853 McBride Avenue, Woodland Park, New Jersey 07424

    Dr. Michele Pillari                                                                                                                Email:  mpillari@wpschools.org
    Superintendent of Schools                                                                                                  Telephone: 973-317-7710


    August 2018


    Dear Parents/Guardians,                                                                                                       

    Welcome back to another exciting year! I truly hope you were able to take some time to relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer with your family and friends. This time each year, I take a moment to sit back and ask myself, “Where did the summer go?” It seems to slip through my fingers faster and faster every year. At the same time, here in our schools, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that we are ready for the students to return. 

    First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the secretarial staff for working to prepare for September. These individuals are instrumental in ensuring that everything is in order for the first day of school. Their dedication to our school community is beyond compare!     

    We continue to make great strides in the area of curriculum and program. This summer we worked to refine the ELA rubrics for the K-4 standards-based report cards. These rubrics have been restructured in order to highlight specific and targeted skills per trimester which will provide the parents with more in-depth description of student performance expectations in each area. 

    I am proud to announce that CO School has been awarded a grant. This grant provides us with an opportunity to work in partnership with Rutgers University and New Jersey Department of Education. This partnership, New Jersey Tiered System of Supports (NJTSS), is an evidence-based framework for implementing academic and behavioral supports and interventions to improve achievement for ALL students. The work is centered on the core components of the three-tier prevention logic of Response to Intervention (RTI). This is a systematic, consistent approach to prevention, intervention and enrichment for students in need. It provides for a continuum of supports based on student learning of grade level knowledge and skills; Enhances the capacity of the classroom teacher to address learner variability; Supports Professional Learning Communities as a mechanism for problem solving and professional development.  

    This school year we are participating in a partnership with United Way of Northern New Jersey. This partnership will provide Memorial School with an opportunity proactively address the culture and climate within the school. This school support network will serve as a means for school personnel to learn more about school culture and climate and social-emotional learning, access resources and share ideas and expertise. The School Support Network exists to support efforts to make lasting positive change in our school and deliver professional development to help us to continue to create an environment where children can thrive.

    The technology department has been working diligently this summer to prepare all of our technological needs for September. Our 1:1 initiative in grades 2-8 will be fully implemented in September. We are so very excited for the opportunities our students now have at their fingertips each and every day. Teacher workstations have been upgraded and our bandwidth has been upgraded as well in order to support our growing technological needs. We have also begun to install security camera upgrades at BG School. In addition, reimaging and regular maintenance to the computers in our district has been ongoing and continuous throughout the summer months. Please join me in thanking our technology team for working on this during the summer months for a successful implementation in September. 

    Mr. Burrows and our custodial team have been working tirelessly this summer in order to get the buildings and grounds ready for the opening of school. Our annual summer cleaning at each of the buildings has been completed in addition to some special projects which I would like to highlight.  The media center at CO School has been completely renovated creating a workspace conducive for 21stt century learning. All of the hallways have been painted to create a fresh, clean look for the all to enjoy! Work has also begun on the creation of an outdoor classroom.

    Space is limited at Memorial School, however we were able to create a new classroom to accommodate our population and is ready for use in September. To ensure proper ventilation in the school, new exhaust fans were installed on the gym roof. Air conditioning has been installed in the cafeteria.  

    We are in our third year of our district wide paperless initiative. It is imperative that our families utilize the parent portal as important information will be disseminated through the portal, such as progress reports, report cards, letters, memos, and all information pertinent to the student. It is also essential that the schools have current email addresses and phone numbers for our families as we will be sending more and more information out through email and text message blasts.  Our district website continues to serve as a tremendous resource for all.  The website will be one of our main means of communication. Please check it frequently for important information and updates.  As a reminder, our email addresses are first initial + last name @wpschools.org. I urge you to utilize the website to learn more about our educational programs and to stay updated on important news and upcoming events. In the coming weeks, teachers will begin posting important class information as well as homework on their personal webpages which will be directly linked to this site. This should act as a great resource to you at home. Active use of the webpage is preparation for our educational community as we prepare to use less and less paper throughout the course of this school year.

    In closing, please know that I take pride in our school and community and am grateful each and every day to be here with your children. I remain committed to and will always work with integrity to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of the students. Our objective, as a staff, is to provide exceptional teaching and learning opportunities which take place in a caring, yet challenging academic environment. As a school community, we realize that all students need a supportive, nurturing setting that suits their developmental needs. As a result, we always strive to strike the balance of challenging and nurturing your children here in Woodland Park Public Schools.

    I continue to remain energized and enthusiastic about our direction. We are moving our school district forward and it is truly amazing to be a part of the process with each and every one of you. Our home-school educational community continues to grow because we remain focused on accomplishing our  


    “To promote educational experiences which will prepare our students to develop high levels of academic achievement, engage in a lifelong desire to learn and develop a deep respect for life and its diversity in our global society”

     If we truly believe this in our hearts, then we will achieve!
    Remember: We are all in this together.

    Thank you for your continued support and I truly look forward to continuing to work closely with you as we embark on a new school year.   


    Yours in Education,

    Michele R. Pillari, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools