Superintendent's Corner

Superintendent's Corner
Annette Castiglione

Fall 2018

Dear Bellmawr Learning Community Member,

It’s hard to believe that first marking period has ended and we are heading into the holiday season. It’s been a successful quarter to date with many positive events and activities for our families and our students.

The Annette Castiglione Early Childhood Center is brimming with activity. We are pleased that we were able to open one more classroom this September for a total of 10 classes for our three and four-year-olds. Our teachers, students and families work well with our new Master Teacher, Eva Kovacs. She loves our children and knows so much about early childhood development. We welcome Andrea Pfeiffer, our new social worker, who has spent her early days visiting our families and getting to know our students and their families.

The staff of the Bellmawr Park elementary school welcomed 3rd and 4th grade students and their teachers this September when they had to be moved out of the Burke School. The Dragons and Penguins have done a great job of collaborating and cooperating with one another. They sure know how to make lemonade from lemons.

The kindergarten, first and second grade Burke students sure miss their classmates but are doing well holding down the fort of the newer portion of the Burke School. We welcome Mr. Reilly, our new guidance counselor for the Burke School. He comes to us with a wealth of varied experience and has hit the ground running, getting to know our staff and students.

We are hoping that contractors are responsive to the bids we issued for the repairs that must be done at the EM Burke School. We didn’t expect for this to take as long as it has to begin, but we are at the mercy of the process. The rooms affected by the fire will look very different once construction is completed. We do not expect to return to that school this academic year.

Parents, teachers, Board members and administrators came together this fall to explore how we sponsor field trips. All field trip requests have been submitted to the Board of Education for their approval at the November Board meeting, which is Wednesday, November 28, 2018 @ 6:00. Perhaps you can join us to learn about what’s going on in our learning community. We will have a chrome book demonstration at the meeting as our 2nd-4th grade students use them during their learning in the day. If you’re not able to attend the meeting I urge you to visit our web site to keep abreast of what’s happening around the district and in the schools. We welcome Jody Mangus and Mike Williams back to the Board of Education to serve our community another 3 years.

So many exciting activities are planned for our middle school students. Mr. Farinelli has a book club for 7th and 8th grade students. We’ve begun trips for 8th grade students to local colleges and high schools. Our student mentors, mediators and peer mentors are working with their classmates to increase communication and decrease social and academic problems. There are so many extracurricular activities available to students – there’s something for everyone-sports, chess club, gaming club, chorale, and band to name a few. Our new Academic Lab period provides a time for enrichment and remediation to students who need it. Ask your child(ren) about what they are doing and learning during that time.

We have had many additions to our staff this year with Mr. Di Bartolo is on sabbatical and Ms. Arrizon retired from teaching Spanish. Mr. Farinelli has worked diligently to find a suitable replacement Spanish teacher. We welcome Ms. Delgado the day we return from Thanksgiving break. I know you’ll give her a warm Bellmawr welcome. Ms. Shivers is having fun teaching Spanish to our elementary students, a first in Bellmawr, and from what I can tell she is having a good deal of success with our youngest students.

I hope you will enjoy the holiday break and I look forward to our continued work together!

Annette Castiglione, Superintendent