WESTFIELD, NJ — At the Westfield Board of Education meeting May 19, board members asked for the public's support of a new bond referendum. To read the statement read by Mitch Slater, click here.

Multiple paraprofessionals filled the audience of that meeting.

“The need for paraprofessional support not only remained stable, it’s beginning to blossom,” said Westfield Instructional Support Staff Representative Patricia Doyle.

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Although Doyle was the only paraprofessional to take the podium, many others came to the meeting to show their support.

Doyle described how the number of full-time paraprofessionals in the district has decreased since 2010 and the number of part-time paraprofessionals has increased. Although this resulted in savings for the district in terms of funds allotted to paying paraprofessionals, it increased the cost of sending special education students out of district, according to Doyle.

She also emphasized the strong bond established between a paraprofessional and the special education student who they worked closely with and how that bond is disrupted due to cutbacks.

Also at that meetin, several new curricula were approved for a first reading. The classes included ESL K-12, Magazine Journalism and Spanish V Honors, which would replace Spanish Literature IV AP.

“It’s not widely used in colleges for credits,” said board member Ginny Leiz, in reference to the class that would be replaced by Spanish V Honors.

Conflict of Interest, Administration of Medication and Conduct/Discipline Code of Conduct policies were also approved for a first reading.

The next board of education meeting will be on June 9 at the Board of Education building. District teachers who were nominated for their excellence in teaching will be recognized.