Mark your calendars for the following dates:
- Thursday, September 6st – First Day of School!
- Monday, September 10th – SCHOOL CLOSED Rosh Hashanah
- Wednesday, September 12th – Markham Place Back-to-School Night – 7:00 PM
- Thursday, September 13th – RBR Back-to-School Night
- Monday, September 17th – Point Road Back-to-School Night – 7:00 PM
- Wednesday, September 19th - SCHOOL CLOSED Yom Kippur
- Thursday, September 20th – Board of Education Meeting – 7:00 PM - MP Media Center
- Wednesday, September 26th - Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) – 9:00 AM - PR Courtyard
- Wednesday, September 26th - EFLS meeting - 7:30 PM - PR Media Center
Senate Passes Sweeney’s School Aid Bill
In June, the New Jersey Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney aimed at restoring fairness to the state’s school aid formula by eliminating “growth caps” to provide proper funding to districts with growing enrollments and establishing a seven-year phase-out of the “adjustment aid” that continues to compensate districts for students they no longer have. Adjustment Aid, sometimes called “hold harmless aid”, was created as part of SFRA (School Funding Reform Act) to make sure districts would not see big drops in their state aid when SFRA went into effect in 2008. The Sweeney legislation, Senate Bill 2, is accompanied by language in the budget bill that will shift $60 million in aid from adjustment aid districts and increase state aid by $65 million more than the $283 million recommended in the Governor’s budget in order to bring the overwhelming majority of underfunded districts to 58% funding. Little Silver’s enrollment has been relatively flat and we do not receive adjustment aid. That said, it is anticipated that Little Silver will realize some marginal increases in State Aid over the next seven years. It is important to note that Senator Sweeney’s plan assumes the Legislature will appropriate an additional $200 million each year. While the school funding bill passed in June was significant, it essentially created a “roadmap” for moving ahead. It did not guarantee funding for the plan. To read more about the New Jersey Economic & Fiscal Policy Workgroup’s Path to Progress, see: http://pathtoprogressnj.org/
Thank you Little Silver Borough for the new Point Road Parking Lot!
As previously discussed, the Little Silver Borough Council offered to absorb the cost of reconstructing the Point Road teachers’ parking lot. The project required the Little Silver Board of Education to subdivide that part of the school district’s property to allow the Borough to legally acquire the land before they could proceed with renovations that resulted in 24 additional parking spots, new lighting, and a new ADA compliant sidewalk near the lower field. While the sidewalk component of the project is still in progress, the parking lot project was completed during the week of August 27th!
The August Spotlight explained the new, streamlined forms of communication. If you HAVE NOT accessed your child’s homeroom assignment through the Genesis Parent Portal Summary Page, please go back and read the August Spotlight.
POLICY/RULE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM 2018
On an annual basis, parents are asked to review specific Board of Education Policies and indicate that you have read and discussed those policies with your child. Last year, we implemented a process whereby parents “digitally acknowledged” that they read and discussed the various policies with their children. This is a reminder that these forms will be available to parents via the Genesis Parent Portal on the first day of school. They will be mandatory to fill out before you can see the students’ schedules, class or school posts, or have access to report cards later in the year.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up
Student drop-off and pick-up are always challenging, but morning drop-off tends to present a host of issues. Parents who drop-off at Point Road are encouraged to park on Lippincott and walk their children to school. Parents are urged to be courteous. During the 2017-18 school year, we experienced incidences of unsafe driving including, but not limited to: tailgating, rear-ending vehicles, cutting drivers off, etc. This is not only unsafe for drivers, but extremely unsafe for students who are exiting vehicles. Please be cognizant of school start times (Point Road 8:05 AM and Markham Place 8:07 AM), and allow yourselves adequate time. In addition, should an accident occur, please do not leave the scene. PLEASE be mindful of prohibited drop-off locations including North Lovett.
Little Silver Introduces VIP PASS to Further Ensure School Safety
As an added step in ensuring school safety, the Little Silver School District will be implementing the VIP PASS system this year. The VIP (Volume Imaging Professional) PASS (Public Access Security Solution) System is a visitor management system that operates much like other systems such as Hall Pass School Visitor Management System and Lobby Guard Visitor Management Solutions. These are self-service sign-in kiosk systems. Visitors will be asked to show their license before entry as we currently require. Once visitors enter the first set of double-doors in either building, you will be asked to scan your driver’s license. The scan will compare identification data against a comprehensive database of sex offender registries for every state and the District of Columbia. It will then produce a badge with a QR code. Once you scan your license for the first time, each time you return to one of the buildings, you will only need to scan your QR code. This system will enable school personnel to maintain other sensitive information including such things as custody restrictions, etc. New State Safety and Security protocols ask that school districts provide visitors with red lanyards to hold visitor tags. They require school districts to have a system for visitors to sign in and sign out. Often, visitors forget to sign out. Therefore, visitors will be asked to submit their driver’s license to the office before receiving a red lanyard. When the lanyard is returned, the license will be returned. The VIP system will track the exact time in and out for all visitors. In the event of a true emergency, the Little Silver Police will have an accurate accounting of all individuals inside of each building. With all new systems comes some growing pains. Please be patient as we implement this new system.
YMCA Before and Aftercare Procedures
In an effort to continue to refine safety and security procedures, the district has installed cameras and a buzzer outside of the door by the Art Room and Music Room at the Point Road School that is used for entry for YMCA morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. The entry process will be much like the entry process at the main entrance, barring the VIP kiosk. Driver’s licenses will be scanned via a separate camera. Only those parents who have registered their children and are known by YMCA staff will be admitted through this entrance. There will be three dedicated parking spots on the Seven Bridges Road side of the school (#74, #75, and #76) for parents to use for Before Care drop-off or Aftercare pick-up.
REMINDER: Alyssa’s Law (A-764)
In the August 2018 Spotlight, an overview on Alyssa’s Law was provided. This is a reminder that Alyssa’s Law requires that all school buildings in New Jersey be equipped with an emergency light and panic alarm linked to local law enforcement, which can be activated in the event of a life-threatening emergency. We have installed strobes in the front of each building to be used during lockdowns. This will accompany our existing panic alarm system. Therefore, if you come to one of the schools and the strobe is flashing, we are likely practicing one of our required drills, and the office staff will not be able to respond to your request for entry.
Annual Parent Satisfaction Survey
Each year, we seek parent feedback by distributing a Parent Satisfaction Survey. The brief survey, based on the 2017-18 school year, will take less than five minutes to complete and will help to inform our decision-making. Further, the “Did You Know” section of the monthly Spotlight has been used as a vehicle to address concerns presented in the comment section of the survey. Please click survey to respond.
At this point in time, conversations regarding PARCC administration are continuing at the State level. If PARCC remains as our State assessment, it appears that grades 3-8 will realize few changes. The State Board of Education discussion on the proposed changes to PARCC will resume at the Board's regularly scheduled September meeting, which will be held Wednesday, September 12, at 10:00 AM in the first floor conference room of the DOE building at 1 Riverside Plaza, Trenton, NJ. Right now, the Commissioner's proposal for PARCC changes includes the following:
- Reduce the number of assessments required for graduation from six tests to two tests-Algebra 1 and ELA10
- Reduce the length of assessments in all grades by 25%
- Require that school districts present assessment data to parents/communities in a timely manner
- Allow first year English Language Learners (ELL's) to substitute an NJ DOE-approved assessment for ELA 10
- Reduce the weight of median Student Growth Percentile (mSGP) in teacher and administrator evaluations (more specific information to follow from the DOE)
Parents as Partners in Education
As we embark on this new school year, members of the Administrative Team encourage parents to be our partners in education. As previously shared, the New Jersey Department of Education has published a brief Checklist for Student Success including things parents can ask and do to help their children thrive at school. The resource can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/documents/family-community/parent-checklist.pdf
We recognize that communication is one of the most important elements in creating a positive relationship between parents and educators. We continuously strive to be timely in our responses to parent inquiries. We also recognize that parental involvement in education is one of the biggest predictors of student success. We welcome this partnership.
We work hard to meet the needs of all learners. We are fortunate to work in a district where our students don’t face many of the barriers to student success faced by many children across the nation. Parental advocacy is recognized and appreciated by Little Silver’s Administrative Team.
While we appreciate the role of the parent in our partnership, we respectfully ask parents to recognize our role as educators. Decisions are never made in isolation. Programming decisions involve administrative and teaching staff input. As trained professionals in the field of education, we rely on research to inform our decision-making, particularly with program and placement decisions. While we will not circumvent our criteria to consent to placement or programming decisions based on a parental request, we will always take the time to listen and explain our decision making. Please recognize that children will mirror you in terms of how they cope with disappointment. Help us in helping children learn that disappointment is part of life, and how we deal with outcomes is a part of growing up.
Monmouth County Human Relations Commission Presents: Bias, Prejudice & Stereotypes - How Do They Affect Us?
The Monmouth County Human Relations Commission and the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative (GRBWI) invite you to a presentation by Chief Investigator, Dave D’Amico, local authority on bias incidents and crimes, followed by a conversation with the audience on these issues.
When: Monday, September 17, 2018, 7:00-8:30 PM
Where: Two River Theater Company, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank, NJ 07701, Phone: 732-345-1400
In this interactive workshop, Chief Investigator D’Amico will examine the definitions of prejudice, bias, and discrimination, discuss examples of these concepts, and the resulting bias incidents and bias crimes. In addition to understanding where bias comes from, he will examine the types of bias incidents and bias crime which occur in Monmouth County
Free. Open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, contact Sherri West, Chair, MCHRC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that the Genesis Parent Portal will be the main vehicle for district communication including, School Posts, Class Posts, Guidance Posts, Grade Level Posts, and Sports Posts.