SUMMIT, NJ - In a comprehensive letter e-mailed to parents, Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS) Principal Matthew Block has announced that Nicholas A. Grimshaw has been hired as Assistant Principal, Student Affairs. Grimshaw joins the district from Ridgewood Public Schools, where he has served as a seventh and eighth grade Social Studies teacher, Lacrosse coach, and administrative intern.
Grimshaw replaces Jeffrey Heaney, who is leaving LCJSMS to accept a principal position in Warren. Heaney's last day in Summit is August 15.
Block said, "After conducting many interviews in the first round, selected candidates were interviewed by a committee made up of LCJSMS teachers and staff members, a guidance counselor, a parent, a supervisor, administrators, and members of the Central Office team. Mr. Grimshaw impressed the committee with his background in middle school education, his creativity and new ideas, his experiences in Ridgewood, his ability to communicate, and his thorough, thoughtful, and student-centered responses to many challenging questions and scenarios."
Block said he is. "Hopeful that Mr. Grimshaw will be able to join us full-time before the end of August. He is still working out some logistical details in Ridgewood, so we should have a clear picture of his exact starting date soon."
In the letter, Block also detailed the construction projects ongoing at the school, which he described as. "A major overhaul of the entire building. There is work being done...everywhere!" The projects include:
Former Science Labs Becoming Classrooms
The new classrooms are almost complete and will be ready for opening day. They are on schedule, but cleaning and preparation of the building for the school year will take us right up until September 4. As a result, the school will not be open to visitors before September 4.
New Science Labs
The labs are slated to be completed for the beginning of the second marking period. They remain on schedule for on-time completion. Block noted that LCJSMS teachers have done a lot of planning to make sure that students get the highest level of instruction in Science during the first marking period, even in the absence of physical laboratory spaces.
The circa 1922 facility will have its historical charm preserved, while becoming a high-tech state-of-the-art performance space. The school has been preparing for a year to have the auditorium off-line for most of this school year. Alternate plans have been made, and there will be just as many concerts, a Fall play, and a Spring musical.
Find Your Homeroom Program
Due to the extensive construction happening throughout our building, the school will be hosting a special program for any incoming sixth grader who would like to participate. The program will take place at LCJSMS at 3 p.m. on September 3.
Sixth grade students are encouraged to gather near the front door of the school prior to 3 p.m. At that time, school administrators will gather sixth graders by homeroom, and a seventh or eighth grade guide will take each homeroom group of students to see their homeroom space only. A brief welcome reception will follow in the cafeteria. Students will be dismissed at approximately 3:30 p.m. The program is not required, and students can elect to find their homerooms on the first day of school.
Students will receive their schedules during the last week of August, and should come to the event knowing their homeroom number and/or homeroom teacher's last name. Parents are welcome to wait at the school while their students participate in the program.
Block concluded by noting that there will be a September PTO Welcome Back Coffee event held on September 18, at 8:30 a.m. in the school's cafeteria. The event provides a forum for parents to ask questions, and Block will also provide a construction update.