Woodbridge considers full-day kindergarten

0
432

BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

WOODBRIDGE — A bond referendum for a new Ross Street Elementary School  11, the implementation of full-day kindergarten and security upgrades are on the horizon as the Woodbridge Board of Education looks ahead.

“We are looking at a very exciting year,” said Board President Dan Harris as he addressed the board and the public at the board reorganization meeting on Jan. 4.

Harris was nominated to serve as board president and Board member Jonathan Triebwasser was nominated to serve as vice-president at the meeting.

Harris said the board is looking at a bond referendum — tentatively set for March 14 — for the construction of a new Ross Street Elementary School 11 and renovations and upgrades at Woodbridge Middle School (WMS). He added that during the process, the board will look to lease St. Cecelia’s School in Iselin.

The board had approved a resolution on the renovations and upgrades to WMS and the potential for construction of a new Ross Street School at a meeting in July 2016.

School officials and Township officials have said the bond referendum will address the potential for an increase in population with the anticipated development of the downtown area in the Woodbridge Proper section of the township.

“In addition to [the bond referendum], we will see the district wide implementation of full-day Kindergarten as well as security enhancements and technology infrastructure upgrades,” he said. “All these projects are paid by new residential, industrial and commercial improvements so we’re very happy about that.”

Harris said in March they will review the annual budget and on the labor front, a negotiations committee will be appointed to review a new contract for Schools Superintendent Robert Zega.

This summer, the board will be refreshing the curriculum, upgrading technology while maintaining infrastructure as they look forward to the 2017-18 school year.

Harris said two projects that the board will take on this year is a career education committee that will look at ways to prepare the students for the 21st century.

The other project involves a substance abuse committee that will take on the heroin epidemic that currently plagues the country. The committee will also address other drug concerns.

“A report will be developed on how better to educate students and parents on treatment options for students if it becomes a threat,” said Harris.

At the meeting, Triebwasser, Joseph Velez and newcomer Akshar “A.J” Sidana were sworn in by Mayor John E. McCormac to their seats that they won during the November election.

Treibwasser is serving his third-term, Velez, who was appointed in January 2016 to fill former board member Brian Small’s remaining term, is serving his first elected term and Sidana is serving his first term on the board.

McCormac said his administration and the school district have a great relationship.

“We look forward to working together,” he said.