News

 

November 6, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you have had a smooth transition into the 2017-18 school year. Both of our high schools are off to an outstanding start. The Fall athletic seasons are winding down as are the Marching Bands at both of our high schools. First marking period is also drawing to a close and very soon we will begin the second quarter. Please remind your children that each new marking period gives students another chance at improving grades and changing study habits to increase the quality of work. Encourage your son or daughter to become involved in an after school club, activity, or sport which will help him or her better adjust socially and emotionally.  If you need any suggestions, please call your child’s guidance counselor for recommendations.

We are so very blessed to have wonderful, dedicated teachers in our classrooms, a support staff taking care of every detail, and a community truly committed to supporting the education and welfare of students. Our PTSO and APTS are always busy coordinating activities and searching for volunteers to help out with a variety of projects.  If you are looking for ways to involve yourself in the life of the schools, please reach out to the executive boards of either organization.

As we get ready for a long weekend, I wish each of you a restful and relaxing few days off. In a couple weeks, Thanksgiving will be upon us and we will have the opportunity to reflect upon our many blessings and give thanks for the people in our lives to whom we look for support each day 

In the next week, our nation will celebrate Veterans Day. Please discuss with your family the importance of this day and remember the many men and women who have served and continue to serve our great nation.  As we all know, freedom is not free and many have paid the ultimate price for all of us to enjoy this wonderful country in which we live.  Be proud to be an American.  It is up to us to preserve and protect the freedoms in the United States of America for our children and for all future generations.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Best regards,

Beverly MacKay

Superintendent of Schools

 

School Enrollment

Current enrollment at our high schools is Ramapo 1178 and Indian Hills 1114. Both high schools had outstanding Open Houses for our 8th graders this fall. We are so fortunate to live in communities where there is a choice of two great high schools with wonderful teaching and support staffs. Students cannot go wrong with either high school and with the exception of the University Programs, the academic and extracurricular offerings available to students in both schools are the same.  All incoming 8th graders will continue to have choice of which high school they would like to attend.

 

Getting District News out with Twitter

Many of our clubs, sports and activities as well as teachers and administrators are pushing out good news about the high schools through Twitter. There is a listing on our website of many of the Twitter accounts in the District. I will use Twitter in addition to traditional methods of communication for sharing information about snow closings, school emergencies, District highlights and spotlights and general District news.  My Twitter account is @beverly_mackay   Dr. Vacca, Indian Hills Principal is @IHHSPrincipalNJ and Travis Smith, Ramapo Principal is @RHSPrincipalNJ

 

Responding to Hate Acts and Bias-Related Incidents

The Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District pledges our continuing

commitment to work together with students, staff, parents, and local law

enforcement in addressing the evolving problem of bias crimes and bias-related acts that may occur on school grounds or that may involve students. All suspected or confirmed bias crimes and bias-related acts are serious matters that deserve a prompt, firm, and predictable response.

A bias incident or hate crime is defined in the Attorney General’s Guidelines as any suspected or confirmed offense or unlawful act which occurs against a person or property (public or private) on the basis of New Jersey’s nine protected classes: race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.

Bias incidents and hate crimes take many forms, ranging from racially motivated graffiti, to threats of physical harm, to actual property damage or bodily injury. Not all incidents turn out to be crimes, but any potential bias incident should be reported to the police as a bias incident so that it can be fully investigated.

District security-

The Ramapo Indian Hills High School District takes the safety and welfare of students, staff and families very seriously.  We routinely hold emergency drills for a variety of scenarios including but not limited to fire, active shooter lockdown, evacuation on site, evacuation off site, and bomb threat.  These drills are done at all different times during the day including lunch periods and passing time between classes, as we know emergencies could happen at any time and it is important for students and staff to know how to respond. Drills occur two times a month at each high school.

Additionally, parents and families are reminded that when visiting school during the school day, all visitors must report to the front security desk and produce a valid driver’s license, which is cleared through our LobbyGuard school security system. Outdoor recreation areas such as the track, playing fields, tennis courts are not available to the public while school is in session. 

PARCC Update

With each passing year of the PARCC administration, the NJ High School Graduation Assessment Requirements for English Language Arts and Mathematics change depending on the graduating class of the student. With that, there are currently three different groupings of graduation assessment requirements for our current high school students:

  • Class of 2018 and 2019,
  • Class of 2020, and
  • Class of 2021

 

The New Jersey High School Graduation Assessment Requirements for each graduating class can be found here. Please read through this document carefully and discuss the graduation assessment requirements with your child(ren) as they pertain to his or her graduating class.  Additional information can be found and will be updated on the District’s website, in addition to the District’s Assessment Schedule.   If you have any questions about the graduation assessment requirements, please contact your child's guidance counselor.  

Model Classrooms

Both Ramapo and Indian Hills High Schools have been renovating one classroom in each building to help in the development of the District’s long-range facilities plan.  These model classrooms are designed with several key points in mind, with the overarching goal of preparing our students for college and career readiness in the 21st century.  The classroom furniture has been selected to offer a choice of seating and seating arrangement in the room.  This will allow for individual work, small-group student-centered learning, or whole-group direct instruction.  The interior walls of the classroom are treated with a clear coat finish to create floor-to-ceiling writable surfaces.  The lighting system has been designed to focus on and highlight the parts of the room according to the instructional demands.  Various technologies have been planned for and implemented in the room to support different instructional approaches and settings, with an emphasis placed on student collaboration, presentation, creativity, and overall productivity.  Teacher and student feedback from these rooms will be used to gather input for District’s long-range facilities plan as other instructional spaces are redesigned.  The renovation project for both model classrooms is expected to be complete by the beginning of December.  

Another Warning About Information on Cell Phones/Computers-

Our local police departments along with our high school district would like to remind you that possession and/or transmission of sexually revealing or explicit images or material of a similar nature, constitutes a crime. Specifically, please be advised that it is illegal to create/manufacture, transfer, transmit or possess these images.  Possession or transmission of sexually revealing images falls under the “endangering the welfare of a child” criminal code in New Jersey, regardless of whether the photos or videos are possessed or maintained by children.

Please speak to your children who carry cell phones and use computers about this behavior and ensure that if children are in possession of any type of material that could be considered sexually revealing or explicit, that it be deleted immediately.  Please be aware that any student found to have created, transmitted or possess an unlawful photo or video may be criminally charged by law enforcement.

Vaping-

Vaping continues to be an issue in our schools. During these first couple months of the school year, teachers, security and custodial staff have been finding small USB like devices (see attached JPEG photos) in the bathrooms, hallways and cafeteria at both high schools. A vaping device called a "JUUL" has become quite popular for it's USB charging function and it's ability to deliver as many as 200 "rips" in a fully charged device, which is the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. While many students initially try vaping using nicotine, we know that students quickly begin putting a variety of alternate dangerous substances in the vape devices.

The JUUL is popular due it's small size (easy to conceal) and due to the fact that the vape cloud expelled is much less than traditional vape devices.

These devices are prohibited in our schools and it is our hope that they are prohibited in your home.  Unfortunately, many parents are not familiar with them and do not realize that they are available for purchase online as well as in vape-shops. 

Upcoming events-

 

November 16,17,18-- 7:00PM Ramapo Fall Drama- Sylvia

November 23-26-- Thanksgiving Wellness Weekend

November 30, December 1-2-- 7:00PM Indian Hills Fall Musical- A Chorus Line

December 19 --  7:30PM      Ramapo Holiday Concert

December 20 --  7:30PM      Indian Hills Holiday Concert

December 23-- Jan 1- Schools Closed- Holiday Recess

 

 

 

 


August 23, 2017

Hope you are enjoying the last little bit of summer.  I am pleased to announce that Dr. Gregory Vacca has begun his Principalship at Indian Hills High School. We are thrilled to have him on board prior to the start of school. If you are around the Hills during these next few days before we officially start, please stop by to say hello to Dr. Vacca.

We all wish him the best of luck as he begins his next journey with us!


August 2, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful summer, relaxing and spending some time with family and friends.  School will open in a few short weeks and we are busy at work preparing curriculum, cleaning and updating facilities and hiring staff. 

This morning, the Board of Education approved and welcomed Dr. Greg Vacca as the new Principal of Indian Hills High School. Dr. Vacca comes to us from Livingston High School where he has spent four years as an Assistant Principal.  Prior to his time in Livingston, he had been an English teacher in Summit for eight years and before that, an English teacher at Indian Hills for six years. We are, of course, so happy to have him return home! Dr. Vacca is a forward thinking and well respected school leader who will bring new ideas and strategies into our District. He is an articulate communicator who enjoys working with students, teachers, parents and the community.

Our hope and understanding is that Livingston will release Dr. Vacca earlier than sixty days so we can bring him on board as soon as possible. During the next couple weeks, he will be in and out, meeting with staff, and re-acquainting himself with Indian Hills.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Greg Vacca to our District.  We all wish him the best of luck!

I hope you enjoy a few more restful weeks in August.  See you soon!

Best regards,

Beverly MacKay

Superintendent of Schools

 


June 19, 2017

Dear RIH Community,

As you may have heard, our Indian Hills Principal, Mr. Joe Collins, has decided to retire August 1, 2017 after spending his 43-year career in education at Indian Hills High School. He has been a loyal, dedicated and committed educator as a Teacher, Coach, Assistant Principal and Principal. Mr. Collins is a passionate educator, father, husband and friend and will be deeply missed by the entire Ramapo Indian Hills community.  Anyone who knows Mr. Collins knows his deep commitment to the “Braves” and most would agree that he bleeds blue and gold.

As a school community, we all wish Mr. Collins well and thank him for his dedication to the students, staff and families. His positive energy, contagious laugh and love for his fellow human beings will forever remind us of the mark he has left on our District.

It is with deep gratitude and appreciation for the many student and staff lives that Mr. Collins has positively impacted, that we wish him years of good health and happiness in his retirement.

Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to Mr. Collins.

With best wishes and deep gratitude,

Beverly MacKay

Superintendent of Schools

 

 


May 19, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We have recently learned of two very dangerous activities that are unfortunately catching the interest of teenagers across the country. Please be aware of “The Blue Whale Challenge” which encourages individuals to perform increasingly risky and violent acts through a social media group. The second activity to be aware of is “The Choking Game” which has recently been on local and national news as it has unfortunately impacted school districts here in the tri-state area and other parts of New Jersey.

While it is difficult for most adults to understand the attraction to these very dangerous and life threatening activities, I want you to be aware that teenagers in many schools are taking on these challenges.

Please take the time to discuss with your children the dangers of these violent acts.

I have attached links below that provide additional information:

http://www.wtxl.com/news/the-dangers-behind-the-blue-whale-challenge-app/article_7cf13d3c-3694-11e7-874d-27ae9bd13b55.html

choking game (Click for website) 

http://www.nj.com/somerset/index.ssf/2017/05/choking_game_caused_central_jersey_students_death.html

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Best regards,

Beverly MacKay

Superintendent of Schools

 



May 2, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardian,

You may have heard that a threat was made by a student at Ramapo High School today that was reported to the administration after the close of the school day.  The threat has been thoroughly investigated by local law enforcement and has been deemed NOT credible. The investigation determined that there was never a credible threat to harm anyone at the school, and the student had no means or verifiable intent to act upon his threats.

  Please know that the safety and security of our students and staff are our highest priority and we take situations such as this very seriously. 

Thank you for your ongoing support of our school community.

Best regards,

Beverly MacKay

Superintendent



May 1, 2017

Happy Staff Appreciation Week to all of our educators and support staff!  We are so very grateful for the wonderful work being done on a daily basis with our students and families.
Our community is certainly fortunate to have such a talented group of professionals.

Have a great week!
Bev

April 25, 2017- follow up

Dear Parents/Guardians:

In order to maintain a safe and healthy educational environment, the District in coordination with local law enforcement and the Bergen County Prosecutors Office scheduled a canine visit to sniff out and alert staff to the presence of substances and/or dangerous items that are prohibited by law or District policy.

Canines did not sniff within close proximity of students. Prior to the canines entering the school, students were first sheltered-in-place, and then relocated to the Auditorium and Upper Gymnasiums.

The canines’ sniffed items left behind in the classrooms, the air around lockers, desks, and vehicles on district property. As you know we take the health and safety of our students very seriously and we hope that today's activities help to underscore how much we care about our students.  Furthermore, we encourage parents to use today's events as an opportunity to talk to their children about the dangers of using drugs.

Students fully cooperated during the canine visit and behaved in a way that you should feel very proud of. The District utilized the sweep to ensure that the safety and well being of our students are preserved.

 

The objective of this operation was to deter students from bringing controlled dangerous substances to the school and to impress the message of law enforcement and the Board of Education's stance on zero-tolerance on illegal drugs and drug abuse.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support.

Best regards,

Beverly MacKay

Superintendent


April 25, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardian,

 

Both Ramapo and Indian Hills High Schools are under a temporary Shelter in Place for the purpose of a Bergen County Canine Drug Detection Sweep. Please DO NOT plan to drop off forgotten items for your children for the next hour or so as we will not be allowing any visitors into our buildings while the Canine Sweep is underway. We anticipate that all students will be able to return to their classes within 45 minutes. Our students are supervised by teachers, supervisors and administrators during this activity.  

 

Thank you so much for your support and cooperation during this important activity.  This shared effort between our schools and law enforcement is for the purpose of keeping our schools safe and drug free.

 

Thank you for your understanding.


April 10, 2017

Have a wonderful Spring Break. Take some time to relax with family and friends. Enjoy the upcoming religious holidays of Passover and Easter and we will see you after the break!  
Enjoy.
Bev

March 28, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

At last evening's Board Meeting, the Board of Education amended the school calendar to give back the unused snow day.  Both high schools will be closed for all staff and students on Friday, May 26, 2017.
Enjoy a longer Memorial Day Weekend.

Bev

March 13, 2017

Ramapo and Indian Hills High Schools are closed tomorrow, March 14-  Please remind your teenagers of the dangers of winter storms of this magnitude.  
We will keep you updated with school and storm information as it becomes available.

Stay warm and safe,
Bev MacKay
Superintendent


March 12, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

As you are aware, northern New Jersey is expecting a very serious weather event between Monday evening and Wednesday.  As our District prepares for this potential blizzard, I would like to remind you of the importance of reviewing safety and security precautions with your family as we anticipate this storm.  On our website is a "Winter Storm Preparedness" document that I would recommend reading and sharing with others.

Our District will try to make the "snow call" as early as possible to allow you to make necessary arrangements for family care etc. If the storm arrives at the magnitude anticipated, it would seem that most folks will not be working or at school on Tuesday. A primary concern with storms of this type is loss of power. We will send notifications out as we usually do on the emergency contact system, post to our website, and I will send updates through my twitter feed @beverly_mackay 

As a reminder, please be sure to do those important tasks like charging all necessary devices, getting a full tank of gas in your car ( not sure why when you won't be going far)  and of course buying the bread, milk and eggs!

Please take a moment to review the attached information. We will keep you updated as any additional information is received. 

As always, our primary concern is the safety of students, staff and families. 

Stay warm.

 

Best regards,

Beverly MacKay

Superintendent of Schools

 

November 17, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you have had a smooth transition into the school year. Both of our high schools are off to an outstanding start.  As you know, Ramapo High School is now under the leadership of Principal Travis Smith, who has certainly hit the ground running and has already made a positive impact on both students and staff.  Mr. Smith is highly visible, in attendance at games, clubs, practices, and classrooms.  Mr. Smith has found Ramapo High School to be a very busy home for himself and is enjoying the fast pace, non-stop, enthusiastic and positive students and staff.   

Principal Joe Collins continues to provide outstanding leadership for Indian Hills High School.  Having been at Indian Hills for over forty years, Mr. Collins is Blue and Gold through and through. When not traveling the halls of Hills, you may hear him announcing the football games on the weekends.  Mr. Collins always has the best interest of students and staff near and dear to his heart and truly is the consummate educator.

We are so very blessed to have wonderful, dedicated teachers in our classrooms, a support staff taking care of every detail, and a community truly committed to supporting the education and welfare of students.

I wish each of you a Thanksgiving weekend filled with rest and relaxation.  As we move into this holiday season, take some time to reflect upon your many blessings and thank those close to you who each and every day provide the support you need to get through daily challenges and share in the many joys. Most of all, please let your children know how important they are to you, to their siblings, to their grandparents. 

Enjoy the holiday season!

Best regards,

Bev

Post Secondary Planning-

 Our seniors have filed 2,645 college applications to date.  This can be a stressful time for seniors and their parents. If your son or daughter has not yet decided on post secondary plans whether it be college or university, military service, employment or trade school, please set up an appointment with your guidance counselor to discuss options. While it may appear to you that your son or daughter does not care or is not interested in thinking about next year, please know that often the stress of anticipating the unknown can appear as apathy when in fact it really is insecurity and high anxiety masked as indifference.  Your guidance counselor will be a tremendous help in relieving some of the pressure and opening up the lines of communication.

 

 

Warning About Information on Cell Phones/Computers-

Our local police departments along with our high school district would like to remind you that possession and/or transmission of sexually revealing or explicit images or material of a similar nature, constitutes a crime. Specifically, please be advised that it is illegal to create/manufacture, transfer, transmit or possess these images.  Possession or transmission of sexually revealing images falls under the “endangering the welfare of a child” criminal code in New Jersey, regardless of whether the photos or videos are possessed or maintained by children.

 

Please speak to all children who carry cell phones or use computers about this behavior and ensure that if children are in possession of any type of material that could be considered sexually revealing or explicit, that it be deleted immediately.  Please be aware that any student found to have created, transmitted or possess an unlawful photo or video may be criminally charged by law enforcement.

 

Mountain Biking-

 Our district began a new Physical Education adventure this Fall with the introduction of Mountain Biking into the program.  Each high school has a trail that is just over a mile in length where the students may ride as part of the PE program. This innovative addition has brought other districts to visit our district to check out this unique and engaging activity.  Both students and staff alike are thoroughly enjoying this great lifelong activity.  Physical Education instructors involved in the mountain biking initiative were trained this past summer by the International Mountain Biking Association on safety and technique.

 

 

District security-

The Ramapo Indian Hills High School District takes the safety and welfare of students, staff and families very seriously.  We routinely hold emergency drills for a variety of scenarios including but not limited to fire, active shooter lockdown, evacuation on site, evacuation off site, and bomb threat.  These drills are done at all different times during the day including lunch periods and passing time between classes, as we know emergencies could happen at any time and it is important for students and staff to know how to respond. Drills occur two times a month at each high school.

 

Additionally, parents and families are reminded that when visiting school during the school day, all visitors must report to the front security desk and produce a valid driver’s license, which is cleared through our LobbyGuard school security system. Outdoor recreation areas such as the track, playing fields, tennis courts are not available to the public while school is in session. 

 

 

 

Vaping-

Over the first three months of the new school year both our security and custodial staff have been finding small USB like devices (see attached JPEG photos) in the bathrooms and cafeteria at both high schools. A new vaping device called a "JUUL" has become quite popular for it's USB charging function and it's ability to deliver as many as 200 "rips" in a fully charged device, which is the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. 

The JUUL is popular due it's small size (easy to conceal) and due to the fact that the vape cloud expelled is much less than traditional vape devices.

Attached are several photos. For more info on the device click this link: https://www.juulvapor.com/support/quickstart/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These devices are prohibited in our schools and it is our hope that they are prohibited in your home.  Unfortunately, many parents are not familiar with them and do not realize that they are available for purchase online as well as in vape-shops.

 

 

 

 

School Enrollment

Current enrollment at our high schools is Ramapo 1134 and Indian Hills 1140. Both high schools had outstanding Open Houses for our 8thgraders this fall.  We are so fortunate to live in communities where there is a choice of two great high schools. Students cannot go wrong with either high school and with the exception of the University Programs, the academic and extracurricular offerings available to students in both schools are the same.  All incoming 8th graders will continue to have choice of which high school they would like to attend.  Every year there seems to be another rumor floating around about the elimination of school choice.  Our Board of Education would like to remind everyone that choice of high school will continue.  

 

 

Program of Studies/Course selection

Our Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Daniel Sutherland, along with the Subject Supervisors are currently working on the 2017-18 Program of Studies which we anticipate will be ready by mid-December.  All 9th-11th grade students will begin meeting with guidance counselors in mid January to discuss course requests for next school year.  Please be sure to consider our dual-enrollment courses where your son or daughter may take classes as part of the regular high school program, yet receive college credit.  Your guidance counselor can help you to determine which courses best fit your child’s needs and how you can determine where the college credits will transfer. Please know that many of these courses are for all level students, CP, CPE and Honors. Additionally, we offer Pathway programs in a variety of elective areas where students may complete several courses in one focus area. Again, please discuss this option with your guidance counselor.

 

Upcoming events-

 

November 17,18,19- 7:00PM Ramapo Fall Drama- Night Watch

 

November 24-27- Thanksgiving Wellness Weekend

 

December 1,2,3- 7:00PM Indian Hills Fall Drama- The Miracle Worker

 

December 6   7:30PM      Ramapo Holiday Concert

 

December 13  7:30PM      Indian Hills Holiday Concert

 

December 24- Jan 2- Schools Closed- Holiday Recess