BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Board of Education learned how students in grades 3-5 did on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (ASK) tests administered in May.

Assistant Superintendent Patricia Qualshie explained the results, which were very good when compared to the state and other towns of a similar socio-economic status (a district factor group, DFG), at the board’s Thursday, Sept. 27 meeting.

Students were rated as either partially proficient, proficient, or advanced proficient in language arts and math. Fourth graders were also tested in science. Language arts includes both reading and writing. Teachers and principals are not allowed to see the tests, Qualshie said.

In Language arts literacy, Berkeley Heights third graders scored 82.4 percent proficient and 4.4 percent advanced proficient for a total score of 86.8 percent in overall proficiency. That compares to 82.2 percent in the DFG and 66.7 percent in New Jersey.

Fourth graders scored 76.1 percent proficient and 4.1 percent advanced proficient for a total of 80.2 percent proficient, compared to 76.2 percent in the DFG and 58.5 percent in the state.

Fifth graders scored 67.7 percent proficient and 16.1 percent advanced proficient for a total of 83.8 percent proficient, compared to 80.4 percent in the DFG and 62.1 percent in New Jersey.

In grade three math Berkeley Heights students scored 39.1 percent proficient and 53.6 percent advanced proficient for a total proficiency score of 92.7 percent. The DFG scored 91.1 percent total proficiency and New Jersey scored 78.4.

Fourth graders scored 38.6 percent proficient and 54.8 percent advanced proficient with total proficiency at 93.4 percent as compared to total proficiency for the DFG and state at 90.3 percent and 77.4 percent, respectively.

Fifth graders scored 41.7 percent proficient and 53.1 percent advanced proficient for a total proficiency score of 94.8 percent. The DFG scored 93.2 percent and the state scored 83.3 percent for total proficiency.

Science measured knowledge as well as cognitive and processing skills in life science, physical science and earth science.

The fourth graders scored 32.5 percent proficient and 66 percent advanced proficient with 98.5 percent total proficiency. Total proficiency in the DFG was 97.4 percent, and in the state was 91.3 percent.

Qualshi said the next steps for the district are to do an instructional review in writing and math and bring in reading specialists to help students with that subject.


  • The student representatives on the school board this year are senior Kevin Spellman and junior Victoria Piatrochka. Paige Primmer, the senior class secretary, spoke on behalf of her class requesting that “Open Campus” be extended again this year to qualifying seniors. She stressed “We know this is a privilege. We all have to work together. We understand the parameters.”

    Superintendent Judith Rattner said she thinks about 80 percent of seniors are eligible and noted that to leave the campus students must drop off their Open Campus card and pick it up when they return, so the administration knows where they are at all times. The board voted unanimously to extend Open Campus to the class of 2013.
  • Board Secretary and Business Administrator Donna Felezzola said it will be two to three weeks until the solar installation project is completed. The next aspect will be to find a location for the instructional kiosks to be placed in the schools that have a solar array.
  • Board member Doug Reinstein noted, “I was disappointed there was a JV football game scheduled last Monday on the Jewish holiday… I am quite sure there are no wrestling matches scheduled on Christmas.” He asked the board to take the Jewish holidays into consideration when scheduling sporting events as well as the academic calendar. School itself was closed.