Long Hill School Board Advances Educational Initiatives

The recent Long Hill School Board meeting was a comprehensive session that covered various topics important to the progress of the district’s schools. The most discussions revolved around the implementation of academic improvement programs, addressing student performance through the I-Ready program, increasing community engagement, and enhancing cyber security measures.

Central to the meeting was the detailed examination of student performance data provided by the I-Ready reports. These reports, which assess student performance in reading and math, have become a cornerstone for developing targeted instructional strategies. The board members debated at length the significance of these findings and the interventions necessary to support these students. To address the identified issues, the board outlined a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) which includes a three-year plan to provide targeted support for struggling students. The plan encompasses training for all teachers in interventions to establish a coherent approach to student assistance.

The meeting also highlighted the My Path component of the I-Ready program, an individually-tailored learning scheme that considers the unique pace and needs of each student from kindergarten through eighth grade. This program includes brain breaks and differentiated assessments, aimed at improving the learning experience and outcomes for all students.

In response to community feedback, the district has made notable strides in engaging parents in their children’s education. A step was the uploading of I-Ready diagnostic reports into the parent portal, accompanied by family reports to better inform parents about their child’s performance. The board emphasized the importance of nuanced communication with parents, especially those with children in the lowest performance categories, and considered the need for individual outreach to ensure effective support.

Recognizing the importance of community engagement, the board discussed the launch of a new user-friendly website designed to facilitate better communication between schools, parents, and the community. Collaboration with the Parent-Teacher Organization and Local Foundation was also mentioned as a key strategy to support school programs. The board appreciated the responsiveness and support from the local police department and highlighted parent volunteer involvement in various school activities.

Infrastructure improvements were on the agenda, with an emphasis on aligning instructional spaces with innovative teaching and learning practices. The renovation of the Central STEAM room and the plans for upgrading the Gillette and Millington media centers were discussed, along with the expansion of the 1:1 technology program.

Promoting an inclusive school community where every student feels a sense of belonging was a focal point of the meeting. The board discussed their special education philosophy, the implementation of monthly celebrations honoring cultural groups, social-emotional learning activities, and the Choose Love curriculum aimed at supporting students’ well-being.

On the social-emotional development front, the board covered the success of themed weeks such as the Week of Respect, School Violence Awareness Week, and Red Ribbon Week. These initiatives promote respectful behavior, healthy choices, and kindness within the school community. Guidance counselors’ monthly character lessons and Tiger Team assemblies were also mentioned as key efforts to recognize acts of kindness among students.

Cyber security was another area of focus, with the board discussing the receipt of a cyber security risk assessment and the implementation of necessary policies and training to enhance security. The potential transition from School Messenger to Final Site was brought up, with a request for further evaluation of this change.

The meeting acknowledged International Women’s Day and the start of Ramadan. Additionally, minor policy changes, including the prohibition of smoking policy, were discussed, with the board considering the inclusion of marijuana in addition to tobacco.

The superintendent’s report underscored the success of the Read Across America week, the achievements of the robotics teams, and the presentation of the proposed budget for the upcoming year. The budget focused on maintaining a consistent local tax levy while providing additional support for educational initiatives. This included allocations for curricular enhancements, faculty positions, technology initiatives, and capital improvement projects.

The various committee reports provided updates on ongoing and future projects. These included the potential legislation to alter the Board of Elections, preliminary budget discussions by the Finance Committee, and the Technology Committee’s infrastructure improvements. The board also addressed the deployment of devices to support the one-to-one initiative.

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.
George P. Alexis
School Board Officials:
Ann Butler, Kim Case, Danielle Daley, Justin Foster, Tom Grosskopf, Katie McLennan, Karen Nyquist, Melissa Ruvolo

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