BOE discusses goals, ethics at annual retreat

Members also listened to presentations about the district’s summer programs and school building projects.

Topics+that+were+suggested+for+this+year%E2%80%99s+goals+include+graduation%2Fstrategic+planning%2C+wellness%2C+professional+development%2C+BOE+member+event+attendance%2C+and+participation+in+New+Jersey+School+Board+Association+%28NJSBA%29+events.

Briana Keenan

Topics that were suggested for this year’s goals include graduation/strategic planning, wellness, professional development, BOE member event attendance, and participation in New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA) events.

At their annual retreat, the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education discussed this year’s goals, summer programs, and BOE ethics policies. 

BOE member Tammy Molinelli suggested that the district should start a program for students to learn about career readiness.

“We’re throwing all of our eggs into the college basket,” she said. 

Debra Stephans, another BOE member, added, “There are other things out there.” 

There are other things out there.”

— Debra Stephans, BOE member

When the BOE discussed their goals, this suggestion was mentioned again. 

“It’s not about kids going to college or not; every kid should always be focused on lifelong learning…every kid graduates on the same playing field,” Molinelli said. 

Superintendent Sarah Bilotti acknowledged the completion of last year’s goals: hiring a permanent superintendent and participating in additional finance training. 

Topics that were suggested for this year’s goals include graduation/strategic planning, wellness, professional development, BOE member event attendance, and participation in New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA) events. They will be further discussed at the next BOE meeting. 

Members also listened to presentations about the district’s summer programs and BOE ethics. 

Seventy students attended the college essay program, 135 enrolled for the SAT/ACT prep course, and 42 registered for the summer acceleration learning program, according to English Department Supervisor Valerie Mattessich and Mathematics Department Supervisor Mark Russo. 

“Students get really great small group support,” Russo said about the summer acceleration program. 

They both told the BOE that the math and writing centers will be available again during lunch this school year. Students will be able to go to the media center and can ask a teacher in those respective subjects for extra help. 

The ethics presentation from the NJSBA gave sample scenarios of what can happen to BOE members and their punishment under certain codes. Every year, they take an oath to uphold certain policies under the Code of Ethics.

“This is what allows us to make decisions on policies for mascots, transgender bathrooms…the community has opinions, but these are the rules,” Molinelli said in reference to past BOE decisions. 

The community has opinions, but these are the rules.”

— Tammy Molinelli, BOE member

One final item that was discussed were physical projects at both schools. The new Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system was delivered last week and will be installed, meanwhile the bleachers, stairs in the parking lot, and wrestling room’s rooftop at Hills are projects that are still on hold. 

Bilotti said that the bleachers are being worked on “from a legal aspect,” so changes cannot be started on them yet. The stairs are a two-month project that are on hold due to the start of school and the roofing materials for the wrestling room won’t arrive until November. 

After the ethics presentation, the BOE entered executive session to discuss legal matters and the retreat was adjourned from there.