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Board Meeting Questions & Answers » Board of Education Questions & Answers 2011-2012

Board of Education Questions & Answers 2011-2012

Board of Education Questions & Answers 2011-2012



Answers to questions asked during Public Comments sessions at recent Board of Education meetings. These are questions that required further research for a response. These types of Q & A's will be posted here after each Board of Education meeting.



Answer Updates





BOE MEETING -- June 25, 2012



Q. Why isn't all or part of the anticipated $4.5M of unspent budget funds from the 2011-12 school year going to property tax relief?



A. Part of it will be used for tax relief, and part for facilities preservation. At the end of a fiscal year, a school district typically has "excess" funds as a result of choosing to not spend as much as it budgeted (or not needing to spend all of the contingencies it budgeted), receiving more revenue than it anticipated, or a combination of the two. In our case, we were able to save some of the contingency money we budgeted, and we also received some additional revenue (especially in the form of an unanticipated state aid payment after the 2011-12 budget was struck). Both of those effects are combining to provide us with what we anticipate will be $4.5M of unspent monies as of 6/30/12. Part of that (anticipated) $4.5M of leftover funds ($2M) is going to property tax relief, as this will be the "excess surplus" amount that is slotted as a revenue in the 2013-14 budget (thereby eliminating the need to raise that amount in local taxes to support the budget that year). The balance (approximately $2.5M) is being deposited into the capital reserve account for much-needed facility repairs and maintenance. In the tight economic and budget times we are now in, it is often difficult to budget sufficient funds in any given year to maintain the community's investment in its facilities. We want to seize this opportunity to earmark a significant amount of money for such facility preservation efforts.





Q. If you didn't commit the unspent $2.5M to something to do with facilities or technology, what would you spend it on?



A. It's not advisable to spend such "one time" or "non-recurring" monies on anything that will require an annual budget allocation in the future to keep going, because it will make it that much harder to balance a future budget if there's new commitments that result from the expenditure, now, of such funds. Budgets are hard enough to balance without adding things like salaries or programs that require future support to be sustained. That's why dedicating this $2.5M to preserving the community's investment in its school facilities is prudent--the projects are desperately needed, it does not result in future budgetary pressure, and it's very difficult to raise the requisite funds in annual budgets for such projects.



BOE MEETING -- June 11, 2012



Q. Please name your top curricular achievements over the last school year. that did not involve technology.

  • Revisions to all district curricula K-12 (except MS Math) aligning them to the NJCCCS and the Common Core Standards, written in the Understanding by Design format and incorporating enhanced assessment and instructional strategies/tools
  • Provided professional development in the backwards design model for curriculum development for all teachers throughout the district.
  • Rosetta Stone’s initial implementation for Grade 3-5 students
  • Bringing together multiple meetings of K-12 Art, PE, Strategies Intervention, Music, Media Specialists, Technology and ELL teachers for vertical and horizontal collaboration on curriculum, materials, and program issues.
  • Facilitation of K-5 curriculum articulation of Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, and Related arts in all 5 buildings.
  • New courses, course materials and professional development opportunities for K-12 curricula.





Q: How much time do the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent in the schools and classrooms?

A: Both the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent spend significant amounts of time in the schools. In Dr. Crisfield's case, it's often related to school-wide or grade-wide activities such as Young Authors' Teas, Science Fairs, Pi Day celebrations or displays such as art or architecture shows. Rumor has it he also been seen catching a ride down the hallway in a student-made hovercraft, though evidence of such is classified. In Dr. Burton's case, her school visits are even more frequent and are often oriented towards observing and coaching teachers (especially non-tenured) in their classrooms. The job duties and responsibilities for these two offices differ, so the level of detail differs as well, but a common theme to both and something that is absolutely critical to being a successful educational leader, be it at the building or district level, is to be sure you find the right balance between administrative responsibilities that are admittedly critical to running a school district and time to be in the schools, interacting with teachers and students.


BOE MEETING -- May 14, 2012



Q. Can you tell us how many lawsuits and due process proceedings are currently underway?



A. We have very few special education cases at any one time that are in due process or other litigation (currently less than a half dozen) and the percentage of all classified student situations that end up in due process is very low (currently less than half a percent)."


BOE MEETING -- March 1, 2012



Q-1. What is the Kindergarten enrollment?



A-1. As of 3/1/12, we had 320 pre-registered kindergarten students. For the 2012-13 school year, we projected we'd have 334 kindergarten students. In the 2011-12 school year, we have 314 K students (as of 2/15/12).





Q-2. There is a $700,000 Emergency Reserve Fund--what can this be spent on?



The state statutes say that “funds in the reserve shall be used to finance unanticipated general fund current expense costs required for thorough and efficient education.”





From October 10, 2011:



Q. Can we stream the Board of Ed. Meetings live for viewers at home?



A. At this time our network cannot handle a streaming video arrangement. We may revisit this option in the future once we have updated our servers and have a better sense of capacity.



From October 24, 2011



Q-6. You have a first reading on a new policy regarding prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and head injuries. I am happy to see that it addresses students from K-12. I would like to know what kinds of procedures and education will be put into place to support the policy? Will there be established scenarios and actions required to pro-actively prepare students, faculty and coaches? Will there be a procedures manual created for these different audiences? And it should include education for all on “second hit syndrome.”







A. At the high school procedures are spelled out in the Student-Parent Athletic Handbook that is mailed to each High School family each August. The “Concussion Management and Return to Play" protocol can be found on page 17 of that handbook.

The Athletic Director and/or the athletic trainer review the policy with all high school coaches each season. A NJSIAA Parent/Guardian Concussion Policy Acknowledgement Form is distributed to every student-athlete each season, signed by the athlete and parent/guardian, collected by the coaches and then returned to the athletic office.



Second hit syndrome is discussed with athletes and their parents by the trainer and/or the AD. Additional information concerning "Second Impact Syndrome" is on the NJSIAA Parent/Guardian Concussion Policy Acknowledgement Form for parents and their children to review.



At the K-8 grade levels, in consultation with family doctors, our nurses follow up on any known head injuries. Being that there are not any interscholastic athletics at the K-8 level, the protocols are different, but our appreciation for the seriousness of all head injuries is the same.





___________________________________________________________________________________

BOE MEETING -- February 13, 2012



HIB Report



Q-1. Does the BOE receive reports of all reported incidents of possible HIB or just those incidents found to be HIB?


A-1. Only those found to be HIB.



Q-2. How are the Child Safety Teams involved?


A-2. The Child Safety Teams meet at least twice per year to review the data collected about HIB, see if any patterns or areas of concern can be discerned from the data, and to identify programs or other remedial options for the future to address those patterns (or to just raise awareness about HIB in general).





Detailed Budget Report



Q-1. Can the cultural arts allocation of $5K on Page 23 that is no longer in the budget be restored?


A-1. Thanks once again to the generous support of the Education Foundation of Short Hills-Millburn, that specific cultural arts program is alive and well and funded with donated monies, so this allocation can therefore be cut from the budget without our students losing the benefits of these wonderful cultural arts programs in the district each year. In addition, the Parent Teacher Organizations at each of the schools generously fund a wide variety of cultural arts programming each year that continues to enrich the education of all of our students.



Q-2. On Page 24, regarding the allocation for athletic coaching stipends, how do we evaluate the coaches and ensure they attend the various practices and competitions in which their teams participate?


A-2. Athletic coach evaluations are completed by the Athletic Director. He has a rubric that he uses for these evaluations and things like knowledge of the sport, professionalism, and decorum are included. As for attendance, it is not unheard of for a coach to cancel practice or hand the responsibility to an assistant on any given day, but this is rare. The Athletic Director or Principal should be informed if a coach misses more than an occasional game or practice due to an emergency and they will take remedial actions as the circumstances dictate.





Technology



Q. A number of questions were asked about technology planning and how the requested allocation of $1.9M in the 2012-13 budget will be used. Much Property Committee time has been spent on these issues, but an attempt to summarize follows.



A. We do conduct needs assessments before embarking on any project, especially in the realm of technology. This is the primary driver of us requesting $580K for the network project this summer. These needs assessments tend to be more limited in scope, however, to the project at hand. An overall, district-wide, strategic needs assessment will be conducted with the next iteration of the district's 3 Year Technology Plan, which will begin in fall/winter 2012-13 (and which will be due to the state in spring 2013). We do have a current inventory of equipment, including operating system. Installed software is for the most part catalogued as well--we can get better at controlling who installs what software program on which piece of machinery and plans are in the works to accomplish that. Once our network is up and running, we can most definitely consider gradually moving towards more "thin client" solutions for the end user instead of full-power desktops or laptops. We can also consider concepts such as "bring your own." We do consider "outsourcing" every time we commit to a major project of some sort. A good example is our email-- we "outsource" that now to Gmail. We need to get our own technology house more in order before considering outsourcing anything big--not that such a move is impossible, but there are many angles to it (e.g., the fact that we don't currently have redundancy means we cannot outsource, yet, any mission-critical functions such as the hosting of PowerSchool) and in any case we first need to get on firm ground with our network before conversations about outsourcing can authentically be had.




___________________________________________________________________________________

January 23, 2012


Q-1 In the itemized budget will we be able to see specific technology items that are being purchased?



A-1 Specific accounts will be grouped together in the "detailed" budget a different way than they are in the "consolidated" budget (they'll be grouped by account manager), and line items within each group will be broken out further from the consolidated approach, but specific items that will be purchased within each account will not be listed. That would take pages and pages. Such details are in the budget backup materials that each budget manager submits and that the Business Office uses to craft the budget (and that the Finance Committee reviews before going public with the budget).



Q-2 Is there a fall back plan for the technology budget, e.g. if cuts need to be made in the general budget, is there a part of the tech. plan that could be delayed? What would you recommend to postpone if necessary?



A-2. The Finance and Property Committees are looking at options in all areas, including technology, should proposed expenditures need to be cut back. The proposed expenditures for the network fix will not be recommended for any cutbacks--if needed, funds proposed for NEW (not replacement) end-user devices (desktops, laptops, iPads, etc.) might be a source of cuts, but that results in taking longer to get to the district model for outfitting each of our classrooms. The proposed expenditures for the lifecycle refresh program (replace all computers older than five years) will not be recommended for any cutbacks.



Q-3A. What is the plan for an implementation of the K-5 World Language Program?



A-3. Currently we are implementing the cultural aspects of the World Language requirements. The implementation of our existing Language Arts, Social Studies and Related Arts curriculum provide for a variety of cultural experiences. In Language arts for example, the curriculum requires multiple types of literature and literature representative of various cultures and comparisons between them. The Social Studies curriculum examines cultures around the globe. The Art and Music programs provide students with projects and songs that allow them to gain an appreciation for many other cultures.



The linguistic portion of the World Language Program will be implemented through programs that are developmentally appropriate for K-5 students. The World Language Committee have reviewed a number of programs, materials and series. We will be sharing out the information gained from a site visit to a school using one of the programs reviewed. The next steps include developing a schedule with the IT Dept. and the building principals on how the program will be implemented based on the classroom availability and internet requirements. The professional development will then be scheduled for our staff and the piloting of the program for the Grades 3-5 program will begin. A similar process will be conducted for the K-2 program.





Q-3B. What is the accountability of not following the state's core curriculum?

The NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards for World Languages incorporate both the linguistic or use of the world language as well as gaining an understanding of the perspectives of other cultures. In addition, students will make connections with other content areas, comparisons to their own cultures and participate in home and global communities. We have been able to address the latter two portions of the world language standards through the Social Studies, Language Arts, and Related Arts programs. We will look to have the linguistic portion in the coming weeks as we bring the new world language program into the elementary schools.


BOE Meeting, January 9, 2012



Q-1. Have the Instructional Supervisor positions at the K-5 level been evaluated recently in terms of their effectiveness and need (not individuals, but the position)? What percentage of their time is spent on instructional development as opposed to supporting the principal with administrative matters?



A-1. The position of the Instructional Supervisors encompasses a variety of roles. While the K-5 Principals take on the majority of the responsibility for managing their buildings, they rely on the Instructional Supervisors as true partners who assume much of the role of the instructional leaders of their schools. Overall 90 percent or more of the Instructional Supervisor’s time is dedicated to instruction. Each has a content area that he/she focuses his/her efforts in aligning the curriculum, planning, preparing, and implementing units of study, ordering books and materials. Teachers, parents, and PTO members call upon their expertise often. The district has had to hire outside consultants or experts far less often than in the past because of the Instructional Supervisors. They are active participants in delivering professional development. Some of them have also been trained in balanced literacy at Teacher’s College at Columbia University and are now mentors for many teachers.



In the three Short Hills schools the populations are above 500 and Wyoming and South Mountain combined with over 600 students. With schools of this size and the quality and depth of programming, as well as the administrative visibility / access, the supervisors play a critical role in meeting all of those expectations. Parent assistance, Developmental Reading Assessments (DRA) for students, and the improvement of instruction for teachers takes place on a daily basis. The Instructional Supervisors are also in charge of the Intervention & Referral Service (I&RS /LAT process) and the 504 accommodations that have an important instructional impact on meeting our students’ needs. They fulfill a need at each school that benefits parents, staff, and most importantly, students. They have taken an active role in the new regulations from the state including HIB, professional development committees, and the new evaluation process for staff on the horizon.


Q-2. How is the district implementing the new Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) law. Might it be possible to train student leaders/captains how to be leaders in their given activity to possibly help cut down on HIB incidents in that activity?



A-2. Currently any suspected incidents of HIB are reported to the building administrator(s) and this begins the process of a report. At each building the HIB Specialist conducts an investigation of the allegations to determine if it is in violation of the HIB policy. If it is concluded to be a HIB incident, the appropriate discipline is implemented and the Superintendent ensures that the appropriate counseling or training actions are taken as necessary. Throughout the process parents/guardians of all pupils involved are informed of the actions taken by the district.



A variety of HIB professional development workshops have been offered to teachers and administrators by the NJDOE and other organizations. As part of this training we have included similar assemblies for students who are in leadership roles as well as the entire student body. Providing students with information on their expected behavior as part of the Student Code of Conduct at each building heightens students' awareness of appropriate conduct and the consequences of inappropriate conduct. Having further training for student leaders will be a topic for further discussion with administrators, staff, and coaches.





Q-3. What is the plan for an implementation of the K-5 World Language Program?



A-3. Currently we are implementing the cultural aspects of the World Language requirements. The implementation of our existing Language Arts, Social Studies and Related Arts curriculum provide for a variety of cultural experiences. In Language arts for example, the curriculum requires multiple types of literature and literature representative of various cultures and comparisons between them. The Social Studies curriculum examines cultures around the globe. The Art and Music programs provide students with projects and songs that allow them to gain an appreciation for many other cultures.



The linguistic portion of the World Language Program will be implemented through programs that are developmentally appropriate for K-5 students. The World Language Committee have reviewed a number of programs, materials and series. We will be sharing out the information gained from a site visit to a school using one of the programs reviewed. The next steps include developing a schedule with the IT Dept. and the building principals on how the program will be implemented based on the classroom availability and internet requirements. The professional development will then be scheduled for our staff and the piloting of the program for the Grades 3-5 program will begin. A similar process will be conducted for the K-2 program.



Q-4. Were cuts made to the 2011 summer special education program [a.k.a. extended-school-year, or ESY, program] in terms of the # of days and/or # of weeks as compared to years past? Was the reduction in time in the ESY program part of the budget last year? How does the cut in time impact the requirements for eligible children? Are the any discussions about further cuts for this year?





A-4. The extended school year (ESY) program has been scheduled for a total of five weeks for several years running now, which has resulted in the number of days in program being 25 until last summer (2011), when the district decided to close down all buildings on Fridays in an effort to save on utility costs. The total number of days in the ESY program last summer therefore went down to 20 (the exception to this is the Pre-K ABA program, which has a total of 30 days over the course of the summer). A district's ESY program does not have to be any particular duration or # of days--districts assess each student and then put together a summer program to meet individual needs (and, to be sure, not every IEP student needs a summer program). We have found that running the ESY program for any more than five weeks results in a significant attendance dropoff. Additionally, we feel that students this age typically benefit from a solid break period (doesn't have to be more than two or three weeks, but it does need to be uninterrupted by school, especially when their peers have even longer such breaks in the summer).




BOE Meeting, December 12, 2011





Transportation Update



We had promised an answer to a question posted in an earlier Q & A regarding the numbers of students who are being bused to school since the change to subscription busing. Here are the updated numbers:


 

2010-11

2011-12

Percent

2011-12

School

Courtesy

Subscription

Retention

Waivers*

Deerfield

235

191

81.28%

--

Glenwood

59

43

72.88%

--

Hartshorn

147

102

69.39%

--

South Mtn.

48

26

54.17%

--

Wyoming

70

44

62.86%

--

Middle

329

238

72.34%

--

MHS

193

84

43.52%

--

TOTALS:

1081

728

67.35%

58



*2011-12 Waiver students are included in 11-12 Subscription column



NOTE: The above figures do not include:

>>2011-12 kindergarten students (were not in the system last year)

>>2011-12 Grade 6 or Grade 9 students (changed schools, so busing circumstances/distances are not comparable)

>>2010-11 Grade 12 students (no longer in the system this year)

Also, in 2011-12, we have 155 students who did not qualify for busing in 2010-11 and who are included in the subscription busing program in 2011-12, broken down as follows:

Deerfield

36

 

 

 

Glenwood

16

 

 

 

Hartshorn

38

 

 

 

South Mtn.

1

 

 

 

Wyoming

6

 

 

 

Middle

14

 

 

 

MHS

44

 

 

 

TOTALS:

155

 


Q-2. Is there anything that can be done to cut down on the disruptions to the school calendar during November – Teachers Convention, Elementary Conference half days, and then Thanksgiving?



A-2. We weigh the pros and cons of having a full, uninterrupted week vs. having one week that is totally disrupted and though it's a tough call, we've tried to recently provide at least a little bit of "normalcy" in every week, if we can.



Q-3. Can you clarify the drop off policy at High School? What are the rules about dropoff around the Education Center?



A-3.

New Procedures as of 1/3/12:

From 7:15 - 7:45 - please do not drop off in front of the Ed Center. Instead, continue to go through the traffic line toward the high school even though it may take an extra minute or two. Two quick reasons:

1) Safety: students walking across the parking lot unnecessarily is not a good thing - nor is getting out along that road.
2) Traffic flow: The Board area drop off seems to be slowing traffic as students & bags/books exit the cars.
Thank you for your cooperation.



BOE Meeting, November 28, 2011

The Annual Audit of the School District was presented at this meeting and the questions below reflect that presentation.



Q-1. What is the $315K of deferred revenue shown in the audit?


A-1. Deferred revenue of $315,700 were the payments we received before June 30, 2011 for services provided in the 11-12 year. That includes $13,800 for PreK tuitions, and $301,900 for subscription busing.


Q-2. Where are the encumbrances in the audit?


A-2 This is found on the balance sheet page (pg. 1), under Fund Balances, named "Assigned: Other Purposes." The amount is $903,492.


Q-3. How can the public view the entire audit?


A-3. The audit is posted under Board of Education Presentations. 


BOE Meeting, October 24, 2011


Q-1. How are you budgeting without the actuals from last year (2010-11)?



A-1. Budget managers know the unaudited actuals from last year and the budgeted amounts for 2011-12 and used these to craft their initial budget requests for 2012-13. Should the audit uncover significant differences in the actual figures (this rarely happens), budget requests can be adjusted at that time.





Q-2. What is the policy on dropping off young elementary school children at a stop when a parent is not present?



A-2. The policy as stated in our transportation handbook reads, “In most instances, kindergarten students will be dropped off as close to their home as possible. The driver must see a parent. If no parent is present the driver will finish the route and then return the student to the school of attendance. It is then the parent’s responsibility to pick up the student at the school. If you want to wait inside your home, please open the door and wave at the driver so that he/she knows that someone is home.” We will evaluate the impact and make a decision on extending that policy to first graders.



Q-3. Can we stream the Board of Ed. Meetings?



A-3. We are looking into this, and will report back when we have investigated the options.





Q-4 Does the Board feel it is important for Senior Administrators to spend time at the schools, attend events and other activities?



A-4. Yes.





Q-5. What are the legal fees the district has incurred from fighting the Unfair Labor Practice charges from the MEA and MASA?



A-5. $26,104







Q-6. You have a first reading on a new policy regarding prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and head injuries. I am happy to see that it addresses students from K-12. I would like to know what kinds of procedures and education will be put into place to support the policy? Will there be established scenarios and actions required to pro-actively prepare students, faculty and coaches? Will there be a procedures manual created for these different audiences? And it should include education for all on “second hit syndrome.”



A-6. We are reviewing the procedures according to the new policy, and will report back as soon as we have them set.







Read the first reading of policies here and feel free to send comments or questions to webmaster@millburn.org

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

BOE Meeting, October 10, 2011



Q-1. The school district provided flu shots for employees. Is there a budget line item for that expense?



A-1. Yes, that expense comes from account # 11-000-230-610A-2,
Superintendent Supplies


BOE Meeting, September 26, 2011





Q-1. A business agenda resolution requested approval to transfer $11,955.85 from Milk to Field Trips in the Hartshorn Student Activity Account. Can you explain these transfers? Why is there a surplus? And where is this accounted for in the annual school district budget?



A-1. There is a surplus because sometimes, for various reasons (e.g., a student is absent), milk is paid for and not used. These differences accumulate over a period of months and when they become large enough, the difference is moved from the milk account to another account that our auditors approve for such balance transfers. In this specific case, the surplus was accumulated over a number of years. The balance can only be transferred to a limited number of accounts that are used exclusively for the benefit of students, such as the field trip account. Since it is student money for student use only, it never appears in the annual budget.





Q-2. There are new carpets and microphones in the Boardroom. Were those expenditures accounted for in the 2011-12 budget?



A-2. Every budget has funds in it for repairs and replacement of things that are in need. Sometimes things are specifically listed, especially if they are particularly big-ticket items, but in most cases, the items are unknown at the time the budget is struck. In the case of the BOE Conference Room rug, it was very old, had many tears and some water damage here and there, and was definitely in need of replacement. With regard to the Conference Room microphone system--the audience (in person and at home watching on TV) was having a hard time hearing everything that was being said and it was cost effective to replace it rather than repair it, so that is what we did.



Q-3. Follow-up to last meeting’s question about the policy on use of laptops by students to take notes during class? Parent says that those students who take the initiative to ask the teacher have been allowed to use a classroom computer, while others don’t know enough to ask. What is the policy and can it be made clear to students.



A-3. We are still investigating this question and will have a full response in a future Q &A. “





Q-4. Is the school board taking a position on the proposed cell phone tower?



A-4. So far, no. The difficulty with taking a position on something like this is the lack of irrefutable scientific evidence that cell towers cause a health risk to those in the area. There is certainly plenty of research out there that comes to this or that conclusion, but to date the BOE has decided to not take a stand one way or the other, given that the matter does not directly impact our ability to provide our students with their education.



Q-7. Please explain the plans for World Language in grades K-5?



A-7. The district World Language Committee had a meeting on September 27, 2011 to address the revisions to the K-5 World Language Program. The Committee is comprised of Dr. Christine Burton, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, along with the High School World Languages department chair, building administrators and teachers, whose charge is to review resources and programs, address the goals we have developed for the program, and how other districts have successfully implemented the programs through discussions and site visits. We will be reviewing programs that include print material resources and others that are computer-based. All K-5 students will, in the 2011-12 school year, have some Spanish language/culture exposure with more of a focus on culture than language, but elements of both will be present starting in October. Once the selection of the pilot programs has been made, teachers will receive professional development in each program. In early 2012, students at each school will be involved in piloting the two programs. We will gather feedback on those piloted programs from teachers and students and make a decision about the final program slated for full implementation starting in Sept. 2012. The chosen program will be recommended to the Program Committee and then the full Board for approval. We want to ensure that we have conducted a thorough selection process based on the Committee’s expectations and goals for the K-5 World Language Program as an integral part of the district K-12 World Language Program. We will continue to update the Board as the meetings continue.



Q-8. Question about enrollment and re-registration of students. With approximately ¼ of our township population enrolled in our schools, how do we make sure that they are all legitimate residents of the township?



A-8. Our newly created Central Registrar position in the Ed Center got up and running this summer, and we collected residency information from ALL new students in this one, central place in order to inject a measure of consistency into the process. We are still ironing out the wrinkles in that process, but nonetheless have plans of continuing, and indeed expanding, this process into the 2012-13 school year and beyond. Specifically, we are putting together a plan whereby not only all new students, but also a measure of existing students (TBD), will be asked to verify residency before the 2012-13 school year begins. Also, a hotline will be established in the next few months so that residents with information about students who may not legally reside in Millburn can share that information with us in a confidential environment, so that we can take the proper steps to investigate as necessary.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





BOE Meeting, September 12, 2011





Q-1. A request for more specifics about subscription busing. How many students being bused now are new to busing? How many students who had courtesy busing in the past are paying for it now?



A-1. The administration is gathering this data and will share it at a future Board of Education meeting, as well as here, once those figures have been compiled..





Q-2. Can you explain the class size guideline and how decisions are made about what to do when a class nears or reaches the maximum size?



A-2. The class size guidelines are posted here, and the explanation of how class size decisions are made is stated in that document. In general, many factors go into the decision, and every situation is treated as a unique, stand-alone event, taking into consideration such circumstances as teacher experience, classroom size, and student needs.





Q-3. What is the policy on use of laptops by students to take notes during class?



A-3. Sometimes students (in either a special education or 504 program) with special needs are authorized to use a laptop for composition purposes only and the district will ensure that use of laptops in place of handwriting is confined to situations where there is a documented need.