Chieco on school safety
HAMMONTON—Superintendent of Schools Robin Chieco discussed the recent school shooting tragedy in Uvalde, Texas on May 24 and the Hammonton School District’s safety precautions during the June 2 board of education meeting.
Board president Sam Mento III called the meeting to order and all board members were present at the Samuel A. Donio Memorial Library except for Board Member Thomas Attanasi and Waterford Representative Al Pangia who were absent.
“The recent tragedy in Texas brings school safety to the forefront of conversations and media attention. As a leader of the school district, I can assure you that school safety is always my number one priority,” Chieco said.
During the height of the pandemic, Chieco said she was opposed to alternative classroom spaces such as tents or outdoor locations because it would be impossible to adequately secure an outdoor space if a lockdown was needed.
“Within our schools we have safety routines that are followed in terms of securing our buildings as well as practice drills for emergencies. In addition, we are always looking for ways to improve. We are fortunate to have SROs [School Resource Officers] in our high school and middle school as well as a very cooperative and supportive relationship with the Hammonton Police Department,” Chieco said.
According to Chieco, in the upcoming school year improvements will be made to facilities to improve security as well as additional personnel to provide protection at Warren E. Sooy Jr. Elementary School (Sooy School) and the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC).
“In addition, when researching preventative measures to school violence, one of the main deterrents is to develop relationships with students to make connections and provide support and assistance. The addition of a mental health counselor this past year provided a tremendous resource for our students and staff. We will build on what we have learned this past year and provide additional trainings for our staff to recognize warning signs as well as reviewing and updating all safety protocols. The health safety and welfare of our students and staff will always remain our focus and not just a talking point after a tragedy occurs.
“We will do everything in our power to provide the safest environments for our students to learn and grow. On behalf of the entire district, I hope everyone has a relaxing and enjoyable summer break. Our schools will be ready and waiting for you in September,” Chieco said.
Mento said the district’s number one priority is safety and well-being of all faculty and staff.
“The events of the recent past have shaken us all, and like Ms. Chieco said, we are constantly looking to get better to make improvements to our security,” Mento said.
Mento explained the School Resource Officers (SRO) program.
“That program started back under the Clinton administration and what it was—and actually was funded federally back then—and what that was, that was to put police into the schools and you know and have them form relationships with students. It wasn’t necessarily; it definitely wasn’t like what you’re looking for today and to where it was a police officer here to protect the children. It was actually to have a police officer here to build relationships with the students and to prevent things and to encourage a positive relationship between the children and police. So as time goes on and things have changed, now we find ourselves leaning on the police not only for that Student Resource Officer to help us and build those bonds to educate. I believe it’s the D.A.R.E. [Drug Abuse Resistance Education] program still is that what you teach?”
Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said they teach L.E.A.D. now, which stands for Law Enforcement Against Drugs.
Friel came to the meeting to address any concerns from the public during public comment.
“A lot of times people are quick to criticize and say that you know a government body or school board is going to react to something and does nothing proactive. I just want to stand before you to say that the cooperation between the school administration, the school board, the police department has been more than a thousand percent. We’ve talked and discussed things. Every time there’s any type of event patrol officers if I don’t have SROs that I can send from other schools, I’ll designate officers from patrol to come to events that the school has just to make things safe,” Friel said.
On the same day of the Uvalde school shooting on May 24, Hammonton High School held a band concert and there were officers present, Friel said.
“There was a band concert that was the evening of that tragic event in Texas and we immediately had officers. There were four officers that were at the school building throughout the event to make sure that things are safe. We practice what we preach. We do our drills. The school district does their drills, and anytime that there is anything that even would consider to affect the safety of our school district, our students in our school district, we are quick to be proactive to prevent any type of tragedy from occurring,” Friel said.
More than 50 percent of the police department are Hammonton residents and are trained to respond, Friel said.
“If we had a tragic incident, which it’s a shame that anything like that in our society can happen, I could recall all of those officers to come and respond to quickly quell any type of incident that occurs with minimal loss because that’s what’s important in our community is for our community to be safe. Not just feel safe but be safe, so I just wanted to thank you all for all that you do and just wanted to curtail a lot of times the keyboard warriors want to say that the school district or the police department wants to do a lot after something happens. We’ve been on the forefront of making sure that safety is always in our mind, not after something happens, so I just want to thank you,” Friel said.
Board member Barbara Berenato from the Safety Committee said she met with Friel to discuss some traffic issues such as people making U-turns or dropping students off in the bus lane only.
“I know it’s the end of the year, but rules are rules,” Berenato said.
Berenato said Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) and the Warren E. Sooy Jr. School needs SROs.
“I truly believe that those are the most vulnerable of our students. We’re looking to add what eight more pre-K student classes? Another group of vulnerable students. I was thinking that, as you listen to TV, the underlying message at the beginning was where were the SROs? Where are the SROs? Well we don’t have the money. They didn’t have the money. Schools don’t have the money. If that is an issue, then I would suggest that we start prioritizing that we put a hold on spending that is not a priority if this is what it has to come, if this is what it has to be. Our students are our first priority,” Berenato said.
Berenato said she believes the town and the school can work together to utilize the police officers.
“I believe that at a young age students should be aware of police officers. Look at the news. We need to have a rapport between students at a young age and our police officers. They need to be respected. They need to be looked up to and they need to be someone that you can call a friend as a young student,” Berenato said.
Berenato congratulated the class of 2022.
“I wish you well in all of your endeavors and I hope you accomplish what you set out to. If you don’t do it at first, try again and you know be happy and be a kind person,” Berenato said.
During the meeting, Athletic Director Marni-Henry Parks and coaches recognized high school athletic teams and band and presented awards to the student athletes.
When it was time for Mento’s buildings and ground committee report, he said the district will receive 15 new buses paid with a federal grant.
“Seven new buses were delivered just this week. We still have seven more. These are brand new international buses that have a very high-quality ventilation system and this was all paid for with a federal grant. Hat tip to Ms. [Business Administrator Barbara] Prettyman who had the idea to see if this would qualify for those funds, and we put that $1.7 million or so to very good use with 15 new buses,” Mento said.
There was a cancer walk on June 11, and during the cancer walk there was a ribbon cutting and dedication to Robert Capoferri who resurfaced the new middle school track.
“We felt it was a very good idea while we were going to have the cancer walk and some people out there to cut a ribbon and express our gratitude for all the good work that really he does around the entire district to Mr. Capoferri and again I have to acknowledge our community cohesion chair Ms. [Kelly] Donio for coming up with the ribbon-cutting idea,” Mento said.
She said the middle school track will be open to the public.
“We hope that the community will use the new track because I know that there’s always been a lot of input from the community that they would like a place that they can use and so you will be able to do that so we’re excited about that,” Kelly Donio said.
Since the Cpt. Gerard V. Palma Playground at Hammonton Lake Park will be closed for the next few months for construction, the district will be opening the school playground to the public during the summer.
“It’ll be open for students and parents to take advantage of during this time period when they’re working on at the Hammonton Lake [Park], and who knows, if it turns out to be a good thing, we’ll continue doing that even beyond this construction period,” Mento said.
Mento discussed the progress with the Hammonton Hawks and William T. Capella Field.
“I’ve had several conversations with the mayor and the Hawks. What they were looking to do is get some type of building out there by the football field, and honestly it is a little bit of a safety issue where if they were to be caught out there during an electrical storm or something like that, they would want some place to put their players and as all of you know, some of us here played on William T. Capella Field back in high school. It’s a pretty long jog back to the locker room, so originally they were talking about possibly doing a trade where they like the location of the building that we have out there right now by the handball, but ultimately it was decided that it would be better off if they would just build a brand new building. So they’re going to need some type of approvals Mr. [Board Solicitor William] Donio?” Mento said.
“We’re looking into that almost always but not always any structure or other facility that is constructed on board of education property, whether it’s constructed by the board of education or not, would require New Jersey Department of Education [NJ DOE] approvals. Ultimately because the New Jersey Department of Education considers itself the steward for all public school property throughout the state, so we’re going to check with the architect to see if an approval is necessary. If it’s not, we’ll try fast track. If it is, we’ll try and fast-track that. Before the NJ DOE, our architect has a great relationship with the director of facilities there, and so we should be able to get that done just as we did with the turf field as well,” William Donio said.
“Finally, I would like to give best—wish everyone best of luck to all our graduates. This will be our last meeting before graduation, and I wish all our graduates you know the best of luck and all their future endeavors. And to our returning students, my grandfather would always say over the summer, ‘try to read a book OK?’ So have a very nice happy and safe summer, and we will see you all back in the fall,” Mento said.
Folsom Representative John Thomas said they reached a three-year contract agreement with the teachers.
“It was well deserving of what they wanted, and we certainly wish we could give them more and hope to in the future but we hope to execute that agreement at the board meeting on the 28th and we’re pretty happy and they seem to be pretty happy,” Thomas said.
Board member John Lyons from the finance committee noted a couple finance items on the agenda.
“Mr. Mento gave a good update of the progress in the turf field. You’ll see on here the board’s voting for a change order. That was related to additional work that was needed to ensure we could get trucks in and out of the turf field complex—in and out of the turf field area, without disrupting education and some of the other things going on around school including some of the baseball fields, so you’ll see that on there, and the board will be asked to take action,” Lyons said.
The next finance item on the agenda Lyons noted was related to the board’s commitment to the ECEC expansion.
“Right now, we’re evaluating costs and our needs working with the administration to determine what is needed in the expansion and what will work best to serve our students, not today, but as we move forward down the line. We certainly don’t want to embark on an addition/renovation that will not meet our needs for the future, so we’re spending a great amount of time looking at that as well as looking past the ECEC and some of our other facilities around the campus all four of our schools to determine what may fit into that project,” Lyons said.
Lyons said a lot of the funds for the ECEC expansion project came from ESSER funding, which was granted to the district by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So that does not have the local tax burden and also renovations and additions to schools while at different rates are subsidized by the state through an annual appropriation against the debt service that’s incurred,” Lyons said.
Kelly Donio said the community cohesion committee met with town engineer Robert Vettese to “discuss the opportunity to collaborate with the town on the safe routes to school application.”
“There’s a lot of potential for some pathways and bikeways all of which we’ve talked about and this may actually be a way that we can work with the town in their process in their application and possibly get some of those things funded for the school so that would be great working within, with in conjunction with them. Nothing has been decided yet, but good conversation,” she said.
She congratulated middle school teachers, Layne Cochran and Courtney Daniels, and their students’ performance of The Little Mermaid.
“It was a really great show, and it was really nice to be back in the building and I guess I didn’t realize that this is one of the first times the middle school has done a musical so that was really a nice thing to see,” Kelly Donio said.
She also thanked English teacher Audrey Griess and the high school students for having the poetry café.
Kelly Donio said one of the schools goals is to have school events such as graduations on channel nine. She spoke with Denise Mazzeo about rebroadcasting the graduations.
“If you have grandparents or family members who you know don’t really want to use the technology of their laptop or on their phone, it will be rebroadcast throughout the day on June 19, so very excited about that,” she said.
Next, board member Raymond Scipione gave the community relations report.
“As the end of the ‘21-‘22 school year approaches, we look forward to our graduation ceremonies. Eighth grade graduation will once again take place on William Capella Field on Friday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. Hammonton High School graduation will take place on Monday, June 13 at 6:15 p.m. on Robert Capoferri Field. Both ceremonies will be live streamed. Senior awards will be distributed on Tuesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. in the PAC Center. Congratulations to Hammonton High School’s Carissa Martino and the middle school’s Layla Palmer for advancing to the New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival and Exhibition. Parents are reminded that single session days begin on Wednesday, June 8 through June 13. I would also like to congratulate all of our graduates, and to piggyback what Mr. Mento said about reading a book, if you can’t read a book, listen to one over the summer,” Scipione said on June 2.
Board vice president Linda Byrnes said the curriculum committee met on May 31.
“Mrs. Chieco at that time gave us a list of new hires that will be joining the fine staff here in the Hammonton School District, and I would like to congratulate all of those new hires tonight as some of them are sitting here and it’s so nice to see a former student coming back as a teacher here in Hammonton School District. That’s pretty cool. And also, we were informed of a $100,000 grant that the school received to implement a new software program called ATLAS and our teachers will be getting professional development over the summer for this new program,” Byrnes said.
Mento said the ATLAS program “allows parents to come right in and see exactly what the curriculum is that their child will be learning that day pretty much on a day-to-day basis.”
Chieco added that it’s an easier format for parents to navigate.
“Right now we use Google docs which may or may not open and there’s always a glitch with that, but this is an actual curriculum platform that we’re really excited to have,” Chieco said.
Board member Luke Coia had a question about the Hammonton Hawks building.
“Did we decide like where that’s going to go on the property or anything like that?” Coia said.
Prettyman said she received an email with a little map and the building appears as though it’s next to the bleachers.
“They’re talking about behind the bleachers. They’re behind the press box. I mean they’re going to have to put together an actual site plan or anything for us, but that’s what they’re talking about building it right there. Inside the fenced-in area with William T. Capella Field … I’m imagining right behind the home field bleachers,” Mento said.
“I know there was conversation before about possibly allowing them to use the building that’s there now and putting a building somewhere else that would maybe—” Coia said.
“We were actually going to do a trade for the buildings, but and then they had asked if we could they can get into it now, but it’s impossible for us to move out all our supplies temporarily. Someone actually had said put it on the gym. We can’t do that now, and they understand that but when they build a new building, they’ll be able to move right in there,” Mento said.
“Will it be in like a discussion amongst the boarders? Does somebody just make that decision?” Coia said.
“If we’re going to let move out?” Mento said.
“Where the building will go?” Coia said.
“Well yeah of course. They’re going to have to go through the whole procedure,” Mento said.
William Donio recommended the first process for the Hawks would be to identify an area, have a conversation and then talk to the architect to make sure it fits into the long range facility plan.
“My recommendation would be the first process is for them to maybe—they had just communicated this I’m looking at it’s from I want to say today at one where they actually identified an area that they might and we’ll have that conversation, talk to our architect to make sure it fits into our long range facility plan. But pursuant to our agreement, they have the ability to do so provided and where we have final approval, so we’d have to come back to the board but the board approval is subject to not being unreasonably withheld. So if it otherwise meets all the standards that it needs to and what have you wherever it fits and it provided that our architect says it doesn’t impede you know ingress and egress and meets health safety standards, I don’t see any reason why we have any reason to say no,” William Donio said.
“I was just maybe suggesting possibly the trade option that Mr. Mento just mentioned may be more beneficial to both us and the Hawks because a. they can get into that building now and b. we can build a building where a delivery truck doesn’t have to drive over our soccer field to deliver supplies,” Coia said.
“I communicated to them that that was my understanding because that conversation didn’t just come up, but it was mentioned previously that they wanted to go in our supply building and that they would build a building that would be kind of a trade but then we received this email with the map where they’ve placed the building in a site of their choosing. I can only assume that that’s the decision that they made. Nothing is written in stone, so we’ll bring it to committee,” Prettyman said.
“So there is a possibility we can do the trade agreement?” Coia said.
“We can do the trade, but I think the big ask what we wouldn’t be able to do, and you got of course Ms. Donio how many temporary storage trailers we have around the school right now is to let them get into it immediately. If they want to do a trade, once the new building is complete and we can put our stuff in there, that would be no problem, but honestly conversations with the mayor he felt like he was going to get the short-ended stick purchasing and building a brand-new building for us and they did a 30-year-old building,” Mento said.
“I mean it’s a matter of storing stuff while the building’s being built right? We can put a trailer or a shed in the parking lot there where all the Hawks park if that … I had numerous conversations with the Hawks. Ultimately, that’s the option they would like is to utilize that building,” Coia said.
Board member Kelli Fallon said safety was the motivation for some kind of structure.
“Well I think the motivation was to utilize some kind of structure soon for a safety reason for the kids. Like if you look outside the skies opened up with thunder and lightning. Flag football starts in June. It’s summer nights. This weather can change on dime, and I think the motivation was we need a structure that if we all you know need to you know rush a bunch of kids under to protect them from the weather, they have it available, and like right now it’s just like a covered concession stand and they had kids under the bleachers at some point when the sky is opened up and that’s unsafe. So I think the motivation is to you know get in the building as soon as possible just to have a place to go,” Fallon said.
“We can always keep up with the locker room. That’s how we’ve been doing it the last three seasons. Basically, I believe this is the third year they were there, the fourth year?” Mento said.
“I’m not really sure but if that’s, if that’s what the concerns, are they should be bringing those to the school administration and board members who get those concerns express them to say, ‘OK why don’t you have a meeting with Barbara and sit down and see what the logistics really look like?’ As opposed to having these conversations and again if that’s what they’re looking for, and the agreement does provide for the ability to have that trade,” William Donio said.
“I think that’s what the conversation possibly Mr. Mento and the mayor were having correct? I mean we’re not privy to that information, so we don’t know what the conversation was you know we don’t know if the Hawks asked to put the building somewhere else or anything. We’re just finding out about it tonight,” Coia said.
“The Hawks had contacted through email myself, Ms. Prettyman and maybe Robin too. The two of us and Ms. Prettyman responded to their email,” Mento said.
“Your email says that you spoke to him. Your email you sent me?” Coia said.
“I spoke to the mayor Luke,” Mento said.
“And everything was worked out?” Coia said.
“Yes, that’s when you were criticizing me for not returning his call, and that was my response that I had returned his call and had several conversations and that everything was worked out,” Mento said.
“So that’s all I’m asking … in the conversations was there mention of possibly putting the building in a different spot and possibly did you recommend put it where it shows in the email today? You know again like Ms. Fallon said there’s a safety concern. There’s a lot of kids from this town that you know they need somewhere to go and from what I know in that particular building is toilet paper, paper towels, paper supplies—am I correct Ms. Prettyman?” Coia said.
Prettyman said yes.
“I mean we’re coming into the summer right? We’re not going to really need most of that stuff right now anyway and you won’t have to drive on the soccer field in order to load or unload stuff in or out of that building, so I’m just asking if the board as a whole can make that decision rather than just one person. That’s all I’m asking,” Coia said.
“I don’t understand you’re saying. One person who, are you insinuating I’m making the decisions myself?” Mento said.
“No, no I’m just asking can the board as a whole talk about the placement of the building and whether or not we’re going to allow them to use the existing building or make them build a new building and have to wait till that has approvals from the DOA and from the architect. I mean that could be months, right?” Coia said.
“Well I mean the conversation was, and again I’m one member what I had told the mayor when they I said we cannot accommodate them right now. We don’t have the space. Now you brought up, you know if they, if the town wanted to rent you know some type of storage unit and have the manpower to come empty it out, and so they could temporarily use it, that’s a different conversation but how we had left it was that they were going to build their own new building where they wanted it,” Mento said.
“Can they make those buildings with any other material than metal? Because I don’t know if I want the kids under a metal, you know, a lightning storm unless there’s a way to like make the building—” Scipione said.
“You have vinyl siding and plywood,” Coia said.
“This is the first I’m hearing we’re warehousing children in a metal former stage building. I don’t know what was stored in it. I don’t know whether from a structural standpoint that’s appropriate … This was not what was discussed. The discussion was that they wanted to use a shed for some reason and it’s in the lease and the lease was executed. It was approved and it said if we trade, if they build something and they want to trade, we can do that. If they don’t want to do that, they can build something and we just can’t unreasonably withhold approval. Now this is all new I again I don’t ever remember you know I am getting older as I demonstrated by referencing 1986 as my senior year, but I don’t ever remember having that conversation with the town solicitor that the conversation was that if they needed to use a building it was to put children in for emergent shelter for weather. I just don’t ever remember. That’s news if that’s absolutely if that’s the basis then I’ll follow. I’ll call [town solicitor] Mike Malinsky tomorrow and say hey what is it that talks we’re really trying to do and let’s see whether or not we can make sure we can fast track because nobody wants to put children in a situation. I mean we started off this entire conversation do we have the health safety and welfare of students first and foremost? And then our staff and other stakeholders is the number one priority of this board. So yeah I’ll call them tomorrow if that’s a concern I’ll call tomorrow, but this is the first I’m hearing of that concern,” William Donio said.
“I didn’t realize that there wasn’t any type of discrepancy until this evening. I thought that they were very happy and looking forward to according to the email,” Mento said.
“Again, I’m just putting out there as a suggestion that personally if we can get a brand-new building placed somewhere else on school property, it’s a no-brainer,” Coia said.
“That’s what I said,” Mento said.
“Why not do that rather than put a building behind a bleachers that is only going to be used for the Hawks if they need to store something or you know get kids out of the weather or something like that? So we’re going to you know benefit is we don’t have to drive all the way over there to get supplies to bring them all the way back to the school, number one. Number two, a supply truck, big supply truck like you get to your farm, doesn’t have to drive on our soccer field in order to feel it you see that’s the middle school soccer field there where that building is right? There’s no access from that side,” Coia said.
“Access from outside parking and then there’s the old military training side,” Mento said.
“The door is on the soccer field,” Coia said.
“Sorry like it’s been that way for 20, I think 30 years, however, they’ve been using it yes,” Mento said.
“The maintenance people will tell you how many times they’re out there and they you know they got to fix ruts from trucks because the truck pulls in and throws like a UV to back into the door because the door, the building lure faces the opposite way, so that’s all I’m recommending or suggesting is let’s put it somewhere,” Coia said.
For the last portion of public comment, new hires thanked the board.
When it was time to vote for matters concerning finance, the board most notably voted to:
• Ratify the purchase order lists for May 2022 in the amount of $287,508.82.
• Approve the bill list for June 2022 in the amount of $1,194,691.20.
• Ratify the check lists for April and May 2022 in the amount of $628,436.72.
• Ratify the May 2022 payroll in the amount of $3,677,655.87.
• Approve pursuant to PL 2015, Chapter 47 the Hammonton Board of Education intends to renew, award or permit to expire the following contracts previously awarded by the board of education. These contracts are, and have been, in full compliance with all state and federal statutes and regulation; in particular, New Jersey Title 18A: 18 et. seq, NJAC Chapter 23, and Federal Uniform Administrative Requirements 2CFR, Part200. Compliance with new contracts, not listed here, will be addressed prior to board action.
• Approve a resolution Authorizing Contracts with Certain Approved State Contract Vendors and Cooperatives for Board of Education Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-10a. (Copy is in the District Office for your perusal.)
• Approve an agreement for certain legal (Bond Counsel) services with Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.
• Approve a Capital Reserve Withdrawal for the preliminary costs associated with the ECEC Expansion and Middle School Upgrades: 10-307 Capital Reserve Withdrawal ($83,000); 12-000-400-334 Fac Acq/Architect/Engineer $83,000.
• Approve to award Professional Service Contract for Architectural Services to Manders, Merighi to prepare and submit Long Range Facilities Plan Minor Amendment in the estimated amount of $15,000.
• Approve to award Professional Service Contract for Architectural Services to Manders, Merighi to prepare and submit two project applications in the estimated amount of $68,000.
• Approve submission of Long Range Facilities Plan Minor Amendment.
• Approve to add Security Benefit/NEA Retirement Program as a separate provider to the approved Vendor list for 403b and Roth 403b.
• Approve Change Order #01-2 for LandTek Group, Inc. to construct temporary entrance to the turf field in the amount of $3,500.
Approve to accept and award 2022-2023 athletic supply bid.
Approve to award Professional Service Contract for Auditing Services for the 2021-2022 school year including June 30, 2022 audit with Raymond Colavita, CPA of Nightlinger, Colavita & Volpa in the amount of $20,865.
• Approve to award Professional Service Contract for Auditing Services for the 2022-2023 school year including June 30, 2023 audit with Holman, Frenia & Allison in the amount of $26,500.
• Approve to award Professional Service Contract for NJ DOT Drug/Alcohol Testing and Compliance with Atlantic Investigations from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
• Approve to award Professional Service Contract for Entry Level Driver Training with Atlantic Investigations from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
• Approve to award a contract to CDW-G, LLC for the purchase of sixty Acer Veriton Z6 VZ6880G -all in one for the High School in the amount $78,211.20 based on ESCNJ 18/19-03 cooperative pricing.
• Approve a contract with RFP Solutions, Inc. for the 2022-2023 school year for telephone maintenance at the High School in the amount of $8,492.52, Early Childhood Education Center in the amount $3,020.88 both based on state contract pricing and for the Middle School in the amount of $2,083.80 based on Educational Services Commission of New Jersey pricing.
• Approve the revision to the custodial use of facilities rates which will go into effect on July 1, 2022.
• Approve Camden County Educational Services Commission General Service Contract for general services for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve to dispose of CO2 Laser Engraver located in the High School which is antiquated and can no longer get parts.
• Approve to dispose of antiquated and unused nonfiction books located in the Samuel A. Donio Memorial Library.
Next the board voted on matters concerning personnel. Most notably they resolved to:
• Approve a letter of resignation from Lauren Reeves, elementary school part-time instructional aide, effective May 13, 2022.
• Approve the re-employment of the district bus drivers for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the re-employment of the district bus aides for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the summer 2022 hours for the early childhood center part-time bilingual receptionist.
• Approve a letter of resignation from Bruce Caporale, district custodian, effective May 27, 2022.
• Approve a salary adjustment for the following personnel retroactive to September 1, 2021 (2021-2022 school year): Ryan Ford – from BA - $55,911 to BA+15 - $56,750.
• Approve a longevity adjustment to the following personnel due to experience in district retroactive to September 1, 2021 (2021-2022 school year): Jennifer Brittin - from $1,000 longevity to $2,500 longevity and Lexandra Brady - from $1,000 longevity to $2,500 longevity.
Approve the board resolution and contract for Barbara Prettyman, School Business Administrator, for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the board resolution and contract for Tammy Leonard, Assistant Superintendent, for the 2022-2023 school year.
Approve the contract for Marjorie Crawford, Assistant Business Administrator, for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the contract for Stephen Minchak, District Technology Coordinator, for the 2022-2023 school year.
Approve the transfer of following personal care aide: Ashley Weisbecker from elementary school to middle school.
• Approve the transfer of the following cafeteria/recess aides: Sharon Snow from elementary school to early childhood center; Daimelys Yanez from elementary school to middle school: Barbara Elliott from elementary school to high school; and Dulce Villagomez Juarez from elementary school to high school.
Approve the salary guide for the 2022-2023 Non-Represented Employees’ Salaries.
• Approve the salary guide for the food service department for the 2022-2023 school year.
Approve the salary guide for the At Will personnel for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the re-employment of the support staff ( clerical, technology, maintenance and grounds) for the 2022-2023 school year.
Approve the re-employment of the instructional/personal care/bilingual aides for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the re-employment of the district custodian staff for the 2022-2023 school year.
Approve the re-employment of the district food service staff for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the re-employment of the cafeteria/recess aides/hall monitors/library aides/night security for the 2022-2023 school year.
Approve Richard Cote as Special Assistant to the Business Administrator for Administration of summer 2022 renovation and projects at a stipend of $7,170.
• Approve the summer 2022 hours for Richard Cote, high school teacher, for the SLE (Structured Learning Experience) program.
Approve the payment of $200 to Brian Durar to livestream the high school promenade video on May 6, 2022.
• Approve the personnel for the N.J. Post School Outcomes Survey Interviewer.
Approve Isabella Cabibbo, high school long term substitute teacher, to attend IEP meetings at $25/hour.
• Approve the following substitutes for the Extended School Year Program: Shannon Aumenta and Renee Savage. Coia recused his vote on item No. 66.
• Approve a salary adjustment for the following personnel effective September 1, 2022 (2022-2023 school year): Adam Preim - from BA - $61,680 to BA+l5 - $62,605; Ryan Ford - from BA+ 15 - $58,545 to BA+30 - $59,410; Brittany Brody - from MA+15 - $64,521 ($63,091+$375+$1,055) to MA+30 - $65,458 ($64,028+$375+$1,055); and Amanda Gilbert - from BA+15 - $59,763 to BA+30 - $60,646.
• Approve the personnel to participate in professional development activities and create resources related to PBSIS to support a positive school climate.
• Approve the personnel for the high school summer credit completion for the 2021-2022 school year: 10-month part-time clerk typist and 10-month part-time hall monitor.
• Approve the personnel for the high school fall coaching stipends for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the personnel for the high school winter coaching stipends for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve the following personnel pending receipt of all necessary paperwork (current substitute pay schedule approved by the Board August 5, 2021: Regular County Substitute Certificate - $110 per day, Regular Standard State Teaching Certificate - $125 per day; substitute nurse pay schedule approved by the Board October 14, 2021: School Nurse - $225 per day):
— Ian McCarthy - high school (replacement R.R.) special education teacher for the 2022- 2023 school year.
— Rebecca Gillis - high school (replacement M.M.) special education teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.
— Mallory Barry - high school (replacement K.W.) mathematics teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.
— Tony Burton - middle school (replacement R.B.) social studies teacher for the 2022- 2023 school year.
— Isabella Cabibbo - middle school (replacement L.A.) special education teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.
— Gina Tassi - middle school (replacement G.S.) science teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.
— Jessica Lynch- elementary school (replacement A.B.) Title I teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.
— Bruce Roberson, Jr. - district (replacement K.E.) full time custodian Exhibit 00 Richard Nartey - district full time bus driver.
Substitute teacher(s) who have a teaching certificate:
Substitute teacher(s)/nurse(s) who have a New Jersey substitute certificate:
— Paul Sorrentino and Amy Sorrentino
Substitute food service worker(s)- $13/hr.:
Substitute custodian(s) - $14/hr.:
Substitute clerical(s) hall monitor(s) and cafeteria aide(s) - $13.00/hr:
— Susan Fognano
Substitute bus driver(s) - $17.50/hr.
• Approve an intermediate fieldwork placement for Nina Carey, a student from Stockton University, in the middle school for the 2022-2023 school year.
For programs, students and miscellaneous matters, the board most notably resolved to:
• Approve the acceptance of the award and submission of the FY23 IDEA grant application for both Basic and Pre-School allocations.
• Approve the acceptance and submission of the FY23 ESEA award in the allocated amounts.
• Approve an amendment to the School Security Grant to upload purchase orders/invoices, as recommended by the Office of Grants Management, to enable the funds to be carried over. The school security grant projects are not anticipated to be completed by June 30, 2022, due to supply chain issues and items being backordered.
• Approve to refuse the FY23 Perkins Secondary Federal Funds in the amount of $22,574. This refusal of funds is due to the additional requirements and additional staff members necessary for compliance. These additional requirements would create a financial hardship on the district.
• Approve the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (N.J.S.I.A.A.) Membership Resolution for the 2022-2023 school year. Lyons voted no.
• Approve the Cape-Atlantic League Membership Resolution for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approve a request to waive the use of facilities from St. Mary of Mt. Carmel for the use of the gym in the middle school and a request to waive the custodial fees from May 23 to June 13, 2022. St. Mary of Mt. Carmel will be paying for custodians from June 14 to June 30, 2022 and all Saturdays from May 23 to June 30, 2022.
For the addendum, the board most notably resolved to:
• Approve to award Competitive Contract to CASA Payroll Services, LLC for Payroll & Reporting Services in the amount $48,663 for the 2022-2023 school year. The District may renew the contract based on availability of funds in subsequent budgets.
• Approve a resolution directing the distribution of the Hammonton Board of Education net returned surplus funds held in trust by the Atlantic & Cape May Counties Association of School Business Officials JIF in the amount of $24,147 per Option #1.
• Approve an Extraordinary Unspecifiable Contract with RX Alliance and Benecard Services, Inc. for employee prescription insurance benefits with Hardenbergh Insurance Group as Broker of Record effective July 1, 2022 and the employee shall contribute to the cost of the plan as required by law.
• Approve Authorize the Business Administrator to negotiate and sign contract for Extraordinary Unspecifiable Contract with Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. d.b.a. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey as Third Party Administrator and Reinsurance Carrier for employee medical benefits with USI Insurance Services as the Broker of Record effective July 1, 2022. The Board shall pay for OAMC 15 and the employee shall contribute to the cost of the plan as required by law. If the employee chooses a cheaper plan the Board will not pay the employee the difference.
• Approve the bill list for June 2022 in the amount of $780,245.70.
• Approve to accept Hammonton Education Foundation Grants as awarded in the amount of $22,582.50.
• Approve Elects to participate in the Health Program provided b the New Jersey State Health Benefits Act of the State of New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 52:14-17.26 and N.J.S.A. 2:14-17.46.2) and to authorize coverage for all the employees and their dependents thereunder in accordance with the statute and regulations adopted by the State Health Benefits Commission and/or School Employees’ Health Benefits Commission.
• Approve the following personnel pending receipt of all necessary paperwork (current substitute pay schedule approved by the Board August 5, 2021: Regular County Substitute Certificate - $110 per day, Regular Standard State Teaching Certificate - $125 per day; substitute nurse pay schedule approved by the Board October 14, 2021: School Nurse - $225 per day):
— John David Black - district replacement D.F.) full time custodian.
The next school board meeting will be held July 14 at 7 p.m. at the Samuel A. Donio Memorial Library.