@richkuder

Office of the Superintendent of Schools - Dr. Richard Kuder

Dr. Kuder's Posts

  • End Of Year Letter 2018

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 6/22/2018

    June 20, 2018

     

    Dear Wyckoff School District Parents:

    It has been a successful 2017-18 school year with many proud accomplishments that reflect the dedication, the perseverance, and the collaborative spirit of our school community. Our schools are comprised of dedicated, talented, and aspiring professionals and parents  who value our education system and strive to improve upon it each and every year.             

    During the summer months, I encourage you to continue to make learning a priority with your child(ren). There are summer reading programs offered through the Wyckoff Public Library as well as Summer Reading Lists available on the District website.  Exposure to new events or destinations can also add to your child’s learning experiences. Additionally, a recent Harvard Graduate School of Education opinion article emphasized the importance of play in a youngster’s life. This is especially true in the summer. Encourage older children to get involved by volunteering in a local organization or structuring age appropriate jobs around the house.

    As we celebrate the ending of the current school year, I also want to share several areas of focus for 2018-19:

    • Cultural competency and diversity work in our schools
    • Parent education though Wyckoff Connected Parents workshops
    • Math fluency and problem solving skills
    • Student engagement in authentic scientific practices
    • ELA Reading and Writing Workshop strategies
    • The physical, mental, and emotional wellness of students

    To help us achieve these goals and many others, there is a new professional development schedule that utilizes 5 minimum days throughout the year. See calendar here.

    Save the Date! The Wyckoff Education Foundation (WEF) Gala is October 12, 2018 at the Brownstone

    Please enjoy the next two months with your families and friends.   I look forward to welcoming you back in September, rejuvenated and eager to begin a new year. The first day of school is a minimum day on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

     

    Sincerely yours,

     

    Richard D. Kuder, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Bus Safety

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 5/27/2018

    Dear Parents,

    We are all broken-hearted by the school bus tragedy last week involving students and teachers from Paramus. It has raised many questions about school bus safety, including driver qualifications and the use of seatbelts. We want to reassure everyone that everything is being done to ensure the safety of students who are taking trips that require the use of school buses and coach buses.

    The Wyckoff School District does not own its own buses or hire bus drivers.  All regular district routes are provided through Region One, a consortium of neighboring Bergen County school districts. Region One manages our contract with First Student, one of the largest transportation companies in the United States. The school bus transportation industry is one of the most regulated industries in the country, and according to statistics, a school bus is the safest way for students to get to and from school. All school bus drivers are fully-vetted and cleared by First Student, and must meet all applicable State and Federal regulations. Other vendors may be used for field trips, but all school bus vendors must follow the same guidelines.

    The District has scheduled many field trips over the next several weeks that will use either school buses or coach buses for transportation purposes.  For some trips, coach buses are a more suitable option since bathroom facilities and air-conditioning are available. While all of the school buses have seat belts, all coach buses do not.  Prior to 2015 motorcoaches were not required to have seat belts, and there is no provision in the law requiring older buses to be retrofitted. Each school is trying to find coach buses with seat belts, but they are not always available.  The decision to use buses without seat belts is not a cost issue, but an availability one.  We have made every effort to secure coach buses with seat belts for upcoming field trips.

    We have been asked if parents can elect to drive their child rather than have them transported on a bus. Parents are not permitted to drive their child to a field trip. It is a class trip and the students will be transported and accounted for as a class. Not only is driving in your car statistically much less safe, but also it puts unreasonable demands on the teacher and the other chaperones to coordinate attendance and the trip.

    Below are links that might be of interest to you and contain additional information regarding bus safety and driver qualifications:
    https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-bus-safety#2331

    https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/legal-notice-motorcoach-operations

    http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/inspection/schoolbus/noflash/endorsements.htm

    http://www.nj.gov/education/finance/transportation/training/requirements.pdf

    We understand and appreciate your concerns in reaction to the tragic events in Paramus.  Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact your child’s school principal or my office.

     

    Sincerely, 

    Dr. Richard Kuder

    Comments (-1)
  • NJ Performance Reports

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 4/3/2018

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Members of the School Community,

    Since the 2011-12 school year, New Jersey’s School Performance Reports have provided families, educators and the public a picture of overall school performance. As part of New Jersey’s accountability system, the performance reports provide valuable information across many elements, including schoolwide academic achievement and progress, demographics, school climate, chronic absenteeism, and college and career readiness. This information can be used to compare a school’s performance to other school, district, and statewide results, and to find a school’s strengths and identify areas for improvement. The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) encourages all members of the school community to use the performance reports to help start local conversations by asking questions such as: How is our school doing relative to other schools? Are all of our students making progress from last year? The School Performance Reports were developed with, and are continually improved by, the feedback from stakeholders like you. Here are some of the improvements for the 2016-17 School Performance Reports based on feedback: New Jersey School Performance Summary Reports,  and for the first time, one-page Summary Reports for each school and district are available.

    The Summary Reports are a more reader-friendly companion to the full 2016-2017 School Performance Report - Wyckoff School District, and provide a high-level summary of how well a school or district is performing with data that address questions such as:

    • Are students on track for success?
    • How much are students learning?
    • Are students graduating?
    • Are students going to college?

    Over 25 New Data Elements The 2016-17 New Jersey School Performance Reports include 26 new data elements, including:

    • Full and Half Day Pre-K and K
    • Student Growth – by Grade,
    • Subgroup, Progress to Goals
    • Chronic Absenteeism – by Grade, Subgroup, Progress to Goals
    • In-school and Out-of-School Suspensions; and
    • School Start and End Times.

    Additional Feedback Requested

    The NJDOE continues to seek your input on how to further improve the readability and usability of these reports. Please fill out the feedback survey or email the NJDOE Report Card. Thank you.

    With sincere regards,

    Richard D. Kuder, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • PARCC testing 2018

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 3/19/2018

    Dear Parents/Guardians: For the fourth year, the state of New Jersey students will participate in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers (PARCC) assessment. PARCC is designed to assess the curriculum content and skills that our students experience every day in our classrooms. The results of the test can provide you with timely information about your child’s progress and attainment of State Standards and also provide the district with important information of student progress towards College and Career Readiness. The assessment can also provide your child with valuable experience in taking online assessments in the future.

    The Wyckoff PARCC testing window, including make-ups, will take place from April 18 - May 11 for grades 6-8, and April 30 - May 18 for grades 3-5. State law requires that all students take state assessments. Last year’s participation rate was high, and we anticipate your continued support. There is no “opt out” protocol by which parents can elect to have their child exempt from taking the test. We expect all grade 3-8 Wyckoff students to participate in the PARCC assessment. Absent students will be required to complete make-ups during the testing window. While the PARCC does not impact promotion or retention in grades 3-8, it will be used to meet the State requirements for high school graduation for any student currently enrolled in Algebra.

    Even if the course is successfully taken in middle school, all students enrolled in Algebra must take and pass the Algebra 1 PARCC assessment in order to graduate from NJ public high schools.

    More information can be found at NJ HS Graduation Requirements. In previous years, students in the state of New Jersey participated in the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) Science assessment in grades 4 and 8. New computer-based Science assessments that replace NJASK are being field-tested by the New Jersey Department of Education during Spring, 2018 in grades 5 and 8. All grade 5 and 8 students must be administered the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment for Science NJSLAScience field test. The NJSLA-S measures student proficiency with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science. The results will not be included as part of the State accountability for the 2017-2018 school year. Neither individual Science Student Reports will be provided to parents this year nor will results be used for student accountability. Students in grade 5 will take the test on May 15 and 16. Students in grade 8 will take the test on May 14 and 15. The elementary test consists of four 30-minute test units. The middle school test has four 45- minute units. For more information about the PARCC assessment or the NJSLA-Science, please access these links: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers New Jersey Student Learning Assessment - Science (NJSLA-S)

    As always, we appreciate your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s principal.

    Comments (-1)
  • Happy Holidays

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 12/22/2017

    Dear Wyckoff School District Families,

    Holidays provide us with the opportunity to reflect and to celebrate. As we spend time with our families and loved ones, the exchange of gifts often accompanies our expressions of love and appreciation of one another. Additionally, some of the finest gifts that we enjoy are the offerings, benefits, and blessings that we experience.

    Some that come to mind are:

    • The gift of friendship
    • The gift of kindness
    • The gift of a loving spouse/partner
    • The gift of family
    • The gift of good health
    • The gift of life
    • The gift of special moments
    • I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Superintendent of the Wyckoff School District. We have an incredibly supportive community, and I relish the opportunity to continue to collaborate with the District’s staff, students, and parents in the year ahead.

    Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!

    Richard D. Kuder, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Annual Conferences, November, 2017

    Posted by Dr. Richard Kuder on 11/3/2017
    • Dear Parents,

      It has been an exciting start to the school year, and it is hard to believe that it is already November. As you most likely anticipate, the next month is quite busy in our schools. Our annual conference days are scheduled for next week beginning on Monday and ending Wednesday. Parent-teacher  conferences are occurring at every school, and it is the first time that you may have an opportunity to sit with your child's teacher or teachers. Rather than focus on report cards or test scores, conferences afford you the time to have a conversation with the teacher about the progress of your child, share positive points and perhaps some of your child's school work. It is also a time for the teacher to share some areas of success and points for growth. The conference should give you an overall sense of how your child is doing academically, socially and emotionally in school. 

      On Monday, conferences will be occurring on the following schedule:

      • Elementary School - 1:00 pm-8:00 pm  
      • Middle School - 2:00 pm-9:00 pm

      Tuesday and Wednesday are minimum days at every school and parent-teacher conferences will begin about an hour after school dismissal. 

      While all elementary parents are able to be scheduled for a parent-teacher conference during these three days, due to the number of students, this is impossible at the middle school in the amount of time allotted. Throughout the school year, conferences are available to middle school parents by request.  If you are interested, please contact your child's team leader or guidance counselor. 

      Finally, the Thanksgiving Holiday will be upon us shortly. Please be mindful that Wednesday, November 22, 2017 is a minimum day.

      As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to me via email at rkuder@wyckoffschools.org or by phone at 201-848-5700.    

      Sincerely yours,

      Richard D. Kuder, Ed.D.

       
       
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  • Signing up for Blackboard

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 10/19/2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    Although it is difficult to think about snow and ice right now during these pleasant autumn days, we do need to prepare for the possibility of a school closing due to inclement weather. The Wyckoff School District will be using Blackboard to deliver emergency notifications such as early dismissals, delayed openings, school closings and other time sensitive information. We will be testing our Blackboard Emergency Notification System on October 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Blackboard pulls your Guardian 1 and Guardian 2 contact information from Genesis and delivers notifications via email, phone call, text message, and push notifications.

    Please log into your Genesis Parent Portal account and make sure your contact information is up-to-date and correct before this test. Please do so as soon as possible by following these steps: 1. Log into Parent Portal 2. Click on the Contacts tab 3. Update current Guardian contact information. Although it is not necessary right now, you can customize how you would like to receive notifications by logging into the Blackboard web portal and following these instructions: Updating Contact Information on Blackboard Portal.

    If you have any issues please send an email to the Genesis Helpdesk at genesis@wyckoffps.org.

    Sincerely yours,

    Richard D. Kuder, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Delayed Opening Professional Dates

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 9/23/2017 1:00:00 PM

    Delayed Opening Professional Day Information September 23, 2017

    Dear Parents, In the Wyckoff School District, we are very proud of our teaching staff. We hire strong candidates, nurture a culture of collaboration, growth, and high expectations, and educate and train all staff to keep them abreast of the latest research and practices in curriculum, pedagogy, and other issues affecting education. We do not use packaged or “canned” programs in our classrooms. Our success, and our students’ growth, depends heavily on the quality of the teacher in every classroom. To continue and maintain this mindset and approach requires time, energy, and funding. In the past, in order to provide the time for teachers to learn new curricula and teaching strategies, we have removed teachers from their classrooms during a regular school day and hired substitutes. Over the past two years, for many good reasons, we have reduced this practice significantly. However, time is still needed to educate and grow the knowledge and practice of our staff. In order to facilitate this, last spring, the Wyckoff Board of Education approved five delayed opening professional days in the 2017-2018 school year calendar.

    They are as follows: October 9, 2017 March 19, 2018 December 11, 2017 May 21, 2018 February 12, 2018 On these days, students should report to school at the following times: Elementary School: 10:20 am (School start time is 10:30 am) Middle School: 9:50 am (School start time is 10:00 am) *Middle School students who are receiving busing, should report to their bus stops 80 minutes after their regular bus pick-up time. We recognize that this may be an inconvenience for some families. This year-long pilot program will help us meet an essential need without pulling teachers from the classroom. In partnership with the YMCA, a fee-based, before school care program is being offered at each school. The brochure and details for all new and existing before/after care YMCA families are in the email you received and on our website.

    If you have any questions about the delayed opening professional days, please contact me at the following email address: pdayinput@wyckoffschools.org . Inquiries about the YMCA care program should be directed to SACCRegistrations@wyckoffymca.org .

    Sincerely,

    Richard D. Kuder

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Welcome Back

    Posted by Rich Kuder on 9/8/2017

    Welcome Back! I believe that it is going to be a great year filled with learning for all members of the Wyckoff educational community. Significant investments have been made over the summer to improve many aspects of the Wyckoff School District. Curricula have been reviewed and revised, facilities have been improved, and many of our teachers, staff, and administrators participated in professional growth opportunities over the summer. As the school year begins, I would like to bring to your attention a few important ideas to consider: 

    • Last spring, our former student Amanda Sproha, as a requirement of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, created a campaign to remind parents to drive carefully and slowly in the District schools’ parking lots. The “Slow Before You Go” signs are displayed daily reminding all of us to be vigilant. Please do not be distracted while you drive, and remember, texting while driving is a crime. We must protect all children.
    • As parents, we are often at a loss to keep up with the latest tech-related, media driven, social media fads. What seems to come so easily and quickly to our children, can be challenging for us as parents. I have found that the organization Common Sense Media offers a worthwhile site that provides solid advice and points for consideration when navigating these waters.
    • We are models for our children in so many ways. They watch everything that we do and hear everything we say, and we need to be mindful of our own social media practices. Be an encourager, a supporter, and a creator. A wise mentor once said, “praise in public and, if you must, criticize in private.“ I am grateful for the tremendous support that exists for education in this community. With the vision and support of our teachers, administrators, staff, parents, the Board of Education, the Parent Teacher Organizations, and the Wyckoff Education Foundation, we will continue to provide our children with many excellent opportunities to fulfill their potential.

    Have a great school year. If you ever have a question or concern, please feel free to reach out to me at 201-848-5700 x6555 or at rkuder@wyckoffschools.org.

    With sincere regards,

    Richard D. Kuder, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)