New year, new digs. The school board’s first meeting of the 2016-17 school year convened for the first time at the Village School district offices.
The meeting, which was attended by more than a dozen residents, also marked the first time that a school board meeting was videotaped. District cable station manager Jamie Watson recorded the meeting from a tripod mounted camera and the video will be uploaded to the district website.
Board president Tony Fleres praised the community’s hard work in light of two recent ranking reports. New Jersey Monthly listed North as the number two public high school in the state, with South coming in at number 9. Pittsburgh-based niche.com, which launched in 2013, ranked the school district third in the state and number 33 overall in the country.
It was a busy summer, said Superintendent David Aderhold, as the administration revised more than 50 course curricula.
The board unanimously approved the curricula of 42 courses. There were 12 new curricula, including AP Psychology, AP Computer Science Principles, AP American Government, AP Comparative Government and Global Studies, Architectural Design and Fabrication, Intro to Computer Programming & Mobile App/Game Design, and Marketing.
All science courses in grades 6-12 were revised to align with Next Generation Science Standards, in accordance with state requirements.
At the beginning of the meeting, Aderhold highlighted two “significant shifts” due to recent decisions made by the state Board of Education.
The first pertained to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, as a graduation requirement. There are no changes in status for students currently in grades 10-12, but stricter PARCC requirements will apply to students in grade 9 and below. To graduate, students must pass the Algebra I and Language Arts Grade 10 PARCC exams.
The other significant state board action is the requirement of the teacher candidate performance assessment called “edTPA.” Opposed by the New Jersey Education Association, teacher certification in New Jersey requires the completion of the edTPA assessment.
According to Aderhold, Pearson Education and ETS were the only two providers larger enough to conduct the teacher evaluation. The state awarded the contract to Pearson, the company that also administers the PARCC exam.