NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Board of Education (BOE) appointed Brian Henry as Assistant High School Principal at its Thursday, July 27 meeting. The board also discussed a policy change regarding state assessments.

New Assistant Principal Brian Henry will start in his position on August 14. Henry is coming to the district from Bridgewater where he began as a teacher and later moved up to a supervisory position. The board also approved several other personnel changes and new hires. Katherine Blanco who has worked in the district as a basic skills teacher will take the position of Language Arts K-6 Department Head as of Sept. 1. Beth Smargiassi will move from a part-time teaching position to full-time.

The district is looking to fill two more full-time teaching positions by the start of the school year: Basic Skills Teacher at the A. W. Roberts School and Italian Teacher at the High School.

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Superintendent David Miceli noted that the district has adopted a state mandated policy change regarding student state assessment scores. Starting with the 2018 graduating class, the PARCC scores will be added into the transcripts that will be sent out to colleges. The policy change means that students should take the PARCC testing seriously.

High School Principal Lauren Zirpoli pointed out that when the PARCC testing was first implemented the high school held assemblies for students explaining the new test as well as warning of the possibility of the state making the test scores count. The new policy will be communicated to students and parents this fall.

Glen Robertson, Special Education Teacher at the high school, noted that the new policy will put special education students in “a difficult place.” If the transcript shows that the student is exempt from the PARCC testing it results that this student is deemed “classified”. The transcript also shows the not passing grades. This does not protect the child, Robertson said.

With regard to other news Board President Adam Smith noted that he and Miceli had met with representatives of various sports organizations within the community. The community members had suggested that an Athletic Committee could serve as a forum for improved communications between the Athletic Director at the high school and various local youth sports groups.

Smith noted that the district policy does not cover this kind of committee. Instead, he suggested that an informal gathering of sports groups and the Athletic Director be arranged in a quarterly basis. Vincent Carangelo, who will take the position of Athletic Director as of August, noted that anyone with a concern can always contact him.

Furthermore, the board decided that the additional state aid of approximately $107,700 will be allocated to the 2018-2019 school budget.