Education

Westfield Board of Ed Discusses EPA Awards, New HIB Report and Science Day at Meeting

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Board of Education Members Dana Sulivan, Lucy Biegler, Richard Mattessich, Rosanne Kurstedt and Mark Friedman. Credits: Alexandria Addesso
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WESTFIELD, NJ — Seven Westfield School District buildings recieved 2014 EPA Energy Star Awards at the Board of Education Meeting Tuesday night.

Just 37 schools received this award in the state, with Edison Intermediate School, Roosevelt Intermediate School, Franklin Elementary School, Tamaques Elementary School, Wilson Elementary School and Westfield High among them. The Administration Building on Elm Street also received an award.

“For us to have six out of the 37, I think is pretty fantastic,” said Mike Pate, one of the co-energy managers of the district.

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Energy Star buildings use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than similar buildings on average, accrdng to Pate and the other Co-Energy Manager Tony Cuccaro. The district achieved this through the combined efforts of staff, students and administration, such as unplugging electronics, turning off computers and monitors every night, closing shades and blinds over long breaks and replacing the roofs which new materials that provide more insulation. This amounted to almost $3 million in savings from June 2007 to August 2014.

“We are teaching our children the importance of saving energy,” said board member Gretchen Ohlig. “I’m so proud of you and all the district staff.”

Board member Mitchell Slater suggested possibly adding an energy-saving course to the curriculum in the future, with the co-managers as instructors.

The bi-annual Harassment Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Report was also shared at the meeting. From Jan. 1 to June 30, there have been 18 investigations and four confirmed cases. All were verbal comments—one about race, one about nation of origin, and two that were sexual harassment.

“There are appropriate things to say and there are inappropriate things to say,” said Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan. “Parents and students need to know they can call in to the school and report it."

In the category of violence, vandalism and substance abuse for the same time period, there have been 11 incidents, with only one resulting in police notification and the rest resulting in 12 days of short-term suspension.

Two short videos were shown from last summer’s STEM Camp, one made by the district and the other by Kean University, which partnered with the program. Both videos can be viewed on the district website. There will also be a Science Night on Oct. 16 at Westfield High School.

"I know it's going to be fun, I'm very excited about it," said Claudia Andreski, trustee of the Education Fund.

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