RANDOLPH, NJ-  The Randolph Board of Education met to discuss various items ranging from the recent staff development and workshops, to Spirit Week and a presentation about the dangers of vaping, as well as potential District calendar options for the upcoming school year.

Board of Education President Ron Conti mentioned that there were three applications submitted for the vacant spot on the Board, previously held by Christopher Treston.

Superintendent Jennifer Fano followed that announcement up with an acknowledgement of the professional development that the Randolph educators took part in recently. “The day of learning was more than I had hoped for,” Fano said, “Lots of different things for their professional wellness, but we also worked on personal wellness.” Sessions that were held ranged from learning about the brain as well as ADHD, how to manage health benefits, planning for retirement, and much more.

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Student Council Correspondent Katherine Sidebotham then spoke about Spirit Week, which is a very exciting week in Randolph High School. Each grade competes for points, while also participating in various fundraisers and donations. Spirit Week will last from October 21 to October 25, and “the main message we are trying to send is ‘Rams Bleed Blue’,” Sidebotham mentioned. Students will have the opportunity to donate money for cancer research while purchasing blue hearts.

There will also be a presentation made on the dangers of vaping, and those students and parents that attend will also earn points for their respective child’s class for Spirit Week.

A volleyball tournament will be held on Thursday, October 24, which is $5 per person. The event had a great turnout last year, so the hope is that lots of students participate. The pep rally will be on October 25, finishing off Spirit Week. Throughout the week, there will also be a food drive to help support the local soup kitchen.

Though there was no official Communications Update, Sue DeVito did pose a question about why Board of Education meetings could not be video-recorded. “Consensus was that we were not going to be proceeding with video at the time,” DeVito said, “I would love to know what consensus that was.” Board President Ron Conti responded by saying that there were going to be more summaries of the BOE meetings made available. DeVito followed that up with, “If we are talking about transparency, and we are turning more and more into a video culture, it does put information out there in a 21st Century, modern way.”

The base concern was that perhaps videos can be edited and skewed and redistributed or reproduced, however that can also occur with summaries posted online. This issue has been tabled for further discussion at a future Board of Education meeting.

Tammy McKay provided an FFT update, which she described the plan that older laptops from the district will be refurbished and converted into virtual desktops. This extends the life of computers and is an efficient use of funds for IT-related purposes. With regard to the field house naming rights, the timeline has been pushed back to align with the delay in plans for construction of a new field house at Bauer Field.

Antoinette Corbett, a Randolph School District employee, made a public statement regarding the professional development that she, as well as many other staff members, took part in. “I learned something,” Corbett said happily, “the kids I work with are going to be surprised!” Corbett took part in computer trainings as well as a training which was geared towards learning about the teenage and adolescent brain. Corbett said, “Very interesting, and I enjoyed the speaker first thing in the morning.”

Superintendent Jennifer Fano then passed around two different proposals of school calendars for the 2020-2021 school year. One of the options is for Randolph to have the first day of school occur before Labor Day, while mentioning that other districts have already planned the same. While nothing is final, Fano is taking feedback from Board of Education members and will ultimately decide on a schedule for the upcoming school year.

Robert Soni concluded the meeting with some positive remarks about the “Under the Stars” marching band festival, which was held at John J. Bauer Field a couple of weeks ago. “It was a fantastic evening,” Soni said. He mentioned how interesting it was to see the talent from the Randolph Marching Rams, as well as marching bands from other schools.