Old Bridge School Board Tackles Calendar Concerns and Safety Measures

The Old Bridge School Board recently held a meeting focused on the upcoming 2025-2026 school year calendar, safety measures at school events, and additional educational initiatives. The board considered two calendar options developed by an Instructional Council committee, which included input from various community stakeholders. The options were crafted with regard to state laws and logistical limitations, such as the mandate not to start school before September 1st, the requirement of two in-service days before students return, and the prohibition of school on election days for safety reasons. Furthermore, the discussion addressed the impact of adding three holidays to the school year and the potential extension of the school year, particularly affecting graduation schedules and preparation for summer programs.

During the public comments section, Vincent Fella, a parent and coach, raised concerns about an incident at a Unified basketball game where a player collapsed, criticizing the ambulance response time. Fella proposed having an ambulance on standby at similar events and highlighted the importance of first aid and CPR training, which he is implementing in his special needs soccer program. Another resident, Ron Mack, expressed gratitude to the board and shared copies of the US Constitution.

The presentation on the school calendar by the district secondary math coach and the director of arts and culture was thorough. They shared the process of developing the two calendar options, taking into consideration the number of instructional days, professional development days, and emergency closing days. The board informed the community that the options would be open for public input and voting in the following week.

The board also discussed the resolution on travel and related expense reimbursement, with the focus on clarifying the allocation of $150 per staff member for attending conferences and workshops, and its inclusion in the annual budget submission. The historical presence of this allocation and its specific usage were debated.

In addition, the meeting announced the Oldbridge Education Foundation’s second annual casino night, set for April 11th, as a fundraising event to provide grant money for teachers. The board encouraged community feedback on the proposed school calendar options, especially in light of the addition of three holidays potentially extending the school year.

The board deliberated on the equity of holiday breaks and their impact on the school community, referencing past challenges faced during the fall break. Discussions also included graduation logistics, with the need for the event to be held at the PNC Bank Arts Center and the requirement for custodial staff to have at least one week to prepare buildings for summer programs.

Security measures in schools were also addressed, with recognition given to the efforts of the former chief of police and the current school liaison officer. The board discussed the implementation of special twos and threes in schools, which are security measures established following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

The meeting concluded with an appreciation for the participation of the school community and a motion to go into executive closed session, which was seconded and approved.

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.
David Cittadino
School Board Officials:
Matt Sulikowski, Jennifer D’Antuono, Elena Francisco, Salvatore Giordano, Marjorie Jodrey, Lisa Lent, Leonardo Marchetta, Kristina Mazzone, Jay D. Slade

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