Summit Athletic Director Michael Sandor presents the physical education budget for 2013-2014. Credits: Bob Faszczewski
Richard Hanley takes his oath of office at Thursday's Summit Board of Education meeting. Credits: Bob Faszczewski
Franklin School physical education teacher Laura Burr talks about the elementary school program. Credits: Bob Faszczewski
Hanley Sworn in as Summit School Board Member; Athletics, Technology, Curriculum Budgets Previewed; Sailing Goes Varsity
Friday, January 18, 2013 • 6:56am
SUMMIT, NJ—Richard Hanley took his oath of office on Thursday as a member of the Summit Board of Education from Superintendent of Schools Nathan Parker as his family looked on.
School Business Administrator Louis Pepe, who normally handles the swearing-in honors, was not able to attend the meeting because he has the flu.
Hanley was appointed to the board by Mayor Ellen Dickson to fill the unexpired term of Anne Burton until 2015. Burton left the school body because her family is moving to Colorado Springs, Colo.
Also, in the opening round of the education body’s presentations of departmental budget proposals, Athletic Director Michael Sandor noted the physical education department is requesting $1,222,683 for the 2013-2014 school year.
Sandor added the proposed budget is only 1.9 percent of the total proposed $61.8 million spending plan for the city’s schools. The athletics budget would represent a $538 increase of that for the current school year, he said.
Most of the increase, according to the athletic director, is due to higher fees for officials and entry fees for such items as county and state athletic conferences.
The 12 boys’ sports take up $500,424 of the proposed spending plan, the 11 girls’ sports consume $428,647, co-educational sports come in at $156,985, and miscellaneous rentals and other fees account for $136,607.
Transportation to and from athletic events in all the sports will cost the district an estimated $229,170 for 2013-2014, while stipends for coaches will cost $720,320, supplies $103,660 and officials’ fees $88,468.
Sandor noted a record high 1,638 students will participate this coming year in the 29 programs at the high school and middle school level. This represents a 55.6 percent increase in participation from the 2001=2002 school year. Student population during the same time increased by only 39 percent.
He added the programs have produced 18 conference titles, 16 county championships, six state sectional titles, five state group titles and two teams that have been selected first in the state.
Aside from tax dollars, Sandor said, the district’s sports programs receive additional support from the Summit Sports Boosters, other financial donations, rewards and recognition event sponsorships and school and community events.
The boosters alone, he noted, contributed $50,000 during 2011-2012 to the sports programs.
Prior to the athletics budget presentation, teachers Christine Bohan, Laura Burr and Dennis Marcantonio gave presentations on the new face of physical education as it is taught in Summit.
Burr, who engaged several members of the audience in team juggling, pointed out how the elementary school program emphasizes sportsmanship, teaching students to take turns during events, developing strategies in traditional and non-traditional sport and teaching skills that can be used in lifelong activities such as tennis and yoga.
Bohan noted how Project Adventure at the high school level causes participants in rope-climbing activities, for example, learn to help each other both by partnering in the climbing and by acting as members of a “belay” team on the ground which ensures the safety of the climbers.
The teachers emphasized how athletics gives students a break from the stress of academics, gives them a head start in activities they will use in working out during their entire lives at commercial athletic facilities and hones their leadership abilities.
In a related athletic matter, the school board on Thursday approved the move of sailing, which has been a club sport for two years, up to the varsity level.
This will make the sailing team eligible to compete against varsity teams at other schools and give it a chance to receive boosters funds. The team is currently completely parent supported.
During her presentation on the curriculum budget, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Julie Glazer noted the goals of curriculum enhancement are to close the achievement gap, help each student reach his or her potential and align curriculum, instruction and assessment with the common core standards recognized by most of the 50 states.
She also said curriculum is aimed at developing 21st century competencies and continuing professional learning among staff members.
Glazer is requesting $424,872 for curriculum—an overall drop of $9,430 from the current year.
New courses amounting to $91,195 of the budget, include expansion of Mandarin Chinese in the eighth grade and two new science electives—physiology and zoology. This item represents at $10,868.47 increase.
New textbooks, she said, would cost $31,925 in the new budget. Glazer noted there will be a decrease in textbook funding at the elementary, middle school and high school levels because of more use of “e and digital resources.”
Professional development will amount to $137,330—up from $112,425 in the last budget—but a the Summit Educational Foundation also provides funding for some of the program through its summer and winter grants.
Supplies in the proposed budget amount to $164,432, while there no new equipment purchases are advocated—the same story as in the current budget.
The technology budget calls for a total of $1,410,135 or 2.3 percent of the total school district spending plan.
Equipment will account for $676,647, software $247,233, supplies $76,800, maintenance, $144,455, and communications (mostly the telephones and other communications equipment in the central office), $245,000.
Glazer noted $70,000 of technology equipment costs are reimbursed to the district through the E-rate grant program.
Planned purchases include smart boards, document cameras, digital photography equipment upgrades, ensuring continuity in the servers, Microsoft Office upgrades and classroom innovations.
The assistant superintendent said two of the major emphasis areas will be studies of ways to use more mobile technology in the classroom and preparing the district for online student testing and assessment in a few years.
On another fiscal matter, board president George Lucaci, referring to recent comments by city officials about possible funding of fullday kindergarten, said officials should be careful about “throwing numbers around,” especially about per pupil expenditures.
At Tuesday’s common council meeting a newspaper article was citing pointing to Summit’s $8,467 as being the second highest in Union County.
He decried comparisons to other programs in Union County that, he said, do not have the high levels of drama, athletic and other programs as Summit.
In addition, the board president noted Millburn, a neighboring district to which Summit often is compared, has a per-pupil cost of about $17,000.
The city of Camden has a per-pupil cost of $23,000 in its schools, Lucaci added.
In a presentation prior to the school body’s official business, students from Lincoln-Hubbard School, which hosted Thursday’s meeting, presented an “I-movie” about the mentoring program through which teachers provide personal support to individual students.