In a pivotal meeting of the Ramsey School Board, numerous topics, from strategic planning to innovative assessment techniques, were discussed. Yet the central theme revolved around the critical balance between the roles of the board and the superintendent, the heart of what was termed a “governance mindset.”
Matt Lee from the New Jersey School Boards highlighted the concept of a shared moral environment where all stakeholders believe that children can and will learn. “If this is the driving ideal behind what a board and an administration does together, children win,” Lee stated.
The need for clear boundaries between board members and the superintendent was noted, yet a ‘gray area’ where collaborative interaction occurs was also acknowledged. The board delved into the importance of maintaining strategic oversight, avoiding the entanglement in day-to-day administrative tasks. “The value of the board is in the strategic oversight and support that the board provides…not distracted by day-to-day administrative challenges,” one board member stated.
Interestingly, the board also explored the need for innovative education assessments, emphasizing skills essential for student success beyond traditional standards. The creation of the ‘Profile Project Department,’ led by Mrs. Falcone, aims to integrate project-based assignments throughout the district.
However, the meeting was not without its controversy. Parents voiced their concerns over transparency issues within the district. One parent expressed frustration at the district’s non-compliance with the ‘right to know law,’ citing inadequate response to her request for public records. Another parent claimed his daughter was denied participation in her Individualized Education Program (IEP) review meeting, raising concerns over the district’s handling of special education cases. In response to the concerns, board members assured they had received the complaints and would address them in future meetings.
The meeting also touched on other administrative topics, such as upcoming training schedules and infrastructure updates, alongside celebrating achievements and expressing gratitude for effective teamwork.