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.

Principal's Pen - Women's History Month

During each week during the month of March, Banyan High School will be highlighting a woman who was a trailblazer in our world in various fields and from various backgrounds. We will be discussing them in class and morning announcements. We wanted to share these women with you.

Week of March 6 - Anna May Wong

Appearing in over sixty movies throughout her career, Anna May Wong was the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood. In addition to her roles in silent films, television, and stage, Wong landed a role in one of the first movies made in Technicolor. Internationally recognized, her legacy continues to influence entertainers around the world. She was the first Asian American to lead a US television show for her work on The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong.

Week of March 13 - Mae Jemison

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African American woman in space when she went into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” Her curiosity, intelligence, and determination — matched with her parents’ encouraging words — paved the way for her incredible success at NASA.

Week of March 20 - Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani human rights activist — and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17. Yet, things are very different in Pakistan, where Malala was born and raised. Some people in Pakistan denounced girls being educated, but Malala and her father were still determined to fight for a girl’s education. She secretly went to school and spoke up for education for girls in her country. And even though an enemy tried to silence her powerful voice, she refused to keep quiet.

Malala traveled around the world to speak to girls and boys, to teachers, reporters, presidents, and queens — to anyone who would listen — and advocated for the right to education and equal opportunity for all persons. Malala shouted so that those who were voiceless could be heard.

Week of March 27 - Frida Kahlo

Originally pursuing a path in medicine, Frida Kahlo fell ill and turned to painting. She became a world-famous trailblazing artist and became the first twentieth-century Mexican artist to sell a painting to the Louvre in Paris. She was also a political activist, she showed up at the demonstration against US-backed overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala.

And Introducing.......Rebecca Borkowski: School Nurse

Hello Banyan Community! My name is Rebecca Borkowski, I am the Banyan High School nurse. I started working at Banyan in the summer of 2020. Prior to working here, I worked in pediatric rehabilitation, labor and delivery, pediatric home care, and the operating room at St. Joes in Paterson. In 2020 I made the decision to leave hospital nursing when the opportunity to work at Banyan was presented to me. I grew up in Little Falls and have strong family roots here. My grandmother was the school nurse in Little Falls public schools many years ago, I seem to be following in her footsteps.

In December, I completed my School Nurse Certification program at William Paterson University. I am now working towards my Masters in Nursing and will hopefully be done in December 2023. When I am not at Banyan or doing classwork, I spend time with my husband and children. I have an 8-year-old son, a 4-year-old daughter, and a 14-year-old Beagle/Boston Terrier fur baby. On the weekends we love to go for family walks around our neighborhood or on Garret Mountain.

I love working at Banyan and am so proud to be part of this community.

Classroom Spotlight: Celebraring Carnval in Spanish Class

A few Tuesdays ago was 'Carnaval' or 'FAT Tuesday' as we know it in the USA. This day always proceeds the beginning of Lent, starting with Ash Wednesday.

The Spanish classes selected a Spanish-speaking country of their choice and were asked to explore Carnaval and to report out their findings. Some of the countries that students studied included Brazil, Spain, and Dominican Republic. Students created the masks that are worn during the Carnaval celebrations in several of the countries as part of their project.

While Fat Tuesday in the USA is celebrated on a single Tuesday before moving into a period of contemplation, this holiday takes place anywhere from a few days to a full week of 'fiestas'.

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Living with LIFE Academy: Lunch & Learn

LIFE Academy and Project SEARCH invites you to Zoom while you Lunch & Learn about these two exceptional Adult Transition Programs.

On Wednesdays at 12 pm, come join Marguerite Freeman via Zoom to learn about Banyan's 18-21 Adult Transition Program, LIFE Academy. These meetings will answer all your questions about this well established program. More dates for the Lunch and Learn will follow.

If you are looking for a program where your young adult experiences the world of work, with additional support, then you should join Marguerite when she talks about the nationally and internationally recognized program, Project SEARCH. The following date has been set aside for you to learn more, during a Zoom call on: March 29.

PTSO Parent Corner: Latest Information

PTSO - Upcoming Events 2023

March :

  • Parent/Student Outings


  • Family Bingo April 21

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


  • Banyan Olympics
  • Awards Day
  • Graduation

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

Join us for the Realise for Autism Puzzle Party!

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Annual Banyan Fashion Show

Our 18th Annual Banyan School Fashion Show & Auction is on Wednesday, May 10th at The Hanover Manor in East Hanover. This is always a very fun event for the students and families! Please plan on attending.

Below is our Fashion Show Invitation - beautifully designed by our very own ES teacher, Kristina Zaturoska! You can pay for your reservations by check (payable to Banyan School) or online at:

Included below is the Student Modeling form:

Things to remember:

  • Please use the Student Modeling Form to sign up your adorable supermodel. (See attached link)
  • Please consider taking a Sponsorship. After all, the Fashion Show is a fun-filled, fundraiser!
  • Please place an ad in the ad journal. This is a great way to congratulate your children on all of their accomplishments. It's also a wonderful opportunity to thank your favorite teachers.
  • Please donate to the tricky tray. The more donations, the more baskets, the more chances to win, the more excitement! (See attached letter)

Feel free to reach out to Linda ( or Karen ( with any questions. As always, thanks for your support!

Important Upcoming Events

Here are some important upcoming events: