For months now, national politics has dominated our news and will continue to for the ensuing future. The candidate’s rhetoric includes their thoughts and beliefs on a variety of topics, education included. As a result, public education seems to take the spotlight more than ever during election years, and reminds us of the big responsibility we have in this nation in the education of our youth. Expectations for us as parents and members of the business community are raised to the highest levels ever because of the importance of lifelong learning for all.
While the job of teaching has changed in terms of technique, materials, new learning, brain research, and the use of technology, the core goal of teaching remains the same: to change childrens’ lives one child at a time, helping to shape, build, and honor the talents of each individual, while in many cases also acting as psychologist, social worker, quasi-parent, counselor, friend, and disciplinarian. Teaching is not a job you leave at the workplace. The thoughts about how to succeed with each child stays with a teacher 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And what about the parents? Parents of course, hope for the best school for their child, the best teacher, the nicest peer group. They know their child needs to be prepared for global living and futuristic thinking, and at their core, they still want three things to happen at school: they expect each staff member to be caring, they expect each staff member to know how to show competence in teaching their child, they expect the school to be a safe place. The parents have a lot on their mind when entrusting their child to being dropped off at a school every day.
What about the principal? The job of the principal has also changed. It used to be that schools were places the public drove by and heard little about unless they had a child in school. The principal ran the school through faculty meetings where most decisions were simply announced.
In today’s schools however, the principal must be a skilled collaborator with the public, a team builder with all who wish to participate, a listener, a forward thinker, a consensus builder, a person with ability to inspire, lead, and cultivate staff to "change" whether it be in the use of technology or new methods, an innovator, a person who must build public confidence while operating in the world of charter school choices, private school choice, homeschool choice and vouchers, and of course a person who can create an atmosphere inviting and safe for all learners.
And what about the students? They must be their personal best because we, parents and teachers will accept nothing less. Everyone can’t be an "A" every day in everything….but everyone must strive for daily improvement. Parents expect it, the public demands it, and the publishing of childrens’ test scores and rating of schools now looks like the sports columns and stock market pages in our national newspapers. Everyone is ranked and rated. We do not fear accountability, but we must protect each child as they emerge in their little cocoon called "school", their sanctuary, the place where they can take risks, make mistakes, experience little triumphs, and get ready for the "big world". We can’t afford to lose one child, or have any child doubt their value and worth, regardless of an individual test score. That is our national challenge in education today.
These are the kinds of things I think about as a school principal. I can say with confidence that the Glen Rock School District has a big heart for its students and a stalwart determination to provide high quality education.
We, the teachers, administrators, parents and community members, are all very lucky to be instrumental in shaping the lives of our students. Let’s enjoy it and work together!
School Security Drills
NJ State Law requires schools to conduct school security drills of some variety once per month. This is in addition to the fire drills, we have been practicing each month for a number of years now. A school security drill is defined as an exercise to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or shelter situation. We will holding school security drills monthly throughout the school year. If you observe these drills taking place, please do not be alarmed. In the event of an actual emergency, we will notify you through our Honeywell, reverse 911 system.
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
Click here for an excellent article on "Strategies for Managing Your Child's Resistant Behavior" by John W. Maag.
Please take the time to read both documents.
Aggregated scores for Grades 3-5
Power Point presentations on Bullying
This folder contains strategies that you can help your child adopt when dealing with others who aren't nice to them.
Excellent article sent by the Community School in Paramus
Use these forms to report an alleged incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying
Article for parents on the NJ CCS
Information about the PARCC
A brief article from Allan L. Beane, Ph.D. that might be of interest to you.
For parents and teachers
Compulsive Texting Takes Toll on Teenagers- Read article by Roni Caryn Rabin
Similarities and Differences between Rough-and-Tumble Play, Real Fighting, and Bullying