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PARENT TECHNOLOGY NIGHT
If you have not already done so, please mark your calendar for this coming Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Ridgefield Memorial HS Cafeteria.  In this hands-on training, parents will learn how to access information about our school district, student grading, attendance, homework and Study Island.  For more information, please see the attached flyer in English, Spanish, and Korean  (CLICK HERE).  Thank you, and we hope to see you there! 
STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR 20/20 VISION

Dear Parents, Teachers, Administrators, and Community Members:

Yogi Berra said, “If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.” Adapting that for school district strategic planning, “If you don't know where you're going, you won’t know how to get there…or if and when you get there.” During the next eight months, our school community will engage in unbiased, scholarly work that will answer three very critical questions:  Where is our district now?  Where does the District want to be in three to five years? and How are we going to get there?  We will consider the evidence that abounds in the areas of demographics, school processes, student learning, and perceptions.  We will employ a solid process, which includes: 1) clarifying vision, mission, and values; 2) collecting data; 3) identifying critical issues; 4) choosing strategies; and 5) writing a plan.  A Strategic Planning Committee of twenty to twenty-five representative school community members will do this work and then present it in the form of recommendations to the Superintendent and the Board of Education for implementation in 2015-2020.  One might say that we are on a quest for 20/20 Vision. 

I look forward to facilitating a committee comprised of approximately two Board of Education members, six administrators, six teachers, six parents, two community officials, and two general community members. The Committee will gather for eight two-hour general meetings, several smaller task group breakout sessions in between general meetings, and one community forum where it will present its findings and take input from audience participants before making its final recommendations. 

Through careful consideration of the evidence, the Planning Committee will explore areas such as program and instruction, operations, facilities, personnel, and community relations.  It will look to develop not only long-term goals but also a beginning framework of annual goals (the practical work), strategies (the way of achieving the work), benchmarks (the look of the work), milestones (the timelines for the work) and responsibilities (the accountability for the work). 

If you are looking for an opportunity to serve and are willing to commit to the full extent of this study as defined here, then please take the time to complete the  attached application and return it to the Ridgefield Public Schools Central Office.  The deadline for submission is Friday, October 10, 2014 by 12:00 PM. The first committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 22 at 4:00 PM.  General monthly meetings will alternate between late afternoon and evening. 

For more information, contact Ms. Kara Doviak at (201) 945-7747 or  

Sincerely, 


Frank Romano, III, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools 

REFERENDUM VOTE 2014-15

Members of the School Community,

Thank you for your commitment to our schools!  Our bond referendum passed by an overwhelming majority vote!

FINAL RESULTS:

YES: 358

NO: 164

 

BOND REFERENDUM PASSES

In order for children to learn, they need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable.  They need to come to healthy and stimulating environments.  They need to have the appropriate tools.  In these modern times, challenges continue to grow, and with our limited means, the needs become harder to accommodate.  During these past several years, Ridgefield taxpayers have been gracious enough to pass two smaller referendum projects to help the Ridgefield Schools repair our roofs, purchase new boilers, and build up-to-date science labs.  While those efforts have improved conditions, our schools are old and in serious need of repair in a variety of other areas.

Many classroom windows do not lock.  They are single-paned and extremely inefficient when it comes to energy use and cost.  Roughly 80 percent of our exterior windows and doors are original to the schools and remain in serious need of replacement.  Exterior entranceways require security upgrades.  Electrical systems no longer supply the service needed to power newer technologies.  Multipurpose rooms are environmentally challenging for many youngsters.  Schools do not have the appropriate internal features to secure them during evening events, and vandalism has resulted in expensive repair work.

Ridgefield Public Schools has a new opportunity to improve current conditions.  NJ State grant funding for regular operating districts (RODs) will bring a total of 1.2 million dollars now that taxpayers have passed a 3 million dollar referendum to improve our schools.  Several building projects were approved by the State and will require funding for 60 percent of the total cost, which comes to roughly $37.20 per year for fifteen years for the average household.  The State will cover 40 percent of the cost.  The end results will bring energy efficiency (savings), safety, security, and more optimal learning environments.

For $37.20 per average household per year for fifteen years, Ridgefield Public Schools will now benefit from window replacement, restroom exhaust systems, HVAC control replacement, electrical panels replacement, cooling system upgrades, and upgrades to communications and security.  The return on this relatively small investment will improve our schools, provide better learning environments and, in turn, increase property values. Thankfully, we can engage in this important opportunity for our schools and our town.

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