Principal's Corner

Holdrum Middle School
"Home of the Hawks"

 Mr. Cody

         Mr. James P. Cody
   [email protected]
   201-358-4016 ext. 1001

August 2023



Dear Holdrum Families,


On behalf of Mrs. Alyson Puzzo and our teachers, I would like to welcome you to Holdrum Middle School for the 2023-2024 school year. What a summer it has been here at Holdrum, as our building has been improved and updated throughout. I am so proud of the work completed over the last few months and once again thank the residents of River Vale who supported our referendum.

Monday, September 11, 2023 is the first day of the school year. This year promises to be an exciting one for all Holdrum students. We continue to align communication, collaboration, creative and critical thinking skills with the explicit tenets identified by our Portrait of a Graduate. Our teaching staff continues to develop innovative activities, meaningful learning opportunities, and real world experience.

In our continuation of focus on student well being, Holdrum Middle School will implement the Ruler approach with our students. The Ruler approach is designed to help students and staff develop a common language to understand the value of emotions, build skills of emotional intelligence and create and maintain a positive school culture. It is an evidenced based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. At Holdrum Middle School, RULER will be infused into advisory sessions and throughout core and encore classes. In addition, the opening of “The Hawk’s Nest,” our student wellness center, will provide both staff and students at Holdrum Middle School an area that embodies the importance of students' social, emotional and physical wellness. “Wellness Wednesdays” will replace Advisory Day Mondays as we look  to repurpose our advisory program with a mid-week check in.

The River Vale School District continues to implement new mandates, standards, and curriculum in the many areas of study. Our eighth grade elective program continues to evolve and expand with new course offerings this year. Our language arts curriculum will be a focus this year as we develop revisions with our regional partners and the Pascack Valley Regional High School District. Our Math department continues to implement our recently revised mathematics series, Big Ideas. This series supports the premise that every student can be successful at math through real world connections, conducting meaningful conversations, and solving complex problems and rigorous tasks. The district will engage students in rigorous mathematical content ties to NJSLS to improve progress in mathematics achievement.  A new BSI (Basic Skills Instruction) program is being offered to students in the areas of language arts and mathematics at Holdrum Middle School. This program provides support services in addition to the regular instructional program to enhance student learning and success. We have found this to be beneficial for students in need of assistance in mathematics and language arts. By providing students with help in a small group setting and working collaboratively, we hope to improve targeted skill areas. 

As part of the ongoing emphasis on technology, every Holdrum student will be receiving a Chromebook to use in school and at home. Our school will continue to utilize Canvas, our student learning management system where students and parents will have access to information for all their classes in one easily accessible location. We will once again offer parent observer accounts which parents will be directed how to create and use directly from the Canvas website. You will receive step by step directions that will walk you through the process. 

Our students will have even more access to our state of the art Media Center, and a full slate of electives this year. We are looking forward to sharing these educational opportunities with you, to further ensure your success at Holdrum, in high school and beyond.

Some of your questions about Holdrum may be answered by visiting the Holdrum 60 webpage and watching some short presentations which provide pertinent information about daily life at Holdrum. This page can be found under “Our School” on the Holdrum website.

It is my hope that the new and improved Holdrum Middle School will provide opportunities for you to become a compassionate citizen, fearless trailblazer, global communicator, collaborative innovator, a problem seeker and solution maker for the 2023-2024 school year in a safe and secure Middle School environment. If you resolve to make this your best year ever, you will also help to make the Holdrum community the best place it can be. 

I look forward to seeing you on September 11, 2023. 

Yours in Education,

James P. Cody



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