The Jefferson Township Board of Education will purchase an additional 290 laptops that will put them over their goal of having one laptop for every student attending JTMS and JTHS, it announced at its recent meeting. They will start distributing laptops to each student in grades 8 and 9 in January and distribute to the rest of the middle and high school students beginning in March. Board President Jill Van Ness and Vice President Stacey Poulas thanked Superintendent Patrick Tierney on his hard work to make this initiative a reality.

Van Ness and Poulas thanked Business Administrator Dora Zeno and Assistant Business Administrator Rita Giacchi for their hard work during the school district’s recent audit. The pair worked closely with the auditor to provide the necessary information needed to complete the process. The audit report recognized the school district for its great condition and had no recommendations for improvement.

While the district thrived during its recent audit, it is struggling to find enough ABA trained aids to meet student needs. The board discussed possible routes to make up for this gap and are looking into using a third party’s services to acquire more ABA trained aids.

The district is facing a shortage of bus drivers as well, and with more current bus drivers retiring soon, the situation will only get worse. The district is also looking for a Director of Health, who, among other responsibilities, will be in charge of supervising nurses in the district, and a Head Custodian. While the district faces some shortages, the board has found a student volunteer from CCM to help with the technology department two days per week.

Although the district may face some personnel problems, the Finance and Building Committee was hard at work to improve school facilities. The board will soon be installing a warehouse-like storage building on JTMS property that will effectively save the grounds department time and money. The town will be independently installing bathrooms by the turf field as well.

In other news around the district, JTMS has executed its Operation Kindness campaign, promoting positive behavior and actions among students. Board Member Amy Gould discussed how the Operation Kindness campaign has also been implemented in other school buildings throughout the district and how her own child had a firsthand experience with embracing kindness.

At Briggs, Fire Company #2 visited the school and taught the students about fire safety. At Milton and Cozy Lake, the school received a $500 grant from Scholastic and third grade students built hurricane-safe houses in response to the devastating hurricane season this year. At JTHS, Board Member Adele Wildermuth noted the exciting atmosphere at the Harlem Wizard basketball game event, and JTHS Principal Timothy Plotts went to a foreign education conference in China.

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