New Early Dismissal Date, Science Research Projects Discussed at Montville Board of Ed Meeting

Junior Srinath Dhamodharan presents his results to the Board of Education on October 20th 2015 Credits: Melissa Benno
Tenth graders Gabriel Mohideen and Abigail Hammell present to the Board of Education on October 20th 2015 Credits: Melissa Benno
Senior Shad Yasin presents his results to the Board of Education on October 20th 2015 Credits: Melissa Benno
The Montville Township High School science research program students and their instructors Credits: Melissa Benno

MONTVILLE, NJ – At the Montville Township Board of Education meeting on Oct. 20, the Board approved an additional early dismissal day to this year’s school calendar, which will be Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. The High School will dismiss students at 11:55 a.m., Lazar will dismiss students at 1:10 p.m. and the elementary schools will dismiss at 12:40 p.m.

The Board heard presentations from the High School's Research Science Program participants and provided updates on the Youth Empowerment Alliance school culture and climate meeting, as well as a "One Montville" initiative being discussed in the District.


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Superintendent of Schools Dr. René Rovtar announced that the Youth Empowerment Alliance parents’ information evening had gone well. She stated that staff and students will be surveyed first, followed by parents later on. Building administrators will receive the results in order to make further plans on improving school culture and climate.

For more information about the initiative, click HERE

One Montville

Rovtar reported that there is a One Montville initiative in the district, spurred by bad feelings surrounding a yearbook quote from a senior who has since graduated.

Read about the controversy HERE.

She stated she met with some high school students last week to get their input, and a One Montville meeting will take place on November 4th.

“We’ll be reviewing and discussing the student output and starting to formulate some ideas and action plans in terms of how ww will go about supporting and cultivating a culture of acceptance and cooperation within the Montville Township community,” said Rovtar.

Cortellino asked two board members to serve on the One Montville initiative. Rovtar later told TAPintoMontville that there are approximately 40 members expected to attend the meeting.

Teachers Contract

The board announced that teachers are currently working under the terms of their newly negotiated contract.

Science Research

The high school’s science research program was highlighted at the meeting by a series of presentations from the students in that program.

Tenth-grader Alan Lai opened the program by explaining that students research areas in science that they are interested in, and thanked the board and Rovtar for supporting the program.

Tenth graders Gabriel Mohideen and Abigail Hammell further explained that the program runs for three years and only accepts a few students each year. Students find a mentor who helps them to do research in a real laboratory, write a research paper, and present their research at a science symposium held every year at the high school. This year’s symposium will be held on June 8, 2016.

Junior Srinath Dhamodharan presented his results. He worked at the WinLab, which is a computer science lab located at Rutgers. His research focused on an smartphone application to assist drivers on dangerous roads or warns users of speeding drivers approaching them. The app would use a wifi adapter to communicate using periodic broadcasts.

The application could not be used on the Android platform. Dhamodharan stated his research was inconclusive because they only tested one driver with one stationary orbit box whereas many drivers are simultaneously on a roadway. He showed slides of the app indicating the test driver’s speed and location, and the notification that there was a driver nearby.

Dhamodharan was also on a team that designed a virtual reality headset that incorporated the video game Mario Kart into an actual gocart experience.

Senior Shad Yasin presented his research focusing on Alzheimer’s disease. He tested the effect of methylene blue on stabilizing Tau proteins in the brains of mice. His research provided no conclusive data due to suspected contamination of their samples by bacteria after one hour.

Rovtar praised the students and said it was phenomenal to see such depth and breadth to their research.

Board President Dr. Karen Cortellino praised the students for their poise and found the research “amazing – truly a goosebump moment.”

Board member Michael O’Brien stated he is “Beside myself with this presentation. It’s incredible to be associated with such a group of students, staff and district.”

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