Oradell School Board Approves Memorandum of Understanding with Police Department and Discusses Audit Financials

In a recent school board meeting, a memorandum of understanding with the local police department was a key topic of debate, as it establishes protocols for incident responses involving law enforcement. The district’s auditor also presented the 2223 audit financials, revealing an increase in the district’s fund balance and recommendations for financial management improvements. Additionally, the board discussed various educational programs, professional development initiatives funded by the Esser ARP Grant, and potential changes to the public comment format to enhance parent participation.

At the forefront of discussions during the meeting was a memorandum of understanding with the police department, which drew attention due to its significance in outlining how the district will interact with law enforcement. This agreement details protocols for situations that necessitate district notification to the police and also addresses issues related to search and seizure as well as the handling of body cam video footage. The implications of these guidelines for students and staff were carefully considered.

The audit financials for the 2223 fiscal year were another critical item on the agenda. Auditor Mr. Jeff Bliss reported that the district’s fund balance increased by $117,000, totaling $4,743,596. The increase is attributed to specific reserves, including capital reserve, maintenance reserve, emergency reserve, and excess surplus. Mr. Bliss emphasized there were no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in internal control, which is a positive indication of the district’s financial health. However, recommendations were made to maintain a payroll deduction ledger, ensure timely payroll remittances, and improve the capital asset inventory report. Mrs. Rita Walker inquired about the capital reserves, to which Mr.

Education and development programs were also a focal point of the meeting. Superintendent Megan N. Bozios celebrated the success of fundraising efforts for the American Heart Association, crediting physical education teachers Miss Myella and Mr. Kelly for their contributions. Twelve staff members engaged in learning about the Fairleigh Dickinson University Orton Gillingham teacher certification program, and the district’s sixth graders excelled in the New Jersey School Board STEAM tank challenge with all 23 teams qualifying for the regional competition. Moreover, Superintendent Bozios commended Dr. Roth and Mr. and Mrs. Adinos for their involvement in the Hoops championship game of the sixth-grade intramural basketball program.

The Art Club’s recent field trip to the Blauvelt mansion was noted as an enriching experience. Additionally, a collaborative meeting with counterparts from River Edge and River Dell was conducted to create a K-12 language arts and math continuum, focusing on essential skills for each grade. A team of teachers and administrators also participated in a fraction boot camp at Montclair State University, emphasizing professional development and curriculum enhancement.

The Personnel addendum addressed the implementation of the Dibbles Parent Academy and an amendment to the Esser ARP Grant to focus on K-5 math and structured literacy workshops. The grant will also fund a professional staff developer to collaborate with 14 staff members to rewrite the writing curriculum, adding an emphasis on grammar. Plans to use the funds for K-6 STEAM experiences, including parent-child STEAM nights and after-school programs, were also discussed.

During the public comment section of the meeting, a parent suggested moving the meetings from YouTube streaming to a more interactive platform like Zoom or Teams to foster greater parent involvement.

The meeting also included approval of the January 3rd minutes, with Mrs. Mary-Katherine Norian’s motion to amend the adjournment noted. Committee reports covered administrative, buildings and grounds, curriculum, finance, personnel, and policy matters. The public relations committee reported no new developments.

Finally, the board moved to go into executive session to discuss legal, student, personnel, and network issues, concluding the public portion of the meeting without further action.

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.
Megan N. Bozios
School Board Officials:
Dorothy Watson-Nichols, Gregory Derian, Peter Iappelli (School Business Administrator / Board Secretary), Alena Acosta, James Del Greco, Jaime Downey, Christopher Nutland, Mary-Katherine Norian, Rita Walker, John Walsh

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