Elementary School

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Welcome to Birchwood


    Morning Meeting at Birchwood


      In the blink of an eye, September has ended and we are in full swing at Birchwood.  Students and teachers are bustling around school as if they never left.  Our school community is back together again; many familiar faces beside many new faces.  How do we ensure our school community and culture is strong?  How do we make each and every member feel safe and supported?

      Each day at Birchwood begins with a classroom Morning Meeting.  Morning Meeting is a Responsive Classroom practice that helps students build their social-emotional competencies.  During this 10-20-minute activity, students gather in a circle with their teacher and participate in four key components designed to help them develop a strong sense of respect and trust, motivate them to feel significant and to collaborate, and prepare them academically and socially for the day.

    The first part of the Morning Meeting is the greeting.  Students and teachers greet each other by name, making eye contact and often shaking a classmate's hand.  Our teachers and students at Birchwood learn many different greetings throughout the year.  Some include: Hello Neighbor, One-Minute Greeting, Rewind Greeting, Circle Greeting and many more.

    After the greeting, students read a message from the teacher.  This message usually describes what the day will look like.  Often the teacher will survey the class with a question or provide them with important classroom news.  Students love to read the message to see what the day will bring.

    My favorite component or part of the meeting is sharing.  During sharing, students either talk about a special souvenir or story from their life.  Students in the circle listen carefully and then have an opportunity to ask questions or comment.  This component teaches so many valuable skills.  The sharer is learning how to communicate clearly and concisely in front of an audience.  He or she is also practicing the skills of summarizing and storytelling.  The audience is required to listen and respond.  Developing good listeners is a key skill at Birchwood.

    If time allows, the meeting ends with an activity.  The activity is one that energizes the students or team builds. 


    MM                   Lesson





    Welcome to Birchwood 


    The mission of Birchwood School is to support all students in reaching their highest potential.  We are dedicated to developing the whole child, with an emphasis on the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical wellness necessary to find individual success.  Our school community is committed to supporting our students in channeling these strengths toward achieving their academic goals by providing a warm and nurturing climate where children are free to grow!


     Important Update - District Water Testing - Birchwood School

Principal's Message



    Dear Birchwood Family,


    It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I write to you as the new Principal of Birchwood Elementary School.   I am honored to serve in this position, and am looking forward to working beside the teachers and faculty to make this a fabulous year!

    Prior to joining the Birchwood staff, I served as an Assistant Principal and a teacher in Mahwah Township.  During my 19 years in education, I have enjoyed watching students grow into kind friends, problem solvers, and critical thinkers.

    Birchwood Elementary School is a special place.  It is a warm and friendly school where children come together to learn and grow in so many aspects of their lives.  What happens during your years at Birchwood will have a lasting impression for years to come.  I look forward to taking this journey with you.

    This school year promises to be tremendous, both academically and socially.  As students, you will be developing and refining your skills in reading, mathematics, science and social studies.  You will continue to grow as problem solvers and independent thinkers who can persuade others.  You will be responsible for your role in strengthening what you have already learned.

    We will celebrate RESPECT throughout the year. I believe that showing respect for others is one of the most important values that we all have.  Respect means caring for someone or something, like your classmates and your school. Being respectful is one of the main ingredients to being the best person you can be.  “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” – Confucius.

    My hope and dream for you during the 2017-2018 school year is that with hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything you desire.  I am here to help and support you each and every day so you can achieve your own hopes and dreams.  I am excited to get to know the entire school community and build positive relationships with all of you.  Please know that my door is always open and I welcome you to stop by and talk.

    Warm Regards,
    Mrs. Alison Schessler