The Hopewell Valley Board of Education, at its August 20 meeting, made preparations for the 2018-2019 school year including the hiring of staff to start in September, setting goals for the new school year, and updating the public on renovations and construction projects in each of the District’s schools.
“There’s a lot happening in our District; it’s a very exciting time of year,” said BOE president Alyce Murray. “I really want to thank the staff of our district and the administration for really working hard. I know they work hard every summer, but with a referendum in process and nearing completion, there was just a lot of work that was being done over the summer and I really appreciate all the efforts you’ve put in.”
Superintendent Thomas A. Smith gave a short presentation about his goals that the District will be working toward this school year including social-emotional learning regarding mental health and mindfulness, continuing the sustainability efforts, and making improvements to school safety, security, and communications.
“Not only are we strong academically and being recognized for that, we are also doing our best to provide sustainability and green efforts encompassed with our social and emotional learning for our students,” said. Smith. “Our goal is to develop well-rounded students to be successful in an ever-changing world, and I think that we have a nice balance of academics, social responsibility, and social-emotional learning.”
Smith announced that the District is receiving favorable rankings hinting at a New Jersey magazine in the coming weeks and that the public should be on the lookout for the news. Aside from those rankings, Niche published its rankings and HVRSD ranked number one in the county for athletics and was also deemed the safest district in the county. Among the other categories, HVRSD ranked within the top three spots for each one.
“Right now we’re doing well, but I caution everybody to take it with a grain of salt because they’re saying we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. It could be just as easy that they change the rubric in two years and then we wind up at the bottom” said BOE vice president Lisa Wolff. “We’re still a great school no matter how you slice it. Right now we’re being acknowledged that we’re great. If we’re not acknowledged that we’re great, we’re still great.”
The Board also appointed many new staff members to the District, including Jane-Ellen Lennon as Interim Principal at Toll Gate Grammar School and Robert Nosari as Vice Principal of Timberlane Middle School, both of whom were present at the meeting.
The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for September 17 at 7:30pm.