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Principal's Message
Welcome back!
August 21, 2017

Dear Smith Families,

Happy summer! I hope you and your children have had a wonderful summer. I spent this summer reading, relaxing, and recharging for 2017-18!


You’ll be wowed upon your return to Smith. As they do every summer, Mr. Best and Mr. Dzadik put forth a superhuman effort to prepare this building for students and staff. They dusted, they vacuumed, they waxed, they moved furniture, and they organized all the spaces you know and love. You’ll also see the smiling face of Smith School, Mrs. Amoroso. Throughout the summer, Mrs. Amoroso has been busy ordering supplies and instructional materials, processing paperwork for our new students, and generally making me look smarter than I am. These incredible people are the heart and soul of our school.
Finally, you’ll note that we now have class sets of Chromebooks available in all grade 1-5 classrooms. Our kindergartners will now have access to iPads for the same purposes.

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 5. Students in grades 1-5 need to bring a snack, as they will start the school year with a full day. Students will have the opportunity to purchase lunch as part of the 5th grade fundraiser.

Kindergarten students will begin the year with a half day. This half-day kindergarten schedule will run from September 5-15. On those days, kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:10 p.m. Full-day kindergarten instruction begins on Monday, September 18.


Back-to-School Night is Monday, September 18. Mark your calendar!

Important HSA events:
Tuesday, September 5 (first day of school): New Parent Orientation in the Library at 8:45 am.

Tuesday, September 12: New Parent Dessert Party in the Library at 7:00 pm.

Staffing:
We are very excited for the following staffing changes this year:
  • Chelsey Marzocca, who taught kindergarten and first grade in Harrington Park, joins us as a special education teacher. She replaces Ms. Rich.
  • Our new Basic Skills teacher is Kelly Powers. Ms. Powers comes to us from Passaic with nine years of teaching experience. She replaces Ms. Brave, who is now the Library Media Specialist at Stillman School.
  • Yuki Kikuyama replaces Sandra Buritica as our Spanish teacher. Ms. Kikuyama joins us after serving as a lead teacher at the Kiddie Academy of Secaucus. Ms. Buritica accepted a full-time position in Cresskill.
In other news, Ms. Chimento has officially changed her name to Rappaport.

2017-18 focus:
In addition to the emphasis on infusing technology in daily instruction via the aforementioned Chromebooks, we have a few areas of focus this year:
  • < > The aforementioned Chromebooks and iPads will offer your children daily access to technology. Students will use these machines to solve problems, hone their critical thinking skills, and acquire the technological abilities that will serve them well in the future. Throughout the year, our teachers will receive professional development in two key areas: how to use the technology and, more important, why to use it. We will not simply sit children in front of computers and pretend that activity constitutes learning. We’ll use technology as one more tool for helping our kids grow as learners.< > At Smith, we write every day for various purposes and audiences. Please ask your children to share their writing with you.Let’s talk to our kids. As I did last year, I will ask your children the same questions every day:
--What did you learn or create today?
--What choices for a healthy, active lifestyle did you make today?
--What did you do for someone else today?

You can support this practice at home by stressing the need for children to share details. When a child says school was “good” or “fine,” that’s your cue to ask the most important question of all: “Why?”

As you know, your involvement is essential to your child’s growth and success in school – and in life. Please talk to your kids about their schoolwork, about their friendships, and about their contributions to their community.

Important changes:
  • Birthdays. Please remember that no food may be brought to classrooms to celebrate birthdays. Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss opportunities for other ways to celebrate. We will highlight birthdays once a week during the morning announcements. We will recognize students with summer birthdays on their half birthday (e.g. July birthdays will be announced in January).
  • This year we’re striving to limit interruptions to instruction. You can help by remembering to bring the following at drop-off every day:

--Lunch
--Snack
--Musical instrument, as required
--PE sneakers, as required

When you send your child to school with these items, s/he is prepared for the day. We also limit the number of parents in the building (a safety concern) and phone calls to classrooms (which interrupt teaching). Added bonus: you save yourself an additional trip to school!

  • Class assignments:
    On Friday, August 25, you should receive an automated e-mail from Genesis with your username and password. You will then be able to log in to see your child’s classroom teacher. Please be advised that all class placements are final. Welcome letters and supply lists are posted on teacher class pages, which can be accessed from: http://sm.tenafly.k12.nj.us/. (Note that new teachers may not have access to their web pages until approximately August 29.) Additionally, you will have the option of updating your contact information by clicking on the “Contacts” tab
  • See you soon:
  • Over these next few weeks, please find some time for relaxation. We have an exciting year ahead. I look forward to seeing all of you and your children on September 5!

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Brian Ross

Brian Ross
Principal
J. Spencer Smith School

Governor's Educator of the Year Program
Please see the attached form for nomination information for the Governor's Educator of the Year Program.

/modules/groups/homepagefiles/gwp/1610205/2242175/File/NominationForm(1).docx
New Downey Drive Traffic Pattern
Please see the attached file for information on the New Downey Drive traffic pattern.

/modules/groups/homepagefiles/gwp/1610205/2242175/File/Downey%20Drive%20One%20Way(1).pdf
Welcome Back!
August 26, 2016

Dear Smith Families,

Happy Summer! I hope you are all relaxing, resting, reading, and having some fun! I officially started work as Principal on July 1, and I’ve had a great summer. I’ve spent time getting to know the school, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of you and your children. I cannot express just how excited I am for this school year – and, coming from a former English teacher, that truly means something!

When you return to Smith in September, you’ll find that every inch of the building has been dusted, vacuumed, and waxed. Our custodians, Mr. Best and Mr. Dzadik, have worked tirelessly to ensure that the building is ready for our students on the first day of school. At the same time, Mrs. Amoroso has been ordering supplies, processing new students, and attending to all of the details that keep the school running. Smith School couldn’t function without Mrs. Amoroso, Mr. Best, and Mr. Dzadik, so please join me in thanking them when you next come to school.

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 6. Students in grades 1-5 need to bring a snack and lunch, as they will start the school year with a full day. Kindergarten students will begin the year with a half day. This half-day kindergarten schedule will run from September 6-16. On those days, kindergarteners will be dismissed at 12:10 p.m. Full-day kindergarten instruction begins on Monday, September 19.

Staffing:
We are very excited for the following staffing changes this year:
  • Ms. Cheryl Shaw, who taught second grade at Maugham, joins us to teach first grade.
  • Ms. Kristen Schott resigned from her position to explore an opportunity in Costa Rica. Ms. Stephanie Cataraso, who has experience at Smith and Mackay, is our new fourth grade teacher.
  • Ms. Carlee Pagano will serve as Ms. Christine Apa’s maternity leave replacement from September through December. Ms. Pagano was a student teacher at Stillman last year.
2016-17 focus:
I’ll be asking your children the same questions again and again this year:
  • What did you learn or create today?
  • What choices for a healthy, active lifestyle did you make today?
  • What did you do for someone else today?
I’ll also consistently encourage your children to read every night. Remember that great opportunities to reinforce reading can be found everywhere; for example, if your child is watching the Olympics, you might supplement that viewing with an article from a newspaper or a web site. Never stop reading!

As you know, your involvement is essential to your child’s growth and success in school – and in life. Please talk to your kids about their schoolwork, about their friendships, and about their contributions to their community.

Class assignments:
On or about August 22, you should receive an automated e-mail from Genesis with your username and password. You will then be able to log in to see your child’s classroom teacher. Please be advised that all class placements are final. Welcome letters and supply lists are posted on teacher class pages, which can be accessed from: http://sm.tenafly.k12.nj.us/. (Note that new teachers may not have access to their web pages until approximately August 25.) Additionally, you will have the option of updating your contact information by clicking on the “Contacts” tab.

See you soon:
Over these next few weeks, please find some time for relaxation. We have an exciting year ahead. I look forward to meeting all of you and your children.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Brian Ross
Principal
J. Spencer Smith School
Contacts
+ Ross, Brian
Click on name to see details.
Files
 Smith School Carpool Guidelines.pptx
Smith School Carpool Guidelines

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