Did you ever wonder about what goes on at school over the summer? You may be surprised to learn, summer is one of the busiest times of the entire year! In July, we need to organize and update all of the student records including entering the new kindergarten classes, moving the recent fourth grade students to High Mountain School, and moving the rest of the Memorial students to the next grade level. We also update the schedules for teachers and this year added an additional Kindergarten and Third Grade section. This summer we had many new students register at Memorial School!
By August we’re focused on the start of the 2014-2015 school year. This involves finalizing letters to parents and staff, opening day procedures, goals and objectives for the year, making sure all the necessary forms and schedules are in place. All of the rooms are cleaned and ready to go. Every room was emptied and the floors were washed and waxed. Some areas around the school were painted while others areas needed some repairs to make sure our students and teachers have an optimal environment for learning. We all know how unbearably hot the summer can be, and we still managed to get it done on time and with a smile!
The always dependable Mrs. Pezzuti does an outstanding job all summer handling supply orders, details, and making sure everything is ready for opening day. She has enjoyed a well-deserved vacation and time spent with her family in Long Beach Island and has demonstrated tremendous pride in making sure we are organized and ready for the start of the year.
Our amazing teaching staff is enjoying their vacations where they are spending time with family and friends. They are so exciting about meeting all of their new students and when they return will work extremely hard to create a learning environment that welcomes exploration, problem-solving, and critical-thinking.
Our technology coordinator Mr. Fernandez has done a superb job with our Realtime Program, so that all of our students could receive their class assignment letters on time. Mr. Bowe, Mr. Fernandez, and I are also very excited about the use of technology in our building, so throughout the summer our new laptop computers have been unwrapped, programmed, and placed on carts throughout our school. The laptops have been checked to make sure they are ready for our students, so they can explore and research different topics introduced in their classes throughout the year.
Overall, the summer schedule is less hectic for a principal. I don’t wear a suit or tie, and I was able to plan another vacation in Cape May, NJ and even found time to meet with colleagues, family, and friends as well. I have enjoyed the time I have spent this summer here at Memorial School in getting everything ready for our amazing students here in North Haledon. I am excited about seeing each of you on the first day of school. By the third week of August, while we know most everyone else would still love to have two or three weeks of summer, we’re ready and can’t wait to welcome everyone back for the start of another great year at Memorial School!
See you on Wednesday, September 3rd!
Mr. Giovanni A. Giancaspro
Memorial School, Principal
Please visit Memorial School's Summer Math Webpage
Looking to practice your keyboarding skills during those rainy summer days….
Check out Mrs. Stipelkovich’s website:
You’ll find lots of keyboarding, math, and language games to keep you busy during those rainy summer days.
Need to register your child for Kindergarten?
Click on the link below to download the forms.
Unable to attend the Memorial School's Standards-Based Report Cards and New Schedule Informational Meeting?
Want a recap of this important information?
Click the link below to view the complete presentation.
May 19, 2014
Has your child lost a sweatshirt? A coat? A hat? All lost items are to be turned into the Lost and Found, which is located in the cafeteria. The Lost and Found containers are overflowing with clothing and personal items. Please remind your child to look through clothing located on the tables in the back of the cafeteria. Students are encouraged to check for all lost items there.
Parents please remember to place your child's name on every personal item brought to school. Please put names in your child’s jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, lunch boxes, etc. so we can get those items to your child. The Lost and Found will be cleaned out at the end of the school day on Monday, June 30, 2014 prior Summer Break, so it’s important that these items are claimed before this identified time. All items that are not claimed will be given to local charities.
If your child does bring an item to school and loses it, he/she may check in the Lost and Found. The school cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. Please remind your child to leave personal items/toys/electronics at home. They can disrupt the learning environment and create safety problems. Also, there is a risk of items being broken, lost or stolen.
If you think your child may have belongings in the Lost and Found, please come by the school to pick them up or encourage your child to do so themselves.
Memorial Elementary School, Principal
October 10, 2013
The North Haledon Schools’ system is proud to introduce Standard-Based report cards for Grades K-4 this year 2013-2014. The change to a Standards-Based report card comes from the belief that our previous report card did not fully communicate what students are expected to know and be able to do as set forth in the College and Career Ready Common Core Standards. This new report card will benefit students, teachers and parents/guardians.
It will allow students to be more aware of what is expected of them. It will provide parents with a more detailed outline of the expectations in each of the major academic areas. We believe that your understanding of what is expected of your child and how well he or she is progressing towards the goals at his or her grade level is very important. We look forward to working together to provide your child with the knowledge and tools to be successful and to reach his or her fullest potential. The following questions may be on your mind as we transition from a traditional to standards-based report card.
1. What is Standard-Based grade reporting?
A Standards-Based grade reporting system is designed to inform parents about their child’s progress towards achieving specific learning standards. The NJ Common Core State Standards establish high and challenging performance expectations for all students. They describe what students should know and be able to do, and serve as the basis for Memorial School’s curriculum, instruction and assessment model.
2. Why was the report card changed to the Standards-Based report cards?
The report card was changed to provide more information to parents about student progress on the NJ Common Core State Standards. On a traditional report card, students receive one grade for reading, one for math, one for science and so on. On a Standards-Based report card, each of these subject areas is further expanded by a list of skills and knowledge students are responsible for learning. Students receive a separate mark for each indicator.
3. What is the purpose of the Standards-Based report card?
The purpose of the Standards-Based report card is to provide feedback that is more detailed to parents regarding the progress their children are making towards specific content indicators at each grade level. This report card allows parent and students to understand more clearly what is expected at each grade level. With this understanding, parents will be better able to guide and support their child helping him/her to be successful in a rigorous academic program.
4. How does the Standards-Based report card compare to the traditional letter grade system?
Standards-Based report card reporting is different from traditional letter grade reporting. Letter or numerical grades are often calculated by combining how well the student met a teacher’s expectations, how the student performed on assignments and tests, how much effort the teacher believes the student put in and how the student is doing in comparison to classmates. Letter and numeral grades do not tell parents, which skills their child has mastered or where he or she is working at grade level. The Standards-Based report card measures how well an individual student is doing in relation to the grade level standards, not the work of other students. This will give parents a better understanding of their child’s strengths and weakness and encourage all students to do their best.
5. Won’t the entire grade level receive the same grades?
Learning is a process and it should be expected that repeated exposure and experiences are necessary to gain ownership of new skills and strategies. An assessment score of 3 indicates the student is progressing toward the standard. Once a student demonstrates thorough understanding of concepts and skills with a performance characterized by the ability to apply skills with accuracy and quality, he or she would receive a 2. This move from a 3 to a 2 can take place at any point during the school year and is very student specific. Once a student demonstrates he or she meets the standard, they can then consistently demonstrate their ability to apply a thorough in-depth knowledge of basic and extended concepts and skills with performance characterized by self-motivation and the ability to apply skills with consistent accuracy, independence and a high level of quality. This would result in a 1. This again is very student specific and can occur at any time during the school year.
6. My child has an IEP. How will he or she be assessed?
There are modifications and accommodations in your child’s IEP to support his or her progress on grade level standards as assessed on a Standards-Based report card.
7. Does this new system place more emphasis on daily interactions between teacher and student as opposed to standardized scores?
Neither traditional nor Standards-Based report cards rely solely on standardized test scores. A major characteristic of elementary assessment had always been the daily interaction throughout the process of learning. Standards-Based report cards better provide for in-depth communication on the continuum of learning.
8. How do you expect parents to explain to their children why they did not get a 1?
It is important that parents and teachers have honest conversations with students. Some concepts and skills are more difficult to grasp than others, but given time and motivation, students can continually challenge themselves. Attitudes are contagious and it is important that adults involved convey to the child that learning is a process that needs to be respected. A score of 3 while learning a new skill or concept is appropriate. A score of 2 demonstrating mastery is to be celebrated. A score of 1 indicates a strength being recognized that is above and beyond the grade level expectations.
If you have any further questions regarding the new Standards-Based report cards or new schedule implemented this fall. I will be holding a meeting to discuss both of these topics.
Date: October 17, 2013
Place: Memorial School, Cafeteria
Time: 6:30pm-7:00pm Kindergarten
7:00pm-7:30pm 1st & 2nd Grades
7:30pm-8:00pm 3rd & 4th Grades
Thank you for your cooperation in this regard.
Giovanni A. Giancaspro
Memorial School, Principal
As we begin the 2013-2014 school year with a new standards-based report card, the teaching staff will be assessing students in all content areas that are located on the report card. The students at Memorial School will start to come home with graded assignments, rubrics, and assessments that are reflective of their performance on standard-based assessments.
Students will be earning academic indicators on their performance on assignments and assessments. The indicators are listed below to help assist parents with making a connection to their child’s progress in specific content areas from basic to advanced levels.
The academic evaluation key for all graded assignments and assessments will be:
1 : Exceeds Standards – Student consistently understands, applies, and extends key concepts, processes, and skills. Works beyond standards.
2: Meets Standards – Student understands and applies key concepts, processes, and skills. Meets standards.
3: Approaching Standards – Student is beginning to understand and apply key concepts, processes, and skills. Approaching standards.
4: Needs Support – Students is not understanding key concepts, processes, and essential skills. Area of concern.
N/A: Not Applicable – Not assessed at this time.
The academic grade level indicators are directly aligned to the standards and will be placed on all rubrics, assessments, progress reports, and academic report cards.
I will continue to keep you updated, as we roll out the 2013-2014 new standards-based report cards and grading procedures.
Giovanni A. Giancaspro
Memorial School, Principal
201 Squaw Brook Road
North Haledon, NJ 07508(973)427-8993
Dear Memorial Elementary School Parents and Community Members,
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year at Memorial! The opportunity to open the new school year as the instructional leader of such a magnificent school is truly a blessing. I plan to embrace the traditions that have been established at the school and to continue to work collaboratively with staff, students, parents, community and business partners to create a school district of the 21st century.
We, at Memorial Elementary School, are excited and eager to begin this new school year as we continue to provide rigorous and relevant academic, social, emotional and physical learning experiences for our students so they can become independent college and career ready citizens of the 21st century. As the principal of Memorial Elementary School, it is also important to me that everyone seeks to build positive relationships among all stakeholders in our Memorial learning community. Everyone who steps through our doors – staff, students, parents and guests are all treated well, in a respectable, positive and nurturing environment. Building strong relationships with all of you is important to everyone in Memorial’s learning community. Safety and security is priority and ensuring that your child(ren) feel safe at school is critical. Communication is paramount to developing strong relationships.
For this reason, I encourage you to contact your child’s teacher or myself with any concerns or questions. Therefore, our theme for this school year 2014-2015 is “Making Connections.” A community is defined as a unified body of individuals, people with common interests living in a particular area. Memorial’s unified common interest is the students of this school. I respectfully ask that as a community, we all embrace the idea of doing whatever it takes to ensure the positive academic, social, emotional and physical growth of all Memorial students.
As a professional learning community, we are committed to working together to provide challenging educational opportunities for all children and to ensure that our school is a safe and secure environment for learning. To be successful as a learning community we need everyone’s help. Collaboration is the key! Developing a collaborative relationship with your child’s teacher is the main ingredient to a healthy and successful year. Open communication is vital to ensure a successful home-school partnership. Parent involvement is a key aspect in every child’s education and a primary factor for success in school.
There are many ways that you can get involved: volunteering in the classroom, chaperoning field trips, becoming a member of the PTO and Education Foundation or assisting with other school activities.
A new vision and school year presents many opportunities to move forward ... a new beginning. However, “newness” alone cannot bring transformation. We must be willing to embrace change and trust that it will be what is best for the students and the school. We have the opportunity to bring about change. I ask that we all work together to collaborate and continue to strive for excellence. Memorial is a GREAT school and we will strive for it to be even GREATER! Henry Ford once said, “Together we can . . . TEAMWORK. Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success!
In closing, I feel very lucky to be leading Memorial Elementary School. It is through being a collaborative learning community with consistent, honest and open communication that we can best serve our students. Please feel free to phone or email me and I’d be happy to be of assistance to you. I thank you in advance for this opportunity to serve once again as the Principal of Memorial Elementary School.
Giovanni A. Giancaspro
Memorial Elementary School, Principal
201 Squaw Brook Road
North Haledon, NJ 07508