Edgewater School Board Navigates Staffing Concerns, Secures Funding for HVAC and High-Impact Tutoring

In a recent Edgewater School Board meeting, a myriad of topics were addressed, ranging from the pressing issue of teacher consistency to securing substantial funding for both infrastructure and student support.

One of the most pressing concerns raised during the meeting was the potential impact of having multiple teachers for one class within a single year. The board members referenced a third-grade class from the previous year that experienced this issue, emphasizing the stress it imposed on students, parents, and teachers alike. “We had multiple ins and outs, and it was difficult,” a member remarked.

In a financial stride, the board is seeking approval for an architect fund record and private facilities plan, aiming to secure $1.7 million for an HVAC project scheduled for the upcoming summer. This project is part of tier one jobs, which are currently the only ones approved for the live grant. Additionally, thanks to the efforts of Dana Marciani, an additional $50,000 has been secured through the high impact tutoring grant, targeting students in grades two through six who need it most.

The meeting included discussions on updating the threat assessment team and introducing a school culture team, alongside outlining detailed nurse servicing plans throughout the school district. These plans encompass addressing the needs of the students, potential emergency situations, basic nursing service requirements, and the assignment of medical staff. The board also ensured the biannual completion of the paraprofessional statement of assurance, verifying that all paraprofessional staff were employed in accordance with the requirements of individualized education plans.

In a bid to enhance communication, new portals, including Parents Square and Students Square, were introduced and are being gradually rolled out with positive feedback. These platforms aim to empower students to report incidents while still feeling supported by the administration and staff, a point that was significantly emphasized during the meeting.

The board also approved the tuition and transportation agreement between Edgewater and Leonia and acknowledged the contributions of student representatives on the Leonia Board of Education. Superintendent Siobhan Tauchert announced plans for coffee and tea meetings, fostering a closer relationship with the community, and there was a discussion about aligning calendars to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Board committee reports were presented, including updates from Policy Personnel Negotiations, which involved discussions on personnel negotiations and policy alignment with public law. The Curriculum and Technology committee reported on the ROT grant, which would result in savings of $1.7 million for the school. The committee also discussed various infrastructure projects, including sidewalk replacements, security measures, playground installations, building signs, and elevator services.

The meeting concluded with a public comment session, where attendees were given the opportunity to speak on agenda items, and a formal closing of the public session, with members expressing their gratitude for the attendance and participation of all present.

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