ROSELLE PARK, NJ - Superintendent of Schools Pedro Garrido reported to the Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting that he met with concerned parents in early February about the proposal to open modular classrooms to house the district’s pre-Kindergarten program.

 The plan is to open two, double-wide trailers called modular classrooms starting in September. 

“The program will be same and identical, just a different location,” said Garrido. “We will have a classroom for multiple disabled students, all students in the program now and that will be coming in, will have a spot.”

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Parent Rob Romanski, during the public portion of the meeting, said he and other parents don’t like it.

 “I have a lot data here that states that the physical environment of modular classrooms profoundly influences student achievement.” said Romanski.

In response to Romanski, the board stated they will take a look at it and will discuss after the meeting. 

The next meeting on the issue with the Education Childhood Center will be March 16 at 7 p.m.

Also at the meeting, the board discussed the adoption Envision 2.0, its first online textbook for math. Envision 2.0. representatives from Pearson, which publishes the math series, will be at the upcoming board meeting on April 4. 

In addition, the committee discussed the pacing guide which shows what the students will be learning the entire school year and takes into consideration any disruption of learning by scheduling 175 days instead of 180 days. 

“The pacing guide details everything that students will be learning and will be on the districts website starting in September from K-12th grade.” said board member Sundjata Sekou. 

Board President Christopher Miller said he likes the program.

 “I am a 3rd grade teacher as well and I’ve dealt with that program for years,” Miller said. “It is a good program with great online capabilities and for what it’s worth it really tunes into the PARCC testing and it mimics what your child will be doing for their tests as well.”

Miller also expressed his opinion about the ECC. 

“I have to disagree with the comments about putting kids in a box,” said Miller. “I don’t want to be labeled as a person who doesn’t care about our children, it’s just a tough decision and many things are going into it.” 

Moving on to Principal’s report, Principal Sloan Scully of Aldene Elementary school had the privilege of passing awards to students to acknowledge their hard work. 

Five students were recognized for their artwork displayed at the NJPAC Art Exhibit; Sofia Perez, Madelyn Kalkandis, Jason Burns, Catalina Quintela and Edha Gupta

Three students were recognized for their display in the Union County Youth Art Month; Edha Gupta, Julia Penn and Isabella Guzman-Tapia.

Two students were recognized for being finalists in the Union County Youth Art Month Design; Rubi Santiago and Nira Patel. Santiago also is recognized for being the Youth Art Month State Elementary Invitation winner. 

Lastly, five students were honored for participating in the Morris-Union Jointure Commission Music Festival for their musical ability; Marissa Colon, Leila Torres, Kylah Frazier, Samantha DaSilva and Julia Perez. 

“I am very proud to recognize some of our students for their wonderful accomplishments,” said Scully.

*Brittany Pavlichko is reporting this story as part of the journalism program at Kean University.