HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -  The Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education meeting on November 21 opened with business administrator Dina Messery acknowledging the election of Lori Cintron and incumbents Rob Faussette and Pat Caruso to three-year seats on the Board beginning in 2020; and Joseph Rinke, who currently holds a full-term seat, to an unexpired two-year seat.

Just as the meeting opened, the Board went into private session.   The meeting resumed after about a half hour.

In his report, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Helfant discussed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability report for the school district, as compiled by the state. This is an assessment of academic achievement, the graduation rate, the attendance rate, and participation in state testing, broken down by groups such as ethnicity, students with disabilities, and students with economic disadvantages. 

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Helfant also discussed the district’s goals that were presented at the beginning of the school year, and the progress being made toward those goals. One of the goals is to improve collaborative practices over a three-year period. Helfant said that there had been meetings with staff members in which these practices were reviewed. Over the next two years, plans are to implement professional development for staff members on collaborative practices, and to implement new practices.

Another goal for the district, as per the list on the website, is to “enhance an active, inclusive, and multifaceted learning experience that maximizes each student’s potential and empowers individual achievement.” This includes a continuous review of the curriculum with plans to implement revisions. The plan is to reach this goal by June 2021.

The third goal for the district is to enhance use of LinkIt! among administrators and teachers. LinkIt! is a tool used for assessment management and data analytics.  Teachers can use it to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses and tailor instruction accordingly. This goal is to be accomplished by this June 2020.

During the public hearing on the resolutions to be voted on, Board trustee-elect Lori Cintron asked for details on the planned attendance of Nicole De Bonis, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, at the upcoming Learning Forward annual conference in Missouri, during which she is to give a presentation. The cost to the district is $588. Helfant did not recall offhand what kind of presentation she was to give, but said that it is protocol for administrators to attend such events, and that the district sets a maximum of $1500 for expenses in these cases. 

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