Eastern district announces commencement date of June 17

Board cites performance assessment and reveals new upgrades

Since its last meeting in March, the Eastern Regional High School district has found its groove when it comes to hybrid learning.

During the board of education’s session on April 21, Superintendent Robert Cloutier reported a 12-percent change over the last six to eight weeks regarding how students have chosen to learn. Sixty percent of students are now learning remotely and 40 percent are in person.  That compares with 67.5 percent learning remotely and 32.5 percent learning in person in March. According to a survey that went out over the weekend regarding the remainder of the year, a  majority (72.5 percent) of respondents voted to maintain the status quo.

“We have built a system that allows rolling additions every week,” Cloutier said. “It’s flexible; parents and students have the choice to go back.”

Students can choose to learn in person two or four days a week or learn remotely.

Cloutier also announced that the last day of school and commencement are set for June 17, with a rain date of June 18. The board is waiting on guidance from the state (expected next week) before releasing more information regarding graduation, prom and other summer events.

Following the superintendent’s update, Dr. Kristin Borda, director of Academic Programs and Student Performance, gave a presentation on the district’s school performance over the past year. The annual evaluation has been slightly different than in other years because it does not include canceled statewide assessment data, attendance or accountability scores.

At a glance, Borda’s presentation showed that enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year was  down, but that next year’s numbers are expected to go up. Despite the graduation assessment requirement being waived by the governor for last year’s seniors, many of the students had already met the requirement, and less than 1 percent (0.8 percent) chose to waive it. Unlike the state numbers, there was an increase in students who want to continue their education at a two   or four year college, especially among underrepresented groups. There was also a large  decrease in the number of reported safety incidents compared with the year before, from 51 incidents to 22, with the pandemic and remote learning thought to be responsible.

More information on the school’s performance can be found at www.njschooldata.org and on the district website at https://www.eccrsd.us/domain/2151 under School Performance Report.

The school board also passed resolutions to upgrade the school’s security system by purchasing new cameras and servers, with a fully digital system replacing aging analog equipment. Upgrades will also be made to the tennis courts and the ramp, to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. The district will also install new equipment in  HVAC roof units for better air purification.

In other news:

  • Anastasia Lukasheva was named Scholar of the Month. She will continue her education at Brown University, where she will study compositional biology.
  • Lawn signs for graduating seniors will be on sale until April 30. They are $20 each, and support Project Graduation. Signs will be available for pickup on May 27 and can be purchased at https://www.eccrsd.us/Page/3676.
  • The first event to allow parents in the building will take place next week, with the National Honors Society Induction on April 27.
  • The Senior Day class trip to Hershey Park will be on May 1.
  • The prom will take place on May 14

The next board of education meeting will be held virtually on May 5 at 7:30 p.m., with a public hearing on the 2021-2022 budget. The Zoom link for the meeting can be found at https://www.eccrsd.us/Page/128.