Final preparations for the first day of classes on September 6 in Vineland Public Schools are underway, according to Alfonso Llano, Superintendent of Schools.
Teachers will report on Thursday, Sept. 1 for opening meetings. Schools will have open houses for new students throughout the last week of August and the first week of September. Times and dates can be found on our website, www.vineland.org, or on social media.
On Sept. 2, staff workshops are scheduled as the district's 2,000 employees prepare for the Sept. 6 arrival of the 10,800 students in preschool through grade 12.
Many of the district’s schools will be under new administration this year, following the retirements of several key staff members, along with the addition of a second assistant principal at each middle school.
There are two new principals this year: Rafael Maysonet at Veterans Memorial Middle School and Roselyn Feliciano at Wallace Middle School. Hope Johnson is now principal of Johnstone Middle School, which will be welcoming its first sixth-grade class this fall. Kristen Speakman also begins her first full year as principal at Winslow Elementary School.
There are also five new assistant principals: James Pierce at Pilla Middle School, Nicole Oshenic at Veterans Memorial, Brian Newton and Jorge Garcia at Wallace, and Heather Johnson at Winslow.
Uniforms are required for students in all grades. The uniform policy is available from this quick link: http://bit.ly/2ly15nl
The district's facilities department is always exceptionally busy resolving maintenance issues in the schools during the summer months, and this year has been no different, according to Paul Farinaccio, Executive Director of Facilities. There have been several major projects happening across the district these last few months.
One of the biggest and most exciting tasks this summer included completing phase one of the district’s HVAC project initiative. Vineland committed close to sixteen million dollars, which will be allocated towards four HVAC renovations at Durand, Mennies, Barse, and Winslow Elementary Schools. The improvements will include replacement systems for each building incorporating all of the newest technologies, including components like high-level filtration, air monitoring, and ultraviolet disinfecting, which will be standard.
This summer, Durand and Mennies installed a large part of each system. At Winslow, a new system was installed in part of the building (2000 addition). Phase two of Winslow still has yet to be bid out and is planned for the summer of 2023. This will complete the entire building. Barse is slated to start this coming year in preparation for a full summer renovation.
Included in the first and second wave of Cares Act funding, Vineland continued to remain aggressive in choosing capital projects that were sorely needed. In the first wave of ESSER II funding, Vineland bid out windows for Rossi, D'Ippolito, and Barse. These renovations also include some "storefront" glass as well as new window shades. This will improve overall aesthetics and functionality and increase the district's energy savings initiative. Recently, the district approved additional window projects at the high schools. VHS North (Tanner) and VHS South (V Wing) will receive all new windows and shades.
Vineland High School completed two major projects: restoration of the VHS track and the addition of a greenhouse in V-Wing.
The VHS track served our teams and students well for twelve years and was resurfaced this summer. The district worked with ATT Sports and recoated the track, painted new lines, and added "start lanes.” A new anti-fade encapsulation was included in the process, which should provide many years of vivid color throughout the track.
As part of Vineland's agricultural curriculum, a component of our Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, a new greenhouse was constructed at the end of V-Wing. This is the second part of a planned renovation for the agricultural initiative. Last year, two rooms were renovated to accommodate the program. One room will be used for the agricultural sciences with an attached 2000-square-foot greenhouse. The second room was outfitted for Life Skills and also includes a smaller greenhouse to meet their educational needs. This new greenhouse will include the modernized systems used in everyday agricultural manufacturing. Climate regulation is a vital part of any greenhouse system and this building will contain an environmental control system that uses irrigation, auto venting, and sun shading to achieve optimum growing conditions.
VPS is committed to the safety and security of all of our schools and will begin replacing old camera systems within a four-phase district-wide initiative. Phase one of the project will include a new system for our high and middle schools. The work will be done over the course of this coming school year. All new wiring, cameras, and a modernized control system are included within the scope of work. The district plans on facilitating phases two and three for the summer of 2023. The district also utilized a grant in the amount of $540,000 for new security and card access systems. Currently, the district is almost completely changed over to the new burglar systems. All interior wiring was completed for both systems throughout the district. We are hopeful to have all of the new burglar alarm systems online and active for Alyssa's Law Compliancy. Each building will have emergency buttons for direct notification to the police department.
Finally, D'Ippolito School will be outfitted with a new roof replacement by the end of this summer. The 76,000-square-foot building received a full rubberized roof along with increased insulation, metal coping, and trim. The district is planning to go out for bid on Rossi's roofing system. This project will be planned for the summer of 2023.