NUTLEY, NJ - The dates of the school construction vote and town hall meetings were released at Monday's Board of Education meeting. The BOE also addressed how they are working with other areas of local governemnet as challenges are preseinted to the township.
President Danny Carnicella announced that the Board will provide a report including debt service aid to offset costs to the taxpayer for the bond referendum vote scheduled for December 12, 2017. Details will be provided at a Town Hall meeting on September 25.
“It’s about a community. It’s about having a voice. As a board we are confident that by presenting the referendum to the community we are doing our best to provide an exceptional education to all of our current and future Nutley students.” Carnicella
Dr. Glazer reported that ‘the Board of Education worked with the Board of Commissioners to try and determine innovative and creative solutions to solve some of the tax shortfall facing the municipality. A lot of time and effort went into averting what could have been a serious situation for the town.’
Superintendent Dr. Julie Glazer expressed her appreciation for the time put in by the Board of Education members working as a team to understand the issues facing the district. She stated: “Each of the board members are also taxpayers who are grappling with this personally, with the costs, the benefits.
“In putting forth a referendum, the board has done their due diligence. Now, you the community have to choose the very best opportunity for our schools and our children.
Glazer also thanked Natty Ferraro and Jean Boyle for “putting students into schools and classrooms as fast as they show up.”
Glazer reported on ideal student size standards, most of which are currently challenged in the district. “Even though this is backed up with real numbers and evidence and we keep presenting real estate trend data and demographic reports, there are still people who are somehow not hearing our message. The issue is still space.”
“Programs brought in by previous boards like full day kindergarten are highly valued; however there wasn’t a plan or vision for their sustainability. There was not a thought to where those programs would be when they grew. We started pre-K with two classrooms we are now at five. And yes students graduate from high school every year and yes a similar number may enter kindergarten. The numbers at the other grade levels are volatile. Frankly, I am out of classrooms. I have nowhere else to put students.”
The new student representative, Tao Chen gave his first report. Chen stated that at first the block scheduling one hour lunch was confusing. He continued, ‘This way there will be less class work to become homework. Teachers have more time to teach. So far there is no huge problem and everyone is fine with the block scheduling.’ He also reported on several upcoming events including the October 13 Homecoming Dance and Oct ober14 is the Alumni Day and barbeque.
Nutley parent Christina Surretsky addressed the board with a statement and a question.
Statement: “I am absolutely in favor of the referendum. I have seen firsthand the space constraints particularly at Yantacaw over the years. As we move forward in the process the missing piece for me is the Zoning Board. At all of these meeting so far there has not been a representative from the Zoning Board.”
Question: “Why is mixed-use being approved when we have space challenges (in our schools) Are there any plans to have the Zoning Board come to a Town Hall or come to a BOE meeting to explain their part of the equation rather than leaving people to their own assumptions?”
Surretsky continued: “If it is transparent, it is easier for us to get on board and move forward rather than wonder what is going on behind the scenes.”
Carnicella answered: “We are extending our arms and stand side by side with the Board of Commissioners. There are challenges with zoning in itself…that certain things are going to be approved because of the nature of the project. We are going to continue to communicate and hopefully have things in place to ensure we are going to be successful as we approach the next phase. ”
Earlier in the meeting it was noted that the Board of Commissioners had been invited to the meeting, however, the BOC was meeting at the same time to adopt the amended municipal budget.
Announcement of the Storer Scholarships awarded was made by member Fred Scalera. He stated that according to the guidelines of the trust fund all applicants are reviewed by the Board of Ed President, the Mayor and Superintendent
Recipients and Scholarship Amounts are:
S. Callouri $11,875.00
M. Dasilva $9,500.00
T. Boniello $9,500.00
D. Itindola $9,500.00
L. Michels $9,500.00
C. Ardente $7,125.00
C. Nicolette $7,125.00
D. Skelton $7,125.00