The Cliffside Park School Board recently convened to discuss a variety of pressing matters concerning the district, with major points of discussion ranging from staffing to generous donations, and future financial strategies. The meeting was helmed by Dr. Mark Hayes, the new interim-Superintendent, and every member of the board was present except Carl Raincourt and Michael Russo.
Dr. Hayes announced the arrival of 150 backpacks filled with school supplies, graciously donated by former residents Steve Gardner and his sister Therese. The backpacks, a result of the siblings’ fundraising efforts, are set to be distributed among the students after principals return from vacation on August 8th. The donations were also made to neighboring areas including Fairview and Fort Lee.
Significant efforts were discussed to fill three or four staffing vacancies in the school district, with the goal to complete staffing by August 15th. Amid the staffing discussion, the board heralded the appointment of a bilingual school psychologist as a “great find,” and commended the efforts of the staff in identifying a funding mechanism for the salary.
In terms of fiscal management, Mr. Stefano, a school administrator, discussed an ongoing audit conducted in partnership with Kevin Reeves, set to include an on-site visit by early September. The fiscal year for 2223 has concluded, and auditors are expected to make their adjustments soon, with financial plans for the 23-24 year being rolled out, and work on the 24-25 year already underway.
Payments to contractors for two significant capital projects were approved. The first was a masonry project at school number six, and the second, a stair tower project at the high school. The board was also carrying over about 93 hours for an IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) grant, which will help defray costs associated with special needs tuition.
The Facilities Committee was lauded for their summer work which included moving and painting classrooms, constructing additional bathrooms at the high school, and replacing floors. Praise was extended to the custodial staff for maintaining school facilities, particularly their work on trailers at school number three.
All board members present voted unanimously in favor of the proposed plans.