Crystal's Corner

April 8, 2016

I hope you all enjoyed the Spring Break. I look toward's the "real" arrival of spring with great anticipation...April showers bring May flowers!.

This Corner covers the past three weeks which included closed schools and a couple holidays.


Once again our fabulous music program received recognition from the NAMM Foundation as one of the Best Communities for Music Education for its outstanding commitment to music education. LTPS joins 476 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2016.

This is the 8th time, and the 4th consecutive year, that LTPS has earned this designation: 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. LTPS music teachers melissa Clark, Tanya Damon, Deborah Lingel, and Ron Taglairino reviewed this year's application for submission in November.

The Best Communities in Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. District that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs...much like schools/district of character are held up for other entities looking to boost their character ed programs.

To qualify for the Best Communities desigination, LTPS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

We'll have a treat and a first-hand look at a part of our music program as the LHS Jazz Band, under the direction of Sharin Rello, will perform a few numbers for us at next week's BOE meeting.

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After we received the 2015 NAMM distinction, LTEF supplied a banner for each school to showcase this honor.


This week found me:

  • meeting with a parent and conferencing with two parents independently via phone;
  • conducting four separate mid-year evaluations on central office administrators;
  • leading our monthly central office administrator meeting;
  • leading our monthly Leadership Council meeting;
  • observed a principal and a supervisor, separately;
  • attending a BOE meeting;
  • participating in LABTA negotiations;
  • attending a NJASA PD Committee meeting and a NJASA Curriculum meeting;
  • participating in agenda setting; and . . .

Jeanne Muzi has wowed again. She is one of 35 educators selected from the U.S. and Canada as a 2016 Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. In June she will embark on an 11 day Lindblad voyage aboard the National Georgraphic Explorer to the Arctic Svalbard for a one-of-a-king field experience, accompanied by Lindblad-National Geographic expedition experts. We truly are so fortunate to have her as she brings so many of her phenomenal experiences back to our classrooms.

At my request Michele D'Angelo and I met for a couple hours April 7. It was a candid conversation with a mutual agreement. We'll try to move forward with more trust and an understanding that we're both working towards the same goal: what's best for our students and will help them be successful.

Jessica Cincotta, LHS assistant principal, and I, along with Hopewell Superintendent Tom Smith, participated in the NJSBA radioblog about: A Conversation about Race, Class, & Gender in Our Schools on April 6. We were invited to participate after Tom and I spoke at the Mercer County SBA about the Day of Dialogue involving these sensitive, timely topics held at Rider U. earlier this year.

Also on April 6 was our second Green Team meeting...just getting started. All schools and the district are registered with Sustainable Jersey for Schools. Our Green Team is exploring what we're already doing and what else we can add, with an attempt to move towards certification. All in all, we want to be more environmentally conscious and know we won't be able to do everything.

Personnel and CIAPD met this week.


Click on the "Corner Meeting Table" link below to view upcoming meetings.


Just a reminder that I have given every BOE member "view only" access to the Google folders that were once only visible by the Personnel committee. I will update these documents as needed. Please use the links below to access them w/your Google accounts and/or the accounts you use to access other committee agenda information. You can access this information at any time that is convenient for you. Please let me know if you cannot access the information.

Click on the link below:

Goal 1: Strategic Plan

Goal 2: Evaluation Systems

Goal 3: NWEA Reading

Goal 4: Instructional Rounds

Goal 5: Community Participation

Below is the schedule the Personnel Committee agreed on with regard to my evaluation procedures:

Superintendent Evaluation Protocols

  • July 17, 2015: Merit Goals submitted to ECS

  • August 20, 2015: Merit Goals approved by ECS - letter in Supt Eval Folder

  • Nov 3, 2015: 1st Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee

  • Feb 3, 2016: 2nd Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee - postponed

  • Mar. 2, 2016: 2nd Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee

  • May 4, 2016: 3rd Evaluation & Merit Goal Update w/Personnel Committee

  • May 5, 2016: Supt to complete electronic submission

  • May 25, 2016: BOE meeting w/o Supt to finalize report

  • June XX, 2016: Supt to receive written report

  • June 22, 2016: Full BOE meeting w/Supt to discuss report

  • June 30, 2016: Submit to County Office BOE resolution for merit bonus - NJDOE

  • July 15, 2016: BOE pays merit bonus for prior year - NJDOE