Jefferson Township

Public Schools

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District Events


  • Dr. Patrick Tierney

    Mrs. Jeanne Howe
    Assistant Superintendent

    Ms. Dora Zeno
    Business Administrator

    Mrs. Margaret Widgren
    Director of Student
    Personnel Services
    District Anti-Bullying Coordinator

    31 Rt 181
    Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849
    (973) 663-5780

Superintendent's Message

  • JTEA Negotiations Update

    Posted by Karen Slusark at 5/18/2017


    I would like to invite all district employees to an optional “district-wide” faculty meeting to be held in the Jefferson Township High School Media Center from 3:30 - 3:50 PM today to hear the truth and not be subject to propaganda. It is my hope and desire that you are not “bullied” and can attend the meeting.

    I send this correspondence to the district to let everyone know the truth about how association leadership is handling the negotiations process. As you are aware from the email that was sent by the “district superintendent”, the representatives from the Jefferson Township Board of Education negotiation team, New Jersey School Boards Association, JTEA negotiations team and NJEA were scheduled to meet today, Thursday, May 18th at 4:00PM to finalize the last pieces of an agreement of salary guides for the instructional staff. I am also aware that your association leadership reserved the High School Auditorium on Friday, May 12th, to conduct an informational meeting with the general membership to discuss negotiations, preventing them from attending the previously scheduled negotiations meeting.

    At 9:49 PM on Wednesday evening May 17th, the BOE received notice from John Williams, NJEA Uniserv representative, that due to my original email message last Friday, the JTEA and NJEA could not meet at 4:00 PM today. The BOE negotiations team finds this action by John Williams to be unprofessional and inconsiderate in light of the fact that this time was requested by the JTEA. As you can see from John Williams’ email below, he expresses desire to settle the contract, yet schedules a conflicting meeting.  Who is dragging their feet now? Unfortunately, this is not the first time the BOE has been painted in a negative light.

    It is the BOE’s intention to continue with this meeting and work in good faith to develop a mutually agreeable salary guide that will address the concerns of all the members in the association, not just the individuals that are at the top of the guide. As everyone is aware, one of the main arguments that the Association leadership presented to the BOE throughout the negotiations process was the fact that the district was losing many of our newer teachers because of the discrepancy in the salary guide. The BOE agreed with this, and in the original settlement, the BOE provided an additional $225,000, which becomes $300,000 when compounded over the life of the contract, to be distributed into the guide to help resolve this issue.

    When it was presented to the association leadership that the board desired to have those additional funds distributed equitably, it encountered tremendous resistance and dissatisfaction by the association president. Again, I want to stress that the salary guides presented by the association to the BOE provided “decent” salary increases to the individuals at the higher steps, not resolving the inequity in the lower half of the salary guide as noted by the association.  There are approximately 193 teachers on Step 12 and below, while there are approximately 132 teachers on Step 13 and above. Both parties agree that all staff members were to be provided an increase in salary; the disagreement is related to how much of an increase is acceptable and agreeable. I respectfully request that you, as Association members, evaluate your negotiation team, see their placement on the guide, and ask yourself if you are being fairly and equitably represented.

    I am fully aware of the accusations that are being spread by individuals throughout the district that I am a “bully”,  that I cannot be “trusted”, and that I am attempting to divide the association. Well, I ask each of you to evaluate the salary guides. Ladies and Gentleman, the proof is in the pudding. I have been in Jefferson for approximately one and ½ years. The development of the guides and the disproportionate amount of money on the different steps has occurred over many rounds of contract negotiations. You need to ask yourselves, who is really looking out for the betterment of all the staff. If I am what I am being accused of, then why was I awarded the 2016 Friends of Public Education by the Morris County Council of Education Association on April 5, 2016?

    As I previously stated, the BOE negotiations team will be present at today’s previously scheduled meeting at 4:00 PM in the Drummond Building. We will continue to work for an equitable settlement.  The board will not be “bullied” into a settlement that does not address the salary concerns regarding novice and mid-level teachers, as publicly stated by the association president. It is our intention to develop a mutually agreeable guide this evening; however, if this cannot be achieved, the BOE will withdraw from the signed Memorandum of Agreement, declare another impasse, and request a super conciliator to settle the contract dispute. Please note that all previously agreed upon conditions again become negotiable including, but not limited to, salary increases and retroactive payments.

    Very truly yours,



    Your “district superintendent”

    On May 17, 2017 9:13 PM, John Williams <> wrote:

    Hello Andy,

    Due to the Superintendent’s email message to all staff late last Friday afternoon regarding the teacher salary guide issue, it has become necessary for the JTEA to hold a general membership meeting to provide more complete information to its members. Due to availability of NJEA staff, this meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow at 4:00 PM. Of course, the Association continues to maintain its strong desire to meet with the Board to seek resolution to the one remaining unresolved issue of this current round of negotiations, and we remain available to meet after this meeting with members.

    We anticipate being fully prepared to begin the meeting with the Board no later than 7:00 PM and can certainly notify the Board if it is possible to begin earlier.

    Very truly yours,

    John Williams

    Uniserv Representative

    Comments (-1)
  • JTEA Negotiations Update

    Posted by Mary Judge at 5/12/2017

    Message from Patrick Tierney, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools


    The purpose of this statement is to address concerns regarding the negotiations process between the Jefferson Township Education Association (JTEA) and the Board of Education (BOE).  As you are aware, the BOE has been actively negotiating with the JTEA over the past two and a half years (the contract expired on June 30, 2015).  The BOE was happy to announce that both sides signed a Memorandum of Agreement accepting the Fact-Finder’s report and recommendations.  The Fact-Finder recommended that the membership receive a 2.75% salary raise in each year of the three-year contract. It should be noted that the BOE has accepted the JTEA’s proposed salary guides of all other members, including the bus drivers, aides, custodians and secretaries.

    The Fact-Finder also recommended, and the BOE and the JTEA agreed, that the BOE would add additional funds of $75,000 to the teacher salary increases in 2016-17 and $150,000 in 2017-18, giving the teaching staff a total of  $225,000 in increases above the 2.75% per year. This is directly related to the concerns brought forward by the JTEA, and confirmed by the BOE, that novice and mid-career teachers were leaving the district for better opportunities and increased wages in neighboring school districts.

    The BOE and the JTEA agreed that the distribution of these increases was also to be mutually agreed upon; that process has continued. It is the BOE’s intent to address the JTEA’s stated concern regarding salaries for staff members at lower steps, a concern that the BOE and administration share.

    Unfortunately, the original teacher salary guides submitted by the JTEA  did not meet this objective, as they placed a disproportionate amount of compensation at the higher steps and did less to address the entry-level and mid-career steps. The JTEA cannot publicly claim that our younger instructional staff members are leaving Jefferson Township  for better financial opportunities, while not fairly and equitably distributing available funds to those members. It is the BOE’s goal to expeditiously resolve this matter and it plans to meet with representatives from the JTEA and the New Jersey Education Association on Thursday, May 18 with the intent to successfully develop mutually agreed upon salary guides that address the concerns for our novice and mid-career teachers.  

    If the salary guides are not mutually accepted on May 18, the BOE is prepared to move forward and seek the appointment of a Superconciliator.

    Click here for the complete MOA: MOA

    Click here for the complete Fact-Finder report: Fact Finder

    Comments (-1)
  • A Message from the Superintendent

    Posted by Patrick Tierney at 3/22/2017 9:00:00 AM

    Hello Jefferson,

    I would like to bring to everyone's attention that the Board of Education adopted a revised calendar for the 2017-2018 school year at the February meeting.

    This calendar can be found on the district website. I encourage you to take a glance.

    I want to point out that the last day of school for students is now June 21st.

    Also included in this calendar are ten (10) early dismissal days. For those that are unaware, the district will be implementing three new curricula (ELA - Balanced Literacy, Mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards) in grades Kindergarten through Grade 5. The implementation of these new curricula require our instructional staff members to acquire additional training. It is our intention to utilize these 10 early dismissal days to provide the much-needed professional development to our staff to ensure the programs are implemented correctly.

    If anyone has questions, please feel free to reach out to your child's building principal for further explanation.

    Thank you in advance for your understanding while we look to enhance the learning environment for our children.



    Comments (-1)
  • Jefferson Township High School & Dover High School Summit

    Posted by Mary Judge at 3/7/2017

    On March 3rd Dr. Plotts, Mr. DiColo and seven of our high school students participated in the  "DOVER-JEFFERSON STUDENT LEARNING SUMMIT", which took place at Dover High School.  The seven students who were selected to attend were from our student council and athletic advisory council.  Upon our arrival Mr. Franks, Principal of Dover High School warmly greeted everyone and we enjoyed breakfast before starting the summit.

    The summit began with Mr. Franks moderating a discussion on the differences between both student bodies and communities, as well as what both have in common.  A YouTube video was viewed, which highlighted some great student and professional athletes, who have made positive impacts, such as Mohammad Ali.  Dr. Plotts led a discussion about the incident which took place in January and how both schools and communities can move forward. The students shared personal stories about themselves and their roots within their community.  The Principals facilitated another discussion about recent events, which were held in Jefferson with positive outcomes such as the Debate Team and Cheerleading competitions.  

    The meeting concluded with an invitation being extended from the Jefferson students to the Dover students, to come and visit our high school in the near future. 



    Comments (-1)


  • Jefferson Jefferson Township New Jersey

    Jefferson is the northernmost township in Morris County formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 11, 1804, from portions of Pequannock Township and Roxbury Township. The township was named after Thomas Jefferson, the President of the United States at the time the township was created.

    The township has two large divisions, Milton and Lake Hopatcong. Each half has its own first-aid squad, fire department substation and set of elementary schools. Both sections of the township share a high school and middle school.

    Jefferson Township has many natural and recreational facilities to offer including Lake Hopatcong (the largest lake in New Jersey), Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, and Camp Jefferson to name a few. Jefferson Township also offers many community activities including sports, scouts, library programs, concerts, picnics, as well as its yearly Jefferson Days celebration.

    Our Schools

    The Jefferson Township Public School District is committed to providing a quality education to all of our students, from kindergarten through grade 12. With approximately 3,000 students district wide, our seven schools promote the highest standards of academic excellence, as well as the highest social and ethical expectations within our learning community. Our district’s comprehensive K-12 curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they will require to be life-long learners, productive workers, and responsible and contributing citizens. At the Jefferson Township High School, our co-curricular programs offer a complete range of inter-scholastic athletics. We are consistently recognized by the NJSIAA for our sportsmanship.  Students compete in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference as well as Morris County tournaments in athletics.

    Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) exist in every school.  Within the PLCs, teachers work together to improve instructional practices.  The district continues to focus on tools for student assessment.  These assessments enable teachers and students to identify strengths and areas needing additional work. Unit and semester assessments are designed to prepare students for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) administration.

    The district has incorporated the Common Core Standards (CCS) in all curricular areas and professional development to assist our teachers is on-going.

    Our Mission

    All students are held to the highest standards for academic, social and ethical behavior. They are motivated to learn, self-assured, and confident individuals. Students are prepared to apply their skills and knowledge as productive citizens in an ever-changing world. 

    Members of the educational community are facilitators of learning who work cooperatively and support students. The educator differentiates instruction while encouraging inquiry-based learning, critical thinking skills, and community based activities.  Instruction focuses on practical and technological problem solving applications. 

    A diverse curriculum provides opportunities which promote student learning. The curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary connections and a global perspective.  Student assessments provide continuous feedback on achievement of benchmarks which align with learning outcomes, state, and national standards.

    It is the expectation of this school district that all pupils achieve the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards at all grade levels.

    Belief Statements

    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should develop a sense of responsibility emphasizing interpersonal relationships, good citizenship, cultural and global awareness.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students learn best in a safe and secure environment which encourages them to accept challenges and become creative problem solvers.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should be able to communicate appropriately and effectively with others in a diverse population.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should be prepared to apply acquired skills and knowledge in an ever-changing society.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should reach the highest academic, social, and ethical standards.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should make positive contributions to the community.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should become life-long learners.

    Strategic Plan 

    The District will be hosting the third and final strategic planning session on December 12, at 7:00 PM at the Jefferson Township High School Media Center.  All are welcome to attend.

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