Little Egg Harbor School District to Help Accommodate Pinelands

Oct 18, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson George J. Mitchell students of the month pose with their certificates at the Little Egg Harbor Township Board of Education meeting Monday.

The Little Egg Harbor School District will help accommodate after-school programs and the drama club at Pinelands Regional High School, now closed due to ongoing construction problems, according to Little Egg Harbor Schools Superintendent Melissa McCooley.

At the Little Egg school board meeting Monday, Oct. 16, McCooley said the Pinelands district had asked for help, which the Little Egg Harbor district will provide in any way possible while all Pinelands students are on split sessions in the junior high school.

During her report to the school board on Monday, she announced the LEH school district will host a Community Open House on Wednesday, Oct 18 at 6 p.m. in the Frog Pond School. There will be door prizes including two Chrome boxes, bike helmets and restaurant coupons. Children are welcome: children in grades K through 3 will have a pizza party and watch a Captain Underpants movie while older children will participate in board games.

McCooley’s “Sit with the Sup,” an informal meeting with parents or community members, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. to accommodate working parents.

Sixth grade students Gabrielle Bruno from the Frog Pond School and Hailey Parnell of the George J. Mitchell School gave school updates to the board.

During the reports from district principals, Frog Pond Principal Troy Henderson said his school’s focus was to improve the school culture after seeing last year’s results from surveys taken by teachers and students that found only 40 percent had positive feelings about the school environment or culture. Henderson said having a positive feeling and outlook overall affects student achievement and that learning is a group effort.

To improve the statistics, teachers, staff and administrators will make clear what is expected of student behavior in the classroom, cafeteria, playground and the buses.

He has already started a school culture improvement committee that is researching professional development programs other schools are using to find a good fit.

“We’ll continue the ‘Good Egg’ program that emphasizes specific behaviors that promote a positive school culture such as good manners,” said Henderson. “During morning announcements we will incorporate weekly themes involving senior students (sixth grade) regarding positive character traits and assemblies that recognize students who show good character building.

“Our goal is that by the end of the school year when we give the survey again, we will have a 10 percent improvement.”

John Acampora, director of curriculum, said results of the NJASK tests are about the same as last year: some grades improved in some areas and went down in others. He showed a graph to the public that was impossible to read.

The state has decided that the NJASK standardized test will not be given in the fourth grade anymore but will be given in the fifth grade. “Last year’s fourth grade will be tested again in fifth grade. Although they are not happy, we will be able to see if they improved,” said Acampora.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

 

 

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