Banyan Bulletin

Parent Newsletter for Banyan High School

Strong roots. Strong minds.

To educate students with learning disabilities by identifying individual strengths and abilities, continuously monitoring individual progress, and adapting the curriculum to to meet each students changing educational needs.

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Principal's Pen - Celebrating Black History Month All Year Long

Literature is power. It is so powerful that throughout history, literature has invoked fear to the point of banning, burning, censorship, and more. Why is it so powerful? It represents people, history, ideas, facts, theories, perspectives, realities. It challenges. Literature provides information that may align with our belief systems or contest them. It can offer differing and multiple perspectives, provoking questions and leading to searches for truth or deeper understanding. It transforms. Literature can generate a connection with and empathy for characters and people unlike ourselves, showing us that our reality is not everyone’s reality. And in doing so, it can change us dramatically from the inside out. In this way, students and families can use literature to introduce diversity into the home.


Black History Month started in 1915 with a man named Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D. Along with other African American exhibitors, Dr. Woodson participated in a three-week celebration in Chicago, Illinois, celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the emancipation proclamation. The celebration included exhibits spotlighting the progress made by African Americans over the past 50 years. Dr. Woodson’s exhibit featured Black history. This experience led him to form an organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), now the ASALH, along with A.L. Jackson and three others, and to establish The Journal of Negro History in 1916. In 1924, in collaboration with his fraternity brothers in Omega Psi Ohi, the Negro Achievement Week was created, with significant outreach through the journal. Dr. Woodson desired greater impact, and in February of 1926, he publicized Negro History Week through a press release.

Dr. Woodson chose February primarily due to tradition within the Black community since Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays were both widely celebrated in the community during this month. He wanted to build Negro History Week into pre-existing celebrations of Black history. But his underlying desire was to transform celebrations into a celebration of African Americans because he believed that the people created history, not just “great men.”

In 1976, the association started by Dr. Woodson replaced Negro history with Black history and moved from a week-long celebration to a month-long celebration. February 1976 was the first official Black History Month, proclaimed by President Gerald Ford, and every United States President has promoted the annual theme for Black History Month since the mid-1970s.

Literature also provides an experience. We can extend Black History Month and provide students with the opportunity to be represented, challenged, and transformed through varied, rich literature representing Black individuals, narratives, families, communities, and history all year long.

Please click on the link below to view the article in full and read the list of suggested literature:

And Introducing....... Alisa Giordano - Physical Education

Hi! My name is Alisa Giordano "Ms. G" and I am covering as the new Physical Education teacher at Banyan High School. I am also one of the head coaches for the basketball team! I am super excited to become a bulldog!

I attended William Paterson University and received my bachelors degree in Public Health. After graduation I was gifted with an opportunity to work at Parisi Speed School where I focused on working with athletes with disabilities. This shifted my career focus into becoming a physical education teacher.

In my free time I love to go to the gym, play basketball, spend time with my friends and family. I recently tried snowboarding, so on the weekends I like to practice and master my new hobby.

I am so thankful to be a member of the Banyan family, and excited to be working with amazing students and staff!

Classroom Spotlight: Working as a Classroom Team

What does a January door decorating contest teach our students?

Collaboration and socialization are key aspects of any workplace. Professionals across disciplines and industries collaborate, debate, and share. In the classroom, healthy socialization patterns can support student creativity and foster critical thinking.

Recent research shows that when students have more connections with peers in different parts of the classroom social network, they’re likely to show less relational aggression (which includes things like manipulative behavior). Better classroom cohesion correlates with less antisocial behavior and more trust throughout the class. Additionally, these interactions prepare students for the environment beyond the classroom.

As students generated ideas and created the doors for the challenge, they worked together in teams, advocated for their own ideas and shared in decision making for the final design. The result of the teamwork are the beautiful designs that are represented throughout our school!


PTSO Parent Corner: Latest Information from our meeting on 1/18

PTSO - Upcoming Events 2023

We would like to thank the PTSO for the upcoming Valentine Social on 2/14/23!

February :

  • Mentor Parent Program:
  • Check email for a form regarding this family to family link. New parents, please sign up if you would like to connect with a more experienced Banyan parent. Experienced parents, please sign up to help others!
  • Valentine’s Social on Feb 14
  • Check email for a Sign-up Genius if you wish to contribute items for the party

March :

  • Parent/Student Outings
  • Check email for information about social opportunities. In addition to large school-based PTSO events like BINGO, parents are looking to schedule various family based activities off-site. For example, someone may schedule a Movie night by picking time, place, event and invite other Banyan families to attend - meet there as a group and enjoy the activity together. Some ideas discussed are Movies, Theater Performance, Sports, Making Ceramics, etc. Prepare to join posted events and/or plan an outing for the group.

May: Teacher Appreciation May 8-12 - many volunteers are needed!


  • Banyan Olympics
  • Awards Day
  • Graduation

Next Virtual PTSO Meeting: Mid March: invitations will follow at a later date.

Senior Class Fundraiser: Double Good Popcorn


Sales Starts at 5:00 Pm on Feb 1st and Ends at 5:00pm Feb 5th

Event Name: Senior Class 2023

Event Code: UZBQME

Please us this link to purchase beginning on 2/1/23:

Important Upcoming Events

Here are some important upcoming events: