Five Things to Know: Monday's BOE Meeting
New appointments, 16.5 lb cabbage wins $1,000, school donations
The West Orange Board of Education met Monday night at Redwood Elementary School. Here are five things you need to know from the meeting.
1. Alexander Rosenwald was appointed as the science supervisor for grades K-12 during Monday night's board of education meeting at Redwood Elementary School. Rosenwald's salary was set at $103,044. A new principal was also appointed at St. Cloud Elementary School.
2. The board of education approved three instructional aides for the lower grades at Hazel Avenue School per the request of parents who were concerned about low test scores and large class sizes at the school. Ruchi Devgan, Hazel PTA President, told the board in October, "I can see the teachers are overwhelmed."
The three aides will be paid through Title 1 funding under the No Child Left Behind Act, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anthony Cavanna said. Board member Megan Brill said she was disappointed the administration did not appoint new teachers or reconfigure the classrooms but said the three aides would "greatly enhance" the classrooms as two have Bachelor of Arts degrees and one holds a Masters degree.
3. Board president Laura Lab thanked parents for their patience during the October snowstorm and the three days of school closures. "Thank you for bearing with us, and for putting safety first," she said. Lab said live wires and trees littered the ground following the storm making it unsafe for children trying to get to school. "This week was unique, it looked like a bomb went off."
4. The board also approved two donations to the schools. The township of West Orange donated $300 to Liberty Middle School in recognition of the student council's Community Cleanup Project. The West Orange Community House also donated $3,000 to Mt. Pleasant School to purchase Smartboards.
5. Fourth grade student Massimo McCormick was honored at the beginning of the meeting for harvesting one of the largest cabbages in New Jersey as a part of a class project. His cabbage weighed a total of 16-and-a-half pounds. McCormick received a $1,000 scholarship bond from Bonnie Plant Co. that hosts the contest every year for third graders. His third grade teacher, Kristin Rella, said her students began growing the cabbages at home over the summer. Rella said the students would email her updates throughout the summer. She said roughly 100 students participated in the project.
"Everyone in my family committed to this project, not just one person," McCormick, 9, told Patch. He said his two brothers picked off the caterpillars, and his parents helped him place a cardboard around the plant so slugs wouldn't climb on it. "Instead of putting it in the ground where deer can get it, I put it in a planter as big as from my heel to my knee," he said.
McCormick simply shrugged his shoulders when asked if he was excited about his win. But said he gave the winning cabbage to his grandfather in West Caldwell who owns a pizzeria. "He made coleslaw and it was really good."