I would like to take this opportunity to keep you informed of several events that are coming up in the district.
MTES will be holding their annual Fun Fair on Saturday February 20, 2016. This has been an annual event for over 20 years and is a great opportunity for families to come to the school and enjoy themselves with games, prizes and a fun time This year, unfortunately, the Manchester Township Education Association has informed me that the teachers will not be volunteering to help or participating in the fun fair because they haven’t agreed to a new contract at this point.
At this time, we have already accepted several donations for the event and have given the assurances and commitment that our district would be holding this event as we have done in the past. Also, this event has been scheduled since the beginning of the year and parents and students have made plans to attend the Fun Fair. Additionally, several of our staff have already begun to coordinate activities and accept donations.
The Manchester Township School District will continue to honor the commitment to the students, parents and donors and continue the tradition of the Fun Fair and the event will take place as scheduled, February 20, 2016. We are fortunate to have parents, community volunteers and administrators willing to run the events to insure that this tradition continues and our students, and families have a great experience. I am disappointed in this action taken by the association as it jeopardized an event for students that has been a part of a MTES tradition for over 20 years. I do want to thank the staff members for their hard work in planning for this event before they were instructed to stop. I also want to thank the parents, community members, and other staff members who are contributing to make this event another success. I look forward to continuing the tradition of the Fun Fair at Manchester Township and another successful event for our students and parents.
I hope to see you at MTES Fun Fair on February 20th, in the MTES All Purpose Room.
On the same thought, the Association President has informed me that the Ridgeway staff will not participate in Muffins for Mom or Barnes and Nobles Night. Again, since these programs benefit our students and families, we will make sure that both programs will be held as usual.
This Friday, there will be a community event sponsored by the Municipal Alliance at the High School Gym. It will be an “Anything Goes Competition” between the high school seniors and a combination of police and school and township officials. It is a great opportunity to come out and enjoy a community event and help support the municipal alliance.
Lastly, I want to finish by thanking our building and grounds staff, our custodians, our bus drivers and our new Supervisor, Mr. Chris Brown, for the outstanding job that they did during the recent snow storm. The amount of snow that had fallen in that time was substantial and the time and effort put forth by our staff was truly amazing. I also want to thank Mayor Palmer and his staff for assisting the school district in clearing the large amount of snow. Also, our bus drivers are to be commended for driving safely despite some difficult areas.
As always, I want to thank you for your cooperation and support for our school district and our school activities.
Parents, Staff, Students, and Community Members,
I hope everyone had a Happy New Year and had an opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some information regarding some upcoming meetings and some general items of interest.
First, as the weather is getting colder and winter moves forward, it is important to be prepared in the event of inclement weather. I have visited the schools in some of the colder days and for the most part the schools are keeping up with the low temperatures. There have been some isolated cases where the rooms could be warmer but most issues have been addressed. In any case where a classroom is not warm enough, the teacher has the option of moving the class until the problem has been addressed. Recently, this has not been necessary but the option is there if a problem develops.
Also, in the event of inclement weather and the need to either close school, delay the opening or have an early dismissal, we will notify you through our all call system. Additional announcements may be also be made through our website and radio stations.
We will be holding a parent meeting to provide information on the block schedule being proposed at the high school. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 26 at 6:00 PM in the High School Auditorium. I did present information at the December Board of Education Meeting and this information is posted on our website. We have been meeting with staff and students and will continue to provide information regarding the schedule. The schedule will provide our students more opportunities to select additional electives and to accelerate in areas of interest or to “catch up” if they have fallen behind. Schools that use this schedule have shown improved graduation rates, lower discipline problems and increased grades and attendance.
We also will be holding a parent meeting to provide information on the new safety measures that will be implemented in our schools. The procedures are referred to as A.L.I.C.E. and representatives from the police department will be presenting information as well. That meeting will be in February in the High School Auditorium at a date to be determined.
During the next few weeks, we will be putting out a survey to parents, staff students and community members to find out what programs and issues that you would like to see addressed at the schools. We will be working with the police department on safety issues and also would like to present information on any other topic that you feel would be beneficial.
Lastly, I was fortunate enough to attend the Martin Luther King JR. program last Friday. It was an outstanding performance by our students and several speakers. I thoroughly enjoyed the program and look forward each year to attending.
Thank you for all of your support our schools.
Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members,
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend our holiday concerts at our Whiting School, Ridgeway School, Manchester Township Elementary School, Middle School and High School. We certainly have some very talented students and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the concerts. I would like to congratulate all of the students who performed so well and also congratulate the teachers who did such a great job in preparing the performances. It was evident that a lot of hard work was put in to produce such outstanding concerts.
I also was very impressed and happy to see so many parents and friends attend the concerts. Each school had a large crowd at their performances. It is so important for our students to be supported in their activities by parents and friends and it was great to see all of the parents so positive and enthusiastic about their child’s efforts. I believe this strong support was a big factor in the quality of the performances.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you for the support you have shown for the school district. We will be scheduling several parent meeting in the upcoming months and I hope you will be able to attend these meetings. The topics will include safety procedures, social media, block scheduling and interpreting PARCC score to name a few. I will also be continuing to hold Superintendent Advisory Committee meetings and everyone is welcome to join the committee. It is so important to get accurate information on situations and planned activities and I encourage you to check the website, attend meetings and/or contact the schools or central office to stay informed or to ask questions. I also look forward to your input on school district matters.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a joyful and happy holidays. I understand how hectic our day to day routines become and for this reason I hope that you all have an opportunity to take a break and spend some quality time with friends and family.
Thank you again for all of your support and cooperation and have a great holiday.
Parents, Staff, Students and community members,
The next several weeks we will all have an opportunity to see some of our students perform in the holiday concerts. I know the students work extremely hard and the band and chorus directors have done an excellent job in preparing the programs. We have some very talented students and I would like to invite you to be part of the audience and hopefully get in the holiday spirit. I am sure you will be as impressed as I am each year I have been fortunate to see such talented students. In addition to our upcoming concerts, the Whiting students will be displaying some of their work at the Whiting School.
Please check our webpage for all events but here is a short list of the upcoming programs:
Dec. 8, 6:00 PM
Whiting Elementary School Winter Arts Festival
Dec. 9, 6:30 PM
Manchester Township High School Winter Concert
Dec. 10, 7:00 PM
Manchester Township Elementary School Winter Concert
Dec. 17, 7:00 PM
Ridgeway School Winter Choral Concert
Dec. 21, 7:00 PM
Combined Elementary Band Concert at Ridgeway School
Dec. 22, 6:00 PM
Manchester Township Middle School Winter Concert at the High School
I hope to see you there. Thank you for your continued support of our schools and our students.
Whiting Parents and Staff,
I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the situation at the Whiting Schools. As you are aware there was a small fire in the roof of the gymnasium over this past weekend. We were fortunate that the fire department reacted quickly and prevented any significant damage. We received approval from the fire Marshall to hold classes, however the gym would need to be monitored.
We had contacted Serv Pro and they responded quickly to remediate what they could in the area. Air scrubbers were placed throughout the building and in the gym as well. As a precaution, we have informed the staff and the nurse to be aware of anyone who may have existing conditions that might be affected. At this point there has been no issues throughout the building, however, the gym remains an issue as the odor is still present. Final repairs on the roof have been delayed due to the rain but these repairs are underway today and will continue until completed.
Until the area is completely odor free, we will continue to offer lunches and physical education classes in alternate settings. I can say that there is improvement in the gym but it will not be completely odor free until the final repairs are completed. The gym is safe but due to the odor is not conducive to eating or class at this time.
I will keep you updated when something further develops.
I want to commend and thank the Whiting staff, students and parents for their cooperation and understanding during this situation. You all have responded extremely well and I want to assure you that we will continue to monitor the situation until it is completely resolved.
Thank you again for all of your efforts.
Parents, Staff and Students of the Whiting School,
This morning, prior to school starting, one of our custodians entered the Whiting Elementary School and noticed some smoke in the gymnasium coming from the ceiling. The situation was immediately reported to the fire department, the Building Principal, the Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds and myself. When I arrived at the scene, the fire was being extinguished by the fire department. Upon speaking with the Fire Marshall, he examined the area and determined the building was safe for staff and students. Fortunately, the fire was concentrated in a small area. A decision was made that the gymnasium should not be used or occupied but school would be able to remain open.
The fire appeared to be the result of work being done over the weekend by an outside contractor and was contained to a small area of the roof over the gym.
We have since contacted ServPro. They began working to evaluate and remediate the damage in the gym and they also provided air scrubbers in the hallways to eliminate any odors that may be present.
I am pleased to report that I visited the school this afternoon and the work has been completed. Everything will be back in operation tomorrow.
I want to personally thank the staff, parents and our students for their cooperation and flexibility in dealing with this situation. I was able to visit all of the classrooms today and the students and staff were outstanding. A lunch schedule was developed and through the planning of the staff and the Sodexo food service company, lunches went off smoothly.
I also want to thank the parents for your patience and understanding during this situation. I again apologize for any inconvenience and for the late notice this morning, but the situation did occur at the last minute.
Again, I would like to commend Mrs. Swift, the Whiting staff, students and parents for responding so positively.
Thank you again and have a good night.
Parents, Staff and Students,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and students for their work in saying farewell to Mrs. Pedroza as she moved from Principal of the Ridgeway School to Director of Curriculum. The program and the positive comments were outstanding and I know Mrs. Pedroza was touched and greatly enjoyed the efforts and expressions of appreciation.
Additionally, I would like to provide the parents of students of the Ridgeway School and opportunity to meet the new Principal, Mrs. Mazur. Many of the parents and students may already know Mrs. Mazur from her work in the district in her different capacities.
We will be scheduling a Meet and Greet Night for Mrs. Mazur on Wednesday, October 7th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM in the Ridgeway Media Center. I would like to invite parents and students from Ridgeway to come to meet and welcome Mrs. Mazur as she assumes her new role as Principal of the Ridgeway School. I hope to see you there.
Superintendent of Schools
Dear Staff, Parents, and Community Members
Our administrators and instructional staff have received a number of questions regarding the plan to review the N.J. Common Core State Standards. I received a memo from Kimberly Harrington, Chief Academic Officer of the New Jersey Department of Education regarding this plan. The memo discusses the formation of a committee to review the standards and the request for input from educators, and parents as well as business leaders and other stakeholders.
To gather input, the Department of Education is scheduling Listening Tours and a Standards Review Survey. More information can be found on the listening tours and the survey at
If you are interested, please take the time to take advantage of these opportunities for your input and to share information.
Superintendent of Schools
Dear parents, staff, and students,
We will be meeting next week with the Police Department to discuss these issues and others that were brought up at the Board of Education meeting. After these issues have been addressed, I will be reaching out to interested parents to schedule a meeting to further discuss these issues and other concerns.
In addition to several relevant issues, there was some information presented at the Board Meeting and also on social media that was not totally accurate. I would encourage anyone who has a concern or question regarding a safety issue or any other issue to please contact the school or my office. In this way we can focus on the relevant issues that need to be addressed and not be distracted by misinformation.
I believe our schools are safe but we are not perfect. It is important that we continually work to address safety and security issues to make our schools even safer. In order to accomplish this we need to continue to work cooperatively with our police department and continue to gather input and address concerns from our parents, staff, and students.
I want to thank the parents for their input and we look forward to continue working with the Manchester Police Department and our parents, staff and students to make our schools as safe as possible.
Thank you again for your cooperation and support of our district.