Millburn School Board Votes to Hire Retiring Police Captain As District Security Coordinator

Ken Ettinger comments on the proposed Millburn school district goals for 2013-2014. Credits: Bob Faszczewski
Credits: Bob Faszczewski
School board candidate Emily Jaffe asks about the appointment of district bond counsel. Credits: Bob Faszczewski

MILLBURN, NJ—Michael Palardy, Jr., who is retiring as a captain with the Millburn Police Department will become the first coordinator of security for the Millburn public schools on September 3, thanks to a resolution approved on Monday by the Millburn Township Board of Education.

Superintendent of Schools James Crisfield said Palardy's working knowledge of the township police department will make him a great asset in his new position.

Palardy will work for 10.5 months per year at an annual salary of $43,000 in the post, which will be equivalent to about three quarters of a fulltime position.

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In another move related to security, the board on Monday approved the hiring of Jerry Mantone as a security guard at the middle school. The 10-month position, also equivalent to three quarters of a fulltime position, will pay $25,000 per year.

In his annual review of the school safety and security plan, Crisfield noted that by this fall there will be two part-time security guards at the high school and two part-time guards at the middle school in addition to Palardy.

Although Millburn has not decided, like Summit, to limit return visits by parents to its schools during the school day in the interests of security, the superintendent said return visits by parents and others to the school during the day does take time away from the other duties of school staff members.

Crisfield did not go into the specific details of the 2013-2014 security plan because, he said, much of it, of necessity, must not be made public. He noted, however, that all school employees now have photo identification and all employee cars must be equipped with parking stickers. In addition, security cameras are being installed in all schools this summer.

He added that regular emergency drills will continue and documentation and followup training will continue so all employees know what to do in each situation.

The superintendent also told resident Ken Ettinger that the district is cognizant of the necessity to secure all computer passwords.

On another matter, board members made some minor revisions to the draft 2013-2014 district goals they adopted at last week's board of education retreat.

At the suggestion of Regina Truit, who chairs the property committee, the school body agreed to acknowledge the interrelationship of facilities and curriculum in its action plan when considering adding new spaces, adjusting existing space3s for improved sustainability and maintaining existing spaces to preserve and protect what exists in the district.

Lise Chapman's suggestion for a year-end review of a goal for implementation of the second year of the new teacher evaluation system was added to a call for mid-year check-in provisions in the evaluation system.

Board member John Westfall-Kwong, who was a member of the district's strategic planning committee prior to joining the board, said the facilities roadmap envisioned in the goals should include references to the strategic plan facilities implementation plan.

His fellow board members agreed, and Crisfield said the fact that existing strategic plan committees were ready to proceed with their strategic plans would be acknowledged.

Regarding the goals, however, Ettinger said he was concerned that the emphasis on the long-term nature of the strategic plan might take away from the educational items that should continue beginning with the first day of school in order to continue the high ranking of the Millburn district.

Board president Jeffrey Waters replied that this way not the case, pointing to the fact that the board on Monday approved 25 items aimed at improving the curriculum and the adoption of a number of new textbooks in various study areas.

On another matter, the board approved the hiring of the Roseland law firm of McManimon, Scotland and Baumann to act as bond counsel to assist with capital projects associated with the next round of state RODs (Regular Operating Disricts) grants and the district's participation in the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy Local Government Energy Audit Program.

The school body also authorized the participation of the bond counsel, its project architect, Parette Somjen, and school business administrator Steven DiGeronimo in preparing plans and requests for proposals in conjunction with the projects.

On another facilities matter, the education body authorized DiGeronimo to aubmit an application to continue the temporary classroom space at Glenwood School for the 2013-2014 school year.

In response to a question from Chapman, DiGeronimo said the district planned to upgrade the decking on the temporary classrooms and perhaps to do some other upgrades to the classroom space, which has been used by the district for almost 10 years. He said there currently are no plans to discontinue use of the temporary classrooms.

Chapman voted against the reauthorization.

The board also approved the purchase of Smart Board technology at a cost of $182,950, with an Education Foundation gift of $86,482, Deerfield PTO gift of $5,978, Glenwood PTO gift of $10,000 and $80,490 coming from the district's general fund.

Also approved was the purchase of $64,994 in Apple computer technology, with an Education Foundation gift of $58,432 and $6,561 coming from the general fund.


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