WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Dr. James Heinegg, superintendent of Schools in the Caldwell-West Caldwell district, has announced his retirement effective July 1, 2021.

The Board of Education conducted a conference meeting Monday evening and presented draft district goals for the 2020-2021 school year that will be voted on during the next meeting on Sept. 21. Included in the goals will be the search for a new superintendent.

Heinegg issued a letter to the community stating it has been an honor and privilege to serve as superintendent since 2012. He stated: “Our wonderful staff members, dedicated board members, caring parents, amazing students, and incredibly supportive community members make this a great place to live and work. I am exceeding grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the CWC schools.”

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He continued: “I recognize that the coming months still hold many challenges for us. Please know that I am committed to continuing to give my all as we help our students through these difficult times.”

Other draft goals presented will be:

  1.  Identify and Meet the Academic Needs of Our Students

Given the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

a) Assess student achievement and potential learning loss from Spring;

b) Set and achieve appropriate learning goals;

c) Provide technology, resources, and professional development to support Remote, Hybrid and in-person components of the district’s educational program.

  1. Identify and Meet the Social-Emotional Needs of Our Students

Given the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

a) Provide appropriate resources and support;

b) Complete Year 2 of the Comprehensive Equity Plan, including informing instructional practices that support social-emotional learning.

  1. Engage in Strategic planning for 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 
    a) Engage in dialogue and Mission, Vision, Core Values, and past successes/areas for growth;
    b) Determine areas of focus for coming three years
    c) Draft a Referendum proposal to support the district’s future work.

  2. Appoint a new superintendent of schools.

During public comment, Board of Education candidate Chris Elko asked for clarification regarding the draft goal of a Referendum proposal.  Heinegg responded that a previous bond from 2007 is about to sunset, so the intent is not to have additional encumbrances for the taxpayers. The goal would be to acquire additional space either through renovation and additions within the buildings the district already has and/or to acquire new space. The superintendent continued stating that the original plan was to survey the administrators and staff to solicit feedback from them and then an additional survey would be presented to the community.  Plans had been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Business Administrator Thomas Lambe noted that after initial discussions with the district’s financial advisors consideration of a bond, depending upon interest rates, would be in the neighborhood of between $20,000,000 to $30,000,000. Lambe confirmed that district personnel have already toured Trinity Academy twice and “hopefully we can readdress the referendum and talks with Trinity can continue.”