Editor's Note: The following letter was sent to parents earlier this month and appeared on the school district website Aug. 22, 2012.
Welcome to the 2012 - 2013 school year! I would like to extend a special welcome to students and parents new to the community. All schools will open for a full day of classes on Thursday, September 6th, 2012.
I am pleased to share good news regarding the Class of 2012 and several district achievements. The Class of 2012 excelled academically, athletically, artistically, and in the area of community service. The percentage of 262 graduates attending the most competitive colleges is the highest in the history of the district.
Our graduates also excelled in the number of Advanced Placement courses taken, with 84% scoring 3 or higher on the AP exams.
Sixteen of our sports teams won conference, county, regional or state championships, guided by an outstanding team of coaches - four of whom won coaching honors in 2011-2012. Our students achieved regional, state and national awards in forensics, exhibited artwork at statewide conferences, were selected for regional and statewide bands, orchestras and choruses, and both the middle and high school theatre programs garnered multiple nominations and awards. Our elementary schools provide an excellent foundation for the success of our students as they continue through middle and high school.
Although proud of our students’ accomplishments, we are focused on the future. We are determined to provide an environment that prepares, stimulates and inspires each child to even greater levels of achievement.
As a result every three years the Board of Education, with broad community participation, develops focus areas. Annually, the Board of Education also develops goals for the coming year.
2012-2015 Focus Areas
- Raising achievement for all students, eliminating achievement gaps among subgroups, and enabling each student to reach his/her potential.
- Informing and engaging parents and the broader Summit community through enhanced communication and outreach.
- Continuing fiscal management and operational efficiency to ensure the long-term sustainability of quality education.
- Enhancing the social/emotional development of all students by educating the whole child in a nurturing environment.
2012-2013 Board of Education Goals
- By January 1, 2013 reach a recommendation on implementation of full day kindergarten.
- To effectively implement and evaluate the new teacher evaluation model by June 2013.
- By January 2013 develop a model program for family and student advocacy at the middle school and high school that promotes parental awareness and involvement in the social emotional development needs of students.
- By January 2013, design an infrastructure to facilitate communications in a consistent manner that is bi-directional.
- To revise the 5-year facilities plan ensuring optimum utilization of space to support programmatic needs and initiatives
Talented New Staff
Recruiting and selecting outstanding staff throughout the year and over the summer is our highest priority. We welcome a number of very talented staff members: 38 faculty (13 high school, 9 middle school, and 16 elementary school), 17 faculty to cover temporary leaves, 22 aides, 6 support staff, 8 student interns, and our new Communications Specialist, Karen Greco.
Continual improvement of our curriculum and alignment with the Common Core Standards is fundamental to prepare our students for the 21st Century. One hundred eight faculty members completed 57 curriculum projects.
The leadership team also began training on a new method for assessing faculty performance consistent with new state mandates, the new focus areas, and board of education goals.
Student Summer Programs
Summer offerings included FLASH Summer Enrichment and Basketball Programs, Extended School Year Program, Summit Summer Skills (S3) at , Summer Academy at Summit High School, and the Summer Needs Academic Program (SNAP) at both and Schools. A total of 653 students participated.
The upgrading of our facilities continues to be a focus. The Library-Media Center, Guidance and Administrative Office, and the Technology Support Center were renovated.
Security systems were updated with additional video cameras at , relocation of security personnel to the lobby of , and new door locking systems at SHS.
Infrastructure improvements to north façade and to the parking lot are in progress. In addition, two temporary classroom units will be installed at to house art and music before the end of November. Brayton, Franklin, Jefferson, and Lincoln-Hubbard Elementary Schools will have new cafeteria tables.
Tom O’Rourke and Michelle Stevenson completed their terms on the board of education and we thank them for their years of service. Congratulations to George Lucaci, the new Board President, Gloria Ron-Fornes, the new Board Vice-President, and Elizabeth Ann Burton and David Deitz, our new board members.
In an effort to be more available to parents and community members, all workshop meetings will be held at Summit High School. Summit Public Schools are among the very best and I urge your participation in the numerous parent-led groups that support the schools such as the PTO/PTA and the (SEF). The SEF has existed for over 25 years and has helped establish a culture of philanthropy to encourage innovation and to help insulate the district from the uncertainty of state aid.
We are required by state law and/or board policy to make accessible to you annually the policies outlined in the attachment. You can access these policies at any time at www.summit.k12.nj.us. Thank you for adhering to district policies and guidelines.
I look forward to seeing you in September.
Dr. Nathan N. Parker
Superintendent of Schools
Required Notification 2012-2013
We are required by state law to make accessible to you annually the following policies. You can access our policies at any time by going to the district website:www.summit.k12.nj.us, and clicking on "Policies" on the left-hand side of the homepage. If you are unable to access the website, copies are available in your child’s school or at the Summit Board of Education Office located at 14 Beekman Terrace.
All public school districts are required to maintain policy that provides direction and guidance for all staff regarding the laws and regulations that keep your child safe in schools. Five of the most important policies that accomplish this purpose are listed below:
- Policy #5331 - Management of Life-Threatening Allergies in Schools - The Board of Education recognizes pupils may have allergies to certain foods and other substances and may be at risk for anaphylaxis. This policy has been developed in accordance with guidelines developed by the N.J. Department of Education.
- Policy #5512 – Hazing, Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying - Violence and vandalism are an unfortunate outgrowth of harassment, intimidation and bulling, and this policy promotes a civil and positive environment. It also prohibits hazing in any student team or school group. The district takes all reports of violence, bullying, harassing, or intimidation seriously and follows up with an investigation and disciplinary action if deemed appropriate. We are committed to providing all students with a safe, non-threatening environment in which to learn.
- Policy #5530 - Substance Abuse - Students - The Board of Education recognizes that a student's abuse of harmful substances seriously impedes that student's education and threatens the welfare of the entire school community. This policy establishes and maintains a comprehensive substance abuse intervention, prevention, and treatment referral program.
- Policy #5600 - Pupil Discipline/Code of Conduct - This policy establishes standards and procedures for positive pupil development and behavioral expectations on school grounds, including on a school bus or at school-sponsored functions, and as appropriate, for conduct away from school grounds.
- Policy #7422 – School Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM) – All schools in NJ are required to have an Integrated Pest Management Coordinator (IPM Coordinator) to oversee all activities related to IPM and pesticide use in the district. The IPM Coordinator for the City of Summit School district is: Louis J. Pepe, School Business Administrator/ Board Secretary, 14 Beekman Terrace, Summit, N.J. 07901. The IPM Coordinator maintains the pesticide label, and the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) (when one is available), of each pesticide that may be used on school property. The label and the MSDS are available for review by a parent, guardian, staff member or student attending the school. The IPM Coordinator is also available to parents, guardians, and staff members for information and to discuss comments about IPM activities and pesticide use in the district.
Public School districts are also required to make you aware of the following:
- There is an Asbestos Management Plan for each building in the district. These plans are available in the Board of Education Administrative Offices and each school office. The plan is available for inspection upon request to the school principal or the District Business Administrator during normal business hours.