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Principal, Gayle Lander
Dear Parents,
Hello!  I hope that you are enjoying your summer and that you have found some time to rest, relax, and enjoy what you love most.  For me, this summer was a time to reconnect with my husband as we watched our children grow into independent teenagers.  When they were younger and hanging on my hip, I looked forward to this but now that it’s here, I miss the days of cheerios and legos!  My son, Brian is off to college at the end of August when we will drop him off at SUNY Buffalo.  Jessica spent her summer on a teen tour in Israel, and Rachel was a Counselor in Training and will be entering high school this year.  It is incredible to watch them grow and learn through these fun summer experiences.  In googling for advice on how to cope with saying goodbye to my college bound son (sob, sob), I was struck by how those same ideas can be applied to supporting your children in school no matter the age.    Here are some of the tips—see if you can make the connection! 
Be prepared.
Don’t hover but be there.
Be clear in your expectations.
Follow your child’s lead.
Let them know what you’re proud of.
It doesn’t all have to be perfect-It’s their turn to figure things out.
Don’t solve all of their problems-Ask “How can I help?”
Keep it positive.
Send notes and cards.
Keep calm and carry on!
In addition to those tips, I would add: be supportive, encourage perseverance, and get involved! This year our faculty is excited about the one to one chromebook initiative as well as the opportunity to continue to do what we do best… instruct, facilitate, listen, encourage, influence, inspire, motivate and excite our students about learning. 
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 2017-2018 school year.   I am looking forward to watching your children become excited about learning, inquisitive about topics of study, and creative in their approach to demonstrating their knowledge.  I cannot wait to see our Stillman Families back on our property, connecting, socializing, working together, and making Stillman School the incredible place that it is; a school of tradition, character, academic excellence, encouragement, and teamwork!  
Over the summer, our custodial staff: Mr. Fedak, Mr. Romaniv and Mr. Raleigh have expertly brought Stillman to a shiny sparkle and  Mrs. Barzelatto has once again meticulously prepared our office for a new year.   I am pleased to announce to you some of our new changes in staff.  This year we welcome Mr. Bob Raleigh to our custodial team.  He comes to us from the high school.  In addition, I am looking forward to Ms. Jill Brave serving in her new role as Library Media Specialist.  I know that she will bring her enthusiasm and love of books and learning to our students and staff.  Joining our faculty this year are, Ms. Kelly Powers who will be the Basic Skills Instructor.  She has experience working with small groups and struggling students.  Ms. Alyssa Casiello will be serving as a leave replacement for Speech and Language for our preschoolers.  She has experience working with all ages of students and has particular expertise and interest in working with our youngest population.  Also joining the team is Ms. Diliana Linero who will be the ELL leave replacement until Ms. Yi returns next year. She has previous experience in bilingual education as well as teaching Spanish.    All of our new faculty possess the dedication, passion, and positivity that are characteristic of Stillman School. I am extremely excited for you all to meet them and I look forward to the positive impact they will have on the students of Stillman.
Class assignments will be available through the Genesis Parent Portal on August 25th.   Please be sure that you have registered for an account and that you know your password.  (Registration takes several days and if you put in the wrong password more than twice, it will lock you out of the system!)  Information is available on the Tenafly Website under the tab for Parents.)
Our first official day together will be Tuesday, September 5, 2017.  On this day and always, school begins and 8:30 am and the late bell rings at 8:40am.  Those children who arrive after 8:40 are considered tardy and must report to the main office to obtain a pass for entry into their classroom. On opening day, please feel free to help your child locate his/her classroom.  After that students will line up in the mornings outside of the doors indicated in the following chart. Our fifth grade Safety Patrol will be monitoring our doors each day.  They are instructed to direct students to their designated doors.   Please respect their role and follow these directions.  When crossing Tenafly Road, be sure to cross only in the locations where the crossing guards are located.  Crossing into the drop-off/pick-up zone is dangerous and prohibited.  Your complete cooperation with the drop off and dismissal plan help us to strengthen the safety of our children.   Please obey all traffic signs and parking rules.  Tenafly Rd. offers ½ of the street for parking and the other half for “kiss and drop” only (meaning you must stay in your car.) There is no-double parking at any time.  Allow plenty of time for pick up/ drop off and remember that this is our community.   Please model patience, safety, and etiquette for your child by treating all drivers respectfully.  
Please note the entrances along the driveway are in number order, 1-3, and begin at the start of the driveway. (Door number 1 is closest to Tenafly Road.)  The driveway is off-limits to parent and visitor vehicles while children are in the building.
Designated Doors for Pick up/Drop Off
Drive Way Entrance Class   Windsor Road Entrance Class
Door 1
(by Tenafly Rd)
4B, 4S, 4W   Main Door 3K, 3L, 3P,
5E, 5N, 5L
Door 2 (middle) 1B, 1N, 1Z   Library Door (AM)
Door 3 (closest to the playground) 2E, 2F, 2H      
A special schedule has been established for Kindergarteners, who will attend from 8:30 am to 12:10 pm until Friday, September, 15th.  The first full day of Kindergarten is on Monday, September 18th.   
Before the start of school, please visit our Stillman School website, home to many valuable pieces of information.  Begin by viewing your child’s classroom teacher’s webpage, listed under “Class Webpages” on the site.  There you will see the teacher’s welcome letter and supply list.  While online, please visit the “Forms and Memos” link on the Stillman main page.  Here you will find important documents to read and complete for the beginning of the year, including information about school lunches, clubs, milk, field trips and more.  These forms will not be going home in your child’s backpack so it is important for you to review these forms carefully.  A checklist to help you with this process is also posted and will be sent home to you on the first day of school.  Finally, (phew…that’s a lot of homework for parents) please visit the “For Parents” link on the DISTRICT homepage to update your Honeywell account.  Remember: alerts will notify you ONLY of school closings and emergencies, while signing up for notifications will ensure that you receive information about upcoming school events.  You may also sign up for emails and/or texts as an option to keep you informed through the Honeywell system.  Most often, my communication with you will be through Honeywell notification emails.  (I will try to limit the amount but you can expect monthly newsletters or updates through this system.)
You as parents are an important part of the Stillman Family. I am pleased to join your family in creating the best environment for our children to learn.  I recognize the importance of strong communication between home and school and I urge you to make an appointment with me as concerns, ideas, and solutions come to your mind.   I invite you to take part in the many volunteer opportunities that our school has for you to be involved.  Whether you help out with lunch, work in the garden, share your expertise with our students, or volunteer for one of the many events that our H.S.A plans and implements, your presence is appreciated and welcomed.  (Just remember to stop in the main office for your volunteer sticker!)  So before you find yourself preparing to send your kids off to college, (Don’t laugh…it comes fast!) make the most of creating these important elementary school year memories.  Stay connected and get involved!   Have a great rest of the summer and I truly look forward to working with all of you this year.
Gayle Lander


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