RESOLUTION TO PHILHOWER FELLOWSHIP AWARD RECIPIENT
On May 7 we celebrated National Teacher Day and saluted the 530 teachers in our Westfield Public Schools who work to guide our students to become critical thinkers and good citizens. It was fitting that on this day we recognized the 2013 recipient of the Westfield Rotary Club’s Philhower Fellowship -- Jackie Riley, first grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. I congratulated Mrs. Riley on receiving this significant honor bestowed on her by the Rotary and based on numerous glowing letters of nomination from parents.
She was presented with a resolution by Board President Richard Mattessich at the Board of Education meeting held at Jefferson School. Congratulatory remarks were also made by her principal, colleagues, and current and former students. The PTO presented her with flowers. Mrs. Riley, who is a graduate of the Westfield Public Schools, began her career as a teacher here in 2006 and stated that she feels it is important to build a trusting relationship with students, which will enable students to take risks as learners.
LINCOLN SCHOOL PILOT PROGRAM
Kindergarten students registered at Lincoln School for the 2013-2014 school year may participate in a new fee-based, wrap-around program that will feature science/math activities, as well as reading/writing, and fun projects.
Lincoln School kindergarten is a half day public school program where students attend either a morning or afternoon session. The wrap-around portion will permit AM kindergarteners to remain at Lincoln School through lunch, then transition to the wrap-around program, ending at 3:20 PM. Conversely, PM kindergartners can attend the wrap-around program beginning at 9:05 AM, stay through lunch, and enter their regular kindergarten classroom in the afternoon. It will follow the Westfield Public School calendar.
Enrollment in the wrap-around program is limited to 20 students per session. Students must be registered for Lincoln School kindergarten for the 2013-2014 school year. If necessary, there will be a lottery held on May 24 at 10 AM at Lincoln School. Notification of enrollment will be by e-mail and phone. Tuition for the full school year, 5-day wrap-around program will be $350 per month. Registration forms for the wrap-around program can be found online at www.westfieldnjk12.org/lincoln.
The Board accepted with regret the following retirement notifications effective June 30, 2013:
Elaine Eisenstein – Special Services, Occupational Therapist who has been assisting Westfield students since 1983; Josephine Ho – Lincoln School, Kindergarten teacher, who has been teaching our youngest learners for more than 27 years; Marie Percopo – WHS, English teacher, who has been teaching here for 11 years; Mary Ann Sepe – Lincoln School, Kindergarten teacher, who taught our youngest learners for more than 31 years; and Debra Judd – WHS Paraprofessional, who has provided assistance to students since 2010. Anne Hade – WHS secretary, who has served students in the Guidance Department for more than 25 years, will retire effective July 31, 2013. We thank all of these colleagues for their service to the Westfield Public Schools and wish them an enjoyable retirement.
The Board approved the appointment of James DeSarno as WHS Assistant Principal for the 2013-2014 school year. Mr. DeSarno has been Interim Assistant Principal at Westfield High School this school year and entered WHS as a teacher in 2006. He has been very effective in his roles at WHS and will continue to serve us well. Mr. DeSarno extended his appreciation to the Board and noted his admiration for the school district.
We recognized Derrick Nelson, Assistant Principal at WHS, who as a US Army Reservist for the past 16 years, is being deployed to Afghanistan. He will be leaving New Jersey on May 31 and will train in the US prior to his deployment overseas. Mr. Nelson has been a wonderful role model in our district for the last three years, first as Assistant Principal at Roosevelt Intermediate School. He stated that his experience in Westfield had “rejuvenated my educational batteries.” We wish him a safe return to our school district in 2014.
Business Administrator Dana Sullivan reported that the first job meeting regarding the roof replacements has taken place with the contractors. Three school roofs will be replaced this summer -- at WHS, Roosevelt and Washington – with work beginning on June 26. Summer programs at Washington will be relocated to Franklin and Wilson. Volleyball and basketball will be held at Edison Intermediate School, and wrestling will take place at Lincoln. With the exception of the Science Wing at WHS, the inside of the three schools will be off limits this summer aside from the 12-month school staff.
The Board approved for first reading the following policies: 0151 – Organization Meetings (repealing policies 153-154); 0161- Call, Adjournment and Cancellation; and 0162 – Notice of Board Meetings. Board Policy Chair Gretchan Ohlig tabled Policy 0155 (Board Committees) to permit discussion within committees. The Board approved for second reading Policy 8462 – Child Abuse and/or Neglect.
The Board affirmed my decision on three HIB investigations.
CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION & PROGRAMS
The Board approved for first reading the followingrevised curriculum:
Social Studies – AP United States Government and Politics; AP European History; Ancient and Medieval Traditions; and American Studies. CIP Policy Chair Rosanne Kurstedt noted that the revisions meet the NJ Common Core Curriculum Standards.
World Language - Latin I & II; Spanish 6, 7, and 8; and Spanish I, II, and II Honors.
The Board approved for first reading the following new curriculum: Mandarin Chinese I and Mandarin Chinese II. Dr. Kurstedt explained that Mandarin I was introduced at WHS as a pilot program this year and has been very well received.
The Board approved a withdrawal from our maintenance reserve account to fund the following projects:
Locker replacement at WHS: $84,972.26
Sidewalk replacement at Washington and Edison Schools: $29,700.00
Ceiling tiles and lighting in 10 classrooms at Edison Schools: $24,671.60
The Board accepted with gratitude a gift of $1,000 from the Edison PTO to the Fine Arts Department for the purchase of a laptop and projector for the Music Department.
Legislation Committee Chair Ann Cary reported that May 29 is the annual meeting of the Garden State Coalition of Schools, and on June 6 the New Jersey School Boards Association will participate in Legislative Day to encourage discussions with legislators.
Rosanne Kurstedt attended the Franklin PTO meeting at which parents expressed positive support of the district’s reading/writing workshop.
DATES TO REMEMBER
The next meeting of the Board of Education will take place on Tuesday, May 21, at 302 Elm Street. In the meantime, please be sure to stop at the District Art Show at Westfield High School on May 14 through 16, and May-Hem at WHS on May 18. Our school spring concerts have begun and also are open to the public. Complete schedules are listed at www.westfieldnjk12.org.
Margaret Dolan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools