Education

Randolph BOE Takes Steps To Find New Superintendent, Hears Special Services Presentation and Maintenance Building Update

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RANDOLPH, NJ- The search for a new superintendent of schools is just beginning in Randolph. At Tuesday's board meeting, Interim Superintendent Jennifer Fano announced a subcommittee was created for the new superintendent search, which consists of Dr. Diana Thomas, Christine Aulenbach, Alfredo Matos and Tammy Mackay.

Aulenbach did some research on the school board website and found what she thought was great information, but according to Field Representative Charlene Peterson, was very "dated."

"I'm not going to share any of what I found. Charlene is going to meet with us and bring a standard proposal, which will give us information about what services are included in our dues, what they will do for us for an additional fee, etc. She's going to find out the needs of our district from us," said Aulenbach. The subcommittee will bring all information to the full board and proceed from there.

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Fano had a meeting with the Randolph Museum's Board President Gail Hari, who helps run the Randolph Museum. She contacted the BOE asking why students no longer visited the museum on regular school field trip.

Fano and Elementary School Supervisor Katy Spencer took a tour of the museum the week prior and thought it was really "exciting."

"I wanted to see it for myself to make sure it was age appropriate and it was. You can actually get a lot out of going there. There's a lot of great activities," said Fano.

The board is going to organize an elementary school field trip for this year. There may be a motion in the Spring to allow second grade students to attend, or for next year.

The board also listened a special presentation Tuesday night on special education. The new Director of Special Services Walter Curioni and Supervisor Evy Falcon-Duran were both present. The role of special services is to maximize student potential academically, socially and emotionally to provide students with a nurturing learning environment where individual strengths are recognized, deficiencies are addressed and where the uniqueness of each learner is embraced.

The preschool handicap classes and Applied Behavior Analysis classes are both housed at Center Grove Elementary. At Ironia there area also Behavioral Disability and Language Learning Disability classes. The middle school and high school have a variety of options.

There are special needs representatives at both buildings and a transition program is just being developed. There are two new members to the Child Study Team (CST) this year. They are functioning with one less member than last year. CST met with teachers in all of the school buildings , and made sure they have uniformed policies and procedures in each of the buildings.

"Some of the education goals for this year is creating a culture of shared responsibility, working with parents, staff and administration to identify struggling learners, to facilitate that driven strategy to address these needs and to also spotlight to the community the various programs offered," said Curioni.

It was stated that the district continues to provide some of the safest schools in the state as reported by the Electronic Violence, Vandalism, and Recording System. Randolph has gone from 60 to 29 incidents last year.

The board could save the district some money by switching to LED lights, which is an approximate 50 to 75 percent savings. There could be a potential rebid of 40 percent from the state if the district moves towards LED. Randolph would have to pay 30 percent of the cost out of pocket. This would come from the district's savings.

Matos also spoke about the district's proposed maintenance building. The plans for the building were reviewed and the board felt that they were too over the top. "It was too expensive. Too big. Too much. Let's scale it back to what is in our referendum budget and see what we can get from that," said Matos.

The architects will go back to the drawing board and report back to the Finance, Facility, Transportation Committee with their new plans.

Board President Tammy Mackay was asked by a member of the public ask her why the Randolph Education Association Contract was not online. Mackay said that the contract needed to be more concise in certain areas before being posted. There was discussion about cleaning up the language. The meaning and negotiable rates will remain the same. After the law firm makes the changes, the contract will be posted online.

At the end of the meeting, Matos publically applauded the board for its diligence and caring of students and staff that make up this excellent school district.

"It is with this diligence and caring that the board members make decisions to provide our students, excellent staff and tax payer residents of Randolph the best outcome with full and rewarding school experiences that has led our district to be named a top tier school in the nation. I am honored to serve with these members and congratulate Colleen, Anne and our President Tammy on their reelection to serve another three years," said Matos.

The Board of Education will hold a business session at 7  p.m. on Tues. Nov. 17, open to the public at 8 p.m.

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