Cedar Grove Board Advances Student Achievement and Anti-Bullying Efforts

The Cedar Grove School Board meeting concentrated on improving student achievement and tackling harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) within schools, while also progressing in the search for a new superintendent. The Board reviewed detailed student performance data, discussed the adoption of a new elementary math series, and engaged with community concerns about the superintendent selection process.

At the meeting, a presentation by the Middle School principal highlighted the school’s goals for the year, which included increasing student achievement and proficiency in mathematics and English language arts, and decreasing the number of HIB cases. The principal detailed strategies to reach these goals, such as using data to inform instruction, differentiated instruction, and incorporating New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA)-style questioning. Programs like EnVision Math and Common Lit were emphasized for their role in supporting student learning. An accelerated math program is being implemented, with plans to align the eighth-grade algebra curriculum with the high school’s curriculum.

The Board engaged in a brief discussion following the presentation, focusing on the accelerated math program and the trajectory for aligning the eighth-grade algebra curriculum with that of the high school.

In a related topic, the improvement of student performance on the NJSLA was discussed, particularly in language arts. The board cited the use of diagnostic assessment tools such as No Red Ink and Edge Elastic, which have been instrumental in familiarizing students with the testing format. Notable growth in student performance was observed in sixth and seventh grades, especially in their ability to cite textual evidence. The Board expressed optimism regarding the direction of language arts education and the strategies implemented to improve proficiency.

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Efforts to reduce HIB were also a focal point. The Board acknowledged the challenges of reducing such incidents and highlighted proactive programming initiatives to improve school culture. Conflict resolution workshops, guest speakers on the impact of bullying, and responsible social media use discussions were among the efforts mentioned to promote positive behavior. A school slogan contest was also introduced to engage students and encourage investment in their school community, further promoting a positive school culture.

The meeting transitioned to discussing the superintendent search, noting that 22 applications had been received. The Board outlined the detailed process for the search, which included multiple information focus sessions designed to gather comprehensive input from various stakeholders. Although specific responses to community concerns about challenges facing the school district were not provided due to the ongoing selection process, the board assured that community input was a valued part of the search.

Additionally, the board mentioned the potential approval and adoption of an elementary math series. This adoption could have a substantial impact on the curriculum and the tools available to educators in the district.

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Committee reports on finance, policy, facilities, the FSA, and the Town Council were presented, but no particular details were disclosed during the meeting summary. The board conducted roll call votes on multiple agenda items, including those related to finance, the superintendent search, human resources, and special services.

During public comments, community members raised issues regarding the state’s role in the superintendent selection process and the high school Esports team. The meeting concluded with the Board adjourning for a closed session to discuss matters related to contractual and personnel issues, which are standard in such meetings for handling sensitive topics.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Superintendent:
Anthony Grosso
School Board Officials:
Dawn Daura, Cienne Keegan, David Grande, Lou Marzullo, Paul A. Palek Jr., Michael DeVita (Business Administrator), Bart Pierson (Supervisor of Humanities 5-12), Janine Barboza (Supervisor of Mathematics / Science 5-12), Kristin Massotto (Supervisor of Elementary Education PreK-4), Jessica Pignatello (Director of Special Services), Catherine Alvarez (Director of School Counseling)

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