By JULIA BONAVITACOLA
For The Union County HAWK
CLARK — Clark Superintendent Ed Grande announced on Monday that masks will become a matter of personal choice for the district’s students, faculty and staff as of Monday, March 7. The announcement came during a regular meeting of the Clark Board of Education, held in-person at the high school.
Clark’s decision came just hours after Governor Phil Murphy announced his intentions to end the statewide mandate as of March 7.
Superintendent Grande gave his report at the start of the meeting. He said that the board of education was intent on following state mandates when it came to masking in schools.
“In light of today’s announcement from the governor, masks will become optional as of Monday, March 7,” said Superintendent Grande.
Clark schools will adhere to the mask mandate until the mandate is lifted next month.
Superintendent Grande also gave a brief summary on the Start Strong Assessment results. The Start Strong Assessment is separated into three test results: more support needed, some support needed and less support needed in the three tested subjects. The district is aiming to have more students in the “less support needed” category on average, Superintendent Grande said.
Thirty percent of Clark’s student body tested into the “more support needed” category, averaged across the exam’s three tested areas: language arts, math and science. Thirty-one percent of the district fell under the category of “some support needed” and thirty-eight percent tested into the “less support needed” group.
Superintendent Grande said that the assessment was very detailed and gave teachers specific subjects, like the Pythagorean theorem or citing textual evidence, to go over with their classes after the test. The teachers are working with advisors to put the results of this assessment into their curriculum.
Philip Brennan, the student representative for Arthur L. Johnson High School, gave updates on school events in town. The annual Cruising Through Winter event will be held on Wednesday, February 23. Flyers will be sent for pre-registration as seating will be limited. At Valley Road, the Me and My Guy dance and Me and My Gal dance will be held on Fridays, February 11 and February 18, respectively. These events allow a student to bring a special adult to a dance. The adult can be a parent, family member or family friend.
High-school registration will begin on Tuesday, February 15, for current eighth graders. “The Kumpf guidance counselors will notify parents of their appointment time and link to registration,” said Mr. Brennan. Any further questions should be directed to the guidance counselor.
The Kumpf PTA will host candy bingo night on Thursday, February 17, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets should be bought beforehand as seats are limited. The end of the marking period has passed and report cards should be released this week.
The next board of education meeting will be held on Monday, March 7, at 7 p.m.
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