Author Topic: Education/Charter Schools/Testing  (Read 48648 times)

Offline Homer Jones

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #105 on: June 02, 2013, 04:57:55 PM »
They're lucky if they get 44 kids from all of Prospect Avenue.

Offline just watching

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #106 on: June 02, 2013, 05:20:45 PM »
Homer is absolutely right, I doubt there is 44 kids from all of the HIGH-RISES on Prospect Ave.  I'm guessing that what he meant, the high-rises.

If you want to find kids on Prospect Ave, they are easy to find --- just look at the old apartments on next to the hospital (#2, #8, #64), and the garden apartments across the street.  I bet there is way more than 44 kids in those buildings.

Avalon Hackensack will be a great ratable, it will pay a ton of taxes to the city and create almost no burden on schools, police, and city services.  This is the future of Hackensack, especially Main Street and vicinity.  And I understand that Edgewater mega-developer Fred Daibes is interested in The Record campus.  By all accounts, his Linden Street building is a great asset to Hackensack.  He's proved himself.  Daibes will sure propose something similar to Avalon Hackensack, but much bigger, and perhaps with office and retail components.  Bring it on, we need it.

I certainly hope that the new administration in Hackensack is will not curtain upscale construction due to the school overcrowding issue. Without the ratables provided by new construction in urban areas, the city will be strained financially to provide the necessary city services, including schools, police, fire, etc.  Hackensack is a city, it is not a suburban town.  If anyone wants to know what happens to a city that fails to redevelop its downtown and its older areas, just look at all the other cities in New Jersey.

Offline Homer Jones

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #107 on: June 02, 2013, 05:44:51 PM »
You guessed right. I was referring to the area of Prospect Avenue from Atlantic Street north to Passaic. And since I am in the neighborhood, might as well throw in Overlook also.

Offline just watching

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #108 on: June 02, 2013, 07:53:39 PM »
Yep.  I agree.  All the highrises on Prospect AND Overlook are putting less than 44 kids in the Hackensack school system, combined.

And Avalon Hackensack will be almost entirely empty-nesters and young couples with no kids (or maybe a baby). 

I bet there will be a lot of retired couples (esp. Jewish) downsizing out of houses in Teaneck and northern Bergen County, and lots of Asians (esp. Koreans) who want to live near their favorite mall and still be not too far from Palisades Park.  Add about 10% or 15% for upscale Latino's, and maybe a handful of African-Americans, and that'll be the composition of Avalon Hackensack. 

Offline Editor

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #109 on: June 07, 2013, 10:02:13 AM »
Newsweek ranks Hackensack HS among top high schools in the nation
Friday June 7, 2013, 7:45 AM
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

Hackensack Hackensack High School was ranked among the top high schools in the nation by Newsweek.

The process at Newsweek by which rankings were determined, involved a look at set criteria such as Advanced Placement programs, graduation rates, and college acceptance.

"It is always nice to be recognized," Hackensack High School Principal James Montesano said. "It is nice to be honored."

According to Montesano, credit must be given to all the students, staff, and faculty for all their hard work and dedication to education.

"We have a mature group of students who rise to the occasion," he said.

While Montesano is pleased with the school's latest honor, he noted that this is not the first time that Hackensack High School received such a ranking in fact, it is the second time. HHS was previously ranked in 2009, although, Montesano pointed out, the criteria has changed.

According to Newsweek's website, the publication invited over 5,000 high schools to take part in the survey. While close to 2,500 institutions responded, Newsweek picked the top 2,000 of which Hackensack placed No. 1,374.

It is ranked among the top 1,500 high schools in the country, recognized on set criteria such as Advanced Placement programs, graduation rate, and college acceptance.

The list is based on six components: graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rates (25 percent), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT (10 percent), average AP/IB/AICE score (10 percent), and the percentage of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5 percent).

Montesano further explained the process.

"We received an email [from Newsweek] saying we were preliminary screened to be a part of [the survey]," he said.

High schools that were screened, were then sent an application.

"To our surprise, we were selected [among the top]," Montesano said.

The latest honor has other district officials pleased as well.

"In terms of the announcement, it is great news for Hackensack," Interim Superintendent Joseph Abate said. "However, there is still much to be done."

Montesano agreed.

"I will not be satisfied until we are No. 1."

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 10:08:02 AM by Editor »

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #111 on: June 21, 2013, 08:56:41 AM »
Hackensack School District hosts community forum for superintendent search
Friday, June 21, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle
   
HACKENSACK The Hackensack School District hosted a community forum regarding the superintendent search that is currently underway.


Richard Marasco, right, and Jan Furman both from the Leadership Advantage search firm gathered suggestions, concerns, and questions residents had regarding the current search process for a new district leader at a community forum on June 12.
TOM HART/PHOTO

The forum, on June 12, was scheduled to give residents an opportunity to voice any questions or concerns they may have about the hiring of a new superintendent as well as a chance to aid in the search process by providing insight as to what the community is looking for in a district leader. Two representatives from Leadership Advantage the search firm that was hired to assist in narrowing down the pool of candidates were present to gather information and speak to those present.

"We want to listen to your voices," Assistant Superintendent Rosemary Marks said. "We want to listen to your questions and concerns."

Richard Marasco, representative for Leadership Advantage, further added, "We are here today because we want to know Hackensack better."

He continued, "What do you like about the school system here? What dont you like? What do you want to see in the next superintendent?"

According to Marasco, the information gathered will be "part of a public document a blue print for the board, district, school administrators, and [the firm] in order to go forward [with the search]."

Marasco also explained how the search and candidacy pool for the superintendent position changed throughout the years.

"Before we used to have about 100 people interested in a superintendent position," Marasco said. "That is not the case anymore. The pressure that comes with the position has decreased the candidacy pool. Salary caps imposed by the state have dramatically changed and play a part in less people applying [for a superintendent position]."

Resident Andrew Wright, who has two children in the Hackensack Public School system, was present during the forum. He voiced his desire for someone who will be at the helm of the district for the long-haul.

"We need someone who has staying power," Wright said. "Someone who wont feel the pressure and go right through the door.we need someone who is, probably, not close to retirement."

Marasco noted that Wrights point is a common concern throughout the community and among the districts educational staff. Over an approximate span of five years, the district has seen two superintendents Edward Kliszus and Raymond Gonzalez come and go before current interim Superintendent Joseph Abate was appointed on November 2011.

According to resident Ojetta Townes, an individual who understands the diversity within the student population is another matter of importance.

"We need someone who understands the diverse needs of our community," she said. "How can one implement the needs of our children while taking into consideration all the factors cultural, racial, and economical of our community."

Adding to the comment, resident Blanche Stuart said that an individual who focuses on all levels of the education spectrum is of significance as well.

"We have a great [Advanced Placement] curriculum, and we have special education, but what happens to the kids in the middle," she asked. "We need a leader who can focus on all the levels not just AP and special education."

The need, and want, for someone with an "open-door" policy who is willing to address the concerns of parents was also brought up during the forum.

According to Wright, a keen focus on preparing students for the workforce should be a main goal of the next superintendent.

"One of the many challenges schools face is preparing children for the workforce," he said. "How can you prepare our children if you are preparing them for [New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge exam]? I think schools are lacking in up-to-date technology."

Stuart advised for the district to expand their search.

"We need to expand the pool of candidates," she said. "It is important to get someone committed."

Though Jan Furman, representative for Leadership Advantage, agreed with the notion of broadening the search, she did mention that there could be some slight conflicts when someone is brought in from out-of-state.

"There will be nuances with [New Jerseys] Department of Education if you get someone from out of state," Jan Furman, representative for Leadership Advantage said. "But sometimes you do have to expand the pool."

Once the search comes to an end and a candidate has been named the next superintendent, he or she will take the position come November.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #112 on: June 28, 2013, 08:38:54 PM »
Hackensack district approves building lease from Archdiocese of Newark
Friday June 28, 2013, 11:36 AM
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK - The Hackensack School District has a lease agreement for the Padre Pio Academy building with the Archdiocese of Newark, officials said..

The Hackensack School District approved entering a five-year lease with the Archdiocese of Newark to use the now-vacant Padre Pio Academy building. The facility will now be known as the Hackensack Public Schools Early Childhood Developmental Center and will house pre-K, pre-K handicapped, and two or three special education kindergarten classes come fall.

For months district officials toyed with the idea of converting the now-vacant Catholic school into what will be known as the Hackensack Public Schools Early Childhood Developmental Center to hold the district's pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes in an attempt to alleviate student overcrowding. The board approved the five-year contract at its June 10 meeting.

The school building spans 42,069 square feet, interim Superintendent Joseph Abate said in an interview with The Chronicle.

Though the Early Childhood Developmental Center will house the entire pre-K, pre-K handicapped, and two or three special education kindergarten classes, plans could change within the year.

"A year from now, we hope to move as many kindergarten classes into the building as we can fit," Abate said.

As per the agreement between the two parties, the Hackensack district will provide a $46,667 security deposit and will pay "$54,677 a month for a total of $656,129 a year," according to Abate.

While school officials have visited the building on occasions and Abate, previously, mentioned that the school facility is in "great shape" - having been built in the 1960s and hosting a gym and auditorium - the contract gives the district the opportunity to make certain changes to bring it to code.

"Even though there is not one physically handicap student scheduled to attend the school in September," the district hopes to create handicap accessibility ramps and toilets, Abate said. Despite the fact that the district is "currently in bid" for the ramps, Abate said the project should be complete by the start of September.

The five-year lease will also allow the district time to gather additional information and come up with a more permanent solution to its growing student population. The district will look into either buying the property or constructing a new building, among other options, Abate said.

The agreement with the Archdiocese also states that the building will host CCD - or religious Catholic instruction classes, according to Abate.

Though the Archdiocese of Newark was initially disappointed in the closing of Padre Pio Academy, it takes comfort in playing a role in the education of the community it once served.

"Despite our best efforts to keep Padre Pio open, we just couldn't because of low enrollment," Kelly Marsicano, public relations specialist for the Archdiocese of Newark, said. "We are thankful the school building will still be used as a school. We are glad that we can continue, in a way, the tradition of education."

According to Marsicano, the lease will begin July 1.

Classes at the Center are set to begin September, according to Abate.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #113 on: July 16, 2013, 11:05:25 PM »
Hackensack school board removes one of its own, citing change of residence
Monday, July 15, 2013    Last updated: Monday July 15, 2013, 10:51 PM
BY HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record
 
HACKENACK The school board voted Monday to remove Trustee Kevon Larkins from office because he has moved out of the district while Larkins protested that he had dual residences and was being targeted for political reasons.

School board members must live in the district where they serve, according to state statute, and if they move, their membership shall immediately cease.

School officials said they had proof Larkins no longer lived at 140 Prospect Ave. including returned packages, a police report and word from the doorman.

Mr. Larkins no longer lives in Hackensack, said Board Attorney Richard Salkin, and, under law, he has to resign his position.

Larkins, elected to the board last year, said he had residences in both Teaneck and Hackensack and it was his right to remain on the board. He did not say which was his primary residence.

He said he moved to Teaneck a month ago because he gained custody of his children and needed a home large enough to accommodate his family. But Larkins reported a Teaneck address on a police report as far back as January, Salkin said. The report, Larkins said, was a confidential one that he made involving his children and that it shouldnt have been released.

School officials said packages sent to Larkins Prospect Avenue address had been returned three times in recent months and that the doorman said he no longer lived there.

Larkins countered that his name was not on the lease and that there were 300 or 400 residents in the building where he lived, so the doorman might not know him. He said he also told officials hed pick up packages at school board offices.

Six board members voted for the resolution to remove him from office. Larkins and board member Carol Martinez voted against it. One person, Angel Carrion, was absent.

After the vote, Larkins was asked to leave the dais. He did and promptly sat in the rows of the high school auditorium where the meeting was held. He was the first person to get up to speak during public comment, where he defended himself and criticized the board.

He claimed he was targeted by the board for political reasons because he didnt rubber stamp the matters that come before the board: Because I wont play ball with their politics, they destroy me, he said.

Board member Frank Albolino said that wasnt the case: Hes not being targeted because he moved out of the  district, he said. He moved out of the district. Its that simple.

Larkins was part of divided school board marked by frequent disagreements and complaints over the past two years. Last year, he was part of a board faction that made a controversial decision not to renew contracts for three administrators, which sparked outcry from some parents and students.

He also was accused of verbally assaulting high school Principal James Montesano one of the fired administrators in earshot of several students during a walkout in support of the educators. The matters was made part of an ethics complaint, Salkin said.

In February, Larkins was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and terroristic threats in a domestic incident, but has denied the allegations.

School board President Veronica Bolcik McKenna said the board would soon advertise for candidates to fill the open trustee position and hoped to have a replacement before its August meeting. The board has 65 days to approve a new member. After that, the responsibility falls to the county schools superintendent.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Hackensack_school_board_removes_one_of_its_own_citing_change_of_residence_.html?page=all#sthash.t9XXnoD2.dpuf

Offline just watching

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #114 on: July 18, 2013, 05:31:48 PM »
I would say that Albolino nailed it.  Can't get any more clear than his statement.

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #115 on: August 14, 2013, 07:56:10 PM »
Hackensack Board of Education appoints new trustee
Wednesday August 14, 2013, 12:10 PM
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK - The Hackensack Board of Education appointed a new trustee at the Aug. 12 meeting - filling the seat left vacant after the departure of Kevon Larkins.


Robin E. Coles, left, was appointed to the Board of Education on Aug. 12 - filling in the vacancy left after Kevon Larkins was ousted due to residency issues. Business Administrator and Board Secretary Mark Kramer, right, swears her in.
CHRISTOPHER TRENTO/PHOTO

According to board Attorney Richard Salkin, eight individuals came forward for the seat - including a lawyer, a retired teacher from the district, and former students.

Though the board reached out to all interested candidates to allow them the opportunity to address the public at the meeting, not all of them responded resulting in the five being present, and one candidate addressing the audience and board via telephone since she was on vacation.

Robin E. Coles was chosen for the position.

"Community service is my life," Coles, who is a pastor's wife, said when addressing the residents in attendance. "I know I can be an asset to the board. I bring a lot of compassion and look at both sides of an issue."

After the board came back from executive session and announced that Coles was chosen, she was immediately sworn in by Business Administrator and Mark Kramer, also the board's secretary.

Coles subsequently thanked all in attendance.

"I just want to say thank you," she said. "I'm committed...I'm thankful and I'm happy."

According to Coles, she has been a resident of the city for the past 21 years. She is the mother of a Hackensack High School graduate and an upcoming senior. She hopes her time with the board will bring a sense of teamwork and togetherness.

"I want to make sure we maintain cohesiveness," Coles said. "We have to work as a team...I hope to be an asset to this Board."

Board Vice President Dr. Angel Carrion, who oversaw the meeting since President Veronica Bolcik McKenna was absent, said Coles' interest in the community was a selling point in her appointment.

"What really stood out for us was her community involvement," he said. "That weighs very heavy with [the board]. She is very well spoken. She seems honest as an individual."

Fellow trustee Frank Albolino further explained why Coles was selected.

"Her community involvement was great," he said. "Plus, they always say go with your gut."

According to Salkin and Carrion, Coles will remain in the position until elections are held on April 2014.

The Hackensack Board of Education ousted trustee Larkins at the July 15 meeting, citing residency issues.

Rules dictate a member must live within the district in order to serve.

According to published article from The Record, Larkins proclaimed that he had dual residences in Teaneck and Hackensack - since he moved to Teaneck when he gained custody of his children and needed a larger home.

Six members voted to remove him, while Larkins and member Carol Martinez voted against the motion.

With the removal of Larkins there were nine members, which was still "enough board members to hold a quorum and operate" since the minimum number of members for voting matters in the elementary level is five and those pertaining to high school is six, according to a previous interview with Albolino.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/219582251_Hackensack_Board_of_Education_appoints_new_trustee.html?page=all#sthash.fHEVZv4K.dpuf

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #116 on: August 19, 2013, 11:06:25 PM »
Published on Aug 19, 2013 
Hackensack Public Schools 2013 State of the Schools address by Interim Superintendent Joseph Abate.


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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #117 on: September 11, 2013, 09:59:18 AM »
Hackensack summer school program for preschoolers decreases performance gap
Tuesday, September 3, 2013    Last updated: Tuesday September 3, 2013, 6:45 AM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK Summer school is traditionally for students who haven't completed coursework, failed tests, or just didn't meet marks in their classes.

In Hackensack, summer school now targets a student population that doesn't even do homework: preschoolers.

The school district this summer began a program for children entering kindergarten who lagged behind their peers, because they didn't go to preschool, their preschool's standards fell short, or they simply needed extra help.

"We do have a number of children who come to us in kindergarten who have not had the opportunity to be in preschool," Superintendent Joseph Abate said in his 2013 address on the state of the district. "These children find themselves behind right away."

The summer school program is rooted in the belief that early-childhood education is critical to students' success, can help close achievement gaps, and can put students on the right track.

Researchers also say high-quality early-childhood education is a long-term investment that pays off as students become adults and enter the workforce at a more stable starting place.

"If there's one thing we need to do, it's to invest in early-childhood years as much as possible and not cut back," said Rosemary Marks, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Hackensack school district.

President Obama has made universal pre-K a priority and this year unveiled a $75 billion plan over the next 10 years for high-quality, full-day preschool for income-eligible families. It would be funded with a new federal tax on tobacco products and cost-sharing with states.

The summer school program in Hackensack, which served about 70 students in half-day classes over four weeks in July, cost $30,000. Parents who registered their children for kindergarten in the district were invited to apply and their children were given assessment tests. Those most in need of help were placed in the program.

Some had gone though the district's public half-day preschool program during the school year, which serves 120 students, but needed reinforcement of skills they'd learned or had poor attendance. Others never went to preschool or went where the standards weren't the same as those in the district.

The early education helps students catch up with classmates and helps lower the performance gap among children of varying income levels and race, Marks said.

"We spend an inordinate amount of funds and time trying to help students later in the middle-school years and even high school to make up for gaps," she said. "This is really about creating more equity across the board so more students have access to opportunity."

While a summer school program can help, it won't address a lack of, or inadequate, education, said W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research.

"It's better than nothing," he said, "but it's too little, too late to impact the kind of things they're talking about language and social and emotional development, and not just simple literacy skills."

But that speaks to a greater problem the lack of public preschool education and the inadequate education at most preschools.

"States need to be playing a bigger role so districts aren't doing this by themselves," Barnett said. "That's why, of course, the president proposed federal support for preschool for all kids."

New Jersey has been a leader in providing free preschool to at-risk urban children since passing the School Funding Reform Act of 2008. But thousands of children outside the state's 31 poorest cities don't get the education they are entitled to under the law, according to a survey released earlier this year by Advocates for Children of New Jersey.

Email: adely@northjersey.com

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/222120531_Hackensack_summer_school_program_for_preschoolers_decreases_performance_gap.html?page=all#sthash.Gcua8pgp.dpuf

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #118 on: September 13, 2013, 02:31:21 PM »
Hackensack hires superintendent and middle school principal
Friday, September 13, 2013
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record
 
HACKENSACK The Board of Education has signed a five-year contract with the city's new school superintendent in a measure that officials and parents hope will bring continuity to the district.

Karen Lewis, an assistant superintendent in Highland Park, will start work as district superintendent on Dec. 1, earning $167,500 annually.

The board voted to hire Lewis and middle school Principal Corey Jones last week and finalized their contracts on Monday. Lewis' contract is longer than previous ones in order to address a key concern in the community about turnover in administration, said board member Veronica Bolcik McKenna.

"One of the strong messages we got from staff, administrators and the community was [they were] looking for stability and that's how we thought we could bring stability," she said.

Since Superintendent Edward Kliszus left in June 2011, the district has been served by two interim superintendents. The current one, Joseph Abate, leaves Nov. 30.

The board interviewed eight people for the superintendent job. Lewis' references and interviews showed her to be fair, personable, a good communicator, and someone who works well with teams, Bolcik McKenna said.

Eight trustees voted unanimously for her hire; two didn't vote because of conflicts of interest. Lewis has been assistant superintendent in Highland Park for the past five years and is a certified business administrator.

Lewis said she was impressed by Hackensack's programs.

"Hackensack interested me because it is a large, very diverse community, and I think it offers a great program and a quality academic program," she said. "I'd like to be part of moving that tradition forward."

Lewis said she will focus on getting the district accustomed to state changes in standardized tests and a new method for reporting test scores.

Corey Jones started as the principal of Hackensack Middle School last week. He was principal at Somerville High School in Somerset County for about two years until March, when he resigned because of "different visions of leadership," he said. He has also been an assistant principal in West Orange.

His contract runs though the end of June. Jones will earn $159,363 annually. He replaces David Petrella, who was chosen over the summer as the athletic director for Hackensack High School.

Jones was chosen from four finalists, Bolcik McKenna said. She said he came across "as a positive leader" who had strengths in curriculum, scheduling and programming.

Jones said he wants to transition students to the "reality of 21st century learning" by encouraging learning through inquiry and through subject connections.

"The world is changing quite rapidly and we need to prepare students for occupations that may not exist now," he said.

Email: adely@northjersey.com

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/223580111_Hackensack_hires_superintendent_and_middle_school_prinicpal.html?page=all#sthash.3mlWQs9A.dpuf

Offline just watching

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Re: Education/Charter Schools/Testing
« Reply #119 on: September 13, 2013, 04:09:02 PM »
In Hackensack, Athetics Director is a higher career position than being a school principle.  Pathetic.  And what does that say to the kids, what are the priorities in life ?  Education or sports.

 

anything