Haworth School Board Encounters Budget Hurdle in Renovation

At a recent work session of the Haworth Board of Education in New Jersey, several significant issues impacting the local school district were brought to light, most notably the unexpected setback of a kitchen upgrade project and plans for the improvement of student health services.

The board had anticipated a two-phase plan for kitchen upgrades, initially focusing on new equipment and subsequently on construction. The estimated budget for the project was set at $350,000, yet only one bid was received, which shockingly exceeded expectations at a whopping $625,000. The board unanimously decided to reject the bid, aiming to advertise the project again in hopes of receiving more cost-effective proposals in mid-June.

The board also discussed critical updates on the school’s health services. Specifically, new vaccination requirements for pre-kindergarten students were addressed, as well as the decision to provide all student medical information to the school nurse. This approach, aimed at improving students’ overall health care, appears to be part of the board’s broader mission to foster a safe and nurturing environment.

Another key issue discussed was an update on the staffing for the 2023-24 school year. The school plans to hire new math and science middle school teachers to replace retirees who were temporarily filling those positions. Additionally, the board announced a resignation, but also expressed optimism as they have already received applications for the soon-to-be vacant position.

The meeting revealed encouraging news regarding summer programs as well. A teacher was found for the English Language Arts Jump Start program, which means both English and Math will be offered. Proposals for the Summer Enrichment program are also being sought from teachers, the acceptance of which will depend on student interest.

In terms of fundraising, the idea of hosting class reunions and soliciting donations was proposed. The board agreed that exploring further fundraising opportunities could prove beneficial to the school.

Finally, in response to a public inquiry about class sections for the following academic year, Business Administrator/Acting Superintendent, Paul Wolford, disclosed that there might be one change due to projected enrollment in one grade level.

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