Board of Ed Receives Positive Audit, Make Up School Days Discussed

At the Nov. 13 Board of Education meeting, the annual audit report was explained and ideas to make up the lost school days from Hurricane Sandy were discussed.

On Nov. 13 the Board of Education(BOE) held an open agenda meeting, the first since Sandy struck the township.

The board discussed how Sandy impacted the school district, as well as the annual audit that was conducted for the BOE. 

Superintendent Dr. Margaret Hayes, informed the board of some her ideas on how to make up the lost school days from Hurricane Sandy. She noted that none of the ideas were concrete but would like to put them out there for the public to voice their opinions.

Hayes said usually when the district goes over the three emergency days issued, they dip into spring break to make up those missed dates. However, she said she would rather look into alternate days.

For example, she mentioned using both President's Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day as full days for all of the schools and adding on the last day of the year, June 21, for all elementary schools except School One and Coles. 

School One and Coles would need to find one more additional day on top of those three since the two schools went an extra day without power.

Hayes and Board of Education President Trip Whitehouse commended all of the administrators and faculty who stayed on top of the conditions of the schools during Sandy.

Whitehouse particularly called on Deborah Saridaki who he said was inside all of the schools making sure that no severe damage occurred and the schools were safe for the children to return to.

Saridaki noted that only two schools suffered damage,  reporting that School One had a dented piece of metal and Evergreen School was hit with a tree knocking out a few bricks. Both incidents would easily be fixed by personnel already working for the district, Saridaki added.

Saridaki also wanted to thank Director of Building and Grounds Anthony Miranda, as well as  the SP-F maintenance and custodian workers.

Both Whitehouse and Saridaki said Miranda did exceptional work keeping the buildings safe and that he was sometimes out until 3 a.m. or into the late evening hours, despite the issues he was facing with his own home.

Whitehouse added that the administrative staff kept in contact with him almost daily and that they were even driving around for a cell signal in order to get the Honeywell Alerts out to parents and guardians. 

Whitehouse ended the storm effort conversation by saying, "Well done to the whole team." 

Again mentioning how they pulled it together to get the information out on the limited communication channels that were available.

In addition to the post-Sandy discussion, the Board presented their audit report which received no recommendations from Heidi Wohlleb the auditor from Nisivoccia LLP.

Wohlleb addressed the board by telling them they should be very pleased with the results.

Last year's audit had one recommendation about the student activity fees moving away from cash transactions, which Wohlleb said is now working out much better.

Whitehouse added that "the electronic way is the way to go."

"The General Fund, which is the main operating fund, is in good financial condition," Wohlleb said.

The board had little to ask of Wohlleb due to the fact their were no recommendations in moving forward.

Whitehouse and Wohlleb both thanked Mrs. Saridaki and her team for running the business department smoothly and providing the auditors with all the details they needed in compiling the report.

At the Nov. 29 Board of Education Regular Public Meeting, the Curriculum Report will be presented along with several recognitions of student achievement.

Stuart Fuchsman November 15, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Great communication during the storm. Good job!
Nicole Bitette November 15, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Hi Divir13, I believe Dr. Hayes had also said the same thing. She said they still don't know what the winter might have in store. So by doing it this way, if additional snow days are used then they'd still have to use Spring Break days.
Michael November 15, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I appreciate everyone informing me of how half days are counted. Hopefully the schools will adjust those days to help get the kids instruction back on track. Interesting to hear Derek's comments that it doesn't matter if it is Saturdays, holidays, etc.that teachers work as long as they get in their 180 days. I'm not an advocate of regularly making people work weekends, nights, or holidays but there are cases when it is warranted. I have an erratic schedule due to my job and would rather not require others work weekends unless really needed. I am sure teachers are flexible considering the circumstances and as others have said - we still have winter coming so being open to all options is a good thing. If the schools do take days from Spring Break I'd assume the schools will be flexible and not penalize kids who are gone those dates as some families have scheduled items for those days. In the end - it would be nice to know the plan so all families can schedule appropriately.
Enough Already November 15, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Derek, I'm confused by your comment. Either way, the teachers are working 180 days.
Enough Already November 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Unless a majority of students would be there, it wouldn't make sense to have school on Saturdays. Also, sports schedules would complicate the scheduling. This is not just a matter of making the teachers work 180 days, it is to ensure that the students will actually be there to receive instruction.


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