Bergen Vocational School Board Highlights Wellness Initiatives, Student Achievements, and Community Collaborations

At the recent Regular Public Meeting of the Bergen Vocational School Board, held on August 30, 2023, an array of district highlights were showcased, with special emphasis on the “Navigating Success Through Wellness” initiative and several significant student and district accolades.

Leading the discussions was Dr. Howard Lerner, the Superintendent of Schools, who delved deep into the “Navigating Success Through Wellness” initiative. The program completed its freshman wellness screenings, involving 6 social workers active four days a week from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, along with 2 social workers working in the evenings. Additionally, the initiative saw the launch of the “Fun Time in the Sunshine” summer program, which offered mini courses focusing on wellness and performance for students across all grades and campuses.

Turning to student and district accomplishments, the board members were informed about the annual senior meeting at the Applied Technology High School. Here, twelfth-grade students, who maintain a full college course load, were guided through the Bergen Community College registration process, detailing course prerequisites and internship requirements. At the Bergen County Academies, over one hundred middle school students participated in the “Academy After Hours” program. This unique program aims to cater to students in grades 6-8 with a keen interest in advanced subjects, ranging from the sciences to the visual and performing arts.

Moreover, a highlight was the successful collaboration between the Paramus Culinary and Bake shop with Lasagna Love to commemorate National Lasagna Day. The partnership led to the preparation and distribution of 200 lasagnas to needy families and various food pantries across the state.

At the Teterboro campus, student accomplishments in art and design were showcased. One significant mention was an 11th-grade Commercial Art student whose watercolor submission gained recognition at the BC Teen Arts Festival. Further, the student initiated a “Caring Through Art” program, encouraging peers to host art workshops at senior living facilities.

The meeting also touched upon the Adult Education initiatives. Verizon’s representatives visited and discussed potential job opportunities with students in the HVAC and Electrician programs. The board also learned of the increasing interest among recent high school graduates in the HVAC and Plumbing programs.

The board was updated about the EMS training center’s upcoming programs designed for 9-1-1 dispatchers. Furthermore, the Bergen County Job Center’s recent job fair, which saw over 200 job seekers, was highlighted, emphasizing the district’s commitment to integrating students into the workforce.

Closing the meeting, Mr. William Connelly, President of the Board, expressed gratitude to the construction, maintenance, and custodial staff for their work in prepping the district’s schools for the new academic year.

The meeting wrapped up without public comments, and the board adjourned at 5:42 p.m.

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