impressed with the level of participation and number of students that attended.  Ms. Salvaggione spent months preparing for this evening in an effort to promote college and career connections.  I attended as a parent and appreciated the efforts having the variety of schools in one area to meet with and discuss entrance-related questions.  Great job Ms. Salvaggione!  

Congratulations to Ms. Amanda Gregorek for being recognized as our Mentor of the Month.  Ms. Gregorek is very generous with her time and displays Raider pride with all of the students she has mentored.  She is organized, thorough, and attentive to both the needs of the students as well as the needs of the mentoring program.  She enthusiastically takes on the role of a school mentor.  Thank you Ms. Gregorek for going above and beyond!

I recognized Mr. Ed Kayler on Monday as part of our Excellence is Everywhere initiative.  Mr. Kayler is working hard to support our Character Counts program through his daily announcements and messages supporting our character pillars.  Many of you probably hear his music selections in the morning.  Mr. Kayler chooses the songs as they relate to the message for the day.  I recognized Mr. Phil Beachy on Tuesday for his efforts to support the Week of Respect.  Mr. Beachy was the former Commanding Officer of Lakehurst Naval Base.  Mr. Beachy exudes respect and was a perfect choice to share out a personal story of respect to our students.  Mr. Beachy works hard, values his profession, and prides himself in helping others to become better people.  He adds tremendous value to our school.  On Thursday, I recognized Mr. Tim Gilmartin.  Mr. Gilmartin is filling in for Mrs. Kimberly Cowan with our special needs students.  Mr. Gilmartin has done a tremendous job organizing the program and supporting his student needs.  Thank you Mr. Gilmartin for caring!  I recognized Ms. Carol Ann Salvaggione on Friday for her efforts putting our district College Night together.  Ms. Salvaggione is always going above and beyond for our children.  I receive numerous emails every year from parents acknowledging her efforts.  Ms. Salvaggione comes to work every day and puts in a shift!  Thank you Ms. Salvaggione.  

We recognized one student as part of our ‘Respectful Raiders’ this week.  We acknowledged Ellie Thomas for demonstrating respect and tolerance towards her peers.  Ellie took the time to ensure all of her peers had partners in gym class.  Thank you Ellie for being someone who cares about the well-being of others.  

Athletically, we had a good week.  Our tennis team lost to High School North, but beat Brick Memorial.  Our field hockey team lost to High School North and Central Regional.  We tied Brick on Wednesday.  Our volleyball continues to impress.  We beat Brick and High School South, but lost to High School North.  Our boys soccer team lost to High School South and Brick Memorial this week.  Our girls soccer team beat High School South and tied Brick Memorial.  Our gymnastics team lost to Shore Regional and Southern.  Our football team lost to High School North Friday evening.  Keep working kids, good things are going to happen!

Freshmen Academy

Academy students presented their Student Government speeches this week.  Our academy teams are working on the Penny Wars to raise money for Oceans of Love.  Our academy teachers met and are in the planning process to organize our Field Day.  Officer Degrandis will be meeting with the kids next week to discuss school expectations, rules, and his role as our Sight Resource Officer.

Attendance Matters

Congratulations to Madison Gatanis, Kyril Kavestky, and Dillon Clark for being acknowledged for perfect attendance with the month of September.  Each student received a WaWa gift card as our appreciation for their commitment to their education.  Congratulations to Mrs. Kristen Mason and Mrs. Jackie O’Keefe for winning the homeroom with the best percentage of student attendance for the month of September.  Both homerooms will receive a bagel and donut breakfast for their efforts!  Congratulations Mrs. Mason and Mrs. O’Keeffe.

I reviewed our September attendance data and shared with the staff last week.  Comparing September 2015 with September 2016, we have approximately 94 fewer absences this year, but 15 more recorded lates to school.  We also have 86 fewer students with perfect attendance than the previous year (I was disappointed to receive this information).  Our juniors were our biggest attendance issues in terms of absences from school this month.  Mondays and Fridays continue to be our worst attended days of school (both absences and lates).  Our seniors are our class with the worst daily average of lates to school.  Daily attendance rates for our 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades were 96.8%, 95.7%, 93.8%, and 94.1%, respectively.  I am looking to improve upon these numbers.  I have a very detailed breakdown of our numbers, and will present each month.

Character Counts

Congratulations to Ashley Kelly and Mike Bonafide for being recognized as our Character Counts Students-of-the-Month!  Both Ashley and Mike were recognized by their peers and teachers for demonstrating respect to others.  Ashley and Mike were provided with a certificate and a Character Counts t-shirt.  Their picture is located in the trophy case as soon as you enter the building by the cafeteria lobby and will be portrayed in our Charter Counts Wall by Guidance as well.  Thank you Ashley and Mike for being positive reflections of our school community.  

I reviewed September’s behavior data.  Comparing September 2015 with September 2016, we observed similar trends in data (number and types of referrals).  Our behavioral issue of concern continues to be attendance related (lates to school and class cuts).  We will be working through our Behavior Committee to reduce these issues and will continue to implement character education within the school setting to support our expectations.  Students that continue to fail to meet school attendance policies will inevitably lose course credit and school privileges.  I will continue to break our numbers down each month and present in our newsletters.    

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I ran across this article and thought it would be something our students should read to make improvements to school outcomes this year.  Let me know if this works for you!

https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/8-things-try-school-year.html

This Week at East (10/10 – 10/14)

We are holding district professional development for all staff members on Monday.  We are holding our Community Outreach Committee meeting Tuesday after School.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders are conducting a mentor-mentee activity on Thursday called “Minute to Win It”.  I am teaching a lesson to Mrs. Erin Cosentino’s students about Diamonds on Friday.  We have our Homecoming game Friday evening and our dance Saturday.  I am looking forward to a fun week!    

 

Issues

Please be reminded PSATs will be held on Wednesday, October 19th at High School East.  We are asking that ALL of our sophomore and junior students be in attendance to take the test between 7:15 AM and 10:30 AM.  Our freshmen students will report to the cafeteria for an assembly on ‘Tolerance’; hosted by Mr. Kevin Cohen and Mr. Matt Malagiere.  Our seniors will be presented with a fitness and health lesson by our PE department teachers in the gymnasium.  

Information

East student, Isabella Wiley, is looking to support Soles4Souls this month.  Soles4Souls is a nonprofit global social enterprise that fights poverty with shoe donations.  They accept any shoes in any condition and gift them to children and adults in need.  If you are interested in donating (I know I am), please feel free to bring the shoes to the Main Office, Guidance, and/or CST.  We will hold for Isabella to donate on the 4th of November.  Thank you Isabella for thinking of others!  

We will welcome military recruiters on the last Friday of every month (exceptions for November, December, and June) in the cafeteria during lunch periods.  We have confirmed 10/28, 11/18, 12/17, 1/28, 2/24, 3/31, 4/28, 5/26 for the visits.  

The guidance counselors have started meeting with seniors to provide them with college information and an unofficial copy of his/her transcript.  Seniors are also being asked to complete a senior questionnaire.  The responses gathered will be used to present workshops to help guide students through their educational and career planning.  Any course dropped after October 14, 2016 will result in a withdrawal grade on the student's transcript.  The PSAT is on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.  It's free to all 10th & 11th graders.  Ocean County College is hosting a Fall Open House on Thursday, October 20th from 6pm-8pm.  Call 732-255-0400 ext. 2960 to register.  The SAT is on November 5, 2016.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The ACT is on December 10, 2016.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

HS South is sponsoring a Free Cardiac Arrest Screening with Deborah Hospital Foundation on October 22 from 8-4 in HS South's cafeteria.

This event is open to all ages 12-19 but you must register online at www.deborahfoundation.orgwww.deborahfoundation.org  

COLLEGE  VISITS – October                         

        

Tuesday        10/11        9:45        Castleton University

Tuesday        10/11        10:30        Bryant University

                        

Friday        10/14        8:00        St. Peter’s University

                        

Monday        10/17        10:30        Lycoming College

Monday        10/17        11:15        Champlain College

                        

Tuesday        10/18        8:00        Washington College

Tuesday         10/18        9:45        University of Maine

Tuesday        10/18        10:30        Georgian Court University

Tuesday        10/18        11:15        York College of Pennsylvania

                        

Wednesday        10/19        10:30        Drexel University

Wednesday        10/19        11:15        Monmouth University

                        

Thursday        10/20        9:00        Rowan University

Thursday        10/20        9:45        Drew University

                        

Friday        10/21        8:00        University of Tampa

Friday        10/21        9:00        Cabrini College

Friday        10/21        10:30        Felician College

                        

Monday        10/24        8:00        Seton Hall University

Monday        10/24        9:45        Hofstra University

Monday        10/24        11:15        Florida Atlantic University

                        

Tuesday        10/25        8:00        Albright College

Tuesday        10/25        9:45        William Paterson University

                        

Wednesday        10/26        9:00        Fairleigh Dickinson University

Wednesday        10/26        10:30        Widener University

                        

Thursday        10/27        9:45        Randolph-Macon College

Thursday        10/27        11:15        Wagner College

                        

Friday        10/28        8:00        Johnson and Wales University

                        

Monday        10/31        8:00        Dickinson College

Monday        10/31        10:30        Mount St. Mary’s College

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!

Mr. Thomas, Principal

We at High School East

are

Anchored in Integrity,

Devoted to Excellence,

and

Focused on results:

well educated and highly ethical graduates.