Jefferson students in grades 3, 9, and 10 showed great increases in both math and English PAARC testing scores and performed much higher than the state and county averages, according to assistant superintendent Jeanne Howe. Other grade levels had smaller increases in performance level as well. Overall, student achievement increased, with more students generally meeting or exceeding expectations. A full breakdown of the results can be found on the district website: https://www.jefftwp.org/cms/lib/NJ01811639/Centricity/Domain/4/District%20PARCC%202017%20Reporting.pptx.pdf.

While Vice President Stacey Poulas and the other board members were proud of the results, she emphasized that scores aren’t everything and there are many other factors that can determine student achievement. Board Member Frank Cuccio questioned the legitimacy of the increases at the high school level because passing the test only recently became a requirement that made high school students take it more seriously.

Regardless of the reason, the Education Committee hopes to further expand academic achievement by offering more courses such as “Sports in American Culture” and “General Home Repair.” The committee approved numerous educational field trips as well, including several debate tournaments and music-related field trips.

Board Member Michael Stewart commented on the significance of the arts, music, and athletic departments at Jefferson Township schools and the importance of continuing to support trips and programs for these purposes.

At White Rock, fifth grade students learned about the origins of the National Anthem and discussed the song’s significance in light of recent events of football players taking the knee.

The school district received two special Olympic grants for their United Track and Field program. Board Member Adele Wildermuth spoke about the incredible work of the special education program and their helpfulness in being involved in the food pantry service and thrift store in town.

Among the many appointments, retirements, and paid leaves, the Board of Education appointed William Koch to replace John DiColo as the Athletic Director for JTHS. Melissa Hall will be the interim assistant principal at JTMS, and Supervisor of Math and Business Marius Petric will be retiring by the next school year.

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