Once the temperature begins to break, EVS students and staff immediately look forward to Field Day! This day is full of games where our students are divided into teams to participate in some friendly competition. Students and staff recently joined together to participate in this event, competing in a variety of activities including a Connect Four dash, relay sack races, soccer shootout, volleyball, and many more. Overall, field day was a successful bonding endeavor for our students and staff!
With the softball season coming to a close, Essex Valley School would like to acknowledge and praise all the students and coaches who made our team’s season amazing. Under the coaching direction of Molly Ann Maggiore and David Smith our students improved dramatically, leading to a successful season. Not only did our student-athletes gain an expanded knowledge of Softball, their level of skill and technique improved immensely in a short period of time. Teamwork and sportsmanship were the mantras throughout the season. We would like to congratulate all who participated on a well-played season!
EVS students on Level 3 and up were recently invited to view the Art in the Atrium show, featuring work by Barbara Bullock. These students met several times in the weeks before the trip, learning about Barbara Bullock and her works in preparation, and began creating projects that reflected her style.
These projects were begun by having students look closely at examples they found online. They found that many of Ms. Bullock’s art works are abstract, colorful, paper collage sculptures. Students then drew 3 various shapes (at least 14 inches long), and cut and painted each side using various acrylic paint colors and techniques.
During their visit to the Morris Museum, students were able to get a closer look at Ms. Bullock's works, noting their actual size and colorful details. They were then offered a classroom to work in, completing their paper sculptures following their viewing of the show.
Essex Valley School would also like to give special thanks to board member, Michelle L. Macchia. She accompanied our artists to the Morris Museum and provided the workspace for our artists. Without her, this event would not have been possible. Our students greatly appreciated her generosity!
Essex Valley School will be introducing a brand new Hydroponics Class this coming September. Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is the growing of plants in a soilless medium, or an aquatic based environment. Hydroponic growing uses mineral nutrient solutions to feed the plants in water, without soil. With the help of Science, Culinary Arts and Landscaping, this class will give students the knowledge to grow various plants and vegetables in an indoor setting. Students will also be able to grow their own vegetables and take them home to cook and eat.
The landscaping class has made significant changes to the Essex Valley School grounds. Improvements include planting annual and perennial flowers, as well as a recent installation of a 1600 square foot vegetable garden. Students have been learning about various planting techniques and how to grow vegetables from seed. Future projects will include installing greenhouse windows to the landscaping room and building a waterfall rock garden behind the main office.
Beginning in April, Essex Valley School will initiate a comprehensive Robotics program utilizing the LEGO Mindstorms® EV3 Robotics Technology. This program will enable students to explore real life themes and challenges, develop 21st Century learning skills, and advance their critical thinking and creativity. The combination of teamwork, communication, and collaboration will enable students to become more independent and self-confident.
By using hands-on robotics, students will:
(A) Produce simple sequences and commands that link cause and effect using input/output devices.
(B) Use intuitive prediction tools to gain first-hand experience in forming hypotheses.
(C) Integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) using physical constraints, units of measurement, coordinate systems, min, max, mean, and linear applications.
The first industrial robot was developed in the 1950s. The application of robotics in recent years has emerged beyond the field of manufacturing or industry. Robotic applications are now widely used in medical, transport, underwater, entertainment, and the military sector. The importance of robotic technology in the medical industry is intended to offer positive outcomes to assist doctors through complicated tasks that involve long periods, accuracy, focus and other routines that cannot be accomplished by human ability alone.
The future and the opportunities in robotic technology are wide open. The “Factory of the Future” is still evolving! Robots and automation systems have already proven they can deliver the necessary return on investment based on their connectivity, flexibility and process integration. The administration and staff of the Essex Valley School are proud to introduce the new LEGO Mindstorms® EV3 Robotics Technology to our students.
In honor of Black History month, Visual Arts students developed projects that celebrate the rich history and culture of African Americans. In one class, students are creating their own Adinkra stamps. Adinkra stamping originates from Ghana of West Africa: each symbol has its own meaning. Adinkra cloth is used in Ghana for special occasions such as weddings and initiation rites. Students are also learning about the Harlem Renaissance and working on a study of "Ascent of Ethiopia" by Lois Mailou Jones.
Throughout the month of March, 11 of our students are displaying their original artwork at the West Caldwell Library. Their work consists of various 2-D projects, including pencil drawings and sand paintings. On March 28th, a reception will be held at the library from 6 to 8 pm, allowing students to formally share their work with friends, family, and the community. This event will also be an opportunity for EVS to fundraise for additional supplies and materials for the Visual Arts program.
Our Landscape Design classes have been busy preparing for the Spring Season. Students have been working diligently throughout the winter months to prepare their landscaping equipment for use in the spring. They have also been gemmating various vegetable and fruit seeds, cultivating and nurturing them to be planted as soon as the spring season begins. When the weather breaks, students will be working on a variety of projects on school grounds, including building an aquatic pond garden, developing a vegetable garden, and planting annual flowers. The Landscape Design and Woodshop programs will also be coordinating efforts, creating a Hydroponics garden that can be utilized for instruction in our Science department, and eventually, harvesting of fresh fruits and vegetables by the Culinary Arts program.
EVS students recently visited the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, New Jersey. During their visit, students and staff participated in a tour of the grounds that allowed them to gain an in-depth understanding of some of nature's most majestic animals, including the wolf, the fox, and the bobcat. Students learned of wolf habits, as well as their cooperative behavior, and commitment to their communities. Intrigued by their day in the wilderness, students left this experience with a deep connection to nature, and an appreciation for their place in it.
The history department had the honor of visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum in NYC. Our students, who were only one or two years old during the tragic events of September 11th, learned from their tour guide about the courageous and heroic deeds that transpired that day. They had the chance to see artifacts from Ground Zero, as well as hear many stories of the valor and selfless actions that first responders and civilians took to help the rescue efforts. Our students were humbled and amazed by the first-hand accounts of patriotism and valor, and they now have a new perspective on the events of September 11th.
Essex Valley School's Music and Theater Arts students had the opportunity to visit one of New York City's most iconic theaters, Radio City Music Hall. Students were treated to a performance of the world-renowned Radio City Rockettes in their Christmas Spectacular, enjoyed seeing other classic theater acts, and learned about the theater's history. After the performance, students wrote a short description of their favorite parts of the experience and an overall summary of what they learned from the show.
During the first semester at Essex Valley School, we have seen a spectacular academic effort from all of our students. The number of students who achieved the Honor Roll and High Honor Roll for the first marking period at Essex Valley School is outstanding. The marking period yielded 40% of our students earning Honor Roll! The staff here at Essex Valley School are proud of our students and hope that the trend of academic achievement continues!
Our students had the opportunity to visit a special limited exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. The "Welcome to Cuba" exhibit gave our Spanish classes a unique look into Cuban culture and society. Students gained insight into the Cuban coral reefs, Cuban artists and their artwork, Cuban musicians, the tobacco industry in Cuba, and Cuban street life. Everyone enjoyed the exhibit, as well as the many attractions that the AMNH had to offer.
Each year before our Thanksgiving break, Essex Valley School comes together as a family and has an annual Thanksgiving Celebration. Staff, students and alumni take part in a day that includes our EVS Basketball team taking on alumni students in a fun, and always exciting, basketball game. Our Culinary Arts students and teachers also prepare a full spread of thanksgiving cuisine for more than 100 people. This daunting task really tests the students and gives them a valuable experience in a busy commercial kitchen. This day also gives the alumni a chance to interact with current students and share words of wisdom with their peers, as well as the success they have achieved upon graduating from EVS.
As a part of our behavioral modification program, students who consistently put forth their best effort to attend classes, stay on task, and demonstrate appropriate behavior, are given the opportunity to participate in fun and unique trips. One of the reward trips that our students enjoy most is a day of racing at Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, New Jersey. At Pole Position, students test their driving abilities against each other and the clock while driving on a 1/4 mile track at speeds of up to 45 mph.
Our most recent trip was a full day of fun, and promoted a sense of pride in students who worked hard to earn the opportunity to participate. Unique outings, such as this one, continue to motivate all of our students to reach their behavioral goals and become eligible to participate in future field trips.
As part of the Essex Valley School's Woodshop program, students have the opportunity to repair and refurbish bicycles to take home for their own use. We currently have dozens of bicycles, including BMX, Mountain, and Road bikes, for students to select from. Anyone wishing to donate a bicycle of any age or condition may contact the school and arrange for pickup or delivery. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the community for your support in helping us develop and grow this unique and valuable program!
On this year's FUNDAY, students and staff spent a bright and sunny afternoon participating in games, sporting events and a barbecue. Students enjoyed music and dancing with a live DJ, and were also able to sit with a caricaturist to create likenesses that reflected their unique personalities. This event was created for students and staff to develop positive bonds through play and fun-filled activities outside of the classroom environment. A great day was had by all!
During the month of July, students who participate in the Extended School year program were able to attend a field trip at the close of each week. One such trip was a visit to Sky Zone, a local indoor trampoline park. Students enjoyed some friendly competition with other local students while playing dodgeball, and also perfected their high flying stunts at the basketball hoops or jumping into the foam pit! Staff and students alike enjoyed this opportunity to be active, creative, and improve their ability to work as a team.
Our seniors had an adrenaline filled day of racing at Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, NJ. Students were able to go as fast as 45mph in electric go-karts, navigating a 1/4 mile indoor track full of twists and turns as they competed in head to head races in multiple elimination heats. Our seniors had an absolute blast and enjoyed a racing experience they won't forget!
On May 19th, students and staff participated in a day full of fun, excitement and friendly competition on our annual EVS Field day. Students and staff joined together to compete in a variety of events including a long jump, 40 yard dash, relay races, tug of war, soccer shootout and much more. Everyone's energy and enthusiasm was evident as we participated in some friendly competition. Overall, field day was a successful bonding opportunity for all students and staff!