Spring 2021 Edition
A letter from Dr. Scott Rocco, HTSD Superintendent
Dear HTSD Community,
As we finish the last few days of school, our thoughts turn to summer. This summer (after the pandemic) will be like the summers we have grown to know and look forward to in New Jersey.
During the months of July and August, our school district will provide opportunities and experiences for our students to prepare for September. Like all kids, and like when we were children, doing “more school” during the summer months is not the most appealing thing. However, we will provide both academic and fun activities throughout the summer. From tutoring sessions to Pop-Up School Houses, to building orientations, there will be something for everyone.
Just like in previous summers, you will also notice a lot of construction happening in our buildings. Beyond our standard summer cleaning, you will see repairs and upgrades taking place at 18 of our schools. This work will include new flooring, portable classroom installation, window replacement, repair of an exterior facade, ceiling work, and secure vestibule installation. Most of this work is the final round of construction associated with our referendum.
The last 15 months have been difficult for everyone. I wish all our HTSD families a relaxing and enjoyable summer. While enjoying your time, please keep an eye out for information about our summer programming.
Finally, our district wide theme for next year is Hamilton Opens Pathways to Excellence (H.O.P.E). Recovering from and moving forward after the pandemic provides H.O.P.E for our students, faculty, staff, and families. I have H.O.P.E that next year, as One Hamilton, will be a great year for our school community. Let’s work together to bring H.O.P.E to HTSD!
Superintendent of Schools
District Curriculum & Instruction Update from Mr. Anthony Scotto
High School Update
Our 21/22 SY High School Program of Studies was released earlier this year. In addition to our current, robust course offerings, HTSD is pleased to add/revise the following courses for the upcoming school year:
- Honors Orchestra
- Honors Select Choir
- Drawing & Painting II (will now be an honors course)
- Business Administration (will now be an honors course)
- Intro. to Organic & Biochemistry will now be called Intro. to Biological & Organic Molecules
- Genetics & Biotechnology will now be called Genetics, Forensics, & Biotechnology.
For more information about our High Program of Studies, please click the link below:
In addition, check out our course offerings video for spotlight on courses (by department), teacher information, and student testimony.
Middle School Update
With the use of Title IV funds, the district was able to recently enhance the Grade 8 Applied Technology/STEAM Program. Some of the curricular upgrades are noted below:
- SPIKE Prime LEGO Robotics: "Experience endless possibilities through the combination of colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag and drop coding language based on Scratch."
- Motorized Windmill: "Build your own miniature renewable energy model to explore and learn about the workings of a clean energy system."
- LittleBits STEAM Kits: "Utilize the engineering design process to create, explore, and experiment. Discover endless invention opportunities while working through design challenges."
- 3D Printing: "Explore design challenges to create and print projects to solve real world problems, independently and in teams."
We see these curricular enhancements as a way to strengthen our feeder program into the high school (applied technology program) and further engage our middle school students in a design thinking experience.
In an effort to strengthen interest and enrollment in the district's instrumental music program, the district recently offered a series of "recruitment assemblies" for our elementary students. Band and orchestra teachers visited all elementary schools and hosted a "live" outdoor music performance. This experience allowed students to see and hear the musical instruments that are available for instruction in the Fall. We received a lot of positive feedback from these assemblies and hope that our elementary students/families will consider playing an instrument in the upcoming school year.
Professional Development Update
We are so proud of our Year I and II New Hires. Throughout the 20/21 school year, new hires actively participated in the HTSD (Four Year) New Teacher Induction Program.
Our Year I New Hires, met each month to strengthen their learning in the following areas:
- September - Classroom Management/Restorative Practices
- October - Legal
- November - Communication
- December - Technology
- January - Special Education
- February - State Assessments
- March - Working With Guidance
- April - Assessment Design & Implementation
- May - Professional Responsibilities
- June - Reflection & Goal Setting
Our Year II New Hires began the Action Research Process this year (and will work on their selected topics for the next two years).
- October - Goal Setting/Action Research
- November - Equity In Instruction
- December - Utilizing Technology During Action Research
- January - Inquiry Group/Action Research Update #1
- February - Social Justice Standards
- March - Inquiry Group/Action Research Update #2
- April - Progress Monitoring
- May - Inquiry Group/Action Research Update #3
- June - Action Research Report Out/Year III Goal Setting
We are pleased with our current implementation and look forward to updating the HTSD community as we begin the third year of the induction program.
Elementary Education Update
From Director of Elementary Education
Mr. Jay Morris
The HTSD is working hard to provide a meaningful in-person experience for our moving-up 5th grade students. Fifth Grade Orientation is an important time in the academic calendar where students are introduced to their 6th grade teachers and counselors, meet their middle school principals and work to become acclimated to middle school life. Student schedules, general school procedures, and getting to see the middle schools up close are among the activities that will take place.
Fifth Grade Orientation is scheduled on Monday, June 14th, 2021 in the afternoon. To facilitate 5th Grade Orientation, June 14th will be a full day for K-5 elementary students, and a one-session day for middle school students. Fully remote students will also have an opportunity to participate in the orientation.
This, along with additional information, will be coming home to you from your child's school in the near future.
Three HTSD Elementary Schools Receive Character.org "Promising Practice" Awards!
Greenwood: Broncos L.E.A.D.
McGalliard: Mindful McGalliard
Morgan: SEL Day of Play
Promising practices are unique, effective, and replicable initiatives that inspire "goodness in action" and contribute to the field of character development. Each Promising Promise aligns with one or more of the principles articulated in Character.org's 11 Principles Framework.
Secondary Education Update
Dr. James Altobello
- Our schools have welcomed students back to "in-person" instruction 5 days per week
- Our Athletics programs have been successful throughout the school year
- Our eSports programs have been successful throughout the school year
- Our Co-Curricular programs have been successful throughout the school year
Mr. Jim O'Boyle
As we move towards the end of the year, your school will begin to send out information for returning your device, if needed. This summer, we will only be collecting PreK and 12th grade devices as well as devices from students who are leaving the district. If your student(s) are in grades K-11, and they are returning in the Fall, you do not need to return the device for the summer.
**Summer Tech Support** We will continue to have tech support throughout the summer, however we will be limited based on the programming being offered. Specific dates and times will be shared soon.
Please see the resources for families below from Google:
A Guide to Google Meet for Parents and Guardians
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents and guardians have found themselves in the role of part-time teacher and IT technician — on top of their existing responsibilities at work and home. Google has created a guide to help make things easier for parents juggling their many roles at home.
New Resources to Help Families Navigate Technology
Explore Google's new hub for families with helpful information about popular apps, parental controls, online safety and wellbeing, digital activities and classroom tools. Find tips, resources, and content from Common Sense Media, Sesame Workshop, PBS KIDS, Headspace, and more.
Music Class @ Morgan Elementary School
🌎 Earth Day Celebration today at McGalliard Elementary School
Together with their students, McGalliard Elementary School installed a Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden.
Acme Markets and Dole Packaged Foods joined forces to provide McGalliard with a $3,000 grant. The grant was applied for by School Counselor, Marcie Tandy and 1st Grade Teacher, Angela Pallotti. The gardens were installed with the help of a Dole Packaged Foods representative and McGalliard's 5th grade PALS. Congratulations, McGalliard!
Event Video Links:
HTSD Class of 2021 Graduation Information
The Hamilton Township School District is currently planning a number of milestone events for our Class of 2021 seniors. These events must adhere to the current guidelines set forth by the New Jersey Governor's executive orders.
Based on the current guidelines and restrictions, the HTSD Class of 2021 will graduate in person at the Arm & Hammer Stadium on Friday, June 18, 2021 (rain date of Monday, June 21, 2021).
Live Stream provided by WBCB
Ways to Watch
Congratulations to our high school theater staff, actors, and crew!
HTSD H.O.P.E. Video Series
Jerry Katty, Nottingham High School Alumni, former U.S. Marine, & ➡️ Harvard University
Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin
Congratulations Nottingham High School Class of 2014 alum, Liz Clifford!
Free or Reduced Lunch Application - Please submit
We encourage all parents / guardians to complete a free or reduced price meal application to determine if your student(s) is eligible. Applications must be completed every school year. Parents need only to complete one application per household. For half-day Pre-K students, the application is used to determine whether your student(s) qualifies to receive free milk.
Applications are available online at www.PaySchoolsCentral.com or you may request a paper application from the main office of your child’s school. All new families must set up a user profile prior to completing your online free or reduced price meal application. Users with an existing online application profile can login with their existing credentials and click to begin your online free or reduced price meal application. Please note that if your household income changes at any time during the current school year, you may apply/re-apply.
If you have not yet completed an application for the 2020-2021 school year, we ask that you please complete one now.