Montville Board of Education Discusses District Goals and Martin Luther King Day Holiday

Dr. Rene Rovtar, Montville Township Superintendent of Schools Credits: Melissa Benno

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township School District Board of Education met for a regular meeting at Lazar Middle School on August 25.

Board President Dr. Karen Cortellino began the meeting by stating the accolades the District has received recently.

“The July issue of District Administration Magazine named Montville a ‘District of Distinction’ for its humanities research program,” stated Cortellino. “Several Classroom Closeup episodes have been filmed in Montville, most recently on our Extended School Year program. recently ranked Montville Township High School’s teachers 96th out of more than 100,000 schools. Newsweek magazine ranked Montville Township High school 212th in the entire country.

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“I am elated. I am very proud and happy I live in Montville Township and am associated with such a great school District.

“This is the work of our teachers and administrators. I am very grateful. Kudos to every staff member and administrator,” she stated.

District Goals

Dr. Rene Rovtar, the District’s new superintendent, announced the District’s new goals, created at a special meeting in July.

Goal number one focuses on “Student Learning.” It states, that the District wants to “Continue our focus on areas that affect the climate and culture of the school district, including student health, homework, special education, and competitions and contests at all levels.”

The District intends to partner with the Youth Empowerment Alliance to survey climate and culture. Read more about this partnership HERE.

The District also intends to join the Kean University Diversity Council, administration will review the implementation of the district homework policy and the District’s Special Education programs will be assessed to “determine if changes to district offerings are necessary for 2016-2017 and beyond.”

The second goal focuses on Technology. It states the District will “Continue to expand the effective use of technology for the purposes of instruction, administration and communication.”

The first goal has already been met: to use “Constant Contact” to communicate with the District. Parents have already received communications from Dr. Rovtar using this system, rather than utilizing the Parent Teacher Association email chains as in prior years.

The K-5 STEM Committee will “develop a vision for the implementation of STEM programs in grades K through 5.” The District wishes to provide “student access to technology devices” at a one-to-one ratio, integrate technology into the curriculum and provide professional development to teachers.

Goal number three focuses on World Language. The District wants to “expand upon the work of the World Language Task Force to develop and enhance World Language instruction across all grade levels.”

The administrators wish to “conduct visitations to other districts to observe elementary and middle school language programs,” survey students, parents and teachers about world language, review the middle school schedule for changes designed to “provide a better sequence of instruction to more effectively prepare students for study at the high school level, and review high school world language to try to increase AP participation. Further, budget recommendations will be formulated to enact the changes.

The fourth goal focuses on “Student Success.” The District wishes to “engage in a process that will provide for the development of District definitions of student success at the elementary, middle and high school levels.”

Additional surveys will be conducted with parents to solicit their perceptions of communication, staff accessibility, parent involvement, principal-to-parent relations, homework, technology and extracurricular programs, according to sub-goal number one. Further “town hall”-style meetings are planned at all school levels, and an analysis of District performance on “success profiles” at all school levels.

District Calendars

Rovtar recommended, and the Board approved, a revised calendar with only six emergency closing days built in, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in January reinstated as a day off. Rovtar stated she is comfortable with this because no more than five snow days have ever been used in the past eight years, aside from the emergency school plans that arose due to Superstorm Sandy.

Death of Faculty Member

Rovtar announced with sadness that special education teacher Lynette Berdej, a teacher at Lazar, passed away.

Later in the public portion, parent Terriann Mohideen stated that Ms. Berdej was a wonderful teacher who will be greatly missed.

Construction Update

Board Administrator James Tevis announced the following construction updates:

  • At the high school, bleacher updates to make them ADA compliant and sound and lighting enhancements will be completed by September 4.
  • Also at the high school, auditorium improvements are in the “start-up phase” and will continue throughout the school year.
  • In all buildings, phase two of air conditioning installments has been completed.
  • At the high school, the media center project has begun, and demolition is 99% complete, according to Tevis. “We hope to complete the project by November 13th, but that’s a moving target,” stated Tevis.
  • At Valley View and Lazar Middle School, boiler upgrades will be completed by October 15.
  • At every building, window film has been installed as part of the District’s safety and security initiative, for example in the cafeteria at the high school. Tevis stated the work is mostly completed, with a final completion date of September 4.
  • Various buildings: paving projects will be completed by the end of August.

Township Paving Projects

Various roads in the Township are being repaved and construction is underway at the intersection of Route 202 and Changebridge Road. Tevis stated that instant alerts will be used to keep parents informed of bus delays.

Super Football Conference

Board Member Mike O’Brien asked for more information about the impending vote regarding Montville’s athletic department’s admission into the "Super" Football Conference.

Read more about this HERE.

September Meeting Schedule Changes

The Board voted to change the September meeting dates to Monday the 21st, not the 22nd and the meeting originally scheduled for the 8th has been cancelled.

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