HOLMDEL, NJ -  Holmdel parents will be seeing more of their board of education this year and that's a good thing.

After discussion of various formats, the Holmdel Board of Education will utilize what is called 'Committee of the Whole' for two subcommittees that previously met in a smaller format. They are Labor and Personnel as well as Curriculum. It is a hybrid arrangement of the two formats most common in school boards. The key difference is that these two committees will now include the entire board (the whole) as opposed to a subcommittee. Subcommittee meetings are perfectly appropriate and common. However, it was determined that the two committees in question may better serve the board and the community by fostering greater engagement between members and sharing more of their work for the community in front of the community.

Expect additional public notices moving forward. You can stay on top of school news at the WEBSITE

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In what is becoming a more regular and welcome feature of Board of Education meetings there was a performance in the beginning of the meeting. To the delight of all, the WR Satz dance class performed one of their routines.

Another presentation was not as lively but educationally important. The administrative team presented on the 'Standardized Assessment Peer District Analysis". Instead of the typical comparison that matched Holmdel against New Jersey averages the process was different - it compared Holmdel's data points with districts that are considered similar well in the educational world. The results are generally high for Holmdel and areas of concern were identified for follow up. The report is on the website. 

Another item on the busy agenda related to the audit. Holmdel changes auditors recently and the public feedback was that it is a welcome change. It is often recommended to change auditors every so often to have a different set of eyes reviewing the district finances.

The last main presentation was from the health insurance broker for the district. The Holmdel Board of Education and the Holmdel Teachers Education Association are working under an expired contract - that means that the old contract is staying in place and in force while they discuss having a new agreement. One aspect referenced at the meeting is the status of the health insurance program.

Brown and Brown is the health insurance broker for the Board of Education. They provided a status of the current plan enjoyed by the teachers - it is a top health insurance plan that includes no deductible and 100% coverage for most in-network services, a $10 co-payment for doctors and for out of network,  a $100 deductible. The presentation went into greater detail . With the cost now rising to over $38,000 a year for a family (with costs shared between the school and the employees according to a formula)  is not an inexpensive endeavor. The meeting disclosed that they are meeting with a mediator in February to discuss the contract further.

In other news the board also welcomed the new Assistant Business Administrator Jessica DeWysockie at a salary of $118,000. She will be replacing ABA Mancuso who is resigning to take a new assignment as a Business Administrator in another district.