Westfield Board of Education Adopts 2014-2015 Budget

Left to Right: Richard Mattessich, Ann Carey, Alexa Derman Credits: Alexandria Addesso
Credits: Alexandria Addesso
Left to right: Jeanne Gottko and Adam Pizzi giving the instructional technology presentation Credits: Alexandria Addesso

WESTFIELD, NJ - The 2014-2015 school year budget was presented and adopted at the Westfield Board of Education Meeting on April 29.

“Over 75 percent of the budget goes directly to the students,” said board member and business administrator Dana Sullivan.

The budget includes a $66,677 increase in state aid from what was received for this current school year. This included two new amounts that had never been allotted before:  The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Aid and Per Pupil Growth Aid.

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Overall there is a $124,000 increase in the operating budget, offset by a $57,323 decrease in debt service. After the Power Point presentation was given, the new budget was voted in by the board and approved.

At the meeting there was also a instructional technology presentation given by Jeanine Gottko and Adam Pizzi, the K-5 and 6-12 grade master technology teachers, respectively. They emphasized the three pillars of the 21st Century classroom in Westfield, which are learning management systems, digital tools and professional development.

For the learning management systems they stressed the Edline, a particular learning community system, launched as a “big initiative” during this school year.

“We’ve worked tirelessly with teachers in the classroom with Edline,” said Gottko.

Digital tools such as Blendspace, Soundcloud and Educreations were discussed as also successfully utilized. After school development, one-to-one consultations and screencasts were all attributed to third pillar.

As a special superintendent announcement was made to give Alexa Derman a certificate from the board. After winning two statewide competitions, one for English creative nonfiction and another for a young playwrights competition, she was awarded the Governor’s Award in Arts Education.

On June 3, Derman’s play will be performed by actors at Kean University, and it will be professionally performed in Los Angeles from June 12-15 among many other awards and recognitions she received.

“Terrific job,” said board president Richard Mattessich.

The next board of education meeting will be at held at the Wilson elementary School on May 6 preceded by a reception to honor Coral Venturino, a Philhower recipient, at 7 p.m.

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