Dear Cresskill Community,
First of all, I hope that everyone enjoyed a happy and restful break surrounded by family, friends, and joy! It is hard to believe that only three days ago I began as your new superintendent. In my first days, I have been very busy as I learned about the needs and priorities of the administrative team. At this point, I have met with each of them, and I look forward to working with them to bring Cresskill into the next chapter. Additionally, I was excited to welcome and meet many of our students as they returned back in the New Year. Today, I even received my first "Hi Dr. Hughes" in the middle/high school. It made my day to already be recognized! I plan to continue being a visible and involved member of each school in the district. If you see me at car drop-off, a basketball game, or around the campus, I hope that you feel comfortable to say hello as relationships are one component that makes Cresskill special.
In addition to my first experiences, I wanted to provide a brief update about some items in the district that might be of interest. I believe in both transparency and keeping you informed.
- Middle/High School Water Management: Due to the inclement weather this week, we have reconstructed the Muscle Wall (water barrier) to provide some protection from possible high water issues at the high school. We also learned that the wall can withstand freezing temperatures. Therefore, we will be leaving it constructed until more permanent solutions are put into place. Our highest priority is to keep our students in school and to protect the building.
- Board Reorganization: We had our first board meeting of the new year (Agenda), which was the reorganization meeting. Congratulations go out to returning board members Michael DePalo and Dionna Griffin on their successful reelection to the board as well as to Suzanne Joshi, who is our newly elected board member. Also, congratulations to Denise Villani and Mary Klein for their appointment as board president and vice president. Board members serve an important governance role for the community as unpaid volunteers who together with the superintendent, serve as the governance team. I appreciate their willingness and dedication to serving the children of Cresskill.
- Meet the Superintendent Event (Thursday evening at 7PM in the Middle/High School Cafeteria): I am hosting a meet and greet tomorrow evening if you would like to come out and meet me in person. I will have coffee, light snacks, and a short presentation for those that wish to attend. There is also an opportunity for a question and answer session.
- Request for Feedback: As I begin my time in Cresskill, I wanted to offer parents, students, and staff an opportunity to share input about Cresskill Schools. I will use this information to help understand and plan for short-term and long-term goals within the district. Feedback from all is welcome. Here is the link to the survey.
- Elementary Standards Based Report Cards: Teachers are currently entering grades, and they will be released in mid-January. Mr. Roth and his curriculum team are commended on their job in this area. The report cards are designed to provide parents with more detailed information about the specific standards and behaviors that support learning. Instead of one grade per subject area, they offer more detailed information about standards, behavioral information, and include an area for comments from the teachers, to offer greater insight to parents about student performance. It is our hope that these report cards become an informative tool for parents and teachers to have more detailed feedback about student progress.
As we move forward, you can expect periodic updates of important events at the district level. As always, I welcome any questions going forward as we serve our students together!
Dr. Peter J. Hughes
Superintendent of Schools