In the midst of summer vacations and weekend barbecues, the Jefferson Township Board of Education is still hard at work. After Board Member Ronald Smith filled the vacant position on the Town Council, the Board of Education was in search of a new member to fill his vacancy. James Andrew Martorelli stepped up to take on this task, and after a quick public interview, he was sworn in. With the addition of a new member, the committees of the Board will be restructured to adjust for the new addition.

Martorelli explained himself as a kind and honest man who had no personal agenda, allowing him to remain objective when faced with controversial choices. He believes that his background and experience with psychology and sales will bring valuable skills to the table.

When asked if he had any goals on the Board of Education, he said that he wants to maintain and grow the IEP program because he has a child with an IEP, and he wants to look into how the Academy affects the district. However, he admitted that he has a lot to learn before he can start diving deep and choosing specific issues to tackle.

The Policy and Personnel Committee are currently working on a few important issues. They have gone through second readings on revising or implementing new policies. They have also changed the dress code, which still needs to go through a second reading before it is approved. The changes to the dress code will alter the wording of “undergarments” in the statement “undergarments must not be visible” to “undershirts/underwear.” The other change is the addition of a new bullet that explicitly says that inappropriate attire includes clothing that is higher than the mid-thigh.

With the work of the Policy and Personnel Committee as well as the rest of the Board and the Superintendent, the Board was finally able to approve an agreement between them and the Jefferson Township Education Association effective July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018.

The Education Committee has been and will continue to the revise the elementary school report cards and addressing any summer work issues. For those who had the ambition to start their summer work early may have seen some typos, these errors have been fixed as of June 20. The Education Committee has allowed Jefferson Township High School to now offer a communication skills class as an independent study as well.

Board Member Amy Gould spoke about how she recently attended a funeral for a student’s mother and admired how the whole community and school came out to support the student.

Board President Jill Van Ness talked about the success of the graduations at the end of the year and formally welcomed the newest board member to the team.

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