The Oradell School Board recently unveiled updates to its anti-bullying measures, while also taking significant steps towards school infrastructure upgrade.
The meeting highlighted the “Week of Respect,” an initiative coinciding with the National Bullying Prevention Month. The program, presented by school administrators, teachers, and students, seeks to foster respect among students and staff. Notably, sixth graders Bailey Wax and Anthony Asz shared their experiences, including their contributions to the successful “chalk the walk” activity and leadership roles in promoting community-building. The board members, including Dorothy Watson-Nichols, Gregory Derian, and Alena Acosta, expressed appreciation for the students’ innovation and creativity.
The conversation then turned to the issue of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB), with the board emphasizing the importance of HIB training. The board’s self-assessment for the year resulted in a score of 71 out of 78, a slight improvement from the previous year due mainly to increased training. The board expressed satisfaction with the low number of HIB cases reported and pledged continuous attention to school culture and climate.
In a bid to fortify the school’s security measures, the board announced the introduction of a new juvenile detective liaison in the Oradell Police Department. The board member John Walsh reassured fellow members about the self-assessment process, emphasizing that the focus was on identifying areas of growth that would most benefit the students.
The meeting also touched on infrastructure decisions. The finance and technology subcommittee, chaired by Jeremy Griffin, approved replacing all eight classroom HVAC units, known as airds, with a Regular Operating District (ROD) Grant expected to cover 40% of the cost.
The board also discussed concerns about the school’s curriculum. A New York educator and parent, Jen Allen, voiced worries about perceived gaps in reading and math instruction. The board encouraged parents to come forward with any concerns, promising their full attention to maintaining high educational standards.