MONTCLAIR, NJ - Despite a short delay due the recent blizzard, progress was made at the productive albeit short meeting. During the Monday night Montclair Board of Education meeting, the Superintendent reported that the "Undoing Racism" workshop went very well and will be done with more staff going forward. At this time the board is looking for funding for same.
Superintendent Ronald Bolandi also reported on Professional Development day which is February 16. He is looking forward to a quality Professional Development day. Lastly the Superintendent said that he has received feedback on the school tours. He did not go into much detail as he needed to discuss the tours during the next administrative meeting and would provide more information at the next meeting.
Jessica de Koninck was sure to thank the district staff for allowing the smooth reopening of schools the Tuesday after the blizzard.
The Board then took a vote on several resolutions. The resolutions breakdown as follows:
Resolution regarding approval for school field trips: while District is prepared to discuss the cost and practicality of trips Laura Hertzog wants to make sure the District knows what the current policy is and what changes are being introduced. Laura Hertzog & Rob Kulwin said no to any trip over $200.
Resolutions regarding technology include the awarding of contract for procurement and installation of district wide wireless network and the pupil services Apple laptop lease. The Apple laptops are not incorporated in Individualized Educational Plan rather they are used more so as supplements for special education students. These leases are currently paid for by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)- an outside the budget funding source. The leased equipment would also be going to staff members who are using IEPs. This is being done this way so that the equipment reaches the students and teachers sooner than later. Both resolutions were approved.
The Operations resolutions include approval of conference and travel report; Monthly budget reports and bills and claims; auditor's report for Fiscal year 2014-2015; revised acknowledge receipt of certificate from the Board of School Estimate to the Montclair Board of Education relating to 2015-2016 capital budget; appointment of attorney of appeal. All items were approved without discuss;
The Pupil services resolution includes the awarding of contract for professional services- speech and nursing services; homebound instruction; speech/language services; 2015-2016 nursing services; revised resolve 010733 education program; out of district placements; and HIB report: All items were approved without discussion;
The human resource resolution was broken down into two votes. Part one consisted of approval for job descriptions for Director of Guidance; a secretarial position; and approval of the personnel report. These items were approved 7-0 without discussion;The second part was the vote for the adoption of the school calendar- only change is a full day for Professional Development. Bolandi wants the goal of this change to be meaningful productive professional development. He believes the calendar will eliminate the complaints of many of the staff and parents.
Robin Kulwin suggested approving a tentative multi-year calendar for 2016-2018. Bolandi said he would run the idea past the administration at the meeting and will get back to board at next workshop/meeting. Laura Hertzog said that as a working parent who empathizes with other working parents and single parents who had struggle to make accommodations for their children when the District's calendar does not match other calendars/ holidays this calendar is a good one. de Koninck also is excited about the in-service days. Bolandi expressed his belief that the best resource is the teachers. He would like to let the educators educate while everyone working together. The calendar was approved 7-0.
The meeting was then concluded as the board went into a lengthy executive session. The next Board of Education meeting will be February 10th at 6:30 P.M.