MTPS October 7th, 2021 Update Marlboro Means Something!

Quarantine Lunches

MTPS recognizes how difficult this time is with COVID-19 and the variant. We have an incredible partnership with Chartwells Foodservice; as one of our District Fundamentals is to "Go The Extra Mile", Chartwells will be providing free lunches and snacks to students who are in quarantine for being a close contact or need to isolate.
If your child is in quarantine or needs to isolate due to COVID-19, and you would like to receive free lunches and snacks for the quarantine or isolation period, please email our Director of Dining Services at vpalmiero@mtps.org.
Please send an email to Vincent Palmiero when your child is finished with the quarantine or isolation period so that we can remove him/her from our foodservice list.
We can only provide lunches and snacks to MTPS students.
Chartwells Food Service will supply all meals and snacks for the week. All meals will be fully cooked but will need to be stored properly and reheated at home. Instructions will be provided with meals.
All pickups for lunches and snacks will be at the Marlboro Middle School (MMS) on County Road 520.
The specific timeframe for picking up food will be from 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. at door #35 at MMS.
If your entire family is in isolation from sickness or you have another extraordinary circumstance that would prevent you from picking up food, please let us know. We will go out of our way to accommodate you because that is what we do.
I want to take a moment and recognize Vincent Palmiero. Vinnie is the kind of person that leaves his own house on a weekend to deliver food to families in need. Vinnie, and his entire Chartwells Staff, truly exemplify each and every one of our District Fundamentals.

Letter to Governor Murphy

I wanted to take a moment and share the letter that was recently sent to Governor Murphy. Our MTPS Board of Education believed it was important to send the governor the facts about our district.
This journey began with our district mask survey. The language of the survey question was exceptionally clear and parents and guardians had a question followed by two options.
The question was straightforward and simple: Do you support the mandate requiring the wearing of masks in schools?
Yes, I support the mandate.
No, I do not support the mandate and would have preferred to be given the option to choose whether to wear masks in schools.

Clearing Up Mask Survey Misinformation

Our mask survey was completed for 4,508 students. As a factual reference, we currently have 4,514 students. That means that 99.9% of our possible population responded.
The results of our simple survey were quite clear. 66.4% of our parents/guardians supported the mandate, and 33.6% of our parents/guardians did not support the mandate. You may click the button below to see the results. (FYI - MTPS will not be updating this survey further.)
In "Speaking Straight", there are some members of the community who want to disseminate false information about the reliability and validity of our survey. These opinions are simply false. In respecting the right to an opinion, this argument is made by the community members who wanted choice of masks.
The reality is that our parents and guardians can read, process information, and select an opinion.
In my opinion, our parents and guardians did not rush through this survey, which took approximately 30 seconds to complete. Our parents and guardians pay attention to details. I just wanted to address this bit of misinformation that is being spread by select community members. Our survey results are valid and statistically significant.
The goal of our letter to Governor Murphy was to truly state the facts and let the governor know the viewpoints that have been raised in our community on both sides of the mask mandate.
MTPS did not advocate for change. The letter simply stated the wishes of our community.
Please click the button below to see the complete letter.

Current COVID-19 Dashboard

You may click the button below to access our latest MTPS COVID-19 Dashboard. We are trending in the correct direction. Please be vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Please keep any children (and siblings) home with signs or symptoms of COVID-19. In addition, if anyone in the home has a pending COVID-19 test, please also keep all family members home during this time. Please stay in close contact with your child's school nurse regarding any questions on isolation/quarantine.
In addition, while we are happy to provide masks to students in need, please supply your children with masks. District-issued masks should be reserved for emergencies.

Addressing Elephants

I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge how difficult this year is for everyone. Our staff is incredible and is working diligently to educate our children (that is not the elephant).
This year, we are seeing instances of disrespect and accusations being thrown at our district. Typically, if not always, these accusations are never followed by any evidence.

False Claims

I want to take a moment and address just some of the false claims that have been circulating online. I want our parents and guardians to know the truth behind these claims.
You may wonder why I am even addressing this concept; typically, I never address social media.
It's simple. I don't track or seek to address false claims made on social media. However, I don't want anyone to read false claims made without evidence and think there is any truth to these claims. Unsubstantiated claims tarnish our reputation and misrepresentations are difficult to refute once circulated. In MTPS, we follow the district fundamental of "Treasure, Protect, and Promote Our Reputation".
Too often, people get the wrong impression from reading misinformation. So, here are some false claims being circulated followed by actual explanations, which rarely happen online.
False Claim: The district and board members are not "transparent".
Fact: The district and schools communicate with our community on a regular basis, and we are always here to address your needs. In addition, board members hold discussions and vote in public.
Please note that there is never any actual evidence presented when someone claims a lack of "transparency." It is simply a consistent buzzword used when community members do not receive the answer they want. Each and every board of education meeting has been recorded for many years.
Please click the button below to see our board meeting videos that date back to February 7, 2012. There are over 230 videos that will show our board members being totally transparent and meeting in public.
False Claim: Parents (not politicians) should be making decisions for our students while serving on the board of education.
Fact: The administration is responsible for the day to day operations of the district. The Board of Education is responsible for ensuring that our district is well-run. Outside politicians of any kind are not involved in the operations of our district.
False Claim: The district does not have a phonics program.
Fact: The district does have a phonics program. MTPS utilizes Systematic Instruction in Phonological awareness, Phonics, & Sightwords (SIPPS). SIPPS is fully integrated and foundational to our entire suite of reading and writing programs. It is predicated upon best practices espoused in the latest report to the National Reading Panel.
False Claim: Our district did not cover our curriculum standards last year.
Fact: Our district has detailed pacing guides every year including last year. We take great pride in our pacing guides. If anyone would like to see our pacing guides, we will make time as a district. To date, no one has taken us up on our offer to meet. Notwithstanding, some members of the community continue to perpetuate this mistruth.
False Claim: We do not assess the academic needs of children; the curriculum is lacking.
Fact: Our entire philosophy of instruction is based upon ongoing assessment of students both formal and informal. The reality is our assessment plan and strategies are very strong. As a small example, please remember how we addressed the End of Year Mathematics Assessment last year. Every parent/guardian in grades 1-7 received a list of strengths and weaknesses by standard paired with support from Math IXL.
In addition, our district conducts a thorough examination of student achievement via the following: beginning of year assessments, end of year assessments, common assessments, state assessments, writing tasks, project-based assessments, and teacher-made assessments.
To claim we do not assess the academic needs of our students is simply a false claim. In addition, please click the button below to review our robust curriculum guides. To claim our curriculum is "lacking" is simply a false allegation made without any evidence. One click of the button below will show our robust curricula that is updated annually.
False Claim: We did not prepare our teachers for remote learning.
Fact: Our district trained each and every teacher on the hardware and software needed to be successful in a virtual environment. We will in no way state that last year was the year that anyone wanted, but to claim we did not train our staff is simply untrue.
In addition, the district provided teachers with new laptops, carts with an extra monitor, and a digital tablet in order to provide a seamless transition to the virtual landscape. Lastly, the district specifically trained staff members on all online programs such as Zoom, Kami, and WeVideo, to name a few.
False Claim: MTPS is not fiscally responsible. MTPS is using ESSER funds to offset our cuts in state-aid.
Fact: ESSER funds are the extra monies awarded to school districts as a direct result of COVID-19. These funds are above and beyond a district's typical annual budget. The MTPS budget for 2021-2022 was constructed without the consideration of ESSER funds. MTPS is using ESSER funds for allowable uses under the law. The district is NOT using these extra funds to bridge a shortfall in our local budget. If anyone would like to hear about our ESSER plans, please either attend our next BOE meeting in person on October 26, 2021, or watch it on our YouTube channel.
False Claim: Our district has a severe budget deficit with the upcoming state-aid cuts.
Fact: Our district has never had a budget deficit.
Districts that operate in a budget deficit are assigned a monitor by the State of New Jersey and are under corrective action. Our district has navigated cuts to state-aid without compromising programming or staffing.
False Claim: Our administration sends "mean and condescending emails that lack respect".
Fact: Some of our other district fundamentals are to "Be Kind" and to "Never Be Hurtful or Disrespectful". All district communications are professional and respectful.
In "Speaking Straight", some community members just do not like our answers to questions at times. Please know that MTPS values respectful interactions with our parents, guardians, and community. If you ever feel you have had a disrespectful exchange with a staff member, please feel free to contact me at ehibbs@mtps.org so that you can provide me with the exchange and that we can investigate accordingly.

What To Do If You Have A Question About the District

For any questions or concerns, please reach out following the chain of command. We will always be happy to help you.
If you encounter a false claim, please look hard to see if there is any evidence presented with this claim. Accusations should be presented with evidence.
Please know that our district does not profess to be perfect. Another district fundamental is to "Continuously Improve All Things". We consider each and every suggestion for improvement. In fact, many changes have originated from suggestions that came from the community.
Please know that we are here to work for you and with you. Members of our district are here for you literally around the clock. We respond on nights, weekends, and even on holidays. That is who we are; Marlboro Staff Mean Something.
Only by working together as a community will we navigate these very difficult times. I have said it before and I will say it again. We must be Marlboro Strong together - Regardless of positions on masking, COVID-19, etc.
Sincerely - Eric - MTPS Superintendent
Created By
Eric Hibbs