CRANFORD - What's been going on in Cranford Public Schools the past month? Superintendent Dr. Scott Rubin provided the following for his February Superintendent Report.

Cranford High School

Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe Library & Learning Commons Dedication

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On February 6, Cranford High School had the distinct privilege of honoring Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe through a Library Dedication Ceremony. The CHS Library has been renamed the Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe Library & Learning Commons. In celebration of this occasion, CHS welcomed the friends and family of Dr. Wolfe along with other honored guests, including representatives from the Township Committee, NJ Legislative Offices, Union County Freeholders, Union County Superintendent’s Office, Cranford Board of Education, NAACP, Cranford Historical Society, Cranford Clergy/Interfaith Council, faculty, and students.

A former resident of Cranford, Dr. Wolfe was a pioneer with great vision and determination, whose resume of accomplishments is unprecedented. It was fitting to memorialize this remarkable woman as a model for future leaders here at Cranford High School, the place where she graduated.

A special thanks to all of the members of the planning committee whose herculean efforts made this monumental event happen. You can view the ceremony here.

Hannah Marsh (11) represented CHS at the Region 5 competition of Poetry Out Loud at the South Orange Performing Arts Center on February 12.

On November 12th, the National Classical Etymology Exam tested students' knowledge of Latin and Greek roots. We are proud to recognize Latin students Ryan Rosenthal (11) and Rachel Sweet (10) who earned Bronze medals.

Bloomingdale Avenue School

On February 12th, the Superintendent’s Senior Citizen Committee visited Bloomingdale Avenue School. Our guests mingled with teachers, were interviewed by grade 2 students, and took a tour of all the classrooms. Students, staff and guests shared their elementary school experiences and compared the similarities and differences. Lastly, our visitors enjoyed a performance by the grade 2 chorus under the direction of Colleen McDonald and participated in the BAS Cheer led by former teacher Rosemary Tierney. BAS was excited to share what makes our school such a special place to learn and grow each day.

The 100th Day of School is a big celebration at Bloomingdale Avenue School. Teachers, staff and parents come together to plan a school-wide event celebrating numbers and movement. On February 14, each class rotated through six activities that reinforced number sense and movement through collaborative work. This event is a highlight for the students and would not be possible without parent volunteers. This year BAS had almost 60 parent volunteers help to make the day a success and a memorable event for all the students.

Brookside Place School

Brookside Place School families donated enough canned goods to fill three shopping carts during the 2020 Souper Bowl! Students were invited to contribute canned goods in the name of their preferred Super Bowl team. Each can was counted as a vote in the BPS Souper Bowl. In the end the San Francisco 49ers prevailed with 283 cans while Kansas City garnered 206. In total 489 cans were donated to Cranford Family Care. This school-wide effort was coordinated by the Brookside Place School Student Council and its advisors Nansie Collins and Beth Lambe.

The BPS community has been a proud supporter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Pasta for Pennies program for many years. This year the homerooms took the friendly competition to the next level setting a new school record for funds raised with $8,191.31! Rosemary Scholz’ 5th grade class raised an impressive $1,933.33 which earned them the free lunch from the Olive Garden, a national sponsor of the Pasta for Pennies program. This annual effort is coordinated by Jerian Brockman and her class of fourth grade students. It was also a wonderful complement to the February character trait of the month which is kindness.

If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35 percent of the tooth surface. That was just one of the surprising facts about dental health shared with Brookside Place School students during February which is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Dental professionals from the practices of Gersch Orthodontics and Westfield Pediatric Dental Group reinforced important messages about oral health through an assembly program for grades 2 through 5 and individual classroom visits for students in kindergarten and grade 1. The programming was coordinated by BPS School Nurse Paula O’Hara.

Hillside Avenue School

Hillside Avenue School received a $500 grant through the Exxon/Mobil Educational Alliance Program from our local Exxon/Mobil station at 464 South Avenue E. This grant will be used for maintenance and support in the area(s) of Math and/or Science projects at HAS. Thank you Exxon/Mobil for your continued support of our educational initiatives.

Adriane Sforza’s 1st grade class and Ashli Digiovine’s 4th grade class came together to create class buddies. At the first meeting in January, they met their buddies and gave them a letter and/or picture. The buddies also interviewed one another to get to know each other better. Then as a whole, they played a fun game of "Would you rather...?" The buddies realized from both activities how much they have in common despite being in different grades. It's been really great to see the students from both classes saying hello and talking to each other in passing.

The Hillside Avenue School Student Council held their annual Student Council Dance on January 31st. This year’s dance was Hawiian themed. The students had a wonderful time dancing and having fun.

The elementary classes celebrated Valentine’s day with fun filled class parties. The students played games, made crafts, and enjoyed some wonderful snacks. The class parents did a great job of hosting these parties.

Lincoln Avenue School

The students in Kathy Wright’s class honored a 104 year old WWII veteran. Major Bill White, a retired marine and recipient of the Purple Heart, got hooked on scrapbooking during WWII when he “started saving anything he could get his hands on.” He has chronicled the events of his life in his scrapbooks. This year, he wants to add Valentine messages/cards he received from people around the world to his collection. The students in Mrs. Wright’s class discussed WWII and the meaning of receiving the Purple Heart. They decided to make cards for Major White and wrote meaningful messages thanking him for his service and wishing him a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Maria Polyviou’s CAP student art projects were inspired by a recent trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Her students created an abstract two sided face sculpture. They went from this two dimensional artistic expression to a three dimensional piece by incorporating a variety of materials such as knee-high hose, wood, coat hangers, and paint.

Lincoln School staff and students participated in the “Pennies for Patients” campaign to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The campaign theme, “Everyone Needs a Hero” had another successful year.

Students at Lincoln School made thank you cards for the Cranford Police Department and presented it to them during a luncheon for National Law Enforcement Day.

Livingston Avenue School

To celebrate School Counselors Week, the staff and students wrote a note starting, “Ms. Rivetti helps me by ____.” The notes were compiled into a book. We are very grateful for all of the support Ms. Rivetti offers the students at LAS. She has been an amazing addition to the school this year!

LAS also recognized Ms. Anna, our crossing guard for National Crossing Guard Day! We appreciate the community members that make our school great!

We are focusing on kindness this month. A huge shoutout goes to Emily LaPersonne, Grace Rivetti, Theresa Normann, and the Kindness Family Team for this beautiful bulletin board! The students each wrote or drew how to be kind on a heart during January’s Kindness Family Meeting. The students will also be participating in a Kindness Challenge where students will share how many acts of kindness took place during the week. Please encourage your children to carry out acts of kindness at home and during their activities. Let’s see how many we can tally!

Rachel Kim, P2E, held a “Lunch and Learn” at Livingston Avenue School. The students brainstormed and created new inventions to help combat global warming. A few of the inventions, which are pictured here, include a solar powered car, a water filtration system, a tree seed dispenser, and a jelly fish craft created from upcycled trash.

LAS third grade classes "mixed it up" to practice facts in their annual Third Grade Facts Frenzy celebration! They worked really hard to learn and practice their multiplication facts and were prepared to engage in some collaborative math facts activities with other third graders. Students from each class were mixed up into 4 groups and rotated through different multiplication activities. They were able to practice speed and accuracy, demonstrating their best fact fluency.

Orange Avenue School

What is Equality? In celebration of Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s message of equality for all, Stephen Monaghan, Linda Bove, Dan Reppert, and Jamie Warner's classes collaborated to create a bulletin board on what equality means to them. Students created acrostic poems and designed teardrops with inspirational quotes and pictures of men and women who work and strive for equality.

Renee Mertz’s 3rd grade class received letters from Madame Adrienne Bishop’s French class! The letters were well-received and serve as an example of middle school-elementary school collaboration.

Congratulations to James MacMillan who was accepted into the Central Jersey Music Educators Junior Region Wind Ensemble. He recently auditioned at the Community Middle School in Plainsboro, NJ and placed 4th overall out of approximately 45 trombones. This honor is truly indicative of his hard work and talent! Amanda Holodak is his art teacher.

Congratulations to the January Students of the Month! 3rd grade: Sebastian Chuley, Tessa Newberg, Marley Rappa; 4th grade: Cooper Groll, Logan Murray, Donovan Douglass; 5th grade: Declan McKittrick; 6th grade: Lillian Costello, Evan Rakoski, Kelsey McIntyre; 7th grade Adam Zaidel; 8th grade: Christopher Santarelli, Samantha Schiffl

Walnut Avenue School

Stephanie Jackson, Paula Perreault, and their students are extremely thankful for the Cranford Fund for Educational Excellence (CFEE) grant which enabled them to purchase new whiteboard tables for the classroom. The tables are utilized for all subject areas, enabling students to fully engage in personalized learning choices. The whiteboard tables have been an amazing resource in the classroom, as it has encouraged the students to visually write/draw out their work to strengthen their understanding.

Gina DiFabio’s Full Day Kindergarten class participated in character education lessons focusing on diversity and celebrating differences. One book shared with the students was “The Crayon Box That Talked” by Shane DeRolf, which taught the children how to celebrate diversity and appreciate the individual qualities of others.

The students also became familiar with the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., through reading the book, “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rappaport and viewing the video with original footage and audio. The students engaged in a group discussion on equality, bravery, kindness, peace and love. The students then wrote about improving our world and living in harmony, prompted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech. The writings were displayed in the hall to share with the entire school community.

In Tiffany Niotis’ first grade class, students worked on their growth mindset and the power of YET! The class read the book, Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, which is a touching tale about a giraffe named Gerald who wants nothing more than to learn how to dance. Gerald’s crooked knees and thin legs make this difficult, yet he does not give up and is finally able to dance after hearing some encouraging words from a friend.

After listening to the story, the students participated in a rich discussion around personal powers and positive self-talk and then brainstormed different things that they can’t do...YET! The activity was extended by having students write a “plan” on what they can do to accomplish those things. Mrs. Niotis and the students are excited to encourage one another throughout the remainder of the year to soon be able to do many of the things that they can’t do yet.