Education

Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of Board of Ed Meeting of Dec. 11 and Post-Election Update

3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor.jpg
3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor.jpg

POST ELECTION UPDATE
Following last night’s Board of Education meeting, the bond referendum
election results were tallied: 2700 Yes, 1503 No.  I am grateful for the
approval of this bond referendum for new roofs which will ensure the safety
of students and staff and maintain the integrity of our infrastructure.
Thank you to the Westfield community for your support


AUDIT
The Board accepted the annual audit of the 2011-2012 school year prepared
by Hodulik and Morrison, P.A.   Auditor Bob Morrison reported in an
unqualified opinion that the Westfield Public School District’s
accounting practices are in full compliance and that our financial
information is accurate and consistent in application according to rules of
the State and accounting standards. There are no adjustments necessary.  He
issued a clean report, with no non-compliance issues.  He confirmed that
the district’s internal controls are operating effectively and designed
appropriately. He said the audit “is as good as can be” and is “a
very positive report.” In summarizing the district’s reserve account,
he noted that we have placed $2.2 million in maintenance reserve and
allocated $1.4 million in tax relief to go into the next budget cycle.  Our
fund balance remains at 2 percent or $2.4 million, the maximum permitted by
the State. He had no findings or recommendations, no need for corrective
action, and thanked the cooperation of the Business Office staff.


HONORING JANE CLANCY
Board President, Richard Mattessich, presented retiring member Jane Clancy
with a resolution from the Board for her six years of service and
dedication to the families of Westfield.  Mr. Mattessich noted Mrs.
Clancy’s endless efforts to achieve facilities improvements, including
the much needed new roof replacements.  He thanked her for her attendance
at over 100 Board meetings and another 100 plus nights at Committee
meetings, serving Westfield. He and other Board members acknowledged that
Mrs. Clancy always put the children of Westfield first and that her role as
a mother of seven children and as a teacher brought great perspective to
the Board table.  Ann Cary presented a bouquet of flowers to Mrs. Clancy,
and remarked that Mrs. Clancy’s common sense, compassion, and expertise
in education will be missed. Mrs. Clancy noted that her tenure on the Board
has been an experience of a lifetime, and thanked her family for their
selflessness in permitting her to dedicate much time away from her family
to serve on the Board.

POLICIES
The Board affirmed my decision on an HIB investigation.

CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION & PROGRAMS
The Board approved an overnight trip for the Model UN Club to attend the
annual conference January 4 – 6.


FINANCE
The Board gratefully accepted a gift of $300 from Mr. Sherif Joseph to
Edison Intermediate School for supplies and materials.  The Board also
accepted a gift of a flute to the Fine Arts Department which will be used
in the Roosevelt Intermediate School Instrumental Music program.

Sign Up for E-News


LEGISLATION
Ann Cary reported that she, Ginny Leiz and I attended a recent meeting of
the Garden State Coalition of Schools, at which the topics of school
funding, district factor grouping, school choice and health care law were
briefly discussed.

NEW BUSINESS
Richard Mattessich referred to the editorial that appeared in the December
6 edition of the Westfield Leader and addressed several of the unfounded
accusations which were made regarding the bond referendum.  Mr.
Mattessich’s statement is part of the taped December 11 Board of
Education meeting which will appear at www.westfieldnjk12.org/vimeo
beginning December 13 and on WHSTV-36 (Tues. & Thurs. 8 AM & 7 PM, Sat at
10 AM &7 PM, and Sun. at 10 AM).

RECOGNIZE PUBLIC
WHS WHS Hockey parents Ellen Devin and Cathy Kattak and WHS Hockey
Co-Captain Liam Devin addressed the Board, requesting additional funding
for the team.  WHS Hockey began as a self-funded club team in 1994-1995 and
in 2004-2005 the Board agreed to assist with costs, funding two coaches.
According to Mrs. Devin and Mrs. Kattak, currently each hockey player’s
contribution to play amounts to $1250, in addition to the $125 activity fee
for the district.  Mr. Mattessich stated that the Board will review the
athletics budget and will also look into fine arts as the budget
preparation begins in January.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
WESTFIELD HIGH SCHOOL INVITES SENIOR CITIZENS TO CONCERT
Westfield senior citizens are once again invited to the final rehearsal of
Westfield High School’s Winter Choral Concert.  The rehearsal will take
place in the school’s auditorium from 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM on Wednesday,
December 19. Westfield High School is located at 550 Dorian Road.  The
students’ last rehearsal has been enjoyed for several years by senior
residents, who have commented that the daytime slot is more convenient for
them than the scheduled evening performance, which this year will take
place on December 20.  For more information, contact the School/Community
Relations Office at 789-4463.

KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE REGISTRATION

Kindergarten Registration appointments will take place beginning January 7
for all children who are residents of Westfield reaching the age of 5 on or
before October 1, 2013.  First Grade Registration appointments for all
children who are residents of Westfield reaching the age of 6 on or before
October 1, 2013 and have not yet attended the Westfield Public Schools will
begin January 9.  Please check the website for all dates, times, locations
and required forms at www.westfieldnjk12.org/register


SANDY RELIEF UPDATE
•       On behalf of all the elementary schools, Wilson Principal, Joseph
Malanga, presented a $4000 donation to the Westfield United Fund’s Sandy
Relief.  This donation was a result of the “Twelve Days of Giving”
established in our 6 elementary schools and Lincoln School to aid Westfield
residents that have experienced hardships due to Hurricane Sandy.  Other
donations were turned over to the Red Cross since checks were made payable
to them.

•       Also, Wilson teacher Maureen Willis, individually raised approximately
$3,700 by selling the Jersey Shore Relief Bracelet, with funds going to
Jersey Shore Relief.

•       At the Westfield Vs. Scotch Plains Fanwood Football game on Saturday,
November 10, the WHS and SPF football programs supported the American Red
Cross Hurricane Relief effort as members of the New Jersey Mid State 38
Football Conference. Each player displayed a decal sticker on his helmet
with the logo “Jersey Strong” to support the cause. At the entrance
gate, people donated to support the effort. Both football programs
participated to collect $484 at the game.

•       Prior to Thanksgiving, Sara Soriente, a Westfield High School Earth
Science Teacher, wanted to tie in an Earth Science teachable moment with
her students with an opportunity to "do good".  In discussing the damage
sustained at the shore and New York, she asked them if there was something
simple that they could do as a class to help. Each of her classes decided
unanimously that they wanted to do something.  She told them if they
brought in any donations, she would personally hand deliver them to areas
in need.  Last week, Ms. Soriente personally hand delivered a car full of
food, coats, and Home Depot gift card to St Paul’s church on the Barrier
Islands which is now feeding upwards of 600 people 3 times a day.  They are
also supplying food and personal items to the National Guard troops
stationed in the area as well as FEMA agents.

•       The efforts to donate to St. Paul’s relief program have extended
beyond the Environmental classes and have now been adopted by all of
Westfield High School. The High School will collect holiday gifts for needy
families, cleaning supplies, and monetary contributions toward the
church’s feeding program, and also will help arrange for people to help
serve meals.  The drive deadline is December 21.  Anyone interested should
contact Warren Hynes, advisor for the Westfield High School Community
Service Club, at whynes@westfieldnjk12.org.


•       Tamaques parents donated approximately 150 protective suits and face
masks for the emergency workers who continue to aid in the cleanup in Union
Beach. Tamaques parents also donated extra PTO funds to support communities
affected by the hurricane. In addition, the school has adopted Union Beach
Memorial School to support the needs of a particularly hard hit eighth
grade classroom, providing dry erase boards and markers as well as funds to
replace math aids and basic school supplies they lost in the storm. In
another project, Tamaques students are making holiday cards and sending
gift cards to students at another shore school, Highlands Elementary
School. Nearly 100 percent of the Tamaques community participated.

WINTER BREAK
The Westfield Public Schools will be closed for Winter Break from December
22nd through January 1st.


NEXT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING – Tuesday, January 3.  This will be our
organization meeting at which new Board members, Lucy Biegler and J.
Brendan Galligan will be sworn in as well as returning Board members
Gretchan R. Ohlig and Richard Mattessich.

I wish our entire community a safe and happy holiday!

Margaret Dolan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Westfield Firefighters Give Assist at Overnight House Fire in Garwood

July 12, 2018

GARWOOD, NJ - The Westfield and Clark fire departments were on hand to assist at a house fire early Thursday morning in Garwood.  The fire was in the upper levels of a vacant home on Willow Avenue, according to officials.

Clark Fire Chief Frank Cerasa confirmed that five Clark firefighters took one engine to the site. One witness reported seeing emergency responders from ...

Change The Early Morning Timing on Central Ave. Traffic Light

July 12, 2018

In connection with asking Union County to review the signal timing, PLEASE also consider the timing early in the morning. I frequently am heading south on Central to Metropark Station to catch the 6 a.m. train. Whenever I am at the intersection prior to 5:30 a.m., the timing is such that a green light (going south) lasts for less than the amount of time it takes to get one car through the ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Car Scratchings, Car Burglaries Continue & More

July 11, 2018

July 2, 2018 11:37 p.m.

Chad Doriral, age 32, of Brooklyn, NY was arrested for possession of CDS pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on summons.

July 3, 2018 11:08 p.m.

Divine Kennedy, age 19, of Newark, NJ was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Westfield Municipal Court in the amount of $1,000.00. Further investigation ...

Fall In Love With A Great Cause

July 14, 2018

The New Jersey Workshop for the Arts' Music Connection program provides children with special needs the opportunity to study music in a nurturing environment at a low cost, thanks to generous donations and grants. A $500 donation would provide one child a full course of music therapy and personalized music lessons.

During the ordeal of cancer diagnosis, Emmanuel Cancer Foundation steps in ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Understand NJ's Shared Responsibility Act

Last year, the President signed legislation that repealed the “penalty tax” for not having health insurance for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

 

On May 31, Governor Murphy signed into law the “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act,” which establishes a “shared responsibility tax” for state residents without ...

5 Things You Should Know About Your Air Conditioner

How an air conditioner works

Air conditioners use refrigeration to cool indoor air. When a liquid converts to a gas, it absorbs heat. This process is called phase conversion. Air conditioners use phase conversion by forcing refrigerants to evaporate and condense over and over in a closed system of coils. 

What air conditioner filters do

Filters remove particles from the air, keeping ...

14 Homes Sold July 1 - July 8, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Cranford, Mountainside & Fanwood

Fourteen homes sold July 1 through July 8, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Fanwood and Cranford.*

TOWN                  ADDRESS             STYLE    RMS       ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Commencement Collapse

July 1, 2018

Along with hundreds of parents in Westfield, my sons just graduated from high school (congratulations all!). It’s a funny thing being on the inside, being one of the moms who’s actually got kids in the flowy gowns. It’s a completely different vantage point than the one I’m used to; on many graduations past, I’ve felt deep joy while driving on Grove and seeing the ...

Westfield H.S. Students Receive Honorable Mention in NYT Podcast Contest

WESTFIELD, NJ — A podcast created by a group of Westfield High School students received an Honorable Mention in a first-ever podcast contest by the New York Times.

"By way of background, student groups in our Humanities class worked tirelessly on researching one of seven assigned renaissances and created a podcast that explored a particular innovation or innovator from the ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Woman Struck by Car in Bridgewater Mall Parking Lot Dies

July 12, 2018

Bridgewater, NJ - A Bedminster woman has died from her injuries after she was struck by a car in the parking lot of the Bridgewater Commons Mall Monday.

Marion Kelley, 62, was struck by a vehicle while walking in lot four near the Macy's merchandise pick up area at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.

The 2017 Mazda was driven by Chinmayi Parikh, 33, of Piscataway.

The crash is still being ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more