Wednesday, May 12, 2021

We've Made It – Summer Vacation is Almost Here!

By Dean Graziano

Summer vacation is both a source of pleasure and a component of good health. 

You've done it! You've completed a remarkable school year under extraordinary circumstances. With the summer recess upon us, we at want to say THANK YOU for your commitment and passion in educating our children. In fact, we want to say, “LET IT GO THIS SUMMER” and focus on YOU – your mental & physical wellness! 

Professional DevelopmentIf you want/need to acquire time toward your certification this summer, we have several workshops recorded. We generally offer two (2) topics per month or one topic with an encore presentation. Our topics are derived from current education trends, input by educators and new releases and/or events. To obtain a certificate of attendance after watching a recorded session, follow the instructions at the end of each webinar.

While you are enjoying your summer, we at will be working hard to introduce two new bold projects:

Unlock & Beat the Clock Challenge

This is an interactive, group-focused activity that students assemble in a classroom laden with supporting thematic clues. They have 45 minutes to “solve the challenge posed”. The challenge may apply to successfully completing your assignment which may be assisting someone that is lost or needs YOUR assistance, completing a historical retrieval of lost documents or supplying support to prove/disprove a historical event, etc. Therefore, a successful conclusion will require you to seek and decipher hidden clues, analyze, and break codes and solve challenging prepared dilemma. Every time students working in their teams solve a clue – an “aha” moment, draws them closer to successfully complete the challenge. The entire classroom or prepared room(s) task you to not take anything or anywhere for granted! Perhaps a closer sift through related books on the shelves, particular artwork and on the walls, to certain sequences and or patterns that are either pertinent or a distractor in locating clues- no matter what YOU may think, the team must understand EVERYWHERE/ANYWHERE provides the potential for the clues necessary in unlocking & beating the clock challenge! Remember, students must know once you start the provided videos and the provided timer- only 45 minutes to overcome the challenge! 


Virtual International Field Trip


This activity allows participating students to experience a myriad of countries as they take their “Virtual International Field Trip” without leaving the classroom or home. The interest levels may vary – a student may never have known particular facts and background of countries. Others may need to become competent in Geography studies as part of the curriculum, and others just may want to “travel” this summer. Regardless of the reason, there are skills necessary to be successful in the classroom as they return in the fall. Research, fact-checking, critical-thinking, and self-reliance are must-have skills in a post-secondary career path. Summer vacation should NOT be a vacation form learning! Come travel the world this summer! Our pilot program at Westwood High School is building geography awareness—one country and one student at a time! This program will educate, engage, and empower students during a critical break in their studies. Our materials lend themselves to a wonderful inter-disciplinary approach as well as promoting critical thinking. Passport books are being distributed to each participating student and an amazing world tour “concert shirt” has been designed and will be given to students upon successfully completing this project! 

Enjoy the summer! You've worked hard and we at look forward to assisting you in the fall with a myriad of professional development, no-cost award winning educator resources and so much more!

Our profound thanks for your contributions to student learning. When the summer comes to an end, please check out and find out what's new for the 2021-22 school year!

Happy Summer!

Dean Graziano, J.D.

V.P. of Education,

[email protected]