Allendale School Board Secures $228K AFEE Donation, Approves Strategic Plan

The recent Allendale Board of Education session, convened at the Brookside School Learning Commons, was marked by substantial advancements for the community, most notably, the hefty donation from the Allendale Foundation for Educational Excellence (AFEE) and unveiling of the final Strategic Plan report.

Mrs. Capano, the Board President, commenced the meeting, with key board members, including Vice President Mrs. Gundersen, Mr. Verbel, and Mr. Fliegel in attendance. Notably absent was Mrs. Rosner. Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Barcadepone and Business Administrator Mrs. Maria Engeleit also participated.

In a highlight of the night, AFEE’s commitment to the educational betterment was front and center. They presented the Board with a generous donation of $228,219.67, a commendable contribution that underscores the Foundation’s dedication to the district. Dr. Barcadepone acknowledged and expressed gratitude for AFEE’s continued support.

Adding to the progress, Matthew Lee unveiled the Strategic Plan’s final report, which will soon be accessible on the District’s website, ushering in a new phase for the educational blueprint of the district.

Public participation brought forth concerns regarding the upcoming academic year’s restructuring, specifically for the incoming 5th grade. Dr. Barcadepone addressed these concerns, shedding light on aspects like class size, teacher certifications, and curriculum changes. He emphasized that the modifications were more about making optimal educational choices for students rather than merely class sizes. The Superintendent further clarified that there would be no financial savings from the reorganization but that it aimed to rectify prior structural imbalances. Emphasizing the educational benefits, he highlighted the increased math instruction time and consistent English Language Arts time.

Among the resolutions discussed, the board approved several special education services contracts. Rickard Rehabilitation Services, Inc. was greenlit for physical therapy services, while The Developmental Center for Children & Families (DCCF) and The Educational Partnership for Instructing Children (EPIC) were approved for a series of programs tailored to specific student needs.

In terms of facilities, the board permitted ARC to use the Brookside Outdoor Basketball Courts throughout the summer, promoting community engagement and active living.

The session’s personnel segment saw Ms. Katherine Wendland appointed as an ABA Teacher at Hillside School, and Ms. Suzanne Roca’s appointment as a Full-Time Paraprofessional at Brookside School was confirmed.

Following public discourse and agenda items, the Board shifted to an Executive Session to mull over personnel issues and negotiations. By 8:19 pm, the session was adjourned.

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