Security, Other Goals Discussed For Schools

(Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

JACKSON – Board members and district staff set their sights on the future during its annual goal setting meeting held earlier this summer.

That meeting included the board, Superintendent Stephen Genco, his assistant superintendents, the business administrator, and other district staff.

Genco spoke about how the district is a partnership of “dedicated staff, learners and community members committed to developing the unique abilities of each student through compelling learning experiences in a safe and nurturing environment.

“Our comprehensive, engaging and technology-enriched programs inspire, educate and motivate students to become independent, creative and critical thinkers who will thrive in a diverse, evolving global society,” Genco said.

The meeting reviewed 2017-2018 school year goals and noted that they had been achieved. New goals for the district include increased security measures at each school.

To that end the Board previously approved adding a special ballot question in November to seek voter approval to add six security guards to the district’s existing security program. To that end, the district is creating an informational campaign to explain the proposal and costs to township residents.

Other goals include expanding in-class resources to third grades, continuing efforts to increase awareness of student mental health, implement a student mental health curriculum and procedures, monitor implementation and progress of a dual credit initiative and implement a new math program for those 6 thru 12th grade plus a media technology program for those in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The district is also continuing to enhance student engagement practices and to have a problem-based curriculum and conduct staff training that focuses on real-world applications for students grades 9-12. A new middle school schedule will be recommended and staff will begin a review of the high school schedule.

The Long-Range Facilities Plan of the district will prioritize new projects from its architect which includes moving forward on the building of a satellite transportation facility on district property.

Safety vestibule installation at schools within the district will be completed and the decommissioning of an old sewer plant will also see finalization.

During the last year, Jackson and other school districts have noted a lack of school bus drivers needed for their transportation systems. The district is seeking to create a campaign to attract bus drivers and mechanics to work in the Jackson School district.

Related to planning of the new school year, the board recently approved a consultant from IDE – Innovative Designs for Education – to present a summer workshop for administrators to be funded by grant funds. The cost will not to exceed $1,840 pending approval of a NJ Department of Education Grant.

The board also moved to hire consultants from Renaissance Learning to present two workshops for the next school year. This would be funded by grant fund and not exceed $5,800.

Representatives of Health Educational Training, Howell, were hired to provide CPR instructor training for one staff member at a cost of $350 and will be paid from district funds.

The Latino Family Literacy Project was also approved for the next school year. The program will be paid by grant funds, not to exceed $3,749.

The Board also approved hiring consultants from the Reading and Writing Project Network to present five workshops at district schools. The program will be funded by grant funds, not to exceed $48,500.

A contract with Teaching Strategies for Early Childhood to provide curriculum training to preschool teaching staff was also approved by the board. The total cost will not to exceed $6,600.