Thank you for visiting our website. With quick links to the Education Portal and the district calendar, I trust that you will find it a great source of information for you throughout the school year. Please refer to this calendar throughout the year as it will be updated to reflect changes and additions. Along with the calendar, the home page includes announcements, backpack papers, my monthly newsletter (The upDATER), and Community Events and Flyers. The website also contains teacher pages, contact information, the Parent-Student Handbook, links to educational websites, and much more.
Beginning in 2013, Dater School has its own Vimeo Channel to broadcast videos relating to Dater School. On the Vimeo channel you will be able to see current and old episodes of Ramsey Alive, the Spring Concert Rehearsal, the school musical, and more. Click on the above link to access these great videos.
One of the most exciting and noteworthy aspects of the Ramsey School District is our 21st Century Skills Initiative. As part of that initiative, this past year the Ramsey School District adopted Google Apps for Education. Over the last month at Dater School all teachers and students have been introduced to and immersed in this technology. Each student at Dater School has their own Google account, which gives them access to the full Google Apps for Education suite. This gives them access to Google Drive, Gmail, and several other Google Apps. So far, we have only been working with Google Drive and the effects on teaching and learning have been tremendous.
Dater School would like to thank the Ramsey Public Education Foundation for their generous donations to our school community for the 2013-2014 school year. Through the much-appreciated support of the RPEF, we are able to produce our own television show, Ramsey Alive, and present this year's Spring Music, The Wizard of Oz.
E-Alert messages will not be used this year as a means of communication. Registration and signing in is no longer required as a general user of our website. You will no longer subscribe to sections. Please familiarize yourself with the various ways our school district communicates with our parent community.
I hope this message finds everyone well and enjoying these long, relaxing days of summer. I hope this newsletter doesn’t provoke too much back-to-school anxiety for you! I just wanted to reach out to say a hello to our returning fifth grade families and warmly welcome our incoming fourth grade families. For those of you new to Dater, this newsletter, the upDATER, is sent out monthly and includes information about some of the exciting programs and changes happening at Dater School. You can find past issues of the upDATER on our school’s website. Around this time of the summer I usually send out the August edition to provide all our Dater families with some information about the work happening at Dater and the upcoming school year.
It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as your principal during your two years at Dater School. As I sit down to write you this message, I cannot help but think how far we have come since our first day together in September of 2012. Most of you probably experienced a combination of feelings that day-- mostly nervousness and excitement I would think. Over these last two years, your teachers and I have watched you grow as students and individuals.
The Ramsey Public Education Foundation, an integral partner with the Ramsey Public Schools, provides grant funds to the district to help sustain programs and finance new opportunities for the district’s students. This school year, the foundation provided over $37,000 to the district’s schools. At Dater School these funds were used to fund Ramsey Alive, our school’s television school, and our Dater School Musical. Without the generous support of the Foundation, these two wonderful and unique opportunities would not be available to Dater students.
When we return from Spring Break, there will only be 48 days left of school! All of those 48 days will be action-packed. The goal of this month’s newsletter is to “upDATE” you on some of these exciting events, many of which you are invited to attend. This year we are continuing with many of our Dater traditions while introducing a few new ones that we hope will add to the student and family experience here at #JYD.
One of the most exciting and noteworthy aspects of the Ramsey School District is our 21st Century Skills Initiative. As part of that initiative, this past year the Ramsey School District adopted Google Apps for Education. Over the last month at Dater School all teachers and students have been introduced to and immersed in this technology. Each student at Dater School has their own Google account, which gives them access to the full Google Apps for Education suite. This gives them access to Google Drive, Gmail, and several other Google Apps. So far, we have only been working with Google Drive and the effects on teaching and learning have been tremendous. Click on the link above to keep reading.
Email is a great tool for education. It allows teachers to collaborate with each other, communicate with parents, and for many of the transactional aspects of education to be done more efficiently and effectively than would be possible without it. In all honesty, I am not quite sure what we did before email. I try to imagine what the Dater School of my youth was like without email and I almost break out in hives. Click on the above link to access the full newsletter.
If you are reading this newsletter, then I am sure you are already aware of the emphasis we put on Character Education here at Dater. I have written about some of our initiatives previously. This month’s newsletter is not about a specific initiative, but rather a philosophy that teachers and parents can work on together. A few years back I was in a Barnes and Nobles and came across a book called Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith. The author is a fifth-grade teacher who has won numerous national teaching awards. While the entire book was interesting and I “borrowed” some ideas for my classrooms, the most interesting chapter for me was about his behavior management system and how he teaches character and ethical behavior to his students. Esquith has adapted a framework from psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg called the Six Levels of Moral Development. When translated to his classroom, the levels can be explained as: • Level 1 – I don’t want to get in trouble • Level 2 – I want a reward • Level 3 – I want to please someone • Level 4 – I follow the rules • Level 5 – I am considerate of other people • Level 6 – I have a personal code of behavior and I follow it. Click on the above link to access the full newsletter.
If you are looking for a great book to read, you might want to pick up the book Wonder by RJ Palacio. While its target audience is children ages 8-12, it is a great read for adults as well. In fact, this recent article from The Wall Street Journal is all about how the book and other similar books have found popularity amongst an adult audience due to the their overall quality and willingness to wrestle with serious themes. Click on the above link to keep reading.
As you know, report cards will be posted on the Parent Portal today at 2:45 PM. I thought this would be a good time to reach out with some more information about the report cards and their purpose at Dater School. The purpose of the report card is to assist students in the process of learning by reporting actual student progress to students and parents. Your upcoming conference with your child’s homeroom teacher will also be a great chance to get updated on your child’s progress.
I hope everyone is enjoying these glorious long, relaxing days of summer. I hope this newsletter doesn’t provoke too much back-to-school anxiety for you! Please be assured that we still have several weeks of summer to enjoy. I just want to reach out to say hello and inform you of some of the personnel changes that have occurred at Dater this summer. Click the link above to keep reading.
I hope this message finds you well. It has been a great journey at Dater and now we are all looking forward to the wonderful summer months that lie ahead. In this letter I have included some of my beliefs about summer work and some suggestions to make summer learning both effective and fun. Click on the link above to keep reading.
Next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. However, because it coincides with the NJ ASK 5, we have postponed our celebration at Dater until May 22. On this date, the PTO will generously provide a luncheon for the faculty at Dater School. To recognize our teachers next week, I have decided to dedicate this newsletter to the terrific group of educators that make Dater School the special place that it is. In my first year, I have been so impressed with the dedication of these professionals who put in long hours to make sure our students are receiving a first-rate education. Click the link above to keep reading.
This spring our students will be taking the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK). The Grade 5 Assessment will be given the week of May 6 and the Grade 4 Assessment will be given the week of May 13. The Language Arts section of the test will be administered on Monday and Tuesday; the Mathematics section will be given on Wednesday and Thursday. The Science section will be given on Friday (Grade 4 only). Your child will be coming home today with the “Parent, Student, and Teacher Information Guide.” This booklet will include more detailed information on the NJ ASK. Click the link above to keep reading.