Minutes for March 7, 2016 Archived MinutesSkip Navigation
A regular business meeting of the Board of Education was held this day at the Angelo L. Tomaso School, 46 Washington Valley 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, Joan Schiller and Tia Allocco
Also Present: Dr. Elizabeth Nastus, Interim Superintendent, Patricia Leonhardt, Board Secretary,
and members of the public and press.
Jim Sena arrived at 7:02 p.m.
- 5th Grade Musical Presentation
The board enjoyed a presentation of two special songs by 5th grade students under Mrs. Backus’ direction.
- Reading Fair Trifolds
Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Andrews presented an overview of the project followed by individual presentations by grade level winners.
- District Finances Overview
Mrs. Leonhardt presented an overview of generic school district finances.
Ms. Campos moved the following:
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the public session minutes of the February 22, 2016 Board Meeting.
The motion was seconded by Mrs. DiMaggio and approved by 9-0 roll-call vote.
VI.Correspondence and Information
Total # of Investigations:
Total # of Determined Bullying Incidents:
· Fire Drills
· Security Drills
VII. President's Remarks – Tia Allocco
Mrs. Allocco expressed gratitude for the Bio Pharmacy donation of EpiPens as well as Eagle Scout Michael Duncan’s donation.
Read Across America - Mrs. Allocco discussed her pleasure at partaking in reading to students, as did Mrs. Helewa.
Mrs. Allocco thanked the Angelo L. Tomaso staff who judged the reading fair entries.
Lastly, Mrs. Allocco reminded Board of Education members of the need to hand in the Conflict of Interest forms.
VIII. Superintendent’s Remarks – Elizabeth Nastus
Dr. Nastus thanked Mrs. Bond and her staff for this evening’s wonderful presentation.
Dr. Nastus noted and congratulated Mrs. Helewa on her presence in NJSBA’s School Leader magazine.
Library Scheduling - Dr. Nastus reviewed the answers to some previously asked questions, including outlining the new structure as follows: Three scheduled library visits per week for Kindergartners, two for Grades 1 and 2, and one for Grade 3. Fourth and fifth graders will have a weekly book exchange visit to the library as well as scheduled integration with the classroom teacher.
ALT Librarian Susan Jackson then provided additional details regarding future library scheduling at the elementary level.
IX. Committee Reports
- STEEP Education Committee Update
Mrs. Helewa reported on the committee’s work, which reviewed the educational, emotional and social effects of various potential models.
- STEEP Facilities Committee Update
Mr. deMontagnac reported on the committee’s work which, based on an assessment of each school building, determined each school’s ability to house students for each potential model and combination.
- STEEP Finance Committee
Ms. Campos reported that a summary of the work of the STEEP Finance Committee will presented on March 21st.
- Finance/Operations/Security Committee
Mr. deMontagnac reported on the recent Finance Committee, which focused on committee goals and the 2016-17 budget, which includes the continuation of a security consultant, a Supervisor of Special Education and a contingency teacher.
The board will discuss the findings of the STEEP Education Committee work at its next meeting.
The board then discussed the work of the STEEP Facilities Committee, including the topic of trimming class size guidelines and classroom lavatories.
Mrs. DiMaggio also publicly thanked Mrs. Helewa for stepping into the role of STEEP Education Committee Chair.
It was determined that the board members will be given time to review the STEEP Committees’ summaries and no decision making will be requested this evening.
XI. 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:
- A participant must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface comments by an announcement of his/her name and place of residence;
- 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);
- 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
- 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 Silver, Quail Run, discussed class size guideline adjustments, the value of the current configuration, as well as other models, and classroom usage.
- Deanna DeRoner, ALT Teacher, discussed the effect of large class sizes..
- Karen Lee, Scotch Plains resident, thanked the STEEP committees for their work and addressed planning.
- Judy Shanahan, Hillcrest Road, addressed the benefit of small class size and the options which will work.
- Darby Finkelstein, Trinity Place, addressed the benefit of small class sizes and emphasized a need to make the analysis fact based.
- Lauren DiNardi, Mt. Horeb Road, addressed the benefit of small class sizes.
- Mildred Spiller, Quill Penn Way, congratulated Mrs. Helewa for her inclusion in NJSBA magazine, thanked the chairs for this evening’s presentation and the discussed the township’s historical emphasis on small class size.
Mrs. Spiller also encouraged Dr. Nastus to provide her input and opinion.
Lastly Mrs. Spiller also reminded the board to keep the taxpayers’ burden in mind.
- Danielle Lader, Briarwood Dr., spoke of the single section class grade.
- Gretchen Minieri, Mundy Lane, spoke of multiple transitions and potential additional revenue which might be realized by expansion of the preschool program.
- Rachel Singleton, Deerwood Trail, discussed a need for welcoming school aged families. Mrs. Singleton also addressed the structured play at recess.
- Jackie Polokoff, Blue Jay Court, also asked questions regarding structured recess.
- David Brezee, Berkshire Dr., addressed the delay in posting of the Board of Education minutes.
- Kevin Helewa, Reinman Road, addressed the potential STEEP models, including the consideration of cost and potential revenue.
XII. Items for Board Consideration/Action
Mrs. Freijomil asked a question regarding B.2. and asked that it be pulled for a separate vote.
On motion by Ms. Campos seconded by Mrs. Helewa the consent items A.1. through A.3., B.1., B.3. through B.5., C.2. through C.10., and D.1. were approved by a 9-0 roll-call vote.
On motion by Ms. Campos seconded by Mrs. Helewa the consent item B.2. was approved by 8-1 roll-call. (Mrs. Freijomil voted nay.)
A.1. HIB Report
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the HIB Report submitted by the Superintendent for the period ending on March 3, 2016.
A.2. Home Instruction
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves up to 10 hours per week of home instruction for Student #2317511567, beginning on March 7, 2016, at a rate of $40 per hour.
A.3. Overnight Trip
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the Warren Middle School E2 overnight trip to the National Academic Championship in Alexandria, VA.
B.1. 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:
School Nurses’ Assoc Conference
School Nurses’ Assoc Conference
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.2. Purchase – Technology Equipment
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following purchases:
5 Dell XPS laptops $ 7,500
75 Dell Latitude for WMS Lab $ 89,839
75 Dell Chromebooks for school carts and spare inventory $ 18,552
All purchases under NJ State Contract M0483.
B.3. Donation Acceptance - Bioridge Pharma
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education accepts, with gratitude, a donation of 10 EpiPen packages and 5 EpiPen storage units from BioRidge Pharmaceutical, at an approximate value of $4,000. EpiPens and storage units to be distributed to all 5 Warren Township School District schools.
B.4. Donation Acceptance - Project Adventure Access Walkway
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education accepts, with gratitude, a donation from Eagle Scout candidate Michael Duncan of materials and labor for a walkway and benches for the Middle School Project Adventure course.
C. Personnel/Student Services
C.2. Substitute Teachers
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following to be appointed as substitute teachers for the 2015-2016 school year:
a. Katina Cruz (Nurse)
b. Nicole Kolb
C.3. Leave Request
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following:
a. Employee #0673 for intermittent leave (unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement), under FMLA, from February 25, 2016 through May 5, 2016, with an anticipated return date of May 6, 2016.
b. Employee #2277 for intermittent leave (unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement) under FMLA from March 7, 2016 through March 17, 2016, with an anticipated return date of March 18, 2016.
c. Employee #3036 for leave (unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement) under FMLA from March 16, 2016 through on or about April 18, 2016.
d. Employee #1472 for leave (paid and unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement), under FMLA/NJFLA, from on or about April 18, 2016 through November 18, 2016, with an anticipated return date of November 21, 2016.
e. Employee #2488 for leave (unpaid according to legal and contractual entitlement) under FMLA/NJFLA from on or about September 1, 2016 through October 31, 2016, with an anticipated return date of November 1, 2016.
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the retirement/resignations of the following staff:
a. Barbara Murphy, Grade 2 Teacher, Mt. Horeb School, for the purpose of retirement, with appreciation for her 22 years of service to the Warren Township students, effective June 30, 2016.
C.5. Long Term Substitute
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves Laura Sudol as a Long Term Substitute, effective on or about April 4, 2016 through June 30, 2016. (Mrs. Sudol will be Long Term Substitute for Employee #2410.)
C.6. CPR/AED and First Aid Training
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following staff to present either CPR/AED and First Aid training on May 11 and 25, 2016, at the contractual rate of $40 per hour, for the total cost of $1,440:
- Jan Brennan
- Lisa Lontai
- Alexis Sacks
- Harriet Stambaugh
C.7. Approval of Title I - Extended Day Tutor
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the additional appointment of the following staff members as Title I - Extended Day Tutor, to be paid the contractual rate of $40 per hour. Total cost dependent upon needs of identified students in the district’s two Title I schools, which are Angelo L. Tomaso School and Central School, for a total program cost not to exceed $39,400:
- Mary Lou Psak
C.8. Curriculum Writing
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the following staff members for Curriculum Writing for English Language Arts, starting March through June, 2016, outside of school hours, at a cost of $40 per hour, at a total cost not to exceed $240:
- Nicole Panos
D.1. Policies – Second Reading
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the second and final reading of the following policies:
a. 1322 - Contests for Pupils
b. 5136 - Fundraising Activities
XIII. Old Business
- Library Scheduling
The board agreed it is comfortable with the new plan, as explained earlier in the evening.
- Biz Town
Mrs. Helewa reported on her attendance at Central School Biz Town.
Mrs. Helewa also reported on the Somerset County Library Spelling Bee, which was held for the first time and was, in her opinion, excellent.
XIV. New Business
- June 20th BOE Meeting
Currently the Board of Education meeting is scheduled the same night as the new date for graduation. The topic will be addressed again in the future.
XV. Public Commentary
XVI. Executive Session
At 10:15 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:
specific prospective or current employees unless all who could be adversely affected request an open session
Action may be taken upon return to public session;
the length of the meeting is anticipated to be approximately 20 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 Mrs. DiMaggio, the Board reconvened in open session at 10:18 p.m.
On motion by Ms. Campos, seconded by Mrs. Albano, the meeting adjourned at 10:19 p.m.
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Last modified on Thursday, February 24, 2022