Cedar Grove School Board Explores AI Technology and Plans for Performance Tour, Acknowledges Public’s Input

In a recent Cedar Grove School Board meeting, the members discussed the adoption of artificial intelligence in education, planning a student performance tour in Boston, and addressing public comments regarding the display of the Italian flag during Italian Heritage Month and the impact of COVID-19 related absences on academic performance.

The Board was particularly enthusiastic about the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in instructional practices. The members spoke about the workshops they attended at Montclair State University, anticipating the unveiling and use of the tools acquired on the upcoming professional development day, December 7th. They acknowledged the need for staff to be good consumers of AI and emphasized the importance of proper guidance. They also proposed the development of an AI policy, akin to those in neighboring towns, which is expected to evolve as the district adapts to the technology.

In addition to tech advancements, the meeting highlighted the arts with a presentation by Jennifer Jessen, the band and choir director, and Robert Savino, the orchestra director. They proposed a three-day performance tour in Boston, Massachusetts, which would include various activities such as performances, clinics, and visits to cultural attractions. The Board members, including Dawn Daura and Lou Marzullo, expressed their support for the trip, emphasizing the need for students to maintain good academic standing. They also recognized potential conflicts with spring sports, indicating that this aspect would be looked into.

Public participation was a key element of the meeting, with two individuals, John Montelli and Greg Albre, expressing their views. Montelli requested the board to consider flying the Italian flag during Italian Heritage Month, sparking a discussion about the policy regarding the raising of flags other than the American flag. Albre reinforced Montelli’s suggestion and brought up a critical point about the correlation between attendance and academic performance, especially with COVID-19 related absences, and the impact of parents’ portal usage on students’ scores.

In response, Superintendent Anthony Grosso and the board appreciated the public’s input. The superintendent stated that the flag request would be discussed in the policy committee and acknowledged the need to delve into the implications of raising flags of different ethnicities. Grosso also emphasized the importance of analyzing data on attendance and COVID-19 absences and their correlation with academic performance.

The meeting also highlighted the success of the November food drive, the upcoming “Deck the Halls” event, a new winter pep rally initiative, as well as ongoing facilities projects such as boiler work and stage rigging repairs. The Curriculum Committee reported on various initiatives, which included the adoption of a new K-2 math series and the implementation of new math and ELA standards, emphasizing the importance of reading and writing across subjects.

In his superintendent’s report, Grosso congratulated the athletes on their successful fall season and expressed anticipation for the upcoming winter season. He also extended Thanksgiving wishes to everyone, emphasizing the importance of reflection and time with family and friends.

The meeting concluded with the announcement of future meetings. The reorganization meeting is scheduled for January 2nd. A noteworthy event was the congratulation extended to a board member who was reelected for another three years. The meeting was adjourned with unanimous approval from the board members.

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.

Anthony Grosso
School Board Officials:
Dawn Daura, Lou Marzullo, David Grande, Cienne Keegan, Paul A. Palek Jr., Michael DeVita (Business Administrator), Bart Pierson (Supervisor of Secondary Education 6-12), Janine Barboza (Supervisor of Elementary Education Prek-5), Kristin Massotto (Supervisor of Elementary Education PreK-4), Jessica Pignatello (Director of Special Services), Jody Inglis (CGHS Principal), Dany Estupinan (CGHS Vice Principal), Traci Dyer (North End School Principal), Lynn DiMatteo (South End School Principal), Nicholas DeCorte (MMS Principal), Derrick Chell (MMS Vice Principal), Gina Testa, Donna Lafoon, Mark Grgas, Rubino, Pace, Merklinger, Denman, Skowronek, Amy Fairclough, Shannon Altieri, Sabrina Zunic, Dee Carpinelli, Dustin Bayer, Joan Oehm, James Sweeney, Mike Valenzano, Angela Hayes (Parent Representative), Nick DeCorte, Alexa Rubino, Colleen Merklinger, Derrick Chell, Eric Pace, Christie Henry, Jennifer Correnti (Parent Representative), Traci Dyer, Meridith Denman, Danielle McLaughlin, Kristin Massotto, Jameel Freeman, Lynn DiMatteo, Kevin Skowronek, Lara Searle, Casey Sudol, Brenda Noordyk, Janine Barboza (Affirmative Action Officer), Bart Pierson (Affirmative Action Officer)

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