The Harding Shake…

March 8, 2013

Dear HTS Community:

Friday, March 15th will be Dr. Petersen’s final day at HTS.  He will be sorely missed and on behalf of the entire school community, I would like to thank him for his service and commitment to the district. As I mentioned in a prior letter, we have put together a committee to assist in the recruitment and selection of a new Principal/Director of Curriculum.  This committee consists of various stakeholders, representing a cross-section of the HTS community and is busy working to review resumes and conduct interviews with selected candidates.  Since it is probable that the successful candidate will have to provide up to 60 days notice in his/her district, it is unlikely that we will have a replacement by Monday, March 18.

Concurrently, we have been recruiting and interviewing candidates for the position of Interim Principal/Director of Curriculum.  I am pleased to announce that we have been able to secure a commitment from Thea Spina to serve in this capacity until the end of the school year, if need be.  Mrs. Spina is an experienced teacher and administrator and recently retired from her position as Principal of Mountview Road School in the Hanover Township School District. Mrs. Spina was President of the Morris County Association of Elementary and Middle School Administrators and has also served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Consortium for Gifted Programs.  Due to a previous commitment, Mrs. Spina will not be able to join us until Tuesday, March 26th.  For the week of March 18th, I will serve as Interim Principal/Superintendent.

Earlier this year you were asked to take the second annual HTS Climate Survey.  The survey consisted of 25 questions in the areas of academics, curriculum and school climate.  Although almost all the data (posted on our home page) from the survey was positive, the survey results revealed that many of our parents (35.7%, to be exact) believe that our current curriculum is not rigorous enough.  We are investigating and implementing a variety of strategies to address this issue. A partial list:

  • All students in grades 2-8 will be taking the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this month.  The MAP is a formative assessment designed to provide teachers with timely feedback that can be used to guide instructional practices.
  • Curricula in Social Studies, French, Spanish and Gifted and Talented (Quest) are being revised and edited and will be ready for full implementation in September 2013.
  • Next month, teachers will use the early dismissal (parent conferences) days on April 17 and April 18 to build and develop skills and strategies that we believe will assist our students as they prepare for the NJASK.
  • Lastly, all students in grades 3-8 will receive a NJASK Prep packet of information to be completed in April before/during/after Spring Break.

As always, if you would like to discuss this letter in greater detail, please contact me at HTS.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

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