April 2019 Spotlight

Student Achievement

Mark your calendars for the following dates:

  • Thursday, April 4th – Markham Place Solo/Ensemble Concert – 7:00 PM
  • Friday, April 5th – EFLS Event - Navesink Country Club – 8:00-11:00 PM (VIPs at 7:00)
  • Friday, April 19th  – Friday, April 26th  -  SCHOOL CLOSED for SPRING BREAK
  • Tuesday, April 30th  - BOE Meeting – 7:00 PM

Lack of Snow Days Alters 2018-2019 School Calendar including GRADUATION date!

Clip art depicting five smiling childrenDuring the 2018-19 school year, we didn’t use any snow days!  Therefore, the two days that were built into the calendar will be returned.  Originally, Graduation was set for Thursday, June 20th, with Friday, June 21st as the last day of school.  As a result of not using any snow days, Graduation will move up to Tuesday, June 18th at 7:00 PM.  The last day of school will be Wednesday, June 19thRBR will graduate on Friday, June 21st.    Both June 18th & 19th are now half days of school.


 

The Little Silver Board of Education Recognizes Student Achievement

During the March 14th Board of Education meeting, Board of Education members recognized students for accomplishments in a plethora of different areas including: Spelling Bee winners, a Geography Bee winner, qualifying members of the Central Jersey Regional Choir, the qualifying student of the New Jersey Youth Orchestra,  the qualifying student for the All Shore Intermediate Band, the 2019 State Youth Art Month Exhibit winner, the 2019 Garden State Film Festival Nominees and winner, the National Garden Clubs Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest Winners, the NJ Agricultural Society Poster Contest Winner, and the Little Silver Environmental Commission No Idling Contest winners.  Congratulations to all of our talented students!

Click here for a 1 minute video of this event


 

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How Did Little Silver Score on the New Jersey State Report Card?

 

 

 

The Little Silver-Oceanport Patch reported that we received high marks on student achievement scores.  Read the full article.


 

New Jersey Performance Report graphic/logo

 

New Jersey School Performance Reports

 

New Jersey’s School Performance Reports provide families, educators, and the public a picture of overall school performance. The performance reports offer valuable information across many elements, including schoolwide academic achievement and progress, demographics, school climate, chronic absenteeism, and college and career readiness.

 

The 2017-2018 New Jersey School Performance Reports were recently released.  They are available for your review.

Enhancements to the 2017-2018 School Performance Reports

The 2017-2018 reports include changes that respond to stakeholder feedback collected through a feedback survey, at parent roundtables and workshops, and from stakeholder engagement throughout the year. These changes include:

  • More informative, easier to understand one-page Summary Reports
  • Additional navigation tools and an improved search page within the reports
  • Emphasis on student growth with the growth section of the reports newly featured before the academic achievement section in the reports
  • More information about Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, dual enrollment, graduation pathways, progress toward English language proficiency, staff demographics, and discipline

One-Page Summary Reports

Along with the full reports, one-page Summary Reports for each school and district are also available. The Summary Reports provide a high-level summary of how well a school or district is performing.

 

A Summary Report Guide is also available on the School Performance Reports webpage to explain the different data points on the Summary Reports.

 

The NJDOE continued to seek public input on ways to improve future reports.  Please complete the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/VKNTTRC or email reportcard@doe.nj.gov with feedback and suggestions.

 


The letters spelling "Budget" clipped on a clothesline

Budget and Finance

The final budget presentation to the community will be during the Tuesday, April 30th BOE meeting. 


 

Two folders with the words "Draft" and "Bill" on their spines.

Senate Republicans unveil School Funding Reform Bills

 

 

On Monday, March 4th, there was a press conference at the State House regarding a School Funding Reform Bill Package that the Republicans are putting forth.  The “Every Child Counts” (ECC) bill package encompasses four (4) components.  In short, the bill will:

  1. Improve support for special education students by making special education funding 100% categorical instead of the current 1/3 categorical and 2/3 wealth equalized.  As noted above, because of Little Silver’s wealth, we have received minimal State Aid in the past. 
  2. Ensure school funding tracks student needs every year.  In the past, school funding has not been consistently funded at the intended percentage.  The proposed bill wants to amend the state constitution to ensure that the statutory school funding formula is followed every year even if it is on a pro-rated basis because of volatile state revenues limiting how much school aid can be afforded within the State Budget.
  3. Increase accuracy and equity within school funding.  They are proposing that the method to determine how much more or less aid a school district gets should be educationally sound and not based on politics.
  4. End the gimmicks and external manipulations within school funding.  They are proposing using the Federal small area income and poverty estimate, currently used for Title I funding, as the measure of at-risk students in lieu of school districts self-reported free/reduced lunch numbers.  Title I is the largest federal aid program for public schools in the United States.  Title I provides federal funds to schools with high percentages of low-income students.  Little Silver receives a minuscule amount of Title I funding, so this component would likely have little impact on our district.

More on the press conference.


Picture of New Jersey State House

Superintendent Testifies to the New Jersey Assembly on March 27, 2019

On March 27, 2019, the New Jersey Assembly heard testimony regarding Little Silver’s challenges with Special Education spending.  Read the testimony here.

 

Advocate for Fair Funding by Contacting Our Local Legislators

Little Silver is in need of special education funding reform.  This would benefit all students.  Support Little Silver by contacting your District 13 Legislators: Senator Declan O’Scanlon (SenOscanlon@njleg.org) and  Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (AswDiMaso@njleg.org).  Check out the sample letter.


 

Little Silver Moves to a Pay-to-Play Model Beginning the 2019-2020 School Year

Pay To Play logo in a boxFollowing the Governor’s Budget Hearing on March 5, 2019, Little Silver learned that we will be realizing a $55,626 increase in State Aid.  While any increase is welcomed, our total State Aid revenue of $548,335 represents 3.5% of our budget.  As discussed over the past 5+ years, our expenditures are growing at a percentage that exceeds the 2% property tax cap.  As a result, we have decreased elementary class sections to four per grade level with some class sizes reaching as high as 26, and we’ve maximized every district resource we have available to contain costs.  While the 2019-2020 budget does not reflect cuts in positions as we have faced in prior years, we have reached a point where the district needs to offset expenditures by moving to a Pay-to-Play model.  The district has vetted a way to utilize MySchoolBucks for parents to pay online. 

Sports activities will cost $200 per activity

  • Fall: soccer, cross country
  • Winter: basketball, cheerleading
  • Spring: baseball, softball, track

Extra-curricular activities will cost $70 per activity

  • Point Road After School Activity (changes annually)
  • Point Road Band (4th grade)
  • Point Road Chorus
  • Point Road Orchestra (4th grade)
  • Markham Place After School Activity (i.e. STEM Club)
  • Markham Place Band
  • Markham Place Chorus
  • Markham Place Computer Club
  • Markham Place CyberPatriots
  • Markham Place Jazz Band
  • Markham Place Orchestra
  • Markham Place Theater
  • Markham Place Yearbook

Students elected to the Student Council at Markham Place or the Safety Patrol at Point Road will not be charged.


The NJ State Assessment is the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) formerly PARCC

The February 2019 Spotlight highlighted changes to the Spring 2019 State Assessments.  The NJDOE announced that PARCC is now called the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA).  Students will continue to be assessed in English Language Arts (NJSLA-ELA) and Math (NJSLA-M).  While the structure of the test and the online testing platform remains the same, our students will realize slightly shorter tests.  The ELA assessment which formerly had 3 units will now have 2 units.  The timing of the ELA portion of the test for our students will be 75 minutes per unit in grade 3 and 90 minutes per unit in grades 4-8.  There will be 3 units of Math for grades 3-8, each unit spanning 60 minutes in duration.  Markham Place will be assessing Wednesday, May 1st through Friday, May 3rd.  Point Road will be assessing the week of May 6th-10th, with only one unit per day. 


Substitute Teachers & Substitute Instructional Assistants Wanted!  

Help Wanted sign on an image of a keyboard

Little Silver is seeking substitute teachers and instructional assistants. Applicants need not be teacher certified.  If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher orsubstitute instructional assistant, you need 60 college credits.  The substitute teacher pay rate is $85 a day, whereas the pay rate for a substitute instructional assistant is $75 a day.  If you are interested in serving in either capacity, please contact Judy Lyons at jlyons@littlesilverschools.org or call 732-741-2188.


Did you know graphical image

Did you know that members of the Board of Education Finance Committees from each of the seven districts on the peninsula (Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Red Bank, RBR, Fair Haven, Rumson, and RFH) have joined forces in developing a Peninsula Finance Committee that is focused on advocating for fair and equitable special education funding?