Mahwah School Board Addresses Self-Evaluation, Equity Audit, and High School Bathroom Policy

The recent Mahwah School Board meeting offered a comprehensive review of the board’s self-evaluation, a discussion on the results of the equity audit, and addressed a concern about the high school bathroom policy. The superintendent also congratulated the high school athletic director on a recent award and extended greetings for the upcoming Hanukkah celebration.

The board’s self-evaluation, presented by Mr. Matt Lee from the New Jersey School Boards, was a focal point of the meeting. The evaluation covered board governance, including planning, policy, student achievement, finance, board operations, performance, superintendent and staff relationships, and the board’s relationship with the community. The report also identified major challenges facing the district, namely academic curriculum, student conduct, staffing, finance, and the political environment. One board member noted that the board’s self-evaluation was outstanding and compared it to last year’s scores using graphical representations.

The superintendent, Michael DeTuro, took a moment to congratulate the high school athletic director, Mr. Roger Peler, on receiving the NJ Sectional Award of Merit and extended Hanukkah greetings to those celebrating the holiday. DeTuro welcomed Mr. Gall as the acting president and acknowledged the special gavel he was using, a memento from a debate competition.

The results of the equity audit were also a significant topic of discussion. The audit results are available on the district website for public review, and the board encouraged everyone to consider its findings. A community member raised concerns during the public comment period about the consulting firm’s time spent in different schools and classrooms and the number of parent respondents to the audit’s survey. In response, a board member emphasized that the audit included multiple opportunities for community input, such as town halls, focus groups, and surveys. They stated that the data represents authentic voices of the community, acknowledging that there were mixed opinions in the report.

A noteworthy concern was raised about the bathroom pass situation in the high school. One board member mentioned that parents had approached them about a time limit on the bathroom pass and requested more information. The principal was identified as the best source for information as they are working on creating efficiencies while allowing all students to use the restrooms.

The meeting also included a discussion about upcoming events and student achievements, in particular at the Betsy Ross School. The meeting ended with a note that the next meeting is scheduled for Lampe Meadows on December 20th. The board member also mentioned that there had been a productive meeting with the outside auditor, who characterized the district’s financial status as strong, and noted some financial challenges due to inflation and the pandemic.

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.

Michael DeTuro
School Board Officials:
Prema C. Moorthy, PhD, Richard A. DeSilva, Jr., Benjamin A. Kezmarsky, Michael Galow, Trista Daveniero, John Dinice, Christopher L. Hughes, Lynda Zaccone, Matthew Park, PhD

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