Footsteps and class bells were heard through the halls of Hillsborough Township’s nine schools on Thursday.
That day signaled the start of the 2018-19 school year for thousands of students from Hillsborough Township and Millstone Borough.
With another 180 days of learning ahead, Superintendent Dr. Jorden Schiff said the district was prepared to help local children put their best academic foot forward.
“Our teachers and staff members have spent hundreds of hours this summer refreshing curriculum, attending professional development training and getting ready for this year’s students,” he said.
Each school year, the district selects an area of its curriculum to update. This year’s subject, social studies, was the focal point of the summer, with teachers and administrators working to refresh the subject.
According to officials, district employees spent the summer worked on the curriculum, purchased new materials and supplies and teachers attended various training sessions.
“The building and office support staff have been working to ensure our students are registered, have safe and efficient transportation to and from school and, the supplies and materials they need for the coming year,” Schiff said.
The district has also hired an additional Student Assistance Counselor for Hillsborough High School. In addition, 99 new staff members were hired in preparation for the new school year.
Of those new hires, 56 were tenured track positions. The latest batch of teachers recently attended orientation on Aug. 27. Schiff said nearly 2,000 people applied for the positions.
“We have achieved what we always try to achieve by bringing the cream right up to the top and employ only the best and brightest that New Jersey and surrounding states have to offer,” Schiff said.
This year, the school board will continue discussions on the district’s strategic plan. Over the next several months, officials expect board members and administrators to discuss where the district is headed over the next few years.
One key discussion, as previously reported, is the potential for a referendum in order to pay for various renovations to existing buildings, building a new high school and implementing a full-day kindergarten program.
Officials said the district is looking at making additional investments in school security at each building.
With the rest of the year in focus, Schiff said he expects 2018-19 to be a successful academic year.
“We are ready and excited to open on our doors,” he said.