Saddle River Board of Education Unveils Strategy for 2023-24 Academic Year`

The Saddle River Board of Education met on August 23, 2023, at the Wandell School Cafeteria to discuss and approve a series of educational and administrative initiatives for the 2023-24 academic year. The meeting was initiated by Board Vice-President, Mrs. Emily Kaufman. Superintendent Dr. Gina Cinotti presented a report highlighting the absence of harassment, intimidation, and bullying reports at the time.

Vice-Principal Victoria Hickey provided updates on the efforts of the teachers to align with the forthcoming New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) standards for ELA and Math. Curriculum updates were a significant focus, with approvals granted for revised curriculum in various subjects to meet NJDOE prerequisites.

The board approved a series of K-5 enrichment motions with a 4-0 vote, encompassing areas including physical education, iSTEAM, and world language. Attention was also given to the social-emotional learning and the provision of enrichment opportunities for gifted and talented students.

In the financial segment, Dr. Cinotti recommended a series of resolutions which were approved by the board, including the acknowledgment of the board secretary and treasurer reports for June and July 2023. The board agreed on the receipt of the NJDOE 2022-23 extraordinary and transportation aid allocations amounting to $277,409.

For the Saddle River Day School, the board allocated funds totaling $165,470 for various services, including nursing and technology aid for the 2023-24 year. Several facility enhancements were approved, including the installation of additional key fob systems and camera expansions funded by the 2020 Referendum and other financial reserves to comply with security regulations mandated by the Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC).

The meeting saw the approval of unexpected additional work needed due to unforeseen floor conditions in Room 5W, part of a larger project, not exceeding $12,307.60, to be overseen by Solutions Architecture and funded by the 2023-24 Capital Reserve. Other approved projects included upgrading the HVAC controller system with a budget not exceeding $8,505.

In the human resources department, the board approved the hiring of Rosemary Roman in a 12-month role as Assistant to the Business Administrator, and the engagement of a part-time long-term substitute teacher, pending necessary background verifications.

Public comments opened at 8:10 PM with a query from Ms. Rosa Jasinski regarding the availability of summer work for students on the Wandell school website and details on the Foundation mini-grant donations. The Vice-Principal responded, providing assistance on the summer work query and information about the mini-grant donations.

The board member comments section saw no remarks, and the meeting adjourned at 8:16 PM with a unanimous 4-0 vote. The session encapsulated the approval of several financial resolutions aiming to advance educational facilities and enrichment programs for the 2023-24 academic year, alongside addressing public inquiries regarding educational resources.

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