Fort Lee School Board Addresses Concerns Over Special Education and Teacher Vacancies

The recent Fort Lee School Board meeting saw discussions on enhancing the Special Education Parents Advisory Group’s offerings, concerns about the delay in hiring a Spanish teacher, and increased activities for students with special needs.

Dr. Robert Kravitz, the Superintendent, addressed the Special Education Parents Advisory Group and their role in informing parents of special needs students about available resources and programs. Given the increasing importance of the group, more events and activities are now being scheduled to support families in the district. The next virtual meeting with the advisory group is slated for November 1st, ensuring parents remain informed.

A significant concern raised by a resident named Annabella pertained to open teacher positions, specifically for Spanish. With the new Spanish teacher expected to start on December 1st, concerns abound about the educational impact on 11th-grade students of Spanish 4 honors. The board indicated a comprehensive assessment upon the teacher’s arrival to determine the best approach for completing the curriculum by year’s end, potentially implying the need for accelerated learning.

Another pressing topic was the district’s self-assessment scores for HIBs (Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying), with schools receiving scores ranging between 70 to 73 out of 78. The board further elucidated the scoring system, shedding light on the various factors taken into account.

Student achievements were not overlooked. High school student Jude Oar’s groundbreaking research related to DNA cutting set to be presented at an international science conference, and Senior Naomi Seir’s published poetry book were among the notable accolades. Fort Lee High School’s recent recognition on the 2023 AP School Honor Roll, securing the silver level, also drew significant attention.

A noteworthy initiative, the Summit Scholars Program, was introduced by Elizabeth Cim and other senior members of the Key Club. This program is designed to offer free educational opportunities for students, focusing on inclusivity and academic excellence. Elizabeth and Trayman, in collaboration with Councilwoman Kazovsky, have been involved in town development plans, aiming to elevate the town to a Sustainable Jersey Bronze Level Municipality.

As the meeting moved into public questioning, a parent named Sam raised concerns about her son’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), emphasizing the need for specialized reading instruction through the Orton-Gillingham method. The board recommended reaching out to the building principal or case manager for further guidance.

Alex W sought clarity on the board’s voting policies, especially around the transgender student policy 5756, which has been under scrutiny despite its approval in 2015. The board explained the policy’s history and its current standing in ongoing court discussions.

Concluding the meeting, the board expressed gratitude to retiring members Christine A. Seter and Mara Santos and acknowledged the school’s marching band for their exceptional MetLife Stadium performance.

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.
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