• September 22, 2022

    Good Evening East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    I want to provide clarification on our current COVID protocols for both students and staff:

    If they test positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status, or have COVID symptoms that their doctor has not diagnosed as something other than COVID: 

    1. Notify your school’s nurse and stay home for at least 5 full days
    2. If symptoms are resolving after 5 days and they are fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medication) for 24 hours, they can return to school AND:

    We recommend, but will not require, wearing a mask when around others at school and in public for an additional 5 days (including participation in any extracurricular activities). 

    Students will not be isolated for lunch or other activities upon their return to school.

    Finally, we are doing everything humanly possible to correct every school bus issue, every day.  I know some of our community are extremely frustrated and I don’t blame you.  You need to know we are encountering new problems each day as we deal with driver illnesses and associated absences.  Please be kind to our drivers.  They are doing everything to ensure every student is safely transported.

    September 13, 2022

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with transportation updates. 

    By now, some of you have seen improvements in transportation of your children to school but we have had far too many buses running late, especially for arrival in the morning.  

    Missing valuable instructional time is unacceptable but we have been working diligently throughout each day and evening to develop solutions that get your children into school on time.

    As of this afternoon, our Transportation Department has logistically improved a number of morning bus routes so we are hopeful you will see that improvement tomorrow, as well.

    Because of these changes, we are asking that your child be at their assigned bus stop 15 minutes before their scheduled pickup time.

    I know this has been a difficult situation for families and I sincerely appreciate your understanding as we work through each day.

    September 9, 2022

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with a few updates.

    We have successfully completed our first week of the 2022-2023 school year!  Check out our East Brunswick Public Schools Facebook site for some of the great things happening this week.

    I wish everyone a great weekend and we will see you next week.

     

    Transportation Insights…

    We continue to work through problems with some of our contracted bus providers.  

    • Resignations of a significant number of contracted drivers, with no advance notice to East Brunswick Public School Transportation, caused our initial problem.

    Other issues we resolved this week are:

    • Contracted drivers arriving up to one hour late in East Brunswick to begin their routes.
    • Contracted drivers reacting unprofessionally and discourteous to parents at bus stops. 
    • Contracted drivers unfamiliar with their routes.

     

    What We Are Doing About Transportation Issues…

    • The following prioritized cascade of transportation categories is utilized as we sort issues for resolution: 
    1. Special Education 
    2. General Education
    3. Athletic
    • A number of individualized special education busing concerns were resolved yesterday, Thursday, September 8th.
    • Transportation management has filled in to drive some bus routes.
    • Our Transportation Office has been staffed with additional personnel to answer phones.  Calls vary in importance and priority and we intentionally organize our responses in priority sequence.
    • We have taken an overflow of calls in the Superintendent’s Office
    • We are in the process of returning every phone call and even those who have emailed are being called back.
    • Transportation has been getting new quotes for our runs that remain unfilled. 
    • We are already working on transportation solutions for next year and beyond.

     

    September 7, 2022

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools with a transportation update.

    These are the things we have done since last night to improve our bus route efficiency and communication:

    Arrival at Hammarskjold Upper Elementary School (HUES) and Churchill Junior High School (CJHS) was substantially better today.   We anticipated that students, new to these schools, would need a few days to develop their routines.

    By now dismissal bus locations have been reviewed with staff and students again so everyone can get more familiar with their bus locations for dismissal.  

    HUES and CJHS students will be permitted more time to navigate to their buses at dismissal today.

    Driver shortages have impacted our ability to transport CJHS student athletes to the high school for practice, but we are working on it.  Today’s practice was canceled but we have already begun to reschedule some sports’ practices on the CJHS site.

    We have been and continue to secure quotes for buses on our uncovered routes.  We are making progress but expect that we will not have everything resolved this week.  Of course, I’ll report better news if I have it this week.  Your reported bus safety issues remain our highest priority and we are resolving them first.

    Be assured, once we have your concern, it already is a priority for my team.  We will communicate with you timely when we are aware that any bus may run later than scheduled.  

     

     

    September 6, 2022

    Good Evening East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.  

    Unfortunately, some parts of our transportation today did not go as planned but it was not for lack of planning.  We use both our own bus fleet and drivers along with contracted bus companies and their drivers.  Late Friday, we were notified that driver shortages among some of our contracted providers would impact some of our regular and athletic/after school bus routes.

    I understand your frustration.  Please know that fixing transportation issues is our immediate priority and we are working diligently to make it better by tomorrow.  We have added additional resources to answer transportation phones tomorrow because I know some of you were unable to get through today.

    The issues we are dealing with tonight are unprecedented but be assured we are dealing with each situation until every child is safely home.

    Tonight has been further complicated by an auto accident with road closures.  It does not involve any EB students.   

     

    August 18, 2022

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools.

    I would like to provide a few updates and school opening guidance as we approach our first day of school which is Tuesday, September 6th.  Student information forms that need to be completed annually are now available through Parent Access. 

    All forms must be submitted no later than Wednesday, August 31st.  If you do not have internet access, please reach out to your child’s school for assistance. 

    On Friday, August 26th at 3 PM, student schedules and teacher assignments will begin opening through Parent Access. This process may take up to 10 minutes for your child’s school.

    Just a reminder, the district’s new school hours begin September 6, 2022.  This is the culmination of an eight-year effort to adopt healthier start times for students. 

    Grades K-6 will start at 9:00 AM and conclude at 3:35 PM

    Grades 7-12 will start at 8:00 AM and conclude at 2:45 PM

    Pre-K start and end time information will be sent to families with children in those programs.

    As we enter the new school year, I’ll be sharing all our accomplishments over the summer.  Our project list was extensive but worth all the effort.  We know you likely chose East Brunswick because of the schools and we are committed to making sure we deliver the highest educational value for your investment.

    Thank you for making East Brunswick Public Schools your education destination!  

    I hope you enjoy the remaining weeks of summer break.

     

    August 4, 2022

    Good Afternoon East Brunswick Community,

    This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with important clarification information regarding our approved school budget.

    During the 2022-2023 budget presentations, we reported that our overall budgeted school tax levy would decrease by more than $1 million for our General Fund and Debt Service Fund combined. That fact remains accurate.  The General Fund tax levy remains flat and the Debt Service Fund tax levy is less than the prior year’s budget.

    The process of how this translates into a tax bill is not as easy to follow and may be misunderstood.  To assist in providing some clarity, we have posted an analysis on the district website to break down each year’s budgeted tax levy for the past several years and illustrate how those tax levies are reflected in the tax bills issued by the municipality. You can view that information on the district website at www.ebnet.org by selecting the “Understanding School Taxes” Useful Link located on the lower left side of our home page.

    In Calendar Year 2021, you will note that the community was not taxed for the full amount of debt service that year. As a result of this oversight, the school tax portion to be raised for the 2021 calendar year remained mostly flat when compared to the 2020 Calendar Year. The Board of Education is covering the amount due without an impact to the community.

    I wanted to share this information with you to ensure that you have correct information related to your school taxes.

    I hope you are enjoying these remaining summer days and we look forward to welcoming our students back in September.