Schools Pass State Regulations

Susan McNamara, Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation, discusses district goals, sitting beside Superintendent Gerard Dalton. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)
Susan McNamara, Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation, discusses district goals, sitting beside Superintendent Gerard Dalton. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – For the first time in many years, the Brick Township Public Schools has passed the Instruction and Program section of the New Jersey QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum), the Department of Education’s monitoring system the state uses for public school districts.

The district received scores of 100 percent in three other areas – Governance, Personnel, and Fiscal Management – and 90 percent in Operations.

Using a “complicated formula,” the combined score for Brick Township Schools is 85 percent, which puts the district as high performing, said Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation Susan McNamara.

“This was a task that was long on our list,” she said during the February Board of Education meeting. “We have not been able to pass Instruction and Program, and we have been a school in need of improvement, a district in need of improvement for many years.

“We are now considered a high-performing school district,” she said. “It certainly is part of our mission and vision coming to fruition and reality.”

The administrative code for NJ QSAC is reviewed every five years, and the system changed when the new governor and new educational commissioner came into office and switched over to the present system, McNamara explained.

“We were originally being measured against our old NJASK scores and we recently were able to shift to our scores from the NJ Student Learning Assessments for English Language Arts and Mathematics,” she said.

In those areas, which McNamara said the district still has some work to do in terms of academic achievement, the academic growth has begun to move in a “very positive direction.”

Additionally, all the district’s instructional programs and curriculum has been revamped and is up to date and “shows the differentiation the state is looking for so that all the classroom populations are being addressed while employing all the career and readiness skills the students need,” she said.

In other news, Chairman of Sustainable Brick John Hyfantis attended the Board of Education meeting to tout the 9th Annual Green Fair, which will be held at Brick High School on April 13.

All programs and presentations would go along with the theme of this year’s Green Fair, “Make One Change” and are aimed to that objective, he said.

The gymnasium has enough space for 50 exhibitors, and 50 signed up in the first week, he said. There is also enough space for school exhibitors.

Again this year, while at the Green Fair, students can take a form and go to all the exhibitors they want to go to, ask questions, fill out the form, bring it back to organizers.

There is a special door prize for students who come back with the form filled out, so Hyfantis said they are hoping for more participation this year.

“We are also planning on more door prizes this year and we’re going to have four ‘break-out sessions,’ or separate rooms adjacent to the gymnasium: New Jersey Resources Home Audit Program; Save Barnegat Bay; Atlantic Coast Recycling Group; and BTMUA who would have a Build Your Own Rain Barrel workshop,” Hyfantis said.

Plans are in place for a recycling truck to collect electronics during the Green Fair. Normally residents have to take these items to the Manchester recycling center, he said.

Also, some hybrid vehicles will be on display, including a Tesla.

The public has become more interested in the Green Fair, with over 900 attendees last year, Hyfantis said.

All schools have been contacted to make sure organizers have everything needed for their participation, such as the number of tables, if electricity is needed, and more.

“We think there’s a direct correlation between the increase in attendance and the increase in attendance from the schools who put on displays, so we’re hoping the schools will come back to us in about a month to tell us what they’re going to do and what needs we can help them fill,” he said.

Brick Township’s Ninth Annual Green Fair will take place on Saturday April 13 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Brick Township High School. The fair is hosted by the Sustainable Brick Committee, the Brick Environmental Commission, the Brick Township Recreation Department, and the Brick Township Tourist Development Commission.