West Orange BOE Approves Board Policies for Evaluations; Repair Issues at Gregory and Mt. Pleasant Elementary Schools Discussed

St. Cloud Principal Eric Price, with Art Teacher Ms. Del'Italia, stand with fifth and first students who were recognized for their artistic creations based on the Classic Children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. Principal Eric Price and Art Teacher Ms. Del’Italia explained the process of design, art history, and media that were incorporated into the artwork. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
A group of parents from Mt. Pleasant Elementary School provided photos of ice patches 4 inches thick by a drainage pipe at Ellison Avenue and Carlson Road. “ Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Artwork. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
The BOE reviews the agenda. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange Board of Education unanimously approved policies 2130.00 and 4116.00 regarding implementation of principal and teaching staff evaluations required by the state of New Jersey. Required training for all teachers on the Marzano Model, the district’s selection for an evaluation model, was completed in August 2013.

“We did not have a lot of time to prepare for the principal evaluations,” noted Interim Superintendent James O’Neill.“In some cases, it’s not unusual to receive 80 pages of follow-up from the state, and compliance was required within a one year period.”

“However,” he continued regarding compliance and implementation, “We are probably doing better than 80% of other districts in the state.”

Sign Up for E-News

Board member Laura Lab said, “The new state requirements have had a monumental effect on the teachers and district. We have approximately 1,000 staff members, and the process must be broken down into different criterias, like tenured and non-tenured.”

The approved policies will be posted to the website.

St. Cloud first and fifth grade students were recognized for their artistic creations based on the classic children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. Principal Eric Price and Art Teacher Ms. Del’Italia explained the process of design, art history, and media that were incorporated into the artwork. 

During public comment, parents and the community expressed concerns about repair issues at Gregory and Mt. Pleasant Elementary Schools.

Architect Jerome Eben expressed concern over the water leak in Gregory’s library. “The roof was patched and the patches are no longer working,” said Interim Superintendent O’Neill. “It will cost about $60,000 to replace the section of roof over the library, but we have to find the money to do it.”

A group of parents from Mt. Pleasant Elementary School provided photos of ice patches 4 inches thick by a drainage pipe at Ellison Avenue and Carlson Road. “This is a huge problem,” said Rosemary Martos. “It affects all our walkers, except for the Kindergarteners.”

“This has been a problem since I first came to Mt. Pleasant,” said PTA President Sherley Jean-Baptiste. “Mr. Schiavo [Mt. Pleasant Principal] has broken up the ice himself over the years, but he has not been well this winter.”

Danielle Bolen, another Mt. Pleasant parent said, “This is a very dangerous situation, and we are pleading with you to do something.”

O’Neill explained that it was difficult to fix the problem, especially in this weather. “A new landscaping and drainage system will cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. We’ve salted the area several times at night, hoping it would melt in the sun during the day. It becomes an issue of what’s more important; a seasonal issue or a year-round issue like the Gregory roof.”

Board members Michelle Casalino and Board President Sandra Mordecai both said, “We need to divert manpower to address the ice now and have it removed."

"This will at least address the problem on the short term,” Casalino noted.

Residents were invited to attend the district’s Diversity meeting on Feb. 5 at at the Board of Education building, which is located at 179 Eagle Rock Ave., in Room 203, at 7 p.m. 

The Board will be holding several closed meetings over the next week regarding residency hearings and an update on the search for a new permanent superintendent.

The next public BOE meeting is scheduled for Feb. 10 at 8 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sun, February 25, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Celebrate Your Health this Nutrition Month

February 21, 2018

Dear Editor,

This year, we learned that the number of Americans at risk for heart attack and stroke just got a lot higher.  An estimated 103 million adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association, and about 39.7 percent of Americans have high cholesterol.  With March being National Nutrition Month, it’s a great time to ...

Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings for Young Athletes

February 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (MJM) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ.

When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac ...

Hackensack Resident Charged with Sexual Assualt and Child Endangerment at YMCA

February 23, 2018

HACKENSACK, NJ — Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of Timothy Smith of Hackensack on six counts each of Sexual Assault by Contact and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, and the Hackensack Police Department ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...