Education

Plainfield Candidate for Interim Superintendent Meets the Public; Listen to Full Presentation

289e4793e47ab939887f_IMG_1925.jpg
Ronald E. Bolandi, candidate for Interim Superintendent, addresses a crowd at Plainfield High School Credits: Jennifer Popper
8f0ba6b7d785999fcbdb_IMG_1922.jpg
Board President Richard Wyatt introduced Ronald Bolandi Credits: Jennifer Popper
7d37b1c833b101b5b330_IMG_1927.jpg
Ronald Bolandi Credits: Jennifer Popper
bb7aa5c3478f2d87b71b_IMG_1928.jpg
Credits: Jennifer Popper
5a923fe82275b92a3981_IMG_1929.jpg
Credits: Jennifer Popper
289e4793e47ab939887f_IMG_1925.jpg

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Candidate for Interim Superintendent Ronald E. Bolandi presented to a crowd filled with residents, parents, teachers and administrators at Plainfield High School on Tuesday evening.

“My job tonight is to give you an understanding of who I am," Bolandi said.

He added, "I’ve been in urban, suburban, and semi-urban school districts. I was next door in Piscataway for almost seven years.  I was an assistant superintendent in Middlesex for nine years; I did an interim in Edison just recently about four years ago, and I just finished an interim in Montclair for two years.  So I’ve been around and I have a wealth of experience that I want to bring to you.  Tonight my job is to give you an idea of who I am.”

Sign Up for E-News

He then reviewed some of the potential issues facing the district, and said, “it’s important for you to know that the problems that you have, or the issues you have, are things that I’ve already dealt with in my career successfully.”

"Plainfield is not a school district where you learn on the job,” he added.

"You know, I had an opportunity to read what your mayor said in his address on the regovernization night and I was really pleased to see a lot of his focus of his administration was on education.  Making the system better. Because this system has got to be better.  Because the only way you stop kids from going to charter schools, or from losing kids, is if you have a quality system.  Because you’ve got to stop the bleeding.  And right now we’re bleeding.  And I hope I’m here to stop that bleeding, and give you ways to stop it.  But we have to recognize that, that we have issues that we have to deal with; we have to rally around together to work together, it can’t be us against them.  That won’t work."

 

Bolandi ran through a list of potential problems facing the district, including absenteeism, communication, security, ESL programs, budget shortfalls, and more.  Summarizing, he said, "but it's not insurmountable."

He noted that all questions coming into the district should be answered within 48 hours.

Bolandi cited the high numbers of ESL students, saying that the district needs to have the tools and programs on hand for them that are conducive to learning, and that allows them to succeed.  He said he has an extensive background in bilingual ESL education.

He cited that $25M of the district's budget is spent on charter schools; that's almost 13% of the operating budget, he added.  "You've got to mirror what they do," noting, as one example, after care programs.

Bolandi also talked about budget deficit rumors of up to a $7MM shortfall.  His philosophy?  "I will never cut the classroom.  I will never cut education supplies.  Everything else is fair game."

When Bolandi said, "assessment should never be used for evaluation of staff, or pit one building against another" he received applause.  "What assessment is for is to see where your children are."

He further added that egos should be put on the top shelf, asked why there aren't more AP classes, and said there shouldn't be fifteen school buildings doing fifteen different things.  And he stressed that the excuse of kids from poverty can't learn is not an acceptable argument.

The public had the opportunity to ask questions.  David Graves took the microphone first, asking how long it would take to identify a problem school, with Bolandi responding no more than six months. 

Parent Sam Cooper wanted to know what Bolandi would do about problem people who are just being moved around within the district.  Bolandi replied, "as far as moving people around, I don't do that."  He continued, "if they're not doing the job, you move them out."

School Board member John Campbell asked the last question of the night.  Bolandi replied to one of Campbell's questions, "no, you're not ready to hire a Superintendent yet.  I think the district's got to be stable first." 

Couldn't make it?  You can listen to the full presentation, along with his interaction with attendees, here.

 

TAPintoPlainfield.net is Plainfield's free online daily newspaper for Plainfield, NJ news. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @PlainfieldTAP, and on Instagram @tapintoplainfield for all of your Plainfield local news.

Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_1c276bd64c2e4971fc53_childrens_library_2-18

Thu, February 22, 3:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Family Movie: Hidden Figures

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_9d8e453cf3136a3d0129_rec_2017_hw_helper

Thu, February 22, 4:00 PM

Hannah Atkins Community Center, Plainfield

Homework Helper

Education

Fri, February 23, 8:30 AM

Honor Ridge Academy, Clark

Workshop for Parents & Educators: Reducing ...

Education Giving Back

Grab the Family and Head to a Very Special Read Across America Event

February 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Children and parents won’t want to miss this special event. The Union County Education Association ( UCEA)  is hosting a Read Across America Pride event open to all.   Read Across America is a national event to promote reading to every child in every community.   It is celebrated in conjunction with the famous children’s ...

The Definition of Insanity

February 21, 2018

There is a quote, attributed to various people, including Albert Einstein that states, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”, that is fitting for our current election for Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chair.

There is no shortage of polling data related to the functioning of our Federal, State and Local ...

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...

Plainfield ofrece vacunas gratuitas para personas sin seguro o con seguro insuficiente

February 21, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - La Ciudad de Plainfield ofrece vacunas gratuitas para quienes no tienen seguro o están asegurados.

El programa está patrocinado por el Departamento de Salud de Nueva Jersey y el Programa de Vacunas para Niños (VFC). Las vacunas están disponibles los martes de 1 a 5 p.m. y los jueves de 9 a.m. a 1 p.m. en el Edificio Anexo del Ayuntamiento, 510 ...

¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

PLAINFIELD, NJ - ¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

Los servicios estarán disponible en los siguientes lugares:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habrá disponible ayuda con la aplicación para números de ITIN y también habrá Auto
Preparación de ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

As influenza virus activity increases and is likely to continue circulating for upcoming weeks, the Centers for Disease Control ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Drama by Raina Telgemeir

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2012) (target audience, Young Adults)

 

When my daughter, Shauna, was six years old, we took her to see her first Broadway production; a revival of The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills. I knew that it was the last time Mills could get away with playing Dorothy, and I impressed upon Shauna that seeing this show was a special moment in her life. As a ...

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, 2017)

Yesterday my cousin, the daughter of my mother's sister, called me from California where she lives, and hit me up for money. This is not the first time she has asked me for money, and not the last, I am sure. She grew up the daughter of a privileged family and cruised to Europe frequently when she was a child. Her wardrobe came from ...

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb (Atria Books, 2017)

 

Sharyn McCrumb is, quite simply, an American gem, and one of my favorite authors. From her books set in Appalachia with strange characters who remind us of our pioneer past, to St. Dale, a masterpiece about the legendary car racer, Dale Earnhardt in McCrumb's NASCAR series, McCrumb's poetic language and attention to ...

Maisie Dobbs by Jacquelline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press, 2003)

In the song “The Schuyler Sisters” from the Broadway musical Hamilton, sister Angelica sings, “ I've been reading 'Common Sense' by Thomas Paine. So men say that I'm intense or I'm insane, You want a revolution? I wanna a revelation . . .” because she and her sisters are “looking for a mind ...