Mt. Olive Online Publication December 28 2020
Mt. Olive Online Publication December 28 2020
By Cheryl Conway
The cars kept coming Wednesday morning, July 29, at the back-parking lot of Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake to pick up some free groceries provided by the Morris County Table of Hope program out of Morristown.
Held from 10 a.m. to noon, Mt. Olive Twp. partnered with the county program to provide fresh produce, canned goods, non-perishables and even some dairy. Table of Hope is a program of the Spring Street Community Development Corporation in Morristown.
With the help from more than 45 volunteers to help unload the delivery bus, sort the groceries, then fill the cars, the operation went quite smoothly.
“I think the day went well,” says Teresa Williams, executive director of Spring Street CDC. “There was a strong group of volunteers that really worked hard to pull everything together.”
Williams worked closely with Lisa Brett, special projects coordinator and mayor’s assistant, to organize the free food giveaway.
“Lisa was able to bring all the people and resources which made for a great day,” says Williams, whose husband, Rev. Dr. Sydney S. Williams Jr. of Bethel Church in Morristown, founded the organization, including its newest project Table of Hope, a mobile food pantry that began in 2013. A school bus, contributed by a generous donor, distributes food to various locations and pantries throughout Morris County.
At the recent event at Turkey Brook Park, Williams says “We had 85 cars,” that drove thru for food that morning. Food included fresh bread, such as assorted bagels; dairy of milk and butter; dry goods such as boxes of macaroni and cheese, as well as pancake mix; canned items such as beans; stalks of corn straight from the field; fresh cabbage; bags of frozen chicken wings; and grapefruit juice.
Attendees received six bags of groceries with a value estimating approximately “$50 for the full set of groceries.”
The last few cars trickled in around 11:15 a.m., leaving an abundance of food that was then donated to feed others in Mt. Olive.
“We left produce, meats/dairy, bread, canned and dried goods for a 100 families with the Mt Olive Pantry,” adds Williams, who says the Table of Hope bus had been stocked to serve 200 families for the Mt. Olive event.
Volunteers throughout the Mt. Olive community, and outside the town, came out on the sunny, hot day to help. Each wore a mask and gloves. Some were individuals, others were from various churches and businesses such as “Mt. Olive Online,” Revive Studios, the Mt. Olive Public Library, Mt. Olive Twp. Business Administrator Andrew Tatarenko, Councilman Greg Stewart and EDGE N.J. in Morris Plains.
Local businesses also helped as far as donations.
“The local businesses that helped was Alstede Farms in Chester, Ace Hardware Chester, TD Bank Flanders, Tronex Mount Olive, ShopRite Flanders and Padded Wagon,” says Brett.
Primary donations that provide food to Table of Hope is the Community Food Bank of N.J., says Williams. Other donations come from local markets and farmers.
For those who would like to donate to the Table of Hope or for more information, visit www.springstreetcdc.org/table-of-hope
By Cheryl Conway
The community is encouraged to attend the next Mt. Olive Board of Education meeting at the end of the month to provide input on a newly proposed employment contract for the district’s superintendent.
The public hearing on the proposed contract is set to be held Monday, Aug. 31, at 6:30 p.m., at the Mt. Olive Middle School in Budd Lake. The regular BOE meeting of Aug. 24 has been changed to the following Monday. Public notice is posted on the Mt. Olive School District website under BOE and was also announced at the last Mt. Olive Township Council meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 4, by Councilman Daniel Amianda, liaison to the Mt. Olive BOE.
The BOE is seeking community input before it votes that evening on the proposed contract of Mt. Olive Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Zywicki. The contract was still under negotiations and not yet made public as of press time.
The full meeting agenda will be made available the Friday before the meeting, as is customary. The BOE will be taking action on Zywicki’s contract which has already been altered once since he was hired in 2018.
This is the third contract for Zywicki in 20 months, which some may consider unusual since contracts are typically five years in duration.
Zywicki’s first contract, Oct. 2018 through June 2023, was passed as part of the 2019/2020 budget with an annual base salary of $196,584.
In 2019, he negotiated for a new contract: July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024, with the same base salary of $196,584, passed as part of the 2020-2021 budget.
According to Lynn Jones, Mt. Olive Twp. School District’s board secretary and assistant business administrator, “the state had placed a salary cap on superintendent's pay. That is why Dr. Zywicki's salary was the same for both years. He received the maximum allowable salary in both contracts. The superintendent salary cap was abolished last July.”
Because the salary cap was abolished, Jones confirms that Zywicki is allowed to go beyond that salary cap if approved in a new contract.
Contracts do include other criteria such as bonuses, vacation days, benefits, insurance, retirement and allowances.
Mt. Olive BOE President Anthony Giordano did not respond to inquiries before press time about the request for a third contract nor to the difference between the first two contracts.
Jones says “I believe there was a change in the amount of his health insurance contributions and there may have been some changes to the contract language governing leaves (vacation, sick, personal, family illness, etc.)”
Both contracts were attached to the board action as public documents, so one can compare them line by line. The first contract was approved at the August 6, 2018 board meeting and his second contract was approved at the August 26, 2019 board meeting, she explains.
By comparing the two, the most obvious changes were the addition of more vacation days, from 20 to 22 in one year, as well as changes to his health insurance.
In his first contract, Zywicki and the BOE agreed to a P.L. 2011 c 78 at tier 4 of 35%, with automatic deductions from his salary. In the second contract, the parties agreed to 1.5% of annual salary toward health care coverage with Zywicki paying co-pays and deductibles.
Zywicki could not comment on his newly proposed contract as it is under negotiation.
He did say he does plan to stay on board as the superintendent in Mt. Olive, despite reported news of him looking elsewhere for employment.
“I love Mt. Olive School District,” says Zywicki. “I love working here. I want to retire from here.”
In a formal statement, Zywicki says, “Over the past two years we have accomplished great things in this amazing light-house district.
“Some of these successes include: All six schools earning Future Ready certification; we passed QSAC; full-day K is now a reality; we expanded special-ed inclusion in K-5; we increased AP participation by 200 exams; the graduation rate has increased; and we brought to fruition several capital projects all while producing a positive fund balance through a switch to fiscally conservative zero-based budgeting.
“I am most proud of how we increased communication and community engagement,” he concludes. “I am honored that the board wants to grant me a new five-year contract and look forward to building on our successes.”
By Cheryl Conway
Virtual or in-person? Big decision parents and students in Mt. Olive had to decide on by Sunday, August 9 for the incoming school year.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Zywicki has held multiple Parent Universities on Facebook since the end of July to present the options to parents. Choice is to select a hybrid plan of A Week/B Week or continue social distance learning at home.
For more specifics on the plan, visit the Mt. Olive Township School District website or any of the district social media pages to view the options in detail.
“If you are a parent who feels that it is not safe for your child to go back to school, you can completely opt to stay fully virtual for this year,” says Zywicki. “If you are a parent who feels that it is very, very important for your kids to go back to school, they can do so under the A B Week format.”
He says, “I understand this is not going to make anybody happy,” says Zywicki. “It’s a compromised situation; it’s imperfect. It’s making the best of a very tough situation.”
Zywicki made it a point during each session to reiterate that the district’s plans can change at the state level at any time under the governor’s executive orders.
“That can shift at any point in time,” Zywicki says during the July 29 talk via Facebook. “New Jersey is still under control, however, this is shifting. As your superintendent,” and as a parent of four children, he says “you got to be prepared for both. There may be reality that we are fully virtual. This is a shifting, evolving situation.”
He also thanked parents once again for their patience.
“I appreciate your patience,” says Zywicki, and “your feedback, tremendously.”
Here are some of the main points:
For the parent survey, 2,600 parents participated in choosing which of the four options they favored the most for reentry. The options include normal return to school; return with severe social distancing; alternating days, a.m. or p.m., or weeks; virtual learning.
The most preferred based on the survey is A Week/B Week, says Zywicki. Out of those surveyed, 45 percent said they would choose to keep their child home to continue virtual learning.
“If those numbers hold true, we would have less than 50 percent of building capacity,” says Zywicki. “Is that 100 percent without risk? No it is not.”
The rate of transmission of COVID-19 has increased to 1.1 persons since Zywicki outlined the district’s reentry plan on Governor John Murphy’s press conference on June 26; at that time it was at .8, he explains.
With N.J. still paused in phase 2, no indoor dining, and indoor maximum restricted from 100 persons to 25, Zywicki says A Week/B Week with severe social distancing and face coverings is the most favorable option out of the four plans that were proposed.
“It is best for our kids to be back in school,” he says. “Kids psychologically need to learn from each other. They need to be exposed to their teachers. At the same time, “virtual learning is safest.”
He says, “when it comes to having kids come back to school, there is a risk.”
Fall sports is questionable in the district, he says. Two weeks ago, he would have said there would definitely be sports. “Now I would say that is unknown.”
The requirement is for students in N.J. to attend school in person for 180 days for four hours, or virtual.
There will be three cohorts: A Cohort; B Cohort; C Cohort or virtual.
Students in the A Week/B Week cohorts will be grouped alphabetically so siblings can stay together.
The reason for the two in-person cohorts varied per week, explains Zywicki, is to help with quarantining and contact tracing, as opposed to A Day/B Day would expose teachers to almost a full population of students every 48 hours.
The school year will begin with teachers reporting on Aug. 31 for two professional development days. A cohort will kick the first day off on Wednesday, Sept. 2. B cohort will follow suit on Sept. 3.
No school on Sept. 4.
The school day will be half days, and students in middle school and high school will have shortened periods.
“We cannot safely eat indoors,” explains Zywicki as the reasoning for half school days. “We will do grab and go lunches.”
All students, teachers and staff at all of the schools and grade levels will be enforced to wear masks.
“Everyone has to wear face masks at all times, including staff members,” Zywicki stresses in his Aug. 4 Parent University. “That’s tough.” Masks will be required on buses as well.
“Mask breaks” may be taken by going outside, he says, but that can “be complicated” if there is bad weather. “Masks are a major component to mitigating those risks,” he explains of spreading the virus especially those who are asymptomatic.
If a student does not wear his nor her mask, a parent will have to come to the school to pick up their child. Zywicki recommends parents send their kids in with two masks in case they sneeze into one.
Lunch will not be served but boxed lunches will be available to purchase to go at the end of each day.
Office hours will be held virtually in the afternoon by teachers, who will be teaching full day.
There will not be a lot of homework.
“We will not load the kids up on homework,” says Zywicki. “That is not our plan; kids have been through a lot; loading them up with homework is not the answer.”
At the high school level, all three cohorts will have synchronous instruction. The idea is “to have all kids working together although being physically distanced,” says Zywicki. “Is that perfect? No, none of our solutions are perfect.”
For sanitation, the district is exploring UV sanitation, says Zywicki, in addition to electric static guns. All organic chemicals, that are non-toxic are being used in the form of dissolving tabs with the goal to sanitize “as much as possible” touch points, and buses in between runs.
Hallways will be designated as one-way to maintain social distancing.
High school and middle school students will change classrooms but may minimize the amount of switching.
All students will get their Chromebooks with WiFi access the last week of August/beginning of September.
Co-curricular activities will not be offered if indoors.
Marching band will still be offered if held outdoors.
Students who choose in-person option will be allowed to switch to virtual during the first semester at the high school, or trimester for the other grade levels.
Students who choose virtual will not be allowed to switch to in-person during the semester or trimester.
Class sizes will be at 40 percent capacity, so less than 15 students per class.
Attendance will be normal; students will have an excused absence if they get diagnosed with COVID-19. If a child is not feeling well and is supposed to attend school that week, he or she can attend virtually to avoid being marked absent.
Temperature checks will not be given per student or staff to enter but each must complete a health questionnaire each morning before leaving his or her house.
Teachers are still being determined as Zywicki says he still does not know which teachers are returning.
Six Guiding Questions:
“Nothing is 100 percent,” says Zywicki, adding that they are doing their best. He mentioned six guiding questions which include:
“How can we continue to provide the safest learning environment?” Zywicki says the number one district goal is to keep the kids and staff safe, and at the same time improve upon the virtual learning.
“This time will be much more robust,” Zywicki says regarding virtual learning.
The second guiding question is: How can the district ensure it will continue differentiation and personalization for all students? The goal is to identify for each kid his or her academic goals, social/ emotional goals, wellness goals, level of learning and career goal such as playing an instrument, computer science or coding.
“It’s going to be a very, very different year,” says Zywicki, with a “development of personalized learning plan for each kid.” He says there is a “need to stay on top of the progress of every student.”
He says “all of our kids” are at risk academically, socially and emotionally. “This was a traumatic event. We are going back to a year that is not normal.”
Studies have shown that the average student is coming into the school year with a 50 percent regression after this past year of virtual learning. Mt. Olive, however, bench-marked its students at a 20 percent regression, which means they are coming into the school year at an average proficiency of 80 percent.
Third emphasis will be placed on the social/emotional learning as there has been “a lot of pressure” on students with the isolation of being at home. “The stress of there being a global pandemic is affecting our young people and our staff as well.
Fourth issue is “we can’t ignore what’s been going on with society,” says Zywicki, in terms of systemic racism. “How can we advance our culture of anti-racism?” He says, “we’ve made major strides,” and wants to continue that conversation.
Fifth question: “How can we advance our virtual learning? Last year we did our best,” he says, adding the district was way ahead of other school districts since March. But there is a need to improve and make it more synchronous, he says.
“I don’t mean teachers just talking in a screen,” says Zywicki. “Teachers are curating learning; using different pedagogues” with a station rotation model, with kids working together, jigsaw, reciprocal teaching method.
All the district teachers are google classroom certified, he says, adding that they each completed 2,350 hours of professional development.
The sixth question is How can Mt. Olive continue to stay innovative?
“In our DNA, Mt. Olive, who we are in Marauder nation, we are innovative,” he says. “We are always ahead of the curve. You see that in our facilities, in our academics, in our programs.” The geodome just went up at the high school offering hands-on horticulture, agriculture, aquaculture.
“We want to keep up with our innovative programs,” says Zywicki.
“This is a really rough time for families,” concludes Zywicki. “None of these decisions are easy. I want to get the kids back to school as quickly as possible,” he says. “I want to get to option two as soon as possible” but “right now we have to err on the side of safety, that’s our number one district goal.”
Stay tuned around Aug. 19 when Zywicki plans to provide more details on the reopening plan and school calendar.
By Cheryl Conway
The public is invited to an outdoor forum next week to learn and hear stories from BIPOC, Black Indegenious People Of Color.
The newly formed group- Mount Olive In Color- has planned a Mount Olive Teach-In Afternoon for Saturday, Aug. 15, at 3 p.m., at Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake. The group has been instrumental in bringing awareness to issues of systemic racism in Mt. Olive since it established itself two months ago.
The event is “open to the public, everyone is welcome,” says Temi Akanbi of Hackettstown, a 2015 Mt. Olive High School alumnus and friend of two women who founded the group.
“Purpose of the teach-in is to provide BIPOC a platform to speak and teach and give other non POC an opportunity to learn from them.”
The teach-in will provide a day of learning and will include stories about the BIPOC experience from several people offering to speak.
“We're aiming for five to seven, but may have more if the situation calls for more,” says Akanbi. “We are requiring speakers to reach out first if they wish to participate. We don't want anyone to co-opt the teach in for their own agendas.”
Akanbi expects the teach-in to last about three hours. Masks are required and social distancing will be enforced. Attendees are invited to bring a blanket or chair to sit on.
Not sure of the exact location of the teach in, Akanbi says “That we're still deciding on but it may be the same patch of grass that the protest was held on so we don't have to compete with people using the fields.”
As far as attendance, she says “Not sure for right now but we're hoping for a good turnout.”
Mount Olive In Color
Mount Olive In Color is a page on Facebook used to disseminate information and share stories. It started back in June around the time of the protest, says Akanbi, organizer of the second peaceful protest held in May at Turkey Brook Park. Akani helped Mount Olive In Color organize its tasks.
Part of those tasks has been sharing letters submitted by local residents that detail their experiences growing up in Mt. Olive.
The idea and development of the group was founded by Akanbi’s two friends- Afreen Fahad and Geraldine Ojukwu, alumni from the class of 2015. The three women spoke at the last Mt. Olive Board of Education meeting held Monday, July 27, about their group and presented the BOE with a petition filled with 500 signatures calling for change in the district.
“The purpose is to expose the disparities POC face in town because everyone thinks it doesn’t happen,” explains Akanbi. “The plan is to expose and then rebuild with understanding and better experience for POC that come to live here.”
The goal behind Mount Olive In Color, is to “create a safe and inclusive community in Mt. Olive for all community members by pushing for change centered around awareness, conversation and accountability," organizers say.
In July, it attended a Zoom Town Hall meeting with Police Chief Stephen Beecher that was facilitated by the Mt. Olive Democrats. Mount Olive In Color has been collecting signatures for another petition that it plans to present to the Mt. Olive Police Department. The group also plans to call a town hall meeting to discuss issues with the Mt. Olive mayor and Mt. Olive Twp. Council.
The teach-in is their next task at hand.
While a separate invitation was not given to leaders nor officials in town, the group does suggest that the teach-in can be an educational tool for any listeners who plan to attend.
“We haven't invited anyone and I don't think we plan to,” says Akanbi. “Any officials that are serious and want to implement change will see the flyer and come, as they should already be following MOIC.”
By Cheryl Conway
Hydrating the thirsty and feeding the hungry- what a sweet gesture by this local eight-year-old girl and her family last month.
Taylor Shaw of Hackettstown sold lemonade at her ‘daddy-made’ lemonade stand four days in July with her grandmother Shirley Nielsen. They are using the proceeds to donate to the local food pantry.
The venture shows how a child’s past-time can help a good cause.
“We reached out to the food pantry in Mt. Olive to ask what they were in need of the most and we are waiting to hear back from them,” explains Shaw’s mom, Terri Shaw. “Once we hear back from them, we will take the money and purchase the items needed.”
When Taylor Shaw was seven, she told her dad, who is a union carpenter- to build her a lemonade stand so she could sell lemonade, explains her mom.
“So, my husband John Shaw built her the lemonade stand and added an umbrella for shade,” says Terri Shaw. She and her husband have lived in Mt. Olive since they were in kindergarten, graduating in 1999 and 2000, she explains.
“When we decided to have a family, we wanted our girls to go through the Mt. Olive school system,” she adds.
He built the stand in June, and one month later, they were at work.
“So, after my husband built the lemonade stand, Taylor, my daughter that is eight years old, and her grandmother, Shirley Nielsen, set it up in front of our house on the grass,” she explains.
“They currently started doing it every Tuesday for about four hours and they only did it a total of four times,” says Terri Shaw. “They only sold fresh squeeze lemonade and nothing else.”
Instead of charging per cup, they asked for donations.
“They only wanted to ask for donations so if someone took, wanted to contribute, they did; if not they just took some lemonade,” she explains. “We had a lot of people just giving donations”.
It was Taylor Shaw’s idea to give back.
“Taylor at first thought it would be a fun thing to do and refreshing for people that are outside in the heat to give out,” says her mom. “When they saw how much they were actually getting they wanted the money to go to a good cause. We decided to contribute some money to the food pantry to allow families in need to be helped.
“With some of the proceeds they did buy some fresh lemons to make several batches of lemonade using water fresh lemons and sugar,” she adds.
“I would have to say they probably went through 10 batches of lemonade,” she says. They ran the stand on July 7, 14, 25 and 28.
“We made $150; $125 we were going to contribute to the food pantry, if not all of it,” she says. “We only used about maybe $15 of it to buy lemons for the lemonade.”
The lemonade put a smile on everyone’s face.
“Taylor said it made her smile, and people will come and heard about the lemonade stand, so they came to check it out, drink some lemonade and donate some money,” concludes her mom, who does not know when they will be operating again, but be on the lookout!
By Cheryl Conway
Cats in Mt. Olive can purr a sigh of relief after township leaders passed an ordinance last week to protect them from unnecessary harm.
After working paw to paw with the Mt. Olive Trap-Neuter-Return group, the Mt. Olive Twp. Council passed Ordinance #15-2020 amending chapter 169 Dogs & Other Animals to modify provisions. On second reading during its Zoom council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 4, the ordinance passed unanimously.
Happier than a cat playing with ball of yarn, the MOTNR group, which has spent more than a decade saving cats’ lives and township dollars, dropped its petition to further save cats lives in Mt. Olive. By July 1, the group had collected more than the 497 signatures on its petition that would have placed a No Kill ordinance on the November ballot for voters to decide on during the general election.
“Thank you for passing this,” says Michelle DiAlfonso, reassuring all that the group will now withdraw its ballot initiative.
Michelle Lerner, president of the MOTNR, also thanked the board for passing the ordinance, that has changed the verbiage to represent “no kill” of cats.
The previous proposed ordinance, as written, “would have condemned impounded animals to death simply for being older, feral, very scared, or otherwise not behaving well in the stressful pound setting,” the MOTNR group wrote.
“I want to thank everybody for all the work that we’ve done,” says Councilwoman Colleen Labow, who worked closely with MOTNR group.
Ordinance #15-2020 would initiate a placement procedure after the mandatory holding period of cats and dogs and codify that euthanasia shall be used as a last resort, as stated on the council agenda.
“Euthanasia shall only be used if the animal is suspected to carry rabies, a dog that has been determined to be a dangerous animal pursuant to state law or an animal who has a terminal medical condition,” as stated.
It further states that “The township is responsible for treatment of non-terminal medical conditions and the sheltering of animals until placement is found.”
“To alleviate some of the financial burden, an MOU is being considered by a local rescue group to assume responsibility of the animal after 30 days of being sheltered.”
Library Goes Virtual For Kids
Virtual Storytime: Do your kids miss Storytime and coming to the library? Tune in Monday through Friday to see all of the Children's Room Librarians reading stories on Facebook and Instagram.
Buzz's Spring Reading Challenge: Are your kids looking for a fun challenge, that could also brighten up your home? Take part in Buzz's Spring Reading Challenge and help Buzz grow flowers all over Mt. Olive. Printable reading logs and flower coloring pages can be found online at www.mopl.org/youth.
Library Open For Curbside Pickup
The Mt. Olive Public Library is open for curbside pickup.
Requests can only be made via phone call or email.
There is a limit of six items for adults and eight for kids and young adults.
Patrons will be called once their items are available for pickup.
Bags will be placed outside of the library, marked with the last four digits of the patrons card number
Due to COVID-19, patrons may not enter library.
No books will be left outside the building after curbside hours
Also due dates will be spread out throughout August to prevent everything being due back at one time.
Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Thursday: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Closed on Sunday.
For questions email: email@example.com; call 973-691-8686 ext.106.
Library Board Meeting Canceled
Please be advised that the Mt. Olive Library’s Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 11, is canceled.
New HOPE ONE Vehicle Unveiled
On August 3, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph K. Kimker joined Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon on the Morristown Green to celebrate the unveiling of the newly acquired HOPE ONE vehicle, which supplements the original vehicle initially deployed in 2017.
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office operates HOPE ONE in partnership with the Morris County Department of Human Services, the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Family Promise of Morris County, the Center for Addiction Recovery, Education & Success (CARES), and Daytop.
Other honorable attendees and speakers at this event included New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Former New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey, State Senator Anthony M. Bucco, Morris County Freeholder Tayfun Selen, and representatives from the partners in HOPE ONE, who along with the Sheriff’s Office, make the program successful.
The HOPE ONE vehicle and its occupants visit various locations throughout Morris County that are known to have at-risk populations, homeless individuals, and histories of drug transactions and overdose deaths, to offer immediate services to persons suffering from substance use disorder with the purpose of putting them on the road to recovery and wellness. The vehicle is staffed by a plain clothes sheriff’s officer, a mental health clinician, and a certified peer recovery specialist to ensure that services are available for anyone who may approach the vehicle seeking treatment or information about services. Furthermore, coupled with training for its use, NARCAN Nasal Spray, a product that may counteract the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose, is provided for free.
Knapp stated, “Since its inception by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the HOPE ONE program has had enormous success throughout Morris County in providing aid for those suffering from substance use disorder, and the HOPE ONE vehicle plays a vital role in that success. Having the mobility to reach our most vulnerable populations has allowed our law enforcement agencies and community partners to effectively continue our fight against the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic plaguing our communities.”
County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph is providing students with a number of options for how they can take their courses this fall semester so they can keep moving forward with their higher education.
The college currently is enrolling students for the fall and has built in a high level of flexibly to make it easier for them to pursue their goals during these challenging times. It also is implementing a number of health and safety measures, as per federal, state and local guidelines, to protect the well-being of the campus community.
Students enrolling this fall will be able to select courses that are being offered in one of three formats: hybrid, online and remote. The tuition cost for each option remains the same.
Hybrid Courses consist of a combination of traditional face-to-face instruction and remote or online sessions. This may include some on-campus labs with remote lecture, reduced in-classroom time or other instructional designs that meet the needs of the course materials.
Online Courses were designed to be taught in an online setting. Unless otherwise noted, online courses were developed to be taught without specific meeting times.
Remote Courses were designed to be taught in a classroom but are being offered as a form of distance education due to the emergency conditions. Remote classes are completely online but include scheduled virtual meeting times when the class is to meet together.
To limit the number of people on campus, the majority of classes are being offered in the online and remote formats.
Students enrolling this fall also can select from a number of terms, ranging from 2 week to 15 week sessions. Students can search for courses and the format they prefer at https://titansdirect.ccm.edu/Student/Courses/.
New students first need to apply to the college before registering for classes. Applications can be submitted at www.ccm.edu/admissions/. Continuing students should talk with their advisor before registering.
Support Services Designed for Student Success
When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck New Jersey, CCM moved its support services online so students could continue to gain assistance to ensure their success. The Academic Success Center was expanded into TascPlus@ccm.edu to provide students with individualized online assistance from updating them on the status of classes, to connecting them to a student success specialist or a counselor, to arranging for them to pick up any class materials or technology they may need. Included among the other services the college is offering online are Academic Advisement, Tutoring and Live Chats with Librarians. To learn more about those services, go to www.ccm.edu/covid-19-information-center/online-resources/.
An Education You Can Afford
Each year, CCM awards approximately $12 million in financial aid and scholarships to its students, allowing them to pursue a high-quality college education at an affordable price. To find our more, go to www.ccm.edu/admissions/financialaid/. All its classes, hybrid, online and remote, are offered at a fraction of the cost of most other online offerings.
Transfer or Gain Employment Upon Graduation
At CCM, students can choose from 50 academic degrees and a wide range of certificate programs. A number of programs, such as those in computer science, engineering, and hospitality and culinary science, are designed so students can seek employment immediately upon graduation. Numerous others are specifically designed so students can transfer their credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. CCM holds more than 125 agreements with colleges and universities across New Jersey and the nation to simplify the transfer process. A listing of those agreements can be found at https://tinyurl.com/ybpy9qqy/.
Centenary University in Hackettstown plans to launch a new bachelor of science in Health Science this fall, responding to a growing need for trained health professionals in a wide range of professions. The degree will prepare graduates to pursue master’s degrees in related fields including occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutrition, and health education, as well as for entry-level jobs in healthcare settings such as hospitals, research laboratories, public health organizations, rehabilitation facilities, and government agencies, according to Dr. Craig Fuller, assistant professor of health science and director of the University’s medical laboratory science program.
“With the population aging, there is a growing need for healthcare workers,” said Fuller. “That’s an area that students, especially prospective student-athletes, have told us they’re interested in studying. The COVID-19 pandemic has also illustrated the need that’s out there right now. Here in northwestern New Jersey, there’s definitely a deficiency in the number of healthcare professionals needed.”
Centenary’s new health science degree is part of an ongoing initiative to build on the University’s noted science programs and expand academic offerings in the health sciences. Last year, Centenary introduced a new degree in medical laboratory science, and officials have approved an exercise science program launching in fall 2021 and are exploring plans to introduce a new Master of Occupational Therapy program.
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in Parsippany, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.
Submitted by Diane Lang, positive living expert, life coach, speaker.
Instead of fighting against each other,
We embraced differences instead of judging them.
Thought about how others feel instead of just ourselves.
Learned from each other instead of disagreeing.
In which it would mean we would have to listen not just hear.
We would have to understand, empathize and be kind.
We would have to embrace the world with all its imperfections.
We would have to think of all of us as one, not separate.
We would have to realize if we don’t do this soon, there might not be much left.
We are at a breaking point, the end of one chapter transitioning into another.
It can be either the greatest chapter we have seen or the last.
We as humans will have to choose.
Earth will always remain but will we?
Let’s choose us.
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Experienced journalist since 1990, living in Flanders for 22 years and covering Mt. Olive Township for the past 12 years.
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