At the most recent North Bergen Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. George Solter announced developments underway for North Bergen’s School District.
PARCC issues resolved
At the end of December 2018, a New Jersey Appellate Court struck down a state Department of Education ruling, which required students to pass the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams in order to graduate from high school.
Prior to being struck down at the end of 2018, students needed to pass the 11th grade PARCC exam in order to legally graduate from high school.
According to Solter, a number of high school students who opted out of or did not pass PARCC exams in 11th grade took the exam again as seniors. Thanks to the new ruling,their graduations will not be contingent on the results of the test.
“The exam was given to students who were not successful before,” Solter said. He explained that the requirement was now invalidated, and there was little cause for alarm among those whose graduation was placed on the line by a former state law.
“A lot of parents are concerned that their kids won’t graduate,” Solter said. “Some are in their senior year now, and didn’t take the test in their junior year. Everyone will graduate, that’s no longer an issue.”
Passing the PARCC exam was first introduced as a mandate for New Jersey students’ graduation in 2016, and was immediately opposed by activist groups. PARCC exams will still be administered in North Bergen’s district, despite not being a required for graduation in the state.
Regarding the $60 million bond issue the high school received, Solter said that the Board of Ed has begun the process of hiring advisers for the many planned facets of development. This initiative was among other first steps in what Solter called “North Bergen High School 2.0.”
The former High Tech campus was purchased by North Bergen High School after the approval of a $60 million bond ordinance. The ordinance paved the way for a project to acquire the former High Tech High School and allow North Bergen High School to divide into two parts.
“We’re going to start holding brief meetings about the new school, and we’ve hired a court team for the project,” Solter said. “We’re going to have separate teams for all the subsets of what we need to do. We’ll be going to all schools in the district, talking with the public about how the project will affect the schools and the children of North Bergen.”
When and where these public meetings will be taking place has yet to be announced.
Meanwhile, Hudson County Schools of Technology still runs adult high school and GED testing programs inside the former High Tech High School.
According to Solter, North Bergen High School will provide the administrative oversight in the county’s adult high school programs in the 2019-2020 school year. “Hudson County Schools of Technology will be the one employing the teachers, but we will be running the program as we do construction down below,” Solter said. “We want to be able to control what’s going on inside our classrooms.”