Important Information from the Westfield Board of Education
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 • 10:39pm
SYNOPSIS Of the Westfield Board of Education meeting on March 19, 2013
CONGRATULATIONS RECEIVED FROM STATE
I am pleased to share with the Board and the public excerpts from a letter
dated March 4, 2013 from Christopher Cerf, Commissioner of Education. Mr.
Cerf sent “congratulations on the many prestigious awards and
accomplishments recently earned by students of Westfield Public Schools.”
While addressed to me, this letter is a reflection on our entire
community, as Mr. Cerf notes, “The stature and wide range of the
accomplishments are a testament to the commitment of not only the students,
but also the parents, teachers and school administrators.” He requested:
“Please extend my congratulations to your students for their many
noteworthy achievements and to your staff for the important role they play
in nurturing great students.”
Business Administrator Dana Sullivan reviewed the goals of the budget and
state aid figures, and then presented financial breakdowns of the 2013-2014
proposed General Fund of $92,022,250. Click here for details of this
presentation, including comparisons from the 2012-2013 school year.
The proposed 2013-2014 General Fund Budget represents the following
Health, Guidance, Ed Media 5,589,286
Extraordinary Services 3,221,378
Related Services/Child Study Team 5,757,836
School Administration 4,174,250
Maintenance of Plant 7,058,696
Capital Outlay 97,629
Total General Fund $92,022,250
The Public Hearing on the 2013-2014 Budget will be held Thursday, March
21, at 7:30 PM in the Westfield High School auditorium.
DISTRICT REPORT ON VIOLENCE, VANDALISM, SUBSTANCE ABUSE & HIB
We are in the second year of implementation of the District’s Code of
Conduct that incorporates the rights, responsibilities and expected
behavior and consequences for students, parents and staff members. This
spring we again will meet with community and school representatives to
We also are in the second year of the new Anti-Bullying law. A great deal
of work goes on in this district to prevent bullying and to create climates
in which students are treated with respect.
Joe Malanga, the district’s Anti-Bullying Coordinator and Principal of
Wilson School, reported to the Board that he attends county meetings with
colleagues from other school districts to discuss changes in the law and
effective programs. He also has met with each of our school’s
Anti-Bullying Specialists. They intend to implement, in phases, a climate
survey for staff, students and parents. Mr. Malanga attributed the decline
in Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) incidents so far this year
to the district’s strong efforts in preventing bullying and to better
understanding the law and its meaning.
The State is requiring school districts to report on Violence, Vandalism,
and Substance Abuse and HIB twice a year. The report I presented to the
Board on March 19 includes incidents from July 1 – December 31, 2012, and
• 5 incidents of violence, vandalism or substance abuse, which resulted
in 7 short term suspensions and 2 notifications or complaints filed to
• 4 offenses were committed by regular education students and 5 by
students with disabilities.
• 4 of the victims were regular education students, 3 were students with
disabilities, and 1was school personnel.
• 6 investigations of HIB were made, with 4 confirmed as HIB. There are
very specific requirements from the state for HIB reports and
• The following protected categories were reported: Race, color, gender,
and other distinguishing characteristic.
• The mode/type of HIB included: Written, physical and verbal.
• District responses included: Individual counseling, group counseling,
student conference, parent conference, detention, suspension, and other
There are consequences for bad behavior and there are appropriate
responses. The goal of the district is to encourage good behavior and to
have home and school working together for positive results.
The Board accepted with regret the retirement of Geraldine Morrison,
Tamaques – Achieve, who has served the students of Westfield for 21
LONG RANGE PLANNING
Ginny Leiz, Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, reiterated that
beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, it will no longer be necessary to
redistrict students in the Washington School zone to Edison for
intermediate school. In response to requests from parents, the Committee
recommended that families who will have two students at the intermediate
level in the next few years, one attending Edison and one attending
Roosevelt, can request that both children attend the same school. There
are currently 7 Washington fifth graders whose attendance zone is Edison in
2013-2014. In 2014- 2015 their younger siblings would be zoned for
Roosevelt. The Board approved for parents to have the option of keeping
their children together in one school.
The Board approved for first reading the following policies: 0142 –
Board Member Qualifications, Prohibited Acts and Code of Ethics; 0142.1 –
Nepotism; 0143 – Board Member Election and Appointment; 0144 – Board
Member Orientation; and 0145 – Board Member Resignation and Removal.
The Board affirmed my decision on three recent HIB incidents.
CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION & PROGRAMS
The Board approved an overnight field trip for the WHS Varsity Girls
Lacrosse team to South Carolina during Spring break. The cost of the trip
will be paid by the families of the team members.
• The Board approved withdrawals from the Maintenance Reserve account to
fund the following projects:
Computer room carpeting at Roosevelt Intermediate School $8,526.40
Refinish wood floors at Roosevelt Intermediate School 13,000.00
Countertops and faucets at Franklin School 14,100.00
Ceiling tiles and lighting at McKinley School 7,377.59
Ceiling tiles and lighting at Franklin School 8,472.24
Upgrade HVAC at Edison Intermediate School 6,455.50
• The Board approved a contract to Fibertech Network for lease of
private fiber at a rate of $11,000 per month, which represents a decrease
with the current provider.
• The Board accepted with gratitude the following gifts:
o A donation from Sherif Joseph and Marie Saki to Tamaques School in the
amount of $250.
o A gift from an anonymous donor to Wilson School for leveled readers in
the amount of $2,500.
o Gifts from the Westfield Coalition for the Arts that include: $650 to
provide for a guest conductor to spend a day rehearsing with band students,
and $200 for Washington and Lincoln School art teachers to purchase
supplies and visual aids for their Arts Appreciation Program.
Legislative Committee Chair Ann Cary reported that the Committee plans to
review the anti- bullying law.
Gretchan Ohlig attended the PTC meeting of PTC board members and PTO
presidents. The discussions included the topic of preventative measures
for substance abuse by teenagers and the importance of communication among
parents and schools.
Brendan Galligan attended a meeting with Project 79 former and current
students and administrators regarding technology.
The Special Education Awareness Expo will be held tonight, Wednesday,
March 20, from 7 – 10 PM at Edison Intermediate School. Andrea Lo,
Supervisor of Special Services K-12, will be honored at the event.
Break-out sessions covering multitude of topics on special and general
education, and there will be a host of presenters.
Twenty-seven students ranging from third grade to fifth grade and
representing all six Westfield elementary schools competed in the Odyssey
of the Mind Liberty Regional Competition on March 2 in Somerset NJ. The
students are part of the Gifted program based at Edison Intermediate
School. Two Westfield Odyssey of the Mind teams earned first place honors
at the competition and one team earned third place, qualifying them for the
state finals competition set for April 13 in Ewing, New Jersey. The top
two teams in each category of that competition will advance to the World
Finals on May 21 in Lansing, Michigan. We wish the students continued
success. For more information, visit www.njootm.org.
• The Wizard of Oz will be performed by Edison Intermediate School
students on Thursday, April 11 at 4:00 as an elementary student matinee, at
which students should be accompanied by an adult. Performances for the
general public will be on Friday and Saturday evenings, April 12 and 13, at
7:30 PM. Advanced sale tickets will begin on Tuesday, April 2, in the EIS
auditorium lobby. Ticket prices are $5.00 all seats for the Thursday
performance (non-reserved) and $8.00 for Friday and Saturday (reserved).
Ticket price at the door will be $10.00 (if available).
• Artwork created by McKinley student Alexandra Brennan titled
"Abstraction" was selected to be displayed at the Department of Education
building in Trenton. Fourth grader Alexandra is the youngest of 13 artists
chosen from over 50 candidates throughout the state. Her art teacher is
WESTFIELD HIGH SCHOOL
• Congratulations to our latest round of students who achieved perfect
800 scores on the SAT’s. They include: Thomas Pyle, Rachel Fan and
Patrick Harris in Math; Adam Ladj in Math 2; and Matthew Lupino in
• Former Rutgers football defensive tackle Eric LeGrand delivered
inspirational messages to the Westfield High School student body on March
1st about overcoming adversity. LeGrand, who was paralyzed in 2010 on the
football field, is well known for his positive attitude and graciously
accepted questions from the students. He told the students, “Everyone
has to deal with adversity. You have to believe in yourself.” He
advised the students to “be a family. . . help each other out. There is
no time for bullying in schools.”
The National Geographic Society has notified the Westfield Public Schools
that the results of the written tests taken by school winners Colby Chen,
from Edison Intermediate School and Jasper Lemberg from Roosevelt
Intermediate School have qualified the 6th graders to progress to the State
level of competition. The State round will be held on April 5 at Rowan
University. This will be the third consecutive year that Westfield will be
represented. We congratulate Colby and Jasper and wish them continued
• FRIDAY, APRIL 12 is the NEW extended deadline for nominations for the
21st annual Charles Philhower Fellowship award designated for a full-time
elementary teacher in the Westfield Public Schools. Letters of nomination
are invited from interested citizens, parents, students and Westfield
public school staff members and should be addressed to: Charles Philhower
Fellowship Committee of the Westfield Rotary Club, c/o Office of the
Superintendent of Schools, 302 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ 07090, or e-mailed
• Congratulations to Tamaques Elementary School teacher Frank Fuzy has
been named the New Jersey Agricultural Society’s 2012-2013 Teacher of the
Year for his work educating children about the importance of New Jersey
agriculture. He has earned an all expense paid trip to the National Ag in
the Classroom conference to be held in Minneapolis June 25 – 28, which
will include admission to teacher workshops and lectures. The award
presentation will take place on April 5 at the Forsgate Country Club in
The County Clerk’s office has announced that candidates for the
Westfield Board of Education must file petitions on or before 4 PM on June
4, 2013, in person at 2 Broad St., Room 113 in Elizabeth. The election
will be held Tuesday, November 5, 2013. Information is available at
www.ucnj.org/ctyclerk. Those whose terms are expiring this year in
Westfield include Brendan Galligan, Ginny Leiz and Mitch Slater. They have
not yet announced their intentions to run for re-election.
The Westfield Public Schools will be closed from March 23 through March 30
for Spring Break.
NEXT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING – the Public Hearing on Budget -- will
be held Thursday, March 21, at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of Westfield High
School. At the start of the meeting, we will be honoring the state
champion girls and boys swim teams, the Cross Country Team, which won the
State Sectionals this school year, and Lexi Borr, State Champion - Tennis
Margaret Dolan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools