NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Superintendent David Miceli provided an overview of the events and concerns of the remainder of the school year during the Thursday, May 7 telephonic Board of Education (BOE) meeting.
Miceli stated that Governor Phil Murphy had announced on Monday that the New Jersey Schools will remain closed through the end of the school year. Therefore, New Providence students will continue their remote learning for the next five weeks as they have done the past eight weeks. “It is unfortunate that we will not be able to gather for the end of the year,” he said. The district will announce its plans for the end of the year events in the next couple of weeks. He also noted that the all NJSIAA sport teams are cancelled for the spring season.
The status of the summer program is still “up in the air” as the district has not received any guidance regarding the summer programming.
State Aid for the 2020-2021 School Year
Miceli noted that the financial status of the state is dire with projected shortfalls in revenue which will have an effect on the state budget. The state has a couple of months to revise its budget based on those revised numbers. The governor has indicated repeatedly that even if he utilizes the surplus accrued during the past couple of years and if the state receives the maximum federal aid package there is a major shortfall in revenue. The governor had pointed out that he would have to make some tough decisions, Miceli said.
Miceli explained that the district was expecting state aid of $1.8 million this year which was also included in the recently approved district’s budget. However, depending on the state budget revisions the district may not receive the full amount. He noted that the district has not received any information on possible aid reduction yet; however, he cautioned that the district may have to revise its own budget going forward. The administrative team will take a second look at the budget and develop a plan in the event that the district ends up receiving less state aid. The district will have to pay close attention to this development as it unfolds in preparation for the next school year.
End of the Year Ceremonies
Miceli noted that the governor has spoken specifically about high school graduations, and “certainly seems to be very understanding of our seniors and their families.” The school district should be getting more information about potential graduation options. “It is not our intention to hold virtual ceremonies. We very much would like to gather at some point and celebrate with everybody present,” he stated. The virtual ceremonies will take place only if the state mandates it. He noted that the district is willing to be patient and wait until a later date in the summer to hold a ceremony if that is deemed as an option.