CRANFORD - What happened in Cranford Public Schools in the month of November? The following is Dr. Scott Rubin's November Superintendent's Report.


Four seniors Emma Baumann, Rebecca Gathercole, Victoria Lima, and Megan Robertson qualified to receive the Latin Seal of Biliteracy based on their passing score on the PARCC ELA assessment and ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA).

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Aileen McGuire, teacher of Latin at CHS and advisor to the Latin Club/National Latin Honors Society, along with Kristen Bryfogle, and CHS Latin students: Emma Baumann, Lauren Brown, Rebecca Gathercole, Victoria Lima, Megan Robertson and Erin Trojan attended Montclair State University’s 2019 Classics Day celebration.

Congratulations to the ten Cranford High School students who auditioned, were selected, and performed with the NJ All-State Mixed Chorus in Atlantic City during NJEA Teachers Convention. They are Viviana Beckford, Erin Blake, Joseph Coyne, Daniel Klimko, Noah Kopla, Erin Miklencic, Elizabeth Pereira, Asher Shectman, Gianni Vivas, and Maximilian Wisnefski. The students also gave a performance with the All-State Chorus and Orchestra at NJPAC in Newark.

CHS October "Students of the Month" are selected based on one or more of the following categories: Leadership, Achievement, Improvement, and/or Service. Congratulations to the following students: 9th grade: Connor Hoefling and Matteo Wilde; 10th grade: Taliyah Coffee and Michael Kawczynski; 11th grade: Marcus Johnson and Peter Roefaro, and 12th grade: Ben Jones and Desiree Santos. 


Congratulations to Girls Varsity Soccer, 2019 Union County Co-Champions

Congratulations to Girls Junior Varsity Soccer, 2019 Union County Champions

Congratulations to Catherine Blowe, Union County Champion, Uneven Parallel Bars

Congratulations to Head Football Coach Erik Rosenmeier on his 100th win

Congratulations to Orange Avenue School Girls Soccer on an undefeated season


The 2019-2020 school year marks the beginning of Nicole Savino Mulcahy’s two-year term as President of the Kean University Diversity Council on Global Citizenship and Education. This year the focus theme is “The Power of the Individual Story.” The Council will be working with students at the high school and middle/elementary school levels to help them become proactive members of the community.

Ron Hoglund completed a semester-long online professional development program offered by National Geographic. Upon completion of his culminating project, a lesson plan titled, “Post World War II Food Production, Nutrition and Protest Movements,” Mr. Hogland was certified as a National Geographic educator.

Rob Ciarrocca (CHS) and Justin Corazza will present at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) convention in Baltimore, Maryland on November 20-24. Both will present at a roundtable discussion called “Eight Great Approaches to Teaching Film that Spark Students’ Curiosity about the World,” facilitated by a professor from Wake Forest University. In addition, Mr. Corazza will present at a roundtable discussion entitled, “The Intersection of Literacy, Sport, Culture, and Society.”


Cranford High School celebrated Halloween with Happy Hauntings, a historic fundraising event hosted by the CHS Senior Class. Cranford community members were able to enjoy two evenings of this spook-tacular event, which was a “monster” success for the Class of 2020.

CHS students had the opportunity to participate in some authentic learning experiences this month. Criminal Justice classes attended the Union County Court House to observe the justice system at work during a sentencing hearing. Art History classes visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Additionally, the CHS Business class hosted a guest speaker from the Certified Public Accountant Society who outlined careers in accounting and gave the students an understanding of related college majors and career paths.

The CHS Performing Arts Department presented the classic 1960’s play The Fantasticks. The show was a true success and congratulations are extended to the student performers, crew and staff.

As is customary during monthly faculty meetings, the CHS Spotlight Teacher of the Month, selected by the student body, is announced. Congratulations to physics teacher, Carmine DeNicola, for being awarded this honor.


Buddy Classrooms are created each year allowing for students in different grades to come together to work on a project, share accomplishments or participate in character education lessons. Students in Therese Koellner’s second grade class spent a week strengthening their "smooth and expressive" reading skills by orally reading play-like poems from the “I'll Read to You, You Read to Me" book series. The students performed their plays in Kathleen Kloc’s first grade class, their school buddy classroom.

On November 14th, BAS’ PTA held a Family STEAM Night. Students came back to school and participated in a STEAM challenge as well as enjoyed a performance that connected popular STEAM concepts with an alien theme. Students and their families were charged with the task of creating a rocket using a pool noodle, rubber bands, duct tape and craft foam. The creations were a huge success!


Students, staff and families gathered to honor the service of veterans associated with our school community. Stefano Sojka spoke about his father, Michael, who is currently deployed in the Republic of Kosovo as a member of the Army National Guard. Stu Rosenthal, a volunteer with the Cranford 86 Project spoke about SP5 Marcus Anderson, who is the only member of the Cranford 86 known to have graduated from BPS. In the spring of 2020, the BPS community will honor his memory with the dedication of a plaque funded by the BPS PTA. In addition, eleven veterans connected to the BPS community were able to attend the event and provide firsthand accounts of their service. The assembly also included patriotic songs sung by the third grade students under the direction of music teacher Caitlin Schafer.

BPS STEM Night combined creativity, entertainment, science principles and engineering to provide families with an engaging STEM learning experience. Students and their families were presented with a fun scenario by Science Tellers that involved visitors from another planet, a space scientist, and special effects that also demonstrated principles of science. In the second half of the evening program, students used the engineering design process to create a “space lander” to safely keep two “alien” marshmallows inside a cup as it was dropped from various heights. STEM Night was sponsored and coordinated by the BPS PTA with the support of BPS Media Specialist Arline McCloskey, fifth grade teacher and Student Council advisor Nansie Collins and the BPS Student Council.

On October 25th, the Student Council at Brookside Place School held a “Pink Out” fundraiser to raise money and awareness for the Donna M. Karlis Foundation and Team Roar. Mrs. Karlis was a teacher at Bloomingdale Avenue School and Orange Avenue School who passed away from breast cancer in 2017. Her family started the foundation to help others who suffer from the disease and proceeds raised through this foundation benefit local metastatic breast cancer patients through the Somerset Health Care Foundation. It also benefits METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. BPS families contributed nearly $400 to the foundation.


Recent programs in Paul Maloney’s 8th grade Social Studies classes have included a Civic Duty lesson involving Cinncinatus and a “CSI” case involving the death of Julius Caesar. For a sixth year, Det. Matt Nazzaro spoke to each of the six classes and discussed his career and views on Civic Duty. For a fourth year, Kristen Bryfogle’s Latin students led the Social Studies classes through a series of stations examining the reasons behind the death of Julius Caesar.

Students Lily Goodwin, Jack Goodwin, Kate Garcia, EJ Orr, and Mia Rivera spoke about, “What Veterans Day Means to Me” at the Annual Cranford Veterans Day Breakfast on November 10th. These students also gave their presentations at the school Veterans Day Assembly. Students from the school band, directed by A.J.Falisi, performed. Remarks were made by Jay Boxwell, Commander of the Cranford VFW. Don Sweeney gave an overview of the “Cranford 86”, a program recognizing the 86 Cranford residents who lost their lives in military combat. At the end of the program, 8th grade students planted 43 American Flags in front of HAS while OAS planted 43 flags to make 86, in honor of the “Cranford 86”.

Building community is always a goal for the Cranford Schools, and that is exactly what was accomplished on Saturday, October 25th, at the Watchung Reservation. Students, family members, and staff from both HAS and OAS joined 6th-grade science teachers Matt Fichter and Christian Holondez on their annual Fall Hike. Hikers got to enjoy the fall colors, all while learning casually about the region’s geology along the way. This was the 5th annual Fall Hike and they look forward to continuing this tradition in the years to come. There will be another hike in the Spring!

On November 13th, Hillside Avenue held its annual 4th grade Engineering Night. Students and parents participated in different engineering activities. Families had to build tall structures using cardboard sheets and toilet paper rolls. The culminating event was to build a roller coaster that had to include at least one hill and one loop.


Maria Polyviou’s C.A.P and C.A.M.P students created their annual scarecrow for the Scarecrow Stroll. This year’s theme, “Cranford’s Future is Out of This World,” inspired the students to create the “ The Jetsons.” Students started the process by brainstorming themes which were then voted upon. Throughout the process of making a scarecrow, the students gained an understanding of assemblage sculptures, materials and structure. This lesson was extended with a walking trip throughout our downtown.

Cindy Keyasko’s CAMP Computer Applications classes have been using Google Sheets to create attractive and informative charts and spreadsheets using data from Halloween statistics and Election Day voting results.

After reading the novel, “That Was Then, This Is Now” by SE Hinton, Colleen McDonough’s ELA class brainstormed and discussed the moral and ethical dilemmas the characters faced. Students then wrote personal narratives, reflecting on the topic of integrity and describing ways in which individuals can be even more empathetic and understanding.

The LEAP program visited Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ, where students had the opportunity to ride a tractor and see an apple orchard and strawberry patches. Students also saw a presentation on how bees pollinate. After enjoying some fresh apple cider, the children went pumpkin picking and even got to take one home.


The Cranford Police and LAS PTA partnered up for the annual Bike Rodeo. This event focused on bike and helmet safety. The fourth-grade students who participated were able to register their bike and receive a bike license. It was an excellent example of the partnership between our schools, the PTA, and local law enforcement.

LAS third graders have become inventors and problem-solvers. They went through the writing process to draft informational writing pieces to explain their invention ideas. Students learned how to hook readers in with a catchy introduction, organize their details in a logical and descriptive manner, and leave the reader with a closing that creatively sums up their explanation. They are now working on creating models of these inventions using recycled materials and are looking forward to presenting them!

Under the direction of Colleen McDonald, band lessons have been up and running since the end of September! The second-year musicians are working hard getting ready for their upcoming winter concert. The first year students have been working to build a solid foundation with their instruments. The clarinet students are putting their instruments together, paying close attention to their reeds. The brass students are performing patterns on their mouthpieces in order to build embouchure strength and foster a confident, big sound.


Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Never Ending Story! The show was amazing and 69 Orange Avenue students participated in the cast and crew! A special thank you to Becky Randazzo and Connie Thomas for all of their hard work in producing the show. Thank you to the parents who volunteered to help.

For the first time in Cranford, middle school students have the opportunity to present, monthly, the happenings at OAS and HAS. Student Council President Mikayla Sinclair and Vice-President Kyra Alexo represented OAS at the last Board of Education meeting.


Samantha Longo’s kindergarten classes continue to foster a positive classroom community through character education lessons. Each student created A Spot of Kindness illustration depicting respect for themselves, others, and the environment. Together, students made a promise to maintain a classroom and school that is full of kindness.

The PTA sponsored Trunk or Treat event included pumpkin tic-tac-toe, sensory bins, arts and craft activities, and the creatively designed trunks. The Cranford Police Department and the Cranford Fire Department helped to make the night safe and fun. The Toy Story trunks, the Peanuts Gang, The Bubbling Bathtub, Gumball Machines, and so many more beautifully decorated trunks made the evening memorable.

Lauren Wilson and Seton Hall University interns, Rosalia Fenoaltea and Meghan Vizzard, celebrated Unity Day with their first graders by completing various activities across multiple content areas. The students read, The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry, which is about a scarecrow who finally made friends after many seasons alone. The students then discussed how unity is about friendship, always including one another, and being kind. Each student made their own scarecrow and wrote an anonymous compliment which was displayed on the scarecrow made by another student.