Special Needs Grant Award Highlight of West Orange Board of Education Meeting

Connie Salimbeno and Terry Granato applied for a government grant for special needs students at EMS.  They received one for $52K. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Board members and staff interact after the meeting. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange Board of Education moved forward with personnel items and offered some updates prior to the start of the school year on Sept. 9.

Board members Laura Lab and Megan Brill were absent, Lab being away on vacation and Brill being ill.

The evening's highlight came as Director of Special Services Connie Salimbeno and Terry Granato, Student Support Services coordinator for grades K-8, discussed the "Improving Achievement in English Language Arts and Math for Students with Disabilities Grant" which has been funded by a government Individuals with Disabilities in the amount of $52,000, awarded to Edison Middle School.

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The grant is already in place and 22 students are attending a Summer Bridge program geared towards providing special needs students with the extra 'edge' they need to develop confidence and understand the math and language arts curriculum as they transition from elementary to middle school. EMS qualified for the grant because it is a 'focus' school.  

In other news, Interim Superintendent James O'Neill discussed the Mock Shooter Drill being held on Aug. 20 told the audience about meetings he has held with parents regarding safety in the schools. The specific issue of the township utilizing other locations for voting instead of the public schools has been a topic of ongoing  discussion, and O'Neill noted that a letter writing campaign may be needed to appeal to the township and county, as well as to reach out to churches, synagogues, and other possible locations.

The board also voted "no" on a bid by Simon Says for the upcoming school year to provide public relations services.  

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. at West Orange High School.


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