Editor's Notebook: March 19 Board of Ed Meeting
The district's Director of Curriculum resigned, a new Director of Special Services was appointed and the board updated on its meeting with the Ridgewood school district about a possible send-receive relationship at the March 19 Board of Education meeting.
Board President Bill Sullivan reported on a recent meeting between district official from Midland Park and Ridgewood to explore the possibility of Midland Park sending its high school students to Ridgewood High School. At this time, Ridgewood does not have the space to accommodate Midland Park's students. The board has a few other meetings set up with other districts and will report back when it has more news.
The board accepted the resignation of Dr. John Schembari, curriculum director for the district. His resignation is effective June 30, however, he was placed on leave of absence as of March 19. He retains his pay and medical benefits through the end of the year. Superintendent Dr. Marie Cirasella did not give a reason for the resignation or leave, but stated the district intends to advertise for the position to be filled, pending the approval of the budget.
The district appointed Christina Gouraige as Director of Special Services for the district effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Gouraige is currently employed as a social worker in the district.
Dr. Cirasella gave an update regarding the New Jersey Department of Education programs. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, the state is mandating a new standardized testing system, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Carreers, or PARCC. The testing will take place four times a year and be administered via computer and keyboard. PARCC will replace NJASK and HSPA, and will assess the full range of the Common Core standards.
The superintendent also announced that Highland and Midland Park Junior-Senior High School met all of their performance goals and progress targets as part of the New Jersey Elementary and Secondary Act Waiver, or ESEA. The targets will be reassessed following the first PARCC tests, which will take place in the spring of 2015.
In addition the NJDOE will be replacing school report cards with Performance Reports. The primary change is that District Factor Groups will no longer be used to determine comparative districts and instead will use new metrics to determine Peer School Comparisons.
Under personnel, Dr. Cirasella reported that Basic Skills teacher Barbara Makela had an article published in this month's issue of Teaching Children Mathematics magazine about using technology to teach equivalence.
The Board of Education approved the tentative 2013-14 budget on its second reading and a second question requesting an additional $955,000 for roof repairs. The district will hold a formal hearing on March 26 at 8pm at Highland School with full details on the budget.
The board also approved the 2013-14 school calendar. The first day of school for students will be Thursday, Sept. 5 and the last day will be Tuesday, June 24. Graduation is scheduled for Friday, June 20.
Midland Park Press's Livestream of the meeting is currently available for replay online and will remain for one month.