Edison School Board Discusses Tutoring Initiative, Renovation Projects and Greenhouse Club Success

In a recent Edison School Board meeting, various important topics were discussed, including the implementation of a tutoring initiative for Algebra 1 students, large-scale renovation projects for the school auditorium, and the positive impact of the Greenhouse Club at JP Stevens High School. The board also acknowledged concerns regarding the quality of school food and the nepotism policy.

The meeting kicked off with the board confirming a tutoring initiative for Algebra 1 students, based on teacher assessments and NJSLA scores. This program, currently being piloted at Edison High School using Title One funds, is expected to expand to other high schools and middle schools if successful. The tutoring program extends beyond math to other subjects as well. An estimated 970 students are targeted by the program, with tutoring sessions taking place during and after school hours. Additionally, the Unity tutors program offers instant tutoring opportunities for all students in the district, including guidance with college applications.

Concerns were raised about the qualifications of the tutors and their ability to help students effectively. The board acknowledged the expertise of the district’s teachers but highlighted the limitations of their availability. The online tutoring program allows students to seek help at any time, even outside regular school hours. Diagnostic platforms are available at Edison High School to identify areas of strength and improvement for students.

In addition to the tutoring initiative, the board discussed the timeline for upgrading the school auditorium. Construction is scheduled to begin immediately after the award is granted, with a kickoff meeting expected in early December. The construction is expected to take most of the school year, aiming to have the upgraded auditorium ready for the new school year. Information about the auditorium’s unavailability will be posted on the website to inform the public.

An important highlight of the meeting was the recognition of the success of the Greenhouse Club at JP Stevens High School. The students involved expressed their gratitude to the board for supporting the club, which focuses on agriculture and environmental sustainability. The students underscored the skills they acquired and the positive impact their club had on the community, including contributing organic food to local food banks and selling produce at reduced prices. They requested continued support for the club.

The board unanimously approved personnel reports, and after breaking a tie, approved administration, curriculum and instruction reports, as well as finance reports. Community members raised concerns about the cancellation of several caucus meetings, emphasizing the impact on making informed and fiscally responsible decisions and the limited time for questioning personnel matters.

The subject of transparency was also discussed. Concerns were raised about the lack of information regarding the district’s self-insurance costs and Superintendent Edward Aldarelli’s contract details, which were not readily available to the public. The need for improved communication and timely dissemination of meeting agendas were also raised.

In light of these discussions, Board Vice President Joseph Romano and President Xiaohan “Shannon” Peng expressed support for most of the topics, despite some debate regarding the promotion of the Varsity Tutors program. Board Member Jingwei “Jerry” Shi emphasized the need for effective advertising to ensure students take full advantage of the free support available.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Edward Aldarelli
School Board Officials:
Xiaohan “Shannon” Peng, Joseph Romano, Vishal Patel, Biral Patel, Mohin Patel, Douglas Schneider, Brian Rivera, Jingwei “Jerry” Shi, Virginia White

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