Haledon School Board Advocates for Change in Scoring Model

In a recent meeting, the Haledon School Board tackled issues including a proposal to change the instructional scoring model that currently factors in student attendance rates, expansion plans for the preschool program, and financial planning for the upcoming fiscal year. Despite increased absences, the school reported improved ELA and math scores. A letter to the state was proposed to advocate for this change.

The board’s discussion on expanding the preschool program revealed plans to increase seat capacity from 75 to 105 for the next academic year. They addressed the distribution of these new seats among current students, those on the waitlist, and the special education screening process. The ongoing construction’s impact on classroom availability and the need for additional teaching staff were also outlined.

Accommodations for students fasting during Ramadan were discussed. Due to construction, a designated area in the lunchroom could not be provided this year. The board expressed their intention to reinstate this accommodation post-construction.

An upcoming Tricky Tray event was mentioned. Concerns regarding the construction timeline and the hiring of teachers were raised, with the board providing updates to assure the community and maintain transparency.

Financial planning was a key topic, with the budget for the upcoming year including a 2% tax levy increase. The business administrator outlined the necessity of the increase to brace for potential future tax hikes and to sustain fiscal stability. Board members debated possible cost-cutting measures to avoid the tax rise. Concerns were voiced about dependence on state aid and the ramifications of potential changes to aid allocation. Discussions on budget items such as salaries, capital projects, security, and infrastructure improvements ensued, with a focus on the justification of expenses like smartboard purchases.

The board examined how to effectively communicate the budget source and the state’s role in providing aid. They acknowledged the state’s financial support while deliberating on how to convey the nature of this aid to the public. In policy discussions, the use of gender-specific language was debated, with the aim of balancing inclusivity with proper terminology.

Additional agenda items included upcoming events, such as the New Jersey School Board Association spring conference and a webinar on appraisal responsibilities. The preliminary budget was approved, with individual votes on items related to personnel, curriculum, technology, finance, and facilities. A proposed fourth-grade field trip to Urban Air instead of the Liberty Science Center stirred discussion about the trip’s educational value. New and revised policies were introduced, including a first reading and plans for submission of revisions.

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.
Christopher Wacha
School Board Officials:
Omar Abbassi, Michael Coletta, Angelina Cuadrado-Amaro, George Guzman Jr., Liesl Iza, Rafael Martinez, Carlos Moczo, Motez Ramadan, Nathan A. Webb

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