August 21, 2019
Dear Englewood Cliffs School Community,
I hope that you have enjoyed your summer break. On behalf of the Board of Education, the staff and I are very excited to welcome you back for the 2019-2020 school year! We have been working hard all summer updating and revising curriculum, creating Standards-Based Report Cards for Grades K-4, undergoing major construction projects and hiring many new qualified staff. You will receive new staff biographies by early next week. We are ready for school to begin on Wednesday, September 4th and cannot wait to greet the students—both new and returning.
Major construction projects have been occurring at Upper School over the summer. First, I am pleased to announce that the Upper School parking lot has been milled and paved, and there are additional parking spaces for staff. Please note that if you come to the school at any time during the day, you will need to park in a space designated for visitors. If those spaces are not vacant, you will need to park in the street. Every parking space has a number belonging to a particular staff member. Even if you see an empty space, you cannot park there as many staff members travel between schools. Second, substantial work is continuing on the Upper School field project. Administration is aggressively managing the project and working hard to reach a completion date. In the meantime, the field will be fenced off and remain closed to all activity. Third, I am proud to announce that the Upper School Media Center is in the process of an extensive renovation with an anticipated completion date at the end of November. The new Media Center will have collaborative work areas for small groups, quiet reading nooks, and Maker/STEM spaces for co-creation. Due to the diversity of the learning activities, there will be a variety of flexible furniture throughout the spaces to enable staff and students to adapt to different group sizes and tasks. The newly Board approved curriculum is entitled “Educate to Innovate.” Special thanks to the PTA and ECEF for their extremely generous contributions toward this project. We are tremendously grateful for their support of our facilities, which benefit our students and staff members. I am tremendously proud of the significant improvements we have been able to make, and we will continue to make enhancements in the future to ensure that our staff and students have the best facilities.
Communication is essential. However, in order for us to address your concerns in an appropriate and most beneficial manner, following the chain of command is pertinent. If you have a particular concern, please speak to the teacher first before
contacting administration. There have been instances in the past when teachers never received the opportunity to solve the issues.
Please remember that attendance matters. Even one day of missed school, excused or unexcused, can have negative academic consequences for your child. As noted in prior years, the Englewood Cliffs School District complies with the requirements for attendance set forth by the state and Department of Education regarding guidance for reporting student absences and calculating chronic absenteeism. Our policies are in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6. State law and regulations require that the districts strive for a ninety percent daily student attendance rate; that the Board determine which categories of absences to excuse; and that the district create and implement a system to identify and address patterns of unexcused absences. As an example, students cannot attend school fewer than 162 days, or this will have an impact on promotion to the next grade. Three tardiness equals one absence. Please review policy and regulation 5200.
Furthermore, I would also like to remind you about the management of allergies in school. In accordance with policy 5331, it states that all baked goods sent in for classroom parties or celebrations must be packaged with an ingredient label attached. Any baked goods without a label will be restricted from the classrooms.
I am extremely eager for the start of the school year. The staff, students, and community are truly wonderful, and I am very proud to be superintendent in a district where everyone values education. As we all work together, the Englewood Cliffs School District will continue to soar to new heights. Thank you all for your support of our students at home, and in the community. I look forward to seeing each of you soon.
Very Truly Yours,
Jennifer R. Brower, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Englewood Cliffs School District
201-567-6151 ext. 222