Sorry for the delay in recapping this meeting. I was sick and unable to work on the recap until Sunday. Thanks to everyone who sent me well-wishes.
Ms. Tanya Simmons was at the meeting. She is starting as the new Director of Special Services on or about November 21st. She brings with her 10 years of experience as Director of Special Services at West Essex School District. She is also a school psychologist. She recently presented on school avoidance and emotionally fragile students at a National Association of Student Pupil Services conference. Superintendent DiGiuseppe shared a video by an organization called CRG that maps schools digitally to ensure that everything in the building is reflected on the map, e.g. door, water shut-offs, hvac etc. It also is a live map so if there is an emergency the first responders are placed in the map via gps. The State is paying for CRG to map all the schools in the state. This will allow any first responder, in or outside of Verona, to know how to get around our buildings in an emergency. The maps can be updated if we make changes to the building, but there would be cost but it is minimal. Verona has two National Merit Commended Students – Steven Bartell and Sophia Munoz. (I apologize if I misspelled their names.)
HBW is welcoming Sayantani DasGupta, who is a medical doctor and author of the Serpent’s Secret book series. She is coming to speak with the 5th and 6th grade students.
Business Administrator report:
August 2022 Board Secretary, Treasurer and Budget Transfer reports are all in agreement. The auditors recently completed the 2021-2022 fiscal audit. It will be presented in December. The new 54 passenger gas engine school bus was delivered. It went right into services. Replaces a 14 year old diesel bus. The budget calendar for next year is included in the resolutions for this meeting.
Student representative report:
The student representative has been meeting with various members of the administration and the board president to gather information about the various student leadership groups. High School and Middle School elections were recently completed. The in person, in school college visits have started. There is a variety of options for students.
Buildings and Grounds
Completed architect interviews and the resolution to hire an architect is on the agenda. The softball foul ball net is still on the radar. Fire inspections completed and most of the items to be fixed are already completed.
Finalizing the sale of the old small bus for approximately $8000. And an update on an issue related to some employees being charged a lower rate for benefits than they should have been and how that will be recouped.
Public comment on agenda action items:
One comment on whether the BOE should be making professional appointments (i.e. architect and legal services) prior to the election.
Discussion regarding the New Jersey School Board Associate Workshop this week. Ms. Drappi, Ms. Priscoe, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Naturile, and Ms. DiGuiseppe attended on behalf of Verona. Mr. Wacha was also in attendance on behalf of Haledon School District.
There was also a discussion of creating an ad hoc committee to review all the district policies to make sure they are updated.
Announcement of the retirement of Gina Venezia, Superintendent of Special Services. She will be missed and I wish her the best of luck in the future.
All resolutions were passed 4-0- with 1 absence.
There was one public comment.
The next Board Meeting is November 8th – Election Day! Make sure you vote!