By Anne Forline
Gloucester City News
The Gloucester City Board of Education (BOE) met for a combined caucus and regular meeting November 15, and listened to presentations from student representatives from all the City’s schools.
Paddie Cooney is a senior from Gloucester City High, and her community service projects include volunteering at Gloucester Day and the Gloucester Clean-Up Day.
Paddie, who has nursing aspirations, plays field hockey and said her favorite subjects are psychology and English.
She added that the fall sports season has recently wrapped up, and announced that the Powder Puff game was to take place November 22.
Also, students are excited about their annual Thanksgiving Day football game against their rival, Gloucester Catholic.
Paddie said that the sophomores won “Best Decorated Hallway” during Spirit Week and that the guidance counselors have been helping all the seniors with their future goals.
The students were also recently shown the movie “Sticks and Stones,” which focused on the subject of cyber bullying.
Representing the Program for Success was student Katie Grant, who said she enjoys biology class and looks forward to learning about genetics and DNA.
After graduation, Katie will follow in her father’s footsteps and join the U.S. Army so she can make her family proud.
Sixth grade Mary Ethel Costello honor roll student Kaitlyn Parkhill participates in Lady Lions field hockey and plays hand chimes.
She said, “Mary Ethel Costello is a magnificent school.”
The special subjects are her favorite, and she said other students enjoy participating in the “Mile Club,” where students walk during their recess break.
Third grader Alexander Darpino, has attended Cold Springs School for five years, and last year in his language arts classes, he wrote a 25-page unbound book.
He said this year Miss Mikle is his reading teacher and she works closely with each student while being “interesting and fun.”
Also, Alexander said, “Math Fact Friday gives good math practice for students of Cold Springs.”
Upcoming events at the school include: December 12-16, Santa’s Secret Shop; December 14, Winter Concert; December 21, SLC Meeting; and December 24-January 1, Schools are closed.
The accounting firm of Inverso & Stewart appeared before the Board to make a presentation concerning their comprehensive annual report.
Comments were made concerning tuition revenue and the Board was told they are in good financial shape, but to watch future expenditures.
Representatives from Robotech Educational Services from Marlton made a presentation regarding the robotics program that will be implemented at the after-school programs at Mary Ethel Costello and the Junior High.
Robotics will be used as a teaching tool to engage students in technology. Students will learn about electricity and the mechanics of building robots by making calculations.
During the business portion of the meeting, several motions were made and approved.
A motion was passed regarding student action items, such as clinical students, winter coaching as well as substitute teachers and nurses.
Regarding upcoming field trips, fundraisers and the spring musical, “Beauty and The Beast,” motions regarding these items were passed.
Concerning curriculum, a motion was approved concerning gifted and talented criteria, elementary statistics and kindergarten math.
Further motions concerning the after-school program at Mary Ethel Costello, which is funded by a 21st Century grant, were discussed before being voted on passed. Field trips were approved by the Board and it was noted that these trips are paid by the 21st Century grant.
Regarding the robotics program, a motion was made and approved regarding the contract for Robotech Educational Services.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction Elizabeth Curry said that the $16,845 for this program comes from SES/No Child Left Behind funds.
Also, Robotech is an approved SES provider, and will bring their program to Gloucester from early December through the end of May/early June.
Board member Jackie Borger asked a question about the high school’s recent participation in DEAR (Drop Everything and Read).
Mrs. Ernst said the students’ schedules were rearranged so that there would be an accumulation of time at the end of day for the students to participate in one hour of silent, sustained reading.
Ms. Curry commented on a recent study that showed high school students read less than one hour a day.
She said the students were given this chance for one hour of silent sustained reading November 7 because the students were going into an extended break.
The students were instructed and encouraged to bring whatever reading materials they wanted – books, newspapers or magazines. Teachers also participated by bringing their own reading material so they could participate as well.
Mrs. Ernst observed how “amazing” it was to see every student with a book or a magazine and enjoying it. She said the students were invited to get comfortable on the floor, in their desk, wherever, and to just relax and enjoy reading.
“The kids want to do it again,” she remarked.