2022-04-14

June  2022

The district received welcome news from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health on the month-long investigation into allegations of health hazards at Colonia High School. In summary, as has been widely reported and released at the May 26, Mayoral press conference, both radiation, and radon testing yielded normal readings and no further action is recommended by both State agencies. Given the comprehensive nature of the various environmental and health reports, I urge interested residents to read the numerous DEP and DOH reports and view a copy of the press conference video from the Township’s website at www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us

 I wish to thank the public for their patience and understanding throughout the investigation and our government partners, Mayor McCormac, Township Council, Township administration, State of New Jersey, and federal government for swiftly acting and coordinating a thorough investigation. While the test results yielded no cause for alarm or additional testing, it is nonetheless an important reminder that if “you see something, say something.” The recent tragic events in Buffalo, NY, and Uvalde, TX provide a stark reminder that our public plays a vital role as eyes and ears for public institutions to respond to real or perceived threats. As a police officer and parent to district students myself, our district will remain vigilant to both human and environmental threats.

 As noted in my May column, I will recap the district’s new fiscal year budget set to begin July 1. With a significant increase in State Aid, the district is able to invest new revenue in auxiliary services to improve academic success and learning retention, including but not limited to early intervention literacy, math coaching, additional professional development for faculty and staff, and additional or revised curriculum and textbooks. Our greatest resource is our trained faculty and staff and we will augment our workforce with new speech-language specialists, occupational and physical therapists, and paraprofessionals to name a few. I would like to note the budget’s particular focus on improved mental health services with new clinical social workers and an additional guidance counselor at each of our five middle schools.

 Student needs vary widely and our services must keep pace. The district will invest additional resources in special education for qualified incoming preschoolers, additional English as a Second Language supports, additional Autism classes, additional in-class resource classes as well as expanded Gifted and Talented opportunities. For our older students, the district will expand Dual Enrollment courses for high school students to earn college credit and Structured Learning Experiences for workforce development skills.

 The district will continue to keep pace with our infrastructure needs by replenishing student computer devices as well as upgrading our informative technology hardware such as servers, switches, and access points. Traditional infrastructure needs will be addressed with new unit ventilators, HVAC, and boiler upgrades at elementary schools #19, 22, 23, 24, and Colonia High School. New or replacement sidewalks and asphalt paving will be applied at elementary schools #9, 22, 23, 24, and 28 and our middle schools in Colonia and Iselin. The district will renovate kitchens at Colonia’s and Woodbridge’s middle schools along with Woodbridge High School and the RISE building in Port Reading.

 Kindergarten registration for the 2022-2023 school year is open via an online application on our district website at www.Woodbridge.K12.nj.us/page/student-registration. The district encourages families to register before the summer so we may accurately account for staff needs and class sizes. We ask for your patience as applications take time to thoroughly vet each application for accuracy and proper residency. With the lead-up to the last day of school upon us, please note that the district will operate on an Early Dismissal schedule beginning on Wednesday, June 15, and ending with the last day of school on June 22. In between those dates, please remember that the district will be closed to observe the new federal holiday, Juneteenth, on Monday, June 20. The Board will hold two regular meetings on Thursday, June 16, and Thursday, June 30 at 6:00 PM. The Board will meet in the gymnasium of the new Ross Street Elementary School #11, 110 Ross Street, Woodbridge. The public portion of the meeting will begin after 6:30 PM. As always, you can view or read up on all previous Board meetings through the district’s website. The yearly Board meeting calendar is as follows: 7/21; 8/18; 9/22; 10/20; 11/17; and 12/15. If you ever have an inquiry, please email us at board@woodbridge.k12.nj.us or call the Board Secretary’s office at 732-602-8536.