HTS School Security…

April 22, 2013

Dear HTS Community:

Earlier this year, we invited Al Imperiale from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and members of the Harding Township Police Department, including Sgt. Tom Downs and Chief Mark Giansanti, to conduct a comprehensive two-day security audit/review at HTS.  Mr. Imperiale also made a generalized school security presentation at the January PTO meeting.  Last week, Mr. Imperiale presented his official findings in an exhaustive 133 page report.  Due to the sensitive nature of this information, it is considered exempt from New Jersey and Federal Open Public Records Acts (*see below). Consequently, the official report will not be released in its entirety to the school community. We will, however, start acting on the recommendations contained therein. Some of the actions taken by our school district will be immediate, others will be adopted over time.  Some endeavors will be quite noticeable, others will be not be as apparent. We will report out to the school community to the greatest extent possible with the only caveat being if full notification will compromise student safety and school security.  Additionally, the New Vernon Volunteer Fire Department has conducted training exercises in our buildings and on our campus this spring.

I would like to thank the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Harding Township Police Department for their efforts.  Moreover, I would like to thank the entire HTS community for their patience and understanding.  The Newtown incident has shaken us all and we are committed to increasing and improving safety and security for all students and staff.  We will continue to partner with first responders to make certain that we are doing everything within our power to keep our learning environment safe and secure for everyone.  We are continuing to deliver the message to our students that only adults can open exterior doors; please reiterate this crucial message with your child whenever possible.

As always, if you have any questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at HTS.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

*This document was prepared at the direction of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness pursuant to its authority under Executive Order No. 5 of 16 March 2006, and to provisions of the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Act.  This document contains confidential, sensitive homeland security information that shall not be deemed to be public record under the provisions of P.L. 1963, c. 73 (c.47:1A-1, et. seq.) or the common law concerning access to public records.

 

 

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Director of Curriculum/Principal

April 22, 2013

Dear HTS Community:

On Monday, April 15th, the Board of Education unanimously approved Matt Spelker as Director of Curriculum/Principal for Harding Township School, effective July 1st. Mr. Spelker, a Madison resident, comes to Harding from the Millburn Township Public Schools where he serves as an Instructional Supervisor at Glenwood School. At Glenwood School, Matt also helped write the elementary Science curriculum as well as the elementary Math curriculum. He provided professional development for district staff on the Everyday Math curriculum and helped to align the district’s Math standards to the Common Core State Standards. During his time at Glenwood School, the school was named a Reward School for improvement on NJASK scores and he also helped the school adopt a Leveled Literacy Intervention program for their Basic Skills Program.

Previously, he taught fourth grade at Deerfield School, also in Millburn. At Deerfield, Mr. Spelker taught fourth grade for seven years and served as the Lead Math Teacher and Family Math Teacher for the building. In addition, Matt served as the Student Council Leader and wrote the Social Studies curriculum as a teacher representative.

Prior to working in education, Mr. Spelker worked in finance for thirteen years, most recently in an administrative capacity at CommerzBank. The Harding Township School’s Vision Council will be welcoming Matt to their May 22nd meeting to discuss various transition issues. The meeting will be held in the Harding Township School’s Library/Media Center at 8:30am and is open to all township residents.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

Paper Clips…

Dear HTS Community:

For the families that are not going away for Spring Break and looking for an educational (and free!) experience for their children, there is a wonderful opportunity on Monday, April 8 at 12:00 at the Caldwell Public Library (268 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell).  As many of you already know, April 8 is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The Caldwell Public Library is hosting a viewing of the award winning film Paper Clips for interested families.  From the press release, “When the students of Tennessee’s Whitwell Middle School began studying the Holocaust as a way to learn about intolerance and diversity, nobody could have predicted the results.  In 2001, the Paper Clip Project culminated in a unique memorial that changed the lives of those who created it, as well as touching Holocaust survivors and countless communities.  Because Norwegians invented the paper clip and used it as a symbol of solidarity against the Nazis, students started collecting them to help them visualize such vast number of victims.  As word spread online and in the media, paper clips poured in from around the world, 11 million of which are enshrined in an authentic German railcar standing in the schoolyard.”  This documentary shows how even small town students and educators can teach the world powerful lessons.  Space is limited and reservations are requested by calling 973-226-2837.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone