Minutes for January 4, 2016History icon Archived Minutes

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A regular business meeting of the Board of Education was held this day in the Board of Education Administration Building, 213 Mt. Horeb Road. The following is a record of that meeting.

I. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Board Secretary Patricia Leonhardt

Open Public Meeting Statement – Mrs. Leonhardt read the following Statement:

Re: Chapter 231 P.L. 1975: “The adequate notice of this regular meeting as required by the open public meetings act was provided by the posting, mailing/delivery, and filing of this notice on January 7, 2015. This notice was on that date posted on the bulletin board in the Township Office, mailed to the Courier News and the Echoes Sentinel, and filed with the Township Clerk of the Township of Warren, all in accordance with the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act.”

II. Pledge of Allegiance – Mrs. Leonhardt led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

III. Election Results

Mrs. Allocco moved the following:

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approvesthe combined statement of November 3,

2015 election results as follows:

Watchung Hills Regional - One (1) Three Year Board of Education Seat

Gregory Przybylski

Warren Township - Three (3) Three Year Board of Education Seats

Paige L. Albano

Andrea Freijomil

Kathy Helewa

The motion was seconded by Mrs. DiMaggio and was approved 5-0 roll-call vote.

IV. Oath of Office

The Oath of Office was administered by Mrs. Leonhardt to Mrs. Paige Albano, Mrs. Andrea Freijomil and Mrs. Kathy Helewa.

V. Roll Call

Present: Paige Albano, Celeste Campos, Len deMontagnac, Lisa DiMaggio, Andrea Freijomil, Kathy Helewa, Jim Sena and Tia Allocco

Absent: Joan Schiller

Also Present: Dr. Elizabeth Nastus, Interim Superintendent, Patricia Leonhardt, Board Secretary, and members of the public and press.

VI. Discussion

Board Officer Election Process - The board discussed the protocol for the process.

VII. Election of Board Officers

The nominations for Board President were opened by Mrs. Leonhardt.

Mrs. Kathy Helewa was nominated by Mr. Jim Sena and Mrs. Tia Allocco was nominated by Mr. deMontagnac.

With five votes (Mrs. Albano, Mrs. Allocco, Mr. deMontagnac, Mrs. DiMaggio and Mrs. Freijomil) to Mrs. Kathy Helewa’s three votes (Ms. Campos, Mrs. Helewa and Mr. Sena), Mrs. Allocco was elected president.

Board President Allocco presided over the remainder of the meeting.

The nominations for Board Vice President were opened by Board President Allocco.

Ms. Celeste Campos was nominated by Mrs. Kathy Helewa.

With eight votes (Mrs. Albano, Ms. Campos, Mr. deMontagnac, Mrs. DiMaggio, Mrs. Freijomil, Mrs. Helewa, Mr. Sena and Mrs. Allocco), Mrs. Campos was elected vice president.

The Board discussed the open positions as noted in G1 and G3 and completed the motions as follows:

Somerset County Educational Services Commission - Mrs. Freijomil as Representative,

Mrs. Albano as Alternate.

NJSBA Delegate Assembly - Mrs. Albano as Delegate, Mrs. Freijomil as Alternate.

VIII. Annual Reorganization Action Items

The board asked some questions regarding various reorganizational items, including the meeting location. The default meeting location will now be the Middle School Library.

Committees - The board discussed reestablishing various committees, as well as the status of the Negotiations Committee (standing versus ad hoc).

It was decided to keep the basic structure and membership of the STEEP committees, filling vacancies with new board members. It was determined to attempt to combine the Personnel and Negotiations committees, and to add two new board committees, the Curriculum & Technology Committee and the Communications Committee.

If the membership on the STEEP Education committee will be the same as the new Curriculum & Technology Committee, the committee will be renamed the STEEP Curriculum & Technology Committee.

The board recognized the need for Mrs. Allocco to have flexibility in the committee staffing, and hence naming.

On motion by Ms. Campos, seconded by Mr. deMontagnac and approved by a 8-0 roll call vote, the board approved reorganizational agenda items, A through G.

A. Policies

RESOLVED, the Board of Education approves adoption of current Board Policies & Bylaws for the Calendar Year 2016.

B. Service Appointments

RESOLVED, the Board of Education approves the following:

1. The Echoes Sentinel as the official school district newspaper for the Calendar Year 2016.

2. The Courier News and Star Ledger as official alternate newspapers to be used in lieu of The Echoes Sentinel, when necessary, for the Calendar Year 2016.

3. TAP into Warren as the official electronic news source for the Calendar Year 2016.

4. The appointment of Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC as Board Attorneys for the Calendar Year 2016 at an hourly rate of $150 (non fair and open). at an approximate total cost not to exceed $90,000

5. The appointment of Sciarrillo, Cornell Merlino McKeever & Osborne. as limited counsel for ongoing construction and Special Education matters for the Calendar Year 2016 at an hourly rate of $165 (non fair and open), at an approximate total cost not to exceed $15,000.

6. The appointment of USA Architects as the architect of record (non fair and open) for the Calendar Year 2016, at an approximate total cost not to exceed $30,000, at the following hourly rates:

a) Principal $175 - $200 (depends on individual)

b) Associates/Project Manager $135

c) Project Manager/Sr. Architect $125

d) Project Architect $100

e) Staff Architect/Designer $85

f) Technical Assistant $75

g) Intern $50

and additional terms as specified in the contract.

C. Board Committees

RESOLVED, the Board of Education approves the plan to work generally as a committee of the whole, with a limited number of standing committees as follows (membership to be designated at a future Board meeting):

Committees Liaisons

- Finance/Operations/Security - Recreation Commission

- Personnel & Negotiations - Township

- Policy - WHRHS

- Curriculum & Technology - SCESC (see G.1. below)

- Communications - MUJC (see G.2. below)

- NJSBA (see G.3. below)

- Senior Citizens

D. Board Meeting Dates

RESOLVED, the Board of Education approves the following list of meetings for the Calendar Year 2016.




(NOTE: All meetings will be held on a Monday in the Warren Middle School Library, unless otherwise noted)




January 4, 2016



PARCC Presentation

January 19


Note: Tuesday

HIB Semi-annual report for July 1 - Dec 31, 2015

February 1



February 22


Warren Middle School Presentation

March 7



ALT School Presentation

Board Secretary Evaluation

March 21


Preliminary Budget Approval

April 4



Woodland School Presentation

April 25



MH School Presentation

Budget Hearing/Adoption

Non-tenured Staff review

May 9



Central School Presentation

2016-2017 Staff Appointment

Superintendent Evaluation

May 23


2016-2017 Staff transfers if needed

June 6


WMS Student Achievement Recognition

2015-2016 Excellence in Education award recognition

June 20


Student Achievement Report

July 25


EVVRS/HIB Report January 1-June 30, 2016

Goal Setting

August 8



August 22



September 6



New Staff Welcome Reception 6:30

September 19



October 4



October 24



November 7



November 21


Standardized Testing Results

December 12


Non-tenured Staff Review

January 3, 2017




E. Board Member Code of Ethics

RESOLVED, the Board of Education acknowledges that each Board Member has received a copy of the Code of Ethics as follows:

1. I will uphold and enforce all laws, state board rules and regulations, and court orders pertaining to schools. Desired changes should be brought about only through legal and ethical procedures.

2. I will make decisions in terms of the educational welfare of children and will seek to develop and maintain public schools which meet the individual needs of all children regardless of their ability, race, creed, sex or social standing.

3. I will confine my board action to policymaking, planning, and appraisal and I will help to frame policies and plans only after the board has consulted those who will be affected by them.

4. I will carry out my responsibility, not to administer the schools, but, together with my fellow board members, to see that they are well run.

5. I will recognize that authority rests with the board of education and will make no personal promises nor take any private action which may compromise the board.

6. I will refuse to surrender my independent judgment to special interest or partisan political groups or to use the schools for personal gain or for the gain of friends.

7. I will hold confidential all matters pertaining to the schools which, if disclosed, would needlessly injure individuals or the schools. But in all other matters, I will provide accurate information and, in concert with my fellow board members, interpret to the staff the aspirations of the community for its schools.

8. I will vote to appoint the best qualified personnel available after consideration of the recommendation of the Superintendent.

9. I will support and protect school personnel in proper performance of their duties.

10. I will refer all complaints to the Superintendent and will act on such complaints at public meetings only after failure of an administrative solution.

F. District Mission Statement

RESOLVED, the Board of Education readopts the district’s mission statement as follows:

The Mission of Warren Township School District is to provide, through a safe, nurturing yet challenging environment, all students with an outstanding education that fosters academic excellence, healthy social and emotional development, and a lifelong passion for learning. In partnership with family, community, and staff, our strategic goals will guide our programs and actions so that students can exceed the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards at all grade levels and leave the district confident in their ability to think critically and independently and to succeed as students and productive citizens of the community and world.

G. Appointments

1. The election of Andrea Freijomil as the Board Representative to the Somerset County Educational Services Commission for the Calendar Year 2016 and the election of Paige Albano as the alternate.

2. The appointment of the Superintendent of Schools as the Board Representative to the Morris Union Jointure Commission Board of Education for the Calendar Year 2016.

3. The election of Paige Albano as Board Representative to the NJSBA Delegate Assembly for the Calendar Year 2016 and the election of Andrea Freijomil as the alternate.

**********End of Reorganization Items**********

IX. President’s Remarks

Mrs. Allocco thanked all for coming. She wished everyone Happy Holidays, welcomed the new board members and thanked the outgoing board leadership.

X. Executive Session

At 7:40 p.m. Ms. Campos moved the following:

WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A.10:4-11, permits the Board of Education to meet in closed session to discuss certain matters, now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, the Board of Education adjourns to closed session to discuss:

pending or anticipated litigation or contract negotiations and/or matters of attorney-client privilege

Action will be taken upon return to public session;

the length of the meeting is anticipated to be approximately 15 minutes; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, the minutes of this closed session be made public when the need for confidentiality no longer exists.

The motion was seconded by Mr. deMontagnac and approved by unanimous voice vote.

On motion by Ms. Campos, seconded by Mr. deMontagnac, the Board reconvened in open session at 8:18 p.m.

XI. Presentation

Mr. Kimmick presented the Warren Township School District PARCC results. The board asked follow-up questions.

XII. Minutes

Ms. Campos moved the following:

  • RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the public and private session minutes of the December 21, 2015 Board Meeting.

The motion was seconded by Mrs. DiMaggio and approved by 6-0-2 roll-call vote.

(Mrs. Albano and Mrs. Freijomil abstained.)

XIII.Correspondence and Information

· HIB Information

Total # of Investigations:


Total # of Determined Bullying Incidents:


· Fire Drills

ALT Central Mt. Horeb Woodland Middle

December 7 December 4 December 7 December 9 December 11

· Security Drills

ALT Central Mt. Horeb Woodland Middle

December 17 December 16 December 18 December 21 December 17

Active Shooter Active Shooter Active Shooter Active Shooter Active Shooter

XIV. President's Remarks

Mrs. Allocco shared that she is looking forward to very active 2016.

XV. Superintendent’s Remarks

Dr. Nastus thanked outgoing board leadership, welcomed the new leadership and the two new Board of Education members.

Lastly, Dr. Nastus thanked Mr. Kimmick for the evening’s presentation and commented on the strength of the district’s scores.

XVI. Committee Reports

Mrs. DiMaggio reported on the STEEP Education committee, which recommends expanding the scope of the STEEP project to the Middle School. This expansion is supported by the other two STEEP committee chairs. It is anticipated that this may increase the number of models under consideration.

It was decided that a notice regarding this increased scope will be communicated out, scheduled for this week.

Ms. Campos reported on a meeting of the STEEP chairs and reported that the Finance/Budget/Transportation committee is looking to establish route maximum times and building upkeep costs.

XVII. Discussion


XVIII. Public Commentary (including opportunity to speak about items for Board Consideration/Action)

Note on public input at BOE meetings: Board Policy #9322, adopted on April 14, 2008, provides for and encourages public participation in Board of Education meetings. Such participation is governed by the following rules:

  1. A participant must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface comments by an announcement of his/her name and place of residence;
  2. Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to three minutes’ duration (limit may be adjusted at the discretion of the presiding officer as circumstances dictate);
  3. No participant may speak more than once on the same topic until all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard; and
  4. All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer—no participant may address or question Board members individually.

The portion of the meeting during which participation of the public is invited shall be limited to fifteen minutes (limit may be adjusted at the discretion of the presiding officer as circumstances dictate).


XIX. Items for Board Consideration/Action

On motion by Ms. Campos seconded by Mrs. Helewa the consent items A.1. through A.4., B.1. and B.2. and C.1., were approved by a 8-0 roll-call vote.

A. Education

A.1. HIB Report

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the HIB Report submitted by the Superintendent for the period ending on December 23, 2015.

A.2. HIB Self-Assessment

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the attached HIB Self-Assessment for the 2014-2015 school year.

A.3. Summer Fun Program

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the 2016-2017 Summer Fun Program to begin on Monday, June 27, 2016 through Friday, July 29, 2016.

A.4. Extended School Year

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the Extended School Year to begin on Monday, June 27, 2016 through Friday, July 29, 2016.

B. Finance/Operations/Transportation

B.1. Payment of Bills

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the payment of bills for the period December 22, 2015 through December 31, 2015 in the amount of $1,301,555.20.

B.2. Travel Approval

Whereas, in accordance with State of New Jersey School District Accountability Act (A-5) and the Warren Township Schools’ policy number 4133-Travel and Work Related Expense Reimbursement, travel by school district employees and Board of Education members must be approved in advance.

Now Therefore Be It RESOLVED, the Warren Township Schools Board of Education approves the following expenses for faculty, staff, administrators, and board members for seminars, conferences and workshops. The expense includes travel costs, if applicable:




Workshop/ Conference




Emily Niclas


Teaching Students with Comprehension Problems


Mar 2016


Jennifer McMahon


Teaching Students with Comprehension Problems


Mar 2016


Pat LaPensee


Teaching Students with Comprehension Problems


Mar 2016


All of the above travel has been approved by the Superintendent. The School Business Administrator shall track and record these costs to insure that the maximum amount is not exceeded.

C. Personnel/Student Services

C.1. Contracted Services

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the addition of Joni Redlich, PT, DPT, PCS Board-Certified Specialist Pediatric Physical Therapy, owner/provider of Kid PT, LLC, to the Service Provider List for Physical Therapy, at a rate of $85 per 30 minute session, $110 per 45 minute session and $125 per 60 minute session.

XX. Old Business

Status of Physical Education Requirements - Dr. Nastus reported that the Executive County Superintendent is granting a grace period with corrective implementation due by September 2016.

Fundraising - Mrs. Allocco brought up for discussion clarification of allowable fundraising.

It was determined that the policy does not require additional review at this time.

XXI. New Business

Cycle I District Averages for Observation Components - Dr. Nastus reviewed an overview of the results average, which drives future planned professional development.

STEEP Education Committee Concerns - This item was addressed earlier in the evening.

Legislation - Mrs. Helewa reported on her meeting with Assemblyman Bramnick regarding recent School Ethics rulings, which have resulted in proposed legislation.

XXII. Public Commentary


XXIII. Adjourn

On motion by Ms. Campos, seconded by Mrs. DiMaggio, the meeting adjourned at

9:46 p.m.

Minutes submitted by

Patricia Leonhardt

Board Secretary