August 18, 2017
Dear Englewood Cliffs School Community,
I hope that everyone has enjoyed his or her summer vacation. On behalf of the Board of Education, staff, and myself, welcome back to an exciting 2017-2018 school year! I am proud to welcome new staff members to our school district. I have attached their biographies for your review. Nicole Ferlise is the new district Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction who will be joining us on September 1, 2017.
For the 2017/2018 school year, grades K to 5 will continue Reading Workshop, and I am proud to announce that the program will now continue into the middle school classrooms as well. All teachers in grades K-8 will have several leveled books; therefore, your child will have an appropriate book for his/her reading level. Per parent requests last year, the district has subscribed to Raz Kids. This site has many leveled readers and questions. In addition, Writing Workshop will begin this year in grades K-5. Our new mathematics program for grades K-8 is Go Math. Professional development for staff on Reading and Writing Workshop, as well as mathematics, will be continuous throughout the school year from Ms. Ferlise, as well as outside staff developers to ensure successful implementation of the programs and differentiation to meet the needs of all learners. Furthermore, to support the new Next Generation Science Standards, grades K-5 have a new program called Knowing Science. You will learn more about these programs at Back to School Night, Board of Education Meetings, as well as other curriculum nights provided throughout the year. Moreover, rather than utilizing MacBooks, students will be receiving Chromebooks this year to continue our 1:1 laptop initiative in grades 5-8. Students in grades 3 and 4 have Chromebooks available in the classrooms.
To ensure the safety and health of our students, all water fountains at Upper School and North Cliff School now have bottle filling stations with filters. As noted in my prior communication during the school year, we did have one water fountain and a few sinks at Upper School that tested at higher levels for lead. The district addressed the problem by replacing the water fountain, and the sinks have received new filters. Before the school year begins, all water outlets will be tested again to ensure that we are below the lead action level of 15 µg/l (parts per billion [ppb]).
Next week, there will be construction at Upper School to install new ceiling tiles and grids in two hallways; in particular, the main entrance. A very special thank you to the PTA for their donation to make this project possible. The district will place new LED lights in those areas. Furthermore, at Upper School, both gym floors were professionally refinished, and the upstairs gym was repainted. I would also like to thank the custodial staff for their efforts this summer. Our next significant project, which will occur shortly, is to fix the portico at the Upper School entrance.
As noted last year, this is a reminder that the Englewood Cliffs School District will be complying 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 have been adopted according to 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 tardies equals one absence. Attached for your review is policy and regulation 5200. The principal, Mrs. Tauchert, will be sending out required forms on Genesis next week. At that time, you will need to acknowledge that you understand these policies. Only after all forms are completed will Genesis release students’ schedules. Please read all information carefully.
Furthermore, I would also like to give a reminder 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. This policy is attached for your review.
Regarding safety issues, I recently received concerns from a Rock Road resident that during dismissal from Upper School, parents are parking in the wrong directions, in the middle of the street, or in front of driveways on Rock Road and Forest Avenue. The Police Department is also aware of these concerns. To ensure the safety of our students, please pick up your child or children at the Charlotte Place school entrance. There is a crossing guard and other safety measures in place that have been established as part of our dismissal procedures.
I am extremely eager for the start of the school year. The staff, students, and community are truly amazing, and I am very proud to be superintendent in a place where everyone values education. Communication is very important to me. If we all work together, I am certain that the Englewood Cliffs School District will continue to soar to new heights. Thank you all for your support of our students. I look forward to seeing each of you soon.
Very Truly Yours,
Ms. Jennifer Brower
Superintendent of Schools
Englewood Cliffs School District
201-567-6151 ext. 222