December 15, 2012
Dear HTS Family:
Although 24 hours have already passed, I am still struggling to wrap my head around the most difficult question that I have ever been forced to address in almost 20 years in public education: “Why?” It is a question that police departments and school officials will struggle to adequately answer in the days, weeks and months ahead and I am not completely confident that we will ever know the real reason why this happens to our children. As you all did, I grew up in a country where the words “school” and “shooting” were never used in the same sentence and where a “tragedy” involved a child falling off a bike.
I would like to thank our teachers for their calmness and professionalism yesterday. Children, whether in PreK or eighth grade, more often than not, mirror the demeanor and affect of the adults nearest to them. Yesterday, as Dr. Petersen and I walked in and out of our classrooms, we saw nothing that would indicate we were in the midst of the worst K-12 school shooting in our nation’s history. Teachers were simply busy teaching or wrapping (Operation Holiday) away and our students, in particular our elementary school students, seemed blissfully unaware of the tragedy in Newtown. Additionally, I would also like to thank our parents for their calm and measured response to the incident. We were not overwhelmed with phone calls and the vast majority of parents left their children in school for the full day. Because of this we were able to dedicate 100% of our attention and focus to our children.
Although we have many effective school safety procedures already in place, including a “swipe card” system with video capabilities, we will be conducting another review. I will be bringing school safety experts from the Homeland Security Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office to conduct a thorough review shortly after the New Year. We will also continue to work with the HTPD; they were able to provide a strong police presence at our school during dismissal on Friday.
Lastly, if you believe that your child is in need of any counseling services at HTS, please do not hesitate to contact us at school. Enjoy the balance of the weekend and I hope you can all spend some quality time with your children.
Dear HTS Community:
Our Digital Learning Initiative is progressing very well. Our teachers are using the Apple TVs along with their iPads in some very innovative ways; I invite you to ask your middle school child how his/her teacher is using these devices in their Language Arts classes. I’m certain you will be very impressed. I was, earlier today in an observation. I observed a teacher using the laptop, iPad, Apple TV, document camera and SmartBoard with great effect. The technology tools were all integrated seamlessly into the lesson and if teaching is part art and part science (and I think it is), the formula would be something like: good teaching + good curricula = education. The the lesson I observed this morning was
10(good teaching + good curricula + technology) = high achieving students.
At the Vision Council meeting held in October, we discussed the DLI and how it is effecting both teaching and learning at HTS. One of our parents asked if the school could share the resources (apps, in particular) that we are using at HTS. Below, in alpha order:
- 3D Sun
- Algebra Genie
- Algebra Tutorial
- BBC News
- Calculator for iPad
- Chicktionary for iPad
- CNN App for iPad
- Constitution for iPad
- Conundra Math: a brain training number game for iPad
- DRAE Diccionario de la Lengua Espanol
- Educreations Interactive Whiteboard
- Follett Digital Reader
- Free Books – 23,469 classics to go
- Free Graphing Calculator
- French 24/7 Language Learning
- Garage Band
- Get Primes
- Google Drive
- Google Earth
- Google Translate
- Grammar Up
- Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
- Hello-Hello World – Learn Spanish, French…
- iFactor Quadratics
- K9 Web Protection Browser
- Khan Academy
- Linear Model
- Living Language – French – for iPad
- Living Language – Spanish – for iPad
- Math Helper: Factoring
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary HD
- NASA App HD
- Panasonic Prime Smash
- PBS for iPad
- pdf – notes free for iPad
- Poetry Creator – Verses
- Pulse News for iPad
- Quadratic Formula Solver
- Quickoffice Pro HD
- Science Glossary
- Science 360 for iPad
- Slope Slider
- Smithsonian Channel for iPad
- Solar Walk – 3D Solar System model
- Spanish 24/7 Language Learning
- Tangram XL Free
- The Weather Channel for iPad
- Think Ahead!
- Today’s Document
- Voice Thread
- World Book – This Day in History for iPad
As always, special thanks to the world famous Harding Township School PTO for their support.
What HTS Means to Me,
by Haley C. – Grade 8.
For many people, the school that they attend is nothing special to them – just a place where they receive education and see their friends. I am definitely not one of these people. I have been attending Harding Township School since the third grade and have loved it since I first arrived. My school has a great educational program with wonderful teachers to support me as I learn. It also gives me a lot of opportunities to do things I’m interested in. Last, but definitely not least, this school is filled with some of the kindest people I’ve ever met, students and staff alike.
One of the reasons why my school means so much to me is because it has an amazing educational program. Every day when I’m in school, I feel motivated to be my best and to try my hardest. The teachers here are a huge part of why the learning program here is so great. They are very friendly and are always there to explain things if you aren’t understanding something in class. This is just one of the reasons why Harding Township School means so much to me.
Another reason why HTS means so much to me is because there, everyone is given many opportunities to do things they are interested in. Our school has multiple sports teams, including soccer, field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and track teams. There is also the yearly school play for students interested in theater. People who are interested in science or technology can join the TSA, or Technology – Student Association. Those who are musically inclined can join the school’s band or chorus. And if the graduating eighth graders wish to contribute to the school’s yearbook, they can join the yearbook club.
The last reason why Harding Township School means so much to me is because this school is filled with extremely kind people. I have met some of my closest friends at HTS, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without them. Even the people I don’t know are always positive and ready to lend a helping hand. But this isn’t just the students – the faculty at my school is very kind and always pushing us to be the best we can possibly be. HTS means the world to me, and these are just three of the reasons why.
As you can see, Harding Township School means a lot to me and my fellow classmates. It is a place with an incredible educational program, a place where students are offered many extracurricular opportunities, and a place where one can make lasting friendships. This is my last year attending Harding Township School, but I will be heartbroken to leave and will never forget the close friends and amazing memories I’ve made here.