CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Board of Education board members discussed possible confusion among parents about the first official day of school for students and confirmed that it is indeed Tuesday, Sept. 3, at its regular meeting held Monday night.

Teachers officially returned Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Chatham Superintendent Michael LaSusa reported that the district currently has 4,050 students enrolled and he expects more to register before the start of school. Even with additional enrollees, the total population should be down about 60 students, according to LaSusa.

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Peter Daquila, the board administrator/secretary, reported that the Washington School expanded bus dropoff area will be completed by Thursday, Aug. 29 and that the Chatham Middle School Auditorium renovation is on schedule to be fully completed by Jan. 1, 2020 (see the video below).

In other business, the board unanimously approved amendments to the wording in four school policies, including those related to policy 5533 in reference to "Pupil Smoking." The word "nicotine" was added to include vaping devices that are specifically used for the inhalation of nicotine.

"The only thing new in the policy was that we inserted the word 'nicotine',"  LaSusa said.


The Chatham Borough Police Department is in the process of hiring a Class 3 armed officer who will be on duty to cover borough schools Milton Avenue, Washington Avenue, and the Chatham Middle School. LaSusa said the officer will be on board Sept. 1. Chatham Township previously hired a Class 3 officer who started last spring and covers CHS, Southern Boulevard and Lafayette.

LaSusa also said that the district is close to installing a silent alarm system, which has been mandated by state law.

"The state has not issued any guidance," LaSusa said. "It's supposed to take effect with the school year. We are talking to vendors and trying to determine the best one."