South River School Board Meeting Addresses Safety Concerns and Approves New Initiatives

At the recent South River School Board meeting, emphasis was placed on student safety, with Mr. Crouch presenting the Student Safety Data System report, which indicated a reduction in HIB (harassment, intimidation, and bullying) incidents. Superintendent Sylvia Zircher’s report highlighted the closure of Denny Stadium for construction and the preparations for the annual Curriculum Fair. Additionally, the finance committee’s report on grant applications, new budget transfers, and the 21st-century Grant program was discussed. The instruction committee touched on new curriculums and the return of the overnight trip to Camp Mason, while the human resources committee reported on staff changes and new programs.

The meeting began with the usual order of business, including the approval of minutes from previous meetings and the financial report. Superintendent Zircher then took the opportunity to express gratitude for the board’s support on various issues, including space concerns at the high school level and potential scholarships. She also commended students for their community involvement and conveyed seasonal greetings to the board and families within the South River School District.

The spotlight of the meeting shone on Mr. Crouch’s presentation on student safety. With a analysis of hib incidents and the measures taken to curtail them, the report was a cornerstone of the meeting. Mr. Crouch underscored the success of training programs and activities designed to improve mental health and safety across different school levels.

The finance committee’s report, delivered later in the session, covered a wide range of financial undertakings. Notably, there was a presentation on the 21st-century Grant, which has sparked community interest and inquiries. The human resources committee addressed staffing, with 21 items on the agenda involving resignations, appointments, and approvals for the upcoming school year.

The safety and risk management committee assured the board of the approved transportation routes and the yearly memorandum agreement review between education and law enforcement officials. This falls in line with the heightened focus on security and the proactive stance the board is taking to ensure student safety.

The school community relations committee celebrated the achievements of staff members recognized in the Governor’s Educator of the Year program and the selection of middle school students of the month for November 2023. The PTA reported on the success of the primary school’s Snow Manor event and the continuation of their spirit wear sale.

Public engagement was evident as the student board representative acknowledged the approval of an anti-bullying website and proposed initiatives to encourage voting among younger individuals. The meeting also addressed community concerns when Norman Shinberg raised issues about school safety. He presented data on school shootings, questioning the necessity and financial implications of deploying School Resource Officers (SROs) within schools. Despite his request for more time to elaborate, the board moved into an executive session to discuss personnel matters after a roll call vote.

The meeting covered various routine matters through the consent resolution, which passed unanimously without any queries or comments from the board members. The reception of visitors section was brief, as no public comments were made.

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.

Sylvia Zircher
School Board Officials:
Cynthia Urbanik, Renae Bush, Raymond Baszak, John Budzin, Lisa Byrne, Elizabeth Lell, Kevin Nielsen, Nicole Sadowski, Jennifer Yong Yow

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