Rockaway Township School Board Addresses HIB Cases and Plans for Academic and Community Growth

In a recent session of the Rockaway Township School Board, issues such as the harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) report, long-range facilities planning, budget challenges, and community involvement in schools were addressed. Superintendent Richard R. Corbett detailed the ongoing investigations into HIB cases, with six out of sixteen cases confirmed, and outlined the board’s initiatives to promote academic excellence and community engagement within the district’s schools.

The board’s meeting began with an update on the HIB report, revealing that sixteen cases had been investigated, with six confirmed as HIB incidents. These cases, which occurred at various schools including Birchwood, Copeland, and Dennis B. O’Brien, met all four prongs of the investigation process.

Superintendent Corbett also reported on a preliminary listening tour, where he engaged with the community at various PTA meetings to discuss concerns, particularly the challenges posed by the increased student population. In response, the Board of Education is considering recommendations from Architects USA, which has begun conducting school surveys to ensure stylistic uniformity across curricula.

The creation of a curriculum revision team was discussed by the Education Committee to ensure a meticulous review process. In addition, Superintendent Corbett highlighted an upcoming listening session on policy 5756 and plans for a session on vaping and substance abuse.


The Birchwood Bulldogs focused on service learning, supporting local organizations, and celebrating cultural diversity. At KDM, activities were organized to promote empathy and positive behavior among students.

Stony Brook School’s student council initiatives, including a ‘stuff the bus’ campaign for the local food pantry and the achievement of recertification as a New Jersey State School of Character, were particularly noteworthy. Copeland Middle School’s efforts in preparing 8th-grade students for high school transition and participation in the global kindness challenge week were also highlighted.

The Business Administrator’s report touched upon the challenges faced in planning the 2024-25 budget, with increased personnel and health benefits costs as concerns. Discussions on expenditures for utilities, tuition, security, and transportation contracts were part of the financial considerations. Additionally, the Business Administrator announced her upcoming maternity leave, and the board expressed gratitude for her contributions.


Curriculum discussions included the celebration of Black History Month, with Copeland Middle School students studying nonviolent protests and honoring the contributions of black individuals and global leaders. Staff continued professional development with the Danielson 2022 framework, emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In terms of academic planning, Superintendent Corbett announced that data would be used to group students with similar proficiency levels to optimize learning, and a plan to address potential shortfalls of Sesser funding was in development. A proposed $40 increase in fees for summer camps was mentioned, with Corbett acknowledging the importance of supporting Rockaway’s students and families.

The meeting concluded with committee reports, approvals of various items including personnel, HIB determinations, and policy recommendations, and the scheduling of the next board meeting for March 13th. The board agreed to reconvene in executive session to discuss a legal issue further.


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.

Richard R. Corbett
School Board Officials:
Tanya Shields, Lisa Mezik, Larissa Smith, Kristy Curelaru, Aaron Tomasini, Noel Anderson

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