NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Superintendent David Miceli had some good news to deliver at the Thursday, May 28 telephonic Board of Education (BOE) Meeting. Firstly, Governor Phil Murphy had recently announced that in-person high school graduations will be allowed after July 6. Secondly, it doesn’t look like the district’s state aid for the 2020-2021 school year is significantly affected despite the dire fiscal state of New Jersey.
As of now the district is planning to hold the 8th grade promotion on July 8 and the high school graduation on July 9. Both events are expected to begin at 7 pm at Lieder Field within the social distancing regulations as the health of students, parents and staff remains a priority. However, Miceli asked for patience as there are still many unknown variables. He noted that as of now the outdoor gatherings are restricted to 25 people. If the restrictions are not relaxed both planned events would end up being very long. The restrictions are likely to be changed prior to the scheduled events, but the planning is challenging with “the moving target” he said. He also noted that the weather could be unpredictable in July with the possibility of a heat wave or thunderstorms. The district should have a better preliminary plan for the end of the year celebrations available in the next couple of weeks.
Miceli also noted that state aid allocated to the district doesn’t seem to have changed dramatically. The district was set to receive approximately $1.6 million state aid package before the pandemic hit the state. At this time it appears that the district will lose approximately $182,000 from the previous estimate, but the current proposed total remains $84,000 more than what the district received last year. He cautioned that changes may still be expected due to changes to the state budget. The district should know the final allocation by August 5.
With regards to other news the district will be looking for a candidate to fill in the remainder of Ira Krauss’s term as he submitted his formal resignation as of May 28. His latest three-year term began in 2018.
Furthermore, the recent death of a New Providence high school senior due to a drug overdose prompted several current and former high school students to voice their concern regarding the lack of help students with mental health and addiction related issues receive from the district. The students were especially upset that when they brought the issue up with high school officials their concerns were not taken seriously. The students said that they felt there was no one to turn to. Some callers suggested that as a community, New Providence should do better, and that Nico’s death should be a wake-up call to help suffering students.