New Brunswick School Board Discusses Significant Progress, Future Plans, and Addresses Community Concerns

The New Brunswick School Board’s recent meeting was packed with updates on student and faculty growth, infrastructure improvements, and curriculum development. Superintendent Dr. Aubrey A. Johnson shared statistics and the success of the Ed Camp New Jersey event, while discussions covered facilities upgrades, athletic achievements, and curriculum improvements. Public comments addressed concerns including the district improvement plan and facilities’ capacity issues, demonstrating a community actively engaged in enhancing the educational experience of their children.

Superintendent Dr. Aubrey A. Johnson commenced the meeting with his report, informing the board that the district has seen a total enrollment of 9,336 students as of November 2023. He addressed cases of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, along with the district’s suspension rates. He also spoke about the success of the Ed Camp New Jersey event, a collaborative assembly of educators sharing their knowledge and experiences. Dr. Johnson emphasized the importance of celebrating diversity and cultural understanding within the community.

The student representative, Jaylen Perez, shed light on the students’ activities and achievements. She announced the transition into the second marking period and praised the senior soccer Allstar team members. Perez also mentioned that senior photos were being taken and students were diligently working on their college applications.

Edward Spencer, presenting the facilities committee report, discussed various ongoing projects, including the repaving of the middle school parking lot and the high school gym addition. He noted that PTECH students had the opportunity to visit the construction site to learn about engineering practices, reflecting the district’s commitment to hands-on learning. Spencer also outlined plans for expanded sports facilities behind the high school, including an 8-lane track, field lighting, and a small bleacher. The potential for installing synthetic turf on one of the practice fields was also considered.

The athletic committee report revealed that the boys and girls cross-country teams had won the Middlesex County Blue division title. The Esports team competed in the state semifinals, and winter sports signups had increased by 32% compared to the previous year, indicating growing athletic engagement among students.

In the curriculum and policy committee report presented by Mrs. Denise Lee, three presentations were given, outlining the New Brunswick 3-year preschool program operational plan, the “get real” comprehensive sex education program proposal, and the Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) District Improvement Plan. The latter addressed areas of improvement in English language arts, math, science, graduation rates, and chronic absenteeism.

Public comments were also heard, with Mr. Charlie Crille inquiring about the district improvement plan, prompting the board to agree to provide it via email or on the web. Another resident expressed concern about Lincoln School not meeting the square footage requirement per student and questioned whether there was a plan to replace the school. She also inquired about the number of suspended students and whether any different measures were being taken to address their behavior.

In a resolution regarding an $8 million capital project for a gym, it was clarified that the auditors recommended striking out the word “outlay” and that the $8 million represented two projects, with $5 million for the gym and $1.4 million for field activities.

Towards the conclusion, the finance committee report was presented and approved, with some members abstaining on specific pages. The meeting eventually concluded with a resolution for a closed session to discuss personal matters and matters of attorney-client privilege.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Dr. Aubrey A. Johnson
School Board Officials:
Jennifer Sevilla, Ivan Adorno, Dale G. Caldwell, Yesenia Medina-Hernandez, Benito Ortiz, Emra L. Seawood, Edward Spencer, Diana Solis, Patricia Varela, George F. Hendricks (Board Attorney)

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