In a recent meeting that covered a gamut of topics from financial adjustments to security, the Palisades Park School Board discussed the possibility of establishing an international visit program with South Korean educational institutions. The board members, led by President Eun Min, delved into logistical concerns and community impact.
Among the subjects that provoked significant board and public interest was a potential international visit or exchange program with South Korean schools. Board members debated the feasibility and impact of such visits, expressing the need for coordination with local agencies like the Bergen County Department of Education. “If a visit is approved, it will require a formal vote,” said Eun Min. Financial burdens associated with these visits, such as meals, would be covered by the visiting group, thus alleviating some concerns over budgeting.
Curriculum topics sparked a conversation about the Bergen County Special Services Program, a suspension alternative initiative. The program, highlighted for its effectiveness, will only be available to students suspended for five or more days. Superintendent Dr. Joseph Cirillo presented the need for an emergency virtual plan, now mandated by law, to be updated every six months.
Security measures were also on the table. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with local law enforcement is in the works. Responding to parent concerns about the attentiveness of special officers near schools, board members, including Soo J. Chung, committed to discussing the issue with borough police. Likewise, the council promised to place a special officer at a specific intersection near the Junior Senior High School to improve child safety.
Significant updates on school infrastructure included a focus on ongoing renovations. Lindbergh Elementary School is currently under construction due to a fire incident, with insurance reimbursements of nearly a million dollars expected. Notably, the high school library is being divided into three rooms, and six more classrooms are anticipated to accommodate a doubling of preschool enrollment. These upgrades were all funded through grants, ensuring zero cost impact on taxpayers.
As of the meeting date, the Palisades Park school district boasted an enrollment of 1,709 students, a slight decrease from previous years. The board expects an increase in the coming weeks and emphasized their compliance with state laws regarding special services for English Language Learner (ELL) students.
The meeting concluded with a nod to community involvement, thanking local business 21 Golf for donating excess lockers to the Junior Senior High School, emphasizing the significant cost-saving for the community.