Woods Road School Paw Pride

February - 2018, Volume 5, Issue 6

Special Points of Interest

  • February 8, 2018: Family Math (Grade 3) 6:30pm - 8:00pm
  • February 9, 2018: Junk Jam Assembly
    - Pre-K to 2nd Grade - 8:50am
    - 3rd and 4th Grade - 9:50am
  • February 12, 2018:
    - No Preschool Monday
    - Science Fair (PreK - 2nd Grade) 6:30pm - 8:00pm
  • February 13, 2018: Science Fair (3rd and 4th Grade) 6:30pm - 8:00pm
  • February 15, 2018: Family Math (Grade 3) 6:30pm - 8:00pm
  • February 19, 2018: President's Day - SCHOOL IS IN SESSION
    - (January 4, 2018 Snow Day Make Up)
  • February 21, 2018: 1st Grade Music Show 7:00pm - 8:00pm
  • February 22, 2018: Family Math (Grade 3) 6:30pm - 8:00pm
  • February 23, 2018: PICTO Night @ HHS 6:15pm - 9:30pm
  • February 26, 2018:
    - No Preschool Monday
    - Science Fair (PreK - 2nd Grade) 6:30pm - 8:00pm (Snow Date)
  • February 27, 2018: Science Fair (3rd and 4th Grade) 6:30pm - 8:00pm (Snow Date)
  • February 28, 2018: 1st Grade Music Show 7:00pm - 8:00pm (Snow Date)

Letter From Ms. Jodi L. Howe, Principal

Woods Road School is proud to announce that Susan DiCenzo has been selected as the Woods Road School 2018 Teacher of the Year. She has worked in the district for twenty-seven years. Susan DiCenzo is currently a special education teacher working with students in third and fourth grade. Mrs. DiCenzo received a Bachelor of Arts degree in from Bucknell Universtiy, a Master’s Degree in Teaching, and a post-master’s certification in Special Education from The College of New Jersey.

As a teacher, she is a dynamic and caring and inspires her students in the classroom. Words like inspirational, professional, selflessness, kindness, generous, patient, are just a few that come to mind when describing Mrs. DiCenzo. She provides her students with a variety of activities through the use of differentiated instruction. As stated by one of her third-grade students, “Mrs. DiCenzo helps me with math and literacy. She teaches us really cool multiplication tricks.” This particular student wanted to make sure that his voice was heard when honoring Mrs. DiCenzo. With a testimony like this, we can see why she is so well loved.

As stated by our third-grade teacher, Peter McLaughlin, “Mrs. DiCenzo is a presence within this school and is known by all students and staff. She tirelessly serves as the HEA representative, attending meetings and disseminating information to the staff. She is regularly assisting staff members with their needs, serving as a liaison between the school and the union. She is respected and loved by all of her colleagues.” When asked of her favorite teaching moment during her 27 years, she said, “there are too many to pinpoint, but my favorite moments in teaching are when I see the excitement and joy of learning in a child's face, that is all the reward a teacher could ever want.” When asked for a favorite quote, Mrs. DiCenzo said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” by Maya Angelou. This quote is important to her because she hopes that the students who have passed through her door and the colleagues that she has worked with have felt cared about. She added, “if I can be remembered for that I feel successful!”

On a side note, Mrs. DiCenzo grows the sweetest strawberries that we know and generously shares them each year.

When asked what she is most proud of, she said, career-wise- “to be a contributing member of the school system she attended as a child.” Her ties to Hillsborough are very strong and she is proud to come from a farming family in Hillsborough that valued education. She never takes for granted that it took selling a lot of corn, tomatoes, and strawberries for her parents to raise and educate 7 children.

On a personal level- Mrs. DiCenzo is most proud of her family, the Hillsborough tradition continues with her own sons who are receiving an excellent education in Hillsborough, both starting out with strong foundations from our WRS colleagues. She could not be more proud to not only work in Hillsborough but to have her sons educated by a talented and dedicated staff.

Woods Road School is honored to have Mrs. DiCenzo as its Teacher of the Year. On behalf of Woods Road School, thank you for your dedication to our students and school community. Congratulations!

Important Reminders

As a reminder, if you are dropping your child off in the morning, please do not stop or park by the yellow curb or traffic cones to let your child out of your vehicle. For the safety of all students, please stop or park in the designated areas only.

If you are dropping your child off in the morning drop-off line, please park by the curb and wait for the buses to depart from the driveway. A staff member located at the end of the driveway will give the signal that vehicles may enter the driveway for the morning drop-off.

Vehicles should still remain in a single line of traffic, even if you have dropped off your child. Please refrain from passing on the left and wait in the traffic line until the vehicle in front of you has moved on.

I want to thank you for your cooperation in these important matters as the safety of the students and staff at Woods Road School is of the utmost importance.

Bus Business

The safety of the students at Woods Road School is of the utmost importance to the school staff. Every day we ensure that each child gets to their bus safely. The staff also makes sure all students being dismissed to the aftercare program or the library arrive and attendance is taken. If parents/guardians have any concerns regarding transportation issues, please contact the transportation department directly at (908) 431-6600 at Ext. 2690 or 2550.

Please be reminded that the school office closes at 3:30 p.m. daily. In case of an emergency after hours, if you can’t reach the school, please contact the Board of Education Office. Also for aftercare parents, please do not rely on leaving messages for aftercare on the school line after 3:30 p.m. but rather contact the Catholic Charities directly at (732) 343-4073 or (732) 934-2800.

Nurse's Corner

by Nancy Carroll, RN

February 2, 2018, is National Wear Red Day

Heart disease and stroke kills 1 in 3 women, yet is 80% preventable. For more information on supporting the movement to prevent heart disease in women, click on the following link

click here: https://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

February 2, 2018, is Give A Kid A Smile Day!

For more information on getting a free dental health exam for your child please click on the following link: http://www.adafoundation.org/en/give-kids-a-smile



Got lice? Here is some valuable information so you are not scratching your head wondering what to do next and where to turn. Lice are not harmful and will not cause disease but they do cause itching that can lead to redness or even abrasion at the nape of the neck or around the hairline by the ears. Lice enjoy clean hair and find it very easy to transfer from an infested head to a clean head when contact is made. In schools, a louse can transfer from coat to coat or from a bus seat to hair. Movie theaters, hotels, airplane seats and even the family car can hold a louse for 24 hours until it finds hair to climb. A louse cannot jump or fly. After a day, a louse cannot survive without the warmth and food from a human scalp. For very brief information and 2 videos, go to Hillsborough Township Public Schools’ website: https://www.htps.us/services/health_office/lice_information/.

Treatment of lice begins with a pediculicide once a case is confirmed. Depending on the level of infestation, it can be recommended that all household members be treated prophylactically. Family animals do not get lice. There are also professional nit pickers who will help treat the family and remove nits at a cost that is usually in the hundreds of dollars. Cleaning agencies can also be called to help with the initial vacuuming. The next step is bagging all stuffed animals and throw pillows that may have been in contact with the infected person. Place these in the attic, basement, garage or other storage area for one month. All bed linens and pillows, coats, hats and clothing worn within a day by the infected person should be washed and dried on high heat once the initial treatment is performed. Do this again in 7 – 12 days after the second pediculicide treatment is done. The American Academy of Pediatrics has excellent information on different treatments: go to http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/04/21/peds.2015-0746 and download the pdf. A well-known, FDA approved and recommended pediculicide that is available at local drug stores is Nix.

Everyday for the next 4 weeks, the hair should be combed with a metal louse comb while the hair is moistened with conditioner. As much as possible, nits should be removed with your fingernails. Nits are best seen in dry hair under a light or in the sunlight. If you want to be extra careful after the initial cleaning and treatment, have the infected person sleep in a sleeping bag for 3 weeks and wash and dry this everyday or so along with vacuuming the mattress. Vacuum the family car(s). Despite any feelings of embarrassment, it is polite to warn any person or organizations that the infected person has been in contact with especially when the person is considered infested.

In case you need even more information, another great site to peruse is: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html . Lice have been around since the beginning of time. If you get a note from the school nurse about lice in the classroom, it might be worth reading and practicing an ounce of prevention. A great way to start is having your child put their coat in a plastic bag or stuffing it into their back-pack before hanging it in the school closet. For girls and Mothers with long hair, pull it up and off the shoulders. Periodically, check your child’s hair for signs of lice or ask your school nurse for help if you are suspicious.

Mrs. Guastella's Counselor Connection

Happy February! It’s hard to believe that we are already a full month into the new year and halfway through the school year. Throughout this exciting year, we have been continuing to meet all together as a school at our monthly Character Education assemblies. At the monthly assemblies, we have been introducing “Kindness Challenges.” The Great Kindness Challenge is a national challenge where schools across the country participate in a week’s long event of completing as many kindness challenges as possible. Woods Road has decided to fine-tune the challenge into a year-long event where they are presented with five challenges per month. Posters for each challenge are hung around the school and each time a staff member witnesses a student completing a challenge, they are given a paper paw with their name on it to be hung on that particular poster. For example, one challenge from January was “Inviting a friend into a game/activity.” If a teacher were to witness this to occur, they would give the paw to that student and let them hang it up on the poster to be displayed. This has been a wonderful addition to the climate of Woods Road. The students are encouraged to challenge themselves in being the best version of themselves and completing kind acts on a daily basis. The Kindness Challenge is something that can be encouraged to be completed at home as well! Families can create their own challenges to be completed in their homes to promote an even more positive atmosphere. The students find so much joy and pride in being able to spread kindness, it would be a positive idea to have this continued at home as well as school. Feel free to click on this link to view The Great Kindness Challenge website to receive more information about this wonderful cause.

Shelf Talk

by Dina Stoff

This month students in Preschool will be hearing stories about Valentine’s Day, Friends, Community Helpers, Transportation and Construction. We will also be playing some fun games to go along with the themes. Students in grades K-2 will be exposed to folktales and fairy tales from around the world. Ask them about the differences in the same stories from around the world. Third grade students are working on a research project about one of the fifty states. They will be conducting research, finding pictures, and citing sources with a state poster being their final product. The fourth grade students will be going on some virtual field trips with the Expedition Tablets and finishing up their National Park Research projects by creating a postcard.

Students in grades K-4 will continue to visit the Library for Makerspace, they are having tons of fun with this!

Follow the library on Instagram @wrslibrary

Fourth Grade

by Katie Dallenbach, Lauren Falone, Marybeth Miele, Susan Piloto

Our fourth graders are experts in using technology! Students are becoming proficient in Google applications and beyond. Here is a snapshot of how the children integrate technology on a daily basis.

Our current unit of study in literacy focuses on research and synthesizing multiple informational texts found on reliable websites and interactive programs. One example of how they organized their thoughts was through the use of Google Slides. The slides assisted the students to organize reasons and supporting details of their personal and persuasive essays. Each slide contained one reason with listed evidence. Once they had planned their writing, they were able to draft their pieces in a logical, cohesive manner.

As a culminating project for our social studies unit on cultural diversity, the fourth grade classes used Lucid Press to design a digital product. The students designed a square to represent aspects of their cultures. In the end, the squares were put together to illustrate the classes' cultural diversity.

Fourth graders enrich their study of multiplicative strategies with a variety of online tools. Students can access a curated space with instructional videos for review. Digitized flashcards helps students to practice precise mathematical vocabulary to enhance their open ended responses. The EveryDay Math e-Toolkit is always available for students to access manipulatives in school or at home.

Technology is an integral piece of the 21st century learning experience. Our fourth graders are leaders in the school and leaders in using technology!


Hello Wildcats!

It's concert season in the music classroom as the third graders finished their performance. Our second grade had a successful concert on January 25, 2018, where they sang pieces that celebrated winter and the new year! Our first graders and kindergarteners have also been preparing for their concerts in February and March, and are excited to watch the older students model how to be a performer. Our First Grade concert is on February 21, 2018. More information to first-grade parents will be coming in the following weeks!

Our fourth-graders continue to master the recorder each and every day, as they have been progressing through their recorder karate books. Furthermore, they have started body percussion projects and have formed "stomp teams" to "verse" each other in class.

Lastly, our Pre-Kindergarten programs have been having so much fun learning to make music with their classmates! We have been having a blast with our "dance parties," and silly music games!

Happy New Year to All!


Ian Steege

Woods Road’s Third Annual Spelling Bee

by Dr. Margaret Niemiec

For the third year in a row, the third and fourth grade students at Woods Road have had the opportunity to participate in the qualifying rounds of the Scripps Spelling Bee. In November, information was sent home to all third and fourth grade students and their parents/guardians regarding the Bee. 41 third graders and 36 fourth graders decided to participate in the Bee this year. They were provided spelling materials from Scripps which included grade-level word lists and an additional guide, Spell It!, which included words derived from many different languages. On Monday, January 8, 2018, we held our third and fourth grade Bees. (These were scheduled to be held on Thursday, January 4, 2018 but had to be postponed because of snow days.) Each Bee was conducted in rounds. We continued the rounds of each Bee until we had 10 or fewer spellers left at each grade level. Third grade completed 3 rounds; fourth grade completed 4 rounds. At the end of the grade level bees, we had fourteen lucky spellers ready to compete in the School Spelling Bee.

Our Woods Road School Spelling Bee was held on Thursday,

January 18 at 1:00 p.m. in the all-purpose room. Our third and fourth-grade students, as well as the parents/guardians of the fourteen spellers, viewed the Bee live. Mrs. Rothblatt live-streamed the Bee so that other classes could watch. Mrs. Rothblatt has added the Spelling Bee video to the Woods Road School website as a news item.

After a total of 35 rounds, we announced Woods Road School’s 2018 Spelling Bee co-winners. They are Anushka Nair from Ms. Dallenbach’s fourth-grade class and Shaan Lodhia from Mrs. Piloto’s fourth-grade class. These co-winners will represent Woods Road at the Somerset Library System of New Jersey’s (SCLSNJ) Bee Spectacular to be held on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. Should either one of our co-winner not be able to attend, Shaymuk Joshi will attend as an alternate. Students, parents/guardians and members of the community are invited to attend the County Bee.

All 77 Woods Road spellers deserve a round of applause and congratulations for studying hard, trying their best, improving their spelling knowledge and showing great sportsmanship! And, Woods Road deserves recognition for serving as a model for Auten Road Intermediate School and Amsterdam School as they each are conducting a Bee for the first time this year!