Linden School Board Prioritizes Graduation Plans and Scholarship Opportunities

In a meeting marked by an overview of the Linden School District’s concerns and celebrations, the Linden School Board prioritized discussions around ensuring all graduating students receive scholarships and the logistics of the upcoming graduation ceremony. The meeting, which covered a wide range of topics, also celebrated student and staff achievements and addressed new safety measures, including a weapons detection system at the high school.

The most pressing topic was the board’s focus on the availability of scholarships for graduating students. The board expressed concern over some seniors who had not yet applied for scholarships and emphasized the importance of ensuring no student graduates without some form of financial assistance for further education. To address this, plans were discussed to identify and meet with students and their parents to explore available scholarship options. The superintendent announced scholarships specifically for multilingual language learners, fourth, eighth, and twelfth-grade students, parents of ESL students, and educators. Public comments included a commendation for the individual in charge of updating and posting scholarships and a call for ideas on how to encourage more students to apply for these opportunities.

The board also highlighted the Union County path to a bachelor’s degree program as a way to reduce student debt. Furthermore, discussions included the potential for starting scholarship committees in elementary schools and involving parents in scholarship information sessions. The NJ Stars program and other state-funded opportunities were mentioned as additional resources for tuition assistance.

Another point of discussion was the planning for the upcoming graduation ceremony. Concerns were raised about potential scheduling conflicts with Project Graduation, which could affect student attendance if it falls immediately after graduation day. Suggestions were made to hold the ceremony at Tiger Stadium with a contingency plan involving a tent to accommodate weather uncertainties.

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In terms of safety and security, the superintendent highlighted the implementation of a weapons detection system at the high school, aimed at preventing violence and ensuring student safety.

The meeting also celebrated various achievements within the school community. Students were acknowledged for their accomplishments in academics, arts, and athletics. Juliet Doran and Chelsea Tenja were recognized for having their artwork displayed at the Grounds for Sculpture, Abigail Armstead for winning a singing competition, and Mr. Angelo Monaco for being chosen as a Next Generation Leader by the National After School Association. The board also recognized Madison Moray for her leadership and involvement in school initiatives, along with Anna PES for her dedication to serving and supporting the ESL high-intensity Ukrainian program.

During the meeting, the board acknowledged the contributions of all staff members, including a bus driver praised for her role in transporting students. The “It Takes a Village” program was highlighted, which honors a student, staff member, and community member for their contributions to the school community.

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The financial aspects of the district’s operations were also discussed, with the announcement of an additional $1 million for general fund operations and an extra $1.5 million for the preschool program, leading to a $12.5 million increase in the budget. This increase is expected to allow the district to address various budgetary needs without impacting taxes. The board also approved a revised collective bargaining agreement and a settlement agreement.

In addition to the above discussions, the board took a moment to express condolences for the loss of a faculty member and to recognize the school’s participation in events such as the Black Cultural Festival and upcoming softball tryouts.

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.

Superintendent:
Atiya Y. Perkins
School Board Officials:
Marlene Berghammer, Malaysia Thomas, Brianna Armstead, Lymari Cintron, Antoinette Pino, Sasquia Carrillo, Samuel De La Cruz, Dayanara Rosado Quezada, Kimberly Ullisse, Ryan Devaney (District Anti-Bullying Coordinator)

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