Westfield Board of Education Discusses Year-Long Goals

Superintendent Margaret Dolan reviews the district and board goals for the school year. Credits: Michael Bruchert

WESTFIELD, NJ – Meeting for the first time since the school bond referendum passed, the Westfield Board of Education reconvened Tuesday night to update the public on its 2015-16 district and board goals.

The first of three district goals, introduced by the superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan, expands upon selecting "an appropriate model for sustainable development funds for the district." As mentioned in previous meetings, the board is seeking guidance from existing examples in other schools.

As of Tuesday, the board had selected an advisory committee and received their input, and also held a workshop where a guiding principle document was used to determine the job description. Most recently, the board conducted empirical research to create their own position.

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“One thing we said is that we won’t rush into this,” Dolan said. “We’ve looked into people who are involved with alumni relations, directors of development and people who have experience writing grants.”

The board also revisited recommendations for elective course offerings in its second district goal, primarily at the high school level. After interviewing the students of Westfield High School, the board reviewed the data in a workshop and will present the new courses for approval at February’s meeting of the curriculum committee of the board.

The third district goal, to develop a strategic plan for the next five years, will soon enter the planning stage where board members determine the areas of focus.

The strategic sessions will include a variety of different members, according to Board President Gretchan Ohlig. The first of two special meetings will be held at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Lincoln School Multi-Purpose Room, 728 Westfield Ave.

The Westfield Board of Education also shared its own goals for the school year, as it seeks to effectively communicate to all board members and the public in a timely manner, as well as enhancing the participation at district and community events.

“As far as attending our liaison meetings, we’re all doing our part,” Ohlig said. “The only way to get community feedback is to go out and make ourselves available.”

Both Christopher Langhart and Peggy Oster confirmed their attendance at PTO meetings has been met with positive feedback.

“The groups are very appreciative of our time and the effort we make to answer their questions,” Oster said.

The next regular WestfieldBoard of Education meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 16. It wwill be followed that evening by a workshop.

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