In the News
[July 28, 2015] Starting August 7 at 5pm, all Ramapo Central School District Microsoft Outlook accounts will be migrated to Gmail. The automated migration process is expected to take 4-6 weeks and will include staff email, contacts and calendars. Staff may not have access to this information during this time. However, Gmail access will be available throughout the migration process.
This migration is part of the District’s overall Google migration. “Going Google” will reduce technology costs while providing Ramapo Central staff and students with anytime/anywhere access to email, files and tools and unlimited mailbox size.
Need to reach a District staff member? As of August 7, all emails to District personnel should be sent to @ramapocentral.net. Emails sent to .org will still reach the intended recipient; however, .net will be the primary email domain. Please note that staff will be able to access new email throughout the migration process.
Camp College participation is a component of the broader collaboration among Suffern High School guidance, ESL and AVID faculty members to prepare low income and first generation students for college success.
To be eligible for consideration, students are required to submit an essay and interview with Suffern High School ESL teacher and ASPIRA advisor Rob Mariani, guidance counselor Marissa Guijarro and science and AVID teacher Colleen Stritmater. Participants were selected based on grade point average, leadership potential and first generation status (i.e., the first in their family to go to college).
Stritmater led this year's Suffern High School delegation.
"Volunteering my time over the summer to mentor these students is as much of a learning experience for me as it is them. In 48 hours, our students have the opportunity to meet new people, experience dorm life, attend college classes and go to workshops on topics such as Finding the Right Fit, Financial Aid and Essay Writing. Finally, they attend a college fair where many of the college admission counselors serve as camp mentors. How many other students have this opportunity?" she said. "For me, I get to network with professionals in the college admissions field, which opens doors for all of my Suffern High School students, not just the ones attending camp. The mentor family extends across the state, and together we are opening the doors to the youth of New York State."
Photo caption: A group of students from Suffern High School toured the Siena College campus as part of the 2015 Camp College, co-hosted by Siena and NYSACAC.
[July 17, 2015] Sports physicals and recertifications for fall high school sports will be given at Suffern High School, starting Tuesday, August 11. All athletes must report to the Suffern High School Nurses’ Office with BOTH a completed emergency card and a completed pre-participation form.
As a reminder, high school fall sports begin August 17; middle school sports begin September 9.
In order to recertify, athletes must have had a physical within the past year that was certified by the school medical professional. If your physical is not current, you must get one. High school athletes must report to the Suffern High School Nurses’ Office during their sports’ designated recertification session.
Tuesday, August 11
8am-9am: Boys & Girls Cross Country
9am-11am: Boys & Girls Soccer
11am-12pm: Boys & Girls Volleyball
12pm-2pm: Football & Cheerleading
[June 26, 2015] From fifth-grade moving up celebrations to the eighth-grade advancement ceremony to Suffern High School’s graduation, hundreds of Ramapo Central students marked the beginning of the next step in their academic careers over the past week.
View photos from the ceremonies on the District home page slideshow.
Congratulations to all!
Viola’s fourth grade team—teachers Christine Kear, Kate Kratchman, Julie Lent and Rosan Shedler—had students include a number of components in their personal portfolios, including: individual goal setting plans, baseline writing pieces, exit tickets, Expeditionary Learning module sample work, unit exams, Achieve thought questions, NWEA results, Read 180 results, report cards, reflective writing pieces, trimester reflections, letters to future 5th grade teachers, and a overall portfolio reflection.
Last week, the fourth-graders shared their comprehensive portfolios with third-graders and discussed what they’d learned over the year. Here are just a few of the comments overheard by Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Lisa Weber:
“Starts out as a bumpy road, but then it gets smoother.”
“Goals are important so you get an idea of what you want to work on.”
“I had a goal of reading for longer periods of time. I read longer, got smarter and started enjoying reading.”
Weber—and the teachers—were impressed.
“Our fourth grade team portfolio reflection was very positive. We believe our students know themselves very well as learners and saw many of their goals come to life this year due to their portfolios. Their hard work and dedication paid off for them and they were very excited to have tangible evidence of this process,” the teaching team noted. “Many students felt much more confident in their ability to set and reach goals. For our team to witness this during the Portfolio Share with the incoming 4th graders was a beautiful feeling. We all felt very successful seeing our students beaming about their work!”
Stay tuned: Viola plans to continue portfolios next year…and maybe even include a few more initiatives in the mix!
Over the past month, students worked with Franco during their art classes on the design, themed “Go Green.” Eighteen fifth-graders were randomly selected to transfer students’ art work onto the mural canvas; all students had the opportunity to paint a portion of the mural during their June art classes.
Display boards bearing student designs are showcased in the school lobby; designs will also be compiled into a book by Instructional Facilitator Lynda Hammond.
“With our location at the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains, the ‘Going Green’ sense of purpose in our school seems fitting,” Hammond explained. “Cool air from the mountains, the abundance of wildlife that children watch from their classroom windows—red-tailed hawks, blue herons, groundhogs, deer, red foxes, crows, black-capped chickadees and wild turkeys—and the trees and plant life in the Nature Center give all a sense of how we, as humans, are an important part of our world's cycle of life and interdependence. A child's sense of wonder and curiosity is heightened in Viola school's setting. What better way to learn how we all fit into the big picture and the sense of our responsibilities on this planet?”
The mural was sponsored by Viola’s Fifth Grade Class and the PTA.
Photo caption: Viola students viewing their school's beautiful new mural, paying tribute to the importance of our environment.
The Rockland Recycles Award recognizes excellence in recycling and/or waste prevention/reduction programs and highlight their success as models for other institutions. This is the second award for the Green Team, which was first recognized in 2011.
The Green Team is comprised of more than two dozen students who collect bottles and cans from the cafeteria, classrooms and outdoors during their lunch period and after school on Wednesday afternoons. In addition to this recycling effort, the Green Team also manages an on-site composting and gardening program, with support from faculty advisors Faith Braut, Elio Ficarella and Karen Mena.
Photo caption: Earlier this year, the Green Team struck a pose near the SMS student garden.
“We start with a big question, then people start thinking about their opinion,” explained Joseph.
Will added, “There’s no right answer to any of these questions, though.”
Each session begins with Ha presenting a question for the enrichment group students to mull over and debate. The June 11 discussion focused on the characteristics of a good friend and why friendship is valued in our world.
Common interests, a sense of humor and trustworthiness were among the qualities named by the young philosophers.
“Someone who continues to act like a friend even when you’re not at your best moment,” offered Sophia.
Ha says that the idea is to encourage younger students to think more deeply about what they believe and why.
“I like how we can openly share our thoughts without anyone judging,” Nick reflected.
Philosophizing also aligns with curriculum.
“The benefits of this club is that it allows kids a forum to openly discuss pre-selected topics, formulate opinions and then, consequently, create arguments that support their point of view,” said Bean. “This correlates beautifully to our New York State Social Studies Frameworks which have students engaging in discussions/inquiries and then as a result of those things, being able to formulate arguments.”
A founder of Veritas, Suffern High School’s philosophy club, Ha was inspired to start the elementary school group based on her tutoring experience and some homework of her own.
“As I researched how to improve the philosophy club in the high school, I came across information that said that engaging in philosophical discussions from a young age has been proven beneficial and intellectually stimulating—and all-around “plus” for students—so this type of research encouraged to me to really push for a program in the elementary school,” she explained. “The students at Connor are very bright and I wanted to give back to my elementary school.”
With the support of RP Connor Principal Mary DiPersio, the club launched in late February.
“Listening to the students explore the concept of ‘truth’ and whether something is true because many people claim it to be was very interesting. As students shared their thoughts, they clearly demonstrated their ability to engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions, building on each other’s ideas and expressing their own clearly,” DiPersio noted. “It’s wonderful to have You Jeen back at Connor, even for just a few days to facilitate various talking points.”
For Ha, the most important purpose of the club is to provide students with an open space to think deeply.
“Through guiding questions, they reach their own conclusions and learn how to think for them which, I believe, is critical for students who will be responsible for asking and addressing tough questions later in life, not just in school,” Ha said. “More than anything, I learned even to a greater degree that the means by which youth are educated is particularly important, especially in an age when tests and assessments are increasingly dominating young students’ lives. Time for discussions is crucial, and tests aren't everything in educating students.”
RP Connor rising fifth-graders, stay tuned: Ha hopes to continue Philosophy Club next year.
Photo caption: Suffern High School junior You Jeen Ha facilitated a Philosophy Club discussion on friendship with RP Connor fifth-graders on June 11.
As first-graders, Simmons’ students wrote or drew a message for her family expressing what she had meant to them. Now seniors, these students wrote a second letter, reflecting on their past how the love of learning Simmons instilled in them remains alive. The new letters were added to the 11-year-old scrapbook.
Of Simmons’ original class of sixteen students, ten remain in the District. Among these are three college-recruited athletes, a Certified Nurse Assistant, an Eagle Scout, a Girl Scout and several aspiring entrepreneurs. All are college-bound.
In her remarks at an afternoon ceremony on June 16 at RP Connor, Simmons’ sister Joan Silvestri noted that Simmons was an average student in high school, but found her passion in college.
“If you remember, my sister would start each day saying ‘Good morning and I love you,’” and she meant it. She loved you all and wanted all of you to be successful,” Silvestri said. “Find and embrace your passion, laugh and share your gifts.”
Congratulations to the Theresa Morahan Simmons Foundation 2015 Memorial Scholarship recipients:
Photo caption: Ten Suffern High School students were presented with Theresa Morahan Simmons Foundation 2015 Memorial Scholarships by the Morahan and Simmons families on June 16.
Other photos: Suffern High School seniors pored over a scrapbook they’d created as first-graders in Theresa Morahan Simmons’ class at RP Connor Elementary School.
Seventh-graders donned soldiers’ caps, read personal letters and handled an array of artifacts as part of what has become a much anticipated, annual event.
“Playing with the stereoscope helped my students experience entertainment of the 1860s and touching the heavy dresses, shoes and uniforms made us understand how tiring it must have been for women and soldiers to wear,” noted ESL teacher Michele McElhatton.
This academic enrichment program was made possible through the generosity of the Suffern Middle School PTA.
"The Civil War Living Museum is a unique opportunity for our seventh-graders to bring their learning to life by providing a hands-on exhibit of authentic Civil War artifacts,” said social studies teacher KC Davan. “This event has become a wonderful tradition here at Suffern Middle School and I hope we are able to continue it for many years to come.”
Photo caption: Seventh-graders were transported to the mid-1800s through hands-on exploration of with Civil War-era Americans through artifacts June 11-12.