Glen Rock School Board Celebrates Student Achievements, Addresses Calendar Concerns and Considers Later School Start Times
At a recent meeting, the Glen Rock School Board celebrated numerous student and staff achievements, discussed potential changes to the school calendar, and considered the prospect of later school start times. The gathering also saw the board discuss policy changes regarding non-resident students’ eligibility and approve a security assessment of the district.
The meeting opened with Superintendent Dr. Brett Charleston introducing two new assistant superintendents and a student council representative who shared positive experiences about their school year.
Dr. Lauren Daniel, the director of student personnel services, honored the National Merit Scholarship program winners from the class of 2024 for their exceptional performance on the PSAT and MSQT tests. This recognition of academic prowess was mirrored in the acknowledgment of athletic achievements. Director of Athletics, Mr. Frank Violante, highlighted the successful girls’ tennis and boys’ and girls’ cross country teams. Both cross country teams claimed the state sectional championships, a feat not achieved since 2001.
Mr. Violante was also acknowledged for his past achievements as a football coach, including eight state championships. Despite his modesty, the board congratulated him on his accomplishment, underscoring the meeting’s theme of recognizing achievements.
Moving on from the accolades, the board turned its attention to policy matters. They considered accepting F1 and J1 visa students with the aim of increasing diversity and attracting international students who would pay full tuition. The board also discussed establishing a clear timeline for students moving in or out of the district, with the proposal to be further discussed on December 11th.
Security concerns were also addressed, with the board approving an outside organization to conduct a security assessment of the district.
The board grappled with the school calendar, discussing various holidays and potential breaks. Concerns were raised about the long stretches of school days without breaks between January and April, and the number of days off in November. The board also discussed the issue of closing the district on primary election days due to security concerns. Despite differing views, the board agreed to approve a draft calendar, acknowledging that changes might be needed in the future.
A notable topic of discussion was the possibility of implementing a later start time for schools. Board member Karyn Stephenson shared insights from her attendance at two workshops on the subject. The board showed interest in gathering more data and examining the effects of later start times on students’ mental health.
In terms of funding, the board celebrated receiving three grants for roofing projects and the expansion of pre-kindergarten (preK) facilities. The grants, amounting to around $1.7 million, would enable the addition of two full-day preschool classes, addressing concerns about class sizes and meeting the needs of young students.
The meeting closed with board members sharing experiences from various workshops they attended, suggesting potential areas for improvement, including security options, effective communication strategies, and even the use of therapy dogs in schools. The board agreed to discuss these topics further in future meetings and adjourned with the next meeting set for December 11th.
Dr. Brett Charleston
School Board Officials:
Sinead Rundell, Dr. Damali Robinson, Stephanie Carosella, Elizabeth Carr, Daniel Corey, Edmund Hayward, Rona McNabola, Sharon Scarpelli, Karyn Stephenson, James Canellas (Board Secretary/Business Administrator), Gregory Van Nest (Assistant Superintendent), Michael Rinderknecht (School Business Administrator/Board Secretary)