Principals Update Archive

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

It's the start of a new year! A fresh start, a clean slate... a new year filled with opportunity, excitement, and promise. I hope you're all feeling the same excitement that I am feeling.

Hopefully everyone had an opportunity to relax and enjoy the summer. There's nothing quite like the first few days of school. I am embarrassed to admit that I've experienced well over twenty first days of school, and I still cannot sleep the night before we open our doors. There is so much excitement and so many butterflies that sleeping is simply out of the question.

The first few days have been a lot of fun. We've spent a lot of time getting to know each other and working on our building expectations. Also, I am very happy to report that we are launching a yearly theme for this school year. This year's theme is the Year of Happy. Why happy? Because happiness is incredibly predictive of success in all areas of life. Happy teachers make happy students, happy students make happy parents, and happy parents make happy principals! In all seriousness, we want our school to be the school we all know it can be. The best way to do that is to focus on the positive and instill in our students a love of learning that they will hold with them for the rest of their lives.

As the year progresses there will undoubtedly be a number of obstacles and challenges that we'll face. We don't grow when things are easy though; we grow when we face challenges. The bigger the challenges, the bigger our opportunity for growth. At the end of our day, we want our students to feel challenged. We also want them to feel supported by the incredible staff and community at Johnson Elementary.

I'm honored, proud, and excited to start this new journey with all of you and I know it's going to be a great year.

To new beginnings,

Jared Peltzman, Principal

Thank You for a Great Year!

Happy Summer!

Incredible to think that the school year has ended. I hope that you all had a great year and are looking forward to a fun-filled summer.

Summer is a great time to work on the three "r's"... rest, relax, and reflect. As I end my first year as principal of Johnson, I am taking a lot of time to look back at both our successes and shortcomings this year. I'd be remiss if I didn't thank everyone for the continued support and for embracing many of the changes we've made at Johnson this year. There are many more to come next year as we try to make Johnson the best elementary school it can be. Your help is critical in making this happen.

You're going to see a lot of changes at school each year. The reality is that there are always going to be things that can be better than they are.

This year we launched our school wide positive behavioral program. The clip chart and the Clip Hall of Fame have been fantastic and we've retired well over a thousand clips this year. Manner Banner was a hit and our lunch reward program has been keeping our APR sparkling.

We also had a lot of really fun initiatives. We had Art for the Sky, our first annual Hootfest and 5k, and our countdown gave our students the opportunity to have a lot of fun as we winded down. I'll be meeting with various people over the summer to plan even more fun events and programs for our students.

Most importantly, our students learned a lot this year. Some of our kids learned how to read, some learned how to use Google Classroom, some learned how to multiply... It's amazing the amount of learning that takes place in one year. It's one of the beautiful parts about working in an elementary school. These years are incredibly impactful to who our students become and we take this privilege seriously.

As you all get ready for days on the beach, please remember to reinforce what your children learned this year. There is more to learn and we've only scratched the surface of our students' potential. Learning doesn't have to take place in a classroom. Learning is everywhere! It's in counting the number of apples at the supermarket, it's reading street signs to practice decoding, it's asking questions about why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Please encourage your children to ask questions every day and provide them the ability to find the answers. The best things our students can do is spend the summer asking questions and wondering about the world around them.

Finally, I hope you all have a great summer. It's been a pleasure to get to know all of you and your children this year. I can't wait to see those smiling faces in September.

Thank you!

Jared Peltzman, Principal

Springtime at JJES


It's springtime at Johnson! Incredible to think that it's already April...

I hope this update finds you all enjoying the spring weather and well rested from Spring Break. April is an exciting time at Johnson with all types of fun activities and learning opportunities.

April is also our first opportunity to try our best at the PARCC test. For those of you who don't know, the PARCC assessment is a standardized assessment that is given to every public school student in the state starting in third grade and going straight through high school. It's the rare opportunity to see how our students compare to other students around the state and around the country.

If you have a child in a testing grade, please make sure they get a good night's sleep before testing as well as eat a good breakfast before coming to school.

April is also Autism Awareness Month. The most recent research on autism is staggering. 1 in 45 children, ages 3 through 17, have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), boys being four and a half times more likely to be identified as girls. The number of people impacted is exponentially higher (family members, coworkers, etc.). There's a great quote about autism that says, "If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism." We use April to raise awareness about autism and teach our students about the disorder. We live in a world where everyone is different, but all are equal. We see this month as an opportunity to embrace this and remind our students of how great it is to be different. Please join us in raising awareness about autism.

In a couple days we will be raising money for another worthy cause, Juvenile Diabetes. Every year, our district participates in Volley for Support. This annual volleyball event is a tremendous fundraiser and is great fun for everyone who attends or participates. Last year we were the winners of the School Spirit Award and we're hoping to keep our crown. Please come out to Cherry Hill East at 6:50 to see us take on Clara Barton.

Thank you and have a great month!

Jared Peltzman, Principal

Cruising Along

Welcome to our new website!

As you may have noticed, we have launched our new website this month. This website will be a great place to learn about everything happening at Johnson and to find out important information. I want to thank Mrs. Royal for all the work she did on our former website. Mrs. Royal volunteered her time updating and keeping our former site up to date with important information.

During the month of February, we celebrated Black History Month, had our fourth grade science presentations, had our Valentine's Day parties, and celebrated the 100th day of school! February was a great month at Johnson. It's amazing to think we're moving into March in only a few short days.

March has the students cruising along and making incredible progress. One exciting initiative starting this month is that our teachers in our fourth and fifth grades are launching Google Classroom. This tool is an incredible way to differentiate instruction for our students and to provide immediate feedback to all of our students. Every student in fourth and fifth grade has been given a Google account (no email access) to help access the main Apps used by Google Apps for Education e.g. Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. Please take some time to have your child log in and show you some of the great things that are happening in these classrooms.

Kindergarten registration for Johnson is designated for March 2, 2016. It's incredible to think that we'll be welcoming a new group of owls to Johnson in a few months. If you have any neighbors who have students who will be joining us in September, please let them know about registration. Registration on March 2nd is from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at our district administration office. For more information, please contact the main office at Johnson (856) 428-8848.

Finally, we'll be launching monthly assemblies starting in March. At these assemblies, we'll be recognizing students who have retired their clips and celebrating all of our student's hard work. We may even get a chance to watch a few skits put on by our Johnson teachers.

Thank you for your continued support!


Mr. Jared Peltzman, Principal




Conferences

12/1/2015

I hope this update finds you all enjoying the cooler weather and having fully recovered from a fantastic Thanksgiving. We had a great November here at Johnson and can hardly believe that it's almost 2016!

November is one of the fastest months on the calendar. Between Teachers Convention, Thanksgiving Break, and the beginning of conferences, it feels like we blink our eyes and see December on the calendar. Hopefully you're all having a great year so far and are looking forward to what is to come.

One of the highlights of November is the beginning of conferences. As most of you know, in our upper grades we practice student-led conferences. This provides our students with an opportunity to reflect and analyze their work this year. While this may be new to many of you, we've been doing this in Cherry Hill for over ten years and have found students to be incredibly reflective and honest with their work and progress. I recommend you all take this opportunity to discuss with your child/children what their individual goals are and how to best support them. Hopefully you find them valuable and have a chance to talk to your child about their education.

For our younger grades, we have traditional teacher-led conferences. This is a great time to talk about your child's strengths and learn about their areas of need. Our goal at Johnson is to create a partnership in your child's education. We want to make sure that we are all doing everything we can to ensure that your child is doing a great job and learning. The etymology of the word conference goes back to the Latin conferre which translates to bring together. This is truly an opportunity to bring together two of the most influential forces in your child's life; home and school. When these two forces are aligned and the communication is open, great things can happen.

Happy December!

Jared Peltzman, Principal

Happy November!

11/2/2015

Phew... This year is just flying!

I hope you all had a great Halloween and have shaken off your sugar rush. Halloween is always a great time in school and this year was no different. Thank you to all of our volunteers and our PTA for helping organize the parade and the parties. It was great to see all of our parents out for such a fun day.

It's hard to believe that it is already November. It seems like just yesterday we were ironing out our first day outfits and getting ready for the school year to start. Now here we are looking at the end of our first marking period and the beginning of conferences. Funny how fast time can fly when you're having a great time.

November is a huge month in school. The routines are fully established and that new school smell is starting to wear off. This is really when the meat of the school year starts. We have tremendous momentum going into November and we are keeping the positive vibes going. Our new PBIS initiative has been successful and students seem to really be picking up on all of the WISE traits we are promoting this year. Please remember to reinforce these each and every day. Even something as simple as asking your child where their clip ended each day will help.

November is also our month for conferences. Conferences are a tremendously important part of our school year and provides an opportunity for student reflection as well as an opportunity for parents to see how their child/children are doing this year. The home/school connection is critical to student success and conferences are a great chance to strengthen this connection. We want all of our parents to feel comfortable in school and to understand what we do here each and every day.

Finally, this month also finds us enjoying Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday I want to thank each and every one of you for the support so far this year and for everything you do. We know you are all your child's first teacher and the work you do with your children is greatly appreciated. Together we can do great things for your children.

Have a great month!

Jared Peltzman, Principal

Spirit Days

10/7/2015

Happy October!

I hope this message finds you all enjoying the beautiful autumn weather and settling into a great school year.

This year we have started to focus on our school identity as a whole and providing with our students with a better sense of school community. One way we are doing this is with weekly Spirit Days and monthly Spirit Assemblies. For Spirit Days, we are asking that students come to school decked out in their blue and gold. The class that has the most students in blue and gold earns the "Spirit Stick" for the week. This is simply a trophy that the class holds for the week as our most spirited class.

At Spirit Assemblies, we'll be recognizing students who have retired a clip into our Owlstanding Hall of Fame, celebrating other achievements, and talking about positive character. The assemblies are short but should be fun. Please expect your children to be coming home talking about some of these great initiatives!

Have a great week!

Mr. Peltzman, Principal

Manner Banner!

9/29/2015

Happy Autumn!

I hope you all had a great few weeks of school. It's been really busy here at Johnson, and we are just starting to settle into our routine. It's amazing how fast time can go when you're having fun!

We are now looking at October this week. The images of pools and beaches slowly start to fade as we bundle up and prepare for some cooler weather.

This week will also find us introducing our first Manner Banner class. The Manner Banner is a character recognition program which awards one class a month for their behavior and manners throughout the previous month. Teachers and staff vote on the class that they feel has done things the "WISE" way all month.

The class that wins gets to hang the banner outside of their classroom, earns a pretzel party for later in the month, and earns the privilege of presenting the banner to the next month's winner. This usually involves making a lot of noise in the hallways as we celebrate the new winner.

There have been a lot of changes this year at Johnson. I appreciate all of your enthusiasm and feedback with these changes, and am really excited to see what this year holds.

Thank you!

Jared Peltzman, Principal

Conferences

12/1/2015

I hope this update finds you all enjoying the cooler weather and having fully recovered from a fantastic Thanksgiving. We had a great November here at Johnson and can hardly believe that it's almost 2016!

November is one of the fastest months on the calendar. Between Teachers Convention, Thanksgiving Break, and the beginning of conferences, it feels like we blink our eyes and see December on the calendar. Hopefully you're all having a great year so far and are looking forward to what is to come.

One of the highlights of November is the beginning of conferences. As most of you know, in our upper grades we practice student-led conferences. This provides our students with an opportunity to reflect and analyze their work this year. While this may be new to many of you, we've been doing this in Cherry Hill for over ten years and have found students to be incredibly reflective and honest with their work and progress. I recommend you all take this opportunity to discuss with your child/children what their individual goals are and how to best support them. Hopefully you find them valuable and have a chance to talk to your child about their education.

For our younger grades, we have traditional teacher-led conferences. This is a great time to talk about your child's strengths and learn about their areas of need. Our goal at Johnson is to create a partnership in your child's education. We want to make sure that we are all doing everything we can to ensure that your child is doing a great job and learning. The etymology of the word conference goes back to the Latin conferre which translates to bring together. This is truly an opportunity to bring together two of the most influential forces in your child's life; home and school. When these two forces are aligned and the communication is open, great things can happen.

Happy December!

Jared Peltzman, Principal

Happy New Year!

1/4/2016

Happy New Year!


I hope this finds you all feeling rested and relaxed. We had a great December and are looking forward to continuing our great school year. The start of a new year is a great time to stop and reflect on the year behind us as well as set our goals for the upcoming year. I hope you all had a chance to stop and reflect on 2015 and that you go into 2016 with your head held high, excited for the year to come.

We had a great start to our school year and while it isn't the official half way point for the year, it certainly feels like it is sometimes. Our students came back this morning ready to learn and looking forward to continuing their journey in Johnson School. Teachers have spent some time talking to our students about New Years Resolutions and we've been reinforcing the importance of setting goals to our school. A huge part of this practice is making the goals visible and sharing their goals to increase accountability. Sadly, many resolutions get lost in a couple of months and we are really hoping to buck the trend this year. Please make sure you take some time to talk to your children about the importance of setting goals and following through on these goals.

I've always said that students come back from Winter Break very different than they left. Maybe Winter Break gives everyone a chance to take a deep breath and refocus or maybe it's that the week and a half off just allows the water to settle. After summer we all start as still ponds and then throughout the opening months various pebbles get thrown in. The ripples seem to never stop. Winter Break is the first chance for the water to calm and for us all to take a deep, deep breath. Hopefully we can keep the water still for awhile and avoid too many pebbles being tossed in as the year progresses.

On a different note, I want to thank you all for a great start to the year. There have been a lot of changes this year and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We greatly appreciate the support of our parents and community while we strive to make Johnson School the best that it can be.

Bon Iver! (good winter)

Mr. Peltzman

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