Education

Berkeley Heights School Board Hears Updates On Subscription Busing, Safe Routes to School, More

1c8094eeac9e03021728_BE8C864B-ED67-41DD-B837-132F9004AAF1.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
f744af3059be00c1918f_2802AB34-20FD-43F0-BD1B-B9C72BFB264F.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
3b6506f516438a008f0e_AF34D0F9-D552-4E64-BD67-A4A08ADD8963.jpeg
From left, newly re-elected Board Of Education members, Dr. Gerard Crisonino and Bill Cassano read their Oaths of Office while School Business Administrator, Board Secretary Donna Felezzola listens. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
9f08da9436efb9b20301_476BFC1F-76A0-49DA-B25D-68BB28410782.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
94c797150403c49e59c4_E7CCD82F-06BA-46EE-8413-58588CA9B1EF.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
996814e07affff4d9214_63259E8E-1ACB-4739-A6A5-A1C1D910FA49.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
8e11c6494c5c97b8f686_37976399-63C2-4858-89B7-F3BE516C1705.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
f16bd63bde57f2a184b2_8CD29C12-9016-4E62-B3F6-B4E415A1154D.jpeg
Francesca Cade, left, and Juliann Lopes asked the board to consider adding a non-AP Physics II course. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
6e1253bf6ca02ff61bd5_7D821F8E-F87D-4F39-9D5A-0F2220A22027.jpeg
Assistant Superintendent Scott McKinney speaks to Francesca Cade and Juliann Lopes about their request to add a non-AP Physics II Class. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
1c8094eeac9e03021728_BE8C864B-ED67-41DD-B837-132F9004AAF1.jpeg

 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Bad weather postponed two Board of Education meetings this month, but on Thursday, Jan. 11, the board held its first meeting of 2018. Only six people attended the meeting.

School Business Administrator and Board Secretary Donna Felezzola, who was sitting in a place normally occupied by Board President Doug Reinstein, asked Bill Cassano and Dr. Gerard Crisonino to step forward to take their oath of office. She quipped that she was “administrating the oath of office to two new, returning board members.’ They were re-elected during the November elections. The men read their oaths of office at the same time.

January is School Board Member Recognition Month and Superintendent Judith Rattner used her Mission Moment to recognize all the board members. She said the job is “time consuming,” and takes a lot of energy. “Thank you so much for doing this for us.”

Sign Up for E-News

As part of the reorganization meeting, the board re-elected Reinstein president and Cassano Vice President.

The board accepted a donation from Larry Cohen. Reinstein said Cohen, whose children are older now, has “been a very generous supporter of the Berkeley Heights School District, got in touch and was looking to make another donation.”

After consulting with Cohen and Rattner, “We determined that upgrading the GL TV Studio to HD would really be a significant upgrade,”  Reinstein said. All the equipment in the current studio will be given to the Middle School, “like a feeder program, so people can get a TV studio experience,” he said. The $25,000 donation will allow the studio to produce HD programing and “everything you see, probably after another month or two, will be inHD. Graduation will be in HD, the play will be in HD … Thanks very much to Larry for his donation,” Reinstein concluded.

Before Student Representative James Pitingolo made his report to the board, the superintendent said she wanted to “share some incredible news … Jimmy actually received his early decision acceptance to Johns Hopkins. Congratulations, we wish you the very best. I can’t recall the last time I heard somebody that excited,” she said. Her announcement was met with enthusiastic applause from the board and residents.

During the Superintendent’s Report, Rattner updated residents on what’s happening in the district.

It’s concert season, still on the calendar are:

GL Band Concert will be Tuesday, Jan. 16, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. – the snow date will be Thursday, Jan. 18.

The CMS Choir and Orchestra Concert will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the High School, in the auditorium.

The CMS Band Concert will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, at the High School, in the auditorium.

Other upcoming activities include:

The district is involved in PARCC Trials now and Assistant Superintendent Scott McKinney posted the “Final PARCC calendar,” Rattner said.

The survey results are in and the board will touch upon them “at our next board meeting when we look at our strategic planning update,” said Rattner.

The only public meeting on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Non-AP Physics II Course Requested

Two Governor Livingston High School students, Francesca Cade and Juliann Lopes, asked the board if it would consider adding a non-AP Physics II course to the schedule.

Both are currently taking Physics I and want to take another year of Physics, but not at the AP level. They said they represented a larger group of students, including honors physics students “who don’t want to take on an AP Physics course,” said Cade.

McKinney said, “I suggest the next step is to sit down with Mr. Nixon and Mr. Finley,” to discuss this. McKinney said he would talk to Mr. Nixon, so he will be expecting to have a meeting with them.

Board members said they were impressed by their presentation and initiative. Pitingolo said he thought this might be a “good option for some students.”

Subscription Busing

The survey on subscription busing is finished.

Reinstein said the board will form an ad hoc committee on transportation which will include Chris Reilly, Helen Kirsch and Jeane Parker. The committee will work with Felezzola and, “they will bring back a proposal to the first meeting in March” as well as a recommendation, which will be discussed at the meeting, he said.

Felezzola reported that the survey went out to all parents of students in first through eighth grade. Of the approximately 1,000 surveys sent, there were 295 responses and of those, 153 were positive. Those parents were interested in using a subscription bus service for 190 students, at a cost of between $600 and $800 a year/per student, she said.

The highest number of students came from the Middle School, “about 100,” Hughes was next at 57, while Mountain Park and Woodward each had 16 students whose parents were interested, she told the board.

Safe Routes to School

Felezzola, in answer to a question by Reilly on the status of the Safe Routes to School program, said Berkeley Heights is eligible for Silver Elite Status and is working on being awarded that status and on a grant application to further improve the various routes to school. They qualify for that level because the district held specific events over a multi-year period, including regular walk to school or bike to school events and a bike rodeo.

The town will apply for Silver Status and do a survey to determine why people walk to school and, if not, why not. There is a committee in place to work on how to make their routes safer.

Reilly said she knows why people aren’t walking to school, “All you have to do is walk through some of those paths. There are big trees blocking the way … I can’t imagine we would have allowed this.”

The purpose of the grant will be to make improvements to those paths, Felezzola said.

The district will continue to work with the township on this.

Rattner said one of the reason the school district is so involved, is it wants its voice to be heard.

This year one of the projects has been to name all the paths in the township, of which there are some 22 or 23. The task was assigned the schools and now they are all named, even the paths that aren’t near the schools. Each school had a different theme – in one case it was animals, so one path is named “Owl” another is “Red Fox.” Cassano said township officials have said if the paths are named, they will provide signs.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

January 15, 2018

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Paterson Music Project Winter Concert January 27

January 21, 2018

PATERSON—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ Paterson Music Project (PMP) students will perform a Winter Concert on Saturday, January 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the School 26 Auditorium located at 1 East 32nd Street in Paterson. The concert is free and open to the public.

Students from the Community Charter School of Paterson, School 1, School 26, School 15, Norman S. Weir ...

The Springfield Recreation Department is Now Accepting Applications for Summer Jobs at the Pool and Camp

SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The Springfield Recreation Department recently released 2018 summer employment information for pool and camp.

The Springfield Recreation Department announced it is now accepting applications for summer jobs at the Community Pool, Pool Camp, and Chisholm Playground Camp.

The positions include: head counselor, counselor, substitute counselor, lifeguard, pool front ...

Claude Fusco Joins Imagine Board of Trustees

 

Claude had a 36-year career at Ernst & Young LLP including 25 years as a partner serving in various roles around the globe including an International Tax Client Service Partner, Director of Tax for Ernst & Young International, Global Chair of Expatriate Tax Services, and New Jersey Managing Partner.

Claude resided in Westfield with his family from 1986 to 2009. He was married ...

Men of Bronze, Harlem’s Rattlers Featured in Union County Black History Month Celebration

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to welcome all residents and visitors to the 2018 Union County Black History Month Celebration event, featuring a screening of Men of Bronze, a rare 1977 documentary about the 369th Regiment in World War I.

Keynote speaker Dr. Jeffery Sammons, Professor of History at New York University, will provide commentary on the film and present his ...

Cranford Planning Board Hears Redevelopment Study for North Avenue East

January 11, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – Furious residents and business owners filled the municipal chambers on Wednesday evening as the Cranford Planning Board heard a presentation from Harbor Consultants regarding the redevelopment of a portion of North Avenue East.

The redevelopment evaluation spans from Bar Americana to the Riverside Inn and includes the Cranford Fire House, Marino Seafood and more. Some of ...

Rutgers ​Plans New Chapter for New Brunswick's Riverfront

January 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For decades, the remaking of New Brunswick's riverfront has been a tug of war between historical and environmental conservationist​s​ on the one hand, and developers and city officials on the other.

The 2030 physical master plan for Rutgers University has ignited a potentially new chapter for the city's relationship with ​its ​river, in the​ ...

Union County Manager Faella Announces His Retirement Effective March 1

January 9, 2018

 

ELIZABETH, NJ---Mountainside resident and Union County Manager Alfred J. Faella, the County’s top-appointed executive responsible for the day-to-day operations of a government that provides services to more than half a million residents, has announced his retirement effective March 1st.

Faella, 62, announces his retirement after a career spanning 25 years in City, State ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, January 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_6081f1809c4349609037_4bf41565511dfeb781d4_undergroundrailroadsmall2

Sun, January 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

LWV, AAUW Co-host 'The Underground Railroad' ...

Sun, January 21, 2:30 PM

The Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center, Westfield

Westfield Historical Society Presents: T. Thomas ...

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Home & Garden

Sun, January 21, 3:30 PM

Temple Emanu-El, Westfield

Mostly Music Chamber Music Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, January 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Tue, January 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Mayor's Round Table: Town Planner Discusses Redevelopment and Master Plan

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Mayor's Round Table is a monthly show hosted by Dr. Donald DeFabio, who sits with Mayor Robert Woodruff to talk about current issues that affect the township.

Included in this episode, Mayor Bob Woodruff spoke with Township Planner Mike Mistretta of Harbor Consultants about the Master Plan.

Information on Redevelopment

Close to shovels in the ...

I’m Not Happy

Rewind to August.  The car was anxiously packed, summer reading was done (does the movie count?), and it was time to start the journey to campus.  There had been so much anticipation for this moment and you excitedly thought about what your first few days on campus would be like.  Maybe they were everything you thought they would be, maybe not.  Maybe somewhere along the way ...

The 6 Common Mistakes People Are Making When Picking a Financial Advisor

There are 6 mistakes people often make when engaging a financial advisor -- and all of them are avoidable! 

Before listing the mistakes, let's put the issue of paying for financial advice into context. Health and money are two areas of life where everyone benefits from professional input and support but people handle the wisdom of professional medical care differently ...