BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The 2014-2015 school year budget was presented and adopted at the Board of Education Meeting on April 24. The budget allows for maintaining the class size policy, prepares students for PARCC testing and Common Core, upgrades to facilities while taking advantage of state grants, repairs to Columbia B wing roof and classrooms, improves technology infrastructure, and meets requirements of students with special needs.
The board voted to approve the $44.8 M budget which equates to a $216 increase on the average assessed home; of the $216, the school budget accounts for $160 of the increase, while a decrease in Berkeley Heights ratables account for the remaining $56. The budget can be viewed on the district website.
Rachel's Challenge was presented with an assembly at Gov. Livingston for students and a presentation for the community on April 25. The program is based on the life and writing of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine tragedy in 1999. Rachel's Challenge is designed to "motivate and equip students to start and sustain a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that transforms schools and communities." The program was funded by a grant through the BHEF.
"Feedback on the program was extremely positive and hundreds of students signed a large mural 'accepting' Rachel's Challenge," said Board Member Doug Reinstein.
"We will be creating a club called the Four Club which is Friends with Rachel. The program focused on starting the chain of positive reactions. Students that saw the program were just amazed," said Superintendent Judy Rattner.
The Department of Education Director of Innovation visited the district and has invited the district to participate in a program called Innovate NJ because of what they saw in terms of programs that exist in the district and some of the uses of technology said Rattner.
The Gov. Livingston Future Business Leaders of America Students will be participating in the National competition.
Columbia Middle School Tiger Market has won a NJ State award for the school store that sells supplies to students during lunch.
On May 1, Dr. Asher of Behavior Therapy Association will be providing an ADHD and Executive Functioning and Parent Strategies Presentation at Governor Livingston High School on at 6:30 p.m.
On May 7, Mrs Reedy and Ms. Swon will be continuing their discussion of the book "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & How to Listen so Kids Will Talk" in the Hughes School Library from 7 to 8:30pm. Topic for this session is encouraging autonomy, engaging cooperation and praise.
The next Board of Education Meeting will be held at Gov. Livingston High School Auditorium on May 8 at 8 p.m. The meeting will follow the Teacher of the Year Reception.