Superintendent's Blog

  • December Message

    Posted by David Trethaway at 12/8/2014 4:00:00 PM
    Parents, Staff and Students,
     
    I hope everyone is having a successful year.   As we begin to approach the winter break, I would like to first wish each and every one of you happy holidays and good health for the coming year.  Hopefully, you will have time to catch up with  friends and family which we sometimes have little time for with our hectic schedules.  
     
    I would like to invite you to come to our holiday concerts which will be held in the coming weeks.  Each of our schools have their own concert and  we also have a concert for our district elementary band.  We have some very talented students and the teachers and the students have been working very hard to be prepared to give their best  performance.  Please visit our main district web page for the time and date for each concert.  I encourage you to attend several concerts as each one is an opportunity to feel good about the upcoming holidays.  
     
    On another item, over 1300 chromebooks have been distributed throughout the district to not only prepare for the upcoming PARCC test but to provide our students an opportunity to use this technology in everyday instruction.   I am pleased with the enthusiasm of both students and the staff as they continually  explore new and innovative ways to use this technology to enhance learning.   
     
    We are also beginning to finalize plans to make the improvements that are needed and were made possible by the passing of the recent referendum.  Additional security measures as well as improvements in roofs, lighting, and heating and air conditioning are several of the main areas that we will be addressing.
     
    Of course none of this would be possible without the support of the parents and the community, so I would like to thank you again for your support of the schools.  
     
    Have a great holiday and I hope to see you at the holiday concerts.  
     
     
     David Trethaway
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Comments (0)
  • Congratulations

    Posted by David Trethaway at 10/21/2014 11:00:00 AM
    Parents, Staff and Students,
    I would like  to take this opportunity to congratulate Miss Delesky and our High School Band for winning the State Championship Competition at Rutgers University.  Our band has achieved numerous awards this year and the time and dedication put forth by Miss Delesky, the band members and the parents has been truly remarkable.  Winning a state championship is such an outstanding accomplishment.  Additionally, I would like to wish Miss Delesky well in her new position and welcome our new band director Mr. Pollock to Manchester.  
     
    I  would also like to congratulate our Middle School for winning a $10,000 grant from Ocean First for their proposal for a model classroom.  Mrs. Driber, Mr. Ninivaggi and Mrs. Simister prepared the grant and will use the funds to continue to expand our STEM program at the Middle School.
     
    Finally, I would also like to congratulate our Whiting School , Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Sheftall for winning a grant for $3500 from Voya Financial Corporation.  With this grant Mrs. Sheftall will be able to purchase equipment that will motivate and encourage our Whiting students to be more active  in their physical education  classes. 
     
    Please look at our website for additional information on these achievements.
     
    The school year has begun with many positive things happening in all of our schools.  This is a tribute to all of the hard work and commitment from our staff, students and parents.  I also want to thank our parents and community members who supported our referendum project.  These funds who help us address the critical needs in our schools.  With your support and with the help of
    40 % funding from the state, we will be able to make needed repairs and replacement to our HVAC and  roofs and improve our energy efficiency.  Funds will also be available for improving security measures in all of our schools.  I appreciate all of  your support for our schools. 
     
    David Trethaway
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Comments (0)
  • Summer Work in the Schools

    Posted by David Trethaway at 6/25/2014 9:00:00 AM
    Parents, Students and Staff,
     
    I want to inform everyone that we have many projects and work that will be taking place in the summer at our schools.  If you need to come into the school, please call ahead if possible to make sure that work is not being done at that time.
     
    I also want to inform you that we will be utilizing some dehumidifers in the Ridgeway and Middle Schools throughout the summer as a precaution against moisture from extremely humid conditons. There are no problems at either school but this step is taken as a precaution.  
     
    Enjoy your summer and I will keep you posted of any updates for the upcoming year.  
     
    David Trethaway 
    Comments (1)
  • End of the Year

    Posted by David Trethaway at 6/23/2014 9:00:00 PM
    End of the Year
     
    Dear Parents and Students,
     
    As we approach graduation tomorrow, I would like to  congratulate our class of 2014  and wish them luck in the future.  This is a special class not only for their achievements in the classroom and athletics but also for all of their school spirit and contributions to community activities.  We are all very proud of this group of seniors and I would like to especially thank their parents for the sacrifices they have made to provide these students with the opportunities to be successful.   
     
    I also would like to congratulate our 8th grade class on their graduation from the Middle School and I look forward to welcoming them into our high school next year.  
     
    We are all hoping for great weather tomorrow and two excellent graduation ceremonies.  I look forward to seeing you there.  
     
     To the rest of our students and parents, and our staff , I hope you have an enjoyable summer and get to spend some quality time with friends and families.  
     
     Thank you for all of your cooperation and support for the Manchester Township School District.  
     
     
    David Trethaway 
     
    Comments (0)
  • PARCC Pilot Testing

    Posted by David Trethaway at 3/21/2014 2:00:00 PM

    Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members, 

     
    This year, the New Jersey Department of Education(NJDOE) has selected several of our schools to participate in the PARCC Pilot program. The PARCC test is  the test that will be replacing the NJ ASK test and the HSPA test throughout the state of New Jersey next year. This  pilot program will give our students and teachers an opportunity to gain insight and experience in the type of questions that will be on this new state test.

    The High School, Middle School and Manchester Township Elementary School are the three schools that were selected to participate in the pilot program. Two of our third-grade classes will be taking the pilot test in the area of literacy.  Additionally,  two of our seventh grade literacy classes and two of our high school English classes will be taking the Pilot test in literacy as well.  Finally, two of our high school geometry classes  will be participating in the Math PARCC Pilot.  These classes were selected by a random drawing as outlined by the NJDOE. 

    In addition to assessing higher level thinking skills in the new Common Core Curriculum, the PARCC test requires students to use a computer to take the test.  This is a new experience for students throughout New Jersey. Therefore, to help prepare our students for this type of assessment, we have purchased additional computers for most of these pilot classes. New chrome books have been distributed to the third-grade classes, the seventh-grade classes and the geometry classes for use in classroom instruction and to provide our students the opportunity to become familiar with the process of taking a test on the computer. Our ninth-grade English students who will be taking the pilot test have been given additional opportunities to use the computer lab in the high school. Additional chrome books have also been purchased for use in the Ridgeway and Whiting elementary schools so that students in these schools will also have experience working with the computers in their classrooms.  

    To date, I have received positive comments from the teachers and the students who have had the opportunity to use these new devices. In addition to providing valuable input regarding the new PARCC test, we are also getting information regarding the type of computers that we will be looking to purchase for the next school year.  Our goal is to provide more opportunities for all of our students to work with computers and technology throughout the year so that they would be better prepared for the new state test.

    For the students taking the pilot test it is important to note that the field test will not yield a student score report and will in no way become part of the student's educational record.

    Although no individual results will be reported from the pilot program, I’m looking forward to the comments from our teachers and our students regarding the type of questions on the PARCC test and the experience of taking the assessment on a computer.  

    I will keep you informed of any other additional  information.   
    Thank you.
     
     
    David Trethaway 
    Comments (0)
  • Change in School Calendar

    Posted by David Trethaway at 2/5/2014 10:30:00 AM
    Dear Parents, Staff and Students,
     
    I am sure you would all agree that this has  been a very difficult winter so far and it appears that there is still more to come.  At this point in the school year, we have closed school on three separate occasions due to inclement weather and for the safety of students and staff.  Since we are required to have 180 instructional days, we will need to add three days to our school calendar.
     
    Therefore, we will be changing the school calendar and Monday, February 17th will be a regular school day We will also be adding two school days to the end of the current school calendar.  At this point, our last school day will be Friday, June 20th. 
     
    I understand that this may be short notice and having school on February 17th  may be an inconvenience to families who may have planned for this day off from school.  However, since we have lost three instructional days that are all prior to the state testing for our students, we feel it is important to include Monday February 17th as a regular school day. We also have several more weeks of winter and the potential of more inclement weather and possible school closings,  so it is important to add days earlier when possible so we have some flexibility at the end of the school year.   I also know that adding school days at the end of the school calendar also will create conflicts with plans, but these changes are necessary.   
     
    I realize that school closings will cause changes in the school calendar but these closings are all based on the safety of the students and staff.  I appreciate your understanding for the reasons for closing school and for making changes in  the school calendar. 
     
    If we have additional school closings, I will keep you posted as soon as possible of any additional  changes in the school calendar. 

    Again, Monday February 17th will be a regular school day for staff and students Friday February 14th will remain as a staff in-service day and no school for students. 

    Please refer to the website for updates on our school calendar. 

     Thank you again for your support of the Manchester Township School District. 
     
    David Trethaway
     
    Comments (7)
  • January 10th Delays

    Posted by David Trethaway at 1/10/2014 11:30:00 AM
    Parents, Staff, and Students,
     
    I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of the circumstances that caused some delays in picking up students today.  The High School, Middle School and Ridgeway students were all transported safely and on time today.  However while our buses where on the way to picking up our students from M.T.E.S. and Whiting, freezing rain began falling and immediately caused a dangerous situation on the roads.  This happened very quickly and a large number of accidents occurred in Manchester and across the area.  None of our buses were involved in any accident but they did immediately pull over to the side of the road and waited for the roads to be safe.  Township trucks came out and sanded the roads and eventually our buses went back on the road when it became safe to travel. 
     
    I realize that this caused problems as there was a delay of approximately one hour in picking up some of our M.T.E.S. and Whiting students. However, in the interest of safety for our students and drivers, this was unavoidable. When I was informed that there was a problem and there would be a delay, I made arrangements for the M.T.E.S. and Whiting parents to be called as soon as possible and  information posted on the webpage.  Again, I realize that this caused some problems, however the weather and roads became dangerous in a short time without much warning. 
     
    I would like to commend our drivers, transportation, and building and grounds  departments for their actions in keeping our students safe.  I would also like to thank our secretaries, staff and administration in the M.T.E.S. and Whiting Schools for their work in handling phone calls and providing parents with information.  Finally, I would like to thank the parents for  their cooperation and support throughout the day.  This was an extremely unique event which caused several problems but fortunately due to the work of the people mentioned above, all of our students and staff were safe. 
     
    Thank you again for your understanding. 
     
    David Trethaway
     
    Comments (10)
  • Sad News

    Posted by David Trethaway at 12/29/2013 6:00:00 PM
    Unfortunately, I have some sad news to report at this time.
     
    One of our dedicated and well-liked High School teachers, Ms. Tara Gardner, passed away this morning, Sunday, December 29th.  
     
    The High School will be open, tomorrow, Monday December 30th at 10:00 AM  for any staff member or student who wishes to come in.  We will have counselors available at this time.  
     
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tara and her family at this sad and difficult time.   
     
    Thank you.   
     
    David Trethaway 
    Comments (0)
  • Happy Holidays

    Posted by David Trethaway at 12/24/2013 11:45:00 AM
    Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members
     
    I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday Season.  It is my hope that you all get an opportunity to spend some quality time with your friends and family during the next two weeks.  It is sometimes very difficult to find enough time to spend time on the real important things in life like our family and friends.  That is one reason  the Holiday season is  so special and important for all of us.  
     
    Starting in January, we will be developing a Strategic Plan that will guide our district through the next few years.  It is important to get input from a variety of people including Board of  Education members, parents, staff, students, and community members.   I hope you will find some time to provide input to us either by serving on a committee or by answering a survey that we will be distributing, both on-line and through paper.  Your input  and support is critical to the success of our district.
     
    I want to thank you for all of your support and cooperation you have given to me and the Manchester Township School District throughout the past years and look forward to seeing you in 2014.  
     
    Happy Holidays to you and your family!
     
     
    David Trethaway
    Superintendent of Schools
     
     
     
     
    Comments (0)
  • Strategic Plan

    Posted by David Trethaway at 11/13/2013 3:30:00 PM
    Parents, Staff, Community Members, and Students,
     
    I would like to take this opportunity to inform everyone that we are in the process of developing a Strategic Plan for our district.  This plan will identify and prioritize specific needs of the district over the next 3 to 5 years and also how best to address these needs.  Last year we began developing some target areas for this plan and several areas were identified.  Some of the areas that were identified include: Student Achievement/Educational programs, Facilities, Safety, School Culture and Climate, Finances and Resources, and Technology. 
     
    The next step in the process is to gather input from a variety of sources and form committees that include representatives from parents, community members, students, administrators, instructional and support staff, and board of education members,  We will be conducting surveys both on line and by other means to provide an opportunity for people to express their opinions and thoughts on the needs for our district.  We are also looking for people to volunteer to serve on one of the committees listed above and help develop this Strategic Plan for our  district.  This is an extremely important project as it will provide direction for our district for the next few years. 
     
    If you are interested in serving on a committee, please contact me either through e-mail or by phone.  I appreciate your cooperation and look  forward to working with you on a plan that will move our district forward.  Thank you.
     
    David Trethaway
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