Crystal's Corner

December 4, 2015

This Corner covers the past two weeks. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


The Sophomore Academy hosted its annual Career Day on November 24. Academy advisor and LHS language arts teacher Stefanie Tziarri coordinates the program. As usual, there was a wide variety of careers represented. View program.

I met with two administrators on November 25 to plan on how to meet a student's needs.

I hope you had a chance to vote for the LHS Madrigal Choir in NJ 101.5's Annual Christmas Choir Radio Contest. Only 15 finalists are chosen throughout the state and of those, only a portion are high school groups. One finalist's entry is played around noon each day and listeners have about 24 hours to vote for a particular entry. The below photo is not a video or audio of the LHS entry...just a snipping of what appeared on the NJ 101.5 website the day our piece was played. Good luck, melodious Cardinals!
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Some of the Lawrence High choirs will sing in the season at Lawrenceville Main Street's "Holidays in the Village" on Sunday, December 6. The event is from 2-4PM in Weeden Park on Main Street. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and aromas of the holidays at the event which features music, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate, winter treats, and the tree lighting!
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Andrew and our supervisors will present on assessment at next week's BOE meeting.


The calendar committee met a third time on December 1 to finalize a second calendar. Both the 2016-2017 and the 2017-2018 calendars were presented to the Personnel Committee today. The calendars are linked in the previous sentence for your review prior to seeing them under New Business on next week's agenda.

Once I actually DO observations of the principals, I have to write up what I saw and we discussed. On November 23 I worked on the more time consuming element of entering the written part into the evaluation side of My Learning Plan.

As you know, a special BOE meeting was held on November 23 for the purpose of approving the LTEA agreement. After we distributed a news release, an article appeared in the December 3 Trenton Times. In case you missed it...

My monthly meeting with the Assistant Principals was November 30.

We truly are a District of Character. This was quite evident the morning of December 1 when practically our whole leadership team...on short notice...arrived early at Ben Franklin to cover routine responsibilities, such as the car line and assisting students and parents in the main office. This freed BJ, his guidance counselor and the child study team to meet with the Ben Franklin staff to relate the tragedy of what had happened the night before and to plan how to assist staff and students in coping with the news.

Here is information about services for Ben Franklin custodian Edith "Eddie" Pamphile.

Upon leaving Ben Franklin, I attended a NJASA Curriculum Committee meeting in Trenton.

Agenda setting was yesterday afternoon.

This morning I attended the Interim Executive County Superintendent Laura Morana's monthly Roundtable. At her advance request, I presented on our strategic planning initiative. Many Mercer districts currently are undergoing strategic planning and some are paying consultants a hefty sum to tackle the initiative.


Mindy, Lana and I met with two via phone...on November 30 to discuss communication and marketing efforts.

Direct Link had its second of four meetings for this school year on December 2. I've expanded the group past those who have met in previous years. Now, in addition to reps of all PTOs, LTEF, LTCF and the Township's Office on Aging and Recreations Departments, we have reps from Every Child Valued, Special Olympics, Lawrence Community Center, Boys and Girls Club, and Lawrenceville Main Street.

The Direct Link news item also could be under Goals 2 and 4 as I spent a significant amount of time relating Goal 2 objectives in our strategic plan. I also related the BOE and LTEA signed off on the contract and outlined how complicated it now is to calculate the retro pay. It's important the word is out there as I suspect some LTEA members will not be happy with the retro pay outcome, due to the way in which LTEA structured the salary guide. Tom, Judy and several of each of their staffs have holed up in our conference room for several days, going staff member by staff member to double check what each department calculated for retro pay.


On December 3 I met with a few of our principals to discuss a grant opportunity involving teacher and peer to peer leadership. This afternoon I met with Jeanne Muzi for further discussion about applying for the grant.

The Finance Committee met this morning. It was Tom Patrick's last Michael's outing with the group. We very much appreciate his service.


Goal 1: Strategic Plan - I explained to Direct Link the objectives contained within Goal 2. I presented the LTPS Strategic Plan model to Mercer County Superintendents at our Roundtable meeting. Many districts are paying $10,000 - $17,000 to do what we do! Hmmm....perhaps our Business Academy could market our services and draw up business contracts for other districts.

Goal 2: Evaluation Systems - I am meeting with the secretaries next week to continue working on their rubrics.

Goal 3: NWEA Reading - NWEA baseline data (district) is now available. Below is a quick summary of the average and normative RIT score information. Over the next month, I will sit with building principals to discuss these data and compare the results to PARCC.

Goal 4: Instructional Rounds - Round 2 will commence in January.

Goal 5: Community Participation - I met with two parents on November 30 and with Direct Link on December 2.

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