Break a Leg…

Dear HTS Community,

Last night at the Board of Education meeting, the Board unanimously approved the creation of a new co-curricular activity for the 2015-2016 school year. Students in grades 3-5 will have the opportunity to participate in an Elementary School Play during the late fall/early winter. More information will be forthcoming when students return to HTS in September.

This endeavor emerged as a grass-roots proposal from a quartet of grade three students – Allie, Payton, Jocelyn, and Teresa. These girls discussed this idea within their culture and climate groups during their advisory period earlier this school year. They first presented this idea to their teachers and their principal and ultimately approached the superintendent and presented their case at a public Board of Education meeting. I am thrilled that our students will have an additional opportunity to perform on stage and hope you will all continue to support the arts at HTS.

Congratulations to all HTS students and break a leg!

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

2015-2016 HTS Budget…

Dear HTS Community,

Last week, the Board of Education unanimously approved the 2015-2016 Harding Township School budget. Links on our home page (left hand column) can be found when you click on “2015-2016 Public Hearing on the Budget” or “2015-2016 User Friendly Budget.” I am pleased to announce that this budget preserves all teaching and co-curricular positions and budgets ample money for ongoing staff professional development and capital projects. The total budget was only increased by a modest 2.02% and is also very fair to Harding taxpayers.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

2015-2016 HTS Tentative Budget…

Dear HTS Community

Last night at the Board of Education meeting, the Board unanimously approved the 2015-2016 Tentative Budget. The overall budget will increase only 2.02% with a modest tax levy increase of only 3.32%. This budget maintains all existing positions as well as all athletics and co-curricular activities. The entire Tentative Budget powerpoint presentation can be found on our website. On Monday, April 27 at 7:30, the Board will hold their annual Public Hearing on the Budget.

As always, if you have any questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at HTS.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

 

Snow, PARCC, and SOTD…

Dear HTS Community,

Happy Friday! It looks as though winter is finally finished and as Bill Belichick might say, “We’re moving on to spring.” Week one of the PARCC testing was completed with no major glitches. With one snow day and three delayed openings, we did lose some testing sessions but we have enough “flex time” built in to our assessment schedule that it won’t be difficult to make up the lost sessions. I would like to thank our Building and Grounds Department for their efforts this week; they were at HTS during the late evening or early morning (or both) every day since Sunday!

Lastly, please visit our website and download the 2014-2015 State of the District report. This was presented at the February 23 BOE meeting and contains a one year retrospective of all our wonderful accomplishments over the past twelve months. I hope you enjoy it.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

Middle School Quest Program…

Dear HTS Community,

Last week, HTS Quest students, led by their teacher, Mrs. Bailey participated in the Regional Junior Model United Nations competition. A very special congratulations to the following students who won awards:

  • The delegation representing Denmark comprised of team members Brock Bierly, Jack Myers and Tara Tevald won an award for “Best Draft Resolution” for the topic of climate change.
  • Brock Bierly also won “Outstanding Delegate” in his committee room.
  • The delegation representing Japan included team members Luke Boylan, JD Grant and Drew Johnson and won “Best Delegation” for the topic of global pandemic.
  • Drew Johnson also won “Best Delegate” in his committee room.
  • The delegation representing Panama comprised of team members Lauren DiRienzo and Charlotte Scaff won an award for “Best Delegation” for the topic of climate change.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

Link

Dear HTS Community,

Last week, I notified the school community about a number of HTEF grants received by the school this year. In that blog posting, I mentioned that students were developing their writing skills in the hopes of becoming published authors. Today, I am pleased to announce that our vision has come to fruition. Our middle school students have completed their works and interested parties may purchase these books from our partners at Lulu. The books Happy and Catching the Past are even discounted for the entire HTS community; we hope you will continue to support our talented students. Special thanks to our middle school LA teachers – Ms. Poole and Mrs. Werner.

The presentation made at the Monday BOE meeting – Preliminary Budget Report II – has now been posted on our website. Please click here to view. The next BOE meeting will be held on Monday, February 23 at 7:30pm in the library/media center. At this meeting, I will be presenting the second annual State of the District Report.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

HTS, HTEF, and Columbia University…

Dear HTS Community,

Columbia University Graduate School of Education, commonly called Teachers College, offers a cutting-edge language arts program called The Reading and Writing Project (TRWP). Over the summer months, our staff wrote a $10,000 grant to the HTEF for staff development. Experts from Teachers College have been to HTS on multiple occasions to train staff in TRWP and our teachers have been implementing this program since September. TRWP empowers young writers to develop an approach to writing that is personal, and consists of best practices as recognized by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as well as many education experts. Students’ work is self-selected and develops from a “seed idea” into a high-quality published work. As a result, our students’ writing has increased in both depth as well as breadth. Please note, this generous grant is in addition to our “perennial grants” such as Shakespeare Residency ($10,000), Circus Yoga ($6,000), Books @ Play ($6,000), Project BABES ($3,000), Art Department Grant ($4,000) and many others including the second half of the Sound and Lighting System Upgrades ($32,000) to the Matthew C. Sellitto Gymnasium and the Leveled Classroom Libraries ($25,000). These grants, combined with the SmartBoards ($47,000) and the Middle School Bricks Project ($25,000) totaled approximately $160,000.00 over the past twelve months!

Please join me in thanking the HTEF for their donations and, on behalf of the staff and students, we hope you will all continue to support their fundraising endeavors in the future.

 

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone