CALDWELL/WEST CALDWELL, NJ — As the school year ends, the Board of Education met for the final meeting of the 2019-2020 school year on June 22. 

The meeting began with a recognition and resolution honoring the district staff members, inclusive of teaching staff, administrators, administrative assistants, custodians, and aides, noting the “significant personal tragedy as well as a wide array of unprecedented challenges”. 

The resolution noted the staff has demonstrated “amazing agility, instructional expertise and dedication to the students”. The Board of Education resolved that it “takes great pride in recognizing, commending and profoundly thanking all staff members”.

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Two key personnel appointments were approved unanimously. John Bertollo was appointed principal of Grover Cleveland Middle School, filling the void created by the tragic death of Mr. Jim Brown earlier this year. Bertollo has been a vice principal at James Caldwell High School (JCHS) for approximately six years. Frank Lincoln was appointed to fill one of the open vice principal positions at JCHS. Lincoln is also an internal hire, having served as a teacher at JCHS for approximately nine years.

Agenda items under Finance included the approval for submission of grant applications for the 2021 school year for an ESEA grant totaling $264,125.00 and an IDEA grant in the amount of $650,513.00. The Board passed a resolution allowing it to be able to transfer an amount “not to exceed $500,000 in unanticipated excess current year revenue or unexpended appropriations from the general fund into a Maintenance Reserve account”. 

The Board also transferred an amount “not to exceed $1,000,000 in unanticipated excess current year revenue or unexpended appropriations from the general fund into a Capital Reserve account at year end.”  The transfers are consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.

Personnel items included the transfer of Maryann Rivera who had been the nurse at Harrison Elementary School to Wilson Elementary School effective Sept.1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. As is customary at this time of the year, the board of education approved multiple hirings for the next school year including, special education, library, kindergarten classroom, and lunch aides. Approval was also given for the hiring of teacher and library assistants for the new school year. Employment contracts were approved for members of the central office staff who are unaffiliated and confidential. 

Curriculum items approved included summer hours for curriculum writing, including 30 staff members representative of the elementary, middle, and high school level to write curriculum for LBGTQ+ Inclusive Curriculum Professional Development and Revisions with payments coming from Federal Title II funds. Approval was given for curriculum writing for Digital Photography II and Introduction to Guitar, Keyboard & Music Theory. 

The next Board of Education meeting will be August 18, 2020.