The Annual College & Career Fair will be held today at LHS from 7:30- 9 p.m. We are joining forces with Millburn Township School District to host this evening with 150+ colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools. This year’s venue has changed -- we will be on the 2nd floor of the Fitness & Wellness Center, the wrestling room and the Auxiliary Gym. Parents and students will have an opportunity to pick up free materials related to the college search and application process. Check-in will be in the Fitness & Wellness Center. Parents/students will be admitted by one of the many LHS H.S.A. volunteers who have been so gracious with their time and their willingness to help. At 5:30 p.m., as a tradition, LHS will be hosting a dinner service for all 150+ of our college admission officers. Kudos goes out to our Guidance Supervisor, Mrs. Tina Renga and her team of LHS counselors and other support staff who will make this event come to life. In the fall, we will have the same event for our students except it will be Millburn’s turn to host!
Oh So Many Reasons I'm the Proudest Superintendent in New Jersey: Below is just the last two-three weeks of accomplishments of our Livingston students, faculty, and staff. With each of these recognitions, victories, and amazing achievements lies years of educational successes that would not be possible without the influence of amazing teachers, caring parents, and a school environment that is tailor-made for successes in and out of the classroom. Behind each of these achievements stands a proud parent, teacher, faculty adviser, administrator, or good friend. All that we do in Livingston is geared toward the success of every one of our unique students. It is an honor for me to be a part of this wonderful school system where great things happen every day just like these accomplishments: · Throughout March, schools are celebrating the artist in every student and the importance of arts education. Students on stage, behind stage, and those who literally built the stage presented a Broadway-worthy production of Grease at LHS. Heritage students staged the happy-go-lucky Guys and Dolls. · The Student Perspective exhibit at Town Hall is just one of the venues where art in all its forms was showcased. · The Livingston Music Festival celebrated the music in all our schools. Performing were student musicians in the Heritage 8th Grade Band, Heritage Advanced Orchestra, Mt. Pleasant Middle Chorus, All-Township Elementary Band, LHS Chorus, and the LHS Orchestra. · Congratulations to our creative talents at LHS: National and regional award winners in Scholastic Art & Writing. · We have forensics students qualifying for the national tournament; award-winning science research seniors; middle school students placing third in the state Science Olympiad State Championships; seventh graders placing first in the Test of Engineering Aptitude, Math and Science competition; and a Junior Model United Nations Team from Heritage earning top marks as the best delegation in the areas of sustainable energy, global education and humanitarian Intervention. · Shaima Parveen, a sophomore at LHS, is receiving national recognition in the DuPont Challenge science essay competition. The competition encourages students to think critically about potential science and engineering-based solutions to important global challenges: feeding the world, building a secure energy future, and protecting people and the environment. Shaima’s essay on solar energy, “Lamp Lights the Way for the Future of Energy,” was recognized from among 9,000 submissions. A student in the LHS Science Research Program, Shaima is the first student at LHS to place in the DuPont Challenge. · Heritage Middle School students were successful at the Technology Student Association state conference. More than 600 students were at this year’s competition, and Heritage had 25 award-winning students.
· Congratulations to Aleksandr Sadiwnyk, the technology education teacher at Mount Pleasant Middle School, who has been honored by the International Technology and Engineering Educators for fostering technological literacy and effective STEM education programs. · Congratulations to Karen Seiferheld, our K-12 Supervisor of Mathematics, who will receive the Outstanding Professional Achievement in Administrative Leadership from The College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University. · Livingston Future Business Leaders won first place in six different categories with 20 students overall qualified to compete this summer in the National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. · We had more than 200 parents turn out for Kindergarten Orientation on March 31. · The 10th annual District Jazz Festival will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9 showcasing the Mt. Pleasant Middle 6th grade Jazz Band, Heritage 7th grade Jazz Band, Heritage 8th grade Jazz Band, and both LHS Jazz Bands. The event closes out with all the jazz bands on stage play a song together. · And last, but certainly not least, congratulations to Mary Oates, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, who has been named Educator of the Year by the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce. This well-deserved honor is in recognition of her role in many of the programs and activities in Livingston that enrich the lives of children and create meaningful opportunities for teaching and learning.
In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, teachers and staff at Livingston Public Schools wore their blue jeans to the classroom, our own pocket of recognition to the global “Go Blue” celebrations that saw blue lights shine on buildings in cities from Delhi to Manhattan.
The celebration was one of many throughout the world to raise awareness of autism. New Jersey has the nation’s highest rate of autism among children, with 1 in 45 having the spectrum of disorders, according to new data released by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the opportunity to wear jeans, I sent out an email requesting a small donation of $2 per person that we will donate to Autism Speaks. It was an amazing outpouring of support for a worthy cause. Learn more about this organization by clicking HERE.
At last night’s BOE meeting, our Livingston Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the tentative SY 2014-2015 school budget. I would like to begin by thanking them for supporting this Superintendent’s first budget. The budget now heads over to the County Executive’s Office for approval or modification. It is our collective hope that the budget will quickly be approved. At the risk of sounding redundant, I just want to mention that this budget maintains our current levels of staffing and programming. Most critically, it also adds personnel in the essentials areas of K-2 intervention & enrichment, technology education, special education, staff to reduce class size at the secondary level, and some minor additions to our maintenance team to keep our facilities clean and in top working order.
If you or anyone you know ever has a question about the budget or would like to learn more about our new positions and our educational goals for next year, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your continued support.
Yesterday, a parent of three small children asked me, “What are the most important things in this new school budget?” What a simple, yet powerful question. I thought I would share the answer with all of you:
1. The proposed budget allows us to maintain ALL of our current programs, offerings, and services that make LPS one of the finest districts in NJ, if not the nation.
2. The proposed budget adds critically needed personnel in the areas of special education, language arts/literacy, primary grade intervention, and staffing at LHS to reduce class size.
3. The proposed budget allows for the enhancement of existing special needs programs as well as the creation of new programs.
4. The proposed budget takes advantage of one-time State of NJ grants that will pay 40% of the costs associated with air-conditioning the Heritage gym and repairs needed for the LHS roof.
5. The proposed budget adds positions, by reducing the cost of purchasing “stuff,” that will directly benefit our children in the classroom. For example, in this proposed budget, we are looking to add technology coaches to assist our teachers in using all of the technology we have purchased in the past in the most current and productive manner to enhance the daily delivery of curriculum. Technology does not teach, teachers teach; however, we want to use what we already have to maximize and enhance student learning.
6. The proposed budget funds the purchase of middle school math textbooks.
7. This proposed budget adds teachers to address one of my major initiatives: The direct and explicit instruction of grammar, writing, reading, and spelling. We want to truly balance our approach, and this new “Craft of Language Program” will begin to do just that.
8. This proposed budget is UNDER the 2% state cap.
9. This proposed budget keeps kid’s needs at the forefront – everything added is a service that directly affects kids’ learning and the teachers’ abilities to do what they do best, teach.
10. I actually do not have a ten, but it just makes sense to write one. So, I will end on this note – this budget is both educationally sound and fiscally responsible.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Have a wonderful weekend.