School starts in both North Bergen and Guttenberg on Thursday, Sept. 6. Students in tiny Guttenberg attend the Anna L. Klein school for elementary school and North Bergen High School from grades nine and up.
Students in both districts should anticipate some new teachers and renovated buildings.
Changes in Guttenberg
At the Anna L. Klein School, flood damage to the gymnasium floor last winter forced repairs. The floor surrounding the gym has been replaced with a material made from melted recycled car tires. This idea came from Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds Steve Henry who saw it at a trade show in Atlantic City.
LED (light-emitting diode) lighting was installed throughout the gym and stairwells. LED lights last 15 years and burn at 22 watts versus the previous 60 watts, so they save energy.
The gym and stairwells also got a fresh coat of paint.
The computer lab has been upgraded with 65 iMacs, and the 60 older computers will be distributed among classrooms. Additional new technology for the school includes 35 iPads and 200 MacBooks.
“Apple’s just so pro-education,” said Acting Superintendent and Business Administrator Jolene Mantineo.
“I’m looking forward to a very good year.” – Assistant Superintendent of Schools Nicholas Sacco
The boys’ bathrooms have new urinals that do not require water to flush. Previously, one flush used roughly three gallons of water. Sloan sinks have been installed that have low flow sensors to shut them off. New drinking fountains have been installed in the school.
Also, new desks were purchased for grades 6, 7, and 8.
“We were fortunate that we can budget for these [state-funded] projects,” said Mantineo.
The district is also getting a new superintendent of schools, but Mantineo declined to reveal the name as of last week.
Guttenberg has instituted a Challenging Reading Program for grades K-3 to help students read at their grade level, and an English-With-Technology program for parents to build literacy skills and get familiar with technology.
“Reading is the most important aspect of learning,” said Anna L Klein Principal Pedro Garrido. “We will continue to provide the students of Guttenberg with the best education possible.”
After-Hours-Club for Kids, Inc. will be from September to June and open to all ages. It will run from 3 to 6 p.m. and on half days 1 to 6 p.m for $55 a week. Parents can call for more information at (201) 861-3100, ext. 23.
What to look for in North Bergen
In North Bergen, the Lincoln and McKinley schools will have new principals. Former Lincoln School Principal Arleen McGowan has retired, and Fran Pastore of McKinley School will take her place. Janet Sandstrom will now be principal of McKinley.
North Bergen has instituted the Wilson Reading program to help children strengthen their reading skills.
High school students will still be able to take the SAT prep program available first and tenth period for juniors. These students will also receive two and a half credits for the class.
Dandorph said students that took advantage of the SAT program received 200 to 215 points higher scores than before.
I’m looking forward to a very good year,” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco, who is also Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Sacco said that staff will be evaluated throughout the school year.
Eighteen retirements have led to new hires coming into the teacher lineup.
“We hired so that if anything changed in the future [we have] people with multi-certification and you can move them around,” said Superintendent of Schools Robert Dandorph.
Administrators attended a workshop on Monday, Aug. 27 to learn a new teacher evaluation system. They chose the Charlotte Danielson model, which is a research-based method of learning and teaching, and which will be instituted with help from a $250,000 federal grant.
The Horace Mann School has new windows that cost $2.1 million with 58 percent of the funds coming from a grant. Robert Fulton will also receive new windows this year.
“When they put the new windows in, we save a ton of money on heating bills,” said Dandorph.
New phone systems have been placed throughout the North Bergen School District. Training will be the first week of school.
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at email@example.com