Woodbridge School Board Advances New School Project Amid Varied Discussions

The January 18, 2024, Woodbridge School Board meeting was marked by discussions surrounding the preconstruction phase of the new school project. Superintendent Joseph Massimino presented the board with progress updates on the project, emphasizing the continuation of work into the winter and spring months. The meeting also highlighted the efficient management of district buildings and grounds, with the agenda including items related to testing and the removal of solar panels for the upcoming school construction.

In the realm of school infrastructure, the board focused on three agenda items that are essential to the development of the new school project. The items discussed included the preconstruction phase, specifically the testing required before construction, the removal of solar panels, and the project labor agreement. Superintendent Massimino emphasized that these initial steps were critical in ensuring the timely progression of the school project, which is a significant investment in the community’s educational future.

The importance of the new school project was underscored by the board’s detailed examination of the associated agenda items. The testing mentioned in the agenda is a prerequisite for any construction project.

Beyond the new school project, the meeting covered various operational and administrative matters important to the district’s functioning. The Dining and Transportation committee presented seven items, all of which were moved for adoption and approved unanimously. These items, recommended by Superintendent Massimino and the business administrator board secretary, were passed without comments or questions.

The Personnel committee followed with an extensive list of 43 items, emphasizing the scale of human resource management within the district. These items, recommended by the superintendent and the assistant superintendent of Human Resources, were also moved for adoption and approved without further discussion.

Superintendent Massimino took the opportunity to address two district-wide concerns. Firstly, he clarified that the ambulance spotted at Woodbridge High School was due to a clerical error, assuaging any fears of an emergency. Secondly, in anticipation of an impending storm, Massimino informed the board that a decision regarding school closures or delays would be made post-meeting, with an announcement to follow later that evening.

The board president announced a strategic reduction in the number of committees from 14 to 10. This decision was made to foster more in-depth discussions and effective decision-making among board members. Despite opening the floor to public comments, there were no speakers.

The meeting also acknowledged the academic and extracurricular achievements of students and educators within the district. High school students were recognized for their acceptance into Congressman Frank Pallone Jr.’s youth advisory council. Additionally, the board extended commendations to the principal of Woodbridge High School, various students, and staff members for their participation in diverse programs and events.

Among the extracurricular activities, several high school students and staff participated in training to create brave and safe spaces. The Saffron Alliance facilitated an enriching experience for students during Indic Heritage Month with a cultural trip.

The Superintendent’s report covered the routine but essential aspects of district operations, including student registrations, fire drills, suspensions, and bomb threats. Attendance officer reports for elementary and secondary schools were also presented.

Financial considerations were addressed by the Finance and Insurance Committee, which presented 12 items for the board’s approval. Discussions included the disposal of items and the acknowledgment of a donation from the Gwen Roaming Charitable Trust to the PACE and The Rise programs.

As the meeting drew to a close, a motion to adjourn was carried out, and appreciation was expressed to Alexander Lou for his comprehensive report as a student representative from Woodbridge High School. The board clarified that the agenda’s conciseness was intentional, to allow for a more focused and efficient meeting.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Joseph Massimino
School Board Officials:
Daniel Harris, Susan Bourdin, Marie Anderson, Frank DellaPietro III, Jenny Perez, Nazam Mohammed, Akshar “AJ” Sidana, Jonathan Triebwasser, Joseph Velez, Nicole Lanigan (Board Secretary)

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