Emerson School Board Meeting Highlights Progress and New Initiatives
In a recent Emerson School Board meeting, numerous forward-thinking initiatives and programs were highlighted, including the growth of Memorial School, a robust anti-bullying program, and the receipt of a high-impact tutoring grant. The board members and Superintendent Phillip H. Nisonoff shared positive statements regarding the school’s progress, with an emphasis on student-centric learning, diversity, and inclusion.
At the heart of the meeting, Mrs. Gagano updated attendees on the ongoing growth of Memorial School. She emphasized the school’s focus on creating a positive and inclusive learning environment, where students can thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. Initiatives such as classroom buddies and cross-grade level partnerships, and direct instruction on kindness, empathy, and compassion, were highlighted. The school faculty participates in professional learning groups (PLGs) that meet monthly to plan for future growth.
The presentation also discussed the work of the reading and instruction PLG, which is developing rubrics aligned with state standards to measure students’ academic mastery. The rubrics provide students with a clear path for progression, and self-assessments are being created to allow students to evaluate their own habits of work.
In addition to academic efforts, the meeting touched on the addition or enhancement of several programs at Memorial School, including an additional pre-K classroom and small group instruction for math and phonics. The school has also welcomed Officer Mike Murphy to enhance school safety, and student-led groups such as the buddy program, book club, and chess club have been successful.
Amy Mara, a board member, expressed gratitude for the teachers’ hard work at Memorial School, sharing how the positive impact on her first-grade daughter is evident. Behrooz Pasdar, another board member, reported on attending the New Jersey State School Board Association conference, where he gained valuable insights. He urged parents to attend local events to share their opinions and expressed anticipation for the future of the school.
Superintendent Nisonoff provided updates on the high school, including the school’s achievement of the Sila award for outstanding AP scores, which recognized the school’s efforts to increase access to AP testing and prepare students for college. Nisonoff also discussed the school’s safe return plan, emphasizing that masks are optional and hygiene practices will continue.
A significant development was the district’s receipt of a high-impact tutoring grant of over $50,000, which will be primarily utilized during the summer. This grant promises to provide additional resources to ensure academic success for all students.
The board members’ discussion further echoed their appreciation for Mrs. Gagano’s presentation on the successful programs at Memorial School. They also extended congratulations to the newly elected board members and expressed excitement about future initiatives. The meeting concluded with well-wishes for Thanksgiving and a reminder to support those less fortunate during the holiday season, reflecting the community spirit and values embodied by the Emerson School Board.
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.
Phillip H. Nisonoff
School Board Officials:
Ann Pressimone, Behrooz Pasdar, Prof. Jeremy Teigen, Amy Mara, Keith Smith, Denise Connon (District Anti-Bullying Coordinator), Meagan Tuchler (Memorial Anti-Bullying Specialist), Amanda Binetti (Villano Anti-Bullying Specialist)