Editor's Notebook: BOE Goal Setting Meeting
By Rebecca K. Abma
Facilities, state mandates, communication and student growth are among the district's goals for the 2013-14 school year, as hashed out at the Aug. 1 special meeting of the Midland Park Board of Education. The session, led by New Jersey School Board Association Field Representative Alfred Annunziata, reviewed the board's self-evaluation of the 2012-13 school year and brainstormed priorities for the coming year for both the board and the district.
Administrators from throughout the district and the governing body took an in-depth look at the district's strengths, improvements and weaknesses, and presented the following conclusions:
"Wonderful" aspects of Midland Park Schools include:
- The size of the school population allows for a good staff-to-student ratio, that lets teachers get to know students better and provide more personalized education.
- The amount of extra curricular activities comparable to the size of the population enables for stronger, more well rounded students giving them an edge on college applications.
- Collaborative and Hearing impaired programs.
- Character Education
- Community Support
- Strong relationships with PTA and Education Foundation.
- Improving relationship with municipal government.
- Expanded academic and elective offerings.
- Enthusiastic administration that communicates well among one another.
- Visibility of staff and administration at school events, such as sporting events and school plays, has really grown over the years.
Areas in progress that need to be continued include:
- Facilities, facilities, facilities
- Expanding course offerings and electives
- Communicating with the community and presenting clear messages that their input is heard
- Technology through the district including the infrastructure, classroom, website and preparing for the PAARC assessments.
- Character education and modeling responsible use of social media.
- Academic achievements
- Reaching out to other districts to collaborate with on curriculum and offerings. Technology in the future would facilitate that.
- Working with the Borough Council, Police Department and OEM
- Special Education
Areas that need immediate attention:
- Implementing state mandates as they continue to roll out
- Fill open positions for teaching staff and the athletic director and middle school principals.
- Finalize contract negotiations with the Education Association and stand alone contracts with administrators.
The board and administration developed two sets of goals that will be reviewed and finalized at the Aug. 20 meeting, one set for the elected board and another for the district. District goals are set by Schools Superintendent Dr. Marie Cirasella with input from other administrators, and form the basis for her evaluation. The Board goals are developed by and for the board. Once finalized, both sets of goals will be published on the district website.
District goals include student growth and achievements; compliance with state mandates including new teacher and principal evaluations and Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying; improving special education programs while reining in spending as required by the state; and improving community engagement though better communications.
Board goals for the coming year include contract negotiations; facility upgrades and exploring creative funding opportunities; public relations and communications; and professional development and training for the board regarding roles, responsibilities, effective communication and ethics.
Video and audio from the meeting are available at this link on MPK Press's Livestream Channel.
What do you think of the board's self evaluation and goal setting process? Are there goals you think should be included? Tell us in the comments!