JACKSON – Superintendent Nicole Pormilli reported that the district has been focused on getting students engaged with their peers, school activities and academics.
She noted during a recent School Board meeting that, “we want to really make sure we are reconnecting students and getting them excited to come to school again.”
A short video presentation was shown early on during that meeting that Pormilli said “will show some wonderful things we have been doing in the last month in regards to reengaging students, celebrating and honoring respect and responsibility and safety and being drug free with Red Ribbon week.”
Jackson elementary students were featured in the presentation speaking about the excitement they had in October with lessons about acts of kindness and the visit Jackson Police officers made to speak with students about Halloween safety.
Members of Jackson fire departments also came out last month to talk to students from pre-kindergarten to 5th grade about fire safety. The video showed clips from those visits by police and fire department members, and the various programs held in the schools.
“Our staff and administrative team are amazing in re-engaging students and finding very creative and fun ways of really sending a message of respect, staying drug free and taking care of yourself in a healthy way. We lead by example and there is no better example than our staff here in Jackson who are truly invested,” Pormilli added.
Board Vice President Michael Walsh said a scholarship committee meeting was held on November 16 to start an ad book. He said the ad book is something, “that pays for the scholarships that the Jackson Scholarship group gives out. The sponsors who are interested in giving out scholarships must go on the website and put in the information before December 20.”
Walsh said that after that date the students would get the scholarship info and start applying around mid-January. “Scholarships will be selected by mid-March. That is the general guideline.”
Board member Gus Acevedo pointed out that the school district’s campus was connected to two universities/colleges. “Have we contacted them as to availability of scholarships and information that we can provide to our students?”
Walsh said that through school guidance departments “there is plenty of contact between Rutgers, Georgian Court and Ocean County College and there are certain scholarships that are marked for each one of them.”
Solar Panel Project
Regarding the district’s Buildings and Grounds group Board member Scott Sergeant said they were moving forward smoothly “thanks to the amazing crew that we have. We are moving forward with the continuation and hopefully completion of the solar panel project that we hope to see soon in our parking lots at some point in time.”
He added, “on behalf of all the high school students and building and grounds group was able to make sure they had an outdoor homecoming. This is a little pivot to something we don’t normally do but in order to make it happen those crews made sure it did.”
Bus Driver Shortage
Walsh also spoke about budget and finance saying “as far as the timeline we have a meeting scheduled to talk about the (bus) driver shortages and how we can overcome it to get the most students to and from school and for activities and the private school situation coming up next year.”
Sergeant reported there were no contract negotiations at the current time.