Agenda Special Meeting May 5, 2015

SEATED L to R: Tom Ferraro-Vice President, Colin Monahan-Business Administrator, Michele Ruocco-President,
Dr. Vincent Varcadipane-Superintendent,Raymond Reddin-Board Attorney,
STANDING L to R: Marcello Guarneri, Sanders Reynoso, Bruce Matano, Jennifer DeCeglie, Keith Schaffer, Ken Kerwin (Not Pictured)

The Totowa Board of Education and its' staff is dedicated to providing a comprehensive education, relative to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, in the areas of academics, the visual and performing arts, athletics, social/emotional growth, and workplace readiness for success in life.


The Superintendent and Administrative Team recommend the board adopt the following goals and objectives for the 2014-2015 school year.

GOALS:   To continue to improve student test scores and prepare for the PARCC ASSESSMENT in grades three through eight in the areas of Language Arts and Mathematics, and Science in grades four and eight.  To assess the NJ Common Core Standards through detailed assessments and evaluation of student test scores and portfolio assessments.  With the implementation of the McRel Evaluation Model, the following will take place:  (a) development of testing models that reflect the character of questions prevalent on PARCC, (b) teachers will implement the Common Core State Standards and understand how those standards apply to instruction, (c) curriculum maps will be developed that ensure that content is being disseminated in a manner that encompasses instruction relevant to PARCC, (d) accurate development of comprehensive lesson plans will reflect the NJ Model Curriculum and curriculum mapping, test questions will begin to mirror examples from the PARCC assessment.  The Totowa School District was participated in the PARCC pilot testing Spring of 2014. 

(1) To continue to conduct a statistical analysis of student test scores on the NJ ASK in grades three through eight by assessing specific area performance data on the NJ ASK 2014.

(2) To continue to assess each student’s ASK score in grades three through eight by comparing test scores for specific teachers.

(3) To continue to conduct a detailed statistical analysis of student test scores on the NJ ASK in grades three through eight using the “Points Earned by Cluster” on the NJ ASK Student Roster results in the areas of Mathematics, Reading and English. 

(4) To continue to conduct an assessment of the Common Core State Standards and update Curriculum Maps to reflect current standards.

(5) To continue to monitor curriculum maps and lesson plans to ensure that the proper instruction is being disseminated to students aligned with the PARCC format and the types of questioning examples being implemented. 

(6) To continue to ensure that all practice materials are provided and are being used on a regular basis as part of each student’s education.

(7) To continue to schedule professional development meetings between administrators and teachers disseminating student test results portraying areas of identified student and group deficiency for the purpose of frontloading instructional topics for successful performance on PARCC. 

(8) To continue to share successful teaching strategies with the professional staff relative to various topics on PARCC. 

(9) To continue to develop benchmark assessments for students periodically for the purpose of assessing student progress, and to continue to reevaluate and revise instruction to ensure students are grasping concepts needed to successfully perform on PARCC. 

(10) To continue to provide assistance to teachers whose students have not met standards.

(11) To continue to assist teachers in the development of test models that reflect the types and character of questions prevalent on PARCC.

(12) To provide professional development opportunities for PARCC requirements.

(12) In the area of Language Arts, to continue to provide assignments, and writing tasks that focus on PARCC and to create such assignments that test data has identified as student deficiencies.

(13) In the area of Mathematics, to continue to provide assignments, and problem solving examples that focus PARCC and to create such assignments that test data has identified as “student deficient.”

(14) To continue to hold teachers accountable:
A.   For negligence in fulfilling their responsibility in researching the Common Core State Standards in an ongoing manner, resulting in their lack of implementation in instruction;
B.  Who have been negligent creating updated curriculum maps and lesson plans that encompass all the standards;
C.  Who fail to provide a program of instruction that utilizes the PARCC components, its types of questioning, and subject areas as a daily part of each teacher’s instruction plan.

The Totowa Board of Education affirms its responsibility to ensure all students in the public schools of Totowa equal educational opportunity and all employees equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, handicapping condition and social or economic status. Affirmative Action Officer WPS-956-0010.

The routine functions of the Board of Education are delegated to the Chief School Administrator and are governed by policy. Board of Education policy is a matter of public record and copies are available for review at the Office of the Chief School Administrator. Meetings are generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Check this handbook or our website for exact dates.

This booklet has been prepared to acquaint you with the school system of Totowa. We are hopeful that you will find the information in this publication helpful in explaining the various phases of our school program. It is the desire of your Board of Education to provide the children of the Borough of Totowa with the finest education possible. In working toward achieving that goal, we solicit the understanding and cooperation of the parents and residents of the community. Your comments and suggestions for improving our educational program are always welcomed. We urge your participation in the many volunteer activities of the school system.

CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY: The Board of Education holds accountable students and parents who abuse or destroy school property.


Permission to use the Totowa Public Schools will be granted to any local organization when, in the opinion of the Board of Education, it will not interfere with the normal functioning of the school program or in any way be detrimental to the Borough as a whole. The sole authority for granting this permission rests with the Board of Education.
The procedure for securing the use of school buildings is as follows: 1. Secure application blanks at the office of the Chief School Administrator located at WPS; 2. Submit application to the Office of the Chief School Administrator; 3. Notification of the decision will be made promptly; 4. Any matter of special fees, conditions, or instructions not covered by application form will be passed on to the applying agency at the time of notification; 5. Certificate of Insurance required ($1,000,000).


The Totowa Board of Education has an approved Pest Management Policy #7422. This policy will be furnished upon request by contacting the School Business Administrator.


Parents have the right to inspect their child’s record and make a request for an amendment to those records along with the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the child’s records. The parent has a right to file a complaint with the Family Compliance Officer.

Parents will be: 1. asked for consent before student surveys are administered; 2. given an opportunity to “opt-out”; and 3. inspect survey documents before use.

QUALITY ASSURANCE: The Board of Education has received “Highly Qualified” status from the New Jersey Department of Education as a result of the most recent QSAC Quality Assurance Accountability Continuum monitoring - June 2011..

The organizational pattern of the Totowa schools is K-8. It consists of a primary school, Memorial School, grades Pre-K-K-2 and an intermediate/middle school, Washington Park, grades 3-8.