Charlene Peterson, a representative from the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), spoke at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, September 11 about the board’s recent self-evaluation. Although a self-evaluation is no longer required, the board still did one because it helps them run more smoothly.

Peterson reported that the board succeeded in identifying itself as a policy-making body and focused on the importance of all the right ideas, including finances, communications, ethics, and staff development. However, the board saw that the budget and enrollment decrease were among the biggest challenges to come.

With this in mind, the board and the district refined its goals to follow both the self-evaluation and the strategic plan they developed last year. The district’s goals are to focus on staff development, technological needs and working towards a 1:1 student to technological device ratio, and the improvement of facilities as necessary. The board’s goals will be developed soon and will focus on objectives that they can directly control the outcome of.

The Education Committee reported an update for the Response to Intervention (RTI) initiative, which will have three levels of support for intervention. The committee is working on revising the curricula for English Language Arts for grades 6-12 as well.

The Policy and Personnel Committee posted new openings for positions and is waiting for an additional kindergarten teacher to come from another district, which will help reduce the student-teacher ratio. The board recognized John DiColo for his nearly 20 years of work as the Director of Athletics.

After the committee reports, the board clarified the change in the lunch program. While parents will still be able to send in a check with their children for lunch, they can also pay online through the new vendors with a four percent processing fee.

In their closing remarks, most of the board members recognized the hard work of the maintenance staff who did an amazing job of maintaining and renovating the school buildings over the summer, especially with the JTHS auditorium.

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