Caldwell-West Caldwell students will head back to school on what is predicted to be a rainy Wednesday morning. But the weather should not put a damper on the spirits of students as they reunite with old friends and settle into new classrooms.
New kitchens at both Grover Cleveland Middle School and are nearly completed. Temporary kitchens have been set up at both schools, where students will have a limited menu with mostly cold selections to choose from until the work is finished. Menus for all schools are posted on the district’s website.
According to the district, work on the kitchens is expected to be done in the fall. JCHS’s old kitchen was original to the building, which opened in 1959.
"It's quite unbelievable what we found," said Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools Business Administrator and Board Secretary Ronald Skopak about the old plumbing and electrical at a recent Board of Education meeting.
Over the summer, asbestos removal was completed at the high school and middle school as part of the overall kitchen renovations.
Meanwhile, plans to replace windows at the middle school are under way. New energy-efficient, thermal-glazed windows are on order and will be installed during the school year. The windows replaced single-glazed ones that dated back to the 1970s. The $1.3 million capital project was paid for in part by a Regular Operating District (ROD) grant from the state.
Students at Lincoln Elementary School will not have a chance to meet their new principal, Adam Geher, until next month. Because of contract obligations with his former district in West Orange,. But Lincoln parents will have the opportunity to meet with Geher, a resident of West Caldwell, in mid-September. Geher replaces former Principal James Bigsby, who took a position as principal of Mendham Middle School. An interim principal will serve during the transition.
"We welcome him to the district and we know he'll do a great job at Lincoln School," Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools Superintendent Daniel Gerardi said at last month's Board of Education meeting about Geher.
Enrollment remains level for the six-school district, according to Gerardi. The superintendent said 2,612 students are expected this fall, compared to 2,607 in the fall of 2010.
Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools Fall 2011 Enrollment
James Caldwell High School 804 (812)
Grover Cleveland Middle School 654 (634)
Jefferson Elementary School 293 (292)
Lincoln Elementary School 228 (234)
Washington Elementary School 348 (366)
Wilson Elementary School 248 (232)
Special Education In-district 37 (37)
Special Education Out of District 39 (37)
TOTAL 2,612 (2,607)
*Numbers in parentheses represent enrollment numbers from last year.