Education

May 14, 2021

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” - Henry Ford Dear Editor: At last night's Board of Education (BOE) meeting the Berkeley Heights Education Association (BHEA) President read a statement that I encourage you to watch and listen to.  ...

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Dear Editor: I wish to express my satisfaction with Paterson Public Schools in working to ensure the safety of our students and staff upon returning to our buildings for in-person instruction.  I have a report and you can watch it here: While we remain in a hybrid environment where our ...

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Every year, at this time, I struggle to come up with the acknowledgement of thanks and gratitude that should be given to teachers every day, but this year in particular I’m really struggling. It’s no secret why this year is unlike any other in education, and why this year our teachers deserve a ...

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Every year, at this time, I struggle to come up with the acknowledgement of thanks and gratitude that should be given to teachers every day, but this year in particular I’m really struggling. It’s no secret why this year is unlike any other in education, and why this year our teachers deserve a ...

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In a recent TAP letter Mr. Reinstein stated the BOE has taken an objective view that benefits all students in our district by implementing full-day K; and I agree that full-day Kindergarten would benefit many future kindergarten students and families in our district.  But the reason families are ...

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During Dr. Varley’s opening remarks at the 4/22/21 Town Hall, she addressed the BHPD press release (stating there has been no formal consultation regarding a redistricting ...

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The proposal to redistrict the schools as recommended by the Superintendent should be rejected by the Board of Education. As someone who served on the Board from 2004-2016, including being President in 2011-2012, I am deeply troubled by this hastily constructed plan that has been thrust upon the ...

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In the last townhall meeting hosted by the Board of Education on April 22nd 2021, 21 out of the 27 people who spoke out, were not supportive of the reconfiguration of schools as the only way to implement Full Day Kindergarten and urged the Superintendent and Board to explore other options to ...

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I was horrified at the words of a speaker at the Board of Education Town Hall meeting on April 22. The speaker spoke angrily at the “politics” the superintendent has brought into our schools. He referred to Dr. Varley’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in order to Include, Inspire ...

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First, I want to commend the Board for their commitment to Full Day Kindergarten for Berkeley Heights.  It is something I have long been in favor of and wish that my wife, Angie and I could have taken advantage of with both of our children, Ryan and Abbey.  Like so many families here in town, we ...

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On April 13, 2021 I posted a Letter to the Editor including an email I sent to Dr. Varley and the entire Board of Education along with the responses from Dr. Varley.  You can find the Letter to Editor ...

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The response given by Berkeley Heights Board of Education (BOE) president Doug Reinstein to a question raised by a longtime township resident is revelatory (emphasis added): Question:   1. Budget enrollment numbers are 1018 elementary students. April 8 presentation used a value of 1027 students.

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Dear Editor: As a proud product of the Jersey City Public Schools and a lifelong resident of seventy-three plus years in our City of Jersey City I have been carefully following the matters at the Board meetings and the attempts to weaken the authority of the school board.  I will place forth ...

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In my OpEd article “Inflation is rising even in Berkeley Heights - Conflation Inflation is peaking in the BOE!”, I said that the Pre-K to 2 / 3 to 5 redistricting and reconfiguration is a complex and controversial topic even amongst practitioners within the education system. Well, what do ...

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On Tuesday, April 13th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the “Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.4 percent in February.” The BLS also announced that “[o]ver the last 12 months, the all items ...

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Let me be upfront and clear, I am not opposed to the concept of a Full Day Kindergarten.  In fact, my three children did not attend kindergarten at the Berkeley Heights’ Early Childhood Center (ECC) - now called the Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center - they attended a 6 hour / five days a ...

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Dear Editor: I am pleased to see the steady evolution of “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month,” as what really needs to be celebrated are the enormous contributions of people with autism to our society. We proudly operate a “post 21” program known as Adult Community Services, ...

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Everyone wants full day kindergarten, so let’s stop talking about that. Redistricting is the issue. It always has been the issue. William Woodruff Elementary School: Top 1% best teachers in the United States Top 3% best teachers in New Jersey Top 4% best teachers in the NYC ...

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Dear Editor: I am pleased to see the steady evolution of “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month,” as what really needs to be celebrated are the enormous contributions of people with autism to our society. We proudly operate a “post 21” program known as Adult Community Services, ...

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The idea of full-day K is not new for parents who have been raising children in Berkeley Heights but the redistricting “solutions” our superintendent and BOE are presenting come at a time that is particularly inconvenient.  Parents are still receiving positive case reports from our superintendent ...

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My takeaway from the Board of Education meeting on 4/8/21 is that, in general,  the residents and parents of Berkeley Heights have very different ideas from the administration and Board of Education in terms of what is the BEST way to start the 2021 school year.  While I appreciate the time spent ...

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Editor's Note: Superintendent of Schools Melissa Varley provided her Superintendent's Report from the Thursday, April 8, meeting of the Board of Education to be published as a Letter to the Editor. As several community members have told me, Full Day Kindergarten has been discussed in Berkeley ...

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Last week, the presentation by the Superintendent validated the concerns that 400 parents expressed through their signature requesting that the current process surrounding redistricting be halted.  What parents and residents saw was a sales pitch with gaping holes and references to conversations ...

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CAPITAL & MAINTENANCE PROJECTS REPORT  Business Administrator Dana Sullivan provided a report on capital and maintenance projects for 2021 and 2022, noting that the district creates a five-year capital plan for planning purposes and that the district’s architect and supervisor of buildings ...

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Let me begin by hoping everyone had an enjoyable Spring Break wherever and however you celebrated it with your family. Tomorrow marks the end of our ‘all-remote’ week following Spring Break and we will soon enter the next phase of our pandemic-challenged school year as we welcome both Columbia ...

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Above please find a record of one conversation with the District. I won't address the tone-deaf request to be "patient" while the district needlessly holds onto their secret plans for 9 weeks after a reversal in approach that will potentially impact my daughter in September. Instead, I'd ask ...

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The Fact of the Matter… Given some recent communication from the District on student displacement and their insistence on conflating the issue with full day kindergarten, I believe a review of the facts are in order. The timeline below clearly shows a shift in communication, plan, and lack of ...

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Here is the email I wrote to our superintendent  Mrs Varley. Dear Mrs Varley, I am writing this email as the mother of an elementary school kid with special needs. We are shocked that a plan to relocate elementary school kids is even being considered during a pandemic. Our kids have been ...

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The trickling news of possible major changes to elementary schools and teachers as well as displacement of children has been hard to swallow.  I was blindsided at the announcement, in February, that our Board of Education had approved implementing full day kindergarten for this fall.  I have sat ...

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Berkeley Heights residents are repeatedly put in a position of staring down the barrel of significant change with little detail and little opportunity for feedback.  Residents are expected to show up to BOE or Town Council meetings to speak competently to plans with many critical moving parts after ...

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