MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT - DR. MICHAEL A. PENNELLA
I am pleased to report that the school year is off to an excellent start.
Within the first week of school, we learned that West Caldwell Tech was designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School, one of only six secondary schools in the state to receive this honor. It is the second time an Essex County Vocational Technical School has received such distinction. In 2009, Bloomfield Tech was named a Blue Ribbon School.
That wasn’t the only good news to start the school year. Teacher Indira Bailey was named Essex County Teacher of the Year by the state of New Jersey. Ms. Bailey, who has taught in the district for eleven years, teaches in the arts, audio visual and communications cluster at Bloomfield Tech.
While students were on summer vacation, the district was busy getting ready for this exciting school year. We have several new innovations underway in our schools.
• A state-of-the-art welding lab at Newark Tech, along with the introduction of robotics as part of the pre-engineering program.
• North 13th Street Tech begins the year seeking to continue their achievement in areas inside and out of the classroom. Last year, for the first time, a participant in the Poetry Out Loud competition became one of the top eight finalists in the state and recited a poem at a statewide conference of education. In addition, students built a real boat, learning lessons in construction, buoyancy and density, then tested it out at the pond at Branch Brook Park.
• We are piloting an after-school class in creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. The idea behind this is to encourage our students to think like entrepreneurs each day that they are in a work setting. Research shows that these thinking and business skills are associated with people who not only are able to hold a job but also to move forward in their careers.
• We are also introducing classes in advanced manufacturing where students will use technology to learn some of the ways that America’s manufacturing sector is using to reclaim its position as a technology and manufacturing leader in the world market.
In closing I would like to ask for your help. School attendance is critical to continuing our schools’ success. Student absences not only hurt the absent student, absent students affect the teaching and learning for other students as well. You can further support learning for all by assuring that your son or daughter attends school promptly and regularly.
Also please inform parents of 8th graders that this year’s district Open House will be held Saturday morning Nov. 17th at Newark Tech. More information will be available on the district website during the month of October.
I wish you all the best for the school year ahead.
Michael A. Pennella Ph.D.