Vision Council and the PARCC…

Dear HTS Community,

In March and again in late April/early May, HTS students will be joining their peers from multiple states in taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam. This online exam is considered to be more rigorous than its predecessor, the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge. For example in English Language Arts, the Literary Analysis Task, Narrative Task and Research Simulation Task are the same for students in grades 3 and in grade 11! These exams will test students’ knowledge of the Common Core State Standards. These standards, endorsed by the United States Department of Education and New Jersey Department of Education, list the specific skills that students need to acquire by the end of the school year.

On Wednesday, October 15 at 8:30am in the Library/Media Center, the HTS Vision Council will host a discussion about the new English Language Arts standards, the PARCC, what strategies HTS teachers are using to prepare for the PARCC, and what you can do at home to assist your child. We hope you can join us and our two ELA Coaches, Mrs. Baldassari and Mrs. Werner, for a productive discussion.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

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Dear HTS Community:

As many of you have already read in the newspaper, there are confirmed cases of Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) in New Jersey. We are working with local, Morris County, and State officials as well as with our School Nurse and Building and Grounds Department to provide the cleanest possible environment for our children. Measures include, but are not limited to, cleaning and disinfecting, emphasis on hand washing, and the use of professional grade anti-virus cleaning materials such as H2Orange Concentrate 117 and AIRx75. Please note, hand sanitizers such as Purell have not proven to be effective as they are merely anti-bacteria in nature. The EV-D68 is a virus and the steps people can take to avoid becoming ill are similar to the flu. Good hand hygiene is your best defense against getting infected with EV-D68. To help protect yourself and others from infections:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, handrails, and toys
  • Stay home when sick and call your healthcare provider
  • Use good respiratory hygiene: coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow and properly disposing of tissues.

Please see updates from the New Jersey Department of Health as well as the Morris County Public Health Department for additional information. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact my office or Rita McCardle, HTS School Nurse.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

Autumn Tours…

Dear HTS Community:

We are enjoying another wonderful school year. Our fall sports – girls field hockey and coed soccer – are practicing, our clubs and co-curricular activities have begun and, most importantly, HTS students are learning. On the most recent statewide exam, the 2014 NJASK, Harding Township School students:

  • Improved overall English Language Arts (ELA) scores by 5.0 percentage points, from 81.4% to 86.4%.
  • Improved overall Math scores by 3.5 percentage points, from 85.3% to 88.8%
  • Improved overall Science scores by 1.5 percentage points, from 95.6% to 97.1%.
  • The number of students scoring advanced proficient in ELA increased by 10.1 percentage points.
  • The number of students scoring partially proficient in ELA decreased by 5.0 percentage points.
  • The number of students scoring advanced proficient in Math increased by 7.8 percentage points.
  • The number of students scoring partially proficient in Math decreased by 3.5 percentage points.
  • The number of students scoring partially proficient in Science decreased by 1.5 percentage points.
  • The number of students scoring a perfect score of 300 on the Math NJASK increased by 121.4%
  • The number of students scoring a perfect score of 300 on the Science NJASK increased by 66.7%

We are proud of all our students and teachers for their efforts and continue to believe that HTS is the premier PreK-8 district in New Jersey. We invite all parents and students presently living in Harding and attending a private school to tour our schools and learn more about our small class size, technology rich environment and picturesque 40+acre campus. Our fourth annual autumn school tour schedule is below:

  • Friday, October 3 (9:00am-11:00am)
  • Friday, November 14 (9:00am-11:00am)
  • Friday, December 12 (9:00am-11:00am)

If you have any questions about these matters, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

Happy New Year…

Dear HTS Community:

The first two days of school have featured many smiling faces. Our students returned to a wonderful school featuring small class size, a safe and secure learning environment, rigorous curricula and technology rich classrooms. These factors (and many others) make HTS the premier PK-8 school in New Jersey. Moreover, our NJASK test scores have increased in all three tested subjects: English Language Arts +5.0%; Math +3.5% and Science +1.5%. These and other highlights can be found in my August blog post.

Over the summer months, the Board of Education approved four district goals for the 2014-2015 school year:

  • Ninety percent (90%) of students in each grade, K-5 shall pass, with 90% accuracy, a timed grade level “Math Facts Assessment.” This “Math Facts Assessment” shall be aligned to the Common Core State Standards and will assess students on the four core mathematical functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division).
  • Ninety percent (90%) of students in grades K-8 shall improve by one point (one quintile) on the District Writing Assessment. This assessment shall be administered in the fall and again in the spring. Students scoring a perfect score of 5 in the fall and spring shall be counted as having met the goal.
  • To prepare each student for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and to communicate pertinent information to parents as detailed in the action plan.
  • To maintain and continue to build and develop the individual student data dashboard and use the information to guide the instructional process as detailed in the action plan.

As we progress through the school year, you can expect to hear more details about these goals from school personnel. This blog post is designed to introduce these goals to the school community.

Once again, welcome back and Happy New Year to all our stakeholders.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone