School opens for more than 2,200 students on 5 MCVTS campuses
A new career major, renovated science labs and teachers armed with new online resources greeted 2,205 students as classes started on the five campuses of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.
Two days before the opening of school on Sept. 8, more than 200 teachers and educational support staff assembled on the East Brunswick Campus to receive training in Google for Education, a free online program that had been recommended by a committee of teachers and administrators.
Superintendent of Schools Brian J. Loughlin said it was the most technology-intense undertaking ever by the district, as notebook computers were gathered from all the schools so that each teacher could follow along with Google instructor Rich Kiker.
“We’ve never done anything needing so much technology,” Loughlin said at the session.
Loughlin praised the staff for its commitment to continuing education and for inspiring students to succeed. He noted that more than 70 percent of MCVTS graduates now attend college or enroll in other post-secondary courses of study.
“You are the people who know best what we should be teaching and how best to teach it,” Loughlin said. “Education is one of the most challenging occupations in the world, and it can be one of the most rewarding.”
Among the workshops held that day was one on a new career major, arts technology, which will offer students in the School of the Arts on the East Brunswick Campus classes in set design, stage rigging, and light and sound techniques, among other topics.
“If you think about theater, dance and film, most people think about what they see – the performers,” said Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dianne Veilleux. “This is about what is behind the scenes.”
The instructor, Lea Anello, comes from Two River Theater in Red Bank and had worked on a number of MCVTS productions. In addition to working on drama and dance productions, her students will be involved in setting up sound equipment and operating scoreboards at athletic events, Veilleux said.
MCVTS enrollment continues on an upswing, with an increase in the number of students for the fourth consecutive year.
Once again MCVTS schools were ranked among the top high schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technology in Edison was rated seventh best in New Jersey, earning a gold medal for the fifth consecutive year, while the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge ranked 12th in the state and received a second consecutive gold medal. The MCVTS Perth Amboy Campus earned a bronze medal for the third year in a row.
The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, has seven schools on five campuses, in East Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge. More information on the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools is available at www.mcvts.net.