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Archive for Middle School News

Letter to the Community from the Superintendent

Dear Clayton Community:

The past months have been challenging for all of us. The pandemic has forced us to change how we live and learn. However, as I expected, we came together and showed our strength as a community. We remained positive and strong in a time of uncertainty.

Now just as we are trying to re-open and establish a new normal, our country is in turmoil over the senseless killing of George Floyd. Unfortunately, this was not the first time our television screens have broadcast the unjustified murder of a black man at the hands of those who are sworn to protect us. These scenes keep playing out over and over again in our society. It is obvious to many we are still combating the legacy of racism and discrimination.  

I have spent the last several days reflecting and listening to a generation of young people screaming for change. People of all backgrounds have taken to the streets demanding justice. We are a nation born from rebellion that declared we have “unalienable rights” as human beings. Protests and demonstrations are part of our history.  I have hope for the future. I believe that this new generation of Americans will bring the change that is needed. I also believe that real change can be brought about peacefully. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela all fought against injustice and changed the world through peaceful protest and civil disobedience.

These events have also made me grateful to work with the Clayton Police Department and especially our School Resource Officers. Our SRO’s do more than just protect our schools. They have become an important part of our school family. They have volunteered as coaches, delivered food to families during the pandemic, and even gave students “curbside shout outs.” They understand that they must be part of the community they serve.

I am also proud to lead such a diverse district. From the time that I served as the Principal of both the High School and Middle School, I have marveled at the acceptance of all people in our school community. I take pride in walking visitors down to the cafeteria and having them see our diverse student body sitting together talking and laughing. I have learned just as much from the students as we have taught them. I am also not naïve, and I do realize that we are not perfect and change is needed to become even more inclusive.

In my role as Superintendent, I take my leadership responsibilities seriously as I endeavor to serve all our students. I find myself asking what can I do to make a difference?  How can I help our students feel empowered? One of our jobs as educators is to lead our students in positive discourse in order to help break the cycle of racism.

In order to begin the much needed but difficult conversations, I will be establishing the Clayton Equity Committee (CEC).  The committee will have a diverse group of educators and students working together to address systemic inequities. My hope is this committee can be a vehicle for change and give a voice to our students. I will be forming the committee immediately upon our return to school in the fall.

I look forward to moving ahead and continuing to make a bright future for all our students.

Clipper Strong,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis
Superintendent of Schools

Posted in: District News, Herma Simmons Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

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Important Letter from the Superintendent – March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Dear Clayton School Community:

It is becoming more and more apparent that this health crisis will be substantially longer and more widespread than any of us may have previously thought. Governor Murphy’s Executive Order has declared that all New Jersey public schools will remain closed until further notice, and there is no return date at this time as long as the Order remains in effect. We will re-open when the Governor’s Executive Order is lifted. Any changes to this status will be announced to families and staff in advance. In addition, the school calendar has not changed. Spring Break is scheduled to begin on April 6th and conclude on April 13th.

In an attempt to continue to promote the recommended social distancing policies and limit the amount of people interacting, we are adjusting our breakfast and lunch service schedule. Beginning Monday, March 30th, both school sites will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Please come prepared to pick up for multiple days.

Finally, I want to applaud everyone for their continued patience and flexibility during this time. I will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Please visit our district website, claytonps.org, for all updated information.

 

Sincerely yours,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis

Superintendent of Schools


NK/rml

Posted in: District News, Herma Simmons Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

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Letter from the Superintendent – March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

Dear Clayton School Community:

Well, we made it through the first 2 days of Cyber School. Words cannot express how proud I am of not only my staff and administrative team, but also of you, the Clayton School Community.

Sometimes we throw around words like “love,” “compassion,” and “empathy,” and we don’t really know the true meaning of those words. My experience over the last several weeks has shown me and reminded me that I have the privilege of working for the greatest school community in the state of New Jersey. I thank you for your patience and understanding during these trying times. Over the next several weeks, we will be tested, and I know we will come out stronger for it.

Students, I want to let you know that your teachers love you, miss you, and can’t wait to see you again. Remember, don’t give your parents, grandparents, and guardians a hard time. They are the boss, and you have to follow their rules.

Just a quick update, our breakfast and lunch distribution times have changed.  We are now serving “grab and go” breakfasts and lunches between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at both school locations.

Thank you, again, and remember we are all Clippers!

Sincerely yours,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis
Superintendent of Schools


NK/rml

Posted in: District News, Herma Simmons Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

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New Times for Nutrition Services – Breakfast/Lunch Distribution

Nutrition Services – Breakfast/Lunch Distribution (New Times):

  • During the period of the implementation of Clayton Cyber School, we will be providing breakfast and lunch for all students. Breakfast/lunch will be “grab and go” meals and available for purchase at regular school prices. Students who receive free and reduced lunch will still qualify at the reduced rates.
  • We will have two central locations for pick-up/distribution. Both school locations will now open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Parents/students may go to either location to pick up their “grab and go” bag. With the support of the Clayton Borough, crossing guards will be in place.

Posted in: District News, Herma Simmons Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

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