Verona Board of Education Discusses Buildings and Grounds Updates Among Other Topics at July 25 Meeting

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rui Dionisio thanked Verona Township for paving Sampson Drive. Credits: Megan Spinelli
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rui Dionisio discussed field updates at Verona High School. Credits: Megan Spinelli

VERONA, NJ - The Verona Board of Education met Tuesday, July 25 to discuss updates within the district.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rui Dionisio started off with his report and gave an update on buildings and grounds, as well as personnel reports and the curriculum writing that is taking place over the summer.

“We’ve been very, very busy over the past few weeks,” Dionisio said. “The majority of the work that takes place over the summer, as most people know, is from a building and grounds and maintenance standpoint.”

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Currently, all school facilities are being cleaned, renovated and repaired for the upcoming school year. These projects include three new classroom locations at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School and the start to the renovation of Verona High School’s fitness center, which will begin over the summer and also take place over the school year.

Another project currently taking place is the renovation of the lower field storage house, which is being converted into a boys bathroom and a girls bathroom.

“That’s coming along very nicely,” Dionisio said. “We’re hoping to have that ready for the fall for soccer season. It will obviously be ready for baseball and softball season as well.”

The board also received a good quote to complete the upper field walkway, which will be done in the coming weeks.

Dionisio also addressed the paving of Sampson Drive.

“This is not being funded by the Board of Ed but I do want to thank the Verona township for the paving that they’re working on this week of Sampson drive,” he said.

Vice President Lisa Freschi spoke next regarding committee reports.

“I want to thank C.H.I.L.D. They did a fundraiser at Pinot’s palette. They raised money for the HBW sensory room and VFEE also sponsored a sensory box,” Freschi said.

Freschi added that the board has been working hard on policy updates, specifically home instruction and student intervention and referral services. The board plans to have all policies updated by the end of the summer. In terms of education, there is also going to be a new elective on gender studies offered starting in September.

On the athletics front, the committee approved a swim team that parents are going to fund. They are going into negotiations for a stipend for a swim team coach.

Board member Glenn Elliott spoke on behalf of the finance committee and said the end of the year budget has a surplus of $250,000 to $300,000; $250,000 of that will go towards tax relief with the rest going to the reserve fund.

There was also a request from the Brookdale Elementary School SCA to hold a Flex Academy, which is a program based out of Maryland that gives students the chance to participate in activities like dance, music and yoga. The SCA’s request is for use of the building.

Although Brookdale is the school that brought up the idea, Dionisio said the others are discussing it as well.

“Brookdale is leading the charge, Laning has expressed interest, Forest and F.N. Brown want to wait and look into it a little bit more but they have expressed interest in the future,” Dionisio said. “We’re just ironing out the details.”

The next Board of Education meeting will take place Tuesday, August 29.

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