Many Recognized at December's Board of Education Meeting


Image/CAST broadcast

The Clifton Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on December 7, 2023, at 7:00 PM at the Administration building. All members of the Board were present except Feras Awwad, who has not been present on the dais for the last several meetings. Members of the Woodrow Wilson Middle School strings orchestra played a selection of Christmas music as the meeting opened.

The meeting room was filled on Thursday evening. The numerous presentations, recognitions, and citizens that came to speak allowed for standing room only. The public portion included multiple people asking that the special meeting for Policy 5756 be canceled and that the policy remain intact. Ultimately, the Board voted to cancel the special meeting and to leave Policy 5756 in place. Details of this portion of the meeting were covered in a separate article.

There were a host of presentations, recognizing students and staff. Rudra Patel (WWMS) was honored for making significant contributions in successfully implementing the PBSIS program due to his actions with the middle schools’s PBSIS store. Students of the month from Clifton High School along with employees of the month from across the district were presented certificates in addition to the PBSIS award. 

The 2023 New Jersey Exemplary Educator Award honored two outstanding educators in the Clifton Public Schools district - CHS Media Specialist Christy VanSaders along with CCMS Langauge Arts teacher Sharon Schwartz. Only 123 educators from around the state were awarded this honor. Clifton's excellence was demonstrated powerfully.

During the Superintendent’s report, Dr. Robertozzi advised the public of ongoing news concerning the district. One of these items was the Instant Decision Day held at Clifton High School. This event allowed seniors to be interviewed by college admission representatives, and receive an on-the-spot acceptance into that college if they see fit. 76 students received 188 acceptances into colleges like Caldwell University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers-Newark, and many more. In addition to this, almost $1,300,000 in scholarships were offered to the participating students.

Key Takeaways from Committee Reports

  • While the district continues to fight the teacher shortage, proximity learning is being utilized for nine class periods in Clifton High School. Proximity learning involves virtual teachers instructing classes to in-person students. Teachers appear on students’ Chromebooks in their classrooms.
  • A recent Diversity Committee meeting included Clifton High School teachers and students. Policy 5756 was discussed, and the high school members gave overwhelming support for keeping the policy in place.
  • The district is looking into integrating drones into curricula to provide additional experiences and hands-on interactive activities for students.

After the commissioners’ comments, the meeting was adjourned.

The next meeting will be the re-organization meeting on January 4, 2024 at the Board of Education building. The three new commissioners will be sworn in and a new president elected. You can watch the December 7 meeting HERE.

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