The recent New Milford School Board meeting covered a range of issues, from Superintendent Danielle Shanley’s concern over HIV misinformation to the potential for significant cuts to Title One and Two funding. Additionally, the meeting addressed the district’s future facility needs, with a significant focus on the potential impact of state funding.
In the meeting, Superintendent Shanley addressed the issue of HIV misinformation that had been circulating in the community. The Superintendent expressed concern over false comments and emphasized the district’s inability to publicly respond to incidents involving students. She warned against the spread of false information and reminded the attendees of the district’s digital history and surveillance systems. Shanley also underscored the importance of adhering to the proper chain of communication for issue resolution.
Further, Shanley announced plans to provide education on harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) laws at the following meeting in January. She acknowledged the right to freedom of speech and expression, but cautioned against spreading false information that could harm someone’s reputation or livelihood. It was noted that the district’s ability to track digital communications and monitor the use of district technology could be used to counter such misinformation.
Later in the meeting, Shanley drew attention to a bill, HR 5894, in progress that could result in an 80% cut to Title One funding, which might also impact Title Two funding. These funds are vital for school programs and professional development, and Shanley expressed her concerns about the potential impact of such cuts.
The meeting also addressed the district’s facility needs. The Facilities and Finance Committee provided an overview and announced that a detailed presentation on these needs would be given at the next meeting. The committee discussed the process for a potential referendum, including steps, timing, and community engagement. The potential for receiving 40% funding from the state for certain projects was emphasized.
Board member Paige Ryan connected the upcoming presentation on the “Profile of a Graduate” to the discussion of facility planning. She suggested that these two presentations would complement each other as they explore the district’s future goals and the facilities needed to support them.
Superintendent Shanley congratulated incumbent board members Vice President Nicole Dunne, Paige Ryan, and Anthony Albro on their re-election. She also highlighted the importance of adhering to policies and laws, emphasizing the necessity for respectful communication to create safe and nurturing environments for students.
The board recognized several student achievements in sports, STEM, and community service, and commended the successful implementation of the Smart Pass Program at the high school. Assistant Superintendent provided an update on personnel matters, including the approval of staff for Title One programs, which focus on providing targeted academic support for students based on identified needs and data.