Bits and Pieces…

  • Last night, the Harding Township Board of Education unanimously passed the 2012-2013 school budget.  As was mentioned previously in this space, our operating budget is austere yet maintains all instructional and co-curricular positions.  Moreover, the tax levy increase is minimal at 1.78%.  We believe that this budget serves the entire Harding community.  Consider getting involved in the budget process for next year; your input is valued and my door is always open.  Please note: because our budget contains a tax levy increase of less than 2%, the HTS Budget will not be voted on by the community.  The difference of .22% (2.00%-1.78%) has been “banked” for further use in any of the next three years.
  • Also at the BOE Meeting, the Remig Family made a charitable donation of $2,000.00 to the Harding Township School Student Activity Account.  This generous donation will be used to augment and complement our instructional program for qualified students.
  • Tomorrow evening is the Second Annual HTS Technology Showcase.  Come join us in the Upper School from 7:00-8:30 for some hi-tech student and staff presentations such as Intro to Twitter, HTS TV and many more.  Programming note: some presentations are BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology).
  • Our 1:1 Committee (featuring Dr. Petersen, Dr. Gervis, Mr. Hoffman, Mrs. Poole and Mrs. Werner) will be presenting our 1:1 Vision to the PTO at their May 4th meeting.  The meeting will be held in the Library/Media Center and should begin at 9:30; parents are encouraged to attend.  To refresh, the 1:1 Initiative (click here) is a progressive movement in education that places a device such as an iPad in the hands of students and teachers and furthers the “learning anytime, anyplace” paradigm.  Teachers use this device as a tool in their classrooms. Along with learning our challenging curricula, students also learn Twenty-first Century skills.
  • NJASK (New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge) season is almost upon us.  Our students will be testing during the week of April 23 (grades 7 and 8), April 30 (grades 5 and 6) or May 7 (grades 3 and 4).  We wish all our students good luck on their respective exams.  HTS is designed around the concept of the small learning community and is not a “teach to the test” type of school.  We do recognize, however, that our teaching staff can use the results of these assessments to identify student strengths and weaknesses and further individualize our instructional practices to meet the diverse needs of all our students.  Test scores are usually returned to families and school in August.
  • Lastly, the HTS Parent-Teacher Organization will be hosting their annual fundraiser – the 1926-2012 Fashion Show and Silent Auction.  Come see generations of HTS graduates walking the runway in clothes featured from their graduation year.  The event will be held at the Madison Hotel on Friday, April 27 from 6:00-10:00.  Tickets are still available for this wonderful event.  Come show your HTS spirit!

Save the Date:

  • March 28 – 7:00-8:30 HTS Technology Showcase (Upper School)
  • March 30 – Grade 3 Women in History Assembly 8:30 (Cafeteria)
  • April 6 – 13 – Spring Break
  • April 19 – Annual Senior Breakfast 9:00-10:30 (Cafeteria)
  • April 27 – HTS PTO Fashion Show and Silent Auction Fundraiser 6:00-10:00 (Madison Hotel)
  • May 4 – HTS PTO Meeting 9:30-10:30 (Library/Media Center)
  • May 22 – Spring Concert 7:30-9:00 (Gymnasium)

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

 

Seussical, Jr.

To the Cast and Crew of Seussical, Jr.

Congratulations on three sold-out and wonderfully successful shows!  Every comment I heard from the audience was positive and everyone was quite impressed.  The set design was fantastic as was the lighting booth, sound booth and the backstage crew.  Of course, our actors/actresses did a sensational job of singing, acting and dancing.  On behalf of the Harding Township Board of Education, please accept this letter as a small token of appreciation and as a congratulations for your outstanding work.

For our graduating eighth grade students, you heard Dr. Petersen comment on how it was the best HTS play ever! That is what we call hitting the high note and peaking at the right time. To our returning students, the bar for our musical has been set very high – let’s have some fun trying to make it even better next year.

Once again, congratulations to all our students for all their efforts.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

Budget Update, Part II

March, 2012

Dear HTS Community:

2012 has brought some new and exciting changes to HTS. In January, state legislators proposed and Governor Christie signed into law (A-4394/S3148), which provided municipalities and boards of education an opportunity to move the April Board of Education elections to November, where they would coincide with the general election. Last month, the Harding Township Board of Education voted to move the April election to November, effective immediately.

According to a statement released by the nonpartisan New Jersey Office of Legislative Services, districts could realize savings of 0.08% of their annual budget by moving the elections to the fall.  For the Harding Township Board of Education, we anticipate annual savings of approximately $4,000.  Moreover, the school budget process will be streamlined.  Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf explained, “The passage of this Bipartisan law provides both school budget savings and increased voter participation in the process.”

Under this new law, school budgets that fall within the 2% property tax cap would not have to be voted on by the community.  School districts would still be required to submit its budget to the Executive County Superintendent in March and hold an annual public hearing later that month.  Lastly, the public would vote for individual board of education members at the November election.

The 2012-2013 HTS budget is both student-centered and sustainable. It embodies, in spirit and in fiscal reality, the budget guidelines previously developed and approved by the Board of Education. The increase to the tax levy is only 1.78%, below the state mandated cap of 2%.  Moreover, this budget protects all educational and co-curricular programs and staffing – one of our stated goals.

Since our budget is less than the cap, our school budget will not be submitted to the voters.  We will, however, continue to hold our annual hearing (this year on Monday, March 26th at 7:30p.m. in the Library/Media Center) and send home our Budget Notes newsletter to the entire community.

We look forward to a fantastic finish to the 2011-2012 school year and an even better 2012-2013.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone