By: Bonnie Shultz and the CASP Team
In Art Therapy group, towards the end of the school year, the term transition/change was addressed. It’s imperative to discuss this topic with the students and teachers. The concept of transition can be abstract and difficult to comprehend, especially when talking about feelings and the inner-self. The following directive focused on transition/change by using a variety of art materials, such as colored construction paper and black markers. The students created nature images and places to visit, such as an Island or New York City. This was a cohesive experience.
Jersey City is very proud of its athletes and unified partners who participated in this year’s Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games. Additionally, it marked the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics as an organization. The event is hosted at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, where they face 2500 of New Jersey’s top athletes in various sporting competitions. When all was said and done, our athletes stood on podiums proudly grasping their medals of gold, silver, and bronze, not to mention awards in various other categories.
A committed group of coaches prepared our athletes and unified partners through rigorous weekly training. Schools across Jersey City hold the training sessions weekly September through May on Saturday mornings in preparation for this event. They trained in Aquatics, Basketball, Bowling, Softball and Track & Field with great anticipation of this event.
Teamwork, PS 22
By: Michele Anastos
The students in Ms. Krystal Sanchez’s LD class at PS 22 really enjoy working together. They have developed respect towards each other which was modeled and reinforced by their teacher Ms. Sanchez. Ms. Sanchez implements many group activities that not only enhances their learning experiences, but also teaches the students how to work collaboratively together in groups. She has taught her students how to use positive, meaningful language towards each other when working together in groups. Ms. Sanchez stresses that when working together in a group that it is teamwork and that everyone needs to be a part of the team. The students are always eager and enthusiastic to work together and be part of a team!
Full STEAM Ahead in our C.H.O.I.C.E.S Classrooms, PS 5 & PS 8
By: Melissa Cook
What is STEAM? STEAM is a teaching approach that combines science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This way of learning increases student engagement, transforms the classroom from a teacher-centered environment to a student- centered classroom, emphasizes problem solving, discovery, and exploratory learning all while working collaboratively.
In Mr. Smith’s class at P.S #5 and Ms. Mussara’s class at P.S. #8, students in grades 3-5 have been participating in STEAM projects that have incorporated literacy in order to introduce the problem. One activity that we completed included reading a readers’ theater of “The Gingerbread Man” where each student had a role to read aloud. We then were faced with a problem of building a boat that would keep a gummy bear dry. Students worked with a partner to create a boat that would float using various materials such as straws, popsicle sticks, bubble wrap, paper and paper clips. The students had 20 minutes to work together and brainstorm ideas in order to build their boat. In both classes, the boats were a success and all of our gummy bears stayed dry!
Below are some sample materials that can be used to create STEAM activities. Have a few of these items on hand over the summer and see what your child can create!
- Marbles - masking tape - multicolored stickies - paint and paint brushes - paper clips -paper cups - pasta -pipe cleaners -playing cards - popsicle sticks - puzzles - rubber banks - scissors - scrap lumber - stop watches - string - styrofoam balls - toothpicks - yam
Exciting Learning for All Students with UDL, PS #30
By: Donna Renee Middlebrooks
Principal, Dr. Martha Osei-Yaw of P.S. 30 had a vision for her school and wanted all of the students to be actively engaged in the learning process. Recognizing that all of her students are different and that they don’t learn in the same way, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has been incorporated into her school at every grade level. Teachers are providing their students with a variety of ways to learn; and the students are given many choices to demonstrate and express what they have learned through active engagement. The needs of all of the students are being met in this UDL environment. Way to go to the Administrators, staff and students!
Team Building Day at PS#14
By: Tiffany Magliullo-Fallen
L.I.N.K.S. lead teachers Tiffany Magliulo-Fallon and Donna Middlebrooks collaborated with the staff at PS#14 to provide professional development on cooperative learning strategies. The teachers and students work really hard throughout the year preparing for the PARCC assessment. In order to mentally prepare the students for the assessment, teachers thought they would try something a little different. As a team, they decided that incorporating team building activities and brain breaks into their daily routine would help their students feel at ease while having fun. After spending a few mornings with the lead teachers discussing the importance of brain breaks and team building activities, the 7th and 8th grade teachers were ready to introduce their students to these structures. They spent a few days preparing in the classroom before gathering all of the students for a fun day of team building!
Campaign Connect teachers assisted the classroom teachers and planned four cooperative learning sessions for the day; Decision Making, Stress Management, Proper Nutrition, and Etiquette. They began the day by meeting in the auditorium to discuss the exciting activities ahead of them. Teachers collected cellphones and the 7th and 8th grade students were placed into four groups. While laughing and engaging in appropriate conversation, each group rotated to each session.
As hoped for by the teachers, the students had an amazing time while making new friends and learned that working together as a team with the same goal in mind can actually make school more enjoyable. In addition, students reflected on the day, sharing their thoughts, both positive and negative. This productive day was brought to an end with pizza and a dance party!
Keeping Parents Informed
By: Jaime Merced
A goal of the Special Education Department is to keep parents informed and provide helpful tips on how to play an active role in their child's life throughout the year. With this in mind, the Special Education Department records Monthly Public Service Announcements (PSA) by a rotating group of Lead Teachers that feature topics, such as, how to help your child become a better reader, effective ways to talk and listen to adolescents, information on the Special Olympics Unified Sports Program, and much more. Simply go to jcboe.org and click the JCETV link to view a list of these and previously recored PSA's.
Springtime in Adapted Physical Education
By: Mary Hussey
During the month of April we celebrated Autism Awareness Month. Students at PS#15 participated in field day in the gym with a bouncy house, scooters and hoppity balls. Students at PS#14 also participated in field day. They had the opportunity to run an obstacle course, play basketball and use a stomp and catch board.
Our C.H.O.I.C.E.S. students participated in the M.A.R.R.C. event held at MS#7. Here they got to meet their pen pals from the Jersey City Police Department and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department. They interacted with the police officers while playing basketball, volleyball and tossing a ball to each other while using Velcro mitts. The students are looking forward to field day with their pen pals come June 13th. They’ll participate in kickball and horse shoes to just name a few of the activities.
During the rest of the springtime all of our students participated in tee ball, baseball, kickball, tennis and golf. It’s been a busy springtime!!
By: Dorothy Walsh-Calabro
Therapeutic riding provides a general sense of well-being, self-confidence and an increased interest in the outside world and one’s own life. Students are offered the opportunity to try something new and learn patience, emotional control, self-discipline and enhanced communication skills.
Her family, friends and colleagues raise money each year to provide students with an ice cream treat to brighten their day and reward their hard work. This year the event took place at our Leaps & Bounds program at Ferris High School and our CHAMPS and CHOICES programs at Dr. Michael Conti Public School #5 on June 8th. The excitement and joy that lights up students’ faces when they first see the ice cream truck is a small, yet fitting, tribute to the love Ann gave to her students and all who knew her.
First Grade SSE Stars! PS 39
By: Cara Van Note
A lot of great things are happening over at PS #39! The first grade students have been involved in the Sonday System Essentials (SSE) program since November 2017. Throughout the past seven months, their progress has been amazing! Ms. Gross’ class started the year at a cumulative DORA Phonics score of 0.16. When tested on DORA in June, the class scored a cumulative score of 1.1! The growth in Ms. Gross’ class has not only been on assessments, but also in confidence. Many of Ms. Gross’ students are currently enrolled in an ESL program. Four of these students are here in the United States from another country. One student, who has made tremendous growth, has been in the USA for LESS than a year.
Ms. Greene’s first grade class has also made impressive progress throughout the SSE program. Room 207 scored a cumulative score of 0.14 on DORA Phonics in the beginning of the year. By June, the class scored a cumulative score of 2.33 on DORA Phonics! Through hard work, multi-sensory techniques, and organization, Ms. Greene’s class DOUBLED their cumulative results.
Spring Luncheon, Academy 1
By: Veronica Krause
The weather was beautiful for the Annual Academy 1 Middle School Spring Luncheon and a wonderful time was had by our students from the CHAMPS and TEACH programs. Ms. Sarah Richardson, along with Mr. Davon Gertrude, Ms. Jacquelena Marchiano and Ms. LeKeisha Rosario worked tirelessly to organize the event which was a huge success. This years theme was a Luau party and the students and staff had a blast! All of the staff volunteered in the preparations and set up ensuring that the event ran smoothly. The smiles on the students’ faces say it all. Plans are already in the works for next year's luncheon which will be a carnival theme.