Education

Livingston BOE Reviews School Calendar and Ratifies New Contracts

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Board of Education had a calendar discussion and ratified employment contracts at Monday evening's meeting.

Calendar Discussion

Interim Superintendent Steven Robinson introduced two calendar options for the 2015-16 school year. Each calendar will provide more flexibility in the case of extensive inclement weather, as was the case this past winter, according to Robinson. The most extensive difference between the two options is in the spring semester.

Sign Up for E-News

A partial breakdown of the two calendars is as follows:

Calendar A:

  • Full week of February break, starting with President’s Day

  • One day off in March (Good Friday)

  • A full week of April break

  • Three days are included in case of inclement weather. If a fourth day is needed, it would be taken from the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend

Calendar B:

  • A five-day weekend in February, from the 12th to the 16th

  • An extended spring break from March 25 to April 1

  • Includes four emergency days for inclement weather. If a fifth day is necessary, it would be taken from the Friday before Memorial Day. If a sixth day is necessary, it would be taken from a professional development day. Any days in excess of six would be taken from the spring break.

Copies of both calendars are available as attachments to this week’s Board agenda on the District website.

Both Robinson and Winograd voiced their support for calendar option B.

“From a continuity standpoint, I think having one longer break in the Spring is better for the children,” Winograd said. “I know when my kids come back from a break, it’s hard for them to get back into the flow of school and doing homework.”

The Board also devoted time to discussing the scheduling of elementary level summary parent-teacher conferences in the spring. Traditionally, the spring conferences have taken place over a set three-day period in which the elementary schools have partial days. Robinson recommended the elimination of the period in an effort to increase instructional time by having full days; he agreed to explore flexible scheduling at the insistence of multiple Board members.

“These conferences are very important because teachers and parents can have a face-to-face interaction in which they document areas of concern and areas of progress. It gives parents a mechanism or vehicle to understand what’s going on with their child,” Board member David Jasin said.

“The fall conferences establishes a baseline of expectations, while the spring conferences give [parents] a summary of the year.”

Contract Signings

The Board ratified the employment contracts for the district’s two collective bargaining units, the Livingston Education Association and the Livingston Administrators Association, effective July 1, 2014 and running through June 30, 2017.

The vote for the ratification of the LEA contract was unanimously approved, while Board member Arthur Altman submitted a “No” vote for the contract between the Board and the LAA.

“While I would have approved the generous salary increases, I cannot in good conscience support adding to and enhancing some of the extra perks dictated by this contract,” Altman said.

Some of the “perks” described by Altman include longevity increases in salary, which would add a specific amount of salary after increase after an individual has served a set period of time, such as seven or 10 years. The contract calls for increased 403(b) contributions from the district. It also calls for increasing the per diem rate for unused sick days, as well as allowing administrators to “bank” or save unused vacation days for a future payout upon retirement.

“With all due respect to our talented administrators… it’s time to cap sunset pay and eliminate backdoor compensation,” Altman said.

Several Board members voiced their disagreements with Altman’s claims.

“To be honest, I resent the term ‘perks’ being used to describe the conditions of the contract,” Winograd said. “In my private sector job, I have extensive experience consulting for executive-level compensation and I think to describe these measures as ‘perks’ is extremely misleading. Compared to some of our peer districts, the contract is actually conservative in some ways.”

Funt echoed Winograd’s sentiments. “We negotiated with [the LEA and LAA] in good faith and I believe we have come up with a very fair, responsible contract. I stand by it fully.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Register Now to Save Over $200 at West Essex Cheer and Tumble Academy

July 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Essex Cheer & Tumble Academy is now offering $75 off per month for your first three months. Register now at wecheeracademy.com/explorer-academy, use Code TAP to receive $75 off per month for your first three months. 

Children who take the after-school classes also qualify to receive a $40 per month discount on any of the gyms All ...

Save $2.50 on Next Visit to Livingston Car Wash

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Drivers can save $2.50 the next time they get their vehicle cleaned at Livingston Car Wash.

Come to Livingston Car Wash at 111 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue for a car wash and $2.50 will be discounted from the regular price.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_79d791602b5680d23c85_original

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Meet the Author: Lucy Tan

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_0e3e9edb72bd75ae1c80_bobbyvalli_par440_3_dates__11x17

Sat, August 4, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Man Stabbed in Valley Section of West Orange

July 18, 2018

WEST ORANGE – A West Orange man was stabbed Sunday evening during an attack in The Valley section of the township, according to officials.

Police were called the 300 block of Valley Road around 5:45 p.m. on a report of an aggravated assault. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed during an attack by a group of individuals who later fled the scene, according to township spokeswoman Susan ...

Livingston Town-Wide Campout, Movie Under the Stars Postponed

July 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — ​Due to rain in the forecast, Livingston's Town-Wide Campout and Movie Under the Stars has been rescheduled from July 21 to Saturday, Aug. 18.

Tent setup will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by games, a campfire, and Disney-Pixar's Coco at dusk!

More information about this annual event, part of Livingston's Youth Appreciation Celebration, can be ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors this week approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, ...

Bitcoin Scam Targets Livingston Residents

July 22, 2018

Dear Editor:

As I frequently write, scammers are becoming more sophisticated each day.

A resident called to advise me of the latest scam, somewhat obvious from the contents of the letter received, but with the many scandals being reported on in various media, a possible reality, depending upon the recipient, but certainly not this resident.

The letter only provided a possible email ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?

 

Enough already.  

 

I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.

 

“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...