New Milford School Board Addresses Harassment Reports and Budget Concerns

In a recent New Milford School Board meeting, issues including harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) reports, as well as budget concerns, took center stage. The Board discussed several HIB cases across district schools, the impact of a state aid reduction on the budget, and major upcoming summer facilities projects, including roof repairs.

The middle school also reported five cases, with one confirmed, two unfounded, and two still under investigation. Gibbs Elementary School had one reported and confirmed case, whereas Berkeley Elementary School had five reported cases with one forwarded for full investigation and found to be unfounded.

Concerning the budget, it was disclosed that despite a slight reduction in state aid of over $10,000, no staff reductions are currently planned. However, changes to some positions were necessary due to increasing special education needs within the district. The Board emphasized their commitment to maintaining the integrity of all educational programs despite the financial constraints. Additionally, it was highlighted that the district is not accepting incoming tuition from other districts for special education due to a lack of available seats, emphasizing that the growth in special education is driven by the needs of New Milford students.

The summer facilities projects were also discussed, including the final approval of a grant for roof repairs at Gibbs and the high school. The projects will necessitate the absence of students from these buildings during the summer, with Extended School Year (ESY) programs planned to be held at other district schools. Furthermore, plans to install air conditioning at Berkeley Elementary School were shared, with the work expected to be completed by June.

Other points of discussion included the challenge of addressing high balances in family food service accounts, with reminders sent out to affected families. The Board also approved various agenda items, including donations for wrestling mats from local organizations, which had been physically received by the district.

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.
Danielle M. Shanley
School Board Officials:
Heather Gomez, Nicole Dunne, Anthony Albro, Cheryll Calderon, John DaCosta, Stephanie Kauffunger, Andrew Lombardi, Joseph Loonam, Paige Ryan, McKenzie Forte (Student Board Representative)

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