CEDAR GROVE, NJ – Cedar Grove Board of Education set goals for the 2015-2016 school year focusing on college readiness, facility upgrades and communication at its meeting on Sept. 29.
According to board attorney Tony Sciarrillo, the board is required by the New Jersey Department of Education Ethics Committee to set goals every year and asked to focus on six key elements: technology issues, finance issues, student achievement, communications, district facilities and policy.
Board Vice President Pam Burke noted college and career readiness as the first goal with regard to student achievement, specifically at the high school, but also throughout the district. She suggested the board look at other districts with high achievement scores and what they are doing it.
“It involves really drilling into what the New Jersey Department of Education report card quantifies there and what we need to adjust and address to meet those state-defined standards,” Burke said. “So there’s definitely a learning phase of it. We need to see what other districts that are successful or more successful at it are doing and how they are doing it.”
In his Superintendent’s report, Michael Fetherman noted that Cedar Grove was already moving forward on this goal. For the first time, sophomores at Cedar Grove High School will have the opportunity to take the PSAT in addition to juniors. The test will be administered on Oct. 14. According to Fetherman’s report, historically students who take the PSAT score higher on the SAT than those who do not take the test.
“We’ve never really had college and career readiness as a goal. It’s time that we take that step and we make it a point to set some goals and get things accomplished,” Board president Joe Cicala said.
Cedar Grove facilities goals focus on the recently passed referendum which will provide for the upgrade of bathrooms at North End, South End and the high school, as well as full locker room renovations, a new auditorium and new turf field at the high school. Because the renovations will extend beyond the 2015/2016 school year, board member Frank Mandala suggested the facilities goals need to be specific with regard to what will be completed by June 2016.
Fetherman noted that the first phasing meeting on the construction is next week which will begin to determine timelines. He noted that the architect has recommended field construction to begin in March and auditorium construction to begin as early as possible in April to ensure at timely return to school in September.
“The architect believes, as I do, that we need to start the auditorium project as soon as possible in April and that will directly impact what our options are for graduation.” Fetherman said, noting that information about those options will be forthcoming once the timeline has been established.
Cicala suggested the facilities goal simply be “implementing an architect’s timeline” and ensuring that constructions deadlines are met, since the timeline has yet to be established.
“We need to be prepared because it is going to be important that we get started on time so that we can get back to school,” Cicala said.
Sciarrillo noted that sharing referendum construction updates with the public on a monthly basis tapped into the Board’s communications goal. Cicala agreed, but said the communications goal should encompass more than the referendum noting new district enhancements with CGTV and social media.
“Communications should be more expansive than just communicating what we are doing with the referendum,” Cicala noted. “We have lots of new things going on with CGTV and social media. Our administrators are now Tweeting. I think we need to encompass all that if we are going to have communications as a goal.”
Superintendent Michae Fetherman @cgssuper
CGHS Principal Rick Mangili @CGPANTHERPRIDE
MMS Principal Nicholas DeCorte @cgmmsprincipal
North End Prinicpal Traci Dyer @NEprincipal
South End Principal Lynn DiMatteo @southendprin