January 9, 2013 at 7:00 AM
MADISON, NJ – In the aftermath of the December tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the Madison School District is taking steps to enhance security in local schools.
“Campus security is a major concern,” Superintendent of Schools Michael Rossi said at the Board of Education re-organization meeting on Jan. 8. He reported that a Homeland Security expert “will do an in-depth analysis of all the buildings, the infrastructure and practices.” Rossi said a community forum will be held, with a presentation. He invited school board members to join him for a walk through with the Homeland Security representative, Alfonse Imperiale. He noted that replacing keys and locks would be expensive and that this expert has already suggested a magnet attachment that would allow for changing locks quickly and would be far less expensive the replacing locks on all the doors.
The superintendent also updated the board regarding “on-going efforts with the state” in terms of rubrics and initiating the District Advisory Committee. “There’s a lot of interest in participating from the teachers and staff, but we’re receiving scant advice from the state,” he said. A model for teacher evaluation is being developed as well as tools to measure classroom observation. Work is being done to frame out a formula for school wide achievement goals, he said. One variable, he said, could be revisions to the common core program from the State Board of Education, which would mean another draft by the district.
The Technology Task Force, Rossi said, “went really well. We had a lot of great feedback, with representation from professional fields.” He also referred to a BYOD (bring your own device) initiative and said the high school is now fully wireless. He is meeting with the Madison Education Foundation to ensure their goals for teachers’ grants agree with the technology and other district initiatives.
Board members Kevin Blair, Lisa Ellis and Linda Gilbert were re-elected. Ellis was nominated for President by board member Dave Arthur and Patrick Rowe was nominated for vice president by Blair. Both were elected to continue in those positions.
Board member Shade Grahling said the physical education waiver will be on the agenda for the second meeting in February.
Ellis said a presentation and video by Madison Junior School students reflecting their outreach to Union Beach residents following Hurricane Sandy will be held at the Jan. 22 Board of Education meeting.