CHS Principal Gives News, Updates and Resources in Preparation for 2020-21 School Year

by The Village Green
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

From Columbia High School Principal Frank Sanchez:

Online Learning

Over the weekend, Dr. Taylor sent out the District’s Virtual Instruction Guidebook & School Schedule for Families. Because much of the instruction will be synchronous, it is imperative that students have their own individual laptop or desktop to use throughout the day. Please make sure to contact our technology department at if your child needs a laptop.

From the Counseling Center

It is my pleasure to announce that veteran counselor, Mrs. Falynn Balassone, is Columbia High School’s new Director of Counseling. She has been working tirelessly all summer preparing for the start of the new year. She is also scheduling many grade-specific evenings to provide more information for our parents. The tentative dates follow, and please know they will be recorded so if you cannot make the session live, you will still be able to access the information.

  • Freshman Parents – Wednesday, September 16th – 7:30 PM
  • Senior Parents – Wednesday, September 23rd – 7:30 PM
  • Financial Aid Information – Wednesday, September 30th – 7:30 PM
  • Junior Parents – Wednesday, October 14th – 7:30 PM
  • Sophomore Parents – Wednesday, October 21st – 7:30 PM

The Counseling Department will be sending links in the next two weeks.

Extracurricular Update & Sports

Although we are starting virtually during the first marking period, we have been allowed by the Governor to continue our sports program for the fall season (other than Girls’ Volleyball which is held indoors). As per NJSIAA guidelines, all practices will be on hold across the state starting today until September 14th. Please remember that your child will not be able to participate if he or she has not handed in a completed physical to Mr. Mullen’s office by the end of next week. This is imperative for Freshmen who are not allowed to use last year’s physical. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Mullen’s office at 973-762-5600 x1025.

I got to visit the Marching Band last week and I am so excited to see/hear them perform in September!

Remembering Mr. Arguelles

The Columbia High School family would like to thank our partners at Achieve who have set up a new grant to financially support teacher grants for our STEM teachers, especially around professional development to support students who are typically underrepresented in our higher-level courses. This grant, the Mani Arguelles Professional Development Fund, is named after Mr. Arguelles, a beloved math teacher at CHS who passed away last month.

Mani’s family and Achieve met this summer to make sure his work and vision continues at Columbia. The goal of the fund is to provide training to math and science teachers with the aim of encouraging them to try new teaching methods that target the learning needs of students who are underrepresented in STEM fields. The funds may be used by the Columbia High School math/science department or the South Orange-Maplewood School District, to bring experts in on official professional development days, or to provide individual math or science teachers with funding to pursue studies that further these goals. Teachers receiving individual grants will be encouraged to share their learnings with other teachers in the District.

Please consider donating as well to support Mani’s memory.  

Supporting Achieve 

Speaking of Achieve, they will not allow their popular Newstead 5K race fall victim to the pandemic. That is why they are pivoting to a new INstead 5K instead. Folks can run or walk any 5K any time and any place during the weekend of September (9/25-27). Achieve will be offering up some suggestions for routes, and all the SOM school buildings will be on at least one of the route maps.


Related Articles