Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, April 25, 2016

(Board of Ed) Wilma's farewell agenda contains a big no-no

Tuesday's agenda was created on Sunday morning.
Did someone have to come in on Sunday because the Superintendent
and/or the Board President couldn't get their act together?
The agenda for the Tuesday Plainfield Board of Education meeting appeared online Sunday afternoon. As you can see from the screenshot above, it was finished about 11:30 AM on Sunday. The agenda can be found online here.

Officials at the NJ School Boards Association were surprised to learn of Tuesday's "lame duck" meeting. The normal procedure is for a Board's last business meeting to be conducted BEFORE new members are elected. The next meeting after a school board election is then after the newly elected members have been sworn in.

The agenda appears to be mostly routine business, including end-of-year class trips and activities. A number of items appear to approve activities that have already taken place, which raises the question of why the Superintendent didn't get them to the Board in a more timely fashion.

One item that strikes me as a "no-no" is in the Human Resources Committee report (see page 14, item R), concerning the appointment of a "Supervisor, Athletic", for which the person's name, hire date, and prorated salary are all designated as "TBA" (to be announced).

This suggests Wilma is planning to walk-on an appointment at her last meeting.


People need to come out and comment on this.

The same section also contains administrative leaves/reassignments, two fitness for duty evaluations, and one termination, all of which might be more seemly addressed by the incoming board.

The agenda also contains budget transfers (pages 39-41) totaling $666,921, made between March 1 and March 31. It strikes me as curious that the Board is approving the transfers apparently AFTER THE FACT.

This is quite unlike the City, where the Council must approve such transfers BEFORE they are made, and may only do so at stipulated times during the fiscal year. The public should be enlightened on why things are done this way in the District.

It was interesting to note that one school's overnight trip to Washington, DC, for 33 students included 29 adult chaperones.

And I learned that a class trip to a water park was pegged to the NJ Core Curriculum Content standards, including "demonstrating a variety of ways to move in the air and land with control". The students will also write "a standards-based narrative based on their experiences".

Now I'm wondering if my childhood class trips had to be justified in such a way. And we just thought it was an outing to have fun. Who knew?

The Board of Ed business meeting is slated for 8:00 PM in the PHS Auditorium. Parking available in the Stelle Avenue lot and on the street.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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