Bloomingdale Public Schools

December Newsletter

Dr. Nicosia's Monthly Update

Before we begin a much deserved winter break, I wanted to reach out and share my gratitude for all you do on behalf of our students.

Reflecting on this first half of the school year, I am so proud of what we have accomplished together as a community. As I visit our classrooms everywhere, I am motivated by the love of learning being displayed by our students. Whether it be our youngest learners just discovering how to read for the first time or our oldest learners preparing for high school just around the corner, the nurturing climate and culture is ever present.

As a reminder, Friday December 23, will be a half day. Our winter break officially begins on the December 24th and schools reopen on Monday, January 2, 2023. Our administrative offices will also be closed during that time.

On behalf of the entire educational team in Bloomingdale, wishing you a holiday filled with peace, love, and joy.

Free Tutoring Program - Coming in January

Bloomingdale Public Schools is excited to introduce a free after school tutoring program for students in kindergarten to fourth grade! This program will extend the successful homework club already in place at WTB.

  • The program will take place immediately after school two times a week (Tuesday & Thursday) with each session being 45 minutes in length. MBD will run from 2:30 to 3:15 and SRD will run from 2:55 to 3:40.

  • We will run multiple five-week tutoring sessions starting in January and through the spring. Session 1 will take place on the following dates:

Session 1 Dates

Week 1: January 10,12

Week 2: January 17,19

Week 3: January 24, 26

Week 4: January/Feb 31, 2

Week 5: February 7, 9

  • We respectfully ask that families commit to attending all sessions during the five weeks. For the sake of the small group learning enviorment, we are unable to add students at different times throughout the session. If you elect not to participate in the first five week session, you are absolutely able to sign up for future sessions being offered.
  • Tutoring will be offered by district staff and groupings will be determined once sign ups are complete.
  • Sign ups are open now and continue through January 3, 2023. Sign ups can be completed at the following link: Link for After school tutoring program sign up

Congratulations Educators of the Year!

Teacher of the Year

Bloomingdale Public Schools is proud to announce Ms. Lauren Biello as the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year. Ms. Biello is currently a first grade teacher at Martha B. Day Elementary School. She is highly regarded as a master teacher by both her colleagues and administrators . Colleagues describe Ms. Biello as a tireless worker who goes above and beyond to ensure everyone, staff and students alike, find success. She is always available for staff to discuss lessons, students or unique situations and help guide them through. On the student end, Ms. Biello never shies away from a student. In fact, she often asks for students who struggle as she knows she is capable of providing a never-ending warm and caring environment. Building and district administrators marvel at the classroom environment Ms. Biello creates year in and year out. She exemplifies the idea of relationship building with students before academics and goes above and beyond to reach every child. Ms. Biello’s reach does not end at the last bell. She often hosts clubs for students in multiple grade levels to take part in such as her ever popular club, Fall Specials. Ms. Biello exemplifies each and every characteristic of a master teacher and it is with great honor that we recognize her as the Bloomingdale Teacher of the Year.

Educational Services Professional

Bloomingdale Public Schools is proud to announce Mrs. Krista Barile as the 2022-2023 Educational Services Professional of the year. Mrs. Barile is currently assigned as the School Nurse at Martha B. Day Elementary School. Colleagues describe Mrs. Barile as loving, caring, nurturing and inspirational. Students describe Mrs. Barile as “the best when you don’t feel well”, “having the coolest thermometer”, friendly and as “having the best water bottles in the school”. With over 200 students in the school between 3-7 years old, Mrs. Barile’s office is always busy. However, she never shies away from helping students. Staff describe her constantly going above and beyond her role as the school nurse. She always assists with students who have behavioral struggles and offers her office as a safe break spot for the students. Building and district administrators commend Mrs. Barile not just for her assistance this school year but the countless hours she put in during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. Barile was and always is available for the sake of her students and families. Mrs. Barile not only exemplifies the characteristics of our Education Service Professional of the Year but that of an outstanding nurse. It is with great honor that we recognize her as the Bloomingdale Education Service Professional of the Year.

Winter Weather is Here

As we shared last month, winter and the lovely winter weather are here in full force! Please be sure to review the article from last month regarding what goes into the decision making process to adjust the school calendar.

The decision to adjust the school schedule based on weather falls to the Superintendent of Schools. Below is information on how that decision is reached and communicated out to families:

  • All school schedule adjustments due to weather are announced via School Messenger (call, email and text), posted on social media and on the district website.
  • Bloomingdale utilizes a 90 - minute delayed opening during times that we feel a later start could allow us to open school. Students that take a bus should arrive at their stop 90 minutes later than usual. Students that get dropped off should arrive at school 90 minutes later than normal.
  • Early Dismissal - in the rare occasion that we need to close school early, we will make every effort to announce this the night before. We understand the impact that announcing a same day early closure has on families and attempt to only use it as a last resort.
  • In the event that we cannot open school, we will make every effort to announce this decision by 6 am. We understand that last minute school closures impact families and thus, we attempt to give as much notice as possible.

Beginning this year, the Board of Education has entered into a shared service agreement with the Borough of Bloomingdale to take over plowing and salting of our parking lots and driveways. Both the Board of Education and Borough feel this shared service will further allow us to keep schools open and a consistent schedule for our students.

The common question received is what data is used to make decisions on school closures/delays. Internally, the Superintendent and Buildings & Grounds Supervisor review numerous weather tracking apps, timing of the storm and custodial staffing levels. Input is then obtained from Bloomingdale DPW and Bloomingdale PD. We monitor the decision of our high schools as we recognize that this impacts families, as well. Please note that while we attempt to align with our high schools, this will not always be the case given the sheer number of them (Butler, Passaic County VT, Morris County VT, Pequannock, etc.). Please always check the Bloomingdale official sources to see our decision on inclement weather.

Finally, please know that despite everything we do to prepare and make informed decisions, it truly is based on predictions of weather patterns. Despite our best efforts, there are times that we may simply make a mistake based on the information (Information says 10 inches of snow, we close and the storm misses us). We apologize for instances like this and appreciate your understanding as we always have student safety in mind when making these decisions.

School Happenings

Walter T. Bergen

December has been a very busy month at WTB. Trimester 1 came to an end on December 6 and many students enjoyed a successful start to the school year. In total, 60 students earned high honor roll and 34 earned honor roll. In addition to the honor roll students being recognized, WTB teachers nominated students for outstanding achievement in specific courses and categories such as Citizenship. These students are called our Most Valuable Bobcats, or MVB's. Over 10 students per grade were recognized as Trimester 1 MVB's. In the co-curricular arena, our teachers and students have been very active. The TREP$ Marketplace occurred on December 2 and was a huge success for our young entrepreneurs. Student Council representatives led a food drive that resulted in a collection of 843 items for the local food pantry. The National Junior Honor Society organized a fundraiser for Wreaths Across America and made a donation to that organization that will fund over 20 wreaths for a local cemetery to honor veterans. The boys and girls basketball teams have had a busy schedule of games, highlighted by victories for both teams against rival Richard Butler School on December 16. Art Club and Newspaper Club are meeting regularly, and the newspaper students just released the first edition of the Bobcat Blast. Auditions for Theater Club are happening in December for the springtime performance of Once Upon a Tower.....the True Story of Rapunzel. Teacher-led clubs are also available for our students as Gaming Club is currently running, and opportunities to join Coding Club, STEAM Club, Jewelry-Making Club and Indoor Soccer Club will exist in January, February and March. Lastly, our music students performed for friends and families at the December 14 Holiday Concert, and also performed at the Bloomingdale Senior Center on December 20.

Samuel R. Donald

The students at SRD have been doing some exciting activities this December! Our theme for this month is "Acceptance." With so many different holidays and traditions, we wanted all students to feel accepted and understood for their differences. Students were invited to write or draw their holiday family traditions on a snowflake to be hung on the SRD Tree Mural. In addition, our fourth graders in student council joined the band students from WTB to visit the senior center this past week. They played songs and brought cheer! Our second-graders held their Holidays Around the World celebration. Parents and families were invited to hear students read aloud about the different holiday traditions throughout the world and share a food from their culture. We are particularly excited to share that all three grade levels earned their grade-level reward for positive behavior! Students will be wearing PJs and having a popcorn party this week as their reward. Keep up the good work, SRD!

Martha B. Day

December filled the hallways with exciting classwork and displays of beautiful art. In the Pre-K classes, we studied the Aurora Borealis often referred to as the Northern Lights. We even re-created the beautiful light show created by nature in our artwork. Our unit theme for December was light. It is very appropriate considering how many cultures celebrate this time of year with beautiful lights and candles. Our first snowfall of the year allowed us to learn about cold and the texture of snow. We brought some inside and played with it in our exploration tables before it melted away.

In Kindergarten, we learned about needs versus wants. We now know the difference between the two. Did you know that all living things require food, shelter, and water? We also talked about the celebrations that take place throughout the world such as Diwali, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. We continue to work with math facts as we build fluency and understanding. Do you think a gingerbread man will sink or float? In Ms. Tversland's class, we made predictions about objects that sink or float. Half of the class thought the gingerbread man would float and the other half thought it would sink. We all agreed the gingerbread man cookies were delicious after our science experiment.

First grade continues to work on reading and math fluency. We are learning about addends and sums. Using our math manipulatives is a fun way to understand and master our math concepts. In Ms. Biello's class we partnered with Ms. Dugger's class to decorate gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies. We had a bunch of fun making beautiful cookies with our buddies! We are also learning about the beautiful traditions and customs that are celebrated around the world during the month of December and into the new year.

Our Winter Concert filled the gymnasium and hallways with beautiful music. Dressed in their finest, the Kindergarten and First Grade Singers did not disappoint! Thank you Ms. Phillippe for organizing an amazing show. We officially "Canned the Principal!" MBD collected over 10 boxes of non-perishable food to be donated to the local food pantry. In addition to our food drive, we filled our tree in the lobby with hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves! Our two community service projects were amazing successes thanks to the generosity of our MBD Families.

We sincerely hope you have a restful break and enjoy your time off. We look forward to sharing more news in the new year!