In a recent meeting, the Upper Saddle River School Board outlined a series of decisions designed to shape the educational landscape in the district. Chief among these was the significant restructuring of the teaching staff, along with extensive infrastructural investments and the historic inclusion of a student representative in the board’s decision-making process.
During the meeting, held at Cavallini Middle School Auditorium, the board, led by Superintendent Dr. Siegel, took decisive steps to adjust the staffing structure to better align with the district’s educational goals. In a significant move, the board opted to abolish three full-time classroom teacher positions, replacing them with two full-time instructional support teacher roles. Madelyn Barrow and Maria Gomez were appointed as Instructional Support Teachers for grades 4-8 and K-4, respectively, and Emily Cooper joined the team as a Behaviorist. These changes signify a shift in educational strategy, emphasizing a more individualized and supportive approach to instruction.
Additionally, the board passed two employment termination resolutions, effectively relieving two employees from their duties, in line with the thirty-day notice provision of their respective contracts.
The meeting also unveiled a comprehensive slate of infrastructural investments across the district’s schools, aiming to create an environment conducive to quality education. Projects approved included the procurement of 255 Lenovo Chromebooks, the replacement of the sewer ejector pump and bathroom partitions in Cavallini Middle School, installation of a new concrete sidewalk, and multiple repair works. The board also endorsed the re-coating of gym floors, carpeting, and flooring replacements in Reynolds School, a concrete step extension at Bogert School, and improved ventilation for a storage room in Cavallini Middle School.
In a welcome development, the board recognized Katarina Noye Lozada, who will join as a student representative in September 2023. This historic decision marks the first time a student has been incorporated into the board, highlighting the district’s commitment to involve its student body in governance and decision-making.
In financial matters, Mrs. Imbasciani led the proceedings, which saw the approval of Finance Consent Agenda Items A through V. Despite abstentions from Mr. Mehegan, Dr. Verducci, and Mrs. Wenberg regarding Item V, the board approved a revised addendum to a Settlement Agreement and Release involving the board and parents of a student. The board also approved the submission of the FY23 Application for Extraordinary Special Education Aid and the FY24 ARP ESSER III Grant expenditures for Book Club stipends.