Summer literacy initiative will assist Freehold pupils

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By Matthew Sockol
Staff Writer

FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District is entering into a collaboration to assist pupils who are struggling in language arts.

On May 8, the Board of Education granted approval for a collaboration among the school district, the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County. The three entities will work together to run the Early Grade Reading Summer Literacy Initiative.

According to the board, district personnel will assist in identifying, engaging and enrolling kindergarten through second grade pupils who are the most at risk of sliding in their reading level during the summer and are determined to be reading at or below grade level.

“At risk” is defined by a combination of academic reading level and economic need, according to district administrators.

District personnel will also share pre- and post-language arts assessments of the pupils; recommend a language arts curriculum YMCA staff can use during the summer program as well as provide technical assistance and support of the program design as needed; provide feedback, guidance and evaluation about the program’s implementation; and engage in open communication throughout the grant process and program implementation, according to the board.

In other business, the board approved a contract renewal with Pomptonian food service company for the 2017-18 school year.

According to the board, Pomptonian will receive an administrative/management fee of $40,370 that will be billed in 10 monthly installments of $4,037. Pomptonian guarantees the district a minimum profit of $40,000 for the 2017-18 school year.

Board members awarded a $17,800 contract to All Green Lawn and Landscaping for landscaping services at the Park Avenue complex, which houses the Park Avenue Elementary School and the Freehold Intermediate School.

All Green Lawn and Landscaping received the contract after submitting the lowest responsible bid, according to the board. All Jersey Ponds Landscaping submitted a bid of $20,500.

District administrators determined there is an operational need for lawn mowing and field maintenance at the Park Avenue complex through December.

Finally, the board reappointed district staff members for the 2017-18 school year. As noted at a previous meeting during which the 2017-18 budget was adopted, administrators were able to prevent personnel layoffs for the upcoming school year.