Christian Angelillo, Ed.D.
Dear RVS Community members:
It was a busy summer, as always, at RVS. Every classroom, every desk, every doorknob is cleaned, supplies and books arrive almost every day, teachers come and go, readying their rooms. There is always so much to do and it always comes together.
We’re welcoming new staff members this fall. Debra Neretich joins us as our new school nurse. Olivia Cuozzo, who covered maternity leaves for us last year, has been hired to teach third grade. Kelly Ennis is also joining the third grade team this year. Jennifer Quinn is a new classroom aide and Krista Mennella will be with us during the Fall while Mrs. Salmon is out on maternity leave. There have been a few internal changes as well: Ms. Martino is our new Reading Specialist; Mrs. Scivetti will be teaching 5 th Grade Language Arts; and Mrs. Esposito has returned to fourth grade. Mrs. Laing is taking an extended maternity and childcare leave this year.
The world of social media can be fun and informative but for teenagers knowing and understanding its proper use is essential to having fun and communicating. Just as essential is understanding the ramifications of misusing social media or purposefully using apps in improper ways. Don’t Press Send is an important program coming to RVS on October 4. Students in 4 th grades and older will be attending assemblies in the morning with the goal of becoming educated and empowered to use technology responsibly and with good intent. A parent program that evening (7 PM) will reinforce these concepts and offer adults many tools for monitoring their children’s on-line experiences and helping them to become experts in cyber civics. Prior to attending the program, you may want to preview some of the material at www.dontpresssend.org . You’ll be able to view Don’t Press Send founder Katie Duffy’s TED talk, check out some great ideas for helping your students set reasonable limits on their cyber-time, to be mindful of how what they’re sending into the on-line world can be perceived by others, the pitfalls of social media and more. This program has received rave reviews in the communities where it has been presented; we hope to see you there as this is a critical area where the home and school partnership can truly create the community we desire for our children.
Rockaway Valley School has joined the initiative to become certified as a “Future Ready School” in New Jersey. Future Ready Schools – New Jersey is a coalition of New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Collaborative for Leadership, Education and Assessment Research , the New Jersey School Boards Association and the New Jersey Department of Education . The aim of the coalition is to support districts’ efforts in best preparing students for success in the digital age. RVS will be actively pursuing Future Ready Certification with a team of administrators and teachers who will work together to answer these questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? How do we get there? There are bronze, silver and gold level certifications so we are embarking on a multi-year journey to achieve gold-level status. We are dedicated to the premise of preparing students for success in college, career and citizenship and becoming Future Ready Certified is one way we can organize our efforts. Stay tuned for updates as we move forward to achieving this goal!
Over the past year as well as this summer, RVS has made several improvements and changes to increase security in the building and safety for students and staff. You may have noticed that we reconfigured the offices to further minimize lobby access to the building. There are more security cameras in and around campus with the new capability of live-streaming activity at RVS to the Boonton Township Police Department. We continue to have a daily police presence which has had many benefits to our school community including the BTPD’s growing visibility and great relationship with our students. We continue to work with the department to communicate (both ways) plans for coping with situations that we hope we will never actually have to deal with. The entire community participated in a successful full evacuation/ relocation drill last spring and staff will continue to be trained in techniques designed to keep them and their students safe in case we are faced with a dangerous situation or natural disaster.
We’re very excited that students in 7 th and 8 th grades will experience 1-to-1 devices in each of their classes (either laptops or iPads). This access and our utilization of Google Suite helps us facilitate important 21 st Century learning modules. We are hopeful that this program will also be rolled out to 6 th grade at some point this year.
As always, we are grateful for the support of our families and the entire Boonton Township community. Our school is a place where learning—core subjects, the arts, physical and emotional fitness, good citizenship and career and college readiness—are pursued every day. And there is an abundance of Falcon Pride inside!
~ Christian Angelillo, Ed.D.