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Community Planning Meetings:

October 15, 6:00-7:00 p.m.@ Bunker Elementary

October 16, 8:30-10:00 a.m. @ Bunker Elementary

Cohesion Planning Team

The Bunker/Milani Merger Cohesion Team members are: Soleste Hilberg, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Debbie Ashmore, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, parents Michelle Padilla, Isabel Ruiz, Amber Leyva, Tn Arunagiri, Silvia Rodriguez, and Nicole Izant, and teachers Katherine Jones, Michelle Leipelt, and Sarah Harris. This industrious and dedicated team meets monthly as well as completes tasks between meetings, such as meeting with police officers regarding traffic and safety, writing to the City about adding a four-way stop sign at Birch and Robertson, and calculating walk times between sites. 


After objective analysis of input from teachers and parents at the Community Merger Planning and staff meetings, Cohesion Team members presented the following recommendations to the Board at the November 17th meeting: 

  1. School names: Recommend that the Board select a new name that is neutral, possibly naming the schools after a prominent or historical Newark figure
  2. Reading Buddies: Recommend that we keep the program contained at the two sites to that TK buddies with first grade, Kinders buddy with second graders, third buddies with fifth, and fourth buddies with sixth.
  3. Traffic and Safety: Request that the city add a four-way stop and crossing guard at Birch & Robertson and provide rerouting and alternate options for traffic flow at the Milani site.
  4. Staggered start times: Recommend that the Milani site for grade three through sixth will maintain the current schedule; the Bunker TK-2 site will begin and end 15 minutes later.


After further analysis of input from teachers and community members regarding School Events, the Cohesion Team made the following recommendations to Site Principals:


  • School Events
    • Back to School Night
      • Different nights a week apart. Consider combining Science Camp with the 3-6 Back to School Night
    • Halloween Parade: Harvest Festival after school replaced parades during school day. Schools alternate hosting the festival; students come back to school dressed in costume to participate in games, food and parade. Parade before event, maybe 4:30…
      • However, if we DON’T do a Harvest Festival, plan B is to have the parades staggered.
    • Turkey Trot
      • Continue Turkey Trot for primary in Nov; Reindeer Race in Dec for intermediate
    • Fun Day/Field Day
      • Separate days during same week
      • PTC needs to know for budget and planning purposes
    • Open House
      • Different nights, a week apart
    • Awards Assemblies
      • Site choice
    • Sneak a Peek, for all students
      • TKs and Ks in Spring
      • 3-5 in Spring
      • 6th grade students serve as a tour guide
      • Offer a self-guided walk (map, with numbered location/stops, little blurb about each stop: office, library, cafeteria, playground/structures
    • Sixth grade promotion
      • Hold at NJHS gym in evening, 6th grade teachers decide about post-promotion celebration
      • Parent/ Family Education Nights
        • Have a combined math science night in the evening
        • Open other family nights to be run by parent volunteers to take work load from teachers