HomeEast Brunswick SentinelEB NewsSouth River School District looks forward to 2018-19 school year while reflecting...

South River School District looks forward to 2018-19 school year while reflecting on past achievements

SOUTH RIVER – With September around the corner, the South River School District is already focusing on initiatives for the upcoming school year.

The district’s 2018-19 budget reflects allocations toward security personnel and options to upgrade and improve facilities. according to information provided by the district.

In March, after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and after receiving feedback from the community, the Board of Education and district administration met with representation from the borough council to discuss a partnership through a shared service.

The Board of Education, through the work of the superintendent, reconfigured and re-prioritized its existing budget, rather than increase it. The superintendent sent a written request to the council to consider the same, and asked the borough council to re-prioritize, not increase, its budget, to fund their portion of the security shared service. The South River Police Department has since posted for openings for security personnel, according to the statement.

Also for the 2018-19 school year, South River High School (SRHS) is offering an online Credit Recovery option for students who did not achieve a passing score in their core subjects (English, math, science and social studies). The online summer school option allows students the flexibility to complete courses at their own pace while not interfering with summer activities.

SRHS has partnered with Middlesex County College to offer a host of courses for dual enrollment credit.Students enrolling in any one or more of these courses will have the opportunity to earn college credit while completing their high school course. Currently, eight courses in math, science, history and foreign language have been accepted.

The district is exploring how to provide more inclusive opportunities for special needs students, according to the statement.

Members of the district also lauded students for their accomplishments during the 2017-18 school year, according to the statement.

On May 4, the SRHS concert band and chorus, under the direction of Patrick McDowell, participated in the High Note Music Festival. Both the chorus and band received “superior” ratings, which is the highest possible rating, and the highest scores South River has received in years. Additionally, Eleni Feggulis and Evan Gartner were accepted to participate in the Central New Jersey Music Educators’ High School Honors Concert Band ensemble.

Members of South River High School’s Future Business Leaders of America competed at the Future Business Leaders of America’s State Leader Conference. Kayelena Brimage placed fifth in her competition.

Brandon Vargas, Nur Hassan, Nikita Arya and Erik Alvarado represented SRHS and the State of New Jersey at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston.

High school sophomore Sara Ayad has been working toward earning her Girl Scout Gold Award. In partnership with the Future Healthcare Professionals Club, under the supervision of school nurse Bonnie Francione, the students raised money to create 40 spring baskets for the children at PSE&G’s Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick.

A newly formed club at the high school, Take A Step, is an open club where students can participate in various activities to help create a positive school climate. The goal is to help all students feel connected to school and to let them know that they are never alone. In addition, club members bring greater awareness to students regarding available support resources, according to the statement. The students held a kickoff day where they came to school early to post positive messages for students to receive as they walked into the building. They also posted information for helpline and resources. The students completed a positive chalk design message activity and created colorful designs with positive messages on the sidewalk and entryway into the high school, according to the statement.

Troy Chartier-Vignapiano submitted an entry into the fifth annual “New York Times” Student Editorial Contest and was selected as one of the 38 Honorable Mentions. His essay entitled “The Problematic Filter of Objective Educational Standards” was chosen from among 9,275 entries from students around the world, according to the statement.

Eleventh grader Abigail Stewart, an athletic training student assistant, received the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Award of Excellence. This honor affords her the opportunity to attend the University of Massachusetts for three days this summer for The Congress of Future Medical Leaders.

In the field of athletics, Sophia DiGiovanni and Mark Pacheco represented SRHS at the Greater Middlesex County Annual Sportsmanship Luncheon.

Senior wrestler Dan Colon and his family signed his National Letter of Intent to wrestle next year at Delaware Valley University. Dan, a 160-pound senior, placed third in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, third in the District 19 Tournament and helped lead the Rams to the GMC Blue Division Title.

Melania Lukianov was selected as the 2017–18 NJSIAA Scholar Athlete.  She maintained a 5.0313 GPA, was second in her class, and has been involved in varsity girls’ cross-country, cheerleading and spring track.

South River’s football team ended its season as the 2017 Greater Middlesex County Blue Division Champs with a regular season record of 9-0 and an overall record of 9-1 after being eliminated from the state tournament by Hillside. This was the first time since 2000 that the Rams finished with an undefeated regular season record and the first division crown since 2013, according to the statement. Junior quarterback Michael DeSantis was the leading passer in Middlesex County with more than 1,800 yards.

At South River Middle School, eighth graders Kaylie Bush, Summer DeFilippo and Emma DiMaggio were three of the top 25 entries out of 423 participants in the VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. South River VFW Post 1451 presented a monetary award to each student.

At South River Elementary School, fourth grader Ayden Beepath was selected as one of four finalists of the Scholastic Kids Flaunt Essay Contest.

Maria Gartenberg, a special education teacher at the school, has been recognized by the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education as a grant recipient for her project, Teaching Literacy Through Art.

The Kindness Club at the elementary school hosted a Jump Rope for Heart event for the American Heart Association.

Cameron Latraverse, a fourth grader at the school, had her artwork on display at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as part of the Art Educators of New Jersey’s Fall Art Exhibit.

The district also noted several program upgrades that took place during the 2017-18 school year.

The K-8 students participated in a district-wide diagnostic assessment in language arts and math based on individualized, technology-based learning.

A new phonics program was introduced in Kindergarten to assist early learners in gaining literacy skills to increase the number of students reading at grade level. The program will be expanded to Grade 1 for the upcoming school year, and Grade 2 the following, according to the statement.

Last year, the N.J. Department of Education invited districts to participate in a Seal of Biliteracy Certification program, which provides evidence of linguistic ability to bilingual students through a language-specific certificate and an insignia affixed to the student’s high school transcript. South River schools are participating in the program in Spanish and Portuguese, beginning with the graduating Class of 2018.



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