West Orange Board of Education Holds Meeting at Redwood Elementary School

Barbara Kivlon, Principal of Redwood Elementary School, welcomes the crowd. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
(L-R) Steve Christiano, Donna Rando, Sandra Mordecai, Paul Petigrow, Laura Lab, Megan Brill, Michelle Casalino, Jim O'Neill, Mark Kenney. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
The Redwood Concert Band Performs. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
National Merit Participants  (L-R) Rachel Cooper, Principal Hayden Moore, Raashmi Patalpati, Laura Lab, Ethan Blake, Sai Mandalapu, Jim O'Neill, Tiffany Smith. (Not pictured: Anjali Sivendra, Malanie Babi, Yanique Bell). Credits: Cynthia Cumming
(L-R) Hayden Moore, Isabel Kaspriskie (Symphonic Band), Laura Lab, Ethan Blake (Symphonic Band), Jim O'Neill, Sruti Kanthan (Orchestra), Nathaniel Hawkins (Symphonic Band).  Not Pictured: Ventura Simmons, Kwaku Jyamfi, Belle Zhang, Amanda Hill. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Tonight's West Orange BOE Meeting was held at Redwood Elementary School.  After a performance by the Redwood Concert Band, several students from West Orange High School were recognized as Merit Scholars as were musicians that received recognition in the North Jersey Regional Music Awards.  

Interim Superintendent O'Neill discussed the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and how important it was to be able to offer the schools as shelters. He also noted that the district would look into the purchase of a generator to keep the district servers online in the event of another power outage, as a means to help maintain communication with parents. A letter to parents, discussing this, and more has been posted on the district website and can be read at:

Sign Up for E-News

 Of particular importance was the discussion of the loss of days (6) during the storm.  The district allows for three snow days.  The district made up two more by having school after the cancellation of the Teacher's Conference, leaving one day.  He offered, however, a caveat, because the winter is still ahead of us.

The Board members bandied about the hiring of Robert Csigi, Jr., who was hired as a dispatcher with special computer training in the Versa Trans system.  Sandra Mordecai questioned the possibility of nepotism (Robert Csigi, Sr. is Director of Buildings and Grounds) but other board members disagreed and board attorney Steve Christiano said that the nepotism law only applied to board members and the Superintendent.  

The other contested agenda item was the Local 68 Bargaining Association (Custodial staff) negotiated contractual settlement.  Ms. Mordecai opposed because she felt money could have been saved by employing a flex employee schedule  system, although other board members, as well as Mark Kenney, Board Secretary, emphasized that not utilizing a flex employee schedule saved money, and that it was not ultimately practical for district needs. Another issue concerned overtime, with Kenney explaining that no more than 10% of the total buildings and grounds budget can be spent on custodial overtime.  It is currently at about 100K, down from 300K several years ago.  All other agenda items passed without incident. 

Board reports included information about "Tomorrow's Teachers," a new initiatve with Rider University with students that aspire to be teachers, with the possibility of college accreditation; a meeting of the Curriculum Council discussed new courses at the high school: Art History "Art and the Human Experience," Business Organization and Management, Concepts of Entrepreneurship, and Early Childhood and Family Studies, Level 3.

After public comments, which mainly centered on busing issues, school trip costs/budget, a student's allergy issues, and mixed comments to the board, the meeting adjourned at 10:20 pm and the board went into closed session.

The next meeting is scheduled for 12/3 at Edison Middle School.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

May 18, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Save Up To 20% at CNP Treasures

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Are you still looking for the perfect gift for your mom or that special someone in your life for Mother's Day? Then CNP Treasures has you covered! Save up to 20% at CNP Treasures located at 14 Northfield Ave in West Orange.

Come by this weekend so we can help you find the perfect gift! Offer expires Sunday, May ...

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education


Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline


Tue, May 29, 6:30 PM

Council Chambers, West Orange

Township Council Meeting

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...