Westfield Board of Education Meeting on February 5, 2019
By Superintendent Margaret Dolan
Prior to the public meeting, the Board of Education met in private session to interview 16 candidates who applied to fill two vacant seats on the Board through December 2019, resulting from the resignations of Lynn Benner and Charles Ostroff last month. The Board is expected to vote on the two appointments at its next meeting on Tuesday, February 26. We thank all candidates for their willingness to serve. We are fortunate to live in a community where so many of its members care deeply about our school district.
The Board accepted with regret the retirement of McKinley School Night Custodian Sophie Sieracki, effective March 31, 2019. Ms. Sieracki is looking forward to spending more time with her family and we certainly wish her well.
Business Administrator Dana Sullivan reported that preliminary work is underway at Kehler Stadium where the bleachers were recently dismantled and removed. Board President Peggy Oster commended Lincoln School Principal Audrey Zavetz for notifying parents of the bleacher demolition. Mrs. Sullivan also reported that opening bids will begin on February 14 for renovation of bathrooms at Westfield High School and the lobbies and bathrooms at Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools.
The Board approved for second reading the following policies:
- 8221 - Emergency Closings (Operations)
- 8310 - Public Records (Operations)
- 8320 - Personnel Records (Operations)
- 8441 - Care of Injured and Ill Persons (Operations)
- 8442 - Reporting Accidents (Operations)
- 8451 - Control of Communicable Disease (Operations)
- 8453 - HIV/AIDS (Operations)
- 8670 - Transportation of Disabled Pupils (Operations)
- 8760 - Pupil Accident Insurance (Operations)
The Board approved for second reading to abolish the following policy:
- 8450 - Use of Defibrillator(s) (Operations)
The Board affirmed my decision on a HIB incident.
CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION AND PROGRAMS
The Board approved for first reading the following curricula:
Spanish Exploratory I & II
World Languages III
World Languages III Honors
Curriculum Chair Amy Root reported on a recent committee meeting at which members heard from Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Programs Paul Pineiro, K-12 Supervisor of Mathematics Elizabeth Delasandro, and K-12 World Languages Supervisor Enrique Pincay. Mrs. Root noted that the committee received a helpful overview of the district’s math program while Mr. Pincay provided information on the effort to standardize certain aspects of how French, Spanish, and Italian are taught in the district.
The Board accepted with gratitude the following donations:
- A gift of $4,400 from the Jefferson School PTO to purchase two new outdoor school signs.
- A gift of an iMac computer valued at $1,799 from Angelo Dipuma to be used by the Westfield High School TV Studio.
- A gift of $4,480 from the McKinley School PTO to purchase and install a fence around the garden at McKinley School.
- A gift of a Schubert upright piano valued at $300-$500 from Mr. Chris Indiveri-Gant for Edison Intermediate School.
- A gift of a flute and music books, with an estimated value of $230, from Cherie Bliwise to be used by the Roosevelt Intermediate School Music Department.
Mrs. Oster and I praised Chief Technology Officer Brian Auker, Network Manager Arvin Vidal, and District Technician Joseph Marateo on their recent TECHSPO 2019 presentation entitled “No Power? No Problem! How Digital Electricity Can Keep Your IoT Network Running When the Lights Go Out.”
Board member Brendan Galligan reported that the Union County School Boards Association (UCSBA) will meet on Wednesday, February 13 in Cranford.
WESTFIELD HIGH SCHOOL
Wear your Westfield Blue and come out to cheer the Westfield High School Boys Hockey team as they defend their title as Union County Champions this Saturday, February 9 at 4:00 p.m. in the 2019 Championship Finals against Summit at Warinanco Ice Rink in Roselle.
Congratulations to the following Westfield High School student-athletes:
- Lauren Triarsi, NJSIAA Sectional Hurdles Champion for Girls Winter Track and Field
- Erica Lawrence, NJSIAA Sectional Shot Put Champion for a 2nd consecutive year for Girls Winter Track and Field
- The Girls Winter Track and Field team finished 2nd in the Sectional Meet.
- Samantha Stravach, a student-athlete on both the Girls Basketball team and the Girls Spring Track and Field team, represented Westfield High School at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day at Seton Hall University.
- Will Shepherd won the 2019 Union County Conference Individual Bowling Tournament in the Boys Division.
Congratulations to the following students who were accepted to the highly selective Central Jersey Music Educators Association’s Intermediate Region Band. The students auditioned against students from all over Central Jersey and will perform at a concert on March 3 at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School.
- Eric Buecklers - Bass Clarinet
- Will Crall - Tuba
- Yusuf Lee - Trumpet
- Nolan Daly - Trumpet
- Charlie Hu - Oboe
Congratulations to all of these talented student musicians and to their band director John Scozzaro.
The Westfield Public School District has created a series of short TED-style Talks to explain Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and each of its five core competencies, with examples of how they are being used in our district and the research that tells us why they work. We hope this series helps you to better understand the tremendous benefits of SEL. We start with my introductory overview which is posted on the district website at www.westfieldnjk12.org. Each week, for the next five weeks, a new TED-style Talk will be released, focusing on each of the 5 competencies.
March is Youth Art Month. Parent volunteers are needed to help deliver artwork and easels to and from participating downtown shops. Please consider helping in this wonderful partnership with our local merchants who proudly display the works of our talented student artists. Contact Maggie Mota in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at email@example.com.
The Westfield Parent Teacher Council (PTC) thanks those families who have generously supported the 2019 PTC Scholarship Fund and invites those who have not yet contributed to do so by making a donation payable to “Westfield PTC Scholarship” and mailing it by March 1 to Westfield PTC, 302 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ 07090. To date, the PTC has raised over $12,000 for this year’s Fund, with a goal of providing $20,000 in scholarship awards to Westfield High School seniors who demonstrate financial need, academic perseverance, and community involvement.
The PTC Gifted Ed Committee invites parents and students to a presentation entitled “The College Tour: Where to Go and What to Do When You Get There” on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m., Westfield High School, Cafeteria B. This event, featuring presenters from College Bound Mentor, is free and no preregistration is required. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Here 2 Help Mental Health Coalition will hold its second library forum on Wednesday, February 20 from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at the Scotch Plains Public Library. Entitled “Talking to Your Teen about Stress: How Parents can Restore Calm,” this presentation will help you learn how to spot the signs (which may be subtle), how you can help your adolescent, and when you should seek professional help. The library presentation is free; pre-registration is preferred. Visit www.here2helpnj.org for more information.
Caring Contact, a volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline, will provide suicide awareness and intervention skills training for Westfield High School students on Friday, February 22, 2019 from 6:45 to 9:00 p.m. in the WHS library. The two-hour training is free and for WHS students only. More information about the “Be the One to Ask” training can be found in the Community Flyers section of the district website.
Don’t miss the Rotary Club of Westfield’s 53rd Annual Breakfast with the Bands on Saturday, March 2 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at Westfield High School, featuring performances by top bands from WHS, EIS, and RIS and lots of great food. Tickets are $10 and available from Rotarians or at the door. All proceeds benefit Rotary’s scholarship and community grants programs.
The public is invited to join the Westfield Education Fund for a screening of an award-winning film about innovation in education and a panel discussion about what matters most for students today. The film “Most Likely to Succeed” will run on Wednesday, February 27 at Edison Intermediate School at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at WestfieldEdFund.org/film.
Westfield Public Schools will be closed on Friday, February 15 for Staff In-Service and on Monday, February 18 in observance of Presidents’ Day.
NEXT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
The next meeting of the Westfield Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. at 302 Elm Street. The complete agenda will be available on Friday, February 22 on the Board section of the district website and in the Business Office at 302 Elm Street.
Margaret Dolan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Westfield Public Schools – A Tradition of Excellence
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