WEST ORANGE, NJ - School year calendar options and the process that went into selecting Redwood Elementary school’s new principal were the highlights of Monday’s Board of Education meeting in West Orange.

School Calendar and Election Day Updates

Superintendent Jeffrey Rutzky presented the board with two calendars for the 2015-2016 school year. One was approved, and another was an alternative. The approved calendar will have school open on Election Day for a full day of school. Option B would have school closed on November 3 for elections, and in exchange, February 12 would no longer be an off day, but a makeup day.

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Rutzky recommended that they stay with the current calendar that was already approved. The board agreed, unanimously.

On Election Day, voting will no longer take place at Redwood Elementary School or at the West Orange High School. Rather, voting will take place at various other locations, with Gregory School being one of them. Rutzky said they are looking into solutions to help with the parking issues that plagued the voting process at Gregory last year. Police will also be available in all buildings as needed.

New Principal at Redwood

Rutzky discussed the process that went into selecting Bruce Arcurio, the successor principal for Redwood Elementary School’s retiring principal, Barbara Kivlon.

“We’re very excited,” Rutzky said. “He has very extensive knowledge and experience as principal. He is very confident and polished.”

The process to select Arcurio was detailed. There were three phases: a screening process; a large committee made up of parents, teachers, guidance counselors and more discussing the candidates; and another similar committee. Rutzky said the meticulous nature of the selection process allowed for only the best and most skilled candidate to be selected, flushing out those who were not perceived to be equipped to handle the job.

SEPAC

Rutzky called up Tanya Atterberry to discuss the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee, or SEPAC for short. According to Atterberry, the goal of SEPAC is to “promote communication and provide information both to families and children with special education needs.” SEPAC is working to get a website up and running that will include information on how to request evaluation for a child, informational forums targeted toward parents and educators, and more. 

“We look forward to working with the director of support services and the superintendent to provide input,” Atterberry said. 

Rutzky acknowledged that seeking to potentially have one’s child evaluated can be a difficult and scary time.

“There is a true effort to make sure parents of the district are informed,” he said.

Two Board Policies are Passed

The second reading of the board policies of Title 1 Parental Involvement for Hazel and Washington Elementary school, as well as Concussion and Head Injury, were passed. More information on these policies can be found here.

Gregory Elementary School Students Present

Gregory Elementary School students gave a scientific presentation of their work on scrap books that included animal and plant research. The students gave reports on plants such as blueberry plants, animals such as chipmunks, bobcats, elephants, and the environments they live in.   

Then, student representatives from the school’s Tech Saavy Club gave a presentation that displayed the technological skills they’d learned. The club, which had over 100 applicants, accepted 20 kids at random.

Save the Date

The next Board of Education meeting will be held on June 15 at 8:00 p.m. in the WOHS Library. Residents are encouraged to attend.