Upper Saddle River School Board Gears Up for an Optimistic 2023/24 Academic Year

In a series of June meetings, the Upper Saddle River School Board set in motion significant preparations and policy updates for the forthcoming academic year at Cavallini Middle School Auditorium.

Superintendent Dr. Brad Siegel showcased the district’s blueprint, highlighting preparations for year-end events, especially grade-level graduations. His optimism for the upcoming academic year was underlined by the collaborative spirit of the district’s administrators and staff.

Dana Imbasciani’s appointment as the Business Administrator/Board Secretary was a standout decision, one endorsed by the Executive County Superintendent. With her tenure set from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024, Dr. Siegel and Mrs. Gandara are poised to finalize the terms of Imbasciani’s employment.

Key administrative announcements followed. Stefanie Slacin, Sara Senger, Margaret Donnelly, and Brigette Uzar were confirmed as the helms of Reynolds School, Bogert School, and Cavallini Middle School respectively. Additionally, roles like H.I.B. Specialists and Attendance Officer were entrusted to a capable team.

The board was not short on personnel changes, with David Kaplan being named the School Safety Specialist. Financial strides were also taken, as a comprehensive Substitute Rate/Payroll Calculations Guide and the ACE Hourly Rate Schedule for 2023/24 were ratified.

Philanthropy was evident as the Upper Saddle River Educational Foundation granted sums to various schools, with Reynolds School being the top beneficiary. Beyond this, there was an evident push towards efficiency and modernization. Contracts covering digital record storage, fire alarm maintenance, and more were finalized, while the State Health Benefits Program gained the board’s approval.

A special retreat at Cavallini Middle School Media Center saw Mrs. Susan Gandara taking the lead, accompanied by key district members. Security and the alignment of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) processes topped the agenda. David Kaplan’s insights into school security set the stage for further deliberations, while Dr. Siegel’s overhaul of HIB processes promised a consistent approach for the upcoming year.

The board also cast its vision for 2023/24. Top of the list were advancements in Math education and fostering a more inclusive school culture. Personnel decisions were also addressed, with Madelyn Barrow being noted as a significant change, serving at Bogert School.

Financial decisions continued in a special meeting at the Board Office, steered by Mrs. Gandara. New personnel appointments included Christine Cipollini as Pre-K-8 Assistant Principal and Amanda Davis as an ACE Team Member for the upcoming school year. Mrs. Imbasciani presented the FY24 IDEA Grant Allocations, earmarking significant sums for the IDEA Preschool and IDEA Part B. This financial momentum continued with approvals for educational program travels, specifically the Conquer Mathematics program.

These sessions, ranging from policy revisions and financial strategies to key appointments, indicate a district ready for a transformative and productive academic year. As the last gavel dropped, the community’s expectation was clear: a year of educational excellence ahead.

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School Board Members:
Upper Saddle River

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