During the recent meeting of the Montvale Board of Education held on August 28, 2023, at the Fieldstone Middle School, significant discussions and resolutions pertained to a range of subjects including new hires, resignations, appointments of anti-bullying specialists, salary advancements, and extracurricular appointments. The most significant resolutions involved the appointments of anti-bullying coordinators and specialists. Christina Gouraige was appointed as the district-wide Anti-Bullying Coordinator, while Debra Walker and Nina Fasano were chosen as Anti-Bullying Specialists for Fieldstone Middle School and Memorial Elementary School, respectively.
Dr. Darren Petersen, the Superintendent of Schools, presented updates on recent and upcoming district events, including information from the semi-annual Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) report, detailing 15 HIB investigations with 5 confirmed cases from January to June 2023. Additionally, he outlined details concerning the student population across various schools and shared his presentation for the upcoming opening day, emphasizing preventative measures and training programs put in place to foster a safe environment for students.
In a detailed segment on employment matters, a series of motions were introduced and approved concerning personnel appointments, resignations, and contract adjustments. Notable approvals included the appointment of Allyson Rudolph as a full-time Pre K LLD teacher and the introduction of Linda Greenberg as a part-time middle school French teacher. Various appointments were confirmed for temporary positions and mentor-novice teacher pairings, establishing terms of employment including hourly rates and workday duration.
The board recognized several staff for their advancements in the salary guide in line with the Board/MEA agreement and approved compensation for teaching assistants attending a workshop. Details regarding the transfer of positions for the upcoming school year were discussed without specifying the particulars in the available minutes. Several teachers, including Stephanie Alboum, Lauren Carcich, and Victor Conti had their annual contracts revised to include an additional class period with adjusted compensation.
A comprehensive set of appointments was made concerning curriculum facilitators across different subjects and grade levels, with standard compensation detailed for each role. The board demonstrated its commitment to fostering diverse skills and interests in students by endorsing a plethora of co-curricular and interscholastic advisors for various clubs, artistic ventures, and athletic roles, including basketball, baseball, and soccer, with different compensation structures based on experience and the nature of the advising role.
Financial matters presented by Mrs. Foley on behalf of the finance committee included approvals concerning voucher payments, financial reports and certifications, and redirection of budget appropriations. The board settled agreements for shared services, transportation agreements, and out-of-district contracts for special education, stipulating details on tuition and aide costs. The utilization of ARP ESSER funds for professional development and clinical services was approved, allocating $145,500 for different vendors. The board accepted generous donations from the Montvale Athletic League and Montvale PTO, with the latter aimed to fund a digital sign at Memorial Elementary School.
As the meeting drew to a close, considerations on the construction at Memorial Elementary School were raised by Mr. Carvelli. New communication channels for parents in Montvale were introduced, leveraging WhatsApp for enhanced connectivity.