Hello Glen Meadow Families…

As we continue our online, remote learning, I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to say a few things, and share some things our students are doing in their classes…


You matter, and we miss you

Every day I speak to teachers either on the phone, in a Zoom meeting, or in a Google Hangout out, almost always Glen Meadow teachers begin the conversation by saying how much they miss their students. They tell a funny story about something going on in their class, how hard their students are working, or something nice a student said to them. This is hard on everyone, students and teachers alike! Teachers love sharing their Zoom and Google Meet anecdotes of the day. Glen Meadow teachers are trying very hard each and every school day to support their students as we go through unprecedented times together. 


Stay safe

The whole purpose of quarantining is to keep us safe and healthy as possible. We all want life to return to normal as quickly as possible; quarantining will help. School is important but so is your health; take care of yourself and each other while social distancing. You should be proud of yourself, your resilience, and your ability to adapt to extreme circumstances. Your teachers and I are proud of hard you are working. Here is a fact sheet that you may find helpful with resources that are available during this time. 


Be kind to your family

We know being home is tough on everyone, so now is the time to dig deep and be kind. Be kind to your little brother and sister or your older sibs, too!  Help out in your home with family chores. This could be a time to do more things as a family and learn together; this could be a great time to learn about your family history.


Investigate your own interests

You may find that you have a bit more time on your hands. This could be a time where you can learn something you are interested in or read the books that you have been meaning to, but couldn’t find the time. I personally am enjoying reading the books our Glen Meadow Book Clubs are reading. We are currently reading The House In Poplar Wood and mystical, fantasy book and Offbeat, a realistic fiction book. It’s fun to talk about books with other students. Take the time to figure out what you love and find out more about it! Here is a great link if you would like to learn more about drawing called “Draw with Drew”. Below are brother and sister JackEdward and Olivia who are building a vegetable garden for their family. They designed and built raised-bed boxes. Their mom and dad were so proud of them as they used math and engineering skills to make the boxes. Olivia also made a creative chalk art that is displayed on the main page of our website. Students, send me pictures of what you are doing at home to learn something new or how you are being helpful to your family.

Go outside every day

One of the best, safe activities for everyone to do is get outside and play or exercise. Take a walk or go on a family hike. Kick a ball around. Walk the dog. Just get outside. Discover what spring looks like now that we have more time for exploring in our own yards and woods.


Find ways to make a difference

Many of you have found ways in your homes and communities to show kindness, like in Scenic Lakes where people are putting rainbows in their windows to share cheer in a neighborhood, or like our 8th-grade student Paul Mele that is taking family portraits on porches and donating the proceeds to The Tracks Deli, or like our National Junior Honor Society students who have made thank-you signs for essential workers. There are so many ways to show you care to let people know that you care. If you and your family are doing something special, please send me an email about it.  Remember the quote that I read to you last week from Mister Rogers: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people that are helping.”. You, too, can be a helper, no matter how small.


Check out some activities going on in our online classrooms across the building…


Congratulations to our 6th, 7th, and 8th who are on the Honor Roll for the 3rd Marking Period

Click here for a full listing of the names

**Please also note: this list appears in the Monday, April 27th edition of the NJ Herald**

Mr. Joseph, technology teacher, will be teaching a lesson to 3rd graders on Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 9:00 am, on NJTV’s Learning Live Program, a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Education Association, WNET, and NJTV. Congratulations, Mr. Joseph!!

Mr. Joseph will be teaching a one-hour cross-curricular lesson on the topic of Earth Day using the book The Lorax. In Mr. Joseph’s lesson, he will be teaching about Poetry / Art / History of Earth and Arbor Day / The Lorax Summary / Virtual Tour of National Parks / Measure Height of a Tree / The Giving Tree Read Aloud / Compare and Contrast Lorax and Giving Tree. While this lesson is targeted for 3rd graders, there is something for everyone in this lesson, tune in on Friday, April 30, on NJTV to watch with other NJ students!


Mr. Reimer, our algebra teacher, had this to stay about his ACP algebra students: “I would like to give a shout out to both Algebra ACP classes.  Almost every student has stepped up tremendously to the challenges, and excitement, of virtual learning.  Without a teacher hovering over their shoulders, students are learning from videos produced for the course, taking checkup quizzes on that material, spiral quizzes on material from prior chapters; and they just took a test, every bit as rigorous as those previously given.  Students were so prepared, their class test averages were within a point or two of their test averages last marking period.  Our Algebra ACP students are not only meeting the virtual learning challenge, but they are also excelling in our new environment.” These students will certainly be prepared for the rigors of Algebra II and Trigonometry they will be taking next year. Way to go to our math scholars!!


Mrs. Stigler’s Technology classes are researching a plan for creating/building something they want to do to honor Earth Day.  Students are brainstorming ideas such as cleaning and mulching gardens with their families, creating wreaths from recycled plastics, making recycled games for siblings, building garden sculptures with bottles, and writing songs and poems. See Kelsey’s poem below.


Mrs. Clifford and Mrs. Ramirez’s 8th grade Language Arts classes are currently reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.  In this dystopian novel, children are given their assignments for life at age 12 and the society is completely void of history and memories.  It is the Giver’s job to keep all the memories for society, and he is not allowed to share them with the people. So people in this community have no memory of history or events that came before them. 

In the class assignment, the students interviewed a family member or friend and have them “transmit” an important memory.  The “Remember When” project was done either in narrative /descriptive writing or in a slideshow.  Mrs. Clifford and Mrs. Ramirez said it was great to see their students having meaningful conversations with family and friends and learning more about their family’s history. Below are some of those memorable moments shared. Click on each picture to enlarge and read what each student wrote. 


Podcasts that support learning-I Mr. Petonak, 8th-grade social studies teacher uses a lot of discussions to help support and teach content as well as develop ideas.  Mr. Petonak and his students are continuing their conversations with Schoology by having two or three discussions a week and daily live discussions with Schoology Conferencing; students even do the classic “turn and talk” discussion.  The class discusses the topic and then small groups discuss the topic and return the whole group to share out their groups’ thoughts. Students are listening to Podcasts from “Stuff You Missed in History Class”, and reading current events and discussing them.  It is Mr. Petonak’s goal to have students record their own podcasts reflecting content they are learning. Wow, what a great way for students to demonstrate their knowledge!


Ms. Yost reads Harry Potter Series! In addition to our Monday and Thursday morning (10:00 am) and Wednesday and Friday afternoon (2:00 pm) book clubs, Ms. Yost is reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone live to us daily at 1:00 pm. Who doesn’t love Harry Potter? Students can always go back and listen to previous chapters found on the Glen Meadow Schoology page. Stop in this week!


Mrs.  Ragone’s 8th grade Language Arts students recently completed creative book projects after reading a book from the library. The assignment includes diary entries, travel brochures, CD album covers, children’s storybooks, timelines, and book trailers. Offering students choice reaped many creative projects! Click the links to see some excellent samples of student work from Makenna, Maryanna, and Sidney, they are all exceptionally created!


Ms. Risalvato’s Spanish I students created mini slide presentations to practice “Family vocab and Comparative Sentences in Spanish”. Check out Madison’s project entitled Mia Familia.


Mr. Henry’s students cannot get enough of math! During one week in April, Richard, Julia, and Ryan completed over 200 math problems on prodigy.com in his 8th-grade math class! Wow, that’s a lot of math!


As we end the month of April, the month dedicated to poetry, many students wrote original poems and practiced reading famous poems. Below are some original poems from some Glen Meadow Students.

The Differences of Home (An Earth Day Poem by Kelsey Patterson)

Good people by Melody Buccieri

Ayden Mora’s poem recitation


Here is information from Mrs. Vaszalvik and the great work of her Green Team– This year, even with Glen Meadow that had to abruptly stop collecting plastic film in March, we collected 2,000 pounds (yup, one whole ton) of plastic film!! From our efforts, Glen Meadow will be receiving a Trex bench that will be placed in our recess area. Here is the breakdown of the homeroom plastic film collection:


The first-place winner receiving a PIZZA Lunch are:

Grade 6 Ms. Cleary’s homeroom

Grade 7 Mrs. Basso’s Homeroom

Grade 8 Mr. Reimer’s Homeroom

The second-place winners of LOLLIPOPS are:

Grade 6 Mr. Myhren Homeroom

Grade 7 Mrs. Hofmann/Schmidt Homeroom

Grade 8 Ms. Kaiser Homeroom



Reflections, Glen Meadow Middle School’s Literary and Art magazine, is going to look a little different this year due to our current distance learning situation. Here is information from Ms. Cleary, editor of Reflections Magazine.

The magazine will be available as a digital download rather than a printed magazine. Some of you may be asking, what is Reflections? How do I submit my work? Please read on…

How can I submit my poetry, short stories, and essays?

Students can simply share their document with me via Google Docs (mcleary@vtsd.com). Artists can also take photos of their artwork and share those files with me. Many of the art selections for the magazine will also come from pieces students completed in art classes with Mrs. Ulrich.

What subject areas are highlighted in Reflections?

ALL SUBJECTS! Students in the past have submitted pieces from all curriculum areas (even math poems)! You can submit essays, poems, descriptive paragraphs, and short stories you have written this year saved on your Google Drive. You can also submit written work or art pieces you have created that were not school assignments. Please note that written pieces should be a reasonable length, and they must be your original work. You must also keep in mind your audience- all submissions should be school-appropriate.


What is the deadline for submissions to Reflections?

Submissions must be shared with me (mcleary@vtsd.com) by May 15, 2020.


How will I know if my work was selected for publication?

Once the magazine has been designed, it will be available for digital download before the end of the school year. Unfortunately, not every submission will be published in Reflections. You can check the index on the back pages for your name! Please note- if you submit your work, you are giving permission for your piece to be published.

Ms. Cleary encourages you to share your talents with our school community!


The Glen Meadow Builder’s Club is running a donation fund drive to help our furry friends at Father John’s Animal House in Lafayette. They are in need of many items, and as we head into “kitten season”, they are especially desperate for kitten food! You can help out in two ways: drop off donations at the front door of Glen Meadow, at the front door of VTHS, or use the shelter’s Facebook page,  @FJ Animal House and follow these steps:  

  1. Click on the Amazon Smile link in the posts (big yellow rectangle with a white arrow in a smile shape!)


2. Choose an item to donate OR look on the left for “Kitten Supplies Wish List”


  1. Scroll down to look for “Royal Canin Mother Babycat” food (box of cans or bag of dry food)


Our Builder’s Club thanks you for your kindness and compassion for our animals, too, as we join together helping one another through this trying time!


In closing, thank you for supporting your children at home; we know that you have your work responsibilities as well as making sure your children are keeping up to date with assignments. Thank you to all Glen Meadow teachers for being creative and providing our students with a quality online learning experience. While we all quarantine during this world-wide Pandemic doing so many things virtually, why don’t you take “a trip” to Disney World and “go on some rides”…have fun and stay healthy and safe. We miss all of you!


Rosemary Gebhardt

Walt Disney World® Resort (Florida, USA)
The four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks make the real world seem far away, and make-believe as real as the smile on your face. Prepare to be awed, inspired, thrilled, and enchanted. From fantasy and discovery to spotlights and roaring adventure, the magic of Walt Disney World Theme Parks will come alive all around you.
Magic Kingdom Park
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train »
Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid »
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room »
Spaceship Earth »
Soarin’ Around the World »
Frozen Ever After »
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain »
Kilimanjaro Safari »
Avatar Flight of Passage »