the Alpine Board of Education approved an overall budget of $12,075,979 for the 2023-2024 school year, which includes a significant capital reserve withdrawal earmarked for extensive school renovations.
The meeting, held on April 24, was presided over by Vice President Maureen Cheesman. Among other key decisions, the most significant was the approval of the budget and the withdrawal of $4,285,150 from the capital reserve. The funds are earmarked for vital improvements, including roof and window replacements, HVAC upgrades, ADA upgrades in restrooms and locker rooms, and hazardous material abatement in the gymnasium.
The decision to prioritize these renovations followed intensive discussions on the board’s part about the projects’ necessity and cost calculations. Additionally, the board agreed to submit the planned projects as Level I Capital Project to the NJ Department of Education, seeking ROD Grant state funding, with the district matching funds included in the budget capital reserve.
Further, Superintendent Maureen McCann reported on various topics, including the Alpine Public School’s 2021-2022 performance, the Shelter in Place action, and the School Violence Prevention Program Grant. The Superintendent also spoke about the Tenafly sending-receiving relationship and the school musical “Through the Looking Glass.”
The board’s financial decisions were approved unanimously, including payroll, purchases, and financial transfers. The approval of two payments totaling $330,407 for a new emergency generator and school unit ventilator replacement highlighted the board’s commitment to the safety and comfort of their students and staff.
With a focus on shaping more rounded students, the board approved several field trips for different grade levels to places like the Museum of Modern Art & Blue Moon Restaurant, Boston/Salem, Club Getaway, and Philadelphia, PA. In an educational milestone, the board endorsed the implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Climate Change education, demonstrating their commitment to a future-oriented curriculum.
Other key decisions included sanctioning the introduction of a weekly summer STEAM program by The Challenge Island, funded by the ARP ESSER grant, and the renewal of a lease agreement with the Jack in the Box Early Learning Center for the 2023-2024 school year.
In a move towards inclusivity, the board approved the placement of an Alpine student at the Alpine Learning Group Inc., a school for students with disabilities, for the 2023-2024 School Year. The board also approved an agreement with the Tenafly Board of Education for educational services for high school eligible students.
On the personnel front, the board approved a maternity leave for teacher Stephanie Fabiano and ratified the appointment of Isaac Andrade as a Substitute Teacher, and Colleen Carey as a Leave replacement teacher. Staff for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities for the 2022-2023 school year were also confirmed, and personnel were authorized for the Summer LEP program.