ROSELAND, NJ — The Board of Education (BOE) met on June 23 to discuss plans for the fall, responses to the parent survey and other topics.

Board president Scott Gorman reported that despite the challenges of remote learning and things that the students missed out on, teachers and the community “made something special out of a difficult situation.” He elaborated, “The response to the situation was a wonderful example of this community pulling together in a tough time.”

Gorman continued, “Parents recognized that the school made the best of long distance learning.” It was “a unique experience, but there were a lot of positives.”

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Graduates enjoyed Principal Robyn Greenwald’s parade to visit each of their homes, and the graduate lawn signs helped make graduation festive. The HSA posted a sign with pictures of the graduates.

Gorman mentioned that Principal Greenwald is leaving the school, and Raul Sandoval will assume her role. BOE members praised Greenwald’s tenure as principal and said they look forward to working with Sandoval.

Another personnel change is that Supervisor of Special Service Mark Mansour is leaving, and Richard Celebre will assume that role. During public comments, a parent praised Mansour’s accomplishments during his tenure.

Laura Savarese shared the Financial and Facility Report and announced that the district received a Cares Act Grant for $28,000 for new Chrome Books.

She talked about the new construction project and the demographic study in preparation of it. They are having the demographer reanalyze the situation so the construction will have the least amount of impact on the academic year.

The Board discussed the results of the parent and teacher surveys. See attachment for the results. Many parents complimented the way the teachers handled this unusual school year.

Parents and teachers made recommendations for future remote learning (if it’s necessary), but overall, many comments were positive.

Corby Murano reported that Lauren Seiner stepped down as HSA Co-President after three years. Allison Scaraggi assumed Murano’s position, and Bonnie Sturchio continues her role as the other Co-President. Alyson Dorchak is the new Vice President.

Despite the pandemic, the HSA was able to complete two fundraisers: the plant sale and selling graduation lawn signs. The Tricky Tray was postponed.

The Back to School Committee hopes to meet in person over the summer because it’s difficult to have a remote meeting with 20 people. They will review social distancing at school, busing and the PikMyKid app which helps parents retrieve their children from school while avoiding overcrowding.

The Back to School Committee will also research what other school districts are doing to protect their schools from COVID-19.

Somers read a sixth grade statement about Mr. Noecker’s generous gifts, survey results and their desire to videotape the school play while socially distancing.

Gordon Gibbs, Business Administrator/Board Secretary, reported that the district approved the application for two grants: the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Grant of $62,158 (an increase of $6,548 from last year) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grant $104,655 (a $4,878 increase from last year).

He stated that the costs of Preschool, Early Morning Care and lunch will all remain the same.

Gibbs listed some of the equipment purchased to protect the students and teachers from COVID-19: 1,500 masks, 200 face shields, plastic gloves, child-size masks, Plexiglass partitions for classrooms and the nurse’s office, and two electrostatic sanitizer sprayers.

They are researching the cost of social distancing decals and temperature and thermal camera reading devices. There will be an audit in September.

BOE elections will be Nov. 3 on the election ballot. The deadline for candidate submissions is July 27.

Superintendent Deanne Somers was commended for her leadership and her structuring of remote learning. She credited the teachers for implementing her plans.

The next BOE meeting will be on Aug. 11.