Board Celebrates Staff Achievements; Tackles DEI and Infrastructure Concerns in Recent Meeting

In a meeting that swung between commendations and crucial community concerns, the Ridgewood School Board navigated a vast array of topics. Front and center were the Tradition of Excellence and Ashby Award recognitions, celebrating the dedicated service of staff members like Nadine Macalino, Dana Higgins, and Linda DiOrio. Amid commendations, serious discussions unfolded on pressing matters including diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, structural upgrades supported by Regular Operating District (ROD) grants, and potential enhancements to the school’s arts and athletics programs.

DEI efforts commandeered substantial focus, as members debated the necessity for a structured plan of action before assigning a dedicated DEI administrator. Community members reiterated the call for the appointment of a DEI expert to counter recent unsettling events, including racist graffiti and vandalism in schools. One parent shared a personal account of being told to “get rid of my accent” during an official parental function at Ridgewood High School. The board acknowledged the concerns, promising a detailed discussion on the current DEI teams’ status in a future session.

Supervisor Chris McCulloch provided an enthusiastic appraisal of the K-12 arts program, based on encouraging feedback from parent and guardian surveys. While celebrating the rich tradition of arts education in the district, there were discussions on potential curriculum expansion, particularly in middle schools, and initiating efforts to construct a robust space for school performances.

Superintendent Mark Schwarz steered the discussion toward the recent Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) review, lauding the team for their performance and encouraging a community-wide participation in the forthcoming Superintendent Coffee sessions, aimed at fostering lively discussions and addressing the community’s concerns.

The deliberations then shifted to the anxiously awaited infrastructure projects under ROD grants, which hold promise for significant improvements including ventilation upgrades and the establishment of a STEM lab. A slip-up in initiating the bidding process prematurely for a roof project elicited concerns over potential loss of grant funds. Schwarz emphasized the critical need to adhere to School Development Authority (SDA) regulations to ensure funding for these projects.

Discussion on the maintenance of school fields highlighted the lingering dissatisfaction with Orchard Field’s condition. The board considered various remediation methods, albeit acknowledging the substantial costs and time commitments involved. The potential for revenue generation through updated rental and facility fees was mooted, given that they remained unaltered since 2017-2018.

A substantial portion of the discourse involved potential operational improvements, including adopting new software for managing documents and revisiting the committee structures to avoid conflicts of interest, in a bid to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in educational delivery.

New student representative Sarah Bronstein painted a positive picture of the changing school environment, acknowledging the warm reception of the new school start time and reduced class periods. The discussions highlighted the girls’ flag football team’s recognition and the encouraging endeavors in mental health support through Morgan’s message.

As the meeting drew to a close, debates ensued over the minutes of a previous gathering, with board member Hyunju Kwak seeking an accurate reflection of an incident involving her. The board president acknowledged the ongoing deliberations on potential restructuring of all committees to enhance efficiency and representation.

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.
Not avaliable:

School Board Officials:

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes