BRIDGEWATER, NJ - As most Bridgewater-Raritan students anxiously count down the days until their summer vacation is over, Superintendent of Schools Russell Lazovick and his staff couldn't be any more pleased or ready to go.
“Happy end of summer, if there is such a thing,” Lazovick said at the Aug. 29 Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Board of Education meeting.
Lazovick said the staff seems to be energized, and that it is nice to get everyone back, although the summer months have not been idle ones.
“We spent an immense amount of work on curriculum this summer,” said Lazovick, who joined the Bridgewater-Raritan school system as superintendent in early 2016.
Lazovick added that the district has been implementing a new document warehousing system that will help teachers, and he thanked the faculty and staff for their hard work over the summer months.
“Curriculum is a living document, it’s never done,” he said.
Lazovick said that assistant superintendent Daniel Silva and human resources manager Shebra Jones have also assisted with the district’s new documentation efforts.
In a four-day administrative retreat held the previous week, Lazovick said, they discussed the new system. He said that a district welcome breakfast had also been also held, and staff training was continuing at the end of August.
Lazovick noted that even though classes had yet to commence, the district’s athletic and music programs have already kicked off their autumn campaigns, harbingers of the start of the new school year on Sept. 7.
“There’s a growing energy and hum as the buildings begin to repopulate,” he said.
Changes are also expected to be made to the district’s safety and technological protocols during the year, at both the district and individual school levels, according to Lazovick. In addition, another new system will also provide assistance in both teacher evaluations and lesson planning.
“We feel it will make us more effective,” he said.
Laozvick also noted that new assistant superintendent Gina Villani officially joined the district at the end of August.
Concerning facilities, Lazovick said that a full-scale safety drill was yet to come, which would involve first responders and similar personnel. He also thanked business administrator Peter Starrs and assistant business administrator Kathryn Blew and the maintenance staff for the summer cleaning of the district’s 11 schools.
“I certainly want to thank the maintenance folks,” he said.
Lazovick also said the district’s transportation system is ready to ferry its roughly 8,000 students twice a day for the full 180 days of the new academic year.
With the new year about to begin, Lazovick also touched on the district’s new strategic plan. He said he is excited to roll it out, and that e-mails will be sent out about the plan in the future, along with updates posted to the district website.
Lazovick added that a half-dozen action teams have been put together, and will meet immediately in September to refine the strategic plan before it is presented to the public.
“We plan to present the full plan,” he said.