Summit School Board Awards $2,295,140 for Air Conditioning Upgrades; Limits Number of Students Who May Choose Other Districts

SUMMIT, NJ - Again taking advantage of aid provided through the New Jersey RODs (Regular Operating Districts) grant program, the Summit Board of Education on Thursday awarded a $2,295,140 contract to Sunnyfield Corporation of Eatontown for mechanical systems upgrades to air conditioning systems at the Brayton, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln Hubbard and Washington Schools.

On another matter, the board, concerned with the “potential adverse financial and educational impact” on the Summit district, voted to restrict the number of city students who may seek enrollment in another school district to a maximum of 10 percent of the students in any grade per year in the Summit schools.

Under the state’s Interdistrict Public School Choice Program parents of students in “sending districts” in the state may apply to have their children attend school in neighboring “receiving districts,” and the sending districts are responsible for paying costs of transporting the students to the receiving districts for a distance of 20 miles. Parents are responsible for transportation of any students going beyond 20 miles from their sending districts.

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Summit is a sending district under the program and, Summit Board President Jack Lyness explained Thursday, Kenilworth and Springfield are the only districts in Union County currently designated as receiving districts.

In addition to official matters, the board announced a number of commendations at Thursday’s meeting.

Board member Gloria Ron-Fornes first recognized Summit Garden Club president, Karen Jones, and her members for providing city fifth graders will soil, containers and instructions to grow Katsura tree seedlings in classrooms as part of the “Students for Trees” project.

In honor of Arbor Day on April 29 the club members are returning to the schools to ceremoniously plant trees and mark them with signs reading “Students for Trees, Fifth Grade Class, 20ll.”  The club also will provide each student who commits to growing their own tree with a two-year-old Katsura tree to nurture and plant at home.

Ron-Fornes also: 

  • Congratulated Wilson School pre-school teacher Suzanne Shire for co-authoring an article on “Strategic Teaching: Fostering Communication Skills in Diverse Young Learners” that appeared in the March 2011 issue of Young Children, the journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Presented resolutions honoring:

--Jeffrey and Christopher Chen for their acceptance into the All State Orchestra;

--William Elia, Rachel Burke, Alef Davis and Eric Weitzner for receiving Gold Summa Cum Laude Awards, the highest honors given in the National Latin Exam.

--Summit High School seniors Eric Hermann and James Horner for being names National Merit Competition Finalists.

--Summit High School students Elizabeth Akudugu, Erin Fitzpatrick, Sam Goodstein and Allison Scott, members of the school’s forensics team, who qualified to compete from June 13 through 18 in the National Forensic League Tournament in Dallas. Elizabeth took first place in the state in dramatic interpretation; Erin and Sam took third place in duo interpretation and Allison took fourth place in humorous interpretation.

At the board meeting, Erin and Sam reenacted their winning duo interpretation performance—a humorous story of a couple reunited after a few years of divorce at the wedding of one of their children.

Those at Thursday’s session also were treated to a film produced by students in the Jefferson School afterschool J.E.E.P. Program who reported on what they had learned about wildlife, world travel and a number of other topics.

In addition, Summit High School principal Paul Sears, Athletic Director Michael Sandor and alumni Peter Laughlin and Christie McGinn announced plans for the First Annual Hilltopper Alumni Weekend, to be held October 14 through 16 in and around Summit.

The celebration, which Summit alumni expect to hold annually, will include athletic and social events along with tours of the city’s schools in an effort to bring alumni back to Summit in a group outside of their own “milestone” reunions.

The board also approved Tuesday, May 3, as National Teacher Day in Summit in conjunction with Teacher Appreciation Day to give thanks to Summit teachers for their work with the city’s children. 

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