A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

School Board Elections and Select HS Students to Focus on Biomed, Business, and the Arts

Aberdeen Township residents will be voting in school board elections on 21 April 2009. Behind the scenes, candidates have their own busy schedule. They have to get their election kits, file nominating petitions, post signs on neighbors' lawns, gather at neighbors' homes, and raise funds to pay for lawn signs and other advertising. For our part,residents will be getting ads in the mail and seeing feature articles in the local newspapers. The new board members will be sworn in in late April or early May. Take an interest in your candidates. Once you decide on your favorites, be sure to support their campaigns in any way you are able and please remember to vote. Even if you don't have children in the schools, you have both the civic right and responsibility to support the local educational system.

As for the local schools, this fall the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional High School will be launching what it calls career academies. Students wanting to focus on the biomedical sciences, business, or the performing arts must apply by 12 February to become candidates for this upcoming academic year. (Applications and other information available here.) Candidates will be selected by a special committee based on their academic performance in eighth and ninth grades. Performing arts students will be required to audition. An Asbury Park Press article on 19 January 2009 provides more details. (Since APP tends to take its articles offline after a time, I've copied the text here for your convenience.)

ABERDEEN — An open house for students and parents interested in three new career academies to begin at Matawan Regional High School next school year will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the school auditorium, 450 Atlantic Ave.

Biomedical science, performing arts and business academies are designed to make students more competitive in the job market and increase attendance at four-year colleges. The new programs, which will start in 2009-10 school year, are part of a state education plan to change the teaching methods in New Jersey's high schools.

The biomedical science academy is geared toward students who are already high achievers in math and science and have an interest in the medical field.

The performing arts academy focuses on artistic students with musical, stage and dance talents and interests.

As for the business academy, it appeals to students with an interest in college business programs or a business profession.

Career academies are small, specialized learning environments within a high school that select a subset of students and teachers. Starting in the ninth grade, students will take core classes such as English, social studies and world languages. Students also will take courses that are specific to a chosen academy, such as biomedical technology, speech for theater majors or business computer applications. Students get the opportunity to earn college credits. Internships are offered during junior and senior years.

A special committee will decide which students are accepted in the academies based on their academic performance in eighth and ninth grades. Standardized test scores, an audition (performing arts academy), teacher recommendations and grade point averages will be used in the selection process.

For more information about the academies, call high school Principal Michele Ruscavage or Margaret DeLuca, director of secondary school accountability, at (732) 705-5355.


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