In a hurriedly convened special session, the Paramus Board of Education overcame a significant oversight to approve a number of student field trips that were initially scheduled without their authorization. The emergency meeting was held on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
Board President William Holzmann called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. to tackle the urgent matter. According to Board Policy 6153, student field trips require prior board approval, a step that had been skipped inadvertently for trips set to start on June 2, 2023. Failing to address this issue could have resulted in considerable harm to students expecting to participate in these educational outings.
Given the immediate impact on students, the board resolved that an emergency meeting was required. The session was limited strictly to discussion of the pending field trips, a decision reached by a three-quarters affirmative vote of the members present.
The resolution was put to a roll call vote, receiving unanimous approval from all eight present board members: Joanne Bergmann, Melissa Caminiti, Alison Donoghue, Keri Greene, Lisa Hochhauser, Christina Kardasakis, George Song, and William Holzmann.
As a result, the student field trips were successfully authorized, much to the relief of educators, students, and parents. This authorization prevented what could have been a significant disruption to the school’s educational plans.
Despite the quick resolution of the crisis, Mrs. Greene took the opportunity to call for a review of the policy for field trips, presumably to prevent similar issues in the future. It is yet to be seen what changes may come from this review, but it call into question how much oversight the board truly has over the administration.