BOE Recommends Hiring Teachers With Extra $250,000

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Published: May 18, 2011 @ 6:45 AM EDT
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The Roselle Park Board Of Education held its re-organization meeting on May 10, 2011 and Christopher Miller, Barbara Sokol, and Jason Tribiano were sworn into office. Roseann Rinaldi and Loren Harms were re-appointed as President and Vice-President respectively with an almost unanimous vote. Newly elected BOE member Jason Tribiano recommended Chris Miller for President, then Vice-President, during the nominating procedure. Mrs. Rinaldi and Mr. Harms continue in their respective positions, having been appointed to them on August 3, 2010 after the resignation of then Board President Ken Iachio.

Later during the meeting, School Superintendent Patrick Spagnoletti spoke on the recommendations the Board made regarding the use of around $250,000 that became available after the cost for health insurance came in at 9.46% of the district’s budget; the Board had estimated and budget the cost at 15%. Mr. Spagnoletti spoke on how the district would use those funds.

“Our recommendation is to, for the amount of time we are able to sustain these positions, to restore one basic skills teacher in each of the three elementary schools,” he stated during the Continuing Business portion of the meeting. Last year, the district had two (2) basic skill instructors in each elementary school which were eliminated due to budget cuts.

Mr. Spagnoletti continued, “Principals and staff feel very strongly as a result of not having that intervention we’re seeing the potential increase in the number of students that are going to be referred for special services and so this is a position that will pay big dividends not only now but down the road if we can avert any students going through the classification process.”

A fourth position would go to the high school for the hiring of a technology instructor. With respect to that recommendation the School Superintendent commented, “It is our hope that this is the beginning of a process whereby we can turn the tide and start luring students back from [Union County] Magnet [High] School. Mrs. Costa and  her team believe the key to Roselle Park’s success will ultimately come through technology and we’re hopeful this will be the beginning of strengthening our technology program and bringing students who otherwise would have gone elsewhereback to Roselle Park.”

The superintendent stated that the Board would anticipate advertising for these four positions knowing that it could just be for the one (1) year and that next year the BOE might have to then which, if any, of these positions could remain.

“I think its a cogent plan given the technology explosion out there.” Board member Alex Balaban stated, “I think this is a great positive step.”

Board member Scott Nelson added, “I do think that the addition of basic skills teachers is very necessary particularly with the high expense of those who are with special services; so we could avoid that and it would save us a great deal of money in the long term and it would help our children immensely.”

Later during the meeting, resident and parent Sue Picarelli spoke during the second public participation portion of the meeting regarding issues where she felt the school district does not have adequate ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) measures in place at the high school. [That article will be published later this week]f