MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Board of Education kicked off the new school year with their first meeting on Monday by welcoming 13 new teachers to the district with a meet and greet before the call to order.
Carlos Edmundo, director of Buildings & Grounds, started off the presentations with an update on building projects completed over the summer including painting, repairs to asphalt, fencing, gym floor sanding and the multiyear Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP), which upgrades all classrooms to LED lighting. He outlined the ongoing work and the highlighted projects tha are on the horizon for continued improvements noting, "Millburn is one of the most affluent districts in the state, and I just want to make the schools look like they are. That is my goal; that's what I am working towards."
Many of the board members shared positive feedback they received from parents and staff as the school year began.
Busing issues were a recurring theme for the evening, with a couple of parents voicing concerns regarding the schedule and recent safety lapses. One mother detailed how her child was dropped off over a mile from her home after the bus driver ignored the protests of multiple students when the stop was skipped. The board promised to look into her concerns and acknowledged that as a new school year starts there would be issues; the transportation department is working hard to address all residents' concerns.
Much of the meeting and public comments focused on the upcoming referendum on Sept. 27. Both the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent highlighted the upcoming vote in their reports to the board. They also responded to several questions regarding the breakdown of funding and allocations that were voiced by community members. An Open House will be held on Sept. 21 at the Education Center to discuss the referendum. Additional information is available on the Referendum website.
Superintendent Dr. Christine Burton shared a picture and article she received from a local teacher, “One final message that I would like to share certainly in the spirit of sending an important message as we are on the threshold of the referendum vote. Though the words are 54 years old, the message still resounds today” quoting a portion of President John F. Kennedy’s Education Message from the March 1962 issue of NEA:
"No task before our nation is more important than expanding and improving the educational opportunities of all our people … For education is both the foundation and the unifying force of our democratic way of life – it is the mainspring of our economic and social progress – it is the highest expression of achievement in our society, ennobling and enriching human life. In short, it is at the same time the most profitable investment society can make and the richest reward it can confer."
The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Sept. 26 at 7:45 p.m.