June 1, 2018

From: Elena Goldthwaite <egoldthwaite@mlschools.org>
Subject: Important Message from the BOE; 6/1/18

Dear Parents and Community Members,

We would like to thank you again for your participation at our last Board meeting, the Coffee Chat and Brown Bag Lunch, and Community Input Groups. The Board and Dr. Mucci have been discussing all the feedback that the community has brought to us and will be moving forward with several of your suggestions.

  • Faculty and Administrative Retention/Exit Interviews: We will work in conjunction with the staff, through the Mountain Lakes Education Association (MLEA), and the Mountain Lakes Alumni Association (MLAA) to establish a third party exit interview committee. The committee will investigate and recommend for implementation financial and non-financial incentives that have a strong correlation with faculty retention, and form a study group to explore faculty retention research and strategies and make recommendations to the Board for desired changes. If you would like to join that committee, please submit your name to mlsd@mlschools.org with faculty retention in the subject line.
  • Faculty and Administrative Morale: As many of you have expressed, morale is closely related to retention. We will immediately administer the anonymous staff morale and job satisfaction survey that was distributed to the faculty in 2015. We will compare the results of these surveys and publicly share those results. In order to effectively survey the community, the students, and the staff in the fall, we would like to form a committee to create a new survey. If you would like to participate in the design, dissemination method, or analysis of the new survey, please submit your name to mlsd@mlschools.org with faculty morale in the subject line.
  • School Security and Safety: This summer 40 staff members will be certified in CPR and AED training and emergency response. We will have two administrators undergo the 40-hour School Safety Specialist training. We have routine meetings with the MLPD to review areas of strength and weakness in our school security plans, and Sergeant Benitez regularly checks our schools to ensure we are following all school security procedures. Sergeant Benitez will also be training all staff on the new protocols for evacuations when a fire alarm sounds. If you would like to participate in a joint school security task force, please submit your name to mlsd@mlschools.org with school security in the subject line.
  • More Administrative Voices: We understand that you would like to hear more from members of the administrative team other than the Superintendent, especially as related to matters of personnel. Many years ago, school-level PAC meetings replaced public, district-level administrative meetings. We will reinstate those meetings, in addition to the PAC meetings, in the coming year, and work to ensure that building principals have several avenues to communicate the good work that happens in their schools every day.
  • Communication Task Force: If you would like to volunteer to serve as a “key communicator" on an independent, non-Board-affiliated committee to share information on these and other topics as it becomes available, please submit your name to mlsd@mlschools.org with key communicator in the subject line.

Our goal is to work collaboratively with parents, community members, and staff to ensure that the Mountain Lakes School District remains not only one of the best districts in the state for students, but also for administrators, teachers, and staff. The Mountain Lakes Community is one that has always prided itself on its friendly, supportive, and active citizenry. We hope that this is a moment in which Lakers can come together, support each other, and work together for the best interests of our children.

The Board and Dr. Mucci continue to look forward to your input, both within these new committees and through your participation in our meetings.

We look forward to seeing you at our Monday Board meeting,

The Mountain Lakes Board of Education