SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The principals of every public school in Springfield made their first presentation to the Board of Education on the 2018-2019 budgets.  These presentations precede later ones that may be adjusted pending Governor Murphy’s proposed budget.  The public hearing for the schools’ budgets should occur on April 30.

The common theme was to “sustain and enhance” what was in place and “embed” new technologies and programs as needed and as opportunities arise. 

The initial result of these proposal is to put in place a budget that should be about flat over two years, while expanding the program offering and use of technology.  Based on preliminary estimates, the total population for Springfield’s public schools should increase from 2,244 as of October 13, 2017 to 2,269 next year.   

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Gaudineer is expected to have the largest increase going from 477 to 514, while Caldwell is expected to have the largest reduction of 14 to 251.

At Jonathan Dayton High School, Principles of Engineering is being added to the elective curriculum.  In some of the schools’ programs focused on character education are being implemented to better address many of the social issues like bullying.

The reporting principals were:

Dr. Adrianna Coppola, Walton Early Childhood Center

Mr. Dave Rennie, Caldwell Elementary School

Mr. Michael Plias, Sandmeier Elementary School

Mr. Tim Kielty, Gaudineer Middle School

Dr. Norman Francis, Jonathan Dayton High School

Also, in the meeting several other achievements by students were mentioned after Dayton’s boys soccer team was recognized for winning the North 2 Group 1 Sectional Championship.

Maetal Oshri was recognized for her participation in a county wide community volunteer program “Branches Against Bullying”.

Marissa Steiner was recognized for receiving the Union County Human Rights Commission’s 2018 Unity Award for Achievement by a Student.

Evan Weinberg was recognized for winning the Individual Championship at the recent Union County Tournament for Bowling.

Superintendent Davino’s other comments focused on the school report cards from the New Jersey Department of Education.  For the most part, the grades were positive, or green.  Dayton’s math grade was below expectation and Davino felt a major reason for that was the exclusion of students that took Algebra and Geometry at Gaudineer.  He also highlighted a mistake made in calculating the graduation rate for Dayton.  The school’s actual graduation rate is over 95% and not the closer to 85% used by the state.  We will address the report cards in greater detail in another article.

In public comments, Michael Ayers spoke first.  He said he felt his daughter was treated in a way that required attention of the Board.  He said, “We have a serious dysfunctional broken school system for this to happen.”  His request was for an apology after the investigation is done.  He said he did not expect the Board to take any action.  Board President Silverstein said, “It is difficult situation to address at this meeting.”  He said he felt most members were not aware of the issue at the time.  Silverstein said they would try and gather all the facts.

Sylvia Caggiano was the second person to make a public comment.  She had addressed the Board before about her concerns about looping.  She made additional comments about the topic and Board President Silverstein asked her to not repeat herself or make comments about personnel matters. 

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