Parent and taxpayer response

JUST SAY WHEN ...TO ANYONE SAYING YOU HAVE NO SAY IN YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. We are Citizens for Public School Education. We are Board Watchers. We want a Board of Education that follows the Law, because following the Law works for everyone. The purpose of this site is to help close the controversial Achievement Gap that is the subject in many educational arenas. Teachers are invaluable when dedicated individuals and are entrusted to encourage, nurture, and teach each child to achieve to the best of his/her individual abilities. Principals, Superintendents, Business Administrators, Support Staff, School Board Members, Attorneys and everyone else in the district must be dedicated to making certain that teachers have whatever they need in order to perform at their best. Teachers must be willing to go the extra mile like millions have done before them. This blog promotes an active, accurate & objective telling of history that includes ALL cultures and their literary, cultural and historical contributions to building America. We are Board Watchers.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Highlights: Englewood Board of Education Meeting March 24, 2011

NOTE: Today’s meeting time dedicated to giving Community Members time to speak was increased to 30 minutes and a timer was on the screen behind the board. Even though this was a positive addition to the meeting, there was a tendency from board president George Garrison III, to still try to cut Community input short. Community members did not allow this to happen.

NOTE: This meeting was attended by many more Englewood faculty members. Some faculty even stayed until the very end of the meeting. I later learned that they had received a personal invitation from the Superintendent to attend the meeting in order to learn of another middle school initiative. Based on the applause, they seemed to approve of the reorganization ideas.

NOTE: Before his speech the Superintendent pointed out that he had located the lectern between the Board of Education and the Community, because that is indeed where he stands. I was impressed when he stated later after the middle school proposal was discussed, “I began this meeting thinking this was about me, now I realize that it is about you.” He pointed to the Community and the Board of Education.

Superintendent’s Report – He recognized 2 teachers who have volunteered time beyond the contract hours. He has established the Patron Influencing Education (PIE) Award, which was presented to Triwa Lee-Chin. The Second Mile Award was presented to Lisa Finn-Bruce and Mercedes Gil.
He presented Initiative #1 – The True Middle School Concept –This concept was presented by Mr. Carmen Macchia with the support of Dr. Carlisle.
The Superintendent listed 3 goals:
          1. To improve student performance on the NJAsk.
          2. To improve student behavior and to create a positive school climate
          3. To have Englewood students who are enrolled in private schools return to JDMS.
It seems that nearly everyone agrees that the current organization at Jan Dismus Middle School is segregated. It is also quite obvious that some in attendance like it that way. 2 parents expressed concerns that their children would be bored by Interdisciplinary changes. One parent noted that her child had just returned to the district from a private school.
           Current 7th Graders
        Academy Prep 24 students
        Honors Prep 59 students
        College Prep 119 Students
Mr. Macchia suggests Systemic change that is organizationally inclusive, not exclusive. The proposed concept embraces Interdisciplinary Teams. There would be an Avid trained person on each team. The objective would be to Avidize ALL of the students and increase the overall pride and school spirit among middle school students. The proposed example shows 2 identical teams, one red and one blue. The concept was not immediately embraced by everyone. One of the board members turned his back on the men as Mr. Macchia spoke on the present segregation in the Jan Dismus Middle School. Mr. H. Pruitt III’s body language demonstrated his apparent disdain of the proposal. He had the most questions for Mr. Macchia, all of which pointed to the fact that he wanted to keep the status quo. Stephen Brown was also not impressed with the proposal. Mr. Glenn Garrison elected to withhold his opinion pending more development and planning. Mr. Jerry Lamb seemed to be on board with the idea and expressed some of the same concerns as Mr. Macchia about the current organization. Miriam Lubar, the only female board member in attendance spoke in such a noncommittal way that it was difficult to determine what she thought. She seemed to defer to Mr. Pruitt III too often. Mr. Enrique Diaz never speaks so we don’t know what he thinks.The following is the proposed reorganization concept.
            LAL - 8, 8 honors
            Reading - 8, 8 honors
            Math - 8, 8 honors
            Science - 8, 8
            Social Studies – 8, 8
It is interesting that as the Board Members spoke on student accomplishment they lacked the knowledge of current achievement among middle school students in Math especially. Teachers seated in the audience protested that overall Math scores have increased. Math is my granddaughter’s best subject at this time so I am inclined to agree.