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posted: Wed, Oct 15th, 2014
Flanders fireman Mark Mark Ajbuszyc talks to students about fire safety

Learning about fire safety

To commemorate national Fire Prevention Week, Mountain View students in pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade recently saw presentations by members of the Flanders Fire Company. Firefighter Mark Ajbuszyc and his colleague, firefighter Storm Shawl, demonstrated the protective gear that firemen wear when fighting a blaze and reviewed important home safety procedures. They emphasized the importance of home smoke alarms and regular battery replacement, periodic home fire drills, and calling 911 only after having had a chance to make it to safety.

During the presentations, the firemen asked students questions and rewarded them with small prizes for correct answers. All students received small wooden rulers and details on the fire department’s coloring contest.

The demonstrations by the fire company were the highlights of a week of fire prevention activities. All kindergarteners, for example, discussed fire safety and read books in their classrooms related to the topic. They also made paper fire helmets that they wore home after the firemen had visited.

The Flanders Fire Company has presented fire safety demonstrations at Mountain View for more than 20 years.

Fire Prevention Week, which began in 1922, is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. It has its roots in commemorations of 1871’s Great Chicago Fire, a disaster that killed 250 people and destroyed more than 17,000 structures.

Week of Respect focuses on good character

Mountain View recently celebrated New Jersey’s Week of Respect, an annual week of awareness, education, and activities centered around the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. 

Fifth-graders recited quotes about good character during the morning announcements and each day of the week featured a different apparel theme based on anti-drug and anti-violence messages that are keys to School Violence Awareness and Prevention Week (observed during the third full week of October). Students wore sweatshirts, for example, to recognize the message “Living violence and drug free is no sweat” and wore shirts inside out for a day recognizing the message “Don’t let drugs or violence turn you.” 

Guidance counselor Kathryn Devins is also visiting every classroom during the month of October, delivering lessons about the importance of respect, not only in school but everywhere in life. Mrs. Devins reads books with the classes about respect and bullying, and discusses the stories with the students. Books include “Trouble Talk” and “Just Kidding” by Trudy Ludwig, “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill, and “Nobody Knew What To Do” by Becky McCain. 

She also gave out bookmarks that underscored some of the principles of good character such as fairness, honesty, kindness, respect, responsibility, and citizenship.

“Everything in our society revolves around technology and smart phones, and the importance of that interpersonal connection is often forgotten,” said Mrs. Devins. “Building good character and strong social skills is more important than ever before.” 

To leave their mark on the special week, students in the school are signing a giant poster board with the good character pledge, proclaiming their dedication to being respectful and thoughtful of others, and to make safe and healthy choices: 

Good Character Pledge

I pledge to have good character 

by being kind, honest, responsible and fair. 

I promise to make safe and

healthy choices.

I pledge to be respectful

And courteous towards everyone

in the Mountain View school community.


New Jersey education law mandates that schools observe the Week of Respect and School Violence Awareness Week by providing students with age-appropriate messages that focus on preventing harassment, intimation, bullying, violence, and drug use. 

Listed below are some additional resources that parents may find useful:

Parenting to Build Character:



Stop Bullying Now: Tips for Parents and Families:



Parenting Issues and Advice:



Early Childhood Education and Parenting:



Math problems solved as of 10/27 @ 12:01 a.m.

Top classes:

Ms. Lash

Ms. Ferrara

Mr. Murphy

Ms. Hatton

Ms. Day

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Mountain View School
118 Cloverhill Drive Flanders, NJ 07836
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Phone: 973.927.2201 Fax: 973.927.2202

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