Return to Headlines

H.S.A League Newsletter - March





Winter has been a busy time for Jefferson School. Currently, our K Kids program is running a month long, child-focused food drive to benefit the Caldwell Food Pantry. Each week, we are collecting items such as breakfast cereals, lunch snacks, and children-friendly foods to help replenish the Pantry’s stock.

Last week was Read Across America week and our Media Specialist, Kate Berkman, lead various activities that encouraged our students to read. Our top overall readers were from Ms. Carleton’s 2nd grade class. As a reward, I will be teaching their class for an afternoon.

Last Friday our students experienced the nighttime sky inside our gym with a mobile planetarium experience. Our students learned about the Milky Way, the planets and other galaxies, and how our sun provides us with light and heat.

Our annual Book Fair kicks off on Saturday, March 25th from 9:00-11:00 AM. Thanks to the generosity of our H.S.A., each child will receive a $5.00 gift certificate to be used towards the purchase of a book during the Book Fair.

We are hoping for a successful Tricky Tray on Thursday, April 6th @ East Hanover Manor. We encourage everyone to come out and join in on the festivities. The monies raised will go towards replacing our current audio visual equipment in the Multipurpose Room.

Lastly, thanks to a grant from the Caldwell Education Foundation, we have received a Magnet Wall that will be installed in our garden. This is the first step in a multi-year initiative to help turn our garden into an outdoor classroom. The wall will help our teachers implement the Next Generation Science Standards by working on hands-on science projects in this wonderful setting. It will also expose our students to additional authentic learning experiences.

No Shave November Fundraiser
Gallery image
Read Across America





Our annual Jump Rope for Heart event took on special meaning this year. The event was dedicated to Mary Ann Ciesla, founder of the event and former Lincoln School nurse, who passed away in the fall. Third, fourth and fifth graders jumped to it and raised over $4500 for the American Heart Association. Mrs. Zeman, our phys ed teacher, prepared the students, teaching them some tricky jump rope moves that served them well. School nurse Leslie Moran coordinated the event with Mrs. Zeman and staff members donned blue and white tee shirts designed by media specialist Doreen Golembeski emblazoned with the event name and a jump rope. Mrs. Ciesla’s husband and daughter were honored to be on hand to turn the ropes for the children.

If you’ve been walking through the halls of Lincoln School lately you may have heard beautiful music emanating. That’s the sound of our instrumental music students preparing for and presenting their recitals. It is thrilling to hear how far the students have come as they play pieces that they have practiced over the past several months. At the recitals their polished pieces shine. Kudos to the instrumental teachers whose dedication is clear when you hear these skilled young musicians.

What in the world do third, fourth, and fifth graders know about geography? A lot! The Lincoln School Geography was real nail biter this year with sections going into overtime before we had our winners. Three children moved on to the district bee where they represented our school with pride. Congratulations to the all the participants. The Lincoln School winners were Ryan Ostrowski, Justin Navarro and Grace Szostak.
Gallery image
Gallery image
Gallery image


Washington School News

February at Washington School was a busy and exciting month.

We celebrated the birthday of our namesake with a Birthday Design Challenge led by our Instructional Coach and one of our fifth grade teachers, as well as the 100th day of school and Valentine’s Day.

We registered incoming Kindergarteners, coordinating their Kindergarten schedules to coincide with our new Kindergarten Wrap-Around program for many.

Washington School also played host to our second annual district-wide Elementary Geography Bee, with now fifth grader Jordan Sang , from Washington, taking the first prize slot for the second year in a row.

March brought with it a wide variety of both weather and activities. Our Cultural Arts committee sponsored a ‘LeadU’ interactive assembly which focused on self-confidence, self-advocacy and leadership skills, and was absolutely terrific! Our fourth graders participated in a day of standardized testing which will become part of The Nation’s Report Card, which reports on the state of our public school nationwide.

Keeping literacy first and foremost in our minds, Washington held a Washington School Night at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, making a nice profit for both the independent bookstore and our HSA, while putting more books into the hands of our families. The month will conclude with our school’s annual Book Fair, which brings affordable books into the school setting, making it easy for more children to bring home a book of their own, as well as our Spring session of Healthy Snacks at Lunch, provided and served by our hard-working HSA parents.

Geography Bee
Art Show
Art Show





Wilson School News

All four elementary schools recently competed in a Geography Bee. After competing in the classroom, the top scoring students in grades three, four and five moved on to the school finals.

The results at Wilson were as follows:

​1​st place - Alexandra Vacchiano, 2nd - Caelan Cook, 3rd - Ava Schott.

Many Wilson School students recently took place in our Intermediate Strings Recital. Students ranging from grades two through five did a wonderful job. A special thank you to teachers Mr. Lienhard and Mr. Downey.

Wilson students enjoyed a wide variety of festivities during our Dr. Seuss celebration. Led by our media specialist Mrs. Emmolo, students had the opportunity to be read to by guest readers and to wear their favorite hat, pajamas, and socks, just to name a few.

Big image


Grover Cleveland Middle School News!

While the winter weather may be limiting time outdoors and have everyone looking for the first signs of spring, activities inside the walls of GCMS have been a buzz. Whether engaging in dynamic lessons in the classroom, showcasing their talents on stage in a musical performance, or gaining awareness and empathy from listening to a guest speaker share a story of perseverance, students at GCMS have blossomed from their experiences.

The first week of February presented sixth-grade students and their parents with one of the most popular learning activities at GCMS - “Immigration Day.” For the past ten years, sixth-grade Social Studies teachers and their grade-level colleagues, provided a first-hand simulation that allows students to connect with their family history and experience what it was like to be part of the immigration experience they study in social studies. Students worked on creating a profile for themselves, getting dressed up, doing their family tree, researching famous immigrants, creating a virtual suitcase on what to pack and creating their own passport. The main objectives are to study the wave of immigrants who came to America in the early twenties and entered through Ellis Island, and the process they went through to become American. Secondly, and probably the most important part of the unit, is to get students to understand their family's heritage and path to becoming American citizens by having them engage in dialogue with parents and grandparents about these experience. A parent email that was sent to the sixth-grade teachers the day after Immigration Day spoke of the positive impact this learning activity has.

“ Immigration Day was a wonderful event and thank you for all of the time and work you put into it. My children enjoyed not only the day itself, but all of the research and preparation. They asked a lot of questions and we had some very memorable dinner conversations about mine and my husband grandparents and great-grandparents. It was truly a beautiful experience.”

Immigration Day was not the only event at GCMS in February that allowed students to take on the roles of other characters. Under the directorial guidance of 7th grade teachers, Ms. Gianakis and Mrs. Peluso, students in the middle school drama club put on “roaring” performance in this year’s production, “The Lion King.” Much thanks goes out to the many parent volunteers who assisted with everything from costume and set design to ticket sales and refreshments the nights of the performances. It is truly a pleasure as a Principal to see your students perform and shine under the big lights in front of a sold out audience.

An event held the day before President’s weekend brought GCMS teachers and students together to learn the true meaning of perseverance and overcoming obstacles. Eric LeGrand, former Rutgers University football player who has become a national inspiration for his positive attitude shown since being paralyzed in a game back in 2010, shared his experience and the importance of always being positive with students and staff. A sign of support for Team LeGrand and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation was shown in the “Believe” t-shirts teachers and student House leaders were wearing the day of the event. Eric had no idea that GCMS faculty and students purchased the shirts to support Team LeGrand and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation for spinal cord injury research and awareness. Eric's message was definitely received by students. As they were leaving school that day, I asked them what they thought about his story. Words like "inspiring,” "fantastic,” "unbelievable," and "powerful" were spoken by students. An excellent video article on the event can be viewed on

I cannot sum up the last few months of activities at GCMS without thanking my wonderful H.S.A for the work they have done this year and, most recently, with the first annual “Beef & Brew” beefsteak fundraiser event held on February 25th. The event was a huge success thanks to the hard work of Jeanmarie Smith, Denise Pecora, Julianne Grosso, Lisa Stefanelli, Suki Blumenstock, and all of the other committee members and parent volunteers who helped create a wonderful night.
Immigration Day
Eric Legrand & GCMS House Leaders
Immigration Day





For HSA Newsletter- March 2017

JCHS Valedictorian & Salutatorian

With the end of the second marking period, we calculate mid-year grades and establish cumulative GPA. This is what we use to officially determine the Class of 2017 Valedictorian & Salutatorian. The valedictorian for the Class of 2017 is Jenna Martinez. This year’s salutatorian is Roxanne Wilcox. Not only are they incredible, academic role models, but they demonstrate outstanding character through their daily interactions with staff and students. As valedictorian and salutatorian, they will have the honor of addressing their peers at graduation. We are incredibly proud of them. Congratulations Jenna & Roxanne!

Senior-Staff Volleyball Game

There was a great deal of excitement at the annual Seniors vs. Faculty Volleyball Night that took place on March 2. Seven senior teams and two faculty teams competed for the title. Teachers 1 made it to the finals, but at the end of the night, the team named Confused won the volleyball championship. There is an attached photo of the champions.

Excited for the upcoming production of Legally Blonde

Omigod You Guys…. Legally Blonde is coming to JCHS from March 23-26. Come see Elle Woods and the girls of Delta Nu. You should also visit Paulette’s “Hair Affair” in the JCHS Cafeteria on March 25 & 26 before the show and get your photo taken with the canine co-stars. See the JCHS website for more information.

Blood Drive

The Red Cross Club, National Honor Society, and their advisors, Ms. Baut and Ms Astorino, ran a blood drive for March 9. Thank you to the brave volunteers who donated. They hit 110.7% of their goal. The total number of units collected will help 93 people. See attached photos

Forensic Team

Congratulations to the JCHS Forensic Team. BOTH Julia Tuck and Jessica Rizzo will be representing James Caldwell High School in the National Forensic Tournament to be held in Kentucky over the Memorial Day Weekend! Julia placed first in the Declamation category on Saturday, March 4 at the Union Catholic Tournament, and Jessica accumulated enough first place points over the course of the season to qualify for Nationals. Congratulations to the whole team and good luck to Julia and Jess!!!

New Presentation System in the JCHS Cafeteria

With a generous donation from our Home and School Association, we installed a new presentation system in our cafeteria on February 21. A mounted LCD projector, motorized screen, ceiling mounted speakers, and a cordless mic are a few of the components of the new system. The cafeteria is used for many of our student information sessions, staff professional development workshops, and night guidance presentations. Thank you to the Home and School Association Officers and all who support the HSA!

Service Nights

On February 28, 2017, Service Night joined forces with the Patriots Club to cut and organize coupons for military families. On March 28th, the students will be making Care & Comfort bags for women who enter the Jersey Battered Women’s shelters. There will also be a guest speaker from this organization. This meeting will also be the kick-off for the district-wide cell phone drive to benefit victims of domestic abuse.

Annual Shredding Event

The JCHS Scholarship Fund Committee has scheduled their annual shredding event for Saturday, April 22 from 9:30 am -12:30 pm at the Caldwell municipal offices. They are collaborating with the Caldwell Environmental Commission again this year to promote Earth Day.

JCHS Guidance

The Guidance Department has been meeting with students to discuss schedules for next year. When counselors meet with students they have been sharing course placements, based upon teacher recommendation, and elective options. Students should make themselves familiar the course offerings of JCHS by looking at the 2017-18 Curriculum Handbook, which is available online on the Guidance Webpage at A copy of proposed courses will be sent home with the student. These meetings are ongoing and will continue through the end of this month. If your child has not yet met with their Guidance Counselor, please know that they will have their appointment shortly.

In addition to discussing next year’s courses, current juniors will also discuss the college search process. Students are reminded to utilize their Naviance account to research college options and work on their resume. We want to remind students that they should be focused on the following 3 points: research colleges and work on generating a list of schools of interest, prepare for and take standardized tests (SAT or ACT), and consider which two teachers to ask for a letter of recommendation. As always, students should see their Counselor if they have any questions about how to proceed with this process.

Blood Drive
Senior Volley Ball
Senior Volley Ball





Caldwell Athletics

Winter Season Highlights 2017

Four of our winter sports team had great post-season success at the county and state level. Here are the highlights.


Both our Boys and Girls Swim Teams qualified for the NJSIAA State Tournament. The Boys Team won their 1st round matchup only to lose in the 2nd round. The Girls Team won their way to the Sectional Finals, where they got beat by a strong Bernards Team. Eight of our swimmers qualified for the Individual State Tournament. The Boys Relay Team set a school record and Natalie Dalla Riva finished 4th in the State in the 200m Intermediate Medley.

Indoor Track

Chief High Jumper Nick Malzone set several records as he competed during the season jumping an impressive 6’4 a couple of times along the way. Nick finished 1st in the County, 2nd in Group 2 and qualified for the State Tournament of Champions.


Our Bowling Team completed a very successful season by finishing 2nd in the SEC. Individually Bryce Bayard came away with the Individual Title, finishing 1st in the County. Two of our Bowlers, Bryce Bayard and Colin Dromgoole qualified for the State Individual Tournament.


Our Wrestling Team wrestled in the Sectional State Finals, losing to an excellent Hanover Park Team. Our team finished 3rd in the Districts sending 8 wrestlers to the Regional Tournament. Advancing from the Regions and moving on to Atlantic City for the Individual State Wrestling Tournament were Jerry Jones, Christian Dalla Riva and John Murphy. Jerry Jones finished in the top 12 of all wrestlers in his weight class and came within one victory of placing in the top 8.