- Black History Month
- No Name Calling Week
- Peer Leaders
- Alliance Club
- Breaking News!
- Thanksgiving Dinner
- Happy Halloween!
- Public Art
- Pumpkin Spice
- Welcome Back!
- Class of 2018
- Field Day
- Take Pride
- LINCS Walk
- Spring into Summer
- ExxonMobil Visit
- Danger Zone
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
On February 23, members of the Eta Omicron Zeta chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority hosted an engaging and educational program in celebration of Black History Month. After a screening of the documentary “Chisholm ’72 Unbought and Unbossed,” NJ Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Oliver, Senator Sandra Cunningham and Hillside’s Mayor Dahlia Vertreese joined the panel. Staff members Beth Schwartz and Elizabeth James decorated the room with phenomenal projects created by Soehl Middle School students. Thank you to the Elizabeth Public Library for hosting this important event.
NO NAME CALLING WEEK
The week of January 21 was “No Name Calling Week” at Soehl Middle School. Presented by the Alliance Club, this is a week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of any kind and providing schools with tools to start a conversation about ways to eliminate bullying. As part of the week’s events, students and staff signed posters pledging their support for safe and accepting schools for LGBTQ students.
Alliance Club members enjoyed an after-school screening of the movie “Love, Simon.”
Pictured above (left to right) are Alliance Club members Chris Genelien, Rood Marlie Chery, Angelica Pajak, Liyana Rafua, Lisa Lopez, Frida Soriano and Gavin Lopez.
On December 7, Soehl Middle School’s Peer Leaders made their annual holiday trip to School 1. To celebrate the season, these 8th-grade students spent time reading and crafting in several elementary classrooms. Everyone involved wore their favorite pajamas and enjoyed the comfy, cozy atmosphere. Students also collected donations for the LINCS food pantry.
On November 28, members from the PRIDE organization at Saint Peter’s University spoke to members of the Alliance Club at Soehl Middle School. The two groups discussed current social issues including gender stereotypes and lack of inclusion. Pictured below (left to right) are Ayanna Paterson, Frida Soriano, Angelica Pajak, Jerry Galarza, Lisa Lopez, Gavin Lopez, Leilani Ocasio-Cuevas, Michael Fonseca, Myah Warren, Theresa Jonas, Elijah Wesley, Shariffah Mason and Adia Ledbetter.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center has partnered with the Crayon Initiative to collect used and broken crayons. The Crayon Initiative is a unique charitable organization that recycles crayons and distributes them to children’s hospitals. These new crayons literally brighten the lives of young patients while reducing environmental waste. Our 21st Century students will collect the crayons throughout the program year for this important community service project.
Check out this segment on NBC News 4 New York!
For more information about the Crayon Initiative, please visit their website -
Please contact the 21st Century Office at (908) 486-0550 ext. 8787 to schedule a drop-off.
Winner Winner Turkey Dinner!! On November 15, cafeteria staff treated Soehl Middle School students to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Pictured below (left to right) are Aryana Figueroa, Isabella Sanchez and Marie Jean Pierre.
On November 14, students and staff were treated to a special menu item in the school cafeteria, Chicken and Waffles. Pictured below are Amy Gonzalez and Stephanie Martoe getting ready to enjoy this tasty Southern tradition.
Soehl Middle School celebrated a happy Halloween with its third annual costume contest. Three winners were chosen in each of three categories – Scariest Costume, Funniest Costume and Most Creative Costume. Students and staff had a great day tricking and treating their friends and colleagues!
Paulo Matias, Kareem Prunty and Aminah Armstead
Carvens Jean Baptiste, Miles Hayes and Yaslene Reyes
MOST CREATIVE COSTUME
Gael Soriano, Frida Soriano and Michelle Henderson
SOEHL FACULTY AND STAFF
For the month of October, students in Ms. Faranda’s art classes will enjoy the honor of having their work displayed at the Linden Board of Education central offices. These talented artists are currently studying a wide variety of topics including different art techniques and historical art movements.
On October 2, the Soehl Middle School Art Club had its first meeting of the new school year. Club members celebrated the season by painting pumpkins with their own creative designs. Pictured below are artists Sade Therjuste, Cassidy Moore, Jadelle Jasmin and Cristina Ramos-Rodriguez.
What splash of color will YOU bring to Soehl Middle School?
On June 14, Soehl Middle School had its first-ever schoolwide Field Day. This event, to be held annually, took place at Linden’s famed Tiger Stadium. Students and staff all enjoyed a great day of fun in the sun!
On June 1, members of the Soehl Middle School Alliance Club kicked off LGBT Pride Month. This annual celebration aims to educate the general public and to support the dignity, equality and visibility of the LGBT community. Throughout the month, students and staff will stand together against all forms of discrimination.
Pictured below (left to right) are Aaliyah Thomas, Jerry Galarza, Yainez Rosa, Gavin Lopez, Ms. Pellettiere (advisor), Brielle Ellis and Isabella Latroncio.
On June 1, Soehl Middle School participated in the annual LINCS Walk at Wilson Park. This Linden Public Schools event supports the local food pantry operated by the Linden Interfaith Network for Community Services (LINCS). This year’s walk raised over $4,000.00 in donations for a worthy cause!
On May 24, Soehl Middle School hosted a Title I event to help our students “Spring into Summer.” Families were invited to meet with Language Arts and Math teachers to discuss strategies for preventing the loss of learning that often takes place over the summer months. After a delicious dinner, students and their parents visited different stations to learn about a variety of educational games and activities they can use over the summer. Each student also received a backpack filled with the necessary summer reading novels and math manipulatives.
ExxonMobil Corporation supports the pursuit of science, technology, engineering, and math careers through a variety of special programs. One important part of this effort is STEM outreach at local schools. On May 8, ExxonMobil’s PRIDE chapter from Clinton, NJ visited Soehl Middle School. PRIDE is an employee resource group where members of the LGBT community and their straight allies encourage awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion issues.
Prepared with hands-on activities, the ExxonMobil volunteers met with members of the Alliance Club and the Honor Society. Students worked in teams to investigate a variety of concepts in all four STEM areas. Through the process of building, testing, and then redesigning their projects, students faced the challenges of scientific research. These generous volunteers also spoke about their careers and the life experiences that brought them to ExxonMobil.
New classroom method inspires students and teachers
May 2, 2018
A handful of middle school teachers recently volunteered to implement a new instructional strategy in their classrooms, model it for their colleagues, and get feedback on how it worked.
The method is called “Reading for Meaning,” and its goal is to help students better understand complex materials, gather evidence from their readings to build an argument, and fully participate in classroom discussions.
Soehl teachers Michael Manning and Frank Lysick talking with students in Suzanne Rothauser’s seventh-grade math class.
Teachers at each school who volunteered to model the lesson. At McManus, left, are Principal Peter Fingerlin, teachers Erin Slack, Brenda Kaneaster, Caryl Ederer, Susan Kreisman of Silver Strong & Associates, teachers Jennifer Fernandes and Giuliana Pasquarelli-Stier. At Soehl, right, are Kreisman, teachers Suzanne Rothauser, Jennifer MacDonald, Kim Leight, Peter Citera, and Principal Richard Molinaro.
“The purpose is to help students navigate complex texts in any discipline,” said Reina Irizarry-Clark, Linden’s instructional coach. “It can be done in science, social studies, language arts — and also in math, as it provides a strategy to help students persevere through word problems.”
Soehl Middle School teachers Suzanne Rothauser (math), Jennifer MacDonald (language arts), Kim Leight (science), and Peter Citera (social studies) modeled lessons on Monday, April 30.
McManus Middle School teachers Eric Slack (social studies), Brenda Kaneaster (science), Caryl Ederer (language arts), Jennifer Fernandes (math), and Giuliana Pasquarelli-Stier (basic skills) modeled lessons on Tuesday, May 1.
Both days’ lessons came under the watchful eye of Susan Kreisman of Silver Strong & Associates, which developed the method. She laid out the process for the observing teachers, who then went into the classroom of the demonstrating teacher to see the lesson in action. Afterward, they all gathered in another room for a debriefing to discuss how the lesson went and address any concerns.
Soehl teachers observing from the back of class as Suzanne Rothauser teaches a lesson using the Reading for Meaning method.
Kreisman explained the Reading for Meaning method as presenting students with statements rather than questions, then asking the students to prove or refute those statements. She used an example based on a lesson about Shakespeare’s “Othello.”
“I wouldn’t say, ‘Is Iago evil?’ I would say, ‘Iago is evil,’ ” Kreisman said. “Then they go about reading whatever the source material is, looking for evidence to support or refute the statement. So it’s really motivating. They love digging into anything to prove themselves right about something. But it helps them prepare by digging in deeply into their reading material.”
During Rothauser’s math lesson at Soehl, students were given a word problem about how many teachers and tutors were needed to supervise a certain number of students. Rothauser’s students then read statements about which facts were pertinent to solving the problem, and they had to agree or disagree and explain why.
“We’ve seen some amazing things happen,” Kreisman said. “Youngsters digging into the information, going back to the text, and back to the text, and building arguments that were really very strong and substantive.”
In Citera’s social studies class, students debated the statement, “Alexander never deserved to be called ‘the Great.’ ”
“The kids had read five different primary source documents and were marshaling arguments pro and con,” Kreisman said. “And then at the start of class they were assigned a side, and they debated. And it was just wonderful to watch them. Somebody makes a statement, and somebody on the other side says, ‘I disagree. Please go into this document over here and find this statement.’ It was really great.”
Irizarry-Clark said the possibility of expanding the use of Reading for Meaning in the district is exciting.
“We’re really looking to see how our students are being engaged,” she said, “and how this is extending their thinking in the classrooms.”
Soehl teachers talking with Susan Kreisman of Silver Strong & Associates in a debriefing session about how the Reading for Meaning lesson worked out.
On April 25, Danielle Bartsche, Health Educator with the NJ Poison Center, presented an informative program for 6th-grade students at Soehl Middle School. The game-show style interactive presentation identified and defined poisons, reviewed smoke/CO2 alarm safety and described how residents benefit from calling the Poison Center. Please, remember to call: 1-800-222-1222!
On April 17, Vice-Principal Isabella Scocozza was honored by the Linden City Council for her tireless dedication as director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center. This after-school program is dependent on federal funds, and Ms. Scocozza has brought in $6.8 million – serving nearly 2,500 students – over the past 13 years. She is pictured below (right) with Mayor Derek Armstead and Councilwoman Lisa Ormon.