In the recent Montvale School Board meeting held on May 22, 2023, the members discussed an array of significant topics. The board made critical decisions on employment and compensation for the upcoming school year, approved substantial expenditures for the district, and discussed the continuing growth in student enrollment.
The meeting was attended by board members Mrs. Bagdat, Mr. Carvelli, Mr. Colla, Mrs. Foley, and Mr. DiFiore, along with Superintendent Dr. Petersen and Board Secretary Mrs. Wasserman. After the board president, Mr. DiFiore, initiated the meeting, an Executive Session was conducted to discuss harassment, intimidation, and bullying reports and other personnel issues.
A highlight was the presentation of the innovative “Solo Cup Engineering Challenge” by third-grade students from Memorial Elementary School, which stirred enthusiastic engagement from the board members. Dr. Petersen reviewed the district’s events, expressing satisfaction over the recent 3Rs day at Fieldstone Middle School and briefing about future activities, including the 8th Grade Trip to Washington DC.
The board reported increased enrollment for the district. The numbers have risen to 531 at Memorial Elementary School, remained steady at 438 for Fieldstone, leading to a total district enrollment of 969, and a projected Kindergarten enrollment for Fall 2023 of 100 students. These numbers underscore the board’s successful efforts in managing the district during a challenging period.
An interlocal agreement with The Borough of Montvale was greenlit to share nursing services for summer programs at Memorial Elementary School. The board also ratified employee #94354099’s request for an extension of unpaid leave for child-rearing purposes through January 1, 2024.
Several substantial financial and operational matters were also deliberated upon. Line item appropriation transfers were made to the 2022-23 budget year, reallocating funds for various needs like professional development expenses and commencement expenses at FMS. A significant portion of the discussion involved budget reallocations and expenditures across different school needs, including allocations for ARP ESSER Salaries, Grant Reallocation, technology hardware, and the MES Roof Repairs.
The board ratified several contracts for the 2023-24 school year. These included out-of-district Special Education placements, the use of ARP ESSER Funds for purchasing Chromebooks, and renewing the contract with Scholastic Bus Company for home-to-school transportation.
Finally, the board received gratitude from the community during the comments segment. Notably, the wife of a former Superintendent of the Montvale Schools, who had recently passed away, expressed her thankfulness. Also, a community member acknowledged the board’s support of arts in schools.