Passaic Valley High School will appeal approximately $63,000 in No Chile Left Behind (NCLB) funding that the state is looking to have reimbursed by the district.
According to Colin Monahan, business administrator and board secretary, the amount stems from the recent audit completed last fall. He reported the state's findings to board members during the recent regular meeting held on Jan. 10.
"This is from the 2014-2015 audit per NCLB Title I statute findings from last fall, which stated that some monies would have to be paid back to the state," said Monahan. "We have the six recommendations with correction action plans to address each one of them."
School districts statewide have a right to appeal any funding that the state wants refunded based on how it was spent by district. Monahan added that he believed some of the charges are acceptable and planned on appealing the amount and appealing those recommendations and that the high school would not be making any payments until after having gone through the appeal process.
"We're not in total agreement with the audit's findings so once we go through the appeals process, and once we finalize it, I will report back to the board," he said.
Resignation of Athletic Trainer
Board members approved to use outside training athletic services due to the recent resignation of their full-time athletic trainer Anthony Olivieri. Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Cardillo said Olivieri took another position outside of the district to work with a professional baseball team.
"We are in the process of interviewing for the position this week," she added. "Tomorrow is the last set of interviews and hopefully we'll have someone identified and move through the process as quickly as possible. There are some good candidates out there."
Also during the regular meeting, Cardillo highlighted this year's SAT preparation, which will be sponsored by the Passaic Valley Education Foundation.
"The district had previously done this in the past. Last year, we went to an outside source for our students with Kaplan. This year we have our own teachers working the SAT prep, for preparing and writing the curriculum," Cardillo said, adding that the school received a more positive response from parents as a result of district staff.
She also noted the upcoming PV Education Foundation fundraiser.
"As you know we have our annual beeksteak dinner in the fall," she said. "In the spring, we're having a wine and beer festival that's being held at the Meat Cutters Hall in Little Falls, ShopRite is helping us to move forward with that. We have tickets to sell and we need to hit a max of 200 people in order to really do what we need to do."
Cardillo also highlighted the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Saturday preparation program.
"Last year, due to the transition from HSPA to PARCC, there were a group of senior year students who struggled to meet the requirements made by the state," she explained. "I'm happy to report that last year, we had 60 students having to participate in the Saturday program. This year we're down approximately 32, so we've cut that number in half already. We do have one more assessment that students can choose to take before the Saturday program."
Cardillo added that once students pass that assessment, they do not have to attend the Saturday program. The program is run by the district's teachers and administrators and is paid through NCLB funding.
"So I'm very excited about that because I'm hoping by next year transitioned well enough that we won't need to run that Saturday program," she added.
New Course Approval
Board members approved new courses to the curriculum for the 2017-2018 school year. According to Cardillo, the courses entail three Passaic County Community College dual enrollment courses. Five will also consist of STEM, computer and math related courses.
"We're very excited to have these courses for the upcoming school year, in order to increase the rigor in our curriculum," she said.
Statewide Professional Development Network at WPU
Also approved was the district's membership in the Statewide Professional Development Network at William Paterson University for the remainder of the current school year, in the amount of $10,000 paid through NCLB Title I funds.
"This provides our staff with staff development. Our teachers go out and they run staff development with teachers in the classrooms weekly. They help us to sort out our curriculum and they're helping us with our co-teaching model, including our science component," Cardillo said.