SPRINGFIELD, NJ - After an hour long closed session the Board opened the public meeting. The first order of business was to swear in new member Hilary Turnbull and returning re-elected members Scott Silverstein and Scott Donner. Matthew Clarke, the School Business Administrator and Board Secretary administered the oath after reviewing the election results. He reported that turnout was very high, over 70% according to Union County Board of Elections.  He stated, “This indicates the high interest Springfield residents have in their schools”.

Nominations were then taken for the positions of President and Vice President of the Board.  Robin Cornelison was nominated for President and Scott Silverstein as Vice President.  Both were affirmed unanimously.

Superintendent Michael Davino then reported to the Board.   In his report announced that the student space experiment program (SSEP) has had a slight delay but is expected to launch sometime in February. He also announced that the Jonathan Dayton boys soccer team has been invited as guests of the New Jersey Devils to attend the January 24th hockey game. This is in recognition of their successful season.  He next reported that the girls varsity basketball team is undefeated. In recognition of their recent success, the January 7 game against Oak Knoll will be televised on the Verizon Fios cable system.

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Superintendent Davino went on to address learning issues for underserved populations. He stated that “What impacts student learning is parental involvement and it is critical. We need to find a way to educate parents to understand what they need to do.”  He went on to explain that a program utilizing Rosetta Stone is in place to help better communicate with non-english speaking parents. It is part of a program called Innovate NJ and it was developed in the district.

Vito Gagliardi, Board Attorney, then conducted ethics training for the new board. Board President Robin Cornelison thanked Mr. Gagliardi for his continued good work that he always handles with humor and intelligence.

Under public comments, Jason B. Silberstein of 123 Briar Hill Circle encouraged the Board to get more information out. He said, “There were questions on the recent lock down…parents did stand up to be ambassadors at the last BOE meeting”. He did state that the overall feeling was that the recent lock down due to the bomb scare went well.  Board member Elissa Zylbershlag pointed out that there was a new section on the website called “notable news” to help keep people informed.

Under new business it was announced that Superintendent Michael Davino’s contract would be discussed at the next meeting.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for January 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the IMC at Jonathan Dayton High School.