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BOE President's Report November 2018
Donald Webster, Jr.

State/Federal Issues

We continue to monitor education related legislation and regulations that may impact Manchester. At the State level, the Governor recently signed into law three new gun control measures that will hopefully limit the ability of individuals to create guns using 3D printing technology, non-metal detectable weapons, and the creation of guns from multiple internet parts suppliers. .

At the Federal level, Congress continues to discuss/debate a new budget proposal for the coming fiscal year (2018-2019). We will be watching this process carefully in order to help insure that mandated Federal Education Programs are appropriately funded.

Manchester District

I attended the 15th Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony at the High School on 11/1. Over 40 veterans, mostly from the Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan wars were in attendance. However, there was also one veteran from WWII (age 97) who attended the program too. Several of the veterans or current active duty servicemen/women who attended the ceremony were graduates of our high school. Our students, including the Concert Band, NJROTC Program Cadets, and student leaders who participated in the individual presentations at the event all did a terrific job. Special thanks to Mrs. Ocone and the high school staff who take the lead in organizing this wonderful event for our community each year. I also attended Manchester Township's Veterans Day Program on 11/11 at the WWII Veterans Memorial Park in Whiting. Manchester High School graduate and Eagle Scout Kyle Rembach spoke about his project to honor the original residents of the township who served during WWII. He unveiled a bronze plaque and granite memorial stone wall that he had created for the park.

NJ School Boards Association (NJSBA)

I participated in 4 presentations and events at the NJSBA Workshop Convention in Atlantic City on 10/22-10/25. They included the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Recognition Program (See below). As Chairman of the Non-College Bound Student Learners Task Force, I co-presented the findings and recommendations of the Task Force Report along with Mr. Vincent DeLucia, Director of Training and Educator in Residence of NJSBA. There was a large audience in attendance for this presentation. The final report contains 69 recommendations to improve the delivery of CTE education programs for non-college bound student learners in NJ. NJSBA will be working with our education partners, the administration, and the legislature in order to facilitate and implement the important recommendations of this Task Force Report.

I also co-presented the update to the original Report of the School Security Task Force from 2014 with Mr, Brandon Pugh, NJSBA VP for Legislation and a member of the Moorestown BOE in Burlington County. Brandon is an expert on cyber-terrorism. The updated report entitled "What Makes Schools Safe-Now," includes 15 new/additional recommendations to help schools address and improve their security efforts. The major focus of the new recommendations includes cyber-security issues, updated active shooter strategies, improving emergency communication protocols, renewed focus on state required school security drills and active involvement by our emergency responders, and communicating more complete information to parents and the public about the roles, training, and use of uniformed police officers in our schools.

In addition, I participated in a joint League of Municipalities/NJSBA panel discussion regarding school security collaboration. I highlighted the findings and recommendations of our updated School Security Task Force Report and the things Manchester has done to improve school security. Other panelists included the Superintendent of Schools and Chief of Police from Denville, NJ and the Police Chief from Little Egg Harbor Township, who currently serves as the President the NJ Association of Chiefs of Police. We repeated this presentation at the League of Municipalities Convention in Atlantic City on 11/13.

Education Leadership Foundation of NJ (ELF NJ) Activities

As a Trustee, I helped to man the ELF NJ Booth on the convention floor at Workshop 2018. I handed out information on the work, programs and fundraising efforts of the organization and I answered questions from convention attendees.

Sustainable Jersey

As a Trustee of the Sustainable NJ for Schools Program, I helped to present 111 schools with recognition awards for attaining either Bronze or Silver status for their efforts to make their schools more sustainable. Congratulations to the Whiting Elementary School students and staff for attainment of a Bronze award for their efforts to make their school more environmentally friendly. Their efforts provide an educational experience to our students in addition to helping to reduce operating costs and the environmental impact of our schools.

Next Meeting

The next regular meeting of the Manchester Township Board of Education is scheduled to be held on December 19 at the Ridgeway Elementary School with the public portion of the meeting beginning at 7:30 PM.