Passaic Valley Board Reorganizes, Approves School Broadcast Program

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Pictured (from left) are John D'Ambrosio, Lori Brigati and Dr. Charles Cathcart, who were sworn in as board members at the recent Passaic Valley Board of Eduation meeting. Credits: Tina Pappas
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LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Passaic Valley High School Board of Education members appointed Sam Yodice as its new president and Lori Brigati as its new vice president at its reorganization meeting on Jan. 9. Brigati was also sworn in for her third term on the board, representing the sending district of Woodland Park.

John D'Ambrosio was sworn in for a second term, representing the sending district of Totowa, and Dr. Charles Cathcart was sworn in for his seat representing the sending district of Little Falls. Cathcart took over Anthony Sgoabba's seat, who stepped down due to his election to the Little Falls Township Council last year. His won his reelection bid to remain in the seat last November. All seats carry a three-year terms.

School Broadcasting Program

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Board members approved a contract with the National Federation of State High School Associations' (NFHS) Network School Broadcasting program. The contract includes a branded school video portal to include software, services and two Pixellot Lemur Systems cameras in the amount of $9,000. The cost to install the two cameras is $3,250.

According to Yodice, the network will include cameras installed throughout the school and allow the community the capability to log in and watch live events through the network, sponsored and administered through the NFHS's network school broadcasting program.

"It's an interesting system and not many schools in New Jersey are doing it," he said. "We're one of the initial schools taking part in the program."

Bring Your Own Device initiative

In her superintendent's report. Dr. JoAnn Cardillo said a pilot program for the "Bring Your Own Device" initiative was started in early January with students in advanced placement courses.

"Thirty-four kids are signed up and starting to work through the process," Cardillo said. "Other students now are seeing AP students with devices into the classrooms and so it's starting to pick up a little speed."

She added that there will be several places for students to charge their devices. One station is already located in the library.

"We're going to have various charging stations around the building for when we start this in full swing in September," she added. "So there's a good feel about it and everybody's moving along." 

Eighth Grade Assessments

Cardillo also reported that the high school will change the way it will asses students from the sending districts of Little Falls, Totowa and Woodland Park prior to coming up to Passaic Valley.

She explained that in the past, the high school sent a supervisor for math and a supervisor for English and representatives from social studies and science to the sending districts and asses students who were targeted for honors courses. 

The high school now has a relationship with LinkIt!, a K through 8 online portal for student assessments.

"There is a window of time where all eighth grade students, whether they're coming to us or not, whether they are honors or not, will take the (LinkIt!) assessment, so that data will go directly into our portal and into LinkIt! so students can be properly placed in their core courses," Cardillo said.

Cardillo said that teachers' recommendations will still be taken by the high school and other data collection. 

"The more I dig into the LinkIt! data, the more I find that there are students who have not been identified to be in a specific program that could probably flourish," she said, adding that through the process done by the high school before, those students could not be easily identified.

"Through this process, everybody will have data," she noted.

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