Rick Bonney's Blog

Middle School Student Code of Conduct

In order to maintain a positive school climate and healthy learning environment, it is important students understand and adhere to the rules of the school as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.  A copy of the Student Code of Conduct was sent home on the first day of school and I hope all parents/guardians and students had a chance to review the expectations for student behavior at the Middle School.  While there were few changes to the Student Code of Conduct, I would like to provide some of the changes regarding the Dress Code.  The following are some of the prohibited clothing and articles in school and at school-sponsored events:

·         -Skirts, dresses, and shorts that end higher than three inches (length of a student identification badge) above the knee

·        - Extremely tight fitting pants (e.g. leggings, tights, yoga/workout pants) may be worn if an appropriate shirt (e.g. long sweater, tunic) is worn to mid-thigh when a student’s fingertips are fully extended at their side

·         -Bare feet, unsafe footwear, shoes with cleats, clogs, flip-flops, wheelies, other footwear that damages floors, and footwear intended for the beach/pool; open back shoes may be worn if the front is enclosed and sandals may be worn but require a strap around the heal

HIB Survey

In January of 2011, the State of New Jersey passed the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act to improve harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) laws that were adopted in 2002.  These new guidelines create clearer standards for the definition of harassment, intimidation and bullying while clarifying and strengthening standards on preventing, reporting, investigating and responding to incidents of HIB.  As a result, school districts have been given the task of using existing, and newer resources, to increase school safety.  The Lopatcong Township School District continues to prevent, address, report, investigate and respond to alleged incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying that are aligned to state laws and district policies.  As the district’s Anti-Bullying Coordinator, I will continue to coordinate district-wide efforts to maintain and build upon the existing positive school culture!

For further information regarding the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act and the district’s HIB policy, please visit the district website at www.lopatsd.org or contact me by phone or email.  In addition, please take a few minutes to participate in this brief survey regarding the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act and district HIB Policy.


Student Activities - End-of-the-Year Reflection

Although the end of the school year is near, I am reminded of the great successes our student activities and clubs have enjoyed throughout the past ten months.  All students who participated in various co-curricular activities and clubs were exposed to a wealth of authentic experiences that will assist them in future successes both in and out of the classroom.  In addition to receiving various rewards and recognition in their respective activities, while observing student participation, I witnessed first-hand the evolution of new friendships, self-discipline, and teamwork.  In order to achieve success in all the various clubs, students needed to be provided with the proper guidance and support from various stakeholders of the district and community.  I would like to begin by acknowledging all of the staff members who took on the responsibility of leading our students in the various clubs and activities and for their dedication and enthusiasm put forth each and every day.  In addition to the Lopatcong staff members, I would like to thank the parents, volunteers, and other members of the community for supporting our student activities and always allowing them to be a part of our wonderful township in varying capacities.

Though the school year is coming to an end, this is a fantastic time for current and interested students to be thinking about the activities in which they would like to participate next year.  As a reminder, all middle school students have the opportunity to join one or more activities during the school year such as Band, Chorus, Newscast, Student Council, and Forensics, just to name a few.  By joining any of these activities, students will have the chance to strengthen self-confidence and social skills, as well as learn how to work with other classmates as a team.  I highly encourage all students to consider joining any of the clubs Lopatcong Middle School has to offer; therefore, it is extremely important to listen carefully to morning announcements, read flyers, review the district calendar for important dates, and visit the district website for information that pertains to a student activity of one’s interest.  If at any time throughout the rest of the school year, or over the summer, a student would like to learn more about a particular activity of interest, I, or any of the student activity advisors, would be more than happy to share what that activity has to offer or discuss which activities may best suite their interest!

Student Activity Highlights

Throughout the past few weeks, our students have been extremely busy participating in the various club and student activities the Middle School has to offer!  Recently, the Student Council conducted a road clean-up throughout the township where they volunteered their time to help “beautify” the wonderful community in which they live.  With the help of Ms. Fania, school nurse, and Student Council advisors Mrs. Ruane and Mrs. Fernandez, student council members will also be visiting the local care centers in the near future to spend some time with the elderly citizens of Lopatcong and partake in their daily activities.

The Middle School Chain Links Leaders, led by Mrs. Conner and Mrs. Bellfy, recently volunteered their time on the weekend to participate in the “Feed the Need” program in Clinton Township.  During the morning session, the Chain Links Leaders and staff members were able to package enough food to feed one hundred sixty-three children in third-world countries for one full year!  Lopatcong is proud to have had our students and staff offer a helping-hand to such a meaningful, and global, cause!

At the end of March, the Middle School band gave its last formal performance at the Spring Band Concert.  It was amazing to see the growth of all the students involved due to the challenging selections they performed that evening.  Mr. Crevani’s hard work and high expectations, along with the students’ discipline and dedication for their craft, surely paid off.  To end the night, a group of eighth grade students presented Mr. Crevani with a drumhead that was signed by all band students, which also had a poem written in the center.  Don’t think the band is done performing, though!  Keep an ear open for upcoming events in which they will be playing such as Lopatcong’s Community Day!

If you have not already done so, please view the Newscast Club’s most recent video post of the day-to-day events that have been occurring throughout the Middle School!  The students, Mr. Shea, and Dr. Maisto have been working diligently to continue to bring the “news” of Lopatcong Middle School to life through the use of technology.  Student and staff interviews and highlights of activities throughout the school day are just some of the segments put together on this newscast.  To view the latest Newscast Club video, visit http://www.lopatcongschool.org/videos/ …remember; the password is “panthers!”

Student Activities

As another page turns on the calendar and Lopatcong Middle School enters a new year in 2012, I would like to take this time to reflect on the successes of our student activities and clubs since the beginning of the school year.  Recently, our Band and Chorus members gave outstanding performances during their Holiday Concerts.  Band played their hearts out while Chorus hit the high note with their outstanding vocals.  Be sure to look for upcoming Spring performance dates by both groups!  Thank you to Mr. Crevani and Mrs. Kohl for their continuous efforts!

Drama Club, lead by Mrs. Bellfy and Mr. Crevani, has also been working tremendously hard to prepare for their upcoming performance of “Grease, Jr.”  For this year’s drama production, instead of audio music to accompany the cast members, a pit orchestra, comprised of band members, will play all musical numbers for the first time in Lopatcong Middle School Drama Club history!  “Grease, Jr.” will be held on January 19th, 20th, and 21st so be sure to come out and support the students.  Good luck to all involved!

Want to know what is happening in our middle school?  Check out the Newscast videos posted on our district website to catch a glimpse of activities happening throughout the school day and after school hours!  The Newscast Club has provided fantastic media coverage on the Rachel’s Challenge event, concert performances, Veteran’s Day assembly, Mix-It-Up Day, and our Holiday Dance...just to name a few!  Thank you students, as well as Mr. Shea and Dr. Maisto, for all of the time and effort you put forth to keep the school and community up-to-speed as to what is happening at Lopatcong!

Duo dramatic interpretation of literature…dramatic interpretation of literature…oral interpretation of poetry…original television duo commercial…these various events will be taking place on January 25th during the middle school Forensics Tournament!  Mrs. Greene and Mrs. Hall have been working diligently with students to prepare for their presentations of these events.  If you have never had the chance to experience a forensics tournament, be sure to keep your calendar open to attend this great event which showcases the talents of our students!

Once again, Student Council is off to a busy start!  After another successful Almost Anything Goes competition in November, the Lopatcong Emergency Squad was this year’s recipient of the proceeds collected during the event.  Mrs. Fernandez and Mrs. Ruane, along with all council members in grades six through eight, were proud to present the emergency squad with a $1,350.00 donation!  The Student Council has also participated in the monthly food drives to benefit Catholic Charities as well as visits to the Lopatcong and Brakeley Care Centers.  As always, thank you Mrs. Fernandez, Mrs. Ruane, and all Student Council members for your continuous efforts!

Upcoming Blog

Attention students, staff, parents, and community...my blog will soon be up and running!  Please check back soon!