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November 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

During the past few weeks, we have focused on a variety of programs, assemblies and announcements regarding Week of Respect, Safe Schools Week and Red Ribbon Week for our students.  I hope that these programs, assemblies, and activities sparked some meaningful conversations at home about what we can all do to make better decisions, how we treat others, the dangers of alcohol and drugs and how we can all help keep our school and community safe. As part of our school commitment to these subjects, we will continue to explore methods that we can reach children and provide a safe environment for them to talk about these topics and reach out for help as necessary.

As we enter the month of November, we are preparing for our annual Run for Vets celebration.  November 4th is a special day at McAuliffe for our students, staff and most importantly our Veterans.  On this day we host a Veterans Breakfast, invite Veterans to share their experiences with our children in small classroom discussion groups and end the day with fun runs including relays, races and a walk.  There are awards to be distributed to individuals and for team accomplishments. Through it all the focus remains our Veterans. This is our McAuliffe tradition and we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary on how we thank our Veterans for their service to our country, to remember those Veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and to honor those who have dedicated their lives to protecting others.  We thank them for their bravery and commitment and are grateful that they take the time to visit with us on this special day.

November has much activity and it is important to highlight some other events.  There are two breaks during this month, the NJEA Teacher Convention and Thanksgiving.   The marking period will end on November 14th and parent conferences are scheduled for November 19 - 21.  We will be on a shortened day schedule for these three days. It is very important to continue to monitor your child’s academic progress by logging onto the Portal and encouraging your children to stay after school for extra help when needed.  

Finally, as educators, we continue to reflect on our teaching practices and have implemented strategies and protocols of Responsive Classroom in many of our classes.  The Student Advisory Period is the newest layer in addressing the social-emotional needs of our students and has met with much success. A parent and student survey will be coming out mid-year for your thoughts and opinions on this new program.  The 6th grade Habit, Community, and Culture Class along with our Heart to Heart Parent and Student Night have proven to be tremendous successes again this year. New to our curriculum is the Community Leadership class, the Career Explorations Class and the Communications class.  Each of these programs have reached a new area of interest, communication and civic responsibility in our curriculum. Math teachers are immersed in year two of the Envisions math protocols and we have seen great development in literacy and comprehension within our math classes. We have incorporated financial literacy in many of our courses and included the five social-emotional competency strands in our Social Studies curriculum.  Science classes are continuing to explore hands-on creative lessons in an inquiry based style of instruction. As you are aware, it is important to reflect on best practices as education is always changing. Children’s learning styles are varied and therefore, our educational practices need to meet the needs of all learners. We will continue to strive for excellence in our standards and teaching practices throughout the year. Thank you for your continued support of our teachers, counselors and academic programs.

Respectfully,

Debra Phillips, Principal