Elementary School

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Welcome to Birchwood

  • Wiggle While You Work


    Many classrooms around the country are introducing flexible seating as a way to increase focus and engagement.  Students in these settings are able to choose how they learn best.  Wobble chairs, stability balls and cushions and stationary bike pedals are among some of the choices students have in a flexible seating environment.  Birchwood Elementary has introduced a few of these seating options in many of its classrooms and the feedback has been positive!

    Ms. Rasmussen’s fourth grade students have received stationary bike pedals.  These stationary pedals have a noiseless design that fits under the students’ desks and offers opportunities to move and exercise during the day.  Students pedal while Ms. Rasmussen introduces new concepts.  Research states that movement improves thinking (Ogoe 2016).  Ms. Rasmussen received these bikes through a grant funded by

    Wobble chairs have replaced some of the traditional seating in Ms. Suleski’s, Ms. Jarvie’s, Ms. Banta’s and Ms. Garabrant’s classrooms.   

    The staff and administration at Birchwood is hopeful that these alternatives will soon make their way into more classrooms!


    What the students are saying…

    I feel good about the pedals in our classroom because they let us get exercise when we are just sitting in a chair and need some exercise. They also help me concentrate on my work. And thanks to our teacher, we all can concentrate better on our work. Our teacher said that when you move your legs you can concentrate better on your work.  Yes, they help me concentrate better, because when there is a loud noise outside the door I don't really pay that much attention to it like I used to. And when we’re reading our IRLA books it helps me to really focus on what I'm reading. It also helps me calm down when I come back from recess and get ready to work hard.  

    I feel glad that we have the pedals in our classroom because they help me exercise and sometimes help me focus.

    I feel that the pedals give us a little workout.  I feel that it helps me to stay focused when someone is talking.  

    In our class, I feel happy about the pedals because they help you exercise while they help you focus and concentrate.  I feel that the pedals have really helped me with concentration and focus this year.

    I think the pedals have helped me to concentrate more and focus more on what someone is saying or what a teacher is saying.



    Mrs. Maupai's 2nd Grade Class:

    Mrs. Maupai’s 2nd graders created a puzzle piece for a Polar Express exhibit at the Morris Museum. It will go on display this month. 

    2nd Grade







    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

District News

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