GARWOOD – The Garwood Board of Education voted to fill the seat left vacant by Dr. Mary Ann Kjetsaa at the most recent meeting. The seat had been unoccupied for two months while the Board looked for a replacement.
The Board of Education held interviews during the Board of Education meeting on November 16 that would determine who would fill the vacant Board seat. There were three applicants who interviewed for the position. The applicants were interviewed over the course of a half an hour before the Board of Education went into an executive session to determine who would hold the seat. It took the duration of an hour for the Board to come to a conclusion.
Vincent Basciano was appointed to the vacant seat for the remainder of the unexpired term. He will hold the position until December 2022. Mr. Basciano was approved by the Board in a 5 to 3 vote with Adrienne Barnes, Timothy Ryan and Maureen Scepkowski as the dissenting votes. Mr. Basciano took his oath of office as soon as he was approved. While he wasn’t allowed to vote on the resolutions for the night, he sat among the board members for the remainder of the meeting.
The seat will only be filled for the next year in order to satisfy the remainder of the term. Should Mr. Basciano wish to keep his seat, he will have to be elected to the seat come next November in the midterm elections.
Board President Ralph Trentacosta thanked the other two applicants who came to interview at the meeting. “We know this is a lot of work and we appreciate both of you for applying to this position,” he said.
Dr. Teresa Quigley gave her superintendent report on school goals at the meeting. Dr. Quigley went over the steps that the school is taking in order to achieve the goals set out at the beginning of the school year. One of the goals for this academic year, Quigley said, is to address potential learning gaps left from the past year and a half where school has been different in the midst of a pandemic.
Dr. Quigley said that the school will be using NWEA (North West Evaluation Association) to evaluate students and to assess students in math and reading. Benchmark assessments will be given to students in November, March and June. “Math is operations in algebraic thinking, numbers and operations, measurements in data and geometry. And ELA they were tested in literary texts, language and craft, informational texts, key ideas and details and vocabulary acquisition,” said Dr. Quigley.
For each assessment, the student is given scores to take home. The scores will be on a scale of low, low average, average, high average and high. The scores will be compared to other students in the nation in the same age group who also use the program. All students will get their first evaluation scores of the academic year with their report card on November 17. The scores from the other two assessments will be given to students apart from their report card.
Danielle Libutti, a second grade teacher at Lincoln School, said that the results of the assessments have been a great tool for both her and for her students. “The results that we got back after it, I’m very interested in statistics and I like to see all the numbers and I was able to plug all of that into iExcel…The students were able to log onto their iExcel and work on their skill plans. I can already see their scores are improving based on what they’ve worked with,” said Ms. Libutti.
These scores will also help determine the level of math that a student will be able to take in the future. Based on the results, those who show a high aptitude in math may be able to start geometry on an individual basis, similar to the way that students in Kumpf Middle School in Clark can. Dr. Quigley said that she hopes this will help Garwood students acclimate into Arthur L. Johnson High School easier in this particular area.