Jackson District Discusses Options For All Kinds Of Students

Jackson School BOE
Photo by Micromedia Publications

  JACKSON – Assistant Superintendent Robert Rotante made a presentation covering a variety of topics during a recent Board of Education meeting: Advanced Placement (AP) testing; preparatory programs for high school seniors; programs to earn high school students college credits; and mental health and awareness for staff, students and parents.

  Rotante said the spring 2022 enrollment numbers for students taking AP exams “have gone up significantly from 2020 in both high schools and we are very excited that our students are back in class full time. I anticipate great things happening coming from our AP courses for the rest of the year.”

  He also pointed out information from the state performance report that shows the school district’s graduation rates and high school enrollment. Rotante said that of the students who took the traditional four-year high school route, and those who are in a special needs program and remain in high school after their senior year for some additional courses work programs, 76.9% do enroll in post high school courses.

  “We recognize as a district, that…going to high school, getting your diploma, going to college is no longer a one size fits all program that we need to prepare our students for after graduation,” he said. “There are tremendous programs that our students are taking advantage of in the vocational world and the military forces that we applaud them for. We are making sure all our students are graduating and are meeting their course requirements. Our guidance counselors do an excellent job to make sure that our students are taking the required course works that they have.

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  “They take electives that they are interested in. The students really have a lot of opportunities to take courses they are excited about. If students haven’t passed their assessment piece, we offer a portfolio assessment and we work with all our seniors individually to make sure every single senior has the ability to complete the (state required) assessments so they can graduate from one of our high schools,” the assistant superintendent added.

  Rotante said that the school district was working with Ocean County College to provide dual credit courses. Several programs allow high school students to earn college credits. The district is looking to provide more of these.

  He also mentioned efforts to improving the student connection to schools. “Interest-based clubs, like a fishing club, cooking club those types of activities really generate an interest in our students and we have many of these kinds of things happening in certain areas of the school district.”

  Rotante added, “the response in the schools is overwhelming and wonderful to see. Obviously, our mental health and awareness is very important for our students and staff at this point and having wellness programs involving healthy life choices was an area that parents identified (in a recent survey). Half the response (from a 644-response survey) said that was important to offer to our students.”

  That survey also asked parents if there were interest in holding parent workshops and the number one response was having mental health and awareness support for parents.