May School Highlights
MCVTS OUTSTANDING ACTIVITIES – HIGHLIGHTS
The Superintendent is reporting highlights of recent districtwide school/student activities that have occurred since the last Board of Education meeting. These activities involve career, college, community, and business collaboration with various partners to enhance the students' educational programs.
Academy of Allied Health & Biomedical Sciences
Thanks to the students of Woodbridge Academy, we had a week-long celebration for Teacher Appreciation Week. It began with a video compiled by Junior Andrew Lu, who orchestrated student’s recording messages thanking teachers and staff members for their efforts during Distance Learning and throughout the year.
On Friday, May 29th, 42 sophomores and juniors and Ms. Sullivan attended a virtual field trip to Rutgers School of Biomedical Engineering. We toured the facility, learned about the great variety of research being performed, watched state-of-the-art equipment in use, and met with faculty and learned about choices for college and career in Biomedical Engineering.
We continued Distance Learning with great success, recording 98% attendance in the Academy and excellent participation in the 8th grade Career Choices program.
Teachers continued to learn Nearpod, Flipgrid, Screencastify, and other ways to engage students and participated in virtual Professional Development. We also had virtual Faculty Meetings and chats using both Zoom and Google Meet.
To celebrate the amazing talent, scholarship, and leadership that defines the Class of 2020, we held three days of Senior Drive-Thru activities on May 20, 21, and 22. Teachers volunteered to stand six feet apart on the sidewalk near the front entrance and students and parents drove up to be clapped and cheered. Each student received a Class of 2020, the class of quarantine, t-shirt, a Woodbridge Academy Class of 2020 face mask, graduation bubbles, encourage-mints, a school logo lollipop, and a Nylon “Congratulations Grad” backpack. Photos were taken and posted to Google Classroom.
We put together a collage of the seniors and where they are attending college and posted it on Instagram and Google Classroom.
On May 14th, the Student Council began the process of holding virtual school and class elections for the 2020-2021 school year. They posted information on Instagram and on Google Classroom. The response was overwhelmingly positive with the second year of record numbers of candidates launching a campaign. School spirit continues to soar even during the pandemic-related Distance Learning. We held a mandatory meeting for all candidates via Google Meet and are in the process of watching student speeches.
We held a contactless food drive for M.C.F.O.O.D.S. the week of May 17th. We put containers in front of the building with grade-level signs affixed to the sides. In one week, we collected well over 450 items that were much needed by the Food Bank. We not only filled the proposed school goal of 10 containers but had five boxes of overflow.
Academy for Science, Mathematics, & Engineering Technologies
The Academy held a Virtual Open House on Monday, May 4th for the students/parents in the incoming class of 2024. Several teachers, current students and administrators presented on a variety of topics and responded to participant questions. Over 70 people participated in the meeting.
On May 6th and 7th, members of the Class of 2024, our incoming freshmen for next year, participated in a Virtual Student for a Day. They were led by a group of a current freshman, a junior Peer Mentor, Mr. Jeffries, Mr. Mosaad, and Mr. Fernandez. Introductions began at 8:45 a.m. for a "homeroom", incoming freshmen visited the classes of the current freshmen for the day (including PE) and then we met for a discussion and a set of ice breakers to start to get to know each other.
Dr. Sindhu Suresh (Sruthi Suresh’s mom) hosted a virtual technical session on cybersecurity titled “Got Hacked? Awareness on Cyber Security”. This program is sponsored by World Malayalee Council. The Zoom meeting is Saturday, May 23rd at 8 p.m. It’s open to all and free. The guest speaker is Abhishek Ramchandran who presented at school during the Engineering Week.
On May 20th, Academy 9th grader Prerna Kulkarni delivered 84 sandwich meals to JFK Hackensack Meridian Health Hospital. This Interact Club fundraiser was supported through a "gofundme" donation drive held over the past month. The sandwiches were bought from a local sub shop (Tastee Sub Shop) in Edison and the water bottles and chips were bought from the local BJs.
We are excited to announce that the Edison Academy yearbook signing tradition is alive and it’s fully digital to suit our socially distanced students. Jostens has just launched a new platform, Yearbook Digital Signing Pages that gives every student in our school the chance to create virtual signing pages, invite their friends to leave messages, and print out the final pages to keep with the yearbook as a permanent keepsake. This is free for every student whether they purchased a yearbook or not.
Avaneen Pinninti won the prestigious Jefferson Scholarship to attend the University of Virginia. Avaneen, a senior at Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, has been awarded one of the most highly selective merit scholarships in the nation. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia selected Avaneen as one of 32 recipients of the Jefferson Scholarship. He will commence his studies in the fall at the University of Virginia. In order to be named a Scholar, candidates must undergo a rigorous, highly competitive, multi-stage selection process. This year, over 2,000 students were nominated for the Scholarship, and 119 finalists were invited to take part in remote interviews conducted by the University of Virginia alumni and faculty.
The Academy completed its second year of its Senior Mentorship program as a standard leadership component for all 12th graders. On May 29th, the fourth in a monthly speaker series was held during the related Senior Seminar class. Academy graduate Artur Filipowicz from the Class of 2013 spoke on his journey from the Academy to Princeton University to his current position as CTO at Soterea, a China-based company that develops collision avoidance technologies for trucks and buses. Artur spoke to us from China. Previous speakers included MCVTS Athletic Director, MCVTS PSA President and incoming GMC President Mike Pede, MCVTS Director of Personnel David Johnson, and 2015 Academy graduate and newly minted Rhodes Scholar Prathm Juneja.
East Brunswick Campus
State FFA Convention announced the H.O. Sampson Award Program Recognition where Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools East Brunswick Campus earned Bronze.
The H.O. Sampson Award is given to chapters who demonstrate outstanding participation in state level activities, and bronze level means 25% to 49% participation at the state level.
The 6th Annual Reel Film Festival created by our Digital Film program was aired virtually this year with much success. Special guest appearances, from actors such as Elija Wood and director Kevin Smith, made special remarks and comments regarding our program and this festival. This first-time virtual festival had over 1000 views after 24 hours.
While the Montclair Film Festival date is still to be determined, prize levels were announced.
Action/Adventure: Grand Prize - The Last Slice by Devyn Arroyo (Senior)
Animation: Special Jury Prize - Drawings by Jack Tolnes (Senior)
Experimental: Special Jury Prize (Tie) - Internally Inflamed by Nidhi Patel & Maria Martinez (Seniors)
The Film Now Festival was completed virtually and they announced their winners on May 10th.
1st Place Experimental - Internally Inflamed by Nidhi Patel & Maria Martinez (Seniors)
2nd Place Experimental - Four-Dimensional World by Maria Martinez (Senior)
1st Place Animation - Drawings by Jack Tolnes (Senior)
2nd Place Animation - Humanoid by Mason Dugasz (Senior)
Honorable Mention Narrative - Flora by Aviel Bolesa (Senior)
Our STRIPES literary magazine chaired by Mrs. Elkins-Solomon received two press releases (the Sentinel and MyCentralJersey) regarding their recent student works regarding this pandemic.
Samantha Oliveira, a 12th grader in Multimedia Design, received honorable mention in the Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. - Virtual Congressional Art Competition.