NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Both Board President Bernadette Cuccaro and Superintendent David Miceli commended students and staff for successful opening of the new school year at the Thursday, Sep. 24 Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

Cuccaro began the meeting with a moment of silence for Alex Schmitz, the middle school student, who passed away prior to the start of the school year.

Cuccaro also thanked the counseling department for providing two zoom programs on dealing with loss.

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“Things are not what we would like them to be,” she said and added that it is important for parents and students to maintain a routine and stay positive during these trying times.

Miceli thanked everyone in the school community for their contributions, their assistance and cooperation with the Covid-19 protocol.

Athletic Director Vincent Carangelo explained that the athletic programs are going on and the boys’ soccer team had its first scrimmage on Thursday. The first football scrimmage is taking place on Friday, Sep. 25. He pointed out that there are restrictions for the number of spectators at football games due to social distancing rules. On Friday night home games only one participant per player’s family may attend the game. He noted that the district must abide with the rule of allowing 40 percent of the seating area for the away team. The games will be available live-streaming, he said.

With regard to other news the board also approved the district’s mission statement, which reads: “In partnership with students, teachers, parents and community, the mission of the New Providence School District is to prepare our students academically for their pursuits, to develop the appropriate social and emotional skills to be productive, empathetic, global citizens, and to stimulate a growth mindset for continued, lifelong learning in a culturally diverse society.”

The board also approved its committee goals and its five-year strategic planning goals.

Furthermore, the board discussed two potential policy revisions “Disorder and Demonstration” and “Controversial Issues”. Miceli noted that after the Parkland shooting there were student-led protests mostly in the high school. At that time the district followed its policy in place, but it may be a time to revisit that policy, he said. He explained that as controversial topics are brought up teachers may then need guidance of how to handle them in the classroom.

Miceli also noted that the district does not have a specific policy regarding memorials and whether they are short-term or long-term. However, the issue has become more relevant as there have been several tragedies within the student body over the past couple of months. The district has also received some guidance from an outside source on this issue.