Woodglen Elementary School

Celebrating Paw Pride


Parent Communication

Principal Maher's Blog

  • April Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 4/1/2019

    Dear Woodglen Families,


    This school year has been an exciting and productive time for our students, staff, and families at Woodglen.  I encourage you to continue to frequently visit our Woodglen Webpage to see the many enriching activities and events your children experience!

    School Life is more than “learning” for your children.  It is the building of a “learning community” that extends beyond the curriculum and classroom.  


    Spring (April) also heralds the New York State assessment season for our third, fourth and fifth grade students.  All of our students continue to work very hard. Our fourth graders will take one final state assessment, the New York State Science assessment, which is being administered in late May and early June.  Please remember that results will be shared with parents as soon as they are made available to us by New York State.


    At this time of year, parents begin to wonder how class re-organization is handled for the coming school year.  Our goals are: To create heterogeneous classes (academic, social and emotional); to maintain gender and class size balance; to provide for the unique needs of all children.  Unless parents have worked with a specific teacher in the past, they only know teachers by perceived reputation; therefore, requests for specific teachers cannot be honored.  In each year, there are likely to be staff changes on one or more grade levels. Please remember your child’s current teacher and school staff have a good understanding of each child’s needs.  


    Thank you for your continued support and involvement in our children’s education. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or me if we can be of any assistance.



    Lisa Maher

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  • March Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 3/1/2019

    Dear Woodglen Families,

    It’s March and I think all of our spirits begin to rise in anticipation of spring’s arrival.  

    March is National Nutrition month.  Please stress the importance of good nutrition and physical activity as key components to a healthy lifestyle.  Try to cut down on junk food and increase physical activity. Keep healthy snacks in mind and set limits. Always start your child’s day with a healthy breakfast.  We continue to follow the district’s wellness policy.


    As you may know, one of Woodglen’s building initiatives this year is the Olweus program.  The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available today. Implemented at the school, classroom, and individual levels, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is designed to reduce bullying, prevent future bullying, and improve relationships at every level. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer, more positive places for students to learn and develop. Goals of the program include:

    • Reducing existing bullying problems among students
    • Preventing new bullying problems
    • Achieving better peer relations at school

    Schools across the country and around the world have experienced positive results from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.  Backed by thirty-five years of research and successful, worldwide implementation, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a long-term, system-wide program for change.

    Our school spirit assemblies take place once a month.  During the assemblies, classes create and perform a presentation focusing on Olweus, PBIS and our Code of Excellence.  These assemblies have taken place since September and will continue to do so until June.

    In addition to our school spirit assemblies, each class has been participating in class meetings each week.  A class meeting is a time when the entire class has time to discuss any item that is on their mind or has been troubling them.  No names are used during this time. Thank you for taking the time to share these valuable traits.

    Woodglen continues to enforce the Dignity for All Students Act.  The main concept of the Dignity for All Students Act is that children have the right to attend school in a safe, welcoming, and caring environment.  It also promotes a school environment free of discrimination and harassment.

    Appropriate Dress for Spring Weather

    The weather is always tricky this time of year. We can often continue to have cooler mornings, so please make sure that your child wears a jacket, a sweater, or something that will keep him or her comfortable during the chilly mornings.  

    • Shorts are permitted; however, parents please help out by asking your children to save spaghetti strapped tops, blousy tank tops, mid-riff tops, and other “extremely casual clothes” for the weekends or after-school.
    • In addition, backless sandals, flip-flops and platform shoes could be dangerous when your child is playing outside during recess; we highly discourage wearing these types of shoes to school.

    Lost and Found

    Many items (hats, gloves, scarves) are located in the lost and found cabinet in the cafeteria.  Please have your child stop by and take a look to see if any items belong to them.

    Heartfelt Thanks!

    I would like to offer a big thank you to the many parents and volunteers who always help out at the various events or during Woodglen’s committee work.



    Lisa Maher

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  • February Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 2/1/2019

    Dear Families,

    February is a month to celebrate love and friendship.  As a student’s character is built, we focus on asking our children to be good friends to one another.  Good friends accept others for who they are, listen, enjoy others’ company, support others in need, smile, laugh, avoid teasing and put downs, encourage others with kind words, avoid tattling, ask for help from peers, solve problems peacefully, and consider others’ feelings before acting.  

    Children naturally seek friends like themselves.  One challenge is to help children find friendship with those different from them.  Children who become friends with others, regardless of differences, make the classroom a comfortable, happy place to be.  

    Nurse Notes

    The New York State Education Department mandates that a physical and dental examination be performed on all students in Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, and 4th Grade. If you have not sent in your child’s Physical or Dental please do so by March 1st. Those students who have not submitted a Physical or Dental by March 1st will be seen by the School Doctor and/or Dentist.

    Office Notes

    It is important that you inform the main office of any telephone changes, whether home, cell, or work.  In the event of a school closure, the automated emergency system calls your home first. If there is no answer, it will call the two other numbers you wrote down on the emergency form that you completed for the office when you registered your child.  These numbers must be accurate for the system to work. In addition, please update your most current e-mail address.


    Lisa Maher

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  • January Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 1/1/2019

    Dear Woodglen Families,

    Happy New Year.  Thanks to all of you for supporting classroom celebrations, PTA events, workshops, and school wide drives that took place this past month.  They were all incredibly successful. These special events are never possible without the hard work of many individuals.

    It is a great year for Woodglen for many reasons, great students, excellent teachers and parents that really get involved in what goes on at school.  We had an impressive turn out for our Winter Concert in December. A special thank you to the fifth graders and the Glee Club, their families, Ms. Gambuzza, and Mr. Andert.

    January is a time of renewal and so keeping in that spirit of renewal; please take a moment to review our handbook.


    Lisa Maher

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  • December Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 12/1/2018

    Dear Woodglen Families,

    Welcome to the festive month of December.  The holiday season is upon us and creates a perfect time to teach young children important life lessons about gratitude that may extend throughout the year. Understanding gratitude can be tricky for children, who by their nature, tend to be self-focused. Talking with children about being thankful for not only material things, but for acts of kindness from others, is one way to help children develop the skill of being grateful. As children grow with gratitude, they become more understanding of the needs and feelings of others.

    Thanks to all of you for supporting American Education Week, PTA events, workshops, and school wide drives that took place these past months.  They were all incredibly successful. These special events are never possible without the hard work of many individuals.

    Report Cards

    Our first trimester is completed, and on December 7th, first trimester report cards will be sent home.  Please remember that the report cards are aligned with New York State standards, and as the standards evolve, so do our teaching practices.  

    Arrival and Dismissal

    With this busy time of year, please make sure that all notes sent in for pick up, childcare changes, or after school activities are dated.  A note must accompany any change in your child’s afternoon arrangements. The notes should include the student’s full name, parent’s name, parent’s last name, teacher’s name and street address/bus color.  If a child will be going to a different location or is being picked up by another person due to childcare needs, both parties must send in a note to confirm arrangements.

    Please also note, students should not be picked up prior to 2:55.  This disturbs instruction for the entire class.

    Children who are driven to school should exit from the car on the passenger side only.  Staff will assist them getting out of the car and with their belongings.  Drivers should not get out of their cars.  If a driver chooses to get out of the car, please park in a visitor spot and walk in with your child.

    Please abide by traffic regulations.  Please do not pass a bus when the stop sign is out.  Please do not pass other cars. Please keep a very slow speed throughout the parking lot.

    Winter Concert

    Please come and enjoy our fifth grade winter concert planned for the evening of December 6th. Our K-5 Glee Club will be a short, opening act for the fifth grade. The students have been working hard with our music teachers.

    Lost and Found

    Please label everything.  If your child is missing anything, have them check the lost and found located in the cafeteria.  A table is set up in the foyer as well.

    No School Days:

    There is no school on December 24 through December 31.  School is also closed on January 1.

    May your holidays be happy, healthy, and restful.  May your New Year be joyous.


    Lisa Maher

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  • November Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 11/1/2018

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    Even though the weather keeps changing on us and the leaves are falling with brilliant colors of orange, red and yellow to decorate our school grounds the academic process here at Woodglen is staying constant.  The teachers have established their routines and procedures for class lessons.

    November is an important time for us all to reflect on being thankful.  I would like to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving and a terrific holiday season. Over the next six weeks, I am sure many of you will be busy preparing for family and friends to visit.  As this holiday season progresses, it is important to keep in mind how the interruptions of the holidays impact the students. We would ask that you take an extra moment to help your child focus and stay on task with schoolwork while enjoying this time of year.

    Parent Visitation:  We will be celebrating American Education Week on November 6th by inviting parents into our school for a museum-like experience during parent conferences.  We hope you will be able to join us!

    Illnesses and School:  We are always looking to keep our students safe and healthy in school.  Please note that children must remain home until they are fever free for a full 24 hours without medication for any illness.  Please check your children before they leave for school in the morning and keep them home if they are ill, especially with fever. Please be reminded not give them medication for fever and send them to school, as fever can indicate a contagious stage, potentially impacting others.

    Winter Music Concert:  On Wednesday, December 5th at 6:30 PM our fifth graders will be putting on a Winter Music Concert – a show that is not to be missed. 

    All School Spirit Days:  Just a reminder that Woodglen holds spirit days each month.  Feel free to dress your children in either our school colors (green and yellow) or spirit wear!  Don’t forget a cape!

    OLWEUS Program:  Each year, Woodglen holds a new theme (BE A HERO) usually focused around Olweus and character.  We continue to focus on inspiring greatness through our good choices. Students should be aware of these choices we make during our Woodglen days.  For those of you new to our anti-bullying program (Olweus), be sure to ask your children about our four anti-bullying rules;

    • We will not bully others! 
    • If someone is being bullied we will tell an adult at home and at school. 
    • Everyone can play! 
    • We will help others if they are bullied. 

    PBIS:  We continue to follow our PBIS matrix. The matrix is broken down into four components.

    • Be Safe
    • Be Respectful
    • Be Responsible
    • Be a Learner

    A copy can be found in the office or in your child’s planner. Please review these four components with your child.

    No School Days:  There is no school on November 6, 12, 22,, and 23.

    I am grateful to work with a committed group educators that are always striving to improve their practices and families supporting the students behind the scenes..

    Thank you to the Woodglen school community and the PTA for their unending support with school initiatives such as technology to cultural arts programs to wonderful events.  It is always appreciated.


    Lisa Maher

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  • October Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 10/1/2018 6:00:00 AM

    To the Entire Woodglen Community,

    We have certainly had a fantastic month here…it’s been incredibly busy, but the progress the students have made in just a few short weeks has been astounding! By now, everyone is settling in well to their new classrooms, their new routines and getting down to the business of learning.  We anticipate a wonderful learning experience for all our students and embrace the initiatives that our District has embarked upon.

    October is always a fun month at school…we’ll be diving in to all things Fall as we gear up to the busy holiday season.

    October is a time of change and anticipation.  We welcome the change in seasons and the start up of the school year.  

    October is also Red Ribbon month.  The end of October (October 22-26) became formalized as Red Ribbon Week in 1988 by a proclamation of the United States Congress.  It was inspired by the tragic death in 1985 of an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration Agent at the hands of Mexican drug traffickers.  Red Ribbon Week activities are organized each October by ten of thousands of schools, government agencies, and social service organizations. The main purpose of Red Ribbon Week is to celebrate and promote positive choices and healthy, drug free lifestyles for young people and adults in the United States.  Woodglen will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week this year in late October. Details will follow.

    In addition, October is National Fire Prevention month, a time when we should all be aware of ways to help learn fire safety and prevention.  According to the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), most Americans underestimate their risk for fire, and many either lack emergency response plans or fail to practice them with fire drills. FEMA cautions against complacency and encourages everyone to take the next step.  Annual observances like National Fire Prevention Week and National Fire Prevention Month are excellent opportunities to focus on fire hazards, but we should all practice fire safety every day at home, work, school, and play.

    Shine your salad bars and polish your pumpkins – October is National Farm to School Month, and the National Farm to School Network has a whole host of resources to help you celebrate!  Check out this link for resources. We celebrate in school using our greenhouse, composting area, and outdoor classroom.  http://www.farmtoschoolmonth.org

    Early Release Days:

    • Please also note that Wednesday, October 24 is an Early Release Days (11:00 dismissal).

    No School Days:

    • There is no school on October 8.

    Students will be celebrating Halloween this month.  Students in all grades, K-5, may choose to wear costumes to school.  Each classroom will be hosting a class celebration, which may include games, special read-alouds, and crafts.  Further information regarding the specific class festivities will be disseminated through the individual classes.  Please keep in mind Woodglen will be adhering to the Wellness policy during these festivities. Please limit any goodie bags to include ingredients such as pencils, stickers, and erasers.  Please note that children are not permitted to wear scary costumes or masks, bring sharp edged props such as sticks, swords, knives, weapons, have bare midriffs, feature blood and gore, etc.

    With Great Excitement,

    Lisa Maher

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  • September Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 9/1/2018

    Dear Families,

    Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!  I surely hope you found your summer to be relaxing, reenergizing and enjoyable.  

    The beginning of a new school year has always had a special meaning and a sense of excitement.  It is a time that marks a fresh start, exciting possibilities, and great promise. For children, it means new friends and teachers, new learning, discovery, and growth.  I look forward to working with you as we educate your children in these elementary years of school. These years are the most important because they lay the foundation for your child’s total school experience.

    I appreciate that you recognize your child’s academic progress and enthusiasm for learning at this exciting time and know you will encourage it to continue throughout the academic year.  

    In addition to engaging in an enriching curriculum, I expect your children will experience inner growth, with more self-direction, and greater understanding.  Nothing could be more precious or more worthy than our collective attention to your children.

    This school year will be an opportunity again for students at Woodglen to participate in our theme ~ BE A HERO!

    Be a “HERO!”  You can save someone’s day by performing a small act of service.  Not everyone can fly or bend a rod of steel; to find your superpower you only need to help.  Look to find a way to help someone in need. Open a door, clean up, or help a friend read or do math.  You can help turn someone’s day from the worst into the best. You can be a SUPERHERO even without an “S” on your chest.  A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his/her strength, but by the strength in his/her heart.

    I challenge the Woodglen students to work on being a HERO to others this school year.  What can you do? How will you make an impact? Who will you help?

    Our greatest heroes are ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things for others.  A HERO is any person really intent on making Woodglen, the community, the world, a better place for all people.  Woodglen students can be heroes one day at a time.

    The home-school relationship is important to maintain.  The foundation of this relationship is paramount and keeping those lines of communication open is essential.  The use of e-mail, notes, and phone calls are welcomed and encouraged throughout the year. I look forward to a working partnership and a successful year.  

    Our Meet the Teacher Evenings are:

    September 12 for grades 3-5

    September 13 for grades K-2

    Both evenings start at 6:30 PM and end at 7:30 PM.

    Parents whose students have Ms. Levitas, Ms. Mahoney, Ms. Kalter, Ms. Holland, and Ms. Hollander, please come at 6:00 PM and proceed to the classroom.

    New City Library Help:

    New City Library will be providing Homework Help on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-5:00 pm when school is in session beginning September 13th.  The library is hoping to help more students this year! High School students will be ready to help as well as part of the program.

    Early Release Days:

    Please also note that Wednesday, October 24 is an Early Release Days (11:00 dismissal).

    No School Days:

    There is no school on September 10, 11, and 19.

    Please visit our webpage to see our parent communication.


    My door is always open; I welcome your visits.

    With Great Excitement,

    Lisa Maher

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  • August Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 8/1/2018

    Dear Woodglen Families,

    Welcome to August!  I hope this newsletter finds you relishing in the lazy days of summer and creating wonderful memories with family and friends.

    Gazing outside at the beautiful, warm, hot, sunny summer days, I find it difficult to believe that school begins in a little over a month.  Hopefully, summer has rejuvenated everyone. With a new school year, comes the growing sense of excitement and anticipation that a new year brings.  

    Our entire educational community pursues excellence with such passion it is truly contagious and exciting to be a Clarkstown Central School District and Woodglen student.  In Clarkstown, we offer a comprehensive educational experience with enormous opportunities for success.. We are fortunate enough to be working together for the common good of all of our students.  The collective efforts of an involved community, staff, and talented teachers make a significant impact each and every day in the lives of our students. Our focus on educational excellence will continue to guide our path to greatness.

    I am getting excited for a new school year.  Enjoy the last few weeks.


    Lisa Maher

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  • July Principal Newsletter

    Posted by Lisa Maher on 7/1/2018

    Dear Woodglen Families,

    As we start to enjoy our summer days, we extend our good-byes to teachers and students.

    It is our hope that while you have fun this summer, you include "reading" in your daily fun activities.  It is important to practice new skills on a daily basis to develop proficiency. While reading instruction is emphasized all year in school, children need to practice reading over the summer to maintain and strengthen these skills.

    To encourage your children to continue reading during the summer, the district has posted an extensive list of suggested summer reading books on our Woodglen Homepage.  

    On behalf of the faculty and staff, I wish you a safe, healthy, and restful summer vacation.   It is with much appreciation that I acknowledge the support, dedication and commitment of time, you so generously give to the Woodglen School.

    As parents, you have sent your children to Woodglen with a rich foundation of values, character, respect and love of learning.  In partnership with a dedicated staff, we joined to nurture and develop our children’s talents and skills.

    Our children have worked hard all year; it shows in their progress and achievements.  It is now time to relax and have a summer of family fun!


    Lisa Maher

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