Brielle School Board Tackles Library Crisis, Explores Special Education Policy Updates and Pre-school Expansion

The Brielle School Board recently addressed several issues, including the lack of a functioning library, potential amendments to the special education policy, and the feasibility of expanding preschool programs. The board also recognized and celebrated recent academic and athletic achievements while discussing potential engagement opportunities with other districts.

A key focus of the meeting was the issue of the non-operational library, which has been unusable for over a year due to water damage. This has led to a significant impact on students’ access to reading resources and space for interactive learning, particularly affecting students from kindergarten to second grade. Board member Kurt Becker suggested the creation of a makeshift classroom to substitute for the library, emphasizing the importance of hands-on activities and literacy over computer time. The suggestion was well received, with the board agreeing on the need for such creative solutions.

Board member Sarah McDevitt shared experiences from her past, where schools made effective use of limited resources, arguing that a top-of-the-line library isn’t necessary to provide a quality learning experience. The lack of progress in restoring the library was a source of frustration, leading to calls for exploring alternatives that wouldn’t require extensive resources.

Parents voiced concerns about their children’s limited access to books and the potential over-reliance on technology. The board acknowledged these issues, assuring parents that they were actively seeking solutions. Superintendent Stacie Poelstra emphasized the importance of communication from the media center specialist to reconcile the discrepancy between planned activities and parents’ reported experiences.

The board also discussed potential amendments to the special education policy, with a particular focus on incorporating electronic communication and signatures. This move will streamline processes and make them more accessible for parents and staff alike.

The topic of differentiated instruction was also touched upon, with Superintendent Poelstra emphasizing the need to address students’ learning gaps within the existing budget. She acknowledged the efforts of the physical education staff and interventionists in tailoring programs to meet specific needs.

The lack of a full-day program for children with autism was brought up during discussions about the preschool expansion committee. A survey has been drafted to assess the community’s needs and evaluate the feasibility of expanding the current program. Board member Joseph Milancewich highlighted the challenge of ensuring compliance with regulations and assessing the investment required for facility expansion.

The meeting also involved discussions on the completion of district policies and the establishment of a playground committee. Updates were given on school events and the successful performances of the boys and girls soccer championship teams.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Stacie Poelstra
School Board Officials:
Madaly Jones, Joseph Milancewich, Kurt Becker, David D’Ambrosio, Sarah McDevitt, Juliana Rieth, Tedd Vitale, Christin Walsh, Sean Wohltman, Diane Quigley (Business Administrator/Board Secretary)

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