Education

Communal Lunch Period a Success at Berkeley Heights Schools

44ebb71d12836fe814d7_Bh_BOE_7-26-13_004.JPG
Principal Frank Geiger demonstrates new lunch arrangement. Credits: Liz Keill
2c78f557a204ca7ac310_Bh_BOE_7-26-13_001.JPG
Mary Ann McAdam and Pamela Wilczynski describe anti-bullying policy. Credits: Liz Keill
d248aade39f2d17dd8d9_Bh_BOE_7-26-13_005.JPG
Board members hear Felezzola's facilities report. Credits: Liz Keill
44ebb71d12836fe814d7_Bh_BOE_7-26-13_004.JPG
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Rather than staggered lunch periods that have caused long lines, running out of food and headaches to both students and teachers, a common lunch period appears to resolve a number of issues.
 
Principal Frank Geiger if Columbia Middle School reported on the new schedule practice days at the Thursday, July 25, Board of Education meeting.
 
 
“I waited and got my lunch,” one student told Geiger. “He got it,” the principal said. Students realized they could wait and still receive any item on the menu. Plus, there were plenty of places to eat by opening one of the gyms with a food cart moved into the room. Classes have been cut back from eight to six, allowing time for everyone’s lunch, including faculty.
 
Each class runs a little longer, but students say it isn’t much longer and “we did more than we normally do.”  Teachers report that the schedule means “a lot less moving around.”

 
According to Geiger, the cafeteria staff was well prepared, there was plenty of food and no fewer choices than during any lunch. In September, three lunch stations will be provided.  The 30-minute lunch period still allows time for clubs to meet or for students to consult with a teacher.
 
Geiger said he asked seventh- and eighth-graders to wait until the sixth-graders had been served. One student asked about installing a vending machine. “Why not?” Geiger said. “If all the student wants is a drink and has brown bagged his lunch, he shouldn’t have to go through the cafeteria line.”  Students have also asked about eating in the newer, air conditioned gym. That option is being considered. Superintendent of Schools Judith Rattner said the locker rooms are near the ‘old gym,’ which can be used for warm-ups.  Students will also be allowed to eat in the courtyard.
 
“We had all hands on deck for an hour,” Geiger said of the change. “It’s a positive thing. It was a good two days,” he said of the experiment.
 
Another presentation was made by district coordinator May Ann McAdam and Columbia Middle School Teacher Pamela Wilczynski on the anti-bullying bill of rights assessment.  A rubric was developed by the New Jersey State Commissioner of Education. The district’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Specialists met with the coordinator to review the process. The results of the district’s self assessment will be posted on the website.
 
McAdam said the top score possible was 75 and that the six schools in Berkeley Heights scored from 55 to 68.  “Because we did our own assessment, we were harder on ourselves than someone coming in,” she said. “The results were fairly consistent and not just rubber-stamping.”
 
Lower grades were attributed to support staff and new employees. They will be the focus of further training, she said.  Variations among the schools reflected how the process was handled and “it was the first time for something that concrete.”
 
At this time, she has no way of comparing Berkeley Heights with other districts. At the next Union County meeting in September or October, she’ll have more information, she said. The focus was on doing the investigations correctly rather than specific areas, such as cyber bullying. A School Climate Survey has been conducted and will be presented at a future Board of Education meeting.
 
The board received a facilities report from Donna Felezzola which included a water main replacement at the Early Childhood Center. The district is looking into solar panels to reduce energy and electricity expenses.
 
The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Pieces of Time: Applause Rings Out In Two Columbia Middle School Classrooms

February 23, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Thursday night, the mass murder of students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Board of Education meeting.

The board observed a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance for the 17 people killed and 14 wounded in the shooting, as well as ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

FREE Coffee & Tea Sip 'n Sample with GSWA

February 25, 2018

Take the sting out of this cold winter and tantalize your taste buds with a variety of delicious, hot coffees and teas.

We've teamed up with two local companies to offer you some of their most scrumptious flavors.

Black River Roasters has everything from mild to dark and rich, and Adagio Teas offers unique and interesting tea blends. We'll even spike a few for good measure! It's ...

Imagine Offers Bullies to Buddies Workshop

 

On March 8th from 6:30-8:00, Imagine, a Center for Coping with Loss is offering a Bullies to Buddies workshop and training presented by Imagine Clinical Training Director, Connie Palmer, LCSW, Certified Bullies to Buddies Trainer.  Bullying is a challenge for many students, but grieving children and youth are more likely to be bullied or become a bully.  The Bullies to Buddies ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

New Providence High School Presents The Addams Family -Tickets are Now On Sale

The Addams Family, who first came to life in the 1960s television series, will come back to life and take the stage at New Providence High School in March in a comedic musical twist on the classic story and characters.  Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Grandma, Fester, and Lurch, along with new characters and a full cast of Addams Ancestors will bring the creepy, kooky, all together ooky ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_8e821e02ba44390d688c_olympics_oh_feb_2018

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend "Wacky Winter Olympics" Open House

Arts & Entertainment Other

Sun, February 25, 3:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

“Showcase for Exceptional Young Artists” Features ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 25, 3:00 PM

DeCorso Community Center, New Providence

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner & Basket Raffle

Food & Drink Giving Back

Sun, February 25, 3:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Hotter than a Pepper Sprout: America's Music

Arts & Entertainment

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...