MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Board of Education took another major step in preparing the Washington School to welcome fifth-grade students for the 2017-2018 school year. The interior renovations and building systems improvement contract went to Mark Construction, Inc.

The Mark Construction, Inc. bid for $1,624,000 was the fourth lowest bid of the 15 bids ranging from $1,125,220 to $3,860,000 submitted to the board. The bids by the three lowest bids were reviewed and deemed to contain 'material defects' and were rejected in accordance with New Jersey Public Contracts Law, NJSA 18A:18A-1. Superintendent Dr. Christine Burton indicated that the renovations could start as early as next week even though the final deed transfer would not be completed until mid-March. In light of this, the district obtained permission to access the school and begin the renovations in the interim and the board approved the license agreement unanimously with the business agenda items.

Superintendent Dr. Christine Burton touched upon the ongoing budget process, but the district was still waiting on the state aid numbers before they can finalize the budget package. "We have been working diligently to bring a balanced budget." Burton indicated that they anticipated receiving that information within 48 hours of Governor Chris Christie's address on Tuesday. The presentation and public hearing on the budget is anticipated for the March 13 meeting.

The policy committee report focused on the homework policy that has garnered substantial attention as a key driver in the much-discussed student stress problem. The committee focused its attention on homework regulation 2330. Board member Regina Truitt reported, "Dr. Burton recommended the addition to the Millburn school district homework policy that 'no homework assignments may be posted later than one hour after school dismissal'. The committee unanimously recommends this amendment." The policy committee is also looking for further review and discussion on the quantity and quality of homework assignments, the ability for students to keep tests and the timely return of tests and quizzes.