Springfield Board of Education Meeting: Accolades and Getting Closer to a Budget

The Board of Education Credits: Chip Dickson
The Superintendent discussing a point with Robin Cornelison Credits: Chip Dickson
Board members Credits: Chip Dickson
One of the features of the new Media Center shown on the wall Credits: Chip Dickson

SPRINGFIELD, NJ – Monday’s meeting included some accolades, a review of the Administration’s budget, discussion of some future projects and a couple asking about the requirements for participating on the swimming team.

Accolades started with senior Charlie Buckely.  He placed fourth at 152 lbs in the Region 4 Wrestling Tournament.  As a result, Buckely advances to the NJSIAA State Wrestling Tournament in Atlantic City March 3, 4 and 5.   Another group of students will also travel.  They are Skyla Johnson, Chuck Ofodike, Isaac Perez, Josh Ruosso, Meghla Srabon and Greg Wolz  and they qualified for the NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournament) Small School Tournament (Traditional Public) in Chicago April 28 to April 30.  They qualified based on their performance at the East Brunswick NAQT Funfest.  The last accolade was for Dayton’s bowling team.  They were undefeated, won their conference and made it to the state tournament. Junior Evan Weinberg finished fourth in the State Individual Tournament and bowled the second highest game in the tournament, which earned him a medal.  Board members also commented of the success of the SSEP project.

The budget discussion followed on the presentations at the last meeting by the school principals.  This discussion was from the Administrators point of view and precedes the March 13 Board meeting when the tentative budget will be presented and discussed.  A source of uncertainty was the level of funding from the State, which was laid out subsequently in the Governor’s budget address.  The expectation was state funding would remain flat.  Items discussed included health care cost increases expected to be about 7%, special education, technology spending, buses and three projects.

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Capital outlays were targeted for touching up the brick façade on the high school and three specific projects.  The balcony in Jonathan Dayton High School will be rehabbed.  Room 222 in the high school will be converted to an Intro to Culinary Arts room.  At Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School, the Shop Room will be converted to a Robotics Room.  The district has twelve buses which are on the road almost every day.  There are times they are rented to the Township.  Special Ed bus routes are done by other entities.

Superintendent Davino talked about the technology budget and how the district is progressing from the original one student one computer initiative to a “one student one computer one instructor” structure.  He said it is meant “…to expand education with technology.”  The district does not use the cloud because of concerns about privacy.  Instead there is redundancy built into the system of hard drives.  He also discussed how electronic devices are causing school districts to take on more security for the testing environments.   Procedures and policies will be discussed and reviewed with a focus on avoiding the need for disciplinary actions, but when necessary agreeing on the disciplinary actions to be taken.  Technology is also being used to help attract a more robust pool of teaching candidates as well as making sure the district provides teachers the necessary development tools without taking them out of the classroom.

During public comments a couple discussed the requirements for participating on the Dayton swim team.  The rule is a swimmer must practice with the team if they are going to participate with the team in a competition and is consistent with the rules set in New Jersey according to Superintendent Davino.  The couple felt there should be more flexibility for students also practicing with other swim clubs, which they felt was the case in other towns.  No change in requirements is expected.

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