Message from Superintendent
 “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
(Vince Lombardi)

It is hard to believe we have been in school for more than one hundred days.  As we embark upon the next eighty days or so, I would like to reflect upon my time here in Norwood. I am overwhelmed with the amount of support, and dedication that is given to the Norwood Public School District. Each day, I become more familiar with the students, teachers, Norwood families, administration and Board of Education, and I can see first hand how committed everyone is to helping each student reach his/her full potential.  As stated in our mission statement:

“The Norwood Public School District is dedicated to educational excellence. In partnership with the family, staff and community, our mission is to meet the educational needs of each child by providing the programs and environment necessary to: Enable every child to reach full potential; promote self-esteem, respect, responsibility and appreciation of diversity; develop knowledge, skills and academic achievement; consistent with the New Jersey State Core Content Curriculum Standards; prepare each child for continued education and responsible citizenship; instill a life-long passion for learning.”

We know every single student has the ability to learn, and we continue to seek opportunities to personalize learning to help children find who they are, and explore their passion.  We are increasingly mindful we have the enormous challenge of preparing our students for school, work, life, skills and jobs not yet created.   Our teachers are meeting in their professional learning communities to increase ways to challenge students who are ready for enrichment, and provide extra practice and support to students who may be struggling.  I observe teachers who care deeply about their students and have the desire to provide more support, even when it seems there is not enough time in the day. 

To help prepare our students we continue to offer exposure and opportunities for children to design, invent, create, and work together to explore endless possibilities limited only by their individual and collective imaginations.  We use technology for students to discover, tinker and make, while understanding that,Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” - Bill Gates

NPS is an environment that promotes positive relationships, and a culture of learning.  We are glad you and your child are a part of it. Now that we have celebrated our 100th day of school, we are ready to go into March like a lion and tackle the many fun and exciting events on the calendar.

Norwood Board of Education
The Norwood Public School's Board of Education is made up of seven members that are all assigned to a specific committee.  The committees are broken into four groups designed to evaluate and review the different areas that effectively run the school. The breaking down into committees allows for each group to efficiently process and evaluate the schools needs by category, and then present to the whole board for approval.
The following is a list of committees, its members, and short description of their responsibilities…..

Finance Committee- Michael Sprague (Chair ) , Rahul Vaghasia, William Snyder
  1. Develop the annual operating budget for NPS.
  2. Set long-range financial goals along with strategies to achieve them.
  3. Develop strategic budget objectives and initiatives.
 Building & Grounds – Michael Sprague (Chair), Elizabeth Giampaglia, Anthony Foschino
  1. Create a long-term building maintenance schedule for the school.
  2. Monitor adherence to all building and operational codes and  laws.
  3. Investigate and implement all school safety procedures.
 Negotiations/Performance & Evaluation – Ed Cammarata (Chair), Carlos Guzman
  1. Review all negotiated contracts.( teacher, custodial, administration, etc..)
  2. Negotiate with the different individuals and groups in regards to language, performance, and salary.
  3. Provide and assess individual performance goals.
   Curriculum/Technology/Policy – Rahul Vaghasia (Chair), Ed Cammarata, Carlos Guzman
  1. Work closely with the school administration to analyze and implement school curriculum.
  2. Create long-term objectives for administration and staff.
  3. Evaluate and modify current practices to best serve the students of NPS

Message from Principal
It has been one hundred days, and we have accomplished a lot...

After speaking with the team here at NPS, here are some of our exciting findings: 

We have:

  • become better readers
  • mastered scatter plots and lines of regression in pre-algebra,
  • utilized relevant textual evidence to support claims,
  • built our reading stamina and  consistently use our decoding strategies to figure out tricky words,
  • mastered multiplication and division,
  • learned all about our body systems,
  • brought home the Bergen Brain Busters trophy,
  • mastered Notice and Note “signposts” which alerts us to significant moments in a work of literature and encourages us to read closely,
  • fluent in addition facts to sums of 20,
  • been engaged in coding through the use of Google CS First and Scratch coding,
  • kept our hydroponically grown plants alive during the new experiment, and have produced 7 tasty tomatoes!

I have also thought about how do we prepare students to become problem-finders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who can thrive in a global society? The Common Core charts a pathway to success, yet we know that checking off each standard one by one will not achieve the kind of results we want. Over the past 100 days, we have seen our students tackle some real world problems. 

In January, students from Mrs. Griffith’s fourth grade class presented at a Board of Education meeting their problem: Crowded indoor recess and a lack of choice. Their articulate and convincing arguments led to our new “Lunch Activity Time.”  Students are now given a choice of placement and activity during lunch on inclement weather days. Coupled with generous donations of games and activities from our community, it has been a tremendous success.

Students also pulled together their collective thoughts in solving our untidy lunchroom floor issue. Students in grades K-8 were asked to post a solution to our problem and embrace the solutions (see picture). Again, the outcome has been phenomenal, I am happy to report that the cafeteria clean up crew was able to place all debris from the floor in one small plastic bowl!

Way to go Norwood!

Principal DeLaura

Message from Supervisor of Instruction
Fran Orefice, Supervisor of Instruction

Curriculum and Instruction Update: Trimester #2

The Responsive Classroom is coming to NPS.

Responsive Classroom is a method of teaching that creates, a safe, challenging, and joyful classroom and school wide climate for all children. 

Teachers who use the Responsive Classroom approach understand that all of children’s needs; academic, social, emotional, and physical are important.  The teacher creates an environment that responds to all of those needs so that your child can do his or her best learning.

Children learn best when they have strong academic and social-emotional learning skills.  That’s why teachers using the Responsive Classroom approach focus on teaching all the skills needed for academic excellence.  They teach children reading, writing, and math skills and also teach them how to take turns, listen respectively, and work effectively with a partner or group.

This summer we will begin training lead teachers in the Responsive Classroom approach. Next year through various Professional Development sessions all our K-5 teachers will be trained in the practices and strategies that build academic and social-emotional competencies.  We will implement the Responsive Classroom in the 2018-2019 school year!  Look for more details throughout the next school year!

Feel free to visit the Responsive Classroom website at:

Special Services Department

Dana N. Sir, Director

Title I
Parents, who have children attending Title I programs, were sent a link to provide midyear feedback on our programs.  The feedback will be used to reflect on our current programs and revise where needed.  This year we increased our Foundations Program from two to four days a week for grades one through four and added a writing program, based on your feedback from last year.  The Title I and general education teachers both agree that these changes have made a significant impact on children’s academic progress.  Thank you for your time and input.    

Special Education
A number of our upper grade students are piloting the use of “Fidget Cubes.”  These small cubes are intended to keep fingers busy and minds focused on learning.  Research has shown the positive benefits of fidgeting.  We look forward to the feedback from the students.   

We are wrapping up our Book Club this month with Ross Greene’s book, Lost At School.  In our last two discussions, teachers shared the strategies that Greene presented in his book.  One strategy is “Collaborative Problem Solving,” which involves students in the process of developing solutions for their challenging behaviors through a guided conversation.  We hope to implement this and other strategies within the culture of our school. 

Our department is also looking to ignite a parent book club combining parenting and children with challenging behaviors.   Our first book will focus on parenting children with ADHD.  ALL parents are welcome to participate.   Please keep an eye out for more details.   

Building and Grounds    &       Business Office
Building and Grounds Department:

This winter as a whole was a mild one with a wide range of temperatures and storms. We saw everything from snow and ice storms to heavy rain, wind and even a couple of thunderstorms. We had one significant snow storm that closed school for a day. The Building and Grounds Department works tirelessly to plow and shovel away the snow and ice so school could re-open the following day.
This has been a particularly rough winter for colds and flu with many students and staff members being affected, myself included. Additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures were added to the regular cleaning schedule to help slow the spread of these viruses. The custodians used our environmentally friendly H2 Orange2 cleaner on all hard surfaces and touch points through out the school. The H2 Orange2 cleaner is a Hydrogen Peroxide based cleaner that is safe and effective and is used for 95% of the cleaning and sanitizing in the school.
The days are getting longer and spring is just around the corner. The winter weather will soon be forgotten as we look forward to the warmer temperatures and outdoor activities. The school ball fields and playground will soon be alive with children playing, and practicing for baseball, softball, and other activities. Please pay attention to the information signs located around the fields and at the playground. These signs will give you important information about using the playground equipment correctly and what to do if there is an approaching thunderstorm.  The rear field of the school is equipped with a lightning detection system. The system sounds a siren and flashes a clear strobe light when lightning is detected within 5 miles of the field. When the siren sounds and the strobe light is on please leave the area immediately to seek appropriate shelter. The strobe light will continue to flash as long as there is lightning in the area. An all-clear siren will sound and the strobe light will turn off 30 minutes after the last lightning strike is detected. The playground signs give you important information as to the appropriate use of the playground equipment, the intended age group, and additional safety information while using the equipment. Please make a point to read and understand these signs while you are enjoying our facilities.

Lets all have a healthy and safe spring season.

Business Administration Department:

Business office news!

This time of year is the busiest time of year in the business office.  The school’s fiscal year is July through June and now is budget time!  The finance committee met and we are planning our projects for the summer of 2017 which will include updating our art room, finishing upgrading our LED lighting and going out to bid for air conditioning a section of the school.  All of our administrators worked with our teachers on our budget for the future year to help us make the best fiscal decisions to benefit our students while still remaining at the 2% cap, faced with rising health care costs and state aid restrictions.  We are working diligently to keep our buildings and grounds up to date along with our curriculum standards. 

Thank you,
Louise Napolitano
Guidance Department
  Norwood Public School Guidance Department:

Why is my child’s participation important?
These tests serve as an ‘academic checkup.’ Although they are only one measure of your child’s progress, the scores on the PARCC test can be compared from one year to the next. The test is a useful tool to determine your child’s performance and the level of progress and readiness for the next grade. Ultimately it will tell you how well your child is prepared for success after graduation. 

Why should my child take the PARCC test?   
The major complaint about New Jersey’s previous statewide assessments test in English language arts and math, the NJASK, is that they did little to provide educators to improve your child’s classroom, and that it provided parents with little feedback. The PARCC test is a more sophisticated assessment designed to address those issues. PARCC is aligned to the state’s new academic standards that are guiding what and how your children are taught in class. In addition to providing an overall score in both subjects, the test also shows how well your child is performing in comparison to peers in his or her grade level, school and district, as well as useful information about your children’s strengths and areas for improvement. 

Where can I go for more information? 
For more information on the PARCC test, including FAQs, videos and links to practice tests, visit To see a practice test and for resources to help your child at home, visit Also visit the New Jersey Department of Education’s resources online:  

Test Taking Tips for Students

1. Have a Positive Attitude
Approach the big test as you'd approach a giant jigsaw puzzle. It might be tough, but you can do it! A positive attitude goes a long way toward success.

2. The Night Before
Remember, your brain and body need sleep to function well, so don't stay up late!

3. The Morning of the Test
Did you know that you think better when you have a full stomach? So don't skip breakfast the morning of the test. Get to school early and do a ten-minute power study right before the test, so your brain is turned on and tuned up.

4. Test Time
Before the test begins, make sure you have everything you'll need - scratch paper, extra pencils, your calculator (if you're allowed to use it). Read the instructions! You want to make sure you are marking answers correctly.

5. Manage Your Time
Scan through the test quickly before starting. Answering the easy questions first can be a time saver and a confidence builder. Plus, it saves more time in the end for you to focus on the hard stuff.

6. I'm Stuck!
Those tricky problems can knock you off balance. Don't get worried or frustrated. Reread the question to make sure you understand it, and then try to solve it the best way you know how. If you're still stuck, circle it and move on. You can come back to it later. What if you have no idea about the answer? Review your options and make the best guess you can, but only if you don't lose points for wrong answers. 

7. Multiple-Choice Questions
The process of elimination can help you choose the correct answer in a multiple-choice question. Start by crossing off the answers that couldn't be right. Then spend your time focusing on the possible correct choices before selecting your answer.

8. Positive Self Talk
Eliminate negative thoughts or self-talk by replacing them with a positive affirmation, like “I am prepared for the
test and I will do well” or “I am smart – I can do this.” 

Not so fast - when you complete the last item on the test, remember that you're not done yet. First, check the clock and go back to review your answers, making sure that you didn't make any careless mistakes (such as putting the right answer in the wrong place or skipping a question). Spend the last remaining minutes going over the hardest problems before you turn in your test. 

Norwood Public School Technology Department

During the past few months, equipment for the upcoming PARCC and English Language Learner tests were updated and are ready to be used.  Norwood Public School achieved a score of 100% in all technology requirements needed to perform the required testing by the NJDOE. A trial run will take place starting March 21st for PARCC testing. The actual PARCC testing will begin April 4th.

Over the February break, two new projectors were installed and two obsolete printers were replaced with new ones. Starting in June, the computer wiring infrastructure in the 6th, 7th, & 8th grade wing will be updated and improved. The new equipment and wiring will increase the speed and reliability of our system. Overall we are in good shape with our technology and we are well prepared for the upcoming State tests.

Did you know .... Pressing (⌘)Command-Alt-Eject = Will put your Mac computer to sleep?

Exciting things are happening in the Technology classrooms:

  • Third graders are learning all about the Google Apps for Education and how to use them to foster their learning.  Students are using Google Classroom extensively and have completed lessons using Google Docs and are currently learning the basics of Google Sheets.  In the upcoming weeks we will be focusing on getting the third grade ready for their first PARCC test.    
  • The fourth grade has been learning all about copyright laws and how to give proper credit to online resources.  We explored the use of citation websites such as Easybib.  They are currently practicing these skills by creating “All About Me” Google Slide presentations.  
  • The fifth grade has been studying spreadsheets more in depth, learning how to use programs such as Excel and Google Sheets to record, organize and analyze data.  The fifth grade has also been learning basic concepts of coding through the use of Code Studio, an online self paced coding application.  
  • The middle school continues to have success in the cycle classes.  The sixth grade has been working hard to complete a number of challenges based on real world examples of robots.  The seventh grade has been engulfed in the Scratch coding world.  We have been using a program sponsored by Google called “Google CS First” which allows for self-paced student instruction using the coding platform Scratch.  The 8th grade is continuing to produce the Norwood Network News each week.  They are also creating great news segments of special happenings in and around school and the town of Norwood.