Cliffwood School Parent Newsletter

April 2017

Principal's News

Dear Cliffwood School families,


Each afternoon, I try to get outside and say "goodbye" to our learners as they leave school and get onto the buses. On most days, I tell our students to try and go outside and play when they get home. Obviously, I want our students to do their homework too, but there are so many benefits to playing, especially for kids at this age.


Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. - Pediatrics Journal, 1/2007, Vol. 119, Issue 1.


As the weather gets warmer, and the days get longer, please encourage your kids to spend time outdoors whenever they can. Let them play alone and with their friends as much as possible. After, they can come inside and get their homework done!


Have a great Spring season and take care,


Mark Van Horn, Interim Principal
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Our author visit was a great day!

On 3/30, award-winning author and illustrator Daniel Kirk visited Cliffwood School. It was a tremendous treat for all of our students! Mr. Kirk entertained all students with 2 student assemblies, book signings, and author luncheons. Mr. Kirk talked about his style of writing and the process he uses when developing a new book. Kids learned about writing both fiction and nonfiction. We even got to see some cool pictures from his research trip to Africa! Find below some pics and also a song which our K and 1st students had practiced for our guest!
CL author visit song 3/30/17
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Outstanding job by our 3rd grade chorus!

On 3/21, our 3rd grade students performed their chorus concert and it was terrific! The turnout for the event was great as Cliffwood's cafeteria was packed with listeners. Our students' hard work definitely showed as our guests left the school smiling ear-to-ear. A special "thank you" to our music teacher, Mr. Malone, on a job well done! The whole group made us Cliffwood Proud that evening! Please look below for a song from the night's show.
CL chorus 3/21/17 song 3

Fun learning with umbrellas!

Kindergarteners from Ms. Walker's, Mrs. Catalano's, and Mrs. Anderson's classes have been busy learning about weather. Children learned about clouds and the rain cycle and the unit culminated with an Umbrella Day. Kids brought umbrellas to school, wrote stories, and enjoyed a colorful umbrella parade outside!
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Reading Buddies continuing between K and 2nd

Recently, Mrs. Spence's 2nd graders and Mrs. Catalano's Kindergartners came together again for Reading Buddies. Our K students visited their Room 24 friends and shared their "Rainbow Stories." Then, the 2nd graders took their turn and read their "Saving and Spending" stories with our youngest learners. Both groups of students LOVE this activity and we can't wait to see what these developing authors write next! Check out a few pics of this activity below.

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Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

Students in Mrs. Anderson's class really got into the spirit for St. Patrick's Day. These children dressed in green, used marshmallows for sorting/counting, wrote letters to a sneaky leprechaun, and also worked at a design challenge to try and catch their little visitor! This class of our youngest learners had fun while learning at the same time!
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April Dates to Remember

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming school events:


  • Marking period 3 ends - Friday, 4/7.
  • Report cards go live on portal - Wednesday, 4/26.
  • School closed for Spring break - 4/10 to 4/17.
  • PTO book fair - 4/4 to 4/6.
  • PTO school store - 4/19 and 4/20.
  • PARCC testing begins for Grade 3 students - Friday, 4/21.
  • Great Kapok Tree show for 2nd grade - Wednesday, 4/26.
  • Grade 1 field trip to aquarium- Monday, 4/24.