MILLSTONE — If there was a theme that was repeated during a recent meeting of the Millstone Township K-8 School District Board of Education, it involved making strides to continue to modernize the district. Topics ranged from updating the Millstone Township Elementary School library to surveying residents to gain their input on how to improve communication between the school district and the public.
Stephen Wisniewski, the principal of the elementary school, used humor to say he was relieved to announce that a renovation project at the library will be completed before he leaves the district.
Wisniewski will leave Millstone in a few weeks to become the superintendent-principal in Bradley Beach.
“I was afraid I would leave without the library being finished,” he quipped.
To prepare for the library renovation, Wisniewski researched other schools. He said he believes the best schools have leisure spaces where pupils can get comfortable sitting back and reading.
“We want to make (the library) as close to a Starbucks environment for a third-, fourth- and fifth-grader so they will want to go in, and when they are doing their research, they should feel comfortable,” he said.
New shelves are under construction and will be color-coordinated to go with the slate blue table tops, according to Wisniewski. All of the essential furniture has been purchased and the leisure furniture will be the next items to be purchased, he said.
Superintendent of Schools Scott Feder said there will be space for 3D printing and other science, technology, engineering, arts and math activities.
“The renovation of the library was long overdue,” Feder said. “Along with the basic renovations is new furniture and a whole new feel. The PTO was instrumental in making all of this happen, and the district could not have made this happen without them.”
In other news, Wisniewski spoke about new forms of communication and the impact of what can be done with them.
“I tweeted at an assembly,” he said. “This shows parents exactly what their child is doing at school as a live experience. No longer is the conversation ‘What were you doing in school?’ but rather … ‘I saw you run the 40-yard dash.’ The tweet came across at the same time, allowing the parent to see. Parents can now say to their child, ‘I saw this happen today, tell me about it.’ ”
Also, Wisniewski said his November newsletter will be the school’s first completely paperless newsletter.
In a move intended to engage the community in the actions of the school district, Feder recently sent out a survey to residents.
“It is a very interesting survey about social media and website aspects,” he said. “It is mostly global in nature to find out how we are doing and how we can improve our communications.”
Feder said the survey’s results will be posted on the district’s website.
“We want to be better and to find out how to achieve it,” the superintendent said. “We want to sell the district, communicate with people and get the (district’s) website in the best possible shape it can be. It is a touch point.”
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of K.C. Yoon, who was praised by Feder and board member Kevin Mc- Govern.
“K.C. Yoon is a remarkable educator,” Feder said. “She has worked with our life skills program in the elementary school for four years and now moves to a new adventure working for the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. … She will be missed, she has been a rock in the district, working with children who needed her love and care.”