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Our Sincerest Apologies

Unfortunately, the newsletter you received earlier did not fully meet our standards. In our excitement to share the updates below before our holiday break, we accidentally hit "send" on the email a bit too soon. We apologize to anyone whose name was misspelled and for any typos or grammatical mistakes we may have inadvertently shared. Below you will find the "final" version of our newsletter. Thank you and enjoy the holidays!
Superintendent's Message
Dear Hackensack Family,

It’s hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the school year. As each year passes, I’m reminded of how quickly time goes by and how important it is for us to appreciate the people and things that really matter like family, friends and our Hackensack community.

Those of us who get to work with students understand that working with children is a privilege. We appreciate the opportunities we have to serve both our students and parents.
During this hectic time of year, it’s important to stress the value of “down time” and to disconnect from the many “devices” that take up so much of our time and attention. Instead of sending another text, snapchatting, or taking another selfie perhaps instead, we can all consider what it means to be “in the moment” with those who matter to us. Every year, we see the number of absences rise during the weeks leading up to and the weeks following winter break and we hope that this year, a little extra rest and down time may help us all return on January 2nd, reinvigorated and energized for a successful 2019! Attendance is critical for school success and can play a significant role in a student’s overall performance. Thank you for your continued support.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a happy and healthy New Year!


Rosemary Marks
Acting Superintendent
December 24th - January 1st
Winter Recess - Schools Closed

January 21st
MLK Jr. Day - Schools Closed

January 22nd
Board of Ed Referendum Vote (Polls Open: 2pm-8pm)

January 29th
7:30 pm BOE Meeting

February 4th
Schools Closed - Students Only
Full Day PD All Staff
Fairmount School
(A better "Me" in 2019)
As 2018 comes to an end and 2019 quickly approaches, Fairmount School took the opportunity to speak with students about self-improvement and kicking off the New Year by becoming a better "ME!!"

Fairmount School Counselor, Mrs.Zanca, worked with her 3rd and 4th grade "Lunch Bunch" groups and discussed ways in which they could better themselves for the upcoming new year. The "Lunch Bunch" students spent time sharing their thoughts and ideas with each other and even wrote about some of the things that they do now that they would like to change to be a better "ME" for 2019 and how they plan to make those changes. 
Some examples of the students' ideas and plans are: LESS electronic time and MORE reading, LESS hate and MORE love, LESS fighting with my sister and MORE playing nicely with my sister, LESS soda and MORE water, LESS candy and MORE fruits and vegetables, LESS TV time and MORE homework time, LESS spending money and MORE saving money.

The "Lunch Bunch" group was also able to create a bulletin board in the Fairmount Main Entrance to share their ideas and inspire others to also be a better "ME" in 2019!! 
Fairmount School Recognizes the Governor's Educator of the Year Nominees
On Thursday, December 20, Mrs. Ashton-Loeb, Principal of Fairmount School, together with Dr. Galiana, Assistant-Principal, and the Governor's Educator of the Year (GEOY) nominating committee at Fairmount School recognized teacher Mrs. Cynthia Hochstaedt and para-educator Mr. Robert Iannacone as this year's nominees. Nominations were made by parents, students and colleagues, and after reviewing all the nominations, Mrs. Hochstaedt was chosen as teacher of the year and Mr. Iannacone was chosen as para-educator of the year. Fairmount School is proud of all their nominees and their dedication to the children!
Hillers School
Embracing our Differences During This Holiday Season
Check out our Hillers School Stars working together!
Our 4th graders have been reading a novel about collaborative classrooms and the importance of embracing others' differences and finding strengths in everyone’s unique qualities. Mr. Bock and Mrs. Domzalski’s classes have been meeting once a month to complete a craft or activity. We could not be more proud of the compassion and collaboration displayed by these wonderful students! Keep shining Stars! We can’t wait for next month!  
Jackson Avenue School
Jackson Avenue School Happenings
The school year is moving along quickly. The beginning of the year jitters have settled and the nice weather turned gray and cold. However, students at Jackson Avenue Elementary School are abuzz with learning. Here are some highlights:

Teachers are experimenting with the Next Generation Science Standards, which encourages hands on science learning through experimentation, observations, analyzing, and hypothesizing. 
Students in Mrs. Giampietro’s science class were testing energy transfer from a loaded spring to an object. They used different weighted balls to determine how weight and force affect speed and time.

In 1st grade, students used Oreo cookies to recreate phases of the moon. When students are supported to first develop a concrete level of understanding, they can use this foundation to later link their conceptual understanding to abstract ideas. Having students represent the phases of the moon using Oreos helps them to transfer understanding to the abstract level.                                              . 
In Kindergarten, Mrs. Mwenya took her class on a nature walk. They looked, they noticed, they collected specimens of leaves to bring back to the classroom. In the classroom, students were asked to categorize leaves by shape, color, and size. Then, they learned how those attributes help scientists identify trees. Finally, they ended the experience with a leaf rubbing recreating the experience of identifying leaves through art. This type of experiential education first immerses learners in an experience and then encourages reflection about the experience to develop new skills, new attitudes, or new ways of thinking.  

These are exactly the types of learning experiences that the next generation science standards encourage. Bravo to all our teachers at Jackson Avenue School for embracing the standards and giving our students the best education.  
Nellie K. Parker School
Merry Melodious Music
'Twas four days before winter break and all through the auditorium, students were singing to holiday tunes. This year marked a new tradition at Nellie K. Parker School, combining the Annual Sing-along with our 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Contest. Mr. Salyers, our vocal music teacher, introduced the event by sporting a musical sweater with holiday lights as he tickled the ivories. 

First, we decorated for the party with “Deck the Halls.” Then we walked through a spectacular “Winter Wonderland,” where we saw “Frosty the Snowman.” We also took a “Jingle Bells” sleigh ride through the wintry air. After “Jingle Bell Rock” was belted out, staff members modeled their ugly sweaters on stage. 

Moments later, judges deliberated to determine two winners: Mrs. Carela, dressed up like a snowglobe and Mr. Henry, sporting a sweater with candy canes and holiday lights. Unanimous applause thundered throughout the auditorium. The musical celebration continued with specific holiday songs: “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” “Shalom Chaverim,” “O Kwanzaa” and “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Several students were excited to accompany specific selections on stage with metallophones, tambourines, finger cymbals and drums.

The 50-minute extravaganza concluded with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and everyone’s party favorite, “Feliz Navidad.”
During this wonderful holiday season,
we wish you kindness and love!
High School
HHS Chorus singing at Kessler Rehabilitation Center & Rotary Club
HHS Toy Drive
Early Childhood Developmental Center (ECDC)
Cupcakes with Santa at ECDC!
The ECDC PTA sponsored a visit from Santa Claus! Our children were given the opportunity to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas and have their picture taken. Parents volunteered to serve cupcakes and chocolate milk. Children received a candy cane from Santa, and the PTA provided the pictures for the parents. Pictured here is Jaylee Baldo with Santa.

To Our Staff, Students and Families,