Readington School Board Addresses Budget, Personnel Changes, and Board Member Resignation

The Readington School Board recently convened to tackle various issues, including the detailed presentation of the 2024-2025 school year budget, the resignation of board member Christina Napoli, and the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Moss as the new principal of Hollen Brook School. The meeting, which spanned several departments and initiatives, also included discussions on conflicts of interest, the ethics commission’s advisory opinion, and the proposed expansion of the district’s solar energy systems.

The budget for the upcoming school year took center stage with Superintendent Jonathan Hart outlining the timeline and awaiting state aid figures. The final budget approval is slated for April 30th. A comprehensive review encompassed the Curriculum Department’s request for new textbooks and resources, the Health and Physical Education Department’s budget allocation, and the technology budget focusing on infrastructure and security enhancements. Furthermore, the Pupil Services budget was detailed with an emphasis on professional development for specialized staff, and the Facilities Department projected increases for services and capital projects including the expansion of White House School’s solar system.

The resignation of Christina Napoli from the board due to potential conflicts of interest was a significant topic of debate. Questions were raised about the attorney’s role and the process leading to her resignation, with Superintendent Hart clarifying that legal counsel was sought to ensure compliance with regulations. The handling of this issue sparked discussions on the need for better communication and decision-making processes within the board, with some members expressing concerns over the consultation procedures with the board attorney.

In personnel matters, the board announced the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Moss as the principal of Hollen Brook School, detailing his selection process and vision for the school. His introduction was a notable item of discussion..

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The meeting also delved into the solar expenses with board member Justina Ryan inquiring about a notable decrease in the maintenance reserve projects, which Business Administrator Jason Bohm attributed to the reduction from ongoing projects. Additionally, Supervisor Marcy Cole provided insights into the transportation department’s operations and the shared services for special education routes.

The Administration and Personnel budget presentations by Mr. Good touched upon new initiatives and recurring items, including a communications initiative and low-income assistance. The Personnel and Benefits budget discussion covered increases in salaries, health benefits, and state pension contributions. The Finance and Facilities committee report recommended a conservative budget increase and reviewed capital projects with substantial investments towards infrastructure improvements.

During the Education and Technology committee report, updates on curriculum standards and enrichment programs were discussed, along with a question regarding the scheduling of testing and fundraising events. The Personnel committee report focused on the RTAA agreement, staffing projections, and the recruitment of bus drivers.

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The board’s self-evaluation and superintendent evaluation timeline were briefly discussed, with debate on the self-evaluation tool to be used, ultimately planning a retreat to review the results and set goals. Moreover, the scheduling of board tours and the Green Committee meeting minutes were presented, highlighting environmental education initiatives and sustainability projects.

The public comment period allowed for community engagement, with a member seeking clarity on the board’s conflict of interest process, to which the board responded by referencing the School Ethics Commission and state law compliance.

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.

Superintendent:
Jonathan Hart
School Board Officials:
Dr. Camille Cerciello, Ellen DePinto, Elizabeth Fiore, Michele Mencer, Randall J. Peach, Carolyn Podgorski, Justina Ryan, Jennifer Wolf, Jason Bohm (Business Administrator/Board Secretary)

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