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Editorial - 97aug28

Best Wishes for the New School Year;
Drivers Urged to Be Watchful of Kids

On Wednesday, September 3, students in Westfield, Scotch Plains and Fanwood will be returning to their classrooms with the usual anticipation, coupled with regret that the carefree days of summer are once again behind them.

This year, in addition to new teachers, classmates and grade levels, many Westfield students also will be attending new schools through redistricting measures which were implemented to relieve overcrowding at Franklin and Tamaques Elementary Schools.

As a result of this redistricting, approximately 175 students will be taking new routes to their schools. Eighty children from "the Gardens," an area north of Mountain Avenue at the Mountainside border, will be crossing Mountain Avenue en route to Wilson Elementary School on Linden Avenue.

Students from this section of the town formerly attended Franklin School on Prospect Street.

In addition, nearly 100 other children have been redistricted from Tamaques School on Willow Grove Road to Jefferson Elementary School on Boulevard.

While many safety measures have been enacted in conjunction with the redistricting, we remind all area motorists to use extra caution on the roads, now that school will be back in session, and to be particularly aware that there will be many young children who will be traveling new routes for the first time.

As a general rule, parents are advised to review traffic safety rules with their children and to practice the route a young child will take, especially if he or she is starting school for the first time or if they will be attending a new school.

The 1997-1998 school year promises to be an auspicious one for both the Westfield and the Scotch Plains-Fanwood school districts. In Westfield, 12 new classrooms, six each at Wilson and Jefferson Schools, were recently constructed to ease overcrowding at Franklin and Tamaques.

Ready to use, they are handicapped accessible and equipped with energy efficient windows and hookups for computer networking. Sixty other projects throughout the district also have either been completed or are near done, and others are expected to be finished during the school year.

Among the pending projects are plans to fully automate school libraries; introduction of an interactive television program and other technological enhancements designed to help prepare Westfield students for the 21st century.

In Scotch Plains-Fanwood, activities related to the district’s Strategic Plan are expected to get underway, including development of district assessment standards and the establishment of a Standardized Testing Action Team to develop a comprehensive plan for assessing students’ progress.

In addition, the process of developing district content standards in all academic disciplines will be concluded, also in conjunction with the Strategic Plan.

A special education class for students displaying symptoms of developmental delays or autism is scheduled to open in the district. A Professional Development Committee comprised of members of the teaching staff also will be established, and the district’s five-year cyclical review process will unfold.

Two modular classrooms each will be added at Evergreen and Coles Elementary Schools and at Elementary School One, which are expected to be in use by early 1998.

We wish all students, teachers, staff and administrators in the Westfield and Scotch Plains-Fanwood school districts a safe, happy and successful year ahead.

Copyright 1997
TheWestfield Leader.
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