Next Newsletter Coming February 2017
November 17, 2016
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Current enrollment at our high schools is Ramapo 1134 and Indian Hills 1140. 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. 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.
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