MILLBURN, NJ - An Institutional Advancement Committee was appointed by Millburn Board of Education President John Westfall-Kwong at Monday’s session of the school body.

The committee is aimed at coordinating board, staff and community input into decisions surrounding the possible purchase by the Millburn School District of the Millburn Regional Day School and other capital projects that may possibly be placed on a township referendum next year,

Board member Michael King was named to chair the committee, which also will include board members Jesse Liu, Emily Jaffe and Regina Truitt.

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Westfall-Kwong also announced that he would take over chairmanship of the board communications committee from King to enable King to give the proper amount of attention to the instituional advancement committee. King will continue to be a member of the communications committee.

The regional day school, originally owned by the township school district, was sold to the state several years ago and has been operated by the Bergen County Special Services School District as a program serving students aged three to 21 with multiple disabilities. The state has decided it no longer has a need for the facility and it has given the Millburn district right of first refusal on its purchase.

In a report on the institutional advancement committee on Monday, King said the state is “holding” a regional day school decision until it hears from the Millburn district. He added the Millburn board committee will have to make a decision soon on the dates needed in the process for the possible purchase.

He also said the committee will get input from principals and other staff members and expects to hold open committee sessions in the near future to get public input on any decisions regarding the day school and other capital projects.

If the board decides to hold a referendum, he added, that probably will take place in March or September of 2016.

The school body, for several months, has been discussing the possible use of the day school and/or the current Millburn Education Center as possible locations for 21st century learning centers and expansion of other achool facilities.

In another action at Monday’s meeting, the board approved the appointment of Michael Ryan, current district of curriculum and instruction, as assistant superintendent of professional development, assessment and reporting, effective on Tuesday, August 18, at a prorated annual salary of $150,000. Ryan has been serving as assistant to superintendent of schools Christine Burton for curriculum and instruction since she became acting superintendent and then permanent superintendent following the departure of former superintendent of school James Crisfield last year.

The school body also approved the appointment of Kyle Arlington who was assistant superintendent of curriculum, programs and staff relations, effective on or before October 16 of this year at a prorated annual salary of $150,000.

Burton, in her supertintendent’s report, announced that, because the projected class size of the incoming fifth-grade class at Glenwood School would exceed district guidelines, another fifth-grade section would be added and the district would begin recruiting staff for the added section.

The superintendent also summarized progress on the district and board goals this year:

  • Utilization of professional learning communities to enhance instruction practices and student achievement targets; that knowledge will be  shared this month with administrators to aid in drafting staff professional development plans this month and in developing a schedule for district professional development this month and next month;
  • Targeting completion of third year targets in the focus areas of the strategic planning implementation teams during the 2015-2016 school year;
  • Development of an educational and infrastructure plan necessary to address district curricular and capital planning needs for the next five to 10 years; and 
  • The board goal of implementing guidelines for best practices to promote efficiency and efficacy at board and committee meetings for the 2015-2016 school year.

The school body on Monday also approved participation of the Millburn district in Sustainable Jersey for Schools in an effort “to support and work with school staff and administrators, students, and parents to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students by encouraging our school community to implement sustainable, energy-smart, eco-friendly, and cost-effective solutions.”

Burton will be the district liaison to Sustainable Jersey for Schools.

Jennifer Duckworth, chairwoman of the Millburn Township Environmental Commission, congratulated the board and school district for its decision to participate in the Sustainable Jersey Program.