RP BOE Meeting (September 16, 2008)

On September 16, 2008, in BOE, Video, by RP Citizens

The superintendent and board members were in attendance with the exception of Michael Genovese, Barney Leinberger, and Katherine Panetta.

Public Portion

Sarah Costa

  • Sarah Costa, the Roselle Park High School principal, wanted to take a moment to talk about the start of the school year. She is thrilled with the students and staff and this year’s theme which is ‘Panther Pride’. The new student council President Zachary Infante, is active in getting as many students involved. There is a renewed school spirit. For example,. there was a meeting with the 10th grade took place and 50 students attended as opposed to 10 students from last year. There is an emphasis on having students volunteer more to become more active in the community. There will be a club fair on Friday and the pep rally and homecoming game will be September 26th. The high school PTSA meet every third Monday of each month. Back-To-School night is September 25th. October 3rd will be National Jean Day. Mrs. Costa stated she is always available and that anyone with any concerns is welcome to see her before it becomes a problem.

Superintendent’s Report

  • The superintendent wasnted to update the Board on a workshop he attended regarding the Education Reofrm Bill signed by the Governer on January 13, 2008, which resulted in a 20% increase in school aid for Roselle Park. The superintendent stated that the Board needs to deal with the pre-school initiative. According to the requisites in the bill, Roselle Park might end up being responsible to give free pre-school to 69 at-risk students between the ages of 3 and 4. There are also determinations for at-risk students which states that those students must have six hours of education and there must be a maximum of 15 students. The plan for Roselle Park must be completed for the state to review by December 15th. The state will be giving Roselle Park $10,000 per student. This will affect charging tuition for the ECDC because the school district must meet state requirements first before charging those students who can pay. There will be another workshop on September 24th where more information will be made available.
    • Mr. Balaban asked if the program is to be pahsed in. The superintendent stated that it will be phased in over five years with 20% being housed by the first year. Mr. iachio asked if Roselle Park needs to offer pre-school to 14 at-risk children which means $140,000. The superintendent stated that was the case. Discussion continued that stated that the program will require oversight including a master teacher, administrators with a minimums of 3 years experience. Mr. Cindea asked if the $10,000 would be a one-time thing or would it be every year. She also asked if this is mandated. The superintendent stated that it is to be givben every year although the bill is still in discussions with regard to the details. Mrs. Kinloch asked how the school district would locate these students. She was notified that it would happen through advertising, notice sent home to parents. There was further discussion on how the paperwork would be handled and how would elgibility would be determined. Mr. Iachio said it felt like leading pigs to slaughter. President Cindea asked if there were any suggestions to address this aspect of the School Education reform Act. Mr. Iachio suggested resolutions. The superintendent stated that perhaps the Board should find out what other school districts are think about it.

Agenda Items

  • Agenda items 1 and 2were moved, voted on, and passed.
  • Agenda items 3 through 12 were moved, voted on, and passed
  • Agenda items 13 through 17 were moved and discussed. Superintendent Spagnoletti stated that items 16 and 17 are something new for the board. He suggested that since the BOE has a prerogative  to approve amounts under a certain amount. In future, the amount could be discussed and put on an agenda to only put items above that amount on the minutes. The items were voted on and approved, with Mrs. Rinaldi absatining on item # 17.
  • Agenda items 18 through 22 were moved, voted on, and approved. Mr. Balaban wanted to thank the district art teachers who apply for grants to lessen the tax burden for taxpayers.

Committee Reports

  • Mr. Balaban attended the Union County Educational Services Committee (UCESC) on September 3rd.
  • Mr. Iachio stated that Dad’s Club’s first meeting for the school year will be tomorrow, September 17th. He is president for the 8th year.

Continuing Business

  • There was discussion of Board members attending the next convention. Mrs Guercio, Mr. Spagnoletti, Mr. Iachio, and Mr. Balaban all will be attending two (2) days.
  • President Cindea thanked the board for making the in-service night separate from the meeting night.

New Business

  • The second BOE public meeting was scheduled for October 14th but due to a review of scheduling, it can be made on the 21st. After discussion and a vote, the meeting was moved from October 14th to October 21st.
  • There was discussion on the monetary limit regarding workshops. The amount agreed upon (with relation to items 16 & 17) was $250 per person per event. Additionally, routine trips should be announced at the school year to remove repeating them throughout the year.

Public Participation

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera asked if the public portion was a new format. The board stated that yes it was a suggestion from the public during Candidates’ Night.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if there is an update on energy conservation at the schools. The superintendent stated that the district is a member of ACES (Alliance for Competitive Energy Services) and the schools are all recycling. The Middle School has auto sensors for lights and the district is replacing as many units as possible with energy efficient ones. Mr. Magiera asked if thermostats are reduced. The Board stated that they are and during off school hours, they are automatically reduced.
  • Mr. Magiera asked why Sherman School is the last to get anything. The superintendent stated that the boiler at Sherman was the one in the best shape.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if there are any communications from Mr. Adase’s advisor. The board stated that the advisor sent in paperwork since the last meeting and testing might be done this week.
  • Mr. Magiera asked, regarding item 8, what the 50% was next to some faculty staff. He was told that each one of the instructors will receive half of the salary.
  • Mr. Magiera asked about the disposal of the laminator and the mixer. He wanted to know if the mixer was disposed, scrapped, sold? The superintendent stated it was attempted to be sold but there were no offers.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if the Board had money in the stock market. The Board stated no.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:43 pm