Wednesday, October 24, 2012
About 50 come to school board meeting to lobby for calendar change.
About 50 township residents came to Monday’s Board of Education meeting to ask the district to include Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, as an official school holiday. The request came as the board approved the calendar for the 2013-14 school year. Diwali won’t be an issue for that school year because the holiday falls on Nov. 3, a Sunday in 2013. But the question returns in 2014 when Diwali falls on a Thursday (Oct. 23) and in 2015 when the holiday is on Nov. 11 (a Wednesday), which is also Veterans Day. According to the 2010 Census, the number of Indian-Americans in Hillsborough more than doubled from the 2000 Census, from 1,038 in 2000 to 2,237 in 2010, a 115.5 percent increase. The group makes up close to 6 percent of the township’…
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
$119,000 project will repair 17 structurally-unsound lintels of doors in 40-year-old school.
The Board of Education has agreed to spend $119,000 for emergency repairs to 17 lintels at Hillsborough Middle School. “There is no choice,” Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff told the board on Monday. “We need a permanent fix.” The need for repairs of the load-bearing components to the doors arose this summer when staffers found loose masonry by a door in the original wing of the school. Further investigation by the school district’s architect, SSP Architectural Group of Hillsborough, revealed flaws in the construction of the lintels when the school was built 40 years ago. “This is a safety issue,” District Business Administrator Aiman Mahmoud said. Eight contractors submitted bids for the project ranging up to $649,773. The low bid …
With passionate remarks on both sides, BOE votes to retain controversial policy.
By a 6-3 vote, the Board of Education decided on Monday evening to retain the district’s random drug testing policy. After months of discussion and gathering input from the community, the majority of board members believed that while the program may be flawed and produced inconclusive results, the random testing was a valuable tool in the ongoing effort to combat adolescent drug use in the community. The vote came after several members of the community spoke in favor of keeping the policy. One resident, Mary Fougere, a neighbor of the high school, made accusations that she has witnessed drug use and alleged drug deals near her home. “This is life and death,” Fougere said, adding that the program gives the school district a chance to “…
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Students bring positive messages to pupils throughout the school district
Three groups of Hillsborough Middle School students were put in the spotlight at Monday’s school board meeting for their efforts in helping other students throughout the district. The three groups–PRIDE (Peers Respecting Individual Differences Everyday), REBEL (Reaching Everyone by Exposing Lies) and SLC (Student Leadership Corps)–were recognized for their peer leadership. “These students do a wonderful job,” Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff said. “Their commitment to what they do shines every day,” Middle School Principal Joseph Trybulski told the school board. “They’re amazing role models.” The members of REBEL, guidance counselor Anna Mahler said, go to all the fourth-grade classes in the school district with a message that …
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Hillsborough district one of only two in the county, 73 in state not to move to November this year.
- Mike Deak
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Hillsborough Board of Education may have until the second week of February to decide whether to switch the election of board members from April to November. Board member Gregory Gillette asked the administration at Monday’s board meeting to find out the deadline for a decision to change the election. Gillette said he believed the board had until the week of Feb. 10 to make a decision. The district must notify the county clerk 60 days before the April election date if it intends to move the balloting to the November general election. The school board has scheduled meetings on Jan. 28 and Feb. 11. This is the first year that New Jersey school districts had the option of switching the election from the third Tuesday in April to the first …
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
More than 300 people took it on the first day of the week-long program. Still no public comments by residents at the BOE meeting.
More than 300 people responded to an online survey on the school district’s random drug testing policy in the first hours after it was posted on the district’s web site on Monday. School board member Thuy Anh Le said at Monday’s board meeting that she was “delighted” that 336 people had responded to the survey on the first day it was posted. “We need your input,” Le said. “It’s the only way we have to get the pulse of the community.” The survey is on the school district’s home page. Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff said the survey will be posted for a week. The survey asked whether the program should be kept or ended. The survey also asked what measures the school district should employ to curb alcohol and drug use, including the …
Monday, September 24, 2012
Children seen near the bat, the fourth animal in town to test positive for rabies in the past month.
- Mike Deak
Monday, September 24, 2012
A rabid bat was found on Brookside Lane last Wednesday, the latest report of a rabid animal in the township. The township health department on Monday requested the school district notify parents about the bat because there were children walking home from school in the area when the bat was discovered, according to a letter by Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff. Several children were seen near the bat and were poking it with a stick, the letter said. The health department became aware of the bat outside 422 Brookside Lane at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The location is about three-quarters of a mile from Hillsborough Middle School. In the letter, Schiff asked parents to speak to their children “to be sure they did not touch the bat, try …
Monday, September 17, 2012
New staff members receive CERT training in how to handle emergencies.
September, at the beginning of a new school year, is an unusual time to hold a graduation ceremony. But as Scott Rocco, Hillsborough’s assistant superintendent for personnel, said at a recent Board of Education meeting, it was appropriate for a special program. That’s because 25 new staff members received certificates for successfully completing the school district’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training this summer. CERT members, all volunteers, give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, including CPR, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, suppress fires, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts. The 27-hour CERT training was …
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
New positions, retirements open way for hiring while plenty of new projects took place on grounds.
This year’s incoming class in the Hillsborough school district is one of the largest in recent years, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Scott Rocco said at Monday’s Board of Education meeting. But Rocco was not talking about the 7,400 students who started school last week. He was talking about the 86 new staffers who started work in the school district. After years of tight budgets, the Board of Education was able to add 20 positions to the staff; most of those positions had previously been eliminated because of budgetary pressures. For example, the school district now has teachers of Mandarin Chinese for the first time. In addition, 32 staffers retired and 22 resigned, Rocco said. All were replaced. And a dozen long-term substitutes …
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Eighty-seven percent of state school districts hold their elections in November.
The Hillsborough Board of Education may consider whether to keep its annual election in April or switch it to the November general election. Board member Gregory Gillette said at Monday’s board meeting that the district may review its decision to keep the election in April after reviewing how other districts, who switched to the November election this year, fare in November. This is the first year that New Jersey school districts had the option of switching the election from the third Tuesday in April to the first Tuesday in November when most other elections, from president to township committee, are held. The law, signed by Gov. Chris Christie in January, eliminates the requirement for school boards to put their proposed school budgets …