Editor’s Notebook: Jan. 7 BOE Meeting
By Rebecca K. Abma
The Midland Park Board of Education introduced new and revised policies, gave the first period violence, vandalism and harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) repot, and reviewed the Jan. 21 meeting agenda at its Jan. 7 meeting. The full agenda, complete with attachments, is available here.
Board President Bill Sullivan reported that the district received notification from the state of more than $3 million in grants from the state for needed repairs and upgrades. The funds, which represent 40% of project costs, are tentatively approved, pending an official letter from the state.
How the district will go about raising the other 60% of the funds has not yet been determined. Sullivan said the board will discuss it at the committee level to determine its next steps.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Cirasella reported that there was a change in the reporting for graduation rates to include students enrolled for both four and five years. Under the change, the state graduation rate improved from 86.5% to 87.5%. Midland Park’s graduation rate was 92.7%, she added, explaining that of the 95 students enrolled in the class of 2013, three dropped out for varied personal reasons.
Vandalism, Violence & HIB Report
Dr. Cirasella presented the district wide HIB report for July 1, 2013 to Dec. 10, 2013, the first of two reporting periods mandated by the state. During this period, there were five incidents investigated, none of which met the criteria for HIB. Incidents occurred in the fifth through eight grades and the 11th grade. Last year, during the same period there were nine HIB reports, three of which met the criteria.
The Electronic Vandalism and Violence Report (EVVRS) was also presented for the same period, during which there were four incidents of harassment/threat, one fight, two simple assaluts, no vandalism, damage to property or threats, one drug test, one alcohol incident, no weapons threats and one incident of a knife on school property.
Also during the first reporting period, the district implemented or conducted 24 HIB training or programs for students, teachers and parents.
The district introduced new and revised policies, most of which are for state-mandated programs, including teacher evaluations. The only discussion on the policies was a question regarding policy 6620, which deals with Petty Cash. The board intends to increase the amount allowed in Petty Cash for the Continuing Education department, because it needed more cash on hand.
Parent David Opderbeck spoke to tell the board he would like to work with them on coming to an agreement on posting agenda attachments online prior to the meeting. In November, Opderbeck file a suit against the district, claiming it was in violation of the Sunshine Law and Open Public Records Act. On Dec. 24, a judge sided with Opderbeck and ordered the district to provide attachment items along with the agenda.
According to Sullivan, the judge’s order has not yet been officially signed off on and the board is waiting for that before deciding what, if any, actions it will take.
Jan. 11: Market Day Orders Due
Jan. 13: MPPEF Meeting
Jan. 15: MPHSPTA Combined General Meeting with PAPS and Boosters at 7pm
Jan. 15: Junior/Senior High Band Concert at 7:30pm
Jan. 16: MPEPTA Go Math Presentation for Parents at 7:30pm at Highland School Gym
Jan. 17: Market Day Pick Up
Jan. 24: Highland School Talent Show at Highland School Gym
Jan. 25: Boosters Beefsteak Dinner at the Fire House
Jan. 30: Godwin School Talent Show at Highland School Gym
March 1: Blue Jean Ball (MPPEF) Tickets now available
March 22: Boosters Hall of Fame Dinner at Brick HOuse