Cliffwood School Parent Newsletter

November 2018

Principal's News

Dear Cliffwood School families,


My favorite time of year, Fall, is here. I love the crisp cool air, the colorful leaves, the non-stop football, and more. I especially love Thanksgiving. I love the time with family and friends and, of course, the delicious food. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for all that we have. As I reflect this year, I am thankful to work in such a great school and community. I am thankful for the awesome kids who fill Cliffwood's halls each day with their energy and smiles that brighten the whole building. I am thankful for the students' families who support our learners, especially the ones who spend so much time at our school's activities, working to make the kids' experiences the best they can be. I am thankful for Cliffwood's dedicated teachers and staff who guide our children's learning and work hard to help our students. I am thankful for the great school we have in which to learn and the people who work to keep it in great shape. I am thankful for the resources we have, including the technology, books, materials, and good food to eat in our cafeteria each day. There are so many things to be thankful for this season. But I am especially thankful for the opportunity to serve as principal here at Cliffwood School. Each day that I come to school, I find another reason to be more CLIFFWOOD PROUD! I hope that all of our students, their families, teachers and staff, and the whole Cliffwood community have a wonderful Fall season.


Mark Van Horn, Principal

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Educators of the Year awards

Cliffwood School is proud to announce that we will once again participate in the Department of Education's Educators of the Year Program. This program integrates the Teacher of the Year and the Educational Services Professional of the Year. Do you know a classroom teacher or educational services professional who is dedicated, inspiring, and making a difference? If so, please take the time to recommend this person for the Governor’s Educator of the Year Program!


The nomination form is linked below for you to download and/or print. Please complete the nomination form and return it to the principal by Wednesday, December 19, 2018. You may send in a hard copy or email it to Mr. Van Horn.


Click here to view/download the nomination form and thank you for helping to recognize the great staff here at Cliffwood School!

Parent/teacher conferences are almost here!

Parent/teacher conferences will be held on Tuesday, 11/27 and Wednesday, 11/28. The 27th will be evening conferences and the 28th will be afternoon conferences. Both days are 1/2 days for students (1:20 dismissal).


Adults​ ​will​ ​use​ ​the​ ​parent​ ​portal​ ​to​ ​sign​ ​up​ ​for​ ​conference​ ​time​ ​slots.​ ​With​ ​the​ ​portal,​ ​parents can​ ​quickly​ ​and​ ​easily​ ​select​ ​their​ ​child’s​ ​teachers​ ​and​ ​choose​ ​a​ ​date​ ​and​ ​times​ ​for​ ​meeting.​ Parents can choose from the available slots on a first come, first served basis; once a slot is filled by a parent, other parents cannot choose that slot. The portal will open to choose conference slots starting on Saturday, November 10. Please click here to view a letter with details and instructions for using the portal to sign up for conferences.


Please try your best to attend these conferences. These meetings are key for strengthening the home-school connection. Teachers will be prepared to discuss your child's academic progress and show examples of work and assessments. Parents can ask about strategies for home that will support their student's learning at school. Here are some ideas to make the conference more meaningful:


  • Before the conference, review your child's grades online.
  • Before the meeting, talk with your child about his/her progress in school.
  • Make a list of questions beforehand to ask during the conference (e.g., Is my child performing at grade level? What do you see as his/her strengths? How could he/she improve?).
  • Ask the teacher what you can do at home to help your child learn.
  • Think about ways you would like to become involved in your child's learning and discuss with the teacher.
  • Make a plan. Write down what you and the teacher will do (and how often) to support your child.
  • Schedule the next time to talk with the teacher. Discuss the best way to communicate and set up a schedule to stay informed about your child's progress.
  • A small # of staff will be absent for conferences. These include: Ms. Perez (Spanish), Mrs. Bauer (Enrichment), Mrs. Maiello (grade 2), Ms. Lepre and Ms. Christie (Art). Please contact these teachers directly for conference info.

Happy Halloween from Cliffwood's staff!

Check out this terrific team of Incredibles, witches, crayons, emojis, social butterflies, super heroes, and many more! We love working with the great kids at Cliffwood School every day and wish you all a wonderful Fall season!

Cliffwood celebrates Week of Respect

In October, all Cliffwood students and staff participated in New Jersey's annual Week of Respect. Activities included an anti-bullying BMX bike show, students working with Mrs. Levine to paint positive messages in our bathrooms, and reciting/signing the No Place for Hate pledge. See below to view some pics from our Week of Respect. We thank all of our team members, students, parents, PTO, and many more for helping to make this year's Week of Respect a great time for all!

Thank you for supporting our Garden Club!

Wow! Your generous donations for our Walk-a-Thon totaled $606 for our wonderful Friendship Garden! A BIG THANKS to Ms. Minneci and Ms. Bowman for helping to organize this event and also to all of Cliffwood's community members who gave so generously! See below a few pics from this year's event.

November Dates to Remember

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming school events:
  • District closed - 11/8, 9, 22, 23.
  • 1/2 days for students and staff - 11/21.
  • 1/2 day for students only - 11/14.
  • 1/2 day for evening conferences - 11/27.
  • 1/2 day for afternoon conferences - 11/28.
  • Marking period 1 ends - 11/15.
  • PTO Star Student - 11/13.
  • School store during lunches 11/16 and 11/17.
  • PTO book fair - 11/27 to 11/29.
  • Report cards go "live" to parents on portal - 11/27.