Board of Education Meeting Wrap-up
The Board of Education’s meeting on September 28 included a number of updates from District administrators. At the meeting, the Board also honored PMHS students who recently received national recognition.
At the start of the meeting, Dr. Cheryl Champ, Superintendent of Schools and Mark Berkowitz, PMHS Principal recognized nearly 20 high school students who recently received prestigious awards for their performance on the PSAT and academic achievement. The student awards are as follows:
National Merit Semifinalists
These students are scored among the top 1% of all students across the country on the PSAT Exam. They now have the opportunity to move on in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s annual scholarship competition.
• Leila Brady
• Katie Brandler
• Victor Chang
• Julia Meyerson
• Adina Sasson
National Merit Commended Students
These students scored among the top 4% in the country on the PSAT Exam.
• Aoife Jeffries
• Theodore Johnson
• Audrey Levenson
• Sarah Tapogna
• Emma Van Praagh
College Board National Recognition
These students, who represent ethnic heritage that is historically underrepresented on college campuses, scored in the top 10% on the PSAT or scored a 3 or higher on two distinct AP Exams.
• Audrey Levenson: National Hispanic Recognition Award
• Chris Franchini: National Hispanic Recognition Award
• Genevieve Pereira: National African American Recognition Award
• Giovanni Carrion-Silva: National Hispanic Recognition Award
• Ian Urquhart: National African American Recognition Award
• James Blackburn: National Hispanic Recognition Award, National Indigenous Award
• Matthew Michailoff: National Hispanic Recognition Award
• Milan Otondi: National African American Recognition Award
• Naiya Gonzalez-Breen: National Hispanic Recognition Award
• Sorany Campo: National Hispanic Recognition Award
Authentic Learning Update
As part of her update on Authentic Learning, Dr. Alice Bowman, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning, reported that the curriculum team is continuing to review state assessment data to ensure that student needs are met. She shared that the District is looking at different approaches to expand math supports to more students. Additional information about state assessments and academic progress/data was shared as part of a presentation at the Board’s next meeting.
Additionally, Dr. Bowman shared that a number of professional development opportunities for staff have been ongoing. These include:
• Science 21
• Teachers College Reading & Writing
• Running Records (Data to help track reading progress)
• Math intervention to address student needs across all grade levels
• Math in Focus
The Whole Child
Traci Holtz, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services, reported that all special education programs and related services were off to a smooth start to the school year. In connection with the District’s efforts to continue expanding Integrated Co-Teach (ICT) at the elementary level, an ICT consultant recently spent the day with the grade 3, 4 and 5 co-teaching teams to help with lesson planning. The consultant also met with 6th grade ICT teams with a focus on the new Math co-teach teams.
Ms. Holtz also shared that many of the District’s Wellness efforts are also underway. Several new District clinicians recently participated in training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which is one of the interventions utilized within Tier 3 of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support process. Additionally, the new Elementary School Counselor has completed training in Fly-Five: The Mindful Student, and has started pushing into elementary classes while our Responsive Classroom consultant is planning to visit schools/classrooms in October and meet with teachers for questions and feedback on implementation.
At the high school, counselors have been visiting 12th grade classes to speak about the college application process. There will also be a virtual Financial Aid Night at 7pm on October 18.
Finance and Facilities
In his report on finance and facilities, Jim Hricay, Assistant Superintendent for Business, shared that the Board had the opportunity to set the base tax proportions on the 2021 or 2022 assessment roll. The base proportions show how the tax bill is divided between homestead (private/residential) and non-homestead (commercial property) properties. The Board voted to adopt the 2021 base proportions because doing so is slightly more favorable to the homestead property owners.
Mr. Hricay also provided an update on the District’s capital improvement projects. He shared that the District is working to finalize outstanding items at both Prospect Hill and Hutchinson School, which includes installation of the new playground. Additionally, work is continuing on the interior renovations at the high school to create additional learning spaces where District offices were previously located. Finally, Mr. Hricay announced that a new tire swing had been installed at Julianne’s Playground.