West Essex News December 16, 2011

West Essex School District newsletter


West Essex News                  December 16, 2011


Hello everyone! It has been a week full of festive holiday happenings here at West Essex. I hope everyone has enjoyed all of the special events.


Thank you for all of your newsletter submissions.  Please keep sending them to afreeman@westex.org. Any questions, feel free to call me at extension 101.  


I have had several inquiries about this newsletter. I e-mail the newsletter to parents, students, staff, administrators, the Board of Education as well as anyone from the public who would like to receive it. I also send it to the Progress and the Caldwells Patch and post it on the District website.


Did you know that West Essex Regional Schools is on Facebook? Make sure you become a fan and receive updates on everything happening at West Essex.


Are you making regular visits to the School District website? Keep up-to-date with everything going on at West Essex. Check out the photo galleries featuring pictures of West Essex students. New this week is a gallery of photos of the High School Senior Citizen Breakfast & Holiday Concert, the Accolades High School Honors Choir performing at the Essex Fells Country Club and the Middle School Students reading for Teen Read Week.


West Essex Regional Board of Education


The West Essex Regional Board of Education will hold a Regular meeting on Monday, January 16th at 7:30 p.m. at the middle school.


Important Dates:

  • December 19: Middle School Photos with Santa
  • December 22: High School Photos with Santa
  • December 23: All Schools – Early Dismissal
  • December 26-30: Holiday Recess - No School.
  • January 2: School Reopens.



Holiday Concert:

  • December 23: West Essex Middle School Winter Concert for Students and Staff


Special Message from MS Principal


West Essex Middle School was evacuated at about 8 a.m. Friday morning as a result of a burning belt on a heating vent which services room 131. The following steps were taken:


  1.  The fire alarm was pulled and all students and staff were evacuated from the building.
  2. The North Caldwell Fire Company was dispatched to the middle school.
  3. In an orderly fashion, all students and staff were moved to the high school auditorium while the Fire Department checked the building.
  4. At my direction, I asked all students with phones to text parents to make them aware of the events and of their safety.
  5. At approximately 8:15 AM the North Caldwell Fire Department declared that the middle school was safe and could be reoccupied.
  6. Once again, at my direction, I asked all students to text home and make parents aware of our entry back into a safe middle school facility.
  7. At 8:25 AM, all students and staff were back in their classrooms, attendance was taken to ensure that all students were accounted for and the school day resumed with the beginning of second period.

In particular, I want you to know that the North Caldwell Police and Fire Department commended all middle school students and staff for conducting themselves in a manner which ensured their safety during this unexpected event.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns please call or e-mail me at:

(973) 228-1200 ext. 300



David Montgomery, Middle School Principal


District News:


More than 200 senior citizens spent Wednesday morning enjoying a special breakfast and holiday concert featuring food and performances by our high school students at the annual West Essex High School Senior Citizen Breakfast & Holiday Concert. The seniors, more than twice as many in attendance as last year, feasted on a delicious breakfast of fruit, baked French Toast, crumb coffee cake, muffins, juice, coffee and tea, admired students artwork on display and enjoyed performances by the high school choral, instrumental and dance groups. The event was made possible by hours of volunteer work by staff and students and the generosity of the West Essex PTA, the West Essex Foundation for Education and many local businesses.


West Essex High School students will be able to seek help with their writing at the new free After School Writing Center beginning January 3, 2012l. The Center will offer students personalized help with their writing after school three days per week.  This dynamic new program was created to help students improve their writing. This Center is not only for English students, but for any student who needs assistance in writing. Students should sign up in the library by 1 p.m. that day and will meet their English Department tutor in room 502 after school. The Center will be staffed by Mr. Fardin, Mr. Slotoroff and Ms. Bailey and will be open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the rest of the school year from 2:40 to 3:40 p.m.


Representatives from ADP visited 14 classes of seventh and eighth grade students today (Friday) to play a Jeopardy-like game educating students about cyber safety. Students received ADP balls and golf towels when they answered questions correctly. “I believe this was a wonderful start educating our students about cyber security,” said Middle School Assistant Principal Lisa Tamburri. “The ADP Team presentation was informative and interactive for all students. I am pleased with our new relationship with ADP and I am looking forward to further presentations for our students at West Essex Middle School.”


The West Essex High School Honors Choir “The Accolades” performed at the Essex Fells Country Club December 8th for the Essex Fells Women’s Association Christmas Luncheon. The group performed seven holiday songs and received enthusiastic applause from the association.


The West Essex PTO is sponsoring Photos with Santa at the Middle School and at the High School. The photos at the Middle School will be taken December 19th during lunch while the photos at the High School will take place during lunch on December 22nd. Students can pay $1 to have their photo taken with Santa and their friends. All of the money collected will be donated to a charity selected by the Student Council.


The WEHS Masquers will stage Disney’s “High School Musical,” for its Spring Musical  March 22-24. Auditions will take place January 9-13 in the High School Auditorium.


The West Essex High School Art Club created a Snoopy Christmas-themed mural which is on display at the high school. You can also see a photo gallery showing the students creating the mural on our website at www.westex.org.


High School Yearbooks may be purchased online at www.Jostensyearbooks.com through December 31. Ads may also be purchased and can be designed by the yearbook staff. For information, visit http://www.westex.org/domain/68.


The Middle School Yearbook BLITZ is on. A special contest is running through December 18th.  The homeroom with the highest percentage of yearbooks purchased and the homeroom with the highest number of ads (personal ads and business ads) purchased will win a bagel or donut breakfast. Order now to make sure that enough books are printed and everyone gets one. Yearbooks are $40 and can be ordered on our website at http://www.westex.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=774&ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-4130-8424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=2146&PageID=1067.


Student Achievements:


Three West Essex High School musicians have been selected for the Area Band. They are: junior and clarinet player Jason Ajmo, sophomore trumpet player Michael Markus and senior trumpet player David Shields. The Area Band is an auditioned group of the top 200 high school musicians from Essex, Bergen, Passaic and Sussex counties. The band will perform its concert January 15th at Mount Olive High School.


The West Essex Middle School Social Studies Department is proud to announce the top three students in the National History Bee Middle School Competition. They are: Jason Morganti, first place; Louis Galrowicz, second place; Isabel Parzecki, third place. The top two students will move on to the Online Regional Qualifying Exam.


West Essex Middle School seventh grade art students have decorated the middle school cafeteria classroom with snowflakes they created in Roger Munch’s art classes. Come and check out the snow wonderland!


WEMS Teacher James Massa has announced the winners of the Middle School Scary Story Contest. They are: 1st place- Isabel Parsecki (7th grade), 2nd Place-Franklyn Stagnitto (8th grade) and 3rd place- Maisie Newman (7th Grade.) Each student received a book of their choice. More than 20 students submitted stories for the contest.


The students in the classes of Mrs. Seton Ahearn and Mrs. Gabe Bauer have established a business, known as WECAN Enterprises, which will include a variety of activities throughout the school year. The purpose of WECAN Enterprises is to help students strengthen their vocational, communication and social skills in an effort to develop greater independence. The first effort of WECAN will be a gift wrapping service for administration, faculty and staff, which will collect fees for the Patrick Flaherty Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarships are awarded each year to deserved special education seniors who exemplify the qualities of character, competence, service and perseverance. For information, contact sahearn@westex.org or gbauer@westex.org. Mrs. Decker’s Class is also offering gift wrapping services. Drop off your purchases in room 409 and they will be returned beautifully wrapped for $1 per gift. Order forms are available in the main office.


West Essex Middle School Principal David Montgomery has recognized the Students of the Month for December 2011. They are seventh graders Isabel Parzecki and AJ Celentano, both from team 7C, and eighth graders Isabelle Caine and Jake Russin, both from Team 8C.


Kira Shabbab, a seventh grader at West Essex Regional Middle School, was cast as “Annie” in the musical “Annie” at the Smiling Rhino Theatre, 247 Wanaque Ave. Pompton Lakes. Kira is in the silver cast. Show times are Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. A new show has been added January 7th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25; $22 seniors and $20 students and children. Call (973) 248-9491. Visit www.smilingrhinotheatre.com.


Staff Achievements:


The NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Association) presented the Sports Award to West Essex Baseball Coach Scott Illiano in recognition of his service and contributions to interscholastic athletics at a special NJSIAA luncheon on December 5th.




Congratulations to our own West Essex Knights Football Team for winning the North 1 Group II State Championship defeating River Dell 32-14 last Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. For a video and photos, visit  http://http://caldwells.patch.com/articles/west-essex-brings-home-the-title#video-8607664



PTO News:


The West Essex PTO is planning a Project Graduation meeting in January. Parents interested in helping out with the project, especially 8th Grade and current freshman parents should plan on attending. A meeting date will be announced soon.


PTO Membership forms will be mailed out to families in the near future. Each family is encouraged to make a $35 donation to the organization. In the past, the money has been used to purchase a mascot costume, a new speaker system for the stadium, equipment for the fitness center and contributions for the beautification committee’s efforts. The PTO also supplies refreshments for special events including class breakfasts, teacher in-service days and funds special teacher projects. The PTO is also looking for volunteers to help with these events. If you would like to volunteer, contact Jenifer at jpetrocca@optonline.net





WEFE News:


The West Essex Education Foundation is planning its Annual Cut-A-Thon for the end of February to raise money for the Foundation. It is also looking forward to its annual 5-K Trotting for Technology on May 19th. The foundation will hold its next meeting January 10th at 7:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. Anyone interested in helping the foundation plan or host its events is encouraged to attend. For information, contact Eileen Fiore at EMGFiore@comcast.net .


West Essex Volunteers:


The West Essex High School National Honor Society presented new books to the students at Stevenson School in Fairfield this week. The school lost many books during the flooding.

Students from our honor society raised money for the new books from a T-shirt sale and bake sale. Stevenson School Librarian Janet Goodman supplied the society with a book list.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to purchase these books for Stevenson,” said society advisor Cassie Lo. “They lost so much in the flooding and I am hoping that our donation brings a little holiday cheer to the school.” 


Eight members of the English National Honor Society volunteered to wrap presents at the Livingston Mall Barnes & Noble on December 13th. The students raised $85 to support a field trip to School Number 7 in Paterson to deliver the books collected by the society. The English National Honor Society is collecting new and gently used books for students in grades 5-8 who attend Public School Number 7 in Paterson. The book drive will run through December 23 and be delivered by honor society members in January. Age-appropriate books may be sent into school and given to English teachers or to Ms. Macaluso in room 713 or Ms. Zuppa in room 708.


Several West Essex students participated in the Roseland Municipal Youth Guidance Council’s Breakfast with Santa to raise money for Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey. The West Essex students who helped raise more than $1,000 for the charity area are: Jerry Groome, Bryan Daowdat, Brianna Nelson, Emily D’Elia, Brielle Salvo, Shannon Bertscha, Allison McKenna, Kelly Smith, Erica Lee, Mark Mascera, Erin Smith, Alexandria Sabato, Sabrina Saccente, Nicolas Salvo, Andrew Saccente, Peter Pollio, Gianna Calderone, Joe Gonella, Gino Marine and Gary Lombardi.


The WEHS Spanish Club is collecting new items for the Fairfield community as part of its Annual Toys and Clothing Drive. Collection boxes will be placed in front of the Attendance Office and in Rooms 808 and 809.




Community News:


You could help win $100,000 for West Essex! The Caldwells Patch is asking readers to submit photos of their “best decked homes” for the holidays. The grand prize winner will receive $100,000 for a Patch School District. Runner-ups will have their electric bills paid-up to $500. Readers will vote for their favorites. For more information, visit www.Caldwells.Patch.com.


The Fairfield Home School Association is seeking donations for its May 10, 2012 Tricky Tray at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover. All proceeds go to the Fairfield HSA. If you would like to make a donation, e-mail Kelly Hricko at kellyhricko@yahoo.com.


Special Note:

We are asking parents to fill out a new Student Publicity Authorization form posted under general forms on the website and send them in to school with your child.  This is different than the original form you filled out in September. The form will allow your child’s photograph or name be used in a press release for the District website and the local media. Please take a few minutes to fill it out now.  Click here for the form:  http://www.westex.org/cms/lib6/NJ01001533/Centricity/Domain/1/Forms/publicityauthorizationform.pdf.


If you do not receive the West Essex News and would like to have it e-mailed to you, please e-mail afreeman@westex.org.


Have a wonderful weekend!


Take care,





Allison Freeman

Manager of Communications and Community Outreach

West Essex Regional School District

West Greenbrook Road

North Caldwell, NJ 07006

(973) 228-1200 ext. 101


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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