CLARK, NJ – The Clark Board of Education accepted generous donations towards Arthur L. Johnson High School’s two new special education programs at last week’s meeting. 

Superintendent Ed Grande said that the new programs, titled Learning and Language Disabled and Career, Community and Life Readiness, were “created to help meet the needs of our secondary special education students in such a way that they will be able to remain in their home district with their peers.”

Clark residents Mr. and Mrs. Jack Scaturro donated kitchen cabinets as well as a refrigerator and stove, which total in value approximately $5,5000, towards the new programs.  Grande explained that this donation “will help set up the living suite which is going to be a key component of the transition course we are going to be offering.”

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The Board also accepted a $3,968.79 donation from the Clark Whole Foods Market thanks to the five percent give back day the store held this past January.  “This[donation] will really go to good use to get these programs up and running,” Grande said.

The curriculum for the Career, Community and Life Readiness program was also approved by the Board during this meeting.  Below are descriptions of both programs:

Learning and Language Disabled (LLD-4 Program):  The LLD Program is designed to meet the needs of the learning and language disabled student whose educational goals are met in a program that incorporates English, history, math, and science, as well as behavioral and social skills, functional daily living, and community based opportunities.

Career, Community and Life Readiness Program (18-21 year old eligible students):  A community based instructional program offering students career exploration, recreation and leisure activities, and independent daily living skills for 18-21 year old students eligible under Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as per their IEP. 

Grande thanked the Supervisor of Special Services Doreen Babis who was in attendance for the time she has put into getting these programs ready.

During his report, Grande announced that Carl H. Kumpf Middle School was again designated as one of New Jersey’s Schools to Watch.  Kumpf has been named a school to watch the past three years.  According to the website, schools that achieve the Schools to Watch designation are deemed to be academically excellent, developmentally responsive and socially equitable.

Student Board Member Michael Brennan added that Kumpf was to accept this designation last Friday, March 10 at Kean University.

“I just want to congratulate Kumpf once again,” Board President Jill Curran said.  “That is fantastic to be nominated for the third year in a row.”

Grande also thanked elementary school assistant principal Mallory Applebaum for taking the lead on organizing the elementary science fair that took place on February 22nd.  “It was really great to see these youngsters display their scientific knowledge in a very hands on and engaging way,” Grande said.

“I just want to personally thank the principals involved in the science event you had over at Kumpf.  It was packed as usual,” Board member Scott Bohm added.  “I know it takes a lot of work to do it and on behalf of the board we just wanted to thank the administration that pulled that all together.”

Grande also mentioned that ALJ held the National Honor Society’s induction ceremony on February 27th  at Gran Centurions.  “Its so much more than academics,” Grade said.  “Its character, its leadership and its also service to the community.”

Before the meeting closed, Board member Robert Smorol took a moment to congratulate the ALJ student body for the school spirit they showed at the Crusaders boys varsity basketball game at the beginning of the month. 

“I was fortunate to be at the first state game and I thought their participation and their school spirit was just outstanding,” Smorol said.  “I think it was a great representation of the high school and for the town.  I was really proud of the way all those kids conducted themselves.”

The 2017 – 2018 school calendar was also approved at the meeting and can be found on the district’s website.

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