November BOE Update

43 percent of students passed the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA). Because the program is still in its pilot phase and the state is assessing how effective it is, results will not be used to determine whether a student can graduate.

At VHS, 41.5 percent  passed the ELA portion of the test and 53.7 percent passed in math. While that is only one in two students, Verona high schoolers still performed better than students across the state.

However, other standardized tests like the PSATs and NJSLA show that a greater percentage of VHS students are graduation-ready.

Despite the pandemic, VHS students have continued to perform as well or better on NJSLA exams. Students’ AP scores have continued to exceed the national averages, too. 

The district has implemented new programs like Amplify Math that emphasizes discovery through hands-on learning and discussion. Similar “phenomena first” teaching strategies are practiced in the science department, where students observe a concept and formulate ideas before formalizing their understanding. 

NJGPA will remain in its pilot phase for the class of 2024. It will not determine whether students can graduate. 


The district is working to install more security cameras at VHS.  Police will be able to access the cameras  remotely, from their cars or headquarters. This is a precaution in case of an emergency at any of the schools. 

The new cameras will come in conjunction with teacher training to review established procedures and new material, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new model for lockdown drills: run, hide, fight. 

Run, hide, fight is a more modern way to train students and staff for lockdown drills. In the event an active shooter is in the building, students are instructed to leave the building if they have access to an exit. If not, they should find a hiding place, like in a lockdown. And as a last resort, attempts should be made to distract or incapacitate the shooter.

While there have been concerns that “Run, hide, fight” training can be anxiety inducing, Superintendent DiGiuseppe believes that they can be run in a way that isn’t threatening for students at all levels.  Detective Martin will run the training.

Climate Survey

In the near future, students, parents, and teachers will receive a survey about school climate.  The school will receive the survey from Rutgers University, which has been running this initiative for years.  The survey will be digital and completely voluntary. Students from grades 3-12 will receive permission slips before taking the survey.  Superintendent DiGiuseppe hopes to run the survey annually, but the program is still in its early stages.