Woodland Park School District News

January 8, 2021

Welcome to the Woodland Park School District e-Newsletter which is sent out weekly when school is in session. It serves as a glimpse of some of the wonderful things going on in our schools, as well as a point of reference for upcoming events.

Your Partner in Education,
Michele R. Pillari, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools


District delays in-person learning reopening

School District Superintendent, Dr. Michele Pillari, notified families Thursday that the District would not be reopening as anticipated on Monday, Jan. 11, but remaining closed with an expected return date of Monday, Feb. 1.

The decision was made due to the rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases locally, and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of students and staff. All students will remain working virtually on their current schedules.

Since the start of the pandemic, over 1,000 Woodland Park residents have contracted COVID-19. This works out to be about one in 12 residents. More than half of the cases (555) have tested positive since Nov. 1, 2020.

The District has received a surge in the number of school-age children and their families as reported to them from the Passaic County Department of Health. There have also been instances whereby individuals have traveled outside the state, as well as households with positive cases that have not been formally reported to the schools.

Read Dr. Pillari's full letter here.


Free meal services continues for all students, free of charge

Food service for all students will continue during virtual instruction. All students are welcome to pick up breakfast and lunch in a grab-and-go style each day that the district is operating virtually from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three locations for your convenience: the entrance of Memorial School, the entrance of Charles Olbon School, and the back entrance of School #1. Please pick up at the site that is most convenient for you. All meals are free of charge to all students. On Fridays, additional meals are available to last through the weekend.


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Spreading some holiday cheer

Several District teachers surprise their students with at home visits prior to or during the winter break. At top, Mrs. Casasnovas and her assistant stopped by her PreK-4 students' homes bringing some holiday cheer. Grade 2, Ms. Jones, stopped by her students' homes with New Year’s goodie bags. All students and staff were so excited to see one another in person.


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Celebrating the season

To celebrate the holiday season and work on fine motor skills, Ms. Gilhooley’s PreK-3 class at School 1 made holiday wreaths.


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Students have a blast taking part in first ever winter poetry slam

Prior to winter break, Mr. Pollicino's eighth grade ELA students at Memorial Middle School participated in their first ever winter poetry slam! Students wrote and/or performed poetry. Each class also created a holiday music video. In fact, the staff did as well for all the eighth graders! The judges for the event included Mrs. Ficarra, Mr. Segarra (other eighth grade teacher), Ms. Moore, and Mrs. Castrovinci. Winning students were Josue, Nour, Adriana, Madelyne, and Daralys. Each of these students received a Barnes & Noble gift card. Check out the video of the event here.


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Second grade students learn about ancient Egypt

Mrs. Makhlouf's second grade students at Charles Olbon School received a class visit from an archeologist! Kylie Thomsen, a friend of Mrs. Makhlouf's, is studying for her doctoral degree in archeology and Egyptology at UCLA. UCLA generously offered free classes on these topics to this second grade class. The students absolutely loved learning all about ancient Egypt and were provided with the opportunity to ask Kylie about her archeology digs in Egypt and around the world. Ms. Thomsen even showed the students how to write their names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Ms. Makhlouf and her class are very grateful to be provided with this special and unique opportunity.


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"Trapped in a Snow Globe" activity

Ms. Brunini's fifth grade class at Beatrice Gilmore School took part in an activity called "Trapped in a Snow Globe." Students found themselves magically trapped inside a snow globe and documented all of their experiences inside.


Grinch art enrichment

Shown are some photos from a fifth grade art enrichment session with Ms. Farrell, where students did some fun holiday art featuring Dr. Seuss' The Grinch.


Holiday drawings

Pictures on left are some of Mrs. Makhlouf's second grade students at Charles Olbon School working on their virtual holiday drawings.


Second Annual Spelling Bee is coming

We’re excited to ring in the New Year knowing we will hold our Second Annual Memorial School Spelling Bee in 2021! We’re committed to declaring a school champion and will have more details soon.

Memorial School families, please be on the lookout for an E-blast to learn how to register!


Coming up at the Alfred Baumann Library:

The Alfred Baumann Library will host the following children's programs. All programs are VIRTUAL unless noted. To view virtual programs, click here.

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 6 p.m. - Virtual family cooking class with Heather Shasa, ShopRite of Little Falls store dietitian. Join in to create healthy and fun recipes! An ingredients list and Zoom meeting link will be provided after registration.

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 4:30 p.m. - Virtual storytime with Miss Phil and Miss Sarah.

Thursday, Jan. 14, 5 p.m. - Books & Barks - Read in a private 10-minute session to Delilah, Ms. Parker's most adorable therapy dog.

Friday, Jan. 15, 6 p.m. - Virtual winter bingo - for all ages. Prizes are available. The bingo card and Zoom meeting link will be sent after registration.

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m. - "Chill out with STEM" in this engaging family program. Pick up your "make and take" kit from the Library and tune in from home for a hands-on, interactive, Zoom session.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 4:30 p.m. - Virtual storytime with Miss Phil and Miss Sarah.