May 18, 2018

From: Anne Mucci <amucci@mlschools.org>
Subject: School Security/Personnel/Band/BOE Meeting

Good afternoon,

The horrific bus accident on Route 80 yesterday and the shooting at Texas' Santa Fe High School today has us deeply troubled. We are working to maintain a safe and supportive environment for all of our students and faculty. Sgt. Benitez will be meeting with our faculties to offer additional guidance as we continue to improve our school safety procedures and modify security plans in accordance with what we learn from these horrific events. We are in the process of forming a Board Committee on School Security and Safety to increase student and parent input on this important topic. We are also planning school culture and climate surveys for the fall in each of our schools. I am pleased to report that the grade 6-12 launch of Anonymous Alerts had provided us with another avenue to uncover issues that may be causing upset for our students. Our leading source of information regarding students who are struggling are other students. Teachers and parents also provide us with excellent insight into our student body. Please know we diligently follow up on every referral we receive. By continuing conversations with your children at home regarding mental health and wellness and sharing relevant information you learn with the school, you are helping us make our schools even stronger. The National Practice of School Psychologists guides many of our practices, you may find their resources useful as well: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers

This afternoon Briarcliff School had power restored. Wildwood, Briarcliff and Lake Drive will need to make up the day of school that was missed on Wednesday, May 16th. After discussions of our options with faculty and administration, we have elected to hold school for Wildwood, Briarcliff and Lake Drive on Monday, June 18th with an early dismissal. MLHS' final day of school remains Friday, June 15th. All school completion ceremonies/graduations remain as scheduled. Thank you for your cooperation and support in these less than ideal circumstances.

Personnel Update: We have narrowed the field of candidates for the Briarcliff Principal Search and we have entered into the final phase of interviews for this round of applicants. We have also narrowed the field to finalists for the K-12 Supervisor of Math/Coordinator of Gifted and Talented.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the majority of our teaching positions are already filled with only 6 teaching positions district wide still accepting applications. The MLHS Assistant Principal search is open with a record number of highly qualified applicants already applying. The application period will be open for an additional two weeks with an expected appointment by July. Mr. Downes will remain on staff through the summer to successfully transition his replacement. We will open the MLHS principal search in July with an expected start date for the new principal of January 2, 2019.

Instrumental Band/Strings Program for the 2018-2019 School Year: We are proud to announce an expansion to our K-12 Instrumental Band/Strings program for the coming year:

MLHS will maintain all current levels of programming: 3 Bands, 6 Rotating Lesson Periods and Guitar/Advanced Guitar classes

Briarcliff will maintain all current programs and have an additional lesson period for Strings Instruction: 2 Bands, 5 Rotating Lesson Periods

Wildwood will maintain all programs and have an addition of strings instruction and lessons: K-5 General Music, Guitar Instruction, Guitar Lessons, Strings Ensemble and Strings Lessons. Mr. Goncalves' highly successful band program will be unchanged.

The Board of Education will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 21st at Mountain Lakes High School beginning at 7:30 pm. At our next meeting on Monday June, 4th our Director of Guidance will be presenting the graduation data and college acceptances for the MLHS Class of 2018. We hope to see you at our meetings, you can review meeting agendas in advance here: https://www.mlschools.org/domain/387

I am also hosting a Brown Bag Lunch and Evening Coffee next week:

Tuesday, May 22nd @ 7pm in Room 445 at MLHS

Thursday, May 24th @ 12 noon in the MLHS Media Center

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Anne Mucci, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools