Thursday, January 13, 2022

Chapter 40 and Virtual Learning in NJ

 New Jersey Statutes, Title: 18A, EDUCATION

    Chapter 40: Employment of medical inspectors, optometrists and nurses; salaries; terms; rules

      Section: 18A:40-44: Information relative to child's exposure to violence on electronic devices.

1. a. The Department of Education shall prepare and make available on the department's Internet website, both in print and in an easily printable format, information on how a parent can limit a child's exposure to violence on television, cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices. The department shall update this information whenever new information about a child's exposure to violence on television and other electronic devices becomes available. The information shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) research and statistics on how violent behavior increases after exposure to violent films, music, television, or video games;

(2) scientific findings that show children who play violent video games are more likely to be involved in physical altercations with classmates, perform poorly on academic tasks, and are unable to relate to adults in positions of authority;

(3) factors that increase the probability a child will be at risk of violent behavior, including, but not limited to, exposure or involvement in violence at critical stages of childhood development, poor socioeconomic conditions, and poor parenting skills;

(4) symptoms of a child's overexposure to violence, including, but not limited to, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness, truancy, and difficulty in school;

(5) predictors of violent behavior in children, including but not limited to, dishonesty, disobedience, favorable attitude toward violence, hostility toward police, substance abuse, aggressive or antisocial behavior, and involvement in nonviolent criminal offenses; and

(6) effective strategies, based on a child's age and stage of development, that will help a parent monitor or restrict a child's exposure to violence on television and other electronic devices, including, but not limited to, the use of screening software or other technologies that prevent a child from watching television programs a parent deems inappropriate, co-viewing and commenting on television programs that depict violence, and familiarization with video game advisory labels and rating systems that make it more difficult for children to purchase and play such games.

b. The department shall prepare an informational pamphlet that contains the information posted on its website pursuant to subsection a. of this section, and shall update the pamphlet as necessary. The department shall distribute the pamphlet, at no charge, to all school districts in the State, and shall make additional copies available to nonpublic schools upon request.

c. In the 2013-2014 school year and in each school year thereafter, each school district shall distribute the pamphlet to the parents or guardians of students attending the schools of the district.

L.2013, c.146, s.1.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2013-09-03 15:13:44.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Update: Did the Board of Education Organize?

 On January 6, 2022 @ 7 PM, the Englewood School Board will assemble and reorganize. The School Board will go through the motions of electing a new President and Vice President.  This will probably be discussed and decided in the Closed Session Meeting taking place at 6 PM the same day. The formal vote will take place Publicly in the Zoom meeting at 7 PM. 

Update: Well, I missed that one. It wasn't discussed in close session. We had to watch that. Dear Board of Education. Do that in closed session. I don't think we have a Vice President. I have not heard so many well-placed abstentions in a long time. We shall see what comes of it. While they figure that out, WE have to keep our attention on the important things.

Link to the Agenda containing Reorganization Meeting Zoom Link.

Link to the Text of the Oath of Office for School Board Members

There are other positions that the Board of Education should Appoint or Reappoint during this meeting. 2 of these positions are extremely important to Residents, Students, Teachers and Staff. These positions are Medical Inspector and Psychological Examiner. We should question whether or not these positions are filled and if these persons are working with the Health Staff of the District.

We are still in a Pandemic. Who are the members of our Pandemic Response Team? Do we have a centralized Pandemic Response Team or does a Team exist in each school building? Is our Medical Inspector involved in this team? Is our Psychological Examiner involved in plans to remediate Mental Health issues that may have arisen because of isolation, overuse of technology, or feelings of anxiety among students?

At the last School Board Meeting, the Interim Superintendent apologized to the Public for not being a Medical Professional. Okay, apology accepted. Now use the Policy below to support the Appointment of a Medical Professional who will work closely with the District Nurses and Administration while consulting with the local Health Department and reporting directly to you. We are in the middle of a Health Emergency. We need to see that more is being done. We want to be able to trust that the Board of Education and the Superintendent are willingly putting forth an effort to develop a centralized District Health Office that will make sure that protocols are created and followed consistently. We want assurances that previous existing acute illnesses, such as severe asthma are not being ignored, because our nursing staff is overwhelmed with covid responses. We want our nurses to feel confident that they have PPE that is comparable to that used in ICU across the country. We want our Health Professionals to feel confident that they are safe while working with our children.

Below is Policy including statutes pertaining to the appointment of District Health Professionals. More than ever, we must demand compliance in this area.

District Policy

Section: Bylaws
Date Created: February 2002
Date Edited: November 2019
The Board of Education may annually appoint the following positions:
1. A Board Secretary,
N.J.S.A. 18A:17-2, 17-5
    17-3   Tenure of janitorial employees
   17-4    Reduction in number of janitorial employees
   17-5    Appointment of secretary of board of education; terms;                                      compensation; vacancy.
2. A public school accountant,
N.J.S.A. 18A:23-1

3. A medical inspector,
N.J.S.A. 18A:40-1

18A:40-1. Employment of medical inspectors, optometrists and nurses; salaries; terms; rules

Every board of education shall employ one or more physicians, licensed to practice medicine and surgery within the state, to be known as the medical inspector or medical inspectors, and any board, not furnishing nursing services under a contract pursuant to section 18A:40-3.1 shall employ one or more school nurses, and it may also employ one or more optometrists, licensed to practice optometry within the state, to be known as the school vision examiner or school vision examiners, and the board shall fix their salaries and terms of office.

Every board of education shall adopt rules, subject to the approval of the state board, for the government of such employees.

4. A psychological examiner,

18A:46-11. Psychological and other examinations

Each board of education shall separately or jointly with one or more boards of education employ a psychological examiner, who acting jointly with special education personnel approved by the commissioner, shall administer the procedures for diagnosis and classification required in this chapter, or, in lieu of employing a psychological examiner, it or they may contract to use, with or without financial reimbursement, the psychological or other services of any clinic or agency approved by the commissioner.

5. A member to serve as delegate to the New Jersey School Boards Association,
N.J.S.A. 18A:6-46

6. An attendance officer(s),
N.J.S.A. 18A:38-32
18A:38-32. District and county vocational school attendance officers
For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this article, the board of education of each school district and the board of education of each county vocational school shall appoint a suitable number of qualified persons to be designated as attendance officers, and shall fix their compensation; except that if a county attendance officer or officers are appointed for any county, any district board of education of such county may be exempt from the appointment of a local attendance officer if such exemption is approved by the county superintendent. Each board shall make rules not inconsistent with the provisions of this article and subject to the approval of the commissioner, for the government of the attendance officers.
7. A Treasurer of School Moneys,
N.J.S.A. 18A:17-31

8. A member to serve as delegate to the Bergen County School Boards Association;
9. An attorney
10. An insurance broker(s)/agent(s).
Adopted: 28 February 2002
Revised: November 14, 2019

 A lot of lip service has been given to the concept of isolation and mental health problems connected with children learning at home in Virtual. We must force them to do more in the District to protect our children's health since they have chosen to force them back into school while the Board of Education and all other City Boards, Committees and Commissions meet virtually. The Superintendent is running the District remotely. Put them to work creating the very best protocol possible for keeping everyone safe.

Additional Appointments or motions to be made during the Reorganization Meeting. How many of the following actions are included in the consent agenda of the current Jan. 6 reorganization agenda?

District Policy


Section: BylawsDate Created: February 2002Date Edited: February 2002


The Board of Education shall make the following designations at the organizational meeting:


Designate one (1) or more depositories for school funds;


Designate those persons authorized to sign school warrants;


Designate the official newspaper;


Designate a second newspaper for the publication of Board meeting announcements; and


Designate the day, place, and time for regular meetings of the Board.


The Board of Education shall adopt resolutions for the following issues at the organizational meeting:


Approve the curriculum for all grades;


Readopt existing bylaws and policies for the Board’s operation and the operation of the school system; and


Readopt any existing contracts and agreements to which the Board is a party and where continuation is not authorized by law.



N.J.S.A. 10:4-8


N.J.S.A 18A:14-19


N.J.S.A 18A:19-1

N.J.S.A. 18A:22-11




Adopted:  28 February 2002

Friday, December 17, 2021

"I Want Dwight Morrow High School to Gleam Academically"

Friends, Raiders, and Englewoodians, please lend me your ears!
As many of you know by now, the Englewood elected BOE has selected Joseph Armental as principal of our flagship, my Alma Mater, Dwight Morrow High School. This measure did not pass on the first vote, but it has passed. Now we, as the beloved community who want our schools to live up to our real legacy of academic greatness, must be team players, with all oars rowing in the same direction.

The BOE has spoken. Joseph Armental and all of the administrators in our District need our support
. It is unfair to expect that the normalization of mediocrity and failure that has pervaded, persisted, and plagued us for years is going to dissipate in an instant—and we need to be forthright in our admission we have developed a culture of mediocrity and failure. Instead, we need a change of ethos that is the result of a shared desire for revolutionary change in our District.

For this, we must create strategic, mission-centered, data-driven plans, with benchmarks and dates, because we have very serious issues before us. We urgently need strong academic leadership on all levels.

We must find a way to infuse Mathematics and Language Arts throughout our curricula with all deliberate speed.
In this effort, we should note the immense connectivity between the Fine and Performing Arts and Mathematics, as well as all other disciplines.

The data that are before us beg our attention and concerted efforts.
We need to question very seriously the veracity of labeling a program as “Gifted” when 90% and more of the students are in need of remediation. Instead of fancy labels and slick talk, we need to emphasize the basics. Sports is a great metaphor for this. No team wins without a firm mastery of the fundamentals.

The same is true with any subject matter. Acquisition of the foundational behaviors is critical to sustained success. Continuing with the metaphor, teams succeed when the members practice and perfect their crafts to the utmost of their abilities and work together for a common goal (pun intended).

In order for us as a school district to reroute from this unwelcome path, we need everyone to take ownership of tasks before us. We must admit readily that no one person has all the answers or abilities, and we must never be hesitant to seek the expertise of those who are knowledgeable and have proven track records.

Additionally, we must cease our uncritical acceptance of premises that are current falsehoods. The data show that some of our notions about the promise of the extant choice programs to elevate academic performance at the high school are, at best, inconclusive. This is not to suggest the elimination of choice programs, but to suggest a continuous review of their viability and purposes for our District and to develop data-driven benchmarks for them.

More than I can express here, I want THE Dwight Morrow High School to gleam academically. Together, we can make this happen. “Once A Raider, Always A Raider!”

Submitted With Much LOVE—Lynette Adrian Bickham

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Start Strong?

By now, many either have attended virtually, or have heard and seen the data from the 11/18/2021 Englewood, NJ BOE meeting. There is much to unpack and there are data not mentioned that need to be brought forward. As we view student performance, we must ask for connecting data, because it never is prudent to view student performance data in isolation. So, I have a few questions, if I may:

(1) What are the attendance data for each school?

(2) And for the high school, what are the period-by-period attendance data?

(3) What are the teacher observation data for each school--is there any correlation between the high marks that teachers earn and student performance? Are teachers receiving stellar marks while there are glaring student performance deficits?

(4) What are the demographic data for the teachers along the areas of student performance?

(5)  What are the data that measure the effectiveness of In-Service / Professional Development--how has student achievement improved or stagnated as a result?

(6)  What are the data for the frequency of principals visiting classroom--not for formal observations, but to get a sense of what actually is going on in the schools?

(7) What are the data for the time allocated for collaboration among teachers of the same subject to share in best practices? (

(8) What are the data for the methodology of choosing principals for our schools to ensure that they are academic leaders and that they have the opportunity to share best practices with one another? 

 (9) What is the ecumenical outreach? What are the data regarding partnerships with our local houses of worship fostering their assistance in community outreach? 

(10) What are the data regarding the delivery of support to our students who still are displaced from Hurricane Ida?  

 (11) Do the curricula guides exist and what fidelity is there to implementation? How is this measured?

 (12) What is the per capita student spending and what is the itemized list of deliverables? 

(13) With these troubling levels of performance, are individualized strategies indicated for each student, teacher, and administer? 

 (14) What are the strategies between the feeder and the receiver schools to ensure readiness as students transition from one campus to another? 

(15) What are the data on teacher-student ratios? Are smaller class sizes indicated?

As an alumna, and as a former Dwight Morrow High School teacher, I can attest that these are only a small fragment of the important introspective questions that educators ask with great regularity, and have been asking over the years. Because student performance does not occur in a vacuum, it is one of a myriad of components that need to be examined and addressed. The onus of responsibility for student performance does not reside solely with the students. This is a matter for all of us—parents, teachers, administrators, the Englewood community, as well as the students. We should ask pertinent questions. If no one has learned, then no one has taught. We cannot accept that everyone on the campuses, except the students, has stellar performance indicators. If the students have not acquired the knowledge in a manner that they own it and can synthesize it, then we have not taught them. This is a hard truth, but if we are finally going to be transparent and listen to the personnel on the frontlines, then we need to own up to this.

 I submit this in all humility and with Much Love And Concern. L.A.B.
Lynette Adrian Peters-Bickham

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Building Educational Excellence

Englewood Moms Fighting For Educational Excellence

ENGLEWOOD Residents, I’ve known Collette Walker Thompson and Amy Jones Bulluck for several years. I have watched how involved they have become in the community. Some people don't know that their involvement in the ENGLEWOOD community and school system didn’t just start over the last few months.

Their involvement and concern for the welfare and fair treatment of the children of ENGLEWOOD spans over more than a decade. They have made it their mission to attend School Board meetings. They are looking for ways to become part of the solution to bring back equity in our school system. In addition to attending School Board meetings, they have helped to establish the NAACP student Organization, in which they work as mentors for the youth.

They were profoundly empathetic and helpful to Residents while organizing a "recovery mission" after our community was devastated by Hurricane Ida. They were on the front lines daily, making sure families were being cared for, with dignity and understanding. These ladies have demonstrated that they are "of" the Community in which they live.

Collette and Amy possess all of the qualities and qualifications we could ever hope for in school board members. These two women are mothers, community advocates, and leaders, who have never been afraid to speak up for what is right. They never back down when it comes to our children. When you pull the lever for Amy and Collette, you are pulling the lever for a better future for your children. We can be assured our children’s best interest is being fought for and protected.
Collette and Amy, thank you for taking up the CHALLENGE of bringing back Educational Excellence to the ENGLEWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT!


Debbie Bland Manning, EdD.
Assistant Dean of Adjunct Administration and Adjunct Professor Of Sociology @Bergen Community College