Summit School Board to Schedule Community Meetings to Establish Its New Focus Goals; First Staff-Board Mediator Session Held


SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Board of Education will hold three evening and one Saturday session to receive input from the public on the goals on which the city’s residents wish the school body to focus.

School Board President Michelle Stevenson announced at Thursday’s workshop meeting of the education that the meeting dates for the focus sessions would be announced at next Thursday’s regular meeting of the board at Jefferson Primary Center.

Stevenson added that the board Negotiations Committee met on Wednesday with representatives of the Summit Education Association, whose members include teacher, secretaries and other school staff employees, and a state mediator.

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The association’s members have been working without a contract this year and, among the issues on the bargaining table is the cost of providing health care to the employees.

The board president said Thursday both sides presented their requests to the mediator and further meetings will be scheduled shortly.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Superintendent of Schools Nathan Parker highlighted the first annual Hilltoppers Weekend that will take place starting with Friday Night Lights this Friday as the Summit High School Football Team takes on Governor Livingston of Berkeley Heights at the Tatlock Complex.

Parker noted after a number of alumni events have been held separately in different parts of Summit over the years, Hilltopper Weekend will be the first time all of the events are coordinated. He added six Summit High School graduates would appear at the city’s schools during the day Friday to give Summit students insights on how to become successful in the world of work.

A tailgate party will precede the football game at 5:30 p.m., Summit Music Parents will be selling hot dogs, chicken nuggets and hot pretzels at the snack shack and Towne Deli will be selling pulled pork sandwiches, chili and macaroni and cheese.

Members of the Summit High School marching band will be performing and Booster merchandise will be for sale.

All fans wearing special “Friday Night Lights” t-shirts will get in free, and student fans wearing the shirt at events during the weekend will be able to enter their name in a drawing to win an IPad.

Tickets to the game can be purchased in advance during lunch periods on Friday. Admission for adults is $4 and students $2, while senior citizens will be admitted free.

Hilltopper Weekend will continue on Saturday with a girls’ varsity soccer game at Kent Place School, the girls varsity tennis tournament at Memorial Field from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Union County Tournament boys soccer game with the opponent to be determined.

The girls freshman soccer team will play at Memorial Field at 9am, the girls junior varsity soccer game against Governor Livingston will take place at the Upper High School Field at 10 am and the Girls varsity soccer game will start at the Upper Field at noon.

A disc jockey will play outside the Upper Field from 11 am to 2 pm, the IPad drawing will be held at halftime and Towne Deli will be selling lunch.

At Thursday’s board meeting, Michelle Kennedy of the Summit Boosters announced the Sports Journal is for sale and, as of that date, 800 to 900 T-shirts for Friday Night Lights already had been sold.

In other action at the meeting, Operations Chair Ed Mokuvos announced about $100,000 in donations for renovation of the high school auditorium was expected to meet most of the cost of a $110,000 change order from Riefolo Construction Co. Inc. for the project.

School Business Administrator Louis Pepe said the change will enable the district to add the more efficient Brickhouse to the auditorium instead of the originally-planned rigging.

Change orders probably will raise the cost of the project by about $15,000 in total, according to Mokuvos.

Pepe noted most of the change orders came because bids came in lower than expected and this enabled the school district to add items to the project.

At the suggestion of Ellen Dickson, Common Council liaison to the board, Human Resources Director Kenneth Shulack agreed to explore a shared service with the city library for fingerprinting of volunteers working with minor children.

Dickson noted the library may not have the funding to provide the fingerprinting on its own. Shulack noted a private vendor approved by the state fingerprints volunteers in the school system. He added the state requires fingerprinting of volunteers working with minors so that criminal background checks can be run on them.

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