WARREN, NJ -
“Shining Brighter Every Day” is the motto of the Warren Township Schools. During week 1 of Flexible Instruction Days, the essence of that phrase was exemplified through extraordinary work by students, families, the entire staff and administration.
The district is extremely fortunate to be able to provide 1:1 Chromebooks for all students in grades 5-8 and devices for families who did not have home devices in grades K-4. Mr. Lance Riegler, IT Director, and his staff have been working hard to provide support to the students and their families as well as to the teachers and staff.
In addition to ensuring technology needs were met, curriculum which is regularly taught in the schools needed to be modified very quickly to meet the needs of remote learning delivery. Mr. William Kimmick, Curriculum Director and Ms. Stacey Modugno, Curriculum Supervisor, worked swiftly and skillfully to provide the teachers with the tools needed to continue instruction. Instructional specialists Mrs. Kristen Stoyanov and Mrs. Jessica Nathan curated lists of digital resources and supported staff across the week. Mr. Patrick MacNamara, the district’s Data Manager, worked closely with families to support connectivity and students’ digital access.
The COVID-19 crisis has created many interruptions throughout the nation but the members of the Warren Township Schools community are rising to the occasion. Each school principal is extremely proud of the remarkable work teachers are providing and grateful for the deep connections they are building with the families of their students.
“Times like this show our true colors. Without any hesitation last Thursday, the entire staff moved into action to establish completely new routines and operations for our families that are allowing our students to remain connected to school from home. As we have evolved into this process of Flexible Instruction Days, we all miss the face-to-face interaction, but new blessings are becoming apparent. The respect and rapport between families and schools have never been so strong. Our staff empathizes with the time and effort it takes parents to field student needs in the moment while parents are consistently expressing an appreciation for school staff who are right there to offer guidance, support, and feedback. While we all commit to taking these steps to ensure the health and safety of not only ourselves but for others, we are also nurturing a new level of understanding for one another and teamwork. I couldn't be more proud of my ALT family and the Warren Township Schools overall,” stated Ms. Christine Smith, Principal of Angelo L. Tomaso School. Ms. Christine Smith, ALT Principal and the staff of ALT!
It’s important to stay connected to help alleviate angst during challenging times. Parents are sharing pictures of their children participating in Flexible Instruction and teachers and principals are creating videos of themselves to share with their students.
“Certainly, as we embarked on distance learning there was some anxiety and fear of the unknown. So far, it has gone better than I could have hoped for. From the start, the staff was ready with engaging lessons and support for students and parents. Students have been eagerly diving into the work and are excited to share their progress. At Central School, staff, students, and families have begun to share pictures, videos and emails to remain connected and create a sense of fun and togetherness as we navigate these unchartered waters. I’m again reminded of how fortunate we are for this community,” remarked Principal, Mrs. Alison Tugya. Central School staff celebrate the International Day of Happiness!
The district recognizes the additional responsibility that this situation has created for parents.
“The toughest of times can bring out the best in humanity and that is what we are seeing at Mt. Horeb School. Each of our teachers and staff members is doing all that they can to provide rich learning experiences at home recognizing the many challenges that all parents are facing by putting on the proverbial teacher hat. The parents have been nothing short of tremendous and wildly supportive of all that our teachers are doing. Lastly, our kids! The videos I see only have kids with smiles, engaged, active, standing for the pledge, or having absolutely priceless family time. While I know it isn't all smiles at home, I can say with certainty that we are all trying to make the most of this. With hope and prayers, we will all stay healthy. We are making the most of this unprecedented series of challenges.” - Mr. Scott Cook, Mt. Horeb School Principal Morning Messages from Mr. Scott Cook, Mt. Horeb Principal!
We are all in this together. Warren Middle School (WMS) Principal, Mr. George Villar, and Assistant Principal, Ms. Maria Mensinger, are grateful for the phenomenal staff who have been providing innovative and clever lessons to their students from a distance.
“We are so proud to be part of an amazing team of people working together to meet the needs of WMS students. Teachers are demonstrating their creativity on a daily basis with interactive lessons, videos, and activities. Parents are working as partners in assisting their students and supporting instruction. And we are all trying to keep things light and fun by sharing videos and pictures of our experiences in what we now know as Flexible Instruction. In this uncertain time, it is a huge comfort to know with certainty that we will all work together to support our families and each other,” stated Mensinger. Morning Messages from Mr. George Villar, WMS Principal!
Although the current state of affairs can seem unpredictable and at times a bit dim, it’s important to remember we will get through this!
“I continue to be beyond proud of the Woodland Family of educators, students and families, and the entire Warren School District. Together we are navigating through a time that none of us could have ever imagined and a time that none of us have ever experienced. I am honored to work in a community that always comes together to do what is right for children and consistently sees the sun behind the clouds. " - Mr. Jeffrey Heaney, Woodland School Principal Morning Messages from Mr. Jeffrey Heaney, Woodland School Principal!
Mr. Derek Ressa, Director of Special Services is proud of the Special Services department for their dedication to continuing a strong instructional program for all students.
“What has been so refreshing at a time of uncertainty and unknowns has been the determination, creativity, and resourcefulness from the special education teachers and support staff in Warren Township Schools. They have exemplified everything that is great in education, and in a matter of days have provided a strong instructional program for our students with special needs while doing so in such a positive and professional manner. I am so very proud of their efforts, as well as the families who also have taken on the challenge of supporting their children through this challenging time. We, as a school community, are truly “shining brighter” as each day passes.” - Ressa
Behind the scenes, the district operations are proceeding seamlessly. Financial transactions, including payments, ordering and banking, have been successfully adjusted and support for the Board of Education and district administrators by support staff has been strong and timely. The buildings and grounds staff have maintained a daily presence in the district, ensuring oversight of the facilities. “While I have always been proud of this staff, never have I been so moved by the work of so many under difficult circumstances,” offers Business Administrator Patricia Leonhardt.
The health and wellbeing of the entire community will continue to be the district’s number one priority. Daily communication will be shared with the staff and families of students each day at approximately 4:00 PM.
Photos courtesy of Warren Township Families:
1. Kimaya and Namya Singh work together to complete their Flexible Instruction.
2. Regis and Reina Chen working together on an art project.
3. Benjamin Bodajlo is sporting his ALT spirit wear!
4. Alex Walker reviews his science notes from his hoverboard.
5. Harry Franco salutes the flag.
6. Addie DePersiis salutes the flag.
7. Samson Silver is hard at work during his Flexible Instruction Day.
8. Matthew and Nolan Hollis start their morning off with the flag salute.