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Minutes
Recording

Watchung School Board Meeting Addresses Budget Management, School Safety, and Anti-Bullying Initiatives

Overview: In a recent Watchung School Board meeting, the board addressed a range of topics from fiscal responsibility and compliance with state-mandated reserves to school safety measures and anti-bullying initiatives. The meeting featured a presentation of the 2023 fiscal year audit report by Valerie Dolan from Nisivaco, who highlighted that the district’s fund balance had grown due to a large referendum and interest earned. However, the district faced challenges in budget management, requiring diligent collection of federal grant funds and careful allocation of resources. The board also focused on school climate issues, discussing the importance of prompt investigation and reporting of harassment, intimidation, and bullying incidents (Hib), and reviewed the results of the schools’ self-assessment for the anti-bullying Bill of Rights.

Overview: In a recent meeting of the Watchung School Board, members discussed a range of issues including the resignation of Board member Richard Buccarelli, the importance of ethics training led by Gwen Thornton from the New Jersey School Board Association, and the need for strategic planning in line with district goals. The board also deliberated on the intricacies of conflicts of interest, the expansion of the nepotism policy, and the use of social media by board members.

Overview: In a notable reorganization meeting, the Watchung School Board elected Manuel Gonzalez as the new Board President and Muhammad Free as Vice President. The meeting, held on January 2, 2024, commenced with the oath of office administered to newly elected board members Jennifer Agiero, Danielle Amadeo, and Fatima Santos, followed by a roll call confirming a quorum.

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