Public school students in Union City return to school on Sept. 4, while West New York students return on Sept. 5.
As of press time on Thursday, interim Superintendent Silvia Abbato remained head of the Union City school district, replacing outgoing Superintendent Stanley Sanger, who held the position since 2003. A Board of Education meeting this past Thursday night was set to determine some district changes, but the results were not available by press time.
In West New York, Superintendent of Schools John Fauta spoke at length about his mixed emotions regarding the upcoming academic year. He said students will report for a half-day on Sept. 5.
Fauta stated there are no major principal changes this year, due to the lack of retirements. The district will get a host of new teachers after several retired.
“We’ve lost good people,” he said. “I’m sad to see them go.” But in his fifth year in his position, he was optimistic. “I’m looking forward to the new breed of teachers coming in to the district,” he said.
He is enthusiastic about young teachers coming in with “fresh minds, and new ideas.” He believes that while it’s always difficult to see effective teachers retire, new teachers are essential to the ongoing vitality of a school district.
Fauta noted that the district has acquired the building that once housed St. Joseph’s High School. The building will be used as a temporary home for elementary students from the Harry L. Bain School, also known as School No. 6, for a period of two years while renovations are made to the elementary school. Once the students are able to return to School No. 6, The St. Joseph’s High School building will become a part of Memorial High School.
The superintendent is delighted is the district’s collaboration with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college. Fauta is not only excited about the collaborative process, but that the program is indicative of the district’s dedication to increasing the role of technology, as the program will see students taking standardized tests on lap tops rather than traditional grid sheets.
For Superintendent Fauta, PARCC is just the tip of the iceberg. He maintains his usual enthusiasm about athletic programs. He is also thrilled to have the performing arts department beginning work on an unspecified “Greek Tragedy” at the start of the new year, he said.
When asked about his feelings regarding the new school year, he summed them up in one word: “excited.”