Social Media Posts Trigger Response from West Orange Board of Education


WEST ORANGE, NJ — In response to what the West Orange Board of Education (WOBOE) is saying is false information that is being circulated through some social media outlets concerning its Gifted and Talented Program, the WOBOE released a statement on Thursday to the public reaffirming that the “West Orange School District Gifted and Talented Program is not new and has been in existence for decades.”  

According to Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Rutzky and board members, previous boards and administrations attempted to revise and update the program to no avail over the last several years. The WOBOE said that it is only with this current WOBOE and administration that the update for the program has come to fruition.

“The administration established a Gifted and Talented Committee inclusive of parents, teachers, supervisors, and principals to evaluate data and criteria and recommend programmatic changes,” the WOBOE said in its formal statement on Thursday. “Over this summer, teachers and Assistant Superintendent de Mendez will write the Gifted and Talented curriculum to be implemented in January 2018.”

Sign Up for E-News

The board also expressed its thanks to Rutzky and de Mendez for their leadership in this regard as well as to the teachers, administrators and parents who served on the committee and provided insight and recommendations. ‎

Only after a review and presentation was conducted at the WOBOE’s June 26 meeting did a majority of the board vote to approve the recommendations of the Gifted and Talented Committee, according to the WOBOE.  

“We are confident that the extensive research performed by Assistant Superintendent de Mendez and the Gifted and Talented Committee was thorough and inclusive,” the WOBOE stated. “The board is disturbed to read false and misleading statements on social media that accuses certain West Orange Board of Education members and the administration of ‘enshrining bigotry’ and ‘racism.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. 

“The West Orange Board of Education and Administration are committed to creating an environment and programs that embrace our diversity and empower all of our students to achieve their full potential.”

According to the board, the current WOBOE has more than 50 years of collective dedicated community service to West Orange and beyond among its members. In addition to serving on the board, the members also serve as members of the New Jersey Arts Incubator, West Orange African Heritage Organization, the NAACP, the Mayor’s Disabilities Program, Parents Advocating for Special Services in Education (PASSE), UNICO, the Mountaintop League, the Police Athletic League, the West Orange Recreation Department, the West Orange Hispanic Heritage Organization, the Jamaica Organization of New Jersey, West Orange Public Relations and Human Relations Commissions, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, West Orange Men Make a Difference, as well as various New Jersey School Board Association committees. 

“For anyone to publicly challenge the board’s commitment and integrity goes beyond the pale and is simply inaccurate,” the WOBOE concluded.

In addition to Superintendent Rutzky and Assistant Superintendent de Mendez, WOBOE members include President Sandra Mordecai, Vice President Irv Schwarzbaum, Ronald Charles, Laura Lab and Mark Robertson. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

10% OFF at Advantage Pest Control

March 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Advantage Pest Control is now offering 10% OFF new termite services. Call now to take advantage of this limit time offer! Call and ask for the "TAP DISCOUNT" (973) 736-1007

"We combine our knowledge of construction and termite biology so we can offer the right options for treatment to fit any situation and budget. We feature Termidor termiticide ...

Police: Dead Body Found Face Down in Upper Montclair

March 7, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ -  The body of a 67-year-old man was recovered in upper Montclair on Friday morning near Toney's Brook in the area of upper Mountain Avenue training station.

Responding officers suspect that the man may have suffered from a medical emergency while walking toward the bus stop around 11 p.m. Thursday night. 

According to Sgt.

Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Conference Room A/B, First Floor, Livingston

Colon Cancer Screening Education Program at Saint ...

Health & Wellness


Thu, March 22, 6:30 PM

Town Hall - Room 106, West Orange

Mayor Parisi's Open Office Hours

Community Calendar Government

To the Editor: This National Literacy Month, Let's Rein In Screen Time

March 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

As speech-language pathologists across New Jersey prepare to mark “National March into Literacy Month,” let’s address the alarming number of young children who spend countless hours a day on a handheld screen.

According to a study from the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the more time that children under two years spend on smartphones, tablets and ...

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Anyone at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m. might have been exposed to measles and should contact their health care provider, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH).

The NJDH has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles—a highly contagious ...

Former Rumson Student Arrested for Possessing MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, Silencer, Explosive Chemicals

March 19, 2018

MONMOUTH, NJ — A former Rumson High School student, Maximilien Reynolds, 19, was arrested in Ithaca, NY, and charged with Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device/Silencer, False Statement in Acquisition of a Firearm and False Statement in Required Firearm Record.

Specifically, he is alleged to have possessed an MSR-15 Patrol ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...