Uniform Survey Results and Presentations Highlight Hasbrouck Heights BOE December Meeting

Diane van Hook (center) is recognized by Joseph Maestropietro, middle school principal, and Dr. Matthew Helfant, superintendent, on her retirement. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Dr. Matthew Helfant recognizes outgoing Board president Joseph Samperi. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Dr. Helfant discusses the results of the Uniform Survey. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- Special presentations and results of the parents' uniform survey were highlights at Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education's December meeting on Thursday night. Because the school’s are closed for the holiday break, the meeting was held earlier in the month.

The first presentation recognized middle school secretary Diane van Hook who is retiring, having worked at the district since 2002.

“She is one of the sweetest, nicest people you will ever meet,” said Joseph Maestropietro, middle school principal. “Every student, every teacher, every parent who walked into that middle school office has nothing but wonderful things to say about how she made them feel.”

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He recounted a recent example from a parent who was moving and transferring her children to a different district. She told him that when she first came to Hasbrouck Heights, the first person she saw in the Board office was Diane van Hook. “I’m never going to forget the way she made me feel. I was excited to come to Heights.”

The second presentation recognized outgoing Board president Joseph Samperi. Dr. Matthew Helfant spoke about his passion and vision.

“He was passionate about things in this district,” said Helfant. “He really cares about Hasbrouck Heights. He cares about the students and teachers. He had a vision and worked hard to achieve that vision.”

Helfant noted that Samperi led the fight to bring the technology initiative to the district, and always put the district first.

After the special presentations, Helfant announced the results of the recent parent survey on uniforms in the district. He outlined the outreach the Board conducted announcing the survey at a Board meeting, an introduction email with the survey and a follow-up reminder email. He explained there are 1182 total parents in the district, of which 606 responded, a 54.7% response rate. The Board originally indicated it would only take action on the survey if it received a 70% response rate. The final results were:

324 Yes to uniforms (54%)

282 No to uniforms (46%)

Janet Lohrmann asked whether the survey could be re-introduced at the beginning of the next school year, when paperwork is sent home with students. Several parents suggested better enforcement of the current dress code policy.


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