Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting March 28



  • The Board unanimously appointed Thomas Weber as Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts K-12, effective July 1, 2017.  Mr. Weber is currently a Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts for 30 K-12 teachers and 40 high school co-curricular activity advisers in the Egg Harbor Township Public Schools.  Under his leadership, the high school was named a 2011 NJ Model School of Arts Education.  His career spans 22 years in arts education.  Upon the approval of his appointment, Mr. Weber thanked the Board for the opportunity to contribute to Westfield’s Tradition of Excellence.


  • The Board accepted with regret the retirement of Jason Grant – WHS Social Studies, who has taught our students for 17 years, and Allison Hooper, who has been a Westfield art teacher since 2001, most recently at EIS. We wish them a wonderful retirement, which begins July 1, 2017.



  • The Board approved the Guidelines and Procedures for the 2017-2018 Student Activity Fee. Parents will have online payment options in addition to submitting a check or money order.  The fees have not been increased.
  • The Board approved for first reading the following policies:  1510 – Americans with Disabilities Act (Administration) and 8505 – Wellness/Nutrition (Operations).
  • The Board approved for second reading the following policies:  2460 Special Education (Program), R2460.1 Special Education – Location, Identification, and Referral (Program), R2460.8 Special Education – Free and Appropriate Public Education (Program), 2460.9 Special Education – Early Intervention Program (EIP) Transition/IEP Implementation by Third Birthday (Program), R2460.15 Special Education – Special Education In-Service Training Needs for Professional and Paraprofessional Staff (Program), R2460.16 Special Education – Instructional Material to Pupils with Vision Loss or Print Disability, 2467 – Surrogate Parents and Foster Parents (Program), 3159 – School District Reporting Responsibilities (Teaching Staff), 3221 – Evaluation of Teachers (Teaching Staff), 3223 – Evaluation of Administrators (Teaching Staff), and 4159 – School District Reporting Responsibilities (Support Staff).
  • The Board approved for second reading the 2018-2019 School Calendar, with WHS graduation on Friday, June 21, 2019, which will also be the last day for all students.
  • The Board affirmed my decision on two HIB incidents.



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  • The Board approved district field trips to correlate with curriculum. 
  • The Board approved for first reading the following curricula:



Mathematics, Grade 6

Mathematics, Grade 7

Mathematics, Grade 8

Pre-Algebra, Grade 7

Algebra I, Grade 8


Social Studies:

Comparative Religions

Introduction to Law




  • Robert Garrison reported that Wilson School held its annual family social last week.


  • Christopher Langhart reported that the Town Recreation Committee’s discussions included the turfing of Tamaques Park field and the placement of AED devices on school fields.  This placement will be coordinated with the school district and the town, which has received a grant for this purpose.


  • Amy Root praised the Special Education Parents Committee for another successful Expo, which was held March 15.  At that event, Westfield Achieve teachers were honored for their role in supporting our school children.


  • Gretchan Ohlig attended the WHS PTSO meeting at which time the announcement was made of a fundraising campaign toward the purchase of AC units in WHS classrooms.



Two Westfield residents, Pam Brug and Lydia Kaplan, asked the Board if the idea of a Westfield High School non-voting member on the Board has ever been discussed. It has been discussed in the past. I explained that we do reach out for input from WHS students.  Currently, our Code of Conduct Committee includes a high school student. I also met with WHS students prior to my recommendation for the principal position at the school.  As recently as last year, two WHS seniors were considering running for seats on the Board after they graduated.  Board President Gretchan Ohlig stated that the Board would discuss the suggestion of the two community members and would follow-up with a response to them.





  • Westfield High School announced that eight more students each achieved the highest score on either the SAT or ACT standardized tests widely used for college admission and placement criteria. Robert Faktor earned a perfect score on the Math 2 SAT in January, 2017. Achieving the top score of 36 on the March ACT were:  Marlo Avidon - English; Chloe Brown - Math; Andrew Dazzo - Science, STEM & Reading; Jessica Fritz - Science; Yenteen Hu - English; Noah Schwartz – Reading; and Rollins Terry - English.
  • The Westfield High School Rotary Interact Club will be hosting an outdoor family movie night on Friday, April 21, on the Westfield High School field adjacent to the school. The film Zootopia will we shown at 7:30 PM and all ages are welcome. Admission for children (4-12) will be $5.00 and admission for adults and children 12+ will be $7.00. In the event of rain, the film will be shown in the gymnasium of the Broad Street YMCA. Tickets will be sold at the door. The fundraiser is being held to benefit the club's selected charity, Mary's Meals, a charity dedicated to helping hungry children overseas. The club aims to make a difference and fight hunger both locally and abroad. 


Congratulations to Westfield High School sophomore Kevin Li.  On Saturday, March 18, Kevin auditioned for and was accepted into the New Jersey All-State Orchestra, the top level state orchestra group. The audition included approximately 100 eligible students from the three Region Orchestras. Performances will be held on November 10 at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City and November 19 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. We join his teacher, Craig Stanton, in expressing our pride in Kevin.


Amanda Gant, instrumental music director at Edison Intermediate School, sends us good news.  After auditioning with approximately 135 students throughout New Jersey on Saturday, March 18, all four of our Edison Intermediate School students were accepted to perform in the All State Intermediate Orchestra. Congratulations to these extraordinary musicians who will perform on Saturday, May 13, at 3:00 at Summit High School:  Amy Xiao , 7th Grade, Violin; Kevin Chen, 6th Grade, Viola; Dylan McCann, 8th Grade, Viola; and Kelly Eagan, 8th Grade, Bass. 




The Optimist Club of Westfield has announced that the deadline for receipt of nominations for the 20th annual Intermediate School Outstanding Teacher Award is Friday, May 5th.  Two intermediate school teachers – one from Edison and one from Roosevelt Intermediate Schools – will be chosen to receive the award on June 14 at an Optimist dinner, and will be honored at a Westfield Board of Education meeting on June 13. Nominations should specify ways in which the teacher has demonstrated outstanding teaching, interest in children and continued pursuit of professional growth.  The nominee must be a full-time teacher in the Westfield Public Schools in grades 6 - 8 for a minimum of five years. Students, parents and staff are encouraged to submit nomination letters to: Outstanding Teacher Award Committee of the Optimist Club of Westfield, c/o Office of the Superintendent, Westfield Public Schools, 302 Elm St., Westfield, NJ  07090.  Letters can also be e-mailed to: optiaward@westfieldnjk12.org.



This is a reminder that April 19 is the deadline for nominations for the 25th annual Charles Philhower Fellowship award designated for a full-time elementary teacher in the Westfield Public Schools. Nominations should specify ways in which the teacher has demonstrated outstanding teaching, interest in children and continued pursuit of professional growth.  The teacher must be a full-time faculty member in grades K – 5 in the Westfield Public Schools for a minimum of five years.  Letters of nomination are invited from interested citizens, parents, students and Westfield public school staff members and should be addressed to:  Charles Philhower Fellowship Committee of the Westfield Rotary Club, c/o Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 302 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ 07090, or e-mailed to rotaryphilhower@westfieldnjk12.org.



Greta's Run will be held on Sunday, April 23, at 11 a.m., in memory of Greta Schoenemann, a Westfield High School freshman who died from injuries sustained on 9/11/02. Organized by her childhood friends, all proceeds benefit people with special & adaptive needs. This year, the event will begin at Roosevelt Intermediate School. For more information, please visit the website or contact ben@gretasrun.com.



The Westfield Public Schools will be closed for Spring Break from Monday, April 10, through Monday, April 17.  If you recall, since there is one unused snow day in the calendar, April 17 is the “give back” day and schools will be closed. 



The next meeting of the Westfield Board of Education will be held Tuesday, April 25, at 302 Elm Street. The complete agenda will be available on the Board’s website on Friday, April 21.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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