It's time to hit the books

| 30 Aug 2012 | 12:06

— Time to wrap up the summer reading because school opens on Thursday.
And while parents and students are getting ready for the new school year, the West Milford Township Public Schools are finalizing preparations for the start of the new school year as well.
The school board affirmed appointments this week to fill some of the final vacant positions, including a new supervisor of science for grades K-12, an additional fourth grade teacher for Paradise Knoll School, a World Language teacher for Macopin Middle School, as well as encore teachers (formerly basic skills), special class aides, cafeteria aides and a mechanic. The district also filled a new position for a district-wide systems operation manager.
With the new district-wide full-day kindergarten program beginning this year, and the installation of a wireless data management system, called “RealTime,” up and running throughout the district, training has been ongoing for staff.
There is also a new superintendent of schools. Dr. James McLaughlin took over on July 1, 2012 after nearly two years of an interim superintendent.
“I have had a wonderful transition to the West Milford School District,” said McLaughlin in an email to the Messenger. “I have been very impressed with the dedicated work of our staff - maintenance workers, custodians, support staff, teachers and administrators. They take obvious pride in the district and in their work on behalf of our students. I am looking forward to witnessing instruction in action and meeting our students and their families.”
McLaughlin said he was excited about the full-day kindergarten program and anxious to extend the reader-writer workshop instructional mode to that program, giving students an early advantage to life-long literacy.
In his Superintendent’s Message posted on the district’s Web site,, McLaughlin said he is committed to a standard of excellence in education.
“I am extremely happy to join the dedicated members of the West Milford administration, teachers and support staff in this outstanding school district. I thank the Board of Education for their confidence in appointing me as superintendent and I look forward to working with our students, their families and the community of West Milford with a true commitment to a Standard of Excellence in Education.”
McLaughlin also said he looks forward to the The RealTime System being fully operational.
“(It) offers an ease of use, continued parent access to student records and will eventually provide both parents and educators with access to specialized records such as IEPs and Individual Student Assistance Plans,” he said. “Since it is a web-based system, this secure access will be available 24 hours/7 days per week. Although the parent portal will not be immediately available in September, we expect to have that ready for parent use by the end of the first marking period.”
Board of Education President Dave Richards said he is looking forward to the new year and the district's new programs.
“I am looking forward to the new year. The start of full time kindergarten and the installed new wireless system are a just a few things for this new school year,” he said via email to the Messenger.
The first day of school for all West Milford students is Thursday, Sept. 6.