- Ewing Township Board of Education
The Ewing Public Schools Board of Education BOE Briefs: November 23rd, 2020
The Ewing Township Board of Education held its monthly meeting this November virtually as it continues to navigate the COVID-19 public health crisis. The virtual Board of Education meeting opened at 7:00PM and the only action the Board took at that time was to move to a closed session where it reviewed a limited number of confidential items. The public session of the Board of Education meeting was live-streamed to the public beginning at 8:00PM. The livestream link was widely communicated to the community via Instant Alert, Twitter and posted on the district website.
In his Superintendent’s Report, Chief School Administrator Michael Nitti introduced Ewing High School student ambassador to the Board of Education, Destiny Dollson. Destiny is a four-year member, three-year officer, and current vice president of the Ewing High School Student Council. She is a member of the National Honor Society and a varsity fall cheerleader. Destiny has served as a dance captain/choreographer for the school's musical production and is also a dedicated member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and the Key Club. Destiny has volunteered her time at Fisher Middle School’s extended school year program as well as the Stewart-Johnson Dance Academy.
Destiny shared with the Board and public that Ewing High School celebrated Red Ribbon Week October 23rd-27th with a “Wear Red Day” on Tuesday, October 27th to share anti-drug messages with the school community. Ewing High School juniors were given the opportunity to take the PSAT on Thursday, October 29th and there will be spring test date for sophomores. Ewing High School honored the October Students of the Month: 9th grade Isabella Balestrieri and Nicholas Benedetti; 10th grade: Hazel Penner and Samuel Schwartz; 11th grade: Noemi Garcia and Thomas Vellenga; and 12th grade: Katelyn McConnell and Zachary Benedetti. Ewing High School hosted its first ever virtual EHS 8th Grade Open House on Thursday, November 19th. During the first 30 minutes, parents attended an information session with EHS Principal Ed Chmiel and the Director of Counseling Services and Assessment Dr. Karen Allen while prospective students participated in a virtual tour of the school with a question and answer session with current EHS students. The final hour of the program allowed students and parents to rotate through various breakout rooms dedicated to academic departments, clubs and activities, and athletics. The night seemed to run very smoothly, information and links can be found on the EHS Counseling Department website. To close out her report, Destiny reported that the Key Club Food Drive concludes this week. The EHS Student Council is facilitating a ‘virtual tour’ of Rutgers University New Brunswick campus. The highlight of the event is a panel discussion featuring former EHS and current Rutgers students Keri Capstack and Nicholas Kirchhoff as well as some EHS faculty members who also attended Rutgers. Finally, Destiny shared that the EHS school community looks forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with Pajama Day on Wednesday and wished everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend!
Mr. Nitti then thanked the entire Ewing School Community for their support and understanding as the district continues to navigate the return of students to the classroom and the challenges of the ongoing public health crisis.
During the “Superintendent’s Report,” Chief School Administrator Michael Nitti introduced Lore School principal Kelly Kawalek. The November Board meeting is usually hosted at Lore School as part of the traveling Board meetings. This year the meeting was virtual, so Mrs. Kawalek joined the Board to provide an update on the first several months of school at Lore School and shared a video visit to the Lore School!
Mr. Nitti then introduced School Business Administrator Dennis Nettleton to present on the annual Demographic Study. Mr. Nettleton’s PowerPoint Presentation, and the Demographic Projection Report itself, is available on the district BoardDocs page.
The Board then moved into the “Superintendent Recommendations” section of the Agenda. Some items of note:
Finance and Operations
The Board acknowledged the School Board Election Results.
Current Board members, Vice-President Mr. Carl J. Benedetti, Jr. and Mrs. Karen A. McKeon chose not to run for re-election and their terms will conclude at the end of the calendar year. BOE incumbent Dr. Channing C. Conway received 7,321 votes and was elected to a second term on the Board of Education. Mrs. Jennifer Miller received 8,045 votes and Mr. Tyrone A. Miller, Jr. garnered 6,836 votes and will officially join the Board of Education for three-year terms at the BOE Reorganization meeting on Monday, January 4th.
The Board also approved the mandated School Safety and Security Plan Annual Review Statement of Assurance. New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1) requires school districts to have a School Safety and Security Plan and an annual review and update of the plans, procedures and mechanisms. The district recently held a meeting of its’ Crisis Team to review the School Safety and Security Plan.
The Board approved the 2020-2021 Memorandum of Agreement between Education and Law Enforcement Officials and the Memorandum of Agreement between the Ewing Board of Education and the Ewing Police Department in accordance with Public Law 2017, Chapter 119.
Curriculum and Instruction
The Board approved the Acceptance of the 2019-2020 School Safety Team Self-Assessment on the Implementation of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.
Student Services and Technology
The Board approved the district Nursing Services Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. New Jersey School districts are required to maintain a plan for nursing services for the State and on an annual basis.
The Board of Education approved acceptance of the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Grant in the sum of $14,500.00 to be used for Antheil Elementary School, Lore Elementary School, Parkway Elementary School, Fisher Middle School and Ewing High School. Establishing The Ewing Public Schools as a Unified Champion School will enable staff to create and implement Unified Sports, Youth Leadership, and Whole School Engagement programs that promote inclusion, equity, friendships, and dignity among students with and without disabilities.
The Ewing School District Welcomes New Staff
Melissa Embly-Ryba will be joining the Ewing Public Schools as a School Nurse at Parkway Elementary School in January 2021. Ms. Embly-Ryba has prior experience working as a School Nurse in public and charter schools. Ms. Embly-Ryba graduated from Rutgers University with her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
Alissa LaMorte will be joining Parkway Elementary School as a 3rd Grade Elementary Teacher. Ms. LaMorte has been employed with the district as a Substitute Teacher and currently as an Elementary General Education Paraprofessional. Ms. LaMorte graduated from William Patterson University with her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Early Childhood Education.
The following policies and regulations were approved by the Board as “Second Readings” and are now formal Board policy:
Policy 2464 – Gifted and Talented Students (M) Revised
Policy 5111 – Eligibility of Resident/Nonresident Students (M) (Revised)
Regulation 5111 – Eligibility of Resident/Nonresident Students (M) (Revised)
The following policies and regulations were approved by the Board as “First Readings”. After review and approval by the Board at its next meeting in December they will become formal Board policy:
Policy 5111 – Administering an Opioid Antidote (M) Revised
Regulation 5111- Administering an Opioid Antidote (M) Revised
Policy 1648.02 – Remote Learning Options for Families (M) New
Policy 1648.03 – Restart and Recovery Plan – Full Time Remote Instruction (M) New
The next meeting of the Board of Education will take place on Monday, December 21st, 2020. The format and location of that meeting has not been finalized, but will be widely publicized prior to the meeting.