Editor's Notebook: Aug. 20 BOE Meeting
By Rebecca K. Abma
The Board of Education hired a new Athletic Director/Assistant Principal and authorized another section of roof replacements at the high school, at its Aug. 20 meeting that included public questions and comments about back-to-school supplies, birthday parties and more.
New Athletic Director
The district hired Michael Gaccione as the new Athletic Director and Assistant Junior High Principal at Midland Park Junior Senior High School. Gaccione is slated to begin mid-October and replaces Peter Galasso as AD. Galasso was promoted to Asst. Senior-High Principal last month, filling in the slot made vacant when June Chang was promoted to Director of Curriculum for the district. Officials noted that all of the vacant teach positions are now filled.
More Roof Work Approved
The school board also approved additional roof replacements at MPHS. According to Finance Chair Robert Schiffer, the work at Highland School came in $100,000 less than expected freeing up additional money for more of the roof work at the high school.
Once this work is completed, the high school will have another 16,500 square foot of roof to replace which will cost an estimated $240,000, Schiffer noted. The new roofs have a life expectancy of 15 to 20, officials said.
School Board Secretary Stacy Garvey reported the work at MPHS and Godwin school will be completed prior to the first day of school, however, the work at Highland School has not yet begun and will not be completed by Sept. 6. Work is expected to start next week and once school starts will only be done during off hours, not while children are in school.
With school starting up in two weeks and teacher assignments just being mailed, many parents came to the board to request the district work to standardize school supply lists in future years. Currently the school supply list is different for each teacher, leaving parents to scramble to find specific items individual teachers require. Other districts have moved to a standardized list, which allows the PTA to sell Back-to-School kits as a fundraiser.
Dr. Marie Cirasella explained that supply lists are a building issue. She added that she would bring this to the attention of the principals and encourage them to implement standardized lists moving forward.
Parents also noted that it would be nice for students to know who their teacher will be earlier in the summer. Some districts hold a move up day on the last day of school which enables students to know who will be in their class next year and to ease any anxiety over the unknown.
Parents also addressed concerns over the policy change to ban cupcakes and other sweet treats to be brought in for birthday parties. The reason given for the change, that went into effect last school year, is to promote healthy eating. However, parents feel this is disingenuous when because sweets can be purchased daily in the cafeteria.
Video from the meeting is available at this link on our Livestream Channel.