News from the Superintendent
A Midsummer Update
Vernon Township School District Mission Statement
We will prioritize the overall wellness of our students and provide opportunities to support the growth and development of the whole child.
We will optimize our resources so that students will reach their maximum potential in a safe, engaging, inclusive, challenging, and nurturing environment.
Our students, parents, staff, the Board of Education, and the community are responsible for sharing, pursuing, and achieving this vision.
Things to Look Forward to in 2019-2020
The Vernon School District is proud to announce some important changes in our schools for the 19-20 school year. Not only has the Board of Education worked hard to revise the district mission statement to emphasize student wellness and educating the whole child but our school initiatives, programs, climate will reflect this vision as well.
New to Vernon High School will be a focus on Student Life with a dedicated Student Center. We understand how important it is for High School students to have a safe and engaging location to do homework, grab a snack or socialize with one another prior to catching a late bus home or before attending a sporting event. This initiative is underway but not yet complete. It is being realized by cost savings made through reduced transportation. Students at the High School will be assisting in designing, developing, and creating the space. We are hopeful that local businesses and donations will help provide other necessary items. During a time of fiscal prudence due to drastic state aid reductions, we need to be as resourceful as possible.
In order to keep students highly engaged and motivated we are entering into our fourth year of offering CTE classes at Vernon High School. The Career Tech Ed classes are in the following areas: Allied Health, CFM (Construction, Facilities, Maintenance), Computer Science, Cosmetology, Engineering, Graphic Design, Hospitality Management, Marketing, and Music Production. Students earning certifications in the aforementioned areas are able to go directly into the workforce, take additional classes at Sussex County Community College or head off to four year colleges. The benefit of the CTE's are numerous. The New Jersey Learning Standards that guide the CTE programs reflect important skills like problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. These skills assist our students to be strong learners or strong workers as they graduate Vernon High School. Our CTE programs were recognized this year by the New Jersey Department of Education as some of the best in the State. We are also presenting our CTE programs at the New Jersey School Boards Association conference in the fall of 2019 where there is a continued focus on CTE programs.
VTHS also offers concurrent classes with Sussex County Community College, Rutgers University, Syracuse University, Seton Hall University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, This means that students can take college courses (at a reduced rate) while they are in high school. One of our recently graduated seniors obtained thirty-six college credits that were accepted at a highly accredited university while another student completed a full Associate's Degree while attending Vernon Township High School. As in years past Vernon Township High School continues to boast strong programs in science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM) as well as in the humanities including world language, the Seal of Bi-Literacy, language arts, and the fine and performing arts.
This year our Middle School kicks off with "Glen Meadow 2.0". We are beginning the school year with a kickoff two day event where students and staff set expectations and goal set using the "Glen Meadow Way". Rather than following their schedule, we will have a soft opening experience with team building activities, social emotional learning opportunities, anti-bullying activities and middle school mini sessions, as well as back to school assemblies. This engaging, thoughtful approach to middle school students will reflect the Board of Education and district vision surrounding the support of each student so that they continue to thrive. Also new at Glen Meadow this year are Robotics courses, three world languages offered in sixth grade and the "Glen Meadow Grows" program which is already underway. These have all been obtained by utilizing existing staff, with no additional cost to the district. The new middle school administration has been busy this summer, inviting students and families in for open house tours as well as the opportunity to revitalize our gardens and greenhouse. Sixth graders will have a 6th grade academy wing, allowing them easier travel time between classes and to promote cohesiveness for incoming students. Seventh and eighth grade students will also have cohesive models.
At Lounsberry Hollow School, fourth and fifth graders will participate in the Positive Behavior Support in Schools Program as well as the LEAD program offered by the Vernon Township Police Department. Social Emotional Learning will be addressed through the Second Step curriculum and teachers have already began creating opening day activities for students. It is very important for students to feel welcome, be part of the learning process, and participate in opening activities that allow students ownership of expectations and the learning process while teachers and administrators support their growth through a vibrant curriculum, and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
All of the Vernon Township Schools are promoting wellness for our students and staff. Due to drastic reductions in state aid, where the Vernon School District over six years is losing nearly $10 million dollars, we will be as resourceful as possible in maintaining student programs and high levels of instructional engagement and opportunity for students. The district is also pursuing an International student program to generate tuition for the district as well as any other grant or fiscal opportunities that may ease the financial burden that our community has been placed under by the State of New Jersey.
News Regarding the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment
While each school will have different programs, initiatives, and regular items embedded into lessons based on the developmental readiness and needs of our students, incentive programs may be utilized to promote and recognize positive peer interactions, appropriate student behavior, academic achievement, student engagement and more. To best reflect student thoughts and ideas, we are asking that you have your child/children complete the following survey. Their voices are essential in creating a safe, secure learning environment for all. Your cooperation is welcome as we look toward a new school year.
Please have students complete the following two question survey: