School Safety and Concession Stand Equality Emerge as Key Issues at Pasack Valley School Board Meeting

The Pasack Valley School Board recently convened to discuss a range of issues, including school safety, the lack of a concession stand at Pasack Valley High School, and various other matters. The board also reviewed insights from a New Jersey School Boards Association Workshop and approved numerous agenda items.

One of the most significant topics of the meeting was school safety, particularly concerning gym doors being left open at times. The concern was raised by a board member, emphasizing the potential security risk it posed. Superintendent Sarah Bilotti responded by assuring that measures had been implemented to restrict access to the building. She pointed out that doors should always be closed unless propped open by outside organizations using the building. The issue was further addressed with a suggestion that building use forms should explicitly state that doors should not be left open.

Another pressing issue brought up during the meeting was the absence of a concession stand at Pasack Valley High School, a concern voiced by a parent during the public participation segment. The parent highlighted the inequality between Pasack Valley and Pasack Hills, as the former had been without a concession stand for nearly a decade. This absence, they argued, deprived students of fundraising opportunities. Another community member supported this sentiment, urging the board to prioritize reopening the concession stand. Superintendent Bilotti acknowledged the concern and committed to exploring the matter further.

The meeting also featured a report from Jenny, a board member who attended the New Jersey School Boards Association Workshop. She shared insights on leadership, ethics, and board governance, emphasizing the importance of trust, compromise, and considering dissenting opinions. She proposed implementing new member orientation, a board governance handbook, board norms, and a governance committee. Jenny rated the board’s functioning as an eight out of ten, underlining the need for continuous improvement.

Other noteworthy elements of the meeting included updates from the students of Pasack Hills and Pasack Valley on co-curricular and athletic activities, fundraising events, and academic achievements. The board members also discussed plans to bring county workshops on teen dating and violence to the high school, expressing appreciation for a recent college admission presentation.

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