Home Washington Twp. News BOE recognized AP teachers, CRMS student ambassadors at meeting

BOE recognized AP teachers, CRMS student ambassadors at meeting

Washington Township High School was recently named to the 7th annual College Board AP honor roll while student ambassadors lead the way at Chestnut Ridge Middle School

Washington Township High School Advanced Placement teachers and administrators in attendance at the Board of Education meeting were honored for being named to College Board’s 7th annual honor roll list. In the back row from left are, WTHS Director of School Counseling Jennifer Grimaldi, Andy Holmes, Bob Byatt, Jennifer Monaco and Brett Eppolite. In the front from left are, WTHS Principal Ann Moore, Debbie Carchidi, Kathy Hudak, Board of Education President Ginny Murphy, Lauren Cichoski, Shannon Hornibrook and WTHS Executive Assistant Principal Jonathan Strout.

The Board of Education recognized Washington Township High School Advanced Placement teachers last week after the school was named to the 7th annual College Board Advanced Placement Honor Roll. Student ambassadors from Chestnut Ridge Middle School also presented to board members their leadership roles and the actions they take every day to welcome new students, families and visitors to their school.

To be honored by College Board, the high school, since 2014, had to “increase the number of students participating in AP courses while also increasing, or maintaining, the number of students earning AP exams scores of three or higher.”

“Our AP program consists of some of the finest teachers in the Washington Township school district. We have had the great support of our curriculum department and our Board of Education over the years as we have grown and developed our program, which has grown to 25 AP course offerings at the high school,” WTHS Principal Ann Moore said.

The school was one of 425 school districts in the U.S. and Canada to be named to the list, as well as one of 40 districts in New Jersey and one of two districts within Gloucester County to earn the distinction.

“There’s approximately 600 school districts in New Jersey, and we’re one of 40 schools that qualified for this award,” Board of Education President Ginny Murphy said. “That’s outstanding.”

This is Washington Township High School’s third time recognized for the achievement.

“It doesn’t happen without the dedication of the students who enroll in the AP classes each year who are willing to put forth the work, and they go into these program full-heartedly with the motivation to learn and become very strong and successful students,” Moore said. “That doesn’t happen without the support that our students have at home, a foundation that teaches them the value of education and seeking the best possible education opportunities they can get. I applaud our whole community.”

Moore recognized Superintendent Joe Bollendorf, Executive Assistant Principal Jonathan Strout and Director of School Counseling Jennifer Grimaldi for their efforts in helping to provide teachers with training and materials, as well as encouraging students to strive in their courses.

“We commend you for your dedicated work to expand access to, and to ensure, success in AP courses for a more diverse group of learners,” Murphy said to the teachers honored. “We thank you every day for all you do for our students.”

Chestnut Ridge Middle School student ambassadors were recognized at the BOE meeting for their leadership and guidance roles within the school. From left in the back are, Board of Education member Candice Zachowski, Adrianna Caporelli, Natalia Capaccio, Olivia Dowling, Trina Basu, Lauren Petsch and CRMS Principal Jim Barnes. In the middle row from left are, Adriana Iacaruso, Alexis Catorina, Zarna Dhruve and Assistant Principal Jennifer MacMillan. Kneeling from left are, Spencer Barnoski, Robert Nuzzo, Giorgio Tasiopoulos, Julian Lawson and Noah Laliberte.

Chestnut Ridge Middle School’s first student ambassadors presented to the board their roles in leadership and guidance for new students, families and visitors who come through their hallways. The newly implemented program aims to “maintain integrity and excellence by creating positive first impressions” through student direction in welcoming new students, escorting visitors, giving guided tours of the building, participating in student panels and serving as representatives at orientation programs.

“Our students become leaders in our building and really get involved with what we do in the building when we have events, or when we invite community members, parents or board members into our building. We want those folks to see our students, and our students are excited about that,” Assistant Principal Jennifer MacMillan said.

According to MacMillan, the program has approximately 45 seventh- and eighth-grade student ambassadors who participate in a number of activities and events throughout the school year to “showcase Chestnut Ridge.” Moving forward, sixth-grade students who have made the transition into the middle school will have the opportunity to be mentored in becoming student ambassadors as they become more familiar with the school.

“One event that we student ambassadors attend is the transition camp for incoming sixth-grade students at Chestnut Ridge,” eighth-grade student ambassador Trina Basu said. “We answer questions students have and give them tips on what middle school is like and what is required.”

Basu explained student ambassadors are also available during locker move-in days, assisting sixth graders with finding and opening their new lockers. This school year, student ambassadors created an online communication platform for students and parents called Community Calendar, designed to share dates and information in regard to tests, quizzes and other school-related work, so information is available and deadlines may not be missed.

According to seventh grader Natalia Capaccio, when student ambassadors receive straight-A grades, they are allowed to have their breakfast with their parents before school.

“A student ambassador helps by directing parents where to sign-in and greet them,” Capaccio said. “We make sure everyone finds their way, and we get them where they need to be.”

In other news:

• A point of concern with community members in attendance at last week’s meeting was the acceptance of a proposal from Edvocate, a company that many members of the public worry will push for privatizing district services and outsourcing products, to provide a comprehensive statistical assessment of the metrics and fiscal status of the food service program. The fee was $6,975.

The proposal was accepted as Business Administrator Margaret Meehan and Solicitor Joseph Betley advised the board that the County Office for Department of Education mandated the assessment as part of the mid-year budget review.

“In order to be fiscally responsible, the district is directed to review the district-operated food service program expenditures, such as staffing, lunch pricing, etc., with a report prepared for Board of Education review prior to submitting the 2017–18 budget to the county. This review should include the investigation of possible cost savings of contracted food services,” Meehan read from the county’s directive.

Meehan said she had an independent analysis performed, which was submitted to the board, and now has the proposal from Edvocate, a contracted food service, to provide statistics from outside the district for comparisons. The report will be reviewed as part of the budget process. Meehan said at the time, she was unable to determine what would come of the report, as state aid numbers had not yet been released, and the budget had not been finalized.

• The Board of Education approved a policy that allows school physicians, as health-care practitioners, to “prescribe or dispense an opioid antidote directly, or through a standing order, to the school district for a school district certified nurse to administer to overdose victims.”

• The board approved a policy to “permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability in all areas of the district where the public is normally permitted.”

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