Bear Tracks

Weekly information for Bear Tavern - December 4, 2015

Our Time is NOW...

Note from the Principal

Happy Friday Bear Tavern Staff,

It is funny. I had the premise of this week's message already crafted and the quote of the week already chosen, but today we got the green light to share PARCC results with staff*. It couldn't fit more perfectly with the message that I wanted to send.

While it's normal to reflect upon areas that we can improve and things that we need to do better, it is so important to put due focus on the things that we are doing well and the direction in which we are headed. Just yesterday, I found myself dwelling upon the idea that I haven't Tweeted many pictures recently and that I had wished I had gotten into a few more classrooms during the day. Then after school a former colleague came by to visit. I shared some of the awesome things that we have going on and walked her around to show her the school. She was so excited about the school and reminded me how fortunate that I was.

The PARCC scores (see below), while they are only one of multiple measures, are a concrete and glaring reminder that Bear Tavern is an incredible school with a dedicated, talented staff and tremendous students. My hope is that they will motivate all of us to not only 'keep moving' on the path that we are on, but to increase our energy, enthusiasm and confidence as we do so. Let's keep pushing the boundaries, trying new things and engaging our students with authentic learning opportunities that excite them and help them make real-world connections!

I am proud of our entire staff and definitely recognize that a great deal of work went into the results that I share today. I also recognize that EVERYONE in the building plays a role in the success of the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students that are tested. From the teachers who have helped develop their foundation for learning, to the specialists who help them think in different ways, the counselor, nurse and CST members who help support the social and emotional growth as well as physical well being, the basic skills and support teachers, the paras who help support learning in so many ways and the custodial staff who keeps the school clean and safe, all the way to the office ladies who make sure everyone has what they need. So many people work hard to make sure our students can learn and grow!

We have a lot of information in this week's Bear Tracks. Please take a moment to take a look.

Keep up the great work!


* - Individual results will be mailed before Winter Break. We will talk more about it as a staff and I will host optional information meetings on Tuesday 12/8 at 3:45 pm and Thursday 12/10 at 8 am (same meeting, just available am or pm based upon your schedule) to review sample student letters and make sure that everyone is prepared and comfortable.

PARCC Results grades 3-5

Click Here for percentages of students who met and/or exceeded expectations.

See graphs below for visual representation.

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PARCC Resources for YOU

Click for:

Parent Questions

ELA Information

Math Information

PARCC Website - with about a thousand resources

Special Reminders & Upcoming Dates

Important Information:

If you are expecting visitors/ guest presenters/ volunteers or are having a classroom party, be sure to let the ladies in the office know in advance, so that that they can greet and prepare the guests accordingly.

Den Group Future Dates:

  • Thursday, January 28 - PM Special Schedule Den Group Mtgs.
  • Monday, February 29 - PM Special Schedule Den Group Mtgs.
  • All plans and materials will be distributed in advance. March - June dates will be sent soon.

Signing up for REMIND texts (recommended for ALL staff)- simply text "@btstaff" to 81010. I definitely recommend that everybody sign up.

**Recreational Games Week Schedule**

When looking at the schedule use the tabs on the bottom to sort by time, by teacher or the overall schedule a a glance.


Please note there will be a breakfast (in addition to our staff breakfast on 12/16 and the breakfast from Pomptonian on 12/7) on Monday 12/21 that I would like to provide to with everyone a Happy Holiday Season and say 'Thank You' for all that you do.


12/7- 12/11 - Hour of Code Week

Monday 12/7 - Breakfast (provided by Scott from Pomptonian)

Monday 12/7 - RTI meeting (Teachers will be notified if they will need to come and will be given an estimated time - floating coverage will be arranged)

Wednesday 12/9 - Principal's Cabinet Meeting - 8 am

Wednesday 12/9 - STEM 4th grade trip TCNJ - 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Friday 12/11 - Pre K Quaker Bridge Mall - 9:15 - 11:15 am

12/14 - 12/18 - Recreational Games Week

Monday 12/14 - Grade Level Mtgs.

Tuesday 12/15 - TMS visit to STEM

Wednesday 12/16 - Staff Breakfast

Thursday 12/17 - Grade 3 Winter Formal - 1:30 - 3:15

Friday 12/18 - Preschool Collab Day

Monday 12/21 - Staff Breakfast (A Holiday 'Thank You' from me)

Monday 12/21 - Staff Meeting (at Maureen Farina's House)

Monday 12/21 - Lopez - Holiday Party 10:30 - 11:30

Tuesday 12/22 - Pajama Day

Tuesday 12/22 - Grade 5 Winter Celebration 9-10 am

Tuesday 12/22 - K Winter Celebration 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Wednesday 12/23 - Early Dismissal

Hour of Code Video (2 min 4 sec)

The Hour of Code 2015 - WORLDWIDE

Suggested Activities

Quote of the Week:

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Article of the Week:

Tweet of the Week (to highlight great ideas & people to follow)

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Tech Tip of the Week

Resources & Background Info. about the Hour of Code 2015 & coding in general.