In a recent Saddle Brook School Board meeting, members discussed educational initiatives, financial plans, and facility conditions. Issues raised during the public comments section notably included criticism of the district’s educational approach, concerns about physical safety due to broken dividers, poor drainage at the football field, and calls for greater transparency in the district’s financial dealings. Initiatives targeting student development and partnership successes were also highlighted. Discussions also encompassed collaborations with community organizations, the relocation of a polling station, and efforts to enhance communication within the community.
At the forefront of the meeting was the discussion on new initiatives in district schools. Board members highlighted the planning of field trips by the outdoor club at the middle high school and the “Dallas Club” at the high school, which plans to start visiting senior citizens. The board also praised the clinical intern partnership, with 15 clinical interns working alongside staff, fostering a welcoming environment for both student teachers and cooperating teachers.
The meeting also addressed updates from the education and curriculum sector, with a spotlight on a grant from the New Jersey Department of Education. This grant, which targets third and fourth graders but extends to other grade levels, would aid in PSAT, SAT, and ACT preparation for high school students and help initiate tutoring programs. Discussions also highlighted financial plans involving technology equipment acquisition and a proposal to replace a 54-passenger bus with a 29-passenger one, more practical for most events except large sports events.
The public comments section featured significant criticism, with a community member expressing concerns over the broken dividers presenting safety hazards and urging an educational curriculum fostering leaders rather than “factory workers.” The individual criticized the district’s leadership, citing a specific director as lacking competence. Further, the person noted Saddle Brook’s low ranking among New Jersey school districts and asked for swift action on the poor drainage at the football field. There was also dissatisfaction voiced over the difficulty in obtaining a detailed report on district employee salaries and allowances, with calls for enhanced transparency and efficiency in management.
Mayor White and other officials emphasized efforts to improve community communication, discussing the potential expansion of the existing “Mixel system” to disseminate information more efficiently. Mayor White encouraged individuals to provide contact details to stay updated on local events and happenings. The relocation of a polling station to facilitate better space usage at schools was praised, with officials expressing eagerness to enhance communication and work collaboratively with community organizations to educate newer generations on significant historical events like the 9/11 attacks.
As the meeting concluded, the officials underscored their commitment to transparency, explaining the existing process for obtaining the requested information and dispelling misinformation about employee salaries and longevity pay. They welcomed community collaboration for remembrance ceremonies and acknowledged the community’s support during a recent football game.