Todays Events - February 20, 2020

Upcoming Events

  • Feb 22nd - Feb 22nd, 2020 - SHSP Science Fair
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  • Feb 24th - Feb 24th, 2020 - Stuck 4 A Buck
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  • Feb 26th - Feb 26th, 2020 - Kindergarten registration (snow date 2/27)
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Ishaan Gandhi and Hannah Hubbard react to the announcement of Sandshore's reading initiative

They’ve got a ticket to pie

Anemarie Hall, Sandshore’s reading specialist, knows how to encourage kids to read. 

A wave of cheers erupted from a gym-full of students when she announced her latest reading incentive. For each book that students read through the end of the month, they receive a ticket that is used to vote for a teacher to get hit with a cream pie. As of February 17, students have read 842 books. Dave Misener, special education teacher, has a commanding lead to be the pie recipient with 503 votes. 

The winning (losing?) teacher will receive his or her just desserts March 2 to kick-off the school’s recognition of Read Across America, the annual celebration of reading held on the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Each year, Ms. Hall coordinates Sandshore’s festival of reading fun which has included in past years STEAM activities, guest readers, and a Seuss door decorating contest. To show their appreciation for Dr. Seuss and his enduring works, students and faculty typically wear Seuss shirts and hats.

Teachers are competing for the honor to pie their coworker by adding tickets for books they read into a jar in the main office. The pie receiver and thrower will be announced February 28.

Joseph Ciccarella checks his heartrate 

Focusing on heart health 

Sandshore students recently raised more than $7,000 for the American Heart Association in the Kids Heart Challenge. Formerly known as Jump Rope for Heart, the program also teaches students about their hearts, heart health, and the importance of helping others. 

During the day of the event, the students jumped rope and visited stations setup in the gym. At the vertical jump challenge station, teacher Nick Fallkman coached students to reach as high as they could; at the “Learn about your Heart” station, students each did 25 jumping jacks and then listened to their hearts with stethoscopes while watching their heartrates on handheld monitors. 

"Almost everyone has been touched by stroke or heart attack in some way," Ms. Thompson said. “If you start kids off at this young age thinking about developing healthy eating and exercise habits, it can change their lifelong health. And rope jumping is a great activity. Research has shown that children ages 5– 11 need weight bearing exercises like rope jumping to build up their 'bone bank.'  It helps to prevent osteoporosis later in life.”

Interim Principal Jen Curry and Kristy McFarlane, instructional supervisor, joined several classes to show of their rope jumping skills.

Nurse honored in recognition program

Suzanne Herbst rocks! Sandshore’s nurse was honored in the Teachers Who Rock program. Sponsored by the New Jersey Education Association and radio stations WDHA-FM and WMTR-AM, Teachers Who Rock recognizes educators who make a sizeable impact on the lives of students. Ms. Herbst has been at Sandshore since 2011 and in the district since 1998. For the past 11 years, she has served as the district’s head nurse.

Ms. Herbst will be honored with Sean Kelley, a teacher at Mount Olive Middle School, and the other winning area educators in the program at an awards banquet in late March.

Her nomination letter, written by first grade teacher Tracy Church, was read on the air on the morning shows of both WDHA-FM and WMTR-AM. The letter, printed below, was also posted on the channels' websites.

Nomination letter written by Tracy Church:

Ms. Herbst is the ultimate school nurse; she not only takes care of the students, but also takes care of the staff of her school too. She supports student success by providing health care through assessment, intervention, and follow-up for all within a school setting. Ms. Herbst addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social health needs of students and supports their achievement in the learning process. This is a critical part in education that is often overlooked by test scores and data. Each day she provides care to the students, teachers lessons on health care, contacts parents, administrators, and teachers, completes annual assessments, provides necessary medicines, updates critical information such as contact information and expired medicines along with numerous other school needs.

Ms. Herbst supports the school staff by sharing important health information about stress levels, heart health, and general well-being. She provides a variety of immunizations in the teacher’s room for the staff including flu shots. She runs weight loss competitions and encourages the staff to be their best. She is also a listening and supportive ear to all of her colleagues.

Ms. Herbst is the link between home, school, and the Mt. Olive community when it comes to the health and well-being of the students. Students today may face family crises, homelessness, immigration, poverty, and violence, which increase both their physical and mental health needs. School nurses perform a critical role within the school health program by addressing the major health problems experienced in today’s society.

Along with her very busy job as school nurse, she is also the Head District Nurse. She coordinates all in district nursing staffing needs and nursing coverage for trips. She provides all the professional development and training opportunities. She also contacts supply vendors to obtain quotes for all district nursing needs. Ms. Herbst coordinates the annual district nursing services plan and is the nurse liaison to the board of education.

School nurses are an essential component to the health and well-being of students, particularly those with acute and chronic health conditions. Suzanne’s skills allow her to assist students with specific medical needs which allows these students the opportunity to attend school and learn along with their peers. For her dedication to the health and well-being of her school community, we honor Ms. Herbst as a Teacher Who Rocks.

Debating the legacy of Columbus

 “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”  

If you’re an adult of a certain age, the popular rhyme helped you remember the story of Christopher Columbus: The Italian-born hero discovered the Americas, started the Age of Exploration, and began trade with the indigenous tribes. 

The real history isn’t as simple or as rosy. Fifth-graders taught by Tammy Lash and Melissa France recently learned about and debated the complex impact of Columbus and the effects of the subsequent Columbian Exchange – the transfer of culture, people, plants, animals, and ideas between the New World and the Old. 

After doing several days of independent research, the class was divided into two teams which argued the pros and cons. The obvious positives we all know were critically weighed against the devastating impact on the native people: millions died from communicable diseases, they were subjected to violence and enslavement, and they faced forcible conversion to Christianity. 

“We debated whether the exchange was overall beneficial or detrimental,” said Rohail Sekagya. “Many people wanted to be on the cons because they felt it was a bad thing.” 

Rohail, who argued for the pro team, formed a balanced and nuanced point of view of the Columbian Exchange, understanding both the positives and negatives. Others found it hard to reconcile the millions of lives lost against the trade benefits and subsequent European colonization. Many, such as Kyle Ensigner who argued for the con team, also felt Columbus himself is more villainous than heroic because of his oppression and subjugation of the native population.

“It’s unfair that he has a holiday,” said Kyle. “I would much rather Leif Ericsson have a holiday since the Vikings really discovered America.”

According to Ms. Lash, the project not only helped students master the impact of the Columbian Exchange and learn from each other, but it also had another benefit: It helped the students practice speaking in front of an audience – a skill the veteran educator is passionate about.

“Last year, a high school senior who applied for a college scholarship from the PTO (at Mountain View), wrote that I made him move out of his comfort zone,” she said. “I think that’s so important. Kids need to stand up and do more public speaking because being able to confidently express yourself to others is such a powerful life skill.”

The class research and debate of the Columbian Exchange was just a small part of a larger social studies unit on the Age of Discovery and the exploration of the New World.

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