LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Colin Monahan, business administrator, gave a summary of the facility's annual audit 2015-2016 to trustees at the Passaic Valley High School Board of Education meeting Tuesday night. He reported an excess surplus in $1,297,478, which will go back into the budget for 2017-2018 school year.

"That amount is $96,400 more than last year's excess surplus," Monahan explained. "Our allowable surplus is $708,998, which is the 2 percent allowed to keep in the district."

He added that the increase in funding for the high school's special education program was the reason for the increase in surplus.

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"All nine recommendations have been made in the corrective action plan that the board approved," he noted, adding that there were no material weaknesses in the audit.

He also added that the upcoming budget process will begin once the financial committee is established during the upcoming reorganization meeting in January.

"I would definitely say that we're moving in the right direction, more so than in the last couple of years," he said. "I would also like to thank the whole administration for working hard in the recommendations and getting us moving forward."

STEAM

Dr. JoAnn Cardillo, superintendent, gave a response to an inquiry regarding the upcoming STEAM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art) disciplines at the high school. Ali H. Aljarrah, a PV graduate, spoke during the public comment and said that implementing STEAM was a right step in for the 21st Century. He asked what the goals are for the program and how it will be systematically implemented.

According to Cardillo, the high school is in its first year of developing it into the curriculum.

"We have our assistant principal, Ms. Patricia Lynch, who is heading that up," explained Cardillo. "Part of the curriculum piece for us is that we're planning to have a sequence next year of computer courses, starting with introduction to computers. We already have two students who are in advanced placement computer program working under Mr. Jay Lijoi. It's an online program which is pretty unique."

Cardillo added that the school is working to get together some programming on that for this upcoming spring.

"We're also having our courtyard redone," she added, which is funded through a $5,000 grant from the   school's education foundation. "We'll also have gardens in the courtyard that will connect to our culinary class so that we start to see some interdisciplinary art for culinary and science programs together. Last but not least, we're developing a sequence of courses starting with next year called STEAM 1 exploration, which will be offered to tenth and eleventh grade students."

She also added that every year thereafter, there will be STEAM 2, STEAM 3 and STEAM 4, where students will work independently with the guidance of several science teachers.

According to Cardillo, some of it is in the planning process and some of it will move forward this year.

"In the spring, a presentation will be done for the board with regard to the plans," she noted. 

As far as students receiving college credit for select courses, Cardillo noted that has not been worked out yet. 

"The introduction to computers piece will give our student advanced placement credit," she added. "I'm meeting this week with NJIT to develop a partnership for our physics courses and our STEAM areas of study so we have a good grip on the engineering components."

Students of the month 

Students of the month in the field of social studies were also honored during the meeting. They are Rania Attilli, Jonathan Olivo, Kiera Bradley, Razan Allabadi, Dan Coughlin, Jake Son, and Mark Huggins.