MIDDLETOWN, NJ -  The Middletown Board of Education’s May 22nd meeting had a lighter than usual attendance, but otherwise went as planned, as it discussed and voted to approve textbook and other classroom equipment purchases, curriculum updates for various subjects, technology and facility upgrades, and contracted vendors & consultants for the district’s numerous student services. 

The textbooks purchases and curriculum updates approved covered the subjects of Honors Spanish and French, as well as Accounting, Economics, Algebra, Middle School Social Studies, Anatomy & Physiology, and Child Development, among others. 

The technology upgrades include about $97,000 in Apple I-pads, $50,000 in desktops for the computer labs in the high schools, $59,000 in school security improvements, $83,000 in student science-lab kits, $42,000 in data backup, storage, and cloud services; and almost $600,000 in Chromebooks for students and classrooms throughout the Middletown School District. 

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Also, the Board introduced a resolution to make some renovations to the sound and lighting systems of Middletown High School North’s auditorium, which are projected to cost about $785,000. 
In addition, the Board voted to approve vendors for various student related services; such as for occupational, speech, and physical therapy, hospital and home instruction for students who need them, and mental health evaluations.   The Board also voted to approve consultants for auditing, architectural services, and legal advice. 

After these votes, Board member Michael Donlon talked about a PTA meeting he attended at Thorne Middle School, during which he learned about an ice-cream fundraiser the school’s teacher would be doing on June 13th from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Cold Stone Creamery in Holmdel to benefit the PTA. 

Donlon also extended an invitation to the school’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, in which students of each grade level wear either red, white, or blue depending on the grade level; and the students honor those who died defending America’s freedom in general, as well as Corporal Horace “Buddy” Thorne (a U.S. army soldier who died in World War II’s Battle of the Bulge and after whom the school is named) in particular.  
The ceremony took place on May 23rd, and more information can be found at Thorne Middle School's official Twitter page. 
“It’s a neat ceremony,” Donlon said. “It seems to be getting bigger and bigger by the moment.”
Donlon then mentioned a recent Middletown Municipal Alliance meeting he attended, during which there was a presentation on the approximately 30 to 40 programs that Middletown has for its at-risk youth; and suggested that Middletown Schools should showcase these programs to the students at the start of each school year. 
“I think people will be really impressed by the avenues (for seeking and receiving help) they have when they have something in their lives.”
Robin Stella, the Board of Ed’s Vice-President, then announced that there will be a Memorial Day Parade over the weekend that will start at Bayshore Middle School, featuring Middletown High School South’s Screaming Eagles band and local boy scout and girl scout troops. 
Afterward, Board member Deborah Wright said she took part in Leonardo Elementary School’s basketball game fundraiser with the Harlem Globetrotters the afternoon just before the board meeting started.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said.

Lastly, Board President Pamela Rogers congratulated River Plaza Elementary School on benefitting from a transportation grant meant to make the walkways leading up to the school more pedestrian-friendly, which happens to be the same grant that was discussed by the Township Committee during its May 20th meeting. 
“Congratulations to River Plaza for getting a $1 million grant for Safe Routes to School,” Rogers said. “Thank you to the Township Committee and the Board for all working together to get this done.”