The Board of Education held its monthly meeting on Monday, April 9, with a small but attentive audience. The board announced that the May meeting has been moved to May 7, at which time a public hearing will be held regarding the proposed 2018-19 budget. Education curriculum, technology infrastructure, and items addressing security concerns are included in the prospective budget. Interested parties are encouraged to attend.
Substitute teachers recently attended a training seminar for ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate). The program is designed to give staff and students procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. Although the seminar was voluntary and unpaid, the board reported that there was good attendance.
The board stated that future notifications of grade retention will be announced by February 1 for middle and high school students and March 1 for elementary school students. The previous four progress reports will be reduced to three per academic year.
The board was pleased to accept $2,000 from Janice Roddis for the Jefferson Township High School Winter Color Guard, with appreciation for the generous donation.
President Jill Van Ness referenced social media in regard to prior meetings. She noted that whenever legally possible, she will respond to public questions. She said that there are occasions when the law prevents a response, but a non-response is not intended to be disrespectful. Van Ness also encouraged parents with concerns regarding school safety or procedures to report via the chain of command by first contacting the building administration, which will allow for quicker resolution than posting on social media.
Briggs School kindergarten students participated in a 911 program presented by the Jefferson Township Police Department. The children were taught and practiced how to call 911 in case of an emergency. They also practiced providing their phone number and address to the dispatcher. The entire school participated in a student/staff basketball game. The students enjoyed their teachers’ involvement in this group activity, which encourages teamwork.
Stanlick School’s Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser raised $1,800 for the American Heart Association. Students also participated in an all-day Math Day. Small, grade-level groups were formed in an attempt to escape a math-themed “escape room.”
Milton/Cozy Lake preschool students were treated to a performance of the Bossy Frog Band. The children were able to sing and engage in age-appropriate movement activities in an entertaining setting. Cozy Lake first grade teachers developed a grade level math activity. Students rotated through games, which included placed value, addition and subtraction, facts, and doubles. This activity allowed them to learn in a fun setting.
More than 200 White Rock students participated in the school’s annual science fair. Projects and experiments were created using scientific methods, and the results were shared with the student body during school hours.
April is designated Celebrate Diversity Month, and the Middle School Diversity Group created a poster that many students signed to help celebrate different cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles. Students are preparing a production of Into the Woods JR. The play will take place in the high school auditorium on April 20 at 7 p.m. and April 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. Project Stay Gold and Durgatree International will host a viewing of the movie The True Cost on April 12 in the middle school cafeteria at 6 p.m. A $5 donation will be collected at the door.
The High School Team 2600 robotics club was invited to the Mid-Atlantic Robotics district championship event. The team has been awarded $3,250 to assist with the cost of attending. The Jefferson Township High School Winter Guard had its first home competition, which was a success. The Guard is currently ranked 8 of 48 on the east coast.
Board member Amy Gould closed by confirming to parents that the safety of children is a top priority, and the board is working on implementing some changes that will be addressed at the next meeting. Board member Michael Stewart raved about My Favorite Year, the final production by musical director James Wynne. Wynne is “leaving a legacy that is going to be hard to fill,” observed Stewart, adding that the longtime teacher will be sorely missed.
The meeting was adjourned with a reminder that the public hearing on the 2018-19 proposed budget will be held on May 7.