This Week at Brookside...

Friday, February 12, 2016

Classroom Spotlight - Speech Therapy with Mrs. Damiani

Listening is a foundational skill for learning which goes beyond just “hearing” information. Listening skills are part of the common core state standards (CCSS): Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing. This week, Mrs. Damiani, Speech-Language Specialist, presented a lesson on Whole Body Listening. Kindergarteners and first graders learned about the importance of listening with “your whole body”. After listening to the story, “Whole Body Listening Larry at School” by Elisabeth Sautter and Kristen Wilson, students were taught the importance of “listening with your eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet and seat”. Most importantly, the students learned that true listening is when “my brain is thinking about what the speaker is saying” and that “your brain needs to be part of the group”. Students engaged in various activities, such as completing rhyming worksheets, watching a slide show, completing a visual diagram, and hanging up a whole body listening poster. And finally, in keeping with a Valentine’s theme, the students also learned what it means to “listen with your heart”-- to care about what someone else has to say. Students discussed that it is important for each to have his or her own opinion but that it is also important to respect what someone else is saying because when we “listen with our heart” we can also answer with our minds.

Brookside School to Participate in NJDOE On-Line PLC Pilot

The New Jersey Department of Education's (NJDOE) Division of Teaching and Learning invited schools to apply for a chance to pilot for the Blended Online Learning Modules to support Professional Learning Communities (PLC). We are proud to announce Brookside School was selected to participate. This pilot has been developed by the New Jersey Department of Education utilizing the Connected Action Roadmap (CAR).

The CAR framework has been endorsed and supported by the Partnership for Collaborative Professional Learning, a partnership of the major education organizations and institutions in New Jersey. This program is intended to build the capacity of educators in New Jersey schools to work effectively in PLCs using the Blended Online Learning Modules to deepen their work. The NJDOE expects that the pilot schools will experience improved educator practice and student engagement during the pilot year by using collaborative structures to enhance the design and delivery of curriculum, assessment and instruction, as well as build a foundation of shared leadership responsibilities and collective commitments for higher student achievement.

Each of the courses in this collection has multiple sections with activities, videos, and resources. There are interactive tools and exemplars to allow teachers to gain a better sense of what is expected, and how they might be implemented. These courses promote using the online environment to guide the interaction and collaboration of your Professional Learning Community (PLC) to improve student learning. The Pilot Program will run from January 5, 2016 to October 31, 2016.

PARCC Talking Point of the Week

PARCC Testing Time Reduced This Year

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Governing Board, made up of the state education commissioners and superintendents, has consolidated the two PARCC testing windows into one and reduced total test time by about 90 minutes. The decision came in response to feedback during the first year of testing and a careful review of the test design.

The changes will improve and simplify test administration for schools, teachers, and students, without diminishing the goal of the assessment—to ensure every student in every school is being taught what they need to know in order to be successful in the next school year and, ultimately, in college or career.

PARCC testing dates for 2016:

  • Grade 3: May 2 - May 5
  • Grades 4 & 5: May 9 - May12


Health Office - Mrs. Bolton

Brookside Elementary School Students in grades K, 1, 2, enjoyed a safety session with Mel Gonzalez, RN of Hackensack University Medical Center. The students learned the importance of playground safety and bicycle safety. Ms. Gonzalez was even kind enough to reinforce some of the things that hopefully are part of your routine or a habit: seat belts for children and adults, no texting or hand held devices while driving and proper type of car seats and location of seating for children under 14 years of age.

Students in grade two truly enjoyed the video on Pedestrian Safety which took place in their very own Brookside School, compliments of the Bergen County Chief's Association.


Mary Ellen U. Bolton, MA, RN, NJ-CSN

Morning Drop and Go Safety Reminder!

We are still having many people not observe our requests for morning drop off. Please only drop your child off in the drop and go lane and wait for the cars ahead of you to pull forward without pulling out in the middle of the line. It creates a very unsafe situation for any students and parents crossing the road as well as creates the opportunity for a potential accident.

The maximum amount of time it takes from the back of the line to the front is approximately one minute. A small bit of patience in this area will assist us to ensure everyone's safety. It will also assist with cones not being run over and becoming stuck under cars. Also please do not drop students off outside of the line and have them walk in-between cars as this also is a very unsafe practice.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

Homework for students going on Vacation

Recently there have been some parents who have asked about our policy on requesting work for students who will be out of school because of family vacations. The following is what is stated in our K – 5 handbook:

“Research has clearly indicated that homework is most effective when it corresponds with what the child has learned that day in class. With this in mind, no homework will be given to those students who will be absent for an extended period of time due to vacation. In place of formal homework, the classroom teacher will design assignments on a case-by-case basis.”

Please be aware that parents who ask for work for their children going on vacation will be directed to this policy.

Brookside is now on TWITTER!!

Please follow all the great things happening at Brookside by following us on Twitter!!


Our lost and found is overflowing with all types of items!!! Jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, and gloves are all items that need a good home!

Please stop by to see if any of the items may belong to your child!

Thank you!!

Brookside PTO

To help everyone have a better awareness of our PTO and what they are up to, please make sure to visit their webpage!

FYI Dates...

2/15 - 2/16: Schools Closed - Winter Break

2/23: ESL Parent Meeting - 8:30 a.m. - Media Center

2/25: BOE Meeting

2/26: PTO Theme Day