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Multiple Issues Come up at Board of Ed

The 4/6/17 Board of Education Meeting took place in McGinnis School due to a power outage at PAHS.
*Photo by Katherine Massopust

Working on New High School Program; Sick Day Bank Approved; PTO Attendance Improving; Solar Panels Suggested

4/7/17 Board of Education Meeting

By: Katherine Massopust

PERTH AMBOY – The Board of Education Meeting was first scheduled to be located at Perth Amboy High School, but due to a power outage, the Meeting was moved to McGinnis School.

During the Board Meeting, Superintendent thanked Dave Garb and the PA-TV technicians who were able to move the Meeting to McGinnis School in a timely manner.

Continuing with the new format of BOE Meetings the executive session was first, and the public portion (agenda items only) of the Meeting began at 8 p.m. (It was a little late (reg. time 7 p.m.) due to the meeting relocation) The first public portion started a little after 8 p.m. and closed at 8:08 p.m. after two speakers.

Richardson School Teacher Lynn Audet thanked the Board for item 14-D-3 in which a Sick Day Bank was established between the Board of Education and the Perth Amboy AFT (American Federation). Audet thanked the Board, “You wasted no time with this issue.”

The Amboy Guardian reached out to  Perth Amboy AFT District Representative Donna Tartza and Perth Amboy AFT President Pat Paradiso who explained the Sick Bank.

“The Sick Bank was negotiated into the 2016-2018 contract by a Negotiation Team which consisted of over 20 people. We negotiated the proper language  needed to be amended. The original language said when a person uses a sick day (from the bank) they would have to pay for the substitute. The language from the NJ School Board Association and from the NJ Administrative Code says you don’t pay for a substitute when you use from an established Sick Bank. Any Full time Staff Member covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Perth Amboy BOE and The Perth Amboy Federation can utilize the  Sick Bank provided they donate 1 day per year with a maximum donation of 5 days per year. If you have 25 years or more in Perth Amboy, you can donate 20 days per year. Eligible Employees can use a maximum of 100 days within a 2 year period. All decisions are made by the Sick Bank Committee and are based on availability on days in the Bank.”

Perth Amboy AFT President Pat Paradiso also came up to speak thanking the Board for their attention to this matter.

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. David Roman stated that the SDA (School Development Authority) gave a presentation with the Board of Education to show what the new high school will look like. “We’re working on what programs we want.”

Asst. Superintendent Dr. Vivian Rodriguez stated, “Students were given the opportunity to see various colleges and universities in New Jersey. It is proven that 95% of students who physically go to visit a campus follow through and go there.”

During the Second Public Portion, PTO President Donna Stewart came up to speak. She stated that there are around 30 parents attending every PTO Meeting. “We used to have 5.” She went on to thank the teachers and staff. She also said, “I’ve attended the Community Meetings and I hope this will bring everyone together.” Looking  directly at the Board of Education, Stewart concluded, “I commend you on your change for more civil meetings.”

A Member of the 1683 Society came up to speak about solar panels. “The (DPE) State Department of Energy can do a free assessment. The 1683 Society can contact Tesla to give details of cost. It’s good marketing of Perth Amboy for solar panels. It’s self-sustaining energy. There’s a lot of new technology. I ask if the Board of Education can meet with a representative and collaborate with a couple of other organizations such as the 1683 Society and Perth Amboy Social Club.”

The Meeting adjourned at 8:41 p.m. Every Board Member was present.

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