WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Board of Education (WOBOE) received a district goals and strategic plan update during its meeting on Monday focusing on improvements being planned in the Guidance Department and in ELA.

Cheryl Butler, director of Guidance K-12, spoke about her efforts to ensure that guidance counselors use most of their time for direct and indirect services for the students. She said that at the high school level, one of the main services guidance counselors provide students is advising them about the universities that fit best academically and those that offer the best scholarship packages.

Butler expressed disappointment that most parents of high school juniors and seniors do not take advantage of the Guidance Department’s financial-aid nights that review the FAFSA and scholarship information. She said only 50 parents in total have come to the three financial-aid nights this year.

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“For parents who cannot make these meetings, our door is always open during the day to discuss financial aid issues with them,” said Butler.

The ELA update as part of the strategic plan was presented by Denise DeMartinis, supervisor of K-5 ELA, and Elizabeth Veneziano, supervisor of 6-12 ELA. DeMartinis said the Fundations program put into place by Rutzky has been helpful in getting children to read more fluently at an earlier age.

She added that at the first-grade level, children are receiving more comprehension questions that are evidence based.

Veneziano said that literacy benchmarks are being revised for grades 6-12 with the input of teachers. She added that 26 teachers are now serving on a committee to assess literacy issues in the upper grades.

To read more about this meeting, click on the headlines:

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