HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Several parents expressed their concerns about a staff member, scheduling conflicts and the Italian class at January's Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education meeting.

Parent Pete Baron spoke to the Board about encounters with a janitor at Lincoln School. He claimed the initial incident happened when walking his dog at Burton and Paterson, at the school. Baron said the staff member said twice, "How's your son, the retard?" as he was standing with the school's crossing guard. Baron said he was upset and went home. He called principal Joseph Colangelo and explained what happened. He was "asked to put it in writing." Baron said he was told the employee received a letter of reprimand. 

Baron told of another alleged incident with the same employee, saying he "put his hands between his legs and says 'suck this.'" Baron also claimed the same employee takes pizza and milk "home from Lincoln School."

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He ended his comments to the board by saying, "It's in your hands."

Two parents addressed two different scheduling conflicts with their students' schedules. Lisa Krommenhoek explained the middle school students get out of school at 12 noon during their quarterlies testing during two marking periods, noting they "have no where to go." She asked whether the schedule could be coordinated with the elementary schools' half days. Dr. Matthew Helfant, Superintendent of Schools, explained that there is a conflict in scheduling because of the shared teachers between the middle and high schools, but offered that they "do look at it every year."

Another parent Jessica DeRosa asked the school for help with her student who attends Bergen Tech a half day, and Hasbrouck Heights a half day. She said neither school's February or spring breaks align. She said she's been "told three different things and nobody has an answer." She wants to know which schedule to follow.

"It needs to be black and white, we can't have gray," she said. 

Helfant said he would follow up the following day.

Parent Antonette Vignola asked about the online books for the Italian class that she said the class has not used. She said that she emailed several people in the district including the teacher, Board members and several administrators and had not heard back. She also asked about Italian online program that the district had purchased the last school year.

The Italian teacher's final day was Friday, January 24. The new incoming teacher will not begin until mid-March.

Helfant said the online books were one of the resources that the district has and that can be used in the classroom. He said that they were working to set up a meeting with her to discuss the matter further.


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