Rising Disciplinary Incidents in Focus at Recent Northvale School Board Meeting

The Northvale School Board, in a meeting presided over by President Mrs. Venditti and Vice President Mrs. Cowley, recently put the spotlight on an uptick in disciplinary incidents among middle-grade students, while also addressing key administrative matters, approving staffing decisions, and acknowledging outstanding staff members for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year.

In Superintendent Michael Pinajian’s report, concerns were raised about the increasing disciplinary incidents among students in grades 5-8. To combat these issues, an assembly was organized for fifth-grade students and staff to discuss unacceptable behaviors. Moreover, Superintendent Pinajian and Principal McGrath have initiated a series of meetings with parents to clarify the district’s expectations regarding student behavior and the necessary disciplinary measures.

While disciplinary concerns took center stage, the meeting also saw recognition for two key staff members for their contributions to the Northvale School District. Mrs. Alexandra Young, a recipient of the Bergen County Teacher Recognition Award, and Mrs. Pat Kayan, recognized for 19 years of commendable service as Superintendent Pinajian’s secretary, were both lauded for their services.

The meeting also included detailed discussions on personnel decisions for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year. The Board unanimously approved resolutions P-1 to P-18, encompassing tenured and non-tenured staff members, instructional aides, custodial staff, school bus drivers, new hires, and resignations. Mrs. Venditti was absent from the vote. The Board also greenlit chaperones for an eighth-grade trip to Boston and the hiring of summer custodians.

Adding to the scope of the meeting, teacher assignments for the 2023-2024 academic year were discussed, with positions announced across a wide range of subjects and specializations. These decisions, part of the Curriculum and Instruction segment, signified the district’s commitment to comprehensive education, ensuring roles in areas like English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Special Education, World Language (Spanish), Art, Music, and Counseling, among others.

Various instructional and administrative items received the Board’s approval. Notable among these was the Consortium Memorandum of Agreement between the Northern Valley Regional High School Board of Education and the Northvale School District for the 2023-2024 school year. The board also approved home instruction for a student and the addition of a student to the Work-Based Learning experience.

The meeting saw an engaged public comment period, with Mr. Menafra questioning the delay in the Modular Building Project. Mr. Pinajian clarified that the plans needed further review by the Northvale Planning Board.

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