The Board accepted with regret the retirements of Franklin School first grade teachers Karen Kavalin and Laurie Levinson, both effective on June 30, 2020, and of Westfield High School Resource Center teacher Carole Harazim with an anticipated last date of employment of February 1, 2020.  Each is a dedicated and valued teacher who will be missed.  We wish all three well in their retirements.


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The Board affirmed my decision on six HIB incidents.


The Board approved district field trips as correlated with curricula.


At the request of the new Technology Committee Chair Robert Garrison, outgoing chair Michael Bielen reported on the January 10 meeting at which Chief Technology Officer Brian Auker highlighted some of the cyber security initiatives in place to protect the district’s network, devices, programs, and data from unauthorized access.  Mr. Auker also reviewed Google analytics of the district website with committee members.  Mr. Bielen clarified the difference between the number of website users versus page views/sessions and suggested that student and staff visits to the website be excluded from future analytics in order to achieve a more accurate picture as to resident usage of the website.  Mr. Garrison noted that the committee has been reconstituted as the Technology and Communication Committee.

Board president Peggy Oster praised Mr. Auker and his team for their skilled efforts in keeping the district’s network safe.


Mr. Garrison stated that he attended a New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) seminar on school security and suggested that board members share future educational opportunities with each other to encourage attendance.

Board member Kent Diamond reported that he attended a recent meeting of the Tamaques PTO where a couple of members expressed appreciation for the increased police presence in the immediate days after a teacher tenure ruling.

Board member Brendan Galligan noted that among the topics discussed at the NJSBA Board of Directors meeting was the rollout of a new website.

Mr. Bielen attended a recent meeting of the Westfield Green Team that included discussion of Earth Day activities and other possible green initiatives in our schools.   Mrs. Oster referenced an anti-idling video produced by the Green Team and the Media Council that includes a reminder of the strict no idling zones around each school.

Board vice president Amy Root reported that she sat in on a focus group as the Westfield Memorial Library works on its strategic plan.

Mrs. Oster applauded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Westfield for the well-attended march and interfaith service on January 20, as well as the student essayists, poets, and artists from Westfield Public Schools who received awards in the annual contest for elementary and intermediate schools.  She also reported on her attendance at a meeting of the Westfield Recreation Commission at which a master plan for the town’s parks and recreational facilities was made public. Mrs. Oster noted that the plan proposes the use of some of the Board of Education’s fields; she asked that each board member review the proposed plan at the committee level and discuss how it might affect future district proposals.  She suggested that, should the town adopt the master plan, the board might invite the town’s planner to a board meeting to present their proposal regarding the fields.  Mr. Garrison stated that he is excited by the idea of the town and the board working together to provide recreational resources to the community as a whole.

A recording of the entire Board of Education meeting can be viewed on the district website at, along with a listing of new board committee/liaison assignments.