Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year. The Board of Education, Administration, and staff have been extremely busy over the summer. We have worked to ensure that when our doors open in September, you will be greeted by a safer, more secure learning environment, with a focus on high expectations and unlimited opportunities to succeed for all stakeholders.
Our utmost priority has been protecting our most cherished resource, our children, by implementing security changes. Security and school safety will be paramount this coming year. The district has installed a “Security Vestibule” in Memorial School near Main Door #1, by the Multi-Purpose Room and the Board of Education Office. The district is attempting to limit the number of people into the buildings to increase security. No one will be able to enter the main Office by Main Door #15 (Flagpole Entrance).
All visitors, vendors, sales people, must enter through the new security vestibule. Main Door #1 will be the only entrance to the building. At this location, students in Memorial School will be signed out; parents will drop off items; and all other contacts will be through this entry point.
All internal & external speakers have also been repaired and upgraded to ensure that announcements are clearly heard. For the first time, the public address system is linked so that announcements can be made to both schools simultaneously. This is a very large security upgrade.
Within a more secure environment, teachers will also strive to create a nurturing and productive tone focused on preparing each child to attain individual learning goals. Our most recent School Performance Report indicates that our district met performance targets in both English Language Arts and Math. Still, we will continue to work to improve performance on PARCC as meeting minimum proficiency is simply not a high enough standard to prepare our children for the rigors of competition in the arenas of college and careers of tomorrow.
To this end, we have transformed our academic schedule to give every student the opportunity to win through a rigorous curriculum:
- Fifth Grade is now departmentalized. The 5th Grade will now change classes just as the other middle school grades do. This will maximize their exposure to different teaching styles.
- Sixth through eighth grades will experience a slight alternation in their schedules as they will be filtered into their mathematics classes according to ability. We have added advanced classes, as well as smaller remedial classes to maximize the potential of all students.
- We have added Gifted and Talented classes to grades one through four. Grades five through eight will have higher level classes in mathematics and English Language Arts.
- The district has added Art to the 5th through 8th Grades. There will be an area dedicated to Art & Music.
- The Media Center has been converted to a 21st Century Media/Tech Center. The Media Center will house the technology classes and has 40 desktop computer stations.
- The old Technology Lab will house Four (4) Small Group Instruction Areas for our English as a Second Language (ESL) and Special Education Populations.
There is no doubt in my mind that our schools are successful because of the outstanding partnership developed with our parents. As the Superintendent of Schools, I am deeply committed to ongoing communication with you as we work in school and at home to attain our shared mission. I invite you to continue to visit our website for ongoing updates, newsletters, and highlights. These will inform and inspire you as we stand shoulder to shoulder to develop lifelong learners with the knowledge and skill to build a better tomorrow for us all.
Mr. Frank R. Scarafile
Superintendent of Schools