Minutes for February 22, 2016History icon Archived Minutes

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A regular business meeting of the Board of Education was held this day at the Warren Township Middle School, 100 Old Stirling 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 President Tia Allocco

Open Public Meeting Statement – Mrs. Allocco 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 5, 2016. 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 TAP into Warren, 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. Allocco led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

III. Roll Call

Present: Paige Albano, Celeste Campos, Len deMontagnac, Lisa DiMaggio,

Andrea Freijomil, Kathy Helewa, Jim Sena, Joan Schiller and Tia Allocco


Also Present: Dr. Elizabeth Nastus, Interim Superintendent, Patricia Leonhardt, Board Secretary,

and members of the public and press.

IV. Presentation

  • The Sound of Music - Mrs. Diane McCloskey and WMS students

The board enjoyed a sampling of the Middle School production of The School of Music.

  • Gwen Thornton, New Jersey School Boards, Study to Examine Enrollment Project (STEEP) Community Facilitator

Ms. Thornton discussed a tentative plan for the scheduling and content of three community meetings regarding the district’s STEEP project. The first, to be held at the beginning of April, would provide the public with baseline information. The meeting to be held in late April or early May would be to discuss potential school structures, with a third meeting prior to mid-June for community feedback. Ms. Thornton shared that board member attendance is preferred.

V. Minutes

Ms. Campos moved the following:

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the public and private session minutes of the January 19, 2016 Board Meeting.

The motion was seconded by Mrs. DiMaggio and approved by 9-0 roll-call vote.

VI.Correspondence and Information

· HIB Information

Total # of Investigations:


Total # of Determined Bullying Incidents:


VII. President's Remarks – Tia Allocco

Mrs. Allocco thanked the Warren Middle School PTO for its generous donation, to be used for the Middle School’s Makerspace.

Mrs. Allocco reminded all board members about the new Google doc which contains a list of school events, enabling Board of Education members to sign up for planned attendance.

Mrs. Allocco reported on her conversation with Board Attorney Matt Giacobbe, who provided the Conflict of Interest questionnaire distributed tonight. She requested that all board members complete one and return it to Mrs. Leonhardt. In addition, Mr. Giacobbe offered to run Board Ethics on March 21 at the Board of Education meeting.

Mrs. Allocco called attention to the district’s multi-year energy savings program, whose over one million dollars in savings was highlighted in a recent Pride in our Schools’ article.

Lastly, Mrs. Allocco congratulated Woodland’s Jackson Scala, the winner of the school’s National Geographic Bee.

VIII. Superintendent’s Remarks – Elizabeth Nastus

Dr. Nastus shared the joy she experienced in watching tonight’s Middle School The Sound of Music.

Dr. Nastus reported that Mr. Kimmick will be providing an update regarding the Next Generation of Science Standards at an upcoming Board meeting.

Lastly, Dr. Nastus informed the board that a survey will be conducted involving staff and parents from the district, as well as students in Grades 5 through 8, regarding Digital Learning.

IX. Committee Reports

  • STEEP Finance Committee - Ms. Campos presented an update regarding the STEEP Finance Committee and finished by asking for board feedback and approval regarding increased ride time limits (from 23-28 minutes to 30-35 minutes). Discussion among board members then revolved around approximately max times, and pickup times and actual ridership participation rates. The board accepted the increased ridership time parameter.
  • Communications Committee - Mrs. Helewa reviewed the committee’s role (support of the Superintendent), 2016 goals and tie in to the Strategic Plan. The committee will be reviewing the media study done in the past (and possibly to be done again) and as well as the potential and merit of recording board presentations.
  • STEEP Facilities Committee - Mr. deMontagnac reported on the Middle School walk-through, the completion of the school assessments (8 variables) and modelling (due March 4). Additionally, the Middle School walk-through led to a recommendation that the board consider the purchase of a new Middle School generator.
  • Finance Committee - Mr. deMontagnac reported on the planned Dealaman renewal (no increase), Blizzard Jonas cost, health insurance claims history, Chromebook insurance, the installation of Go Guardian filter, and 2016-2017 staffing.
  • Personnel & Negotiations Committee - Mrs. Allocco reported that the meeting was abbreviated and discussed the direction of the committee.
  • Policy Committee - Dr. Schiller reported on the committee’s review of policies, with language supportive of Box Top classroom competition.

X. Public Commentary (including opportunity to speak about items for Board


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).

  • Heather Silva, Quail Run, asked if there was a consideration of elimination of individual driveway pickups, congratulated the board on increased communication and asked questions regarding field trips.
  • Kevin Helewa, Reinman Road, asked a question regarding the release of the STEEP project transportation cost information.

XI. Items for Board Consideration/Action

Mrs. DiMaggio asked a question regarding an entry within motion B.4.

Mrs. Freijomil asked a question regarding motions C.6. and C.7.

Mr. deMontagnac asked a question regarding motion C.8.

Mrs. Helewa asked a question regarding C.10., and asked that it be pulled for separate vote.

On motion by Ms. Campos seconded by Mrs. Helewa the consent items A.1. and A.2., B.1. through B.6., C.1. through C.9., and D.1. were approved by a 9-0 roll-call vote.

On motion by Ms. Campos seconded by Mrs. Freijomil the consent item C.10. was approved by a 6-0-3 roll-call vote. (Mrs. Freijomil, Mrs. Helewa and Mr. Sena abstained.)

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 February 18, 2016.

A.2. Bedside Instruction

RESOLVED, the Board of Education approves bedside instruction for Student #2774547196, beginning February 1, 2016, at an hourly rate of $55, at a cost not to exceed $1,100.

B. Finance/Operations/Transportation

B.1. Payment of Bills

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the payment of bills for the month of February 2016 in the amount of $3,909,372.80.

B.2. Board Secretary's and Treasurer's Report

WHEREAS, the Board of Education has received the report of the secretary for the month of January 2016;

WHEREAS, this report shows the following balances on January 31, 2016





(10) General Current Expense Fund




(11) Current Expense




(12) Capital Outlay




(13) Special Schools




(20) Special Revenue Fund




(30) Capital Projects Fund




(40) Debt Service Fund








WHEREAS, in compliance with law and code the secretary has certified that, as of the date of the reports, no budgetary line item account has obligations and payments (contractual orders) which in total exceed the amount appropriated by the district board of education, now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, the Board of Education accepts the above reference reports and certifications and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, in compliance with law and code, the Board of Education certifies that, after review of the secretary's monthly financial report (appropriation section), to the best of its knowledge, no major account or fund has been over expended in violation of law and code and that sufficient funds are available to meet the district's financial obligations for the remainder of the year.

B.3. Budget Transfers for Month of January 2016

RESOLVED, the Board of Education ratifies the following transfers between budget line items that have been approved by the Superintendent of Schools and that are now being reported to the Board pursuant to Policy 3160:






Salaries - Child Study Team


Salaries - Kindergarten Teachers



Staff Training Services - Special Ed


Extraordinary Svcs. - Purch. Prof. Svc.



Security - Maintenance Repairs- MH


Sals. - Lunchroom & Playground Aides



Security - Maintenance Repairs - ALT


Sals. - Lunchroom & Playground Aides



Security - Maintenance Repairs - WD


Sals. - Lunchroom & Playground Aides



Security - District - Supplies


Sals. - Lunchroom & Playground Aides



Instructional Supplies - Central


Textbooks - Central



Salaries - Basic Skills Teachers


Salaries - Preschool Disabled - Aides


B.4. 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




Kevin Potter



Atlantic City

Mar 2016


Sally DeFelice


AESOP Certification


April 2016



Patricia Leonhardt


NJASBO Conference

Atlantic City

June 2016


Alison Watkins


Leaders to Leaders


May 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.

B.5. Copy Machine Purchase

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the purchase of a copy machine, for a cost of $19,885, from Atlantic Tomorrow's Office of Freehold, NJ. The district will be purchasing a Savin MP7502SP copier with 3 hole punch capability, which will be placed in the Faculty Room at Woodland School. This purchase is covered by NJ State Contract A51464.

B.6. Donation - Warren Middle School

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education accepts, with gratitude, a donation totaling approximately $6,600 to be allocated for the Maker Space in the Middle School Library.

C. Personnel/Student Services

C.1. Employment for the 2015-2016 School Year

RESOLVED, upon recommendation from the Superintendent that the Board of Education approve the following Personnel items including the emergent employment of the following employees (indicated by *) conditional upon the final approval by the New Jersey Department of Education, for the 2015-2016 school year and the Board further authorizes the submission of an application for emergency hiring pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1, et. Seq., N.J.S.A. 18A:6.14.12, et. Seq.”

a. Emily Puhak, Leave Replacement Teacher, Warren Middle School, BA+15, Step 1 of the 2015-2016 salary guide, $59,504 (prorated), effective February 23, 2016 through June 30, 2016. (Ms. Puhak will be LRT for Employee #1879.)

b. Cheryl Kallio, Leave Replacement Paraprofessional, Warren Middle School, 32.5 hours, Step 1-4 of the 2015-2016 salary guide, $20,573 (prorated), effective February 23, 2016 through June 30, 2016. (Mrs. Kallio will be leave replacement for Ms. Puhak.)

c. Carol Brown, Child Study Team Leave Replacement, Warren Middle School, 12 hours, MA, Step 21 of the 2015-2016 salary guide, $26,530 (prorated), effective on or about March 7, 2016 through June 30, 2016 for partial leave coverage for Employee #2817.

C.2. Compacted Schedule for Summer 2016

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves a 4-day compacted work schedule for Summer 2016, from the week of July 11th, up to and including the week of August 29th.

C.3. Substitute Teachers

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following to be appointed as substitute teachers for the 2015-2016 school year:

a. Cecilia Beisler

b. John Falcone

c. William Fratto

C.4. Movement on the Guide

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following staff for amended placements on the 2015-2016 salary guide:

a. Carla Annese, with congratulations, for movement from MA to MA+15, effective February 1, 2016.

b. Nicole Panos, with congratulations, for movement from MA+15 to MA+30, effective February 1, 2016.

C.5. Leave Request

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following:

a. Employee #1879 for leave (paid and unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement), under FMLA/NJFLA/Child Rearing, from on or about February 26, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

b. Employee #1777 for intermittent leave (unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement) under FMLA, from February 8, 2016 through on or about May 11, 2016.

c. Employee #1598 for extended leave (unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement) under FMLA from February 15, 2016 through on or about April 7, 2016, with an anticipated return date of April 8, 2016. (Initial leave approved on January 19, 2016.)

d. Employee #0673 for intermittent leave (unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement) under FMLA, from on or about February 22, 2016 through on or about March 7, 2016.

C.6. Additional Hours

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the additional hours for Lisa Lontai to accompany Student #7048289004, to Play Practice, starting January 5, 2016, at a cost not to exceed $4,000.

C.7. Contracted Services

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following rate change for provider Levia Spingarn Gabel for ABA Services for newly contracted students, as of February 1, 2016, at a rate of $75 per hour.

C.8. Affirmative Action Committee-Comprehensive Equity Plan

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the Affirmative Action Officer and the Affirmative Action Committee to develop a Comprehensive Equity Plan, implement the plan over a three year period of time, and submit an annual State of Assurance.

C.9. Revised School Calendar - Woodland

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the amended 2015-2016 calendar to include a half day make-up for Woodland School, on June 23, 2016.

C.10. Employee Discipline

RESOLVED, the Board of Education approves the suspension, with pay, of Employee #1427, from February 19th up to and including February 24th, 2016.

D. Policy

D.1. Policies – First Reading

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the first reading of the following policies:

a. 1322 - Contests for Pupils

b. 5136 - Fundraising Activities

XII. Old Business

  • Library Scheduling - Dr. Nastus reported on the scheduling of library time in each school, broken down by grade. The board asked additional questions, for which Dr. Nastus will provide follow up.
  • 2016-2017 Kindergarten Enrollment - Mr. deMontagnac discussed the most recent enrollment numbers for the incoming kindergarten class.
  • Board of Education Meetings - Mrs. Allocco discussed board member seating at the meetings, which she hopes to rotate.

XIII. New Business

  • Biz Town - Mrs. Helewa reported that she will be participating in this Central School 5th grade program, to be held this coming Friday.

XIV. Public Commentary


XV. Adjourn

On motion by Ms. Campos, seconded by Mrs. DiMaggio, the meeting adjourned at 8:33 p.m.

Minutes submitted by

Patricia Leonhardt

Board Secretary