In a recent meeting at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, the Lodi Board of Education tackled significant educational milestones, most notably the partnership between Lodi High School and Felician University which grants high school students the opportunity to earn university credits.
At the helm of the meeting was Board President Nancy Cardone. As the evening progressed, several resolutions concerning the 2023/2024 academic year were addressed. Among the most newsworthy, aside from the university partnership, was the hefty investment into staff development. The board approved two workshops focused on teacher training in reading/writing and mathematics with a combined allocation of $410,400.
Meal programs also took center stage with the board delineating pricing for the upcoming school year, setting breakfast and lunch at $1.75 and $3.75 respectively across all educational levels. Given the necessary logistical support to maintain such programs, the board solidified the Total Estimated Cost of Contract for meals at $1,450,294.70.
Legal frameworks were updated, with the appointment of Machado Law Group, LLC as Special Education Counsel, solidifying Isabel Machado, Esq. as the primary contact. An essential Joint Purchasing Agreement was also ratified between Region V Council for Special Education/River Edge Board of Education and School District of Lodi, aiming to facilitate a wide range of educational and therapeutic services.
Shared services emerged as a pivotal discussion point. An agreement with the Borough of Lodi will address waste collection and disposal, capping the costs at $45,500.00. On the financial front, the board showed its commitment to safety and inclusivity by approving the 2023 NJSIG Safety Grant for $3,745.00 and accepting the Special Olympics of New Jersey Unified Champion of Schools Grant valued at $5,000.
Personnel matters were thoroughly addressed. Salary approvals for various school staff members, from Language Arts Teacher Heather Ferreira to Italian Teacher llenia Pitti, were finalized for the 2023-2024 academic year. Special appointments were made for Donna Boyle and Doren Chapman to participate in Child Study Team meetings, adjusting their compensation based on the meeting format. However, the board also tackled challenging decisions such as rescinding the employment of Angelo DeSalvo, a Social Studies Teacher.
Adjustments were also made to substitute teacher rates, while several staff members received approvals for different types of leaves, and others were noted as having either retired or resigned from their positions.
One poignant update involved Antonio DeProspo, whose pay rate was corrected. In addition, policy and regulation modifications were presented, shedding light on topics like Board Member Orientation and Training and School District Security.