Belmar School Board Votes on Key Operations and Finances, Welcomes Returning Members and Elects New President

In a meeting of the Belmar School Board on January 4th, 2024, the board conducted elections for its officers, welcomed returning members, and voted on financial and operational matters. Cherie Adams was elected as the new president, and Kimberly Chek as vice president, both committing to their roles with an oath to uphold the Constitution. The board also engaged in discussions on the district’s cost-saving measures, including the use of Howell Township’s fuel pumps and vehicle maintenance agreements, and approved the payment of bills totaling $1.5 million for December.

The meeting commenced with the swearing-in of re-elected board members Kimberly Chek and Rebecca Herbert. The board then nominated and elected Cherie Adams and Kimberly Chek as president and vice president, respectively. Following these elections, delegates and alternates to the New Jersey School Boards Association were appointed, as well as a representative for the Manasquan Board of Education.

The reorganization of the board continued with the review and approval of the School Ethics Act Code of Ethics and the appointment of a school safety specialist. The board designated official depositories and set meeting dates for the upcoming year.

Additionally, the superintendent acknowledged the community’s generosity during the holiday season, which brought much-needed donations to families and staff.

The board approved a variety of personnel items. This included the approval of a new bus driver, a substitute paraprofessional, a substitute teacher, and a volunteer, all pending the necessary criminal and employment reviews.

Operational agreements were a focal point of the meeting, with the board approving a vehicle maintenance agreement with Howell Township Board of Education and a shared service agreement with Belmar Borough. These collaborations aimed to optimize resources and provide maintenance support for the school’s transportation needs.

A notable discussion revolved around the district’s agreement to use fuel pumps from Howell Township, which was expected to lead to significant cost savings. The agreement, approved in late 2023, only recently made it to the agenda. The strategic location of Howell Township and the facility manager’s residency there were seen as beneficial for bus maintenance and inspections. The board also referred to their contact with a company providing maintenance services to other schools at a competitive rate.

The financial aspects of the meeting included a roll call vote to confirm that no budgetary line items had been overspent and the authorization to pay bills that amounted to $1.5 million for December. Ensuring fiscal responsibility and transparency, these actions were critical to the board’s stewardship of the district’s finances.

Academic discussions included a letter from Madison High School regarding the introduction of International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, which was met with enthusiasm from the board. The board also deliberated on the installation of a new sign above the school’s door, focusing on the specifics of the design and material. Additionally, the organization of digital curriculum files was discussed.

The public comment segment raised the issue of the school calendar, with a question about the absence of a full week for February vacation. This topic had been debated previously, with varying views on the balance between extending the school year and providing a longer break.

The meeting concluded with announcements about upcoming events and the scheduling of the next board meeting.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Jimmy Alvarez
School Board Officials:
Cherie Adams, Aileen Fahy, Antoinette Raucci Aumack, Kimberly Chek, Rebecca Herbert, Michele Lomas, Jennifer Nicolay, Robert Preston, Brian Conklin, Michele Cartaya

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