Education

Hundreds Attend Randolph BOE Meeting in Support for RHS Music Teacher Stipends

e5a5d9babf269aa7c8cf_IMG_6943.jpg
Hundreds of parents, students and educators attend the June 19 Board of Education meeting.
8ea87d50d66f4ffbfbda_IMG_6945.jpg
Tammy MacKay reads the BOE statement regarding music director stipends
e065c7e9314b69335049_IMG_6947.jpg
Students, educators and parents line up to read statements during public comment
e5a5d9babf269aa7c8cf_IMG_6943.jpg

RANDOLPH, NJ - Hundreds of parents, teachers, and students stood in support of the music teacher stipends at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. The students described tearful teachers who will cancel beloved programs if the board does not reinstate stipends for after-school and weekend activities.

On June 14, “Our music teachers gathered in front of the choir, and we were told that the programs the students had been looking forward to all year long and the programs we love, will not occur in the 2018-2019 school year,” said student Abigail Herring, listing Poptoberfest, Cabaret Night, all-state auditions, educational music field trips and others.

“These activities are not continuing simply because my teachers, who I look up to are not getting paid for all the extra after-school work that they do,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

The board addressed these concerns at the opening of the meeting with a statement explaining they have paid all required stipends within the Randolph Education Association contract, and these stipends were not included in the 2014-2017 REA contract.However, as teacher Dawn Russo pointed out during public comment, “These stipends are listed on page 57 under Schedule H of the current REA contract.”

During the 2009-2010 school year, the board removed stipends because many of the tasks were performed during school hours or part of the regular curriculum, as well as the board’s fiscal constraints. “The REA did not take any issue with that decision at that time,” said board member Tammy MacKay, reading the board statement.

The teachers and administrators chose to replace stipends with compensatory time in 2009. “This was not part of the union bargaining agreement or approved by the board... so the board began discussions to begin a new monetary payment arrangement with the REA,” she read.

According to Russo, the VPA Supervisor and the Personnel Director made a “verbal agreement” to offer comp time in place of stipends. “Please know this decision was made between administrators without consulting the REA,” she said.

The board statement explains how booster clubs will lose tax-exempt status if the board funds these extra-curricular activities. “Based on that, if the district band staff demands payments for these events, they should work directly with the booster club,” MacKay said.

“The board wants to be clear that the REA cannot unilaterally mandate curriculum changes without going through the correct process,” she read. “Students, parents, and the community should rest assured that the current curriculum will stay in place.”

Choir Director Matthew Swiss said the educators needed to “state the facts... If anything is inaccurate, we will of course issue a correction,” he said. “We hope to continue a positive and authentic dialogue.”

“We are the student body who you’re supposed to serve,” student Emily Knapp told the board. “We were forced to sit helpless as our teary-eyed teachers talked about how they could no longer provide us with the opportunities we previously had so easily available without the knowledge of what it was costing our teachers.”

VIDEOS OF TEACHERS SPEAKING HERE

"Teachers Have No Power"

During the public comments, music teacher Diana May described an “awful” meeting between Shaberg, Superintendent Jennifer Fano and Board Vice President Joe Faranetta originally intended to discuss an unfair labor practice.

“As soon as the meeting started on June 4, Mr. Faranetta refused to discuss the ULP and instead berated Mr. Schaberg for the vote of no confidence,” May said. She continued to characterize the experience as “hostile” and “abusive,” with Faranetta insulting and demeaning Schaberg throughout the meeting.

She claims Faranetta told Schaberg, "‘If we were in a bar somewhere right now this would end differently,'” which they perceived as a physical threat, while Fano “did nothing to intervene.”

While May believes they were “lured under false pretenses,” she added Faranetta said “trust was broken by the vote of no confidence.”

“I feel the need to share the details of this abusive meeting, despite the fact that I have everything to lose,” May said. “I have had nothing but the highest evaluations throughout my career -- I fear that might change. I have been able to teach the age group I’m best suited for -- I fear that might change. I had hoped to receive administrative position within the district -- that most certainly will not happen now. Teachers have no power.”

The Board Responds

When the public portion ended at 11:30 p.m., almost all residents left the meeting, and board members commented their dismay at the order of the agenda.

“I just feel sad, that there’s so many public comments and comments that we don’t offer information and there’s silence, but by the order of the meeting we’re not able to speak freely without it being tied to a motion until the very end of the meeting,” commented board member Susan Devito, “where the public unfortunately isn’t going to hear those comments.”

MacKay agreed that the board needs to find a way to answer questions the night they hear them.

“I am very impressed by all the students who spoke here tonight, and can assure you that I hear you,” said board member Stacy White. “I take all the information and facts available to me and make decisions with one thing in mind, the best interest of the students. In my short time on the board, I have done this.”

Sheldon Epstein, chair of the Finance, Facilities, and Transportation committee, added “I’m disappointed that the majority of the public left this meeting after they had their opportunity to share their thoughts with us,” and began listing of teachers from K-6th grade.

“By and large, [these teachers] molded and had an influence on me, not only when  was in elementary school, but today, and they have an impact on tomorrow,” Epstein said. “That is what a teacher does, and it is not lost on me as an individual, not lost on me as a board member. It never has and it never will be.”

The board, in fact, did approve $64,600 worth of stipends at the meeting, including $10,064 for the music production directors. REA president Eric Schaberg received $3,903 for the Arietta String Ensemble and the Symphonic Orchestra, Swiss received $2,602 for Chamber Choir, as well as $8,390 for Stage Band and Percussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Randolph

Free Movie Night at Randolph Lake Fri. July 20

July 20, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Municipal Alliance Committee (MAC) and the Randolph Parks & Recreation Department are hosting a free outdoor family movie night on Friday, July 20 at Randolph Park Beach (Green Lane). All are welcome to attend.

The movie, Paddington 2, will begin at 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be sold at the snack stand. Admission to the lake is free after 7:00 p.m.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6e617a468ce0c6ee69fb_el_spotscolor_13

Mon, July 23, 9:30 AM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Nursery Rhyme Time

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Health & Wellness Other

Carousel_image_613c16257bcb967a97ed_storytime

Mon, July 23, 10:15 AM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Story-Go-Round

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education Other

Carousel_image_aeb9ebce208345484038_picture

Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

Randolph Township Public Library, Randolph

The Break Lights

Community Calendar

Catriona Lucus Selected to Play in 2018 National Lacrosse Academy  

July 16, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Catriona Lucus, a rising freshman at Randolph High School has been named as a 2018 Maverik National Lacrosse All-Star and has been selected to attend the Maverik National Lacrosse Academy to be held July 16-19, 2018 in Frederica, Delaware at the DE Turf Sportsplex.

Catriona plays on the DEWLAX 2022 West club lacrosse team as well as being chosen to play with the DEWLAX ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

Owner Died - Abby & Lily need a Furever Home!

July 22, 2018

Hi Editor, With your help, we need to create visibility for Abby & Lily to find that special person or family who wants to give these senior sisters the loving home they deserve together!  And one of your readers could be Abby and Lilly's HERO! 

I can be contacted at 973-895-9160 email FHDR@att.net

Meet Abby & Lily,

These sweet siblings were ...

Lake Hopatcong Foundation’s New Floating Classroom Open for Public Cruises

July 22, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - The Lake Hopatcong Foundation this spring christened its new Floating Classroom, dubbed “Study Hull,” and has since educated nearly 800 local students aboard the vessel, a 40-foot pontoon boat. As the school year comes to an end, the lessons will continue: the Lake Hopatcong Foundation Floating Classroom will run 90-minute trips from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Monday ...

Local Kiwanis Clubs Support Children in Foster Care

Morristown, NJ-- Local Kiwanis Clubs of Greater Hamburg, Mount Olive, and Sussex have joined together to support Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Morris and Sussex Counties’ Project Graduation. The clubs are donating money to purchase gift cards which will be distributed to children and teens in foster care graduating from elementary, middle, and high school.

 

CASA of ...

Garden State Urology named a Center of Excellence by NAFC

Urology group recognized for exemplary care, dedication to patients

WHIPPANY, NJ – Garden State Urology, part of Atlantic Medical Group, was recently designated a Center of Excellence by the National Association for Continence.

Garden State Urology is a cooperative urology group that provides residents in northwestern New Jersey with a modern, integrated, comprehensive health care ...

Registration open for Randolph Hebrew with Early Bird Discount!

Entering its 17th year, Randolph Hebrew of Morris County has opened registration to new students for the upcoming school year that is set to begin on Sunday, September 16th.

Randolph Hebrew enjoys a well-earned reputation as a trend setter in creative Jewish education. It's well trained staff, cutting edge curriculum along with the teacher to student ration allows for individualized ...

FOSTER HOMES NEEDED FOR PUPS!

July 22, 2018

TO ALL DOG LOVERS!

Our rescue group needs more foster families, would you like to help us?

 Furever Home Dog Rescue needs foster homes!  As a shelterless rescue, we don’t have a building where our dogs are housed until they get adopted.  We are lucky enough to have loving foster families who open their hearts and homes to our dogs until they are placed. However, ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

FOSTER HOMES NEEDED FOR PUPS!

July 22, 2018

TO ALL DOG LOVERS!

Our rescue group needs more foster families, would you like to help us?

 Furever Home Dog Rescue needs foster homes!  As a shelterless rescue, we don’t have a building where our dogs are housed until they get adopted.  We are lucky enough to have loving foster families who open their hearts and homes to our dogs until they are placed. However, ...