Westfield Board of Education Meeting Reviews Summer Work

Left to Right: Dana Sullivan, Margaret Dolan, Richard Mattessich and Rosanne Kurstedt at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting. Credits: Alexandria Addesso
Title slide. Credits: Alexandria Addesso

WESTFIELD, NJ — A week before the commencement of the new school year, Westfield's Board of Education discussed its work over the summer, the board and district goals as well as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act School Self-Assessment at its Tuesday meeting.

“Over 50 different curriculum were revised, including Mandarin,” said Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan. “Mandarin III will be offered this year.”

Aside from the numerous revisions to the curriculum, there were also many physical updates made in the district. Roosevelt Intermediate School’s boiler was replaced and the full system will be installed by Oct. 15.

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Eight school roofs were worked on over the summer. Tamaques parent Lauren Guberer asked the board when work on the school’s roof would be completed and if it would cause a distraction to the school day.

“It shouldn’t be any interruption and, if it is, they will continue to work on off hours,” said Board Business Administrator Dana Sullivan.

A presentation on both the board and district goals for the 2014-2015 school year was given.

The first board goal was to elevate board work to be more strategic and forward thinking. The second goal was to clarify governance structures, roles and responsibilities of the board as well as individual boardmanship. Board member Rosanne Kurstedt discussed the need for more workshops to better achieve both goals.

“A lot of the time we can get caught up in the day-to-day nitty gritty,” said Kurstedt.

District goals came from the five-year strategic plan, which is now in its fifth year. The first had to do with the development or procedures and recommendations to address long-term financial needs. The second dealt with community relations and how to make the work of the district match the community’s needs. Dolan discussed the developing of a community survey to form the basis of the strategic plan that will take place from November to June 2015.

“There is a great deal of work to go,” said Dolan in relation to the survey.

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, the Westfield School District had a school self-assessment.

The schools were assessed on a zero- to three-point system, with zero as not meeting the requirements and three exceeding them. In the majority of the categories most of the district schools averaged a three. The only school to rate themselves as a zero was Westfield High School, in regard to their staff instruction and training programs.

“That has been rectified and training is already scheduled for this year,” said Dolan.

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