From the Principal
For all schools the Columbus Day holiday marks an appropriate checkpoint on how classroom routines have been established and positive relationships developed between staff and students. Of course, at Helen Morgan School the past few weeks have presented some obstacles on this journey. However, through this annex-closure process, the HMS staff has modeled for our students the importance of embracing obstacles as opportunities to get creative, share and collaborate with those outside our established and comfortable routines, and practice patience and adaptability. That being said, it would sure be nice to return the 5th grade students to their original classrooms and allow many of our related arts and services teachers to get back to their typical routines and procedures. I am estimating that this will all take place by Tuesday, October 16th.
For those new to this newsletter, the HMS Update is my way of sharing- in one place and in one e-mail- insights into the principal perspective, good news about our students and staff, explanations of upcoming curricular and instructional initiatives and a general snapshot of the Helen Morgan experience. Please be sure to check out the entire newsletter, I think there are some helpful links at the end that can help keep you informed of all things HMS. (For example: did you know that on our website we keep a log of the whole-school and whole-grade e-mails that we send home?)
Happy Fall, HMS. I think we are off to a great start, not despite of the aforementioned challenges, but partially because of them.
12. HMS PTO Meeting (10am). Invite to be sent separately; RSVP Recommended.
15. 4th Grade Trip to Sterling Mines (O'Neill/Martinka,Spence/Shepherd,DelCoro/Verhalen)
16. 4th Grade Trip to Sterling Mines (Gorecki/Smulewicz, Jennings/Pitzer)
18. World Language Club Begins
19. Halloween Extravaganza Night Event (5th Grade)- Details to be sent separately
23. Last Tuesday Explorations Class
25. Wendy Mass Assembly
29. Last Monday Explorations Class
29. Book Fair Late Night
5-7. Early Dismissals for Parent Conferences
8-9. Schools Closed
12. Early Dismissal for Parent Conferences
BE THAT ONE PERSON
Meet Mrs. Rivera
1. What and where was your first teaching job?
My first teaching job was teaching 3rd grade to 32 students at P.S. 95 in the Bronx.
2. Introduce us to the Rivera family.
Mrs. Rivera is married with two daughters. One in 9th grade and one in 7th grade. She has a large Bernese Mountain Dog named Reese.
3. When you were ten what was one of your favorite hobbies?
At age 10 my favorite hobbies were swimming and learning how to use a computer
4. If you weren't in education you would be...
If I wasn't in education I would be a baker or party planner
5. What has been your impression of HMS so far?
My impression of HMS is that it is a wonderful place to work, learn and collaborate. Everyone is happy to be here and wants to do the best they can at all times, which makes learning fun and exciting. There are many extra offerings to the students and they are excited to participate in what interests them. The students are kind and respectful and the environment is very positive making it a joy to come to each and every day.
6. On weekends we would most likely find you...
On weekends I can be found on a lacrosse/field hockey field with my daughters or spending time with my family.
7. What is one thing you want the HMS students to know about you?
One thing students at HMS should know about me is that I like to visit classrooms a lot and see what is going on. It is okay to ask me for help when I am there because I used to be a teacher and still like to help students in any way that I can, especially because we are all different and have our own strengths and areas we need some help in.
If we were all the same life would be boring! Being individuals is what makes us all special.
WELCOME AUTHOR WENDY MASS
Author Wendy Mass will be visiting Helen Morgan School on Thursday, October 25th. If you would like to pre-order her newest book, BOB, complete this form and return it with your payment to HMS by October 16th.
STPS Strategic Planning Process
If you are interested in attending please RSVP on the page linked above.
WORLD LANGUAGE CLUB
STARTING OCTOBER 18TH!!!
After a great turnout last year, the World Language department is proud to, once again, offer our after school program at HMS! The HMS World Language After School Program offers students the opportunity to learn the languages offered in grades 6-12. HMS students are taught by SHS students who are World Language Honor Society members. For the fall session, we will be offering French and German. Please use this link to register: https://tinyurl.com/HelenMorganWL Specific program dates can be found within the link. Sessions begin right after school and conclude at 4:30 pm. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mr. Layman or Mr. Lauricella (email@example.com).
Upcoming Early Dismissal Days
Monday, Nov. 5: Early Dismissal, K-5 only. HMS dismisses at 1:05pm
Tuesday, Nov. 6: Early Dismissal, K-5 only.
Wednesday, Nov. 7: Early Dismissal, ALL SCHOOLS.
Thursday, Nov. 8: Schools Closed
Friday, Nov. 9: Schools Closed
Monday, Nov. 12: Early Dismissal, K-5 only.
VIEWING STUDENT WORK
Halloween at HMS
HMS Halloween Guidelines:
-HMS students are welcome, and encouraged, to wear a costume. We do ask that all costumes are appropriate for the age of our students, are not overly scary, and do not include costume-related weapons.
-No students or staff members will be permitted to wear a clown costume.
-Please have any hair coloring or similar sprays and make-up applied at home.
-As per Sparta’s Elementary Student Handbook- class parties will feature creative, theme-based activities and we will strictly enforce our “no food” policy.
-If you will be visiting our school for any reason that day, we will not be allowing visitors wearing costumes access beyond the main office.
Your cooperation with the Helen Morgan School procedures is greatly appreciated.
Annex Remediation Update
We have not yet determined when the make-up day for our 9/20 closure will take place.
When we are able to return to the annex, we will resume with our previous dismissal pick-up process in which parents/guardians park in the playground parking lot and enter the annex gym to pick up their student. While our "valet" pick-up process has been getting positive reviews, staff availability, schedule disruptions, and upcoming cold, winter weather will require us to go back to the annex gym for pick-up.
What's up with PARCC?
2018 PARCC ELA: 3 x 90 minutes
2019 NJSLA ELA: 2 x 90 minutes
2018 PARCC Math: 4 x 60 minutes
2019 NJSLA Math: 3 x 60 minutes
For a comprehensive report on state assessments from the New Jersey Department of Education, please click here.
IF YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT:
If you have an appointment, scan your license in Lobby Guard. A badge will be printed. Do not peel the sticker. Press the buzzer to the right of the door, you will be buzzed into the building and MUST report directly to the Main Office. You will be provided with a lanyard and a plastic sleeve to insert your badge into. You will be escorted to your destination. The badge MUST be visible at all times and be returned to the Main Office at the end or your visit.
DROPPING OFF A STUDENT:
If your child is arriving late to school you do not need to scan your license in Lobby Guard. Sign-in your child on the orange “Student Sign-In” sheet. Press the buzzer to the left of the door, your child will be permitted to enter the building and must report to the Main Office for a late pass.
PICKING UP A STUDENT:
If you are picking up your child scan your license in Lobby Guard. Sign-out your child on the yellow “Student Sign-out” sheet. Your child will be called to the Main Office and escorted to you in the vestibule.
PICKING UP A STUDENT FROM NURSE:
If you are picking up your child from the nurse, scan your license in Lobby Guard. A badge will be printed. Sign-out your child on the yellow “Student Sign-out” sheet. Press the buzzer to the left of the door and advise the office your child is in the Nurse’s Office. You will be buzzed into the building and MUST report directly to the Main Office.
DROPPING OFF ITEMS:
If you are dropping off item(s) for your child, you do not need to scan your license in Lobby Guard. Please sign the pink “Drop-off” sheet in the vestibule and leave item(s) in designated area.
6th Grade Math Placement
As some of you may be aware of, beginning in 6th-grade there are different math trajectories based upon specific criteria including performance on various assessment and teacher recommendation based on demonstrated student effort and ability. 5th-grade math plays a substantial role in determining the pathway for your child’s future math career in Sparta. Please be on the lookout for more information from Central Office regarding placement and criteria in the near future. If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Arbolino.
K-12 Math Supervisor
HMS PHOTO ALBUM
4th grade math class
performing at back to school night
a special guest
a view from the reading garden
Where to find these on the HMS website
HMS REMIND TEXT MESSAGES
Do you have the STPS Blackboard app? The right one?
If your mobile app for Blackboard doesn't have the Spartan Head logo then you need to reinstall the correct app.
Here are some Blackboard/STPS App resources:
All guides and tutorials for the app and website can be found here:
Basic Steps for Installing the App:
1. Download the app (instructions here). You want the app with the Spartan Logo.
2. Once in the app, swipe and click the "student info" icon. Type in your login and pw referenced above. Once logged in, you should see icons for any of your children that attend STPS.