Friday, June 22, 2012

Positive Trends in New Jersey Student Health Survey

Department of Education Announces Results of the New Jersey Student Health Survey Showing Positive Trends in Student Health and Well-Being 

Trenton, NJ - The Department of Education today announced the results of the 2011 New Jersey Student Health Survey (NJSHS) showing overall positive trends in student health and well-being. The 2011 survey, taken by 1,657 students in 31 high schools across the state between March and June, provides information for families, school staff, administrators, community members and policy makers about adolescent behaviors and trends.

Juneteenth 2012
 "The health, safety and emotional well-being of our students is of the utmost importance and the information collected through this survey is critical because it provides us with a greater awareness of trends in adolescent behavior," said Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf. "We will continue to provide as much support and professional development to districts as possible to ensure that our students are physically and emotionally healthy and ready to learn." 

The Department of Education has taken a number of steps to improve the health and well-being of students over the past several years in partnership with other state agencies. With the support of funding from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department provided professional development to physical education teachers, food service directors, and school wellness teams to support increased physical activity and healthy eating in schools.

The Department of Education has also partnered with the Department of Agriculture to support the expansion of the School Breakfast Program to increase students' access to a healthy breakfast.

Through implementation of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights (2011), the Department has provided training to thousands of school staff across the state, a model anti-bullying policy, and several guidance documents to help schools better identify and intervene in instances of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

The NJSHS is comprised of 88 questions addressing a wide variety of behaviors including, but not limited to, physical activity and nutrition, emotional health, sexual behavior, use of tobacco and drugs, and violence.

Summaries of the results are provided to all public middle school and high school principals, superintendents, public charter school leaders, and local health officials in the state in order to help guide decision making when developing policies and programs that address adolescent behaviors.

The survey, administered biennially since 1993, was conducted with funding from the New Jersey Department of Education through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Education under Title IV, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act, and the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

For key findings: the release is here:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

$5 million in Federal Grants Will Track NJ Student Progress Pre-School - College & Into The Workforce

Trenton, NJ - New Jersey was awarded $5 million in federal grants this month to expand the state's current data system, NJSMART, to track students from pre-school through higher education institutions and into the workforce.

This expansion will provide valuable information to practitioners in both K-12 schools and higher education institutions to better help measure the effectiveness of programs and to drive improvement efforts. 

"For the first time in New Jersey, we will soon be able to track students from pre-k all the way through their entry into the workforce," said Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf. "This data system will be critical to assess the effectiveness of K-12 and career and technical education programs as we strive to ensure that all students graduate from high school truly ready for college and career." 

 Last week, the Department of Education received a $4 million award over three years to expand the state's current data system from K-12 into one that tracks students from pre-k through entry into the workforce. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development received approximately $1 million to link employment and education data. 

The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education will be the lead developer of this expansion, with the support of the Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Release is here:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Suggestion Box EPSD: Still Spending

A 4 million dollar deficit and still spending. When times are this hard, every effort should be made to STOP spending unless there is NEED. You have not proven that there is a deficit. Is it because it is a sanction and not a deficit?

Summer School must be conducted for those in need of credits to graduate. (June 13, 2012 agenda pages 10 - 17) This includes subjects such as Math, English, Science, Social Studies and a Foreign Language. It should only include those subjects. So why does this very expensive proposal include so many teachers who do not teach major subject areas? Why is there still waste? I should also hope that teachers who failed students during the year are not assigned to teach those same students in summer school. That is an extremely expensive summer school program. You also know right now which students will fail subjects for the year. You know which students qualify for assistance under grants to help them get through Summer School. Why are we even having summer school here in the district? Send these students to established summer schools in other districts (that work) and have parents pay on a sliding scale according to need. Your summer school will cost close to a half million dollars, if not more. No doubt this is probably grant money. Poor planning and work organization again.

Field Trips: The agenda for June 13, includes 41 field trips. (pages 3 - 9) This money should have been planned out better to do the most good to raise student achievement. Again, we see signs of poor planning and work organization, because you are spending Grant Money at the last minute. You continue to do the same things that have failed the children in the past. Who suffers?

The Pre-Kindergarten threat did not fall on deaf ears. For those of us down here in the Valley who have been paying attention, we know that you have been limiting our access to Pre-Kindergarten anyway. This cut hurts another group that you wish to threaten. Your fake lottery has not gone unnoticed. Try again. How many 3 year old children do you register from the Valley? You know who that threat was aimed to silence. I hope they are listening. They did after all elect you feeling you had their best interest at heart. Courtesy busing is another one of those coded threats. Give it a rest. You have been found out.

What exactly is a sacred cow? There is no such thing. You have thrown us and our children under the bus for no good reason. Was it worth it? You know which programs and services can be cut. Get to work and determine the NEED. Why should we tell you your jobs? The people that we pay a combined salary of over $400,000.00 per year must find a way. You made the choice. You need to fix this. Evaluate Dr. Carlisle!

Regardless of the tone the people use while feet are on their necks, you have an obligation to follow the law.

Another Suggestion: Dr. Carlisle. Stop luring folks into your office to strike deals. That does not make the rest of us trust you. It makes us stronger in the resolve to bring the law to Englewood. Word on the street is that a deal has been struck with the STATE. Does that put you, the Board and the State in bed together?  Well, if the board could sue the state, and you keep threatening to sue us, we can sue you ALL as one. Stop grandstanding and do some work. Earn your salary. We are not impressed with your efforts. Stop spending and start working for the children of this town.

We have video footage of you listening to women holding their autistic children with little or no compassion on your lips. On June 13, 2012, you listened to a simple request from a couple and proceeded to take nearly a half hour to make sure they felt better. Stephen Brown and Dr. Carlisle made sure to extend extra attention to this couple. Is this because they came as a couple and they were from a select group that you fear and respect? You have not made it a secret that you have open disdain for unmarried or single women with children. Do you think this goes unnoticed by the public? Do you really expect us to stay silent when you treat us this way?

So when did the Englewood Board of Education start having school board meetings on Wednesday nights? Mayor Huttle's Master's Plan Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, 2012 and has been scheduled
for quite some time now. It seems that some people are not included in the future of Englewood. I am not planning to sell my house, are you? So why did the Board of Education plan a very important school board meeting on the same night as Mayor Huttle's Massa's Plan Hearing which has been on the City of Englewood's website for weeks. Are these 3 factions of government in cahoots against the students and the people of Englewood? The City, The School Board and The State of New Jersey.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our Schools are In Crisis Because EPSD Has A Spending Problem: Take it to the State

Special Meeting of the NJ State Board of Education 
Contact: Barbara Morgan 

 The New Jersey State Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. for the purpose of receiving the annual reports from the superintendents of the three state-operated school districts of Jersey City, Paterson, and Newark. 

No action will be taken. The public is invited to attend the meeting which will be held at the following location: 

Liberty Science Center 
The Interactive Theater 
222 Jersey City Boulevard 
Jersey City, NJ 

Questions can be directed to the State Board Office at 609-984-6024.
Evaluate the Superintendent. Follow the law before outsourcing 2 entire work forces with years of service to the district.
Outsourcing will not solve Englewood Board of Education's spending problem. Custodians are outsourced and one may smell urine in the stairwells on most days. Cafeteria workers and food service is outsourced and children are eating too many carbohydrates off of styrene plates. At times they are being served moldy bread and the breakfast from Friday as lunch on Monday.
Is outsourcing the answer? I don't think so. 

 Englewood is faced with some of the same problems as Jersey City, Paterson and Newark. Englewood has been called Abbott-Like by a lot of people over the years. Our School District is known as the "Apartheid Education" school district. Instead of digging in and fixing problems that have been pointed out by qualified professionals over the years, our board has taken a route of inaction at a time when a new strategy was needed. Keep in mind everyone that they are saying that the  money ran out in 2008. It is the end of the 2012 school year. Last year, we watched as Dr. Carlisle hired nearly 40 people who were not planned for in the budget. At times I wondered if any one of them had a calculator. All of the board voted in employee after employee knowing full well the budget would not cover them. We have Dr. Carlisle on videotape telling new hires that there would  not be enough money to rehire them a second year. We watched them hire and hire and hire. Most of the new hires were provisionals, CE's and CEAS's, folks who are not certified. If you check the agendas, you will notice that they are still hiring while they claim they have no money. They just collected over 6 million dollars from the City for the sale of Liberty School. Where did it go? Englewood does not have a money problem. Englewood has a spending problem. They all need tutoring in all 5 areas of the QSAC. 

few people would have us believe that the best thing for us would be to throw ourselves butt first into another alliance with the Bergen County Technical Schools. Dr. Carlisle and key board members are working on that right now. That, myfriends is the author of the problems we face right now. In the original plan, we got the cast offs of Bergen Academy. They came in with all the attitude and none of the know-how for which Bergen Academy is known. Besides, Bergen Academy contains the best of all the towns in the county. Anyone can teach the smart, self motivated student who has enough money to buy lunch. An excellent teacher teaches all students that enter his/her class as if they can achieve anything possible under the sun.

 We say evaluate the program that was paid for years ago. A lot of children have suffered because of its existence. A lot of money was thrown at our School Choice program and it has  never been evaluated. The original problem that cost the tax payers upwards of 30 million dollars must be evaluated. When the money ran out the program should have been tailored. By their own admission the Board did not do anything to adjust to the loss of funding. Not a very prudent or wise move on their part. We have a spending problem. Our board needs state help in learning to spend the taxpayer's money. They desperately need the training that most of them refuse to get from the New Jersey School Boards Association. They also need help following the road map that is created by the laws in 18A. 

None of this accounts for the $900,000.00 that was recently taken from us because of faulty reporting. A lack of due diligence in the completion of paperwork at the top of the chain is key in the crippling of the Englewood Public Schools. I like the way the blame was placed on a snafu at the state. The paperwork does not support that allegation. The state acted on the information that they were given. Grants come with a lot of paperwork.  Important forms cannot go undone for 2,3,4,5 years in a row. This report gives Englewood up to 18 citations. That is not a good thing. This serious infraction was NEVER discussed in a public meeting. It was buried in an agenda with no action being taken. When disabled children are sent to private schools paperwork is generated and lots of it. Money allocated for specialized programs cannot be used to pay the salaries of teachers or employees not associated with the program. Read "The corrective action plan" created and submitted after the audit by the Business Administrator. We need a forensic audit. It took 600 signatures to get a forensic audit in Miller Place when the spending began to cripple that district during Dr. Carlisle's time there.

Secretaries do not fill out these forms. That is above their pay grade. Where is the problem really?  At the top. EPSD is the problem.

 A lot of money has been sucked up by Dr. Carlisle. He spent over a $100,000.00 on a program that basically teaches students how to say hello and greet each other every day. They should have kept the money and given teachers training on how to talk to meet, greet, and share with each other for the good of the children. Did we really need that? A good theatre based Improvisational exercise workshop would have accomplished more. Getting to know and understand how we are alike and the same type of exercises. Behavior modification for students, teachers and administrators. Who cleans up after Bull when he leaves the China Shop?

Dr. Carlisle has never been evaluated. He had no goals and objectives for the district. The objectives he presented at the last minute were plagiarized from other districts where the students do not look like 90% of the students here. How do you evaluate someone based on the achievement of people with whom we share nothing? Why is he not getting to know our children? At board meetings, a young man is often presented to the public jokingly as Clark Kent far too many times. It became annoying simply because it did not sound flattering to the student. Last Thursday, Clark Kent turned into Superman and stood up in his full height for the secretaries. For the first time since he was introduced as Clark Kent I was proud of this student. Now he has earned Superhero status.

What happens to a Board of Education that fails the minimum basic skills test in how to function as a board under the state law.
What happens to a board of education that has consistently flouted the laws of the NJ state constitution? What happens to a Board of Education that cannot hire a competent Superintendent at CAP salary? What happens to a Board of Education that hires a man who seems lacking in the same basic skills that we require in our high school student? What happens when a Board of Education changes nothing, but fills out the QSAC District Improvement Plan as if compliance is in place. The important words in the invitation above are: "for the purpose of receiving the annual reports from the superintendents of the three state-operated school districts of Jersey City, Paterson, and Newark." 

As a public school teacher, one sees a lot of Superintendent's reports. We have a frame of reference. Perhaps watching other Superintendents give reports on the state of their schools will give us and others some valuable information as to what should happen in Englewood.

It is high time for us, the stakeholders to give ALL of them a Report Card. Every tax payer should read this report in order to gain a higher understanding of how Boards of Education hide pertinent information concerning payment to superintendents. Sample Superintendent Evaluation Form. Notice how simple it is. You should also note the name at the top of the form. We need a relationship with those people. They are there to help us. 

Stephen Brown - has his role confused with that of the
Superintendent and the Business Administrator. Those 2 salaries
combined equal almost $400,000.00. We want to see
them doing the job. We also do not think it is right to pay
top dollar to Administrators before they have
proven themselves
or at least have earned the required credentials.

                               How are the children?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 - 2013 EPSD Will Outsource Secretarial Services & Paraprofessional Services

Or will they... Become part of the solution. It only takes giving up one evening a month to find out how lightly people take your child's education.
The Credit Recovery Program is a trick for the underachiever. Make no mistake. 
There is no expectation for the student who cuts, is chronically late or  has school 
 phobia. The Ivy Program is a tracking tool. Everyone is Ivy. We must fight
to make sure this Board of Education understands that. Outsourcing is
a diversion. Follow the money and the slipshod way the records are kept. 
Check with the auditor. Carlisle admitted to creating the money problem. This
board never admitted to allowing him to do so. Pardon me public, we have them 
on videotape allowing it to happen. Or should I say, Voting it to happen.

The best way to tell you what has been done is to include the exact text of the draft resolution for the June 7, 2012 School Board Meeting. They vote on this today @8pm @Grieco School
WHEREAS, due to reasons of economy and efficiency, the Englewood Board of Education authorized the administration on January 30, 2012 to advertise for a request for proposals (RFP) for outside vendors to provide the following contracted services: (i) nurses; (ii) Child Study Team; (iii) secretaries; (iv) paraprofessionals; (v) related special education services; and (vi) substitute call-in services; and
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2012, the Englewood Board of Education advertised for RFPs and on April 5, 2012 responses to the RFPs for the provision of the contracted services listed in the above paragraph were publically opened; and
WHEREAS, the administration has evaluated the RFP responses received, and each response was carefully reviewed and evaluated pursuant to the RFP specification; and
WHEREAS, based upon the evaluation of the RFP responses, the administration recommends the selection of following vendors: (i) Mission One Educational Staffing to provide secretarial services; and (ii) Delta T Group North Jersey, Inc., to provide paraprofessional services; and
WHEREAS, the administration is not recommending the use of outside vendors for nursing, Child Study Team, related special education services or substitute call-in services at this time; and
WHEREAS, the contracted services will be implemented as soon as administratively practical so as to minimize operational disruption during the student school year and optimize the cost savings needed to keep the District within its budget; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that the Englewood Board of Education will save an estimated $2 million per year by awarding contracts for outside vendors to provide secretarial services and paraprofessional services;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Englewood Board of Education award a contract (to be negotiated) for secretarial services to Mission One Educational Staffing for the 2012/2013 school year at a cost not to exceed $832,000, excluding overtime (at $18.46 per regular hour).
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Englewood Board of Education award a contract (to be negotiated) for paraprofessional services to Delta T Group North Jersey, Inc., for the 2012/2013 school year at a cost not to exceed $1,658,895 (at an hourly rate of $18.50 per hour assuming 70 FTEs @ 183 days per year).
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Board authorizes its administration and attorney to negotiate contracts with the aforementioned vendors with terms and conditions consistent with the RFP and the needs of the District for a one (1) year term, with an option for one year renewals for a subsequent term not to exceed five (5) years.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that upon the contracts being finalized by the vendor and the administration, said contracts shall be presented to the Board for approval and ratification.

                                                      How are the children?

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Polling places have changed in Englewood, New Jersey and not just in the 4th ward.
There was significant confusion in polling place location in Englewood during the School Board Elections. Some folks tried to vote at more than one place. We can beat the confusion. Check those ballots. Make sure they have the same information as these documents. Call, write or email the Superintendent of Bergen County Elections if the information is different.

Click here for a list of streets in Englewood, New Jersey.
  • Find your Street
  • Is your house # on the odd or even side of the street? Look closely.
  • Determine your Ward & District based on your street (sometimes it is a different polling place for the same street) 
  • For example, I vote Ward 4, District 2. It is written W4D2

Click here once you KNOW your Ward and District numbers. This is a list of places where each Ward and District votes. Now get out there and rock it!

Yeah, it is very odd that different sides of the street votes in different places. Now we know.