Final exams to not be administered


Ilmie Xhaferi

The Board of Education held its virtual meeting Monday night on Zoom. At the meeting, it was announced that there will not be a final exam period at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Director of Curriculum Barry Bachenheimer said that there will not be a final exam period at the end of the 2019-2020 school year during the Board of Education’s virtual meeting Monday night held on Zoom.

“We have decided that because of the challenges of remote learning, there will not be a final exam period as there is traditionally with face-to face-learning,” Bachenheimer said.

Bachenheimer said each subject department will be able to choose if it will administer a project, portfolio, or smaller skill assessment at the end of the year. Teachers will announce their choice to students if they have not already.

District Superintendent Erik Gundersen also said that a virtual graduation ceremony will take place “no matter what.” Each graduate and immediate family will be able to participate in a parade on June 16. The district is planning for a socially distant ceremony on the football field when New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and local health offices allow for it to take place.

“We do not have many details at this time for this event, but we hope to provide something close to a traditional ceremony for our graduates,” Gundersen said. “We have built in seating where people can see the ceremony from the bleachers. That’s going to be a project that is a little bit in the limbo right now as a result of some of the conversation we had last week.”

An online summer class for financial literacy was also approved at the meeting.

“It’s a pass fail course like our current blended financial literacy course, and the only difference is it will be 100% remote,” said Joe Orlak, the supervisor of social studies, business, and physical education.

A pilot course for geometry was approved for the 2020-2021 school year as well. Mathematics supervisor Mark Russo said to ensure courses are “appealing” to students, the math department is taking a look at its focus but will not change the curriculum or the standards.

“We want to take a look at the essential concepts and incorporate more tasks that are low floor and high ceilings so that more students can engage with more material,” Russo said. “We want to take a harder look at our instruction and see how we can better differentiate to meet students’ needs.”

District English supervisor Valerie Mattessich said that the English department updated the book curriculum, and an in-person or virtual oral assessment will be conducted in September for summer reading.

“The books are put together and around a theme that leads directly into the curriculum of that English focus,” Mattessich said. “We linked to either Common Sense Media, Amazon, and or Goodreads reviews so that all the parents and students can be fully informed as to what the book’s content is.”