New programs are moving in right direction as school year has begun

New plans for the school year and the first meeting for a new member were among the highlights during the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, September 13.

During the bi-monthly meeting that was held in the Media Center at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Superintendent Bob Beers presented an update of the opening week of all 11 schools in the district.

He addressed two newly implemented programs at the Bridgewater-Raritan High School—the Block Rotation Schedule and the Unit Lunch.

While the new formats have been in place for less than one week, Superintendent Beers shared with all in attendance at the board of education meeting that there are positive signs of improvement each day and that both programs have the potential to be highly successful as the school year moves forward.

“Our biggest initiative is the Block Rotation Schedule. Every student now has six classes rather than eight classes,” Superintendent Beers explained. “This rotating schedule lightens the workload and now there are fewer assignments with just six classes versus eight.”

He also reported on the positive benefits that the Unit Lunch will provide.

“Kids now have more options,” Superintendent Beers said. “Yes, a change in routine is a challenge, but now kids can eat lunch with their friends. It is a known fact that people are the most productive when they have a friend at work or at school.”

He also revealed how the new lunch program will enable students to “have access to clubs and activities. And they can go and enjoy the gym and play basketball and games or just sit and hang with their friends.”

His opinion of the strong character of the Bridgewater-Raritan High student will only assist in this transition.

“You can’t do this at every school, but we have great kids here. And this helps with their transition to college.”

Any rumors of overcrowding during the lunch period were squashed.

“We have been diligent in ensuring that there is not any overcrowding. I commend our high school administration and faculty on how they are handling this.”

He concluded:

“Each day is getting better and better.”

He then changed course and discussed the Referendum that will be placed before the general public on March 14, 2023.

The District-Wide Facilities Renovation Program is being proposed in two questions.

Question No. 1 has Zero Tax Impact and will provide capital projects, site upgrades and classroom renovations at the district schools. 

Question No. 2 has Tax Impact and will provide additions to the Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School that will allow for a 6th grade realignment and free up space at the primary schools to allow for the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program.

“We have a major referendum coming up and will give us upgrades throughout the district,” Superintendent Beers said. “And another exciting part is that the referendum will provide space for a full-day kindergarten.”

Michael Pepe sat in his first meeting as a member of the board of education. He will fill the vacated seat that represents Raritan Borough. He replaced the one-year unexpired term of Lucy Sandler, who retired as a member.

 “I am honored to serve on the Bridgewater-Raritan Board of Education.” said Pepe, who revealed his interest in education is a result of his profession as a 5th grade teacher in Hunterdon County’s Lebanon Township.

A moment of silence was held by the board of education to observe the passing of a recent high school graduate and the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Shea Colbert, 20, who graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan High School in 2021, was killed in a car accident in Ithaca, N.Y., during the morning of September 10. He was a sophomore at Ithaca College.

The anniversary of the 9-11 attacks was this past Sunday, September 11.