Haledon School Gains Arts Grants and Honors Community Contributors

Haledon Public School has received a significant boost in its arts education program with two grants awarded by Arts for Learning New Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The grants will fund long-term residencies with teaching artists for second-grade students. This development was the focus of a recent school board meeting that also acknowledged community contributions and discussed financial matters, construction updates, and staffing initiatives.

At the meeting, first-grade teacher Mrs. Sharon Keer detailed the residency programs made possible by the grants. A 16-week and a 5-week residency will bring teaching artists into classrooms, offering second-grade students a unique opportunity to engage with the arts. The board members recognized the potential of these programs to enrich the educational experience significantly.

The meeting continued with discussions on various community acknowledgments. The board congratulated Commissioner Nathan Webb and Nurse Naisha Fagins for being honored by the Haledon Borough Council at the Black History Month celebration. George Guzman Jr. is set to be honored by the same program in 2024. The board also expressed gratitude to the Jose family for their community contributions and reminded members to respond to the board retreat invitations.

A notable portion of the meeting was dedicated to the district’s finances. The business administrator provided an update on state aid figures and discussed the audit review. The district’s expenditures for the previous year were reported at $19 million, with an adjusted total of $15 million. The surplus from the previous year totaled $376,162, with reserves including a $6 million fund earmarked for maintenance and capital projects.

In terms of district operations, staffing was a topic of discussion, with the Chief School Administrator highlighting efforts to ensure full staffing levels. He mentioned upcoming mock interviews at local universities as part of this initiative. Additionally, there was a conversation about a totaled vehicle and the procedure for acquiring a new one, as well as the introduction of a new substitute procurement service.

The board also debated the allocation of a $72,000 tutoring grant, discussing whether it should target third and fourth graders exclusively or encompass a broader student range. This led to a proposal to authorize the superintendent to post for a part-time parent coordinator position, aimed at enhancing parental involvement in the school district.

Community engagement featured prominently in the meeting, with reports on upcoming events such as Read Across America and the PTO Tricky Tray. The board underscored the importance of increased community involvement and engagement.

Infrastructure issues were not overlooked, with the board considering adjustments to start times for delayed openings due to a construction project affecting staff parking. They noted the impact on working parents and discussed solutions in the broader context of the district’s responsibility to both staff and students.

The meeting also touched on the expansion of the certified Angel program to include a parent liaison. The security and safety committee mentioned a new walkable pathway linked to the construction project.

The board addressed the Green Team vacancy and expressed interest in having a member join the committee, emphasizing a commitment to environmental stewardship within the school community.

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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