Rochelle Park School Board Boosts Student Engagement; Welcomes Donations and New Appointments

In a recent meeting, the Rochelle Park Board of Education made significant strides to enhance student welfare and engagement. School administrators announced critical adjustments to the school calendar, a significant reduction in state test refusals, a substantial tech donation, and the creation of a new interscholastic sports team.

The meeting was held on May 16, 2023, and addressed a range of subjects including confidential student matters, personnel changes, contracts, and safety. All board members were present except for Joseph Marolda and Jorge Martinez Jr., who arrived late.

Superintendent Dr. Sue DeNobile revealed changes to the school calendar. Unused emergency/snow days were set for May 26, May 30, and June 19, 2023, in alignment with Hackensack High School’s schedule. Dr. DeNobile also highlighted the success of the test prep program, which has halved the rate of parent refusals for state testing.

The board welcomed a tech donation from A.T. Kearney Consulting, consisting of three printers and 20 Lenovo T480 Laptops, estimated to be worth $4,600. This move is expected to boost technological capabilities for students, aiding in their learning experience.

Another noteworthy decision, aimed at broadening student involvement, was the establishment of a Midland School Interscholastic Co-Ed Soccer Team for the 2023-2024 school year. The board also authorized the participation of students and staff in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, scheduled for Friday, June 9, 2023.

In terms of special education services, two resolutions were passed. The first approved an Out of District Placement for CST # 2306 from May 15 to June 30, 2023, and the second resolution revised the contract for CST 2111 from $45,650 to $70,990.

The school board resolved the issue concerning the residency of two students identified by numbers 100010231XX and 1720. After formal hearings and votes, it was concluded that these students did not reside within Rochelle Park, making them ineligible for free public education in the district.

Several staffing changes were announced during the meeting. Mrs. Rebecca Garcia was appointed as Director of Special Services, Mrs. Jessica DeFalco as School Secretary, and Kaitlyn Boylan as a Part-Time Paraprofessional. The board also approved several educators for professional development, visits, and extended school year programs.

In a show of community spirit, the school is set to participate in a band-aid collection drive from May 17 to June 16, 2023, aimed at cheering up pediatric cancer patients by supplying ‘fun’ band-aids to a local hospital.

The Business Administrator, Dr. James Riley, disclosed that 54 HEPA filter units, funded by a state grant, were ready for classroom use, marking a significant step towards a healthier learning environment. In a related financial update, $250,000 had been deposited in the NJ ARC account at an interest rate of 4.8%.

The meeting concluded with an announcement of the next regular meeting on June 13, 2023, and adjourned at 9:00 PM.

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