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Forest Road Students Give the Gift of a Good Night’s Rest

Forest Road Students Give the Gift of a Good Night’s Rest Photo
Student council members at Forest Road School celebrated the season of giving by facilitating a school-wide pajama drive to support the Pajama Program’s Good Night Bill of Rights. The Pajama Program helps communities deliver a quality bedtime routine and a good night’s rest to those in need.
With the help of student council advisor Sonya Jackson, students collected children’s books and pajamas for four weeks and donated approximately 160 books and 15 sets of pajamas to the cause. The generous donations were given to families to ensure that all children feel safe at bedtime. The drive also aligned with the school’s December character trait of generosity. 

The Season of Giving at Forest Road School

The Season of Giving at Forest Road School Photo
Connecting with the school’s December character trait of generosity, staff members at Forest Road School decided to give back this past holiday season with a Giving Tree project. Third-grade teacher Crystan Serra and school psychologist Sonya Jackson, implemented the project with the help of afternoon aide Carmen Sucich, to make the tree. The Giving Tree project allowed staff members from throughout the building to sponsor a family during the holiday season. Through their generosity, staff members donated gifts to six families from Forest Road School. They focused on each family as a whole, providing items such as toys, clothing, shoes, books and gift cards. 

Singing into the New Year

Singing into the New Year
During the district's recent Board of Education meeting, the community and board received a taste of Forest Road School’s winter concert as the school’s chorus, led by director Sarah Fernandez, performed two songs. The community and board also heard about district technology plans through Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Jennifer Lewner and Administrative Director for 21st Century Learning Susan Rodriguez, and commended administrative assistant Annette Rosa-McDonald for her service as she embarks on retirement at the end of the 2018-19 school year. 

Through their technology presentation, Ms. Lewner and Ms. Rodriguez showcased how far the district has come with new tools, software and programs to enhance student success, professional development for staff and communication within the district. Among the many talking points was the recent expansion of technology into the physical education classes in all three buildings which has brought new physical fitness experiences to students. Ms. Lewner and Ms. Rodriguez also highlighted the 2019-20 technology focal points. This included a refresh cycle on student personal computers, an iPad and Chromebook refresh, continued support for the integration of technology, streaming and video recording for instruction and more. 

Talking Tech in Physical Education Class

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Physical education teachers Kerry Brady and Peter Hansen at Forest Road School are embracing the district’s 2018-2019 theme of the year “You and MEdia” by incorporating technology into their lessons. This includes integrating fitness videos, apps and more into their lessons for students in grades K-6 to learn from and follow along with. 

As a warm up, classes learn yoga forms through the YouTube channel Cosmic Kids Yoga. They also utilize iPads in the gymnasium and in small groups, exercise along with the app Sworkit Kids. The students copy the demonstrations on the app which tackle strength, agility and flexibility in a fun way. In the older grade levels, classes sometimes watch videos before starting a new unit to give them a better understanding of the sport or activity that they are about to learn. For example, older students watched a video about the Olympics before beginning their volleyball unit, allowing students to get a better idea of the sport before diving into the basics. 

Like many classes in the district, the physical education teachers are also getting involved with FlipGrid. The video discussion platform allows the teachers to create and post videos of their classes doing different lessons and games. These short videos get uploaded to a private FlipGrid account for the students to access at home or anywhere they would like. Brady and Hansen are looking to expand on video and get the students more involved this year. They are hoping to have older students film their own videos and transform them into games for younger peers to follow. This year, Forest Road School will also host its annual student vs. teacher basketball game which Brady and Hansen said they plan to once again stream live for all the students in the building to enjoy from the comfort of their own classrooms. 

Kindergartners Learn the Pilgrim Lifestyle

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Kindergarten students at Forest Road School got into the Thanksgiving spirit by creating their own butter on Nov. 21, just as the pilgrims did years ago. With the help of class parents, Joyce Smithok’s class and Tiffany Pean’s class created butter using heavy whipping cream and a glass jar. 

Each student received a jar with the liquid inside of it. The students then shook their jar until the liquid formed into a solid. During the butter-making process, the students observed the changes in their jar, fitting with their lesson on the five senses. After every student finished shaking their jars, they received a corn muffin and spread their homemade butter onto it. The classes enjoyed their tasty treat while discussing the lives of pilgrims and how different life was from today. 

In addition, students throughout the school reflected on the holiday as first-graders engaged in a Thanksgiving math lesson with a paper turkey and second-graders created Thanksgiving balloon floats as part of their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) lesson. 

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