The Cougar Connection

Washington Avenue School News - 12/14/15

WHAT'S COMING UP...

Tuesday 12/15 - 1st Grade Holiday Concert - 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, 12/16 - 2nd Grade Holiday Concert - 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, 12/17 - 3rd Grade Holiday Concert - 9:00 a.m.

Friday, 12/18 - Kindergarten Holiday open House 10:30 for AMK, 2:15 for PMK

Friday 12/18 - Report Cards Issued

Sunday 12/20 - Blood drive at Fish and Game from 10-3 - See flyer below for more info.

Wednesday, 12/23 - Early Dismissal

Thursday 12/24- Sunday 1/3 - School Closed - Holiday Recess

Tuesday 1/12 - Author's Day

Friday 1/15 - Early Dismissal

Monday 1/18 - School Closed

Friday 1/22 - Pizza Day

Friday 1/22- PTO Meeting- 9:00 a.m.

Friday 1/22- Family Fun Night

Principal's Update - Mary Quigley

Halloween and this December week are probably the most exciting weeks of the year for our students. Our music teachers, Veronica Shaw and Tracy Roskam, and the classroom teachers have prepared an enjoyable program of songs and poetry that will put us in the holiday spirit. For the children the opportunity to perform with their classmates helps build confidence and appreciation for performing. Enjoy!
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Kindergarten Registration will begin January 4 and will continue through January 15. Please see the district webpage for information regarding appointments and forms. http://www.chatham-nj.org/Page/8933


New first graders enrolling for the 16-17 school year are asked to register during the first two weeks of February. Students coming into grades 2 and 3 should be registered any time after February 15.

Please let you friends and neighbors know if they have children that will be coming to WAS.

WAS PTO President's UPDATE Michelle Lease

Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather! It's hard to believe it's the middle of December! Luminary kits will be available for pick up this week. Tables will be set up in the hallway by the office and you can grab them after the holiday concerts this week.

Thank you from the PTO

Claire Young for running the luminary sale! Shannon Matter for all her hard work publishing the Cougar Connection every week!

Kindness Corner-"Give Thanks & Give Back" Holiday Campaign

We are continuing our "Give thanks. Give back" program by making ornaments for Garden Terrace nursing home on Monday, December 14th. Last week 70 children gave up their recess on Monday to make beautiful holiday centerpieces for Eva's Village in Paterson.

Mr A. Was event updates

Hi folks. I just want to take a moment to bring you up-to-date on some activities and events we have during the next few months.


GOODIE BAGS FOR SOLDIERS - We asked that each of you, by grade level, bring in an item for a soldier overseas. We hope to get the bags filled by the break so please bring in your item by Monday the 21st. Please see the sheet previously sent for your grade level item.


GREAT WOLF LODGE - We have a few rooms left for our trip February 6/7. You can contact the lodges group sales dept or call me with any questions. You have until January 1st to get our discount. After that, the price could go up several hundred dollars. I was just there this weekend...what a blast!!!


RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS - Our annual trip is scheduled for March 12th at 3:00 pm at the Prudential Center in Newark. We normally get over 300 WAS students and parents going to this great event, with a discounted rate. We all sit together and have a great time. I sent an order form home, but please see me if you need another.


WAS GOES BOWLING - We hope to get an event at the new Plaza Lanes in Madison on the calendar. We normally do this on a Saturday in late March. Due to some changes at Plaza Lanes, this event may change from what it was in the past. Be on the lookout for a sign-up form sometime after the holiday.


As always, please feel free to call or see me about any of these activities. You attending is what makes these events fun, and WAS the great school

Author's Day

January 12th is Author's Day at WAS! We are very excited to have Daniel Kirk as our author. He is an award-winning author and illustrator of over forty books for children, including his best-selling series of Library Mouse books, Ten Things I Love About You, Ten Thank You Letters, and the middle grade series Elf Realm. Kirk’s newest books are You are Not My Friend, But I Miss You and The Thing About Spring from Abrams, and Ten Thank You Letters from Nancy Paulsen Books

Family Fun Night

Save the Date for the WAS annual Family Fun Night which will be held on Friday January 22nd in the gym. It's a great evening of bingo, prizes, refreshments, raffles.

Admission is FREE!

BOArd of Education Meeting MINutes

Recap by Christine Walls


Elizabeth, a sophomore at Chatham High School, opened the meeting by performing the National Anthem. She has recently returned from a performance in Nashville.


Jill Weber - Presidents opening comments: Clarified the board’s position on lights on the fields. There has been some talk around town and she felt it necessary to restate the board’s position: the board has authorized the use of lights for safety only. The football team was authorized to use this past week for practice before championship game for safety reasons.


John Nonnemacher, board representative for the township has decided to step down from the board. Jill recognized his service to the board and since he was not in attendance this evening will hold comments from other board members on his service until he can attend, possibly the Jan 4th meeting. Based on a public question later in the meeting, please advise an township residents interested in becoming a board member to contact the board. They will be interviewed and an appointment will be made to serve out the remainder of term (ends Dec 2016) and the seat will go up for election.


Karen Chase, Assistant Superintendent – discussed the “hour of code” activities taking place this week in each of the schools. PARCC assessments (presentation shown is not yet available on the website) There are 5 proficiency levels 5 PARCC so can not be directly compared to previous year results which had only 3 levels.

-PARCC participation is low versus previous years

-Grade 3 and 4 as high at 98% and grade 11 at the low of 25%

-No requirement to take PARCC in order to graduate

-Already sent out grade 8 math scores

-Just received some grade 3, 4 and 6. Will send out once sorted

-There will be no financial fall out for low participation rates; but likely an improvement plan required

-PARCC schedule - will meet to determine on how we implement in Chatham

changed from a 2 tier test to one administration due to push back from many

-grades 3-8 April 4 - may 13th (week still to be chosen)

-Science - May 25th


Finance - Matt Gilfillan, presented the framework for the referendum in the September timeframe-Proposal based on recent poll of the community. Stated that the focus is mainly on the arts; this has been openly stated. Since past investments have been in the classrooms and sports needed to bring the arts up to par with the success of the program


Discussion points:

M Clark - asked about lower priority for classrooms, if we add at Milton how does that help relieve pressure on the other schools. Dr. LaSusa said cost wise Milton is the least cost to add classrooms. This will reduce pressure in Lower grades as the district can move special programs from SBS or Washington back to Milton.


J Weber- if we choose to take the roof out of our capital budget then we pay $1.5M. If it is put for a vote then we would get 40% debt service and will only be .9 out of pocket. Board should recommend that we add this as a question. After discussion they board agreed to include Roof Replacement in the referendum as the debt service would reduce Chatham outlay by $600k if it was voted on versus using existing capital budget. Board endorsed proceeding with next steps (drawings and cost estimates)Work would not happen until 2017.


Public Comments: Paddle club - starting by High School student, Paul, with his sister and another friend. Would like to see this club become a varsity sport. Would be winter sports session. Primary activities run by Patty Hogan at Center Court, they have agreed to give the court time for free, once a month with paddle pro. 6 or 7 nationally ranked players in HS. Will be voting on in January as a support from the boosters and Chatham athletic foundation approved club support. Estimated cost is $1100 per year to be funded with help of boosters. The Athletic Boosters approved today. In general session the Board agreed to approve the Paddle Club provided it is self funded


Jane Devlin - Thanks to the board for taking input on homework. CHS principle had reminded to try to keep away from homework on schedule holidays. CMS includes this on the faculty meetings


Dr. LaSusa - Incident at the football game as a student took something they should not have. Continue to have issues with students, we need to more and more ways emphasize appropriate behavior to prevent a tragedy. Policy – will implement use of breathalizer at Chatham events


Board: all were in favor and will implement this policy.


Michael DiMaggio: Dec. 20th Fish & Game. Blood drive - students 17 and older can donate


Bill Heep - Jacyee: Report on sale of trees Last year gave about $30k back to the community.

COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS

Please visit our PTO Community Corner for more information on these and other community and programs. CLICK HERE TO VISIT COMMUNITY CORNER.

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