NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Students and staff are transitioning well to the new high school drop schedule, Superintendent David Miceli said at the Thursday, Sep. 13 Board of Education (BOE) meeting. The purpose of the drop schedule is to give students more opportunities within the school, including online courses.

The new block schedule drops two of the eight classes every day in the four day rotation. Miceli explained that the first day of school, Wednesday, Sep. 5, was an A-day. However, the second school day ended up being an early dismissal day due to hot weather; therefore, the old format 8-period schedule was applied. The following day, Friday, Sep. 7, was a C-day in accordance with the new schedule. The students experienced their first B-day schedule on Thursday, Sep. 13, Miceli explained.

Miceli complimented High School Principal Lauren Zirpoli for her leadership and effort in getting the new schedule implemented. He also commended the High School Committee on which 20 staff members worked all last year. Additionally, he commended James McGreechan, Vincent Carangelo, Brian Henry and Kim Thompson who worked during the summer with Zirpoli to “fine tune” the new schedule.

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After a week and a half the transition has been going well, so far, Miceli said. There was no confusion or chaos at the school as everyone seemed to know where to go at any given time. “Things are also working well with the open lunch environment” which allows upperclassmen to leave school during lunch, he said. He also noted that the cafeteria has not been overcrowded. Those students who have applied for the open lunch will scan the QR-code on their I-Pads as they leave the school and again upon their return.

However, the school is still assessing several issues with the schedule, such as the time between periods and homework scheduling. The school is also monitoring how the teachers are interacting with their students with the longer period. However, “I am pleased overall that from a high level perspective things are moving along nicely,” Miceli stated.

There will be a couple of adjustments that will be implemented to the schedule shortly. One of the adjustments is adding warning bells at 7:42 am two minutes before the first class and at 12:41 pmafter the professional lunch period.

With regard to other news Miceli gave the latest enrollment numbers. There are 623 students in the high school, 411 in the middle school, 705 in the Allen W. Roberts School and 638 in the Salt Brook School. The Allen W. Roberts enrollment number includes the 32 students who are enrolled in the pre-school program.

Furthermore, Miceli noted that 99 candidates had applied for the open part-time Communications Coordinator position. The district will interview 12 applicants next week.

Board Member Bernadette Cuccaro reported that the district will ratify the new contract with custodians shortly.