Blackwood Elementary

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

Back to school time is rapidly approaching for the 2019-2020 school year, and we are excited to get started at Blackwood Elementary School!

There is some new personnel that I would like to introduce to you.  Mrs. Shelton has joined the Blackwood Elementary School’s administrative team as the Assistant Principal.  Mrs. Shelton is an experienced teacher who is well accomplished and respected by teachers throughout the district.  Mrs. Shelton comes to Blackwood Elementary School byways of J.W. Lilley E.S. where she was a primary school teacher (Grades K, 1, 2), as well as filling the role as a teacher leader.  Mrs. Shelton is filled with enthusiasm for she can’t wait for the students to return to school.  

Ms. Halligan will be teaching 3rd grade.  Ms. Halligan is an experienced teacher who is coming to Blackwood Elementary School from MaST Community Charter School II of Philadelphia.  Ms. Halligan is very skilled with technology and facilitated an after-school enrichment choral music program for her previous employer. We are happy to have her share her skills with our staff and students.  

Mrs. Chelsea Unitis will be Blackwood Elementary School’s new Speech Therapist.  Mrs. Unitis has 6 years of experience as a Speech Therapist and joins our team from Christina School District, Newark,DE. 

Finally, Mrs. Shannon Druding is our newest staff member and will be joining our Kindergarten team.  Shannon is an experienced teacher joining Blackwood Elementary School from Haviland Avenue School in Audubon.  Mrs. Druding has taught both Kindergarten and First grade.  

Ms. Bottcher, the heart of Blackwood Elementary School, is closing out her career in education and will be retiring in October.  Blackwood Elementary School would like to express its gratitude to Ms. Bottcher for all of her years of service to the community.  Ms. Bottcher will be missed by students and staff.  

Gloucester Township School District has made some curricular changes that will be impacting student schedules this year.  Library and Spanish will be offered throughout grades K-5 as a regularly scheduled Related Arts class. SuperKids is the adopted English Language Arts curriculum that is in its second year of implementation and will be taught in grades K and 1.  Wit and Wisdom will be fully implemented as the English Language Arts curriculum for grades 3, 4, and 5. Lastly, all schedules will reflect a new Social & Emotional Learning block which will provide students an introspective opportunity to develop in the following competencies:  Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision-making, and Relationship Skills.  

The central theme for Blackwood Elementary School will be “Community”.  Community education, as defined by Wikipedia, is “to develop the capacity of individuals and groups of all ages through their actions, the capacity of communities, to improve their quality of life. Central to this is their ability to participate in democratic processes.”  It is the belief that education is a team activity in which all members of the team are genuinely supportive of each other in their pursuit of learning. Students will be members of many communities: groups within classes, classes, grade level, school, etc. which is ever expansive.  Every member of each community is responsible for collectively support learning of its members. At Blackwood Elementary School this means working towards a safe, nurturing, interactive, productive and democratic school. We encourage parents to support this vision, work collaboratively with students, staff, and administration, so that we may provide the best quality education.  We invite parents to be active participants in this journey, welcoming all into our building to observe and/or volunteer.