School Security Drills…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Earlier today, representatives from the New Jersey Department of Education – Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning conducted a “no notice” site visit to our district. These representatives, along with officers and administrators from the New Jersey State Police and West Milford Police Department met with school and district administrators to discuss and review best practices in the area of school safety. School safety drills were held at Westbrook School and Macopin School and I am pleased to report that our schools performed very well. We will have additional post-drill conferences and meetings with the NJDOE and WMPD and will share statewide “best practices” with our school administrators, faculty, and staff. The safety of our children is our primary concern and we will continue to work with these and other security experts to make the appropriate improvements to our district.

 

If you have any questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

New Principal, New Awards, and New District Goals…

Dear WMTPS Community,

Last night at the Board of Education meeting, the Board unanimously approved Janet Cash as the new Principal of Marshall Hill School. Mrs. Cash is a Hewitt resident and comes to our District from the Franklin Lakes Public Schools where she taught Special Education and Art in multiple schools. Prior to working in Franklin Lakes, Mrs. Cash served as a year-round camp director for the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey and was able to effectively serve as a role model and leader for students in Bergen, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren Counties. Mrs. Cash is eager to join the Marshall Hill community and partner with our parents and staff. She will begin her position on August 1, 2017. Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Cash to the West Milford Township Public Schools’ community.

 

We are honored and pleased to announce that the WMTPS have once again received a significant level of state and national recognition from Character.org and the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional, and Character Development (NJASECD). Upper Greenwood Lake School, Paradise Knoll School, and Maple Road School were all honored at the Board meeting last night and all three schools received the prestigious designation of National School of Character through a rigorous assessment process that judged the school’s character education initiatives against the expectations of the 11 Principles of Character. These schools now join Macopin Middle School, which achieved this recognition during the 2015-2016 school year. In addition, West Milford Township High School and Apshawa School were named State Schools of Character – Honorable Mention for their efforts. Moreover, our District also received 19 Promising Practice Awards for our commitment to character education. A showroom-type of display will be available for public viewing at the November 2017 Board of Education meeting following our District’s presentation at the prestigious National Forum of Character Education in the fall.

 

Lastly, at the meeting last night, the Board approved four new District goals for the 2017-2018 school year.

  1. Improve academic performance through increased design and implementation of differentiated instruction.
  2. Implement an effective and timely communication plan to promote District/parent relationships, improve internal school efficiencies, and improve District management.
  3. Analyze the current math program in grades K-12, evaluate for effectiveness, and make appropriate recommendations for the 2018-2019 school year.
  4. Explore all opportunities for District-wide cost efficiencies in order to maximize funding for educational programs.

 

We look forward to partnering with the entire school community to achieve these goals and continue to make our District the best it can be.

 

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

13 Reasons Why…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

You may have recently read about a new television series entitled “13 Reasons Why”. Originally released as a book in 2007, this series is popular among teenage students and involves adult themes such as rape and suicide. I would encourage all parents to carefully monitor access to this program. The American Psychological Association states: “We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series. Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters. While many youths are resilient and capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughtful conversations with them about the show is vital.”

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2017-2018 WMTPS Budget…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

At the Board of Education meeting held last night, the Board approved the 2017-2018 budget. Budget highlights include:

  • No increase to the local tax levy
  • The total budget decreased by 1.02%
  • The general fund decreased by $626,373 or 0.85%

We thank you for your continued support and will maintain our efforts to provide the best possible education for our children at the lowest possible cost to our taxpayers.

Tonight at Macopin Middle School at 7:00pm, the District will host a special presentation If I Could Have a Do-Over. Our guest speaker is John Halligan and his son, Ryan, died by suicide in 2003. Mr. Halligan’s presentation will cover the lessons learned too late for his family regarding how to deal with bullying and teen depression. This special presentation is open to all community parents and was featured on the front page of The Record yesterday as part of a larger discussion about teen issues. Our District was identified as being one of the most progressive districts in this area. This recognition is largely due to our systemic focus on the social and emotional wellness of all our children. I hope to see you tonight. Educational child care (STEM and Makerspace) for school-aged children will be provided.

Lastly, please note that schools will be closed on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, for one unused snow day.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

“All In”…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Spring is PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing season for students in grades 3-11. Though this is only the third year of the PARCC, students in New Jersey have been completing standardized testing for many years. I am writing this to inform parents of some recent changes to the state and national landscape. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) of 1965. On a more practical level, there is one change of note that I believe is important to share with our community. Effective with the 2017 administration of the PARCC exam, students who “refuse” to take the PARCC will count against our school/district on the test. Excessive refusals/failures will have a negative effect on a school’s or district’s progress towards goals and will be prominently featured on the School Performance Report. We encourage all our students to complete the PARCC to the best of their ability and hope that the entire WMTPS community (students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc.) pulls together and is “all in” for our community.

 

Lastly, the Township of West Milford will be spraying for gypsy moths from May 15 – June 16. There will be a one hour “no spray” time period each day from 7:30am-8:30am.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2017-2018 Preliminary Budget…

Dear West Milford School District Community,

 
Last night at the Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the 2017-2018 Preliminary Budget. This tentative budget increased by only 1.68% and the general fund increased by only 1.92%. Moreover, our administrative costs are lower than the regional limit indicating a student-centric budget that limits administrative overhead and maximizes resources directed to the classroom.

Next, the budget will be sent to the Executive County Superintendent for approval and will be advertised on our website and in the local newspapers. The Board will vote on the final budget at the April 25 Board of Education meeting. This meeting is also known as the Public Hearing on the Budget and will begin at 7:30pm at Westbrook School.

Thank you for all your support.

 
Best,

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

State of the District Report…

Deat WMTPS Community,

 

Earlier this week at the Board of Education meeting, our administrative team presented the first annual State of the District Report. This report highlighted some (but not all) district programs and activities that occurred over the past year and provided a preview of special activities for next school year; I hope you enjoy it.

Please save the date: Monday, March 20, 2017 – Second Annual Grades 5-8 Digital Citizenship Night @ Macopin School and be on the lookout for additional information coming home.

Lastly, congratulations to Jillian Crane, a student at Marshall Hill for winning the 2017 Passaic County Clerk’s Poster Calendar Contest! Her artwork will be featured in December. Congratulations also to Dorothy Moran and Donna Stinziano, both Marshall Hill students, for winning Honorable Mention in the same contest.

 

Best,

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools