LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Board members discussed Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) scores, Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) results, and staffing revisions at its recent Passaic Valley High School Board of Education meeting.

Board member Jaclyn Luker, who chairs the education committee, reported about PARCC testing to fellow trustees, with both English and mathematical scores.

"We received some of the preliminary data and we scored close to the state average for English," she explained. "We also have a plan to improve for the following school year. As for math, unfortunately, that's where we are struggling as a district because we are far below the state average."

Sign Up for E-News

Dr. JoAnn Cardillo, district superintendent of schools, introduced a data analysis program known as LinkIT and recommended that the board approve it at a purchase of $11,751 at the next board meeting. 

"It is a data warehouse that analyzes all of your data from different systems and test students take," explained Cardillo. "They analyze it electronically and they come out with a prescription and profile on each student from the assessment perspective. So we're going to be using this for our PARCC data, and using it for placement of students in specific classes and for mediation, including advanced placement scores, like our SAT and PSAT scores  It analyzes everything and it gives you different reports used to really see where students are by collecting your data and putting it into a portal."

Luker added that the plans are to use the LinkIT data to review and analyze information to see where students are for both PARCC English and mathematical scores.

"This will get them to where we need to be," explained Luker.

Luker also reported on some of the movement in teaching staff and discussions on some strategies and assessments. Additionally, she said that state aid funding has been received which will go towards the purchase of calculators that can be used inside the classrooms.

'Right now, there's only one being shared by everyone and these can go along with software. Teachers can use them as well," she noted.

Superintendent's Report

In her report, Cardillo discussed results from the QSAC, the Department of Education’s monitoring and evaluation system for public school districts. She referenced a letter from the assistant commissioner of field services from the state department, regarding the district's results.

"We satisfied at least 80 percent of the weighted indicators in the five areas of QSAC and we've been designated as high performing," she said. "We'll be recommended to the state board of education to be certified as a thorough and efficient education organization."

She shared some of the line item percentages the high school received, which were in 85 percent in education, 88 percent in fiscal, 90 percent in governance, and 95 percent in operations and 100 percent in personnel.

Cardillo said she looks towards bridging the gap in many areas.

"So where's the other 15 percent in terms of 85 percent to 100 percent?" she asked. "It seems that we are losing points because the career and technical ed programs that were used on the QSAC as a measure, are not in place at Passaic Valley and we are on the road to be doing that."

She added that during the next year school years, there will be a push to start be putting that in place.

"I expect that number to go up next year for us but it's taking time to look at staffing that we have and the needs of the students," she added. "It's like a puzzle that we put together. We're in good shape looking at the year that's coming up."

Cardillo also said she has confidence in the high school being fully staffed once school opens. Teachers will be receiving the Achieve NJ Teacher handbook from Passaic Valley that covers the teacher evaluation process as its perceived by the state department.

"It will also have the elements and being able to do our evaluations here at PV, " she further explained. "This booklet puts it all together for teachers. Last year at our regional staff development meeting we did have representation from the state here to talk to teachers about this and one of those conversations that came up was that the teachers would have liked it to be all in one place they could go to. While we had that online, we thought it might be nice to have it all in one go to booklet for everybody so they'd have a copy of that."

Cardillo also said she was looking forward to her third year as superintendent of the high school this year.

Staffing Changes

Randall Rossilli, Jr. was hired as teacher of television production technology, who began on Sept. 1 per PVEA contract Step 13 Class 3 at $81,000. Rossilli replaced Carolyn Macchia who resigned as of Aug. 23. Jaclyn Luker reported on the PVTV update.

"There's going to be an action plan that is going to take place," she said, addng that the curriculum is currently being updated which will be presented to board members the Sept. 12 meeting.

Cardillo and Luker also reported on a position change to totally eliminate the assistant principal position for STEM and replace it with supervisor of career and technical education. Cardillo said the basis for the change was to build on technical education programs at the high school.

"I spoke to you about QSAC and we need some help to be able to create the framework for that," she said, adding that it will be up for a first reading on Sept. 12.

Geraldine Vollonino, a Little Falls resident, was hired as new social studies teacher. She thanked board members for the opportunity. Vollonino began on Sept. 1 per PVEA contract STEP 2 Class 1 at $52,659. Piro Cua was hired as a French teacher, beginning work on Sept. 1 per PVEA contract Step 4 Class 1 at $54,998. The district also hired a reading specialist, Donna Conwell who began on Sept. 11 per PVEA contract Step 3 Class 4 at $63,606. A new special education teacher was also hired, Gianna Riccari, beginning work on Sept. 1 per PVEA contract  Step 1 Class 1 at $51.359. 

A new attendance monitoring system is also in place for the new school year.

"We want ways to improve attendance even though our  numbers aren't so bad. It's just a way to make them a little better," Luker explained. "Our policy is not changing but we're using a new attendance office monitoring period by period. Teachers will now taking attendance every new class period electronically so we know where students are throughout the day.