Cliffside Park School Board Faces Tough Recruitment Market, Discusses Administrative Overhaul and Facility Upgrades

In a Cliffside Park School Board meeting that tackled a myriad of issues from staff recruitment to administrative efficiency, board members and Superintendent Michael Romagnino highlighted the challenges and opportunities facing the district. While welcoming 38 new staff members into the fold, the board candidly discussed the “tough” labor market and announced forthcoming capital projects.

The Superintendent’s Report, presented by Dr. Hayes, celebrated a “very successful new staff orientation meeting,” attended by nearly 38 new hires. Dr. Hayes expressed gratitude to Mrs. Calabrese, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and the technology team, among others, for facilitating a smooth onboarding process. However, the board was not shy about expressing the challenges it faces in recruitment.

Board member Letizia Pantoliano discussed the retirement of a grade-five classroom teacher, Miss Cooney. Pantoliano said, “when you touch the children you touch eternity,” emphasizing the long-lasting impact Miss Cooney had on her students.

Addressing the district’s infrastructure, board member Joseph Capano touted the new high school bathrooms as “absolutely beautiful.” The board also discussed an upcoming stair tower security door project that will go through the Department of Education for approval. The project will align with a national cooperative contract already approved by the auditor.

Financially, the district received a generally favorable review from auditors who visited the site to scrutinize payroll, purchase orders, and contracts. Lead auditor Mr. Reeves stated that the district is in good financial shape with “nothing material” of concern. Moreover, capital projects for the 2024-25 school year are in the planning stages, with priorities set to be assessed once the surplus budget becomes clear.

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