In a recent meeting of the Oradell School Board, the primary focus revolved around the ACCESS scores of multilingual learners, attendance rates, and several infrastructural developments aimed at rejuvenating the school’s appearance. The board also touched upon matters of curriculum, finance, and personnel changes.
Superintendent Megan N. Bozios presented the ACCESS test results, which evaluate English proficiency among multilingual learners. The assessments measure listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, determining if students qualify to exit the English as a Second Language (ESL) program.
This year’s results indicated an improvement as students progressed through grades, although kindergarten scores were notably lower than expected. Superintendent Bozios speculated that the influence of COVID-19 might have impacted scores from the prior year.
Of significance, nine students have since exited the ESL program, with additional evaluations slated for the fall. The summer saw 16 students attending the Explorations program, funded by the Esser ARP grant, focusing on math content language improvement.
Alongside the academic discussions, infrastructure updates commanded attention. The school building has seen a fresh coat of paint, a newly sanded gym floor, replaced hot water piping, a new sink in the steam lab, and a bottle filler near the kindergarten wing. Additionally, a project for a new retaining wall is currently in progress. Benches, a new addition, have become a spot for grandparents picking up their grandchildren.
On the curriculum front, mandatory standards integration will be the primary discussion point in the upcoming September 6th meeting. Efforts are being made to ensure that recurring programs like fire prevention visits are documented within the curriculum.
New hires are in the pipeline, with a shift noticed in lunch aides transitioning to instructional aide roles. This trend has spurred the need to recruit more lunch aides, prompting the board to advertise the vacancies on social media.
Finally, discussions around school funding brought to light the slight increase in state funding Oradell receives, contrasting it with nearby districts facing funding cuts. Board member Rita Walker pointed out the disparity in state test results, especially when comparing districts like Patterson to the state average.