Long Hill Township School District

Long Hill Highlights - Autumn 2018

From Superintendent Acevedo

Dear Long Hill School Community,

Welcome to our first district newsletter of this school year! We hope that you and your children have had a successful and positive experience thus far. Our team has done a great job of welcoming our students and families and we appreciate everything they do every day. Parent-teacher conferences will take place on November 5 – 7, 2018 and students will be dismissed after 4 hours of instruction. We encourage parents to partner with our teachers to strengthen the home and school connection to ensure success for all of our students. See a brief article here. Parents will also have another opportunity this year to meet and discuss student performance with teachers on March 4 -6, 2019.

This year, we are continuing to provide support to our teachers by providing differentiated learning opportunities to further strengthen their instructional skills. Teachers have participated in Google Apps for Education training facilitated by our own teacher specialists. Teachers are now sharing greater technology skills with their students and families through the Google classroom platform where assignments, comments, and projects are easily accessed and shared among our students and staff. Additionally, this is the third year of mathematics coaching for our staff through our relationship with Conquer Mathematics. Teachers have learned how to fully incorporate meaningful learning activities in the classroom that are aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards while also differentiating the learning in the classroom. For a better understanding of differentiation of instruction, see Dr. Jones’s article in this newsletter.

Lastly, as shared with you last spring, our district is pursuing Future Ready certification. This will strengthen the classroom experience for our students by maximizing digital learning opportunities and helping our district prepare students for success in the future, through college, career, and citizenship. We are revising our curricula with an innovative focus while providing more personalized learning for all of our students. Through this process, we seek to establish stronger partnerships to inspire our students and staff with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey School Boards Association. Certification comes in three stages, bronze, silver, and gold. We are currently pursuing bronze certification, which is the first stage of the certification process. This will require the district to assess and strengthen its infrastructure in the areas of technology, collaborative leadership, and curriculum instruction and assessment. For more information about Future Ready Schools New Jersey click the following links:

Youtube video

Future Ready Schools New Jersey Website

As we progress through this exciting district initiative, we will continue to keep our community informed.

Best regards,

Dr. Acevedo

From Board President, Mrs. Moakley

On behalf of the Board of Education, I’d like to welcome our parents, guardians, staff and community members to another wonderful year at Long Hill Township Schools. The administration, educators and staff have been working diligently to ensure that our students thrive in a welcoming and safe school environment that stresses high academic achievement.

I’d like to encourage all those interested to attend our regularly scheduled Board of Education meetings at Town Hall, or you can tune into our live simulcast on local access channels. We encourage you to find us online, read the official minutes of our meetings, and engage with us as we work toward the fulfillment of our district goals and strategic plan. To learn more about the role of the Board of Education click the following Frequently Asked Questions. On behalf of the Board of Education, I wish you and your children a successful school year.

Gillette Students show off their creative Halloween costumes with Long Hill Senior Citizens

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Boy Scout member Builds Gardening Planters at Central Middle School

The district would like to thank former student and current Boy Scout member Ben Binstock for beautifying Central Middle School. Ben worked diligently last year in collaboration with Mr. Viturello to implement his Eagle Scout project at Central Middle School. This project focused on bringing raised gardening planters to the school. The planters are beautiful and are currently growing romaine lettuce, curly lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, peppers, and mums. Our Environmental Club will be assisting with maintaining the planters throughout the year.

Mrs. DeBiasse is New Jersey's Hometown Hero!

Congratulations to Mrs. DeBiasse, 8th Grade Reading Teacher who was selected as the New Jersey State Hometown Hero, a recognition by the New Jersey State Grange Association, The Meyersville Grange nominated Mrs. DeBiasse to the state Grange. Recognition is given in the following categories: police, firefighters, EMT and this year the category was extended to teachers. Mrs. DeBiasse is the first to be recognized in this new category. The state Grange hero is then in competition for the national honor. Mrs. DeBiasse is being honored at the State Grange convention on November 19, 2018. This event is attended by all the Grange in New Jersey, state dignitaries, and National level Grangers. Pictured below is Mr, Viturello, CMS Principal, Mrs. Barbara Grillo, Meyersville Grange, Mrs. DeBiasse, Dr. Acevedo, & Board of Education President, Mrs. Moakley.

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Millington School celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

A collaborative article written by: Mrs. Hartman (Library), Mrs. Cohen (Art), Mr. Rideout (Music), and Mrs. Bariso (Spanish) and submitted by Mr. Rideout.

Fifth Grade students in library created a book passport for some popular Hispanic picture books. Their reading welcomed them to the countries and diverse cultures of Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. They were able to identify and share the art, beliefs, language, and celebrations of these countries.

In art classes, students in all grades learned about Hispanic artists, and viewed slides of famous works by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Picasso, and Dali. Fourth Graders created works of art of sugar skulls, as they studied the Day of the Dead, which is a holiday celebrated in Mexico.

During music class, Second Grade students learned about the life and music of The Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz. Third Grade students arranged rhythmic patterns using Tito Puente, the Mambo King, as their guide. Fourth Grade students used Chromebooks to research and to create posters of Latino and Latina musicians.

Fifth Grade students in Spanish class were presented with a power point presentation that gave the historical background of Hispanic Heritage Month and researched the contribution of famous Hispanic features to the American story.

All Millington School special area content subjects will continue to highlight the contributions of people of various cultural backgrounds throughout the school year.

Did you know?

There are over 57 million Hispanics or Latinos in our country, representing approximately 17% of the U.S. population.

All four Long Hill FORCE Robotics Teams qualify for the New Jersey State Championships

Article contributed by Ms. Sandhu

The Long Hill Robotics Teams competed in the Roselle Park Robotics Tournament on October 27, 2018 and the teams did great!

Middle School:

  • Design Award was awarded to Central School’s very own 11336B The Chatter-Bots with teammates Amiran Lerner grade 8, Durga Shylesh grade 7, and Colin Belfield grade 6.
  • Excellence Award was awarded to 11336A MAK with teammates Michael O’Hara grade 7, Armaan Lerner grade 6, and Kevin Feinstein grade 7.
  • Teamwork Award was awarded to 11336A MAK for the impressive driving skills of Armaan Lerner and Michael O’Hara. They were alliance with Axolotl Awesomeness from Robot Revolution in the finals.
  • Robot Skills Champion Award was awarded to 11336A MAK for the high driver score of 12 (Armaan & Michael) and the high programming score of 7 (Armaan & Kevin) to earn a total of 19 points.

Elementary School:

  • Design Award was awarded to Millington School’s 54501B JJJellybeans with Janna Han grade 4, Juliette Laufer grade 4, and Justin Li grade 4.
  • Excellence Award was awarded to 54501A 3 Hubskateers with teammates Tadas Vilemaitis grade 5, Jason Zeng grade 5, and Zed Shyers grade 5.
  • Robot Skills Champion Award was awarded to 54501B JJJellybeans for a high driver score of 11 and a high programming score of 3 totaling in a high score of 14.

All four Long Hill Robotics teams have officially qualified for the New Jersey State Championships to be held in March of 2019. They have each also received an invitation to the 2019 CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championship.

Please join and cheer for the Long Hill Robotics team as they host their 2nd Annual Long Hill Robotics Tournament on Sunday, December 2, 2018, at Central Middle School.

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Thank you to Hall's Gardening Center in Berkeley Heights for donating beautiful mums and autumnal decorations at each of our schools.

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What is Differentiation of Instruction? By Dr. Jones, Director of Curriculum

Differentiated instruction is a teaching philosophy where teachers adapt the instructional practices in the classroom to meet the unique needs of students. Teachers modify their instruction to meet students’ varying readiness levels, learning preferences, and interests.

What does it look like? A teacher begins a lesson geared to the whole class. After the introduction of the lesson, the students are grouped by their ability and assigned an activity. The teacher conferences with groups of students making sure they are all on task. Once the activities are completed, the students reconvene and summarize what they have learned in a variety of ways. The teacher will assess the students to make sure the concepts being taught were understood and can be applied elsewhere. Assessment is an important part of a differentiated classroom. Assessment information helps the teacher map next steps for varied learners and the class as a whole.

Assessment occurs consistently throughout a unit of instruction. This begins with a pre-assessment of the material, formative or ongoing assessments of the material and summative or end of unit assessments. Teachers assess a student's readiness level, their interests and learning style.

Carol Ann Tomlinson is the guru of differentiated instruction. She states, "In the end, all learners need your energy, your heart, and your mind. They have that in common because they are young humans. How they need you, however, differs. Unless we understand and respond to those differences, we fail many learners." The following video shows a classroom teacher differentiating the instruction in an English Language Arts classroom.

The Release of the Monarch Butterflies

Students in Ms. Franco's class started working with three monarchs as eggs, and watched them progress through their life cycle. When the monarchs emerged as butterflies, students identified if the monarchs were male or female, and released them to begin their migratory path to California and Mexico.

Peace in our schools week

Long Hill Township Schools celebrated "Peace in Our Schools" Week from October 15th through October 19th. Across the district, students were reminded of the importance of peace and positivity in their everyday lives.

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5th Grade STEAM students learn about more advanced iMovie techniques such as picture-in-picture video editing.

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Long Hill Township Schools Choose Love - By Ms. Lazirko, School Counselor, CMS

This year, The Long Hill Township School District will be working collaboratively with building administrators, counselors, and staff members to implement a Social Emotional Learning enrichment curriculum called "Choose Love." The Choose Love program engages all students and teaches them that choosing love promotes their resilience in challenging times. Students will learn that choosing love means choosing to live a life with courage and gratitude, practicing forgiveness, and being compassionate and empathetic individuals.

The Choose Love enrichment program is a Pre-K-12 curriculum that emphasizes the teachings of courage, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, and empathy. Long Hill Township schools chose this program for overall student and staff well-being and to teach students essential life skills to help them develop into happy, well-adjusted adults. Staff members received training on the program and were provided resources to assist with implementing the program in their classrooms. Each school building began implementing the Choose Love program this October with lessons facilitated by both classroom teachers and counselors. These lessons are generated by our school counselors, Ms. Lazirko and Ms. Rodrigues.

The message behind the program provides a shared emotional component which creates a strong engagement with the message and universality of ‘choosing love.’ The program combines social and emotional learning, character education, mindfulness, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology, along with other current topics relating to our students’ well-being. Teachers and counselors will facilitate the program through scheduled lessons, activities, and initiatives in which all students will have the opportunity to participate in. We are excited to share future lessons and activities with our staff and students!


Gillette School's Annual Scarecrow Display

Thank you to our Gillette PTO, Kindergarten students, teachers and class parents for participating in our annual scarecrow creations. Students, teachers, and class parents decided on specific scarecrows which were assembled in class and displayed outside of Gillette School. Scarecrows on display outside of Gillette School are a regular scarecrow, Minnie Mouse, Snowman, Superman, and Officer Scarecrow. Pictured below are: LHPD Officer Gelino, Officer Hartman, Officer Place, Officer Geresi, Officer Scarecrow, and students Lucca and Avery.
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Update from Mrs. Dawson, Principal of Millington School

Reading Workshop is in full swing in our grades 3-5 classrooms. Students are actively involved in weekly Interactive Read Alouds with follow up discussions that tap into their higher level thinking skills. Students turn and talk with one another to further strengthen their deep thinking about texts. Teachers make anchor charts with their class to be referenced when students are responding to their own texts during "Read to Self" time. Teachers and students are sharing time with one another to develop lifelong reading habits. See picture below:

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Chess Tournament at Central Middle School

Central Middle School hosted a chess tournament in our media center on Tuesday, October 16th. The students competed in a variety of chess matches with students from Morris Plains Borough, Morristown Beard, Delbarton, Ridgedale Middle, and Oratory Prep. Anton Levonian, who is a grade 6 student at Central Middle School, placed 3rd in the tournament out of 33 students.

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  • November 5-7, 2018 - Parent Teacher Conferences
  • November 8-9, 2018 - District is closed - NJEA Teacher Convention
  • November 12, 2018 - Board of Education meeting - 7:30 p.m.
  • November 21, 2018 - 4 hour day - Early dismissal
  • November 22 & 23, 2018 - Thanksgiving recess
  • November 26, 2018 - Board of Education meeting - 7:30 p.m.
  • December 21, 2018 - 4 hour day - Early dismissal
  • December 24 - January 1, 2019 - Winter recess
  • January 2, 2019 - Classes resume