Chester Superintendent's Newsletter

From Dr. Christina Van Woert, Superintendent of Schools

March/April 2020

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Black River Middle School Named a National SCHOOLS TO WATCH for the 4th Time!!!

We are very pleased and proud to announce that Black River Middle School has been named a national Schools to Watch for the fourth time in a row. Black River Middle School is one of only two schools in the state to receive this prestigious designation four times in a row. Our gratitude goes out to all of our students, administrators, teachers, parents and Board of Education members who have all made this impressive honor possible. To receive national recognition for educational excellence is truly heartening and well deserved. This serves to confirm all that we do to provide our students with such an outstanding, progressive and top notch educational program founded on best practices in educational research.


This is definitely a community effort and our gratitude goes to our entire Black River Middle School family. We also wanted to commend our Principal Mr. Andrew White, teachers Dr. Ken Piascik, Joe Pizzo, Kevin Cullen, Trish Pohan and Diane Basanese for leading our Schools to Watch Committee and to the members of our Parent Committee, Board of Education President Mike Tomasco, Board of Education Vice President Raj Shah, Educational Foundation of the Chesters President Namrta Shah, PTO VP Natasha Chandler, Janice Alexion and Steve Cespedes.

Come on out to the Chester Science Fair, Saturday, March 7th!

The 40th Annual Chester Science Fair is Saturday, March 7, and we’re excited to see the creative and interesting projects the students will present to demonstrate their knowledge of the Scientific Method. There will also be a wide variety of fabulous hands-on exhibits for students of all ages - including the all-new Mad Science experience; touch tables presented by the Center for Aquatic Sciences; and amazing and adorable animals brought by Rizzo’s Wildlife World - not to mention building challenges in the free-play Maker Space and so much more. Finally, don’t forget to drop off your baked goods in the cafeteria for the Bake Sale. Can anything top the unicorn cupcakes from last year? Come and investigate! We’ll see you at the Chester Science Fair on Saturday, March 7 – it’s going to be a great day of fun and science.

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Congratulations to our BRMS Girls Basketball Team for Playing in the County Championships

Congratulations to our Black River Middle School Girls Basketball Team and their coaches Terri Meierhoffer and Kathy Vespignani for making it to the Morris County Championships. The girls played hard and fought valiantly against Pequannock in a season where they went 12-2. The stands were full of cheering fans who came out to see our impressive team play. They made us all so proud with their talents and their winning attitudes. While they didn't win the championships this time, they will always be champions in our hearts!

Chester - A Community of Caring

Chester PTO and the Educational Foundation of the Chesters

The Chester PTO and the Educational Foundation of the Chesters remain two of the most essential elements of the Chester School District for their continued support of our students and faculty. In essence, so many of our most engaging enrichment activities and many of our foundational programs come directly from their support. This includes athletic and club stipends for our teachers, cultural arts programs, school supplies and materials. This year alone, the Educational Foundation of the Chesters will be funding our Kinetics Club at Dickerson School, our Chess Club at Bragg School and our Science League at BRMS. The PTO will be funding our Dickerson School clubs - Technology Club, Arts and Crafts Club for 1st graders, Art Club for 2nd graders, Fitness Club and Chess Club; at Bragg School - Technology Club, Art Club, Robotics Club, Kan Jam and Volleyball Club; and at BRMS - Drama Club, STEM Club, Student Government, Technology Club and Volleyball Club.


I urge you to support and join both of these worthwhile organizations. We are so grateful for their funding and for the many opportunities they provide our students, such as those listed above. More information about joining the PTO and the Educational Foundation can be found on our homepage under the Parents tab.