English Department's Trip Agenda!

The English Department will be going on several very exiting trips this year.  As part of our poetry unit, our first trip will be to see the Mayhem Poets at the State Theatre of NJ.  This trip will give students a chance to experience poetry through hip hop.  


A Unique Approach to Poetry

The Mayhem Poet's unique approach to spoken word has landed them feature spots on The Today Show and Eyewitness News, after winning 1st place and a grant for 100K in the Microsoft Idea Wins Challenge in 2006. Since then they've been touring internationally from legendary venues like Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theatre, and Broadway's New Victory Theatre; to hundreds of universities, locals schools of all grades, as well as group homes and correctional facilities.

Our next trip will take place on December 3rd.  Students will be going to see Romeo and Juliet, also at the State Theatre of New Jersey. Prior to attending, the English Department will be working with the Social Studies department to enrich students’ understanding of not only the play, but also the history behind it.

In January, we will be going to see Stomp the musical.  This trip will take place with students from the music department. Since the play is a musical, our music teacher will instruct students on the types of instruments that will be used during the play.


The Rhythm of New York!

Matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more fill the stage with energizing beats at STOMP, the inventive and invigorating stage show that's dance, music and theatrical performance blended together in one electrifying rhythm.

Finally, our April trip will be to see the play, Rent.  We will also be doing this in concert with the music department. The English department will be studying Drama during this portion of the school year, and the music department will be studying how the music plays such an important part in the play.

Mental-Hop: Where Mental Health & Hip-Hop Connect


As a part of our commitment to providing our students with the most innovative and engaging educational experiences each year, we were able to offer the Mental-Hop program to both our middle and high school students.  The Mental-Hop program, created and implemented by Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, is a powerful set of presentations that is relatable to our young men and women, and speaks directly to the importance of their mental health and wellness.  As the Hip-Hop genre is a prominent influence on youth culture, behavior, and social-media, it was utilized to provide context for group discussion, and motivated our students to participate actively and successfully in the program.

Our students were given the opportunity to share openly about mental health and their perceptions of how Hip-Hop has influenced our culture and society.  They learned strategies to maintain their own mental health, as well as how to prioritize their mental health as they move forward in life.  In addition, students worked on projects that focus on improving their understanding and utilization of specific coping skills, triggers of common mental health disorders, local and statewide mental health resources, as well as critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Mental-Hop was also focused on student engagement, reducing the stigma associated with mental health concerns, and increasing understanding of the signs of mental health disorders.  As adolescence is a critical time for our young men and women as they learn to manage their behavioral and emotional needs, this program provided our students the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment, free from the fear of ridicule for their experience of anxiety, sadness, or aggression.

Important Notice About School Renovations

May 9, 2018

Dear Visitors:

            On or about the week of 5/09/18 Essex Valley School will be starting our sidewalk reconstruction project to ensure that all our entrance points will be compliant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for Accessibility. Due to factors beyond our control, most of this reconstruction will take place during the school day. Thus, we will be replacing the main walkway from the parking lot to the main entrance and community room. Additionally, the access to our school and subsequent crosswalk will also be replaced. Therefore, this reconstruction will affect us in the following ways:

            We have to relocated our primary entrance point to our Henderson drive entrance located at the side of the building.

            Second, we have to close our small parking lot to accommodate our construction. Therefore, you will be now be redirected to enter the large staff lot only. You will not be allowed to enter, idle, or park in our small parking lot. It will only be for our Construction Company and their equipment.

            During the construction we will delineate all construction areas with cones, barricades, and caution tape. Thus, you are prohibited from entering those designated areas. We anticipate the project to be completed in three to four weeks, weather permitting. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. 

Respectfully submitted,

Essex Valley School

Essex Valley School First Annual Music Showcase

Essex Valley School’s music program has always been a popular staple among our elective courses.  Each year, our counselors are bombarded with requests to participate in music as their chosen elective.  Under the direction of Salvatore Bonafede, the music program has been transformed.  Mr. Bonafede has broadened students’ understanding of music instruction, incorporating active music listening, music history and composition, as well as study of individual instruments.  Key in the program’s growth has been the combination of traditional aspects of music instruction with our constantly expanding instruction in music technology and production, offering students an understanding of both worlds. 

Recently, our music program held a showcase displaying our students’ musical talents, which ranged from a pair of piano soloists, a rock band ensemble, exhibition of original student compositions and productions, and a very talented songstress.  Many of our musical artists demonstrated great skill on their instruments, even after playing them for only a short time in some cases.  The students performed in front of a crowd of their peers and school staff in our auditorium, offering an overall outstanding performance.

Several different departments came together to help make the music showcase a resounding success.  Thanks and appreciation go out to the Culinary Arts department for providing refreshments for the event, as well as the Digital Media program for producing both audio and video recordings of the performances.  Special thanks are also extended to Mr. Bonafede for all of his hard work in preparing the students to perform for their school community. His hard work and vision came together and lead to a successful event.  We can’t wait to see what will be next!