Kenilworth Public Schools

September 16, 2016

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District Information

Educating the Whole Child...


This week our Board of Education approved both our school and district goals. In the coming days, I will be sending you a call for participation on our strategic plan and we will find ways to include everyone who would like to be part of this initiative.

Above I have placed our vision of a graduate schematic above. Part of the work that we are embarking together starts a question: What do we envision each student who graduates David Brearley to leave our schools with?

The work that this question provides us to work towards will be strategic in development and process. Our strategic plan will foster a schematic roadmap for how we will get there.

At the core of this work is a whole child approach. The whole child approach harnesses 5 Tenets which are driven from nearly 100 years of research.

The whole child approach (as included in our vision of a graduate), targets us meeting the standard that ALL of our students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Below are several links from ASCD which provide an overview of each of these areas. I am looking forward to doing this work with all of you.


Tom Tramaglini

Healthy | Safe | Engaged | Supported | Challenged

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Board of Education Approves 2016-2017 School and District Goals

District Goals

Goal #1: We will personalize our curriculum, instruction and assessment to meet the needs of our diverse population.

Goal #2: We will be accountable for operating a safe, efficient, and effective school district.

Goal #3: We will develop and strengthen our relationships with community stakeholders through effective communication and collaboration.

Goal #4: We will foster a culture of high expectations by delivering a rigorous and outstanding 21st century education to our students.

Harding Elementary School

Goal 1: Parent Partnerships: We will positively affect our students through parent involvement by expanding the number of parents who participate more frequently in our school. We will use various methods to build better partnerships with our parents that include surveys, focus groups, incorporating the talents of our parents in our school events, and by adding new opportunities for participation. We will measure our effectiveness through surveys and attendance at all events.

Goal 2: Learning Customization: Our teachers will customize learning to meet the needs of our evolving student diversity through data driven methods. We will use data informed by multiple means of assessment to plan and deliver instruction that targets the student growth of every individual student.

David Brearley Middle and High School

David Brearley Middle School

Goal 1: Middle School Revitalization: Develop a plan for improving the middle school in the areas of programming (curriculum), culture and climate, as well as student performance. Through the work of a task force of stakeholders, we will develop and provide specific recommendations for changing our middle school which addresses the academic, social and emotional challenges our data suggests.

Goal 2: Differentiation of Instruction: We will develop and implement a simple model and classroom expectations for differentiated instruction that addresses learning needs based on data outcomes (Otus, Fountas and Pinnell, Benchmarks, MAPS). Upon the development of our simple differentiated model and expectations for using this model, we will provide training so we can implement this model with validity and reliability.

David Brearley High School

Goal 1: Reduce Student Failures: In each department we will examine our student failures and develop a shared set of interventions which we can utilize to reduce the number of students who we have that are not successful in our courses.

Goal 2: Differentiation of Instruction: We will develop and implement a simple model and classroom expectations for differentiated instruction that addresses learning needs based on data outcomes (Otus, Fountas and Pinnell, Benchmarks, MAPS). Upon the development of our simple differentiated model and expectations for using this model, we will provide training so we can implement this model with validity and reliability.

GREAT STUFF Going on In Our Schools

Mr. Sona's Brearley AP Environmental Science Class in Action

Mr. Sona's Brearley AP Environmental Science Class Dives into the Nitrogen Cycle - Below, our students are outside learning how the filters work on our pond. Mr. Sona introduced the “nitrogen cycle” to the students. In the lesson, the class explored the importance of the UV sterilizer in the pond (which kills excess algae and any bacteria). The ultraviolet light ultimately destroys the DNA which in turn kills the bacteria/algae. The exploration also included an investigation on how sponges catch the larger debris in the filter and how the porous lava rock contains a certain type of algae which breaks down the fish/turtles waste.

NY Times 9/11 Article Features David Brearley Student

A Wave of 9/11 Novels Seeks a New Audience: the Young Reader



Nearly four years ago, the novelist Wendy Mills was at the airport with her family when her son Zack asked a simple but wrenching question.

He wanted to know why all the passengers going through security were taking off their shoes. Ms. Mills gave Zack, then 9, a vague reply like, “It’s to keep us safe.” Unsatisfied, he persisted, and eventually, the conversation wove around to the Sept. 11 attacks, which happened before he was born.

Ms. Mills, who lives in Pine Island, Fla., and writes young- adult fiction, realized during that conversation that most of her teenage readers had no direct memory of the attacks. Soon after, she started working on “All We Have Left,” a novel about two teenagers — a Muslim girl named Alia, and a troubled boy called Travis — who are trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11. The novel jumps back and forth between 2001 and 2016, when Travis’s younger sister, Jesse, tries to find out what happened to her brother, who died in the tower, and fights with her grief-stricken father, who has become virulently anti-Muslim.

“I wanted to write a story that made our shared history accessible to them,” Ms. Mills said. “Here’s a whole generation of kids who weren’t alive and don’t know what it was like that day, and they’re not going to know the world before 9/11. It wasn’t a perfect world, but it felt like a safer world.”

click here to read more of this article

1st graders from learn about 9/11 and our heroes in their project with the Kenilworth Fire Department

Stuff just For Faculty and Staff

Harding Staff Information on Insight/My Quest - Grades 3 - 8

As per Mr. Bubnowski on September 12, 2016

Dear 3-6 Staff:

All students have been updated in Insight/My Quest and have been issued a license. As you finish setting up your class in the program and find a student is missing – please e-mail me and I will add them.

Be sure to see Nick if you have any other questions.

Attached is a parent letter that is to be sent home and reviewed at back to school night. Keep in mind that this program is not a “test prep” program for the PARCC – although it will help our students as the assessments do mirror that of the PARRC. This is a tool that you should use to reinforce the common core state standards and familiarize our students with the technology they will use come test time.



Blogs, Articles and More

Parents and partnerships

How Parents Can Help Improve Low Performing Schools - By Andy Hinds

“Where are you going to send them to school?”

If your kids are beyond the 4th trimester/insensate blob stage, you have probably heard — or used — this ice-breaker countless times at the playground, at daycare or preschool pickup, or at your local kid-friendly brewpub.

I certainly did.

In 2004, my wife and I got a good deal on a house in North Park, a San Diego neighborhood that was hit hard in the 60s and 70s by the rise of the shopping mall, an influx of refugees and immigrants, and the resulting white flight, but it seemed to be rebounding. Like many of the new homeowners in the area, we removed the security bars from our windows and high-fived each other as we logged onto Zillow every day. Pretty soon, there were trendy restaurants and artisanal donut shops popping up next to the payday loan businesses and head shops.

Click here to read more

Join the David Brearley MS / HS PTO

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Union County 4-H Club Night to be held on 9/23/2016 in Scotch Plains

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Want something added to the Weekly Roundup?

Contact Dr. Tom Tramaglini at any time...