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PA-AFT Demonstrates

Students Perform; Student Athletes Honored; Meritorious Student Awards; Academic Programs Highlighted; 

Public Portion Starts; Power Goes Out

6/16/16 Board of Education Meeting

By: Katherine Massopust

Meritorious Students, Parents, Teacher Honored

Meritorious Students, Parents, Teacher Honored

PERTH AMBOY – For the third month in a row, the Perth Amboy Federation demonstrated in front of Perth Amboy High School before the 6/16/16 Board of Education Meeting. Many Union Members continued to shout out   during the demonstration the need for a contract. Many union members stated that they are finding it increasing difficult to pay their bills and keeping ends meet; some said they are going more and more into debt.

Mayor Wilda Diaz was present at the demonstration offering her support to the PA-AFT calling for a resolution to the contract situation between the Union and the Board of Education.

Again, for the third month in a row, PA-AFT Members marched into the PAHS Auditorium shouting their demands for a contract and their disgruntled feelings with the Board of Education.

Teachers Demonstrate in front of PAHS before the 6/16/16 Board of Education Meeting *Photos by Katherine Massopust

Teachers Demonstrate in front of PAHS before the 6/16/16 Board of Education Meeting *Photos by Katherine Massopust

There were four presentations at the Board of Education Meeting. First was a performance by “Kids-in-Concert: Shull and Wilentz School Students.” The students played in a Mariachi Style Band to snappy Mexican themed tunes. “Not only did Perth Amboy win – they opened the show!” stated Wilentz School Principal R.L. Anderson. Anderson thanked the parents, teachers and students for their support and for a great performance. These students performed on Friday, March 11, 2016. Perth Amboy Students from Shull and Wilentz School participated in the Kids-in-Concert event in Long Branch High School, which is a state-of-the-art school facility for performing arts. From www.edlawcenter.org: Education Law Center’s (ELC) annual Kids in Concert (KIC) event is in its eighteenth year, KIC is a unique concert experience that exposes students of all ages and abilities to the performing arts. KIC is designed to provide students in New Jersey’s high need school districts the opportunity to develop and perform on one stage. Since 1997, ELC has partnered with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) to present KIC to celebrate the extraordinary talents of New Jersey’s public school students. Under the supervision of a professional artistic director, students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are chosen to perform original pieces based on a pre-selected theme.

Student Athletes were recognized

Student Athletes were recognized

The next presentation was Student Athletes by PAHS Athletic Director Nephtaly Cardona. These Students were honored for their academic excellence, community service and athletic prowess.

Robert Dahill highlighted students that were awarded the Meritorious Student Awards. These Students were honored by the Consulate General of the Dominican Republic. Two parents: Daniel and Sandra Rosa, and teacher, Raymond Ortiz were also given this award:

The final presentation was a film on Academic Programs for the 2016-2017 school year given by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Vivian Rodriguez.

Students from Shull and McGinnis School perform in Mariachi themed music for Kids-in-Concert They opened the show and won..

Students from Shull and McGinnis School perform in Mariachi themed music for Kids-in-Concert They opened the show and won..

During the public portion, Student Stephanie Rodriguez came up to speak. She noted that the Board of Education is in negotiation with Superintendent Dr. David Roman for a new contract. She stated that the Board should negotiate with the Union for a contract first receiving loud applause from the Union members in the audience.

Robotics Teacher Gary Signor stated his sentiments about the contract situation, “There were two student teachers that were mentored by two of our staff. They got jobs in other school districts (outside of Perth Amboy) with higher salaries than their mentors. Presently, I don’t see 56% of my gross pay. I live in a small one room apartment. I buy many of the supplies for the students. I have accumulated over $5,000 in debt.”

PA-AFT president Pat Paradiso spoke next. She wanted to see the copies of contracts for Superintendent Dr. David Roman. The Board attorney stated, “These contracts are still in negotiation. When they are finalized, they will be available.”

A parent came up to speak, “Tutoring in the morning has helped my son’s reading scores. Kids need time and a chance to be children. Parents need in school to work with them. At least 25 parents are willing to transport their children to keep the tutoring at 7:30 a.m. I do support the teachers. If we take care of them, they will be able to help you.”

Another parent came up to speak about the Dual Language Academy. She spoke in both English and Spanish, “The Dual Language Academy has to go. Those students need ESL – not dual language. For you to be fluent, you need to be first fluent in Spanish. It is in approximately 5th Grade – not in 1st Grade that the brain is ready for this. You need to read and write. My son wants to leave and is stressed. He’s worried about the teachers. I’m a substitute teacher. I want to know what’s going on. In the election (this November) you are going to be out and the Superintendent with you!”

Next to speak was Linda Nagy who pointed out that a NP (Nurse Practitioner) is not the same as a RN (Registered Nurse).

Then the power went out (it was approximately 7:15 p.m.) in the High School and everyone was told to leave the building. The crowd waited outside for over an hour. According to a PSEG Spokeswoman PSEG was called at 9:00 p.m. and arrived at 9:30 p.m. She stated that a main breaker had tripped in the school. PSEG reset the breaker and power was restored. She stated that an electrician is needed to determine the reason the breaker tripped.

The Board of Education Meeting was postponed until Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at PAHS.

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