BOARD OF EDUCATION
MONTVALE, NEW JERSEY
REGULAR PUBLIC BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
FEBRUARY 22, 2010
The Board of Education of the Borough of Montvale, County of Bergen, State of New Jersey, met
in Regular Public Meeting Session on Monday, February 22, 2010 in the Instructional Media
Center of Fieldstone Middle School, 47 Spring Valley Road, Montvale, NJ. President Muller-
Noonan called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Roll call showed the following to be present:
Mrs. Baviello, Mr. Campana, Mr. Funesti, Mrs. Gifas, Mr. Hallowell, Mrs. Marchetti, and Mrs.
Muller-Noonan. Also present were Mr. Belluzzi, Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Latz, Board
Secretary/School Business Administrator, and forty-three members of the public.
Mrs. Muller-Noonan led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance and read the Open Public
Meetings announcement as follows:
"The New Jersey Open Public Meetings Law was enacted to ensure the right of the public to
have advance notice of and to attend the meetings of public bodies at which any business affecting
their interests is discussed or acted upon. In accordance with the provisions of this Act, the Board
of Education of the Borough of Montvale has caused notice of this meeting to be published by
having the date, time and place thereof posted by Borough Hall/Montvale Public Library, the
Board Secretary's Office, posted on the district web site, and such notice given to THE
RIDGEWOOD NEWS and THE RECORD."
COMMENTS BY THE BOARD PRESIDENT
Mrs. Muller-Noonan welcomed the public and invited those present to sign the attendance sheet, if
they so choose. She announced that no smoking is allowed and that pre-approval of audio or
video recording by the public is required.
Custodial Study - Mr. Belluzzi provided an explanation of the rationale for the study and the
Board’s review process. If the day custodians were retained it was estimated that the district
would save $25,380; if no custodians were retained the savings were estimated to be $101,834.
The study will continue to be considered as the Board prepares the 2010-11 school budget along
with other cuts needed to get to a reasonable level to present to the public.
2010-2011 School Calendar – With a goal to eliminate days at the end of the year when the
buildings are very hot and days may be less productive, the MTA expressed a preference for a pre-
Labor Day start for teachers, and a shortened February break when asked about choices, Mr.
Belluzzi reported. The calendar will not be finalized until April.
Loss of State Aid – Mr. Belluzzi advised that due to the State’s estimated deficit in revenue, the
Montvale Schools will not receive $207,305 in aid due from February through June 2010. It is
anticipated that there will be little to no effect this year; however, as end of year balances are used
for tax relief, there will be an impact for the 2011-12 school year. It is also possible that State Aid
for next school year will be cut by 15%, a decrease of approximately $118,000. As the district is
dealing with a 35% increase in the cost of health benefits the challenge for budget planning is
NJ School Report Card - The district has received these updated comparisons which overall
contain much information to help the public see how well our schools are doing overall. It is a
pleasure to present them to our community; they will be posted on our web site tomorrow.
Public Relations - Mr. Belluzzi noted that the Record has interviewed Dr. Brian Chinni about a
program he has brought to the district called Project Able. Mrs. Carol Pittarelli and Mrs. Laurie
Murrell are teaching the course.
Community Service Projects – Memorial School students are to be commended for hosting a
Bake for the Quake fund raiser which yielded over $2,000 for relief work through the Red Cross.
Fieldstone students participating in Hoops for Hearts raised funds now in excess of $10,500 under
the leadership of Mrs. Dee Kelly and the FMS physical education staff. Events such as these
provide both the opportunity to bond with each other, parents, and teachers in service to others.
2009 QSAC Findings – Mr. Belluzzi reported that the site visit by the Department of Education
took place last year. The district’s report indicates that Montvale is a high performing district with
ratings of 95% for instruction and program, 98% for personnel, 99% for fiscal management, 88%
for operations, and 100% for governance. Mr. Belluzzi thanked those who were directly involved
in the process including Interim Superintendent, Lawrence Hughes, Administrative Assistant
Donna Currey, and Secretary, Denise Jadevaia.
HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC ON AGENDA ITEMS
Several individuals commented on the custodial study, including parents, teachers, and an NJEA
representative. Several parents and teachers commented on proposals for the 2010-11 school year
calendar. Mr. Belluzzi provided answers to questions that were asked.
Mrs. Falk shared some of her many positive interactions with Mrs. Kelly, offered her well wishes
to Mrs. Kelly on her retirement and noted that she will be missed.
In answer to Mrs. Frankel’s question concerning the rate for a substitute speech teacher, Mr.
Belluzzi advised that the district does not have any substitutes in this area. As there currently is a
need to provide time to meet IEP requirements, this individual will only work the hours as needed.
Mrs. Harris commented on the move to the IEP writer, specifically how it may affect in-house
Mrs. Baviello introduced motion 6.1 as follows, which motion was seconded
by Mrs. Marchetti and passed unanimously.
Motion RESOLVED, that there be accepted, as written, the minutes of the following
January 11 & 25, 2010
Regular Business Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2010 – Page 2
Mrs. Marchetti introduced motions 7.1 through7.3 and 7.5 through 7.8 as follows.
Mrs. Gifas introduced motion 7.4. The motions were seconded by Mrs. Baviello. On
a roll call vote, all members present voted aye, except Mrs. Marchetti who recused
herself from motion 7.4.
Motion RESOLVED, that there be approved employment of the following individuals to
7.1 substitute, subject to Chapter 116, P.L. 1986 in the Montvale Public Schools
effective February 8 through June 30, 2010, with compensation as noted:
Linda Giovanni Substitute Speech/Language Specialist $60.00/hr
Jacqueline Ginsberg Substitute Classroom Assistant $11.65/hr
RETIREMENT D. KELLY
Motion RESOLVED, that there be accepted, with appreciation and regret, the resignation
7.2 for retirement purposes of Dee Kelly, Fieldstone Middle School Physical Education
Teacher, effective June 30, 2010.
Mr. Campana stated that as a father he echoed Mrs. Falk’s earlier comments about
Mrs. Kelly and the positive effect she has on the children in her classes. Mrs.
Baviello stated that it is sad to see her go and she will be missed.
FIELD TRIP DESTINATION
Motion RESOLVED, that there be approved the following location as a destination for
7.3 field trips during the 2009-10 school year:
Bergen County Special Services School District-
Rockleigh Campus-Therapeutic Recreation
Motion RESOLVED, that there be approved appointment of Michael Marchetti as FMS
7.4 Rocketry Club Advisor for the 2009-10 school year with compensation as per the
Board/MTA Agreement as a Type II activity.
Note: The Executive County Superintendent of Schools has granted a waiver to the
nepotism policy allowing the hiring of this spouse of a Board of Education
Motion RESOLVED, that there be authorized entering into a contract with Centris Group
7.5 LLC for IEP Direct Special Education management software.
Note: IDEA ARRA Stimulus funds will be used for the purchase, support and
maintenance at an estimated cost of $29,332.90 based on 166 enrolled classified
students for a three –year period.
Motion WHEREAS, a dispute arose between the Montvale Board of Education and
7.6 Lawrence Barone and the Montvale Custodial Association (hereinafter collectively
referred to as the “Parties), wherein the Board did not renew Lawrence Barone’s
employment agreement for the 2009-10 school year; and
Regular Business Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2010 – Page 3
WHEREAS, the Parties disposed of their dispute through amicable negotiations,
the terms of which are set forth in full in the Stipulation of Settlement and Release,
which is attached as appendix “A” and made a part of this Resolution;
NOW BE IT RESOLVED that the terms, stipulations, and conditions as
established in the Stipulation of Settlement and Release are hereby ratified and
reaffirmed in all respects and the Board President and Board Secretary/School
Business Administrator are authorized and directed to execute the Settlement
Agreement and Release and any other documents necessary to effect said
Motion WHEREAS, the Board of Education is required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:11-12 to
7.7 adopt policy and approve travel expenditures by district employees and board
members using local, State, or Federal funds to ensure that travel is educationally
necessary and fiscally prudent, and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education acknowledges that on-going professional
development is critical to the instructional needs of the district or may further the
efficient operation of the school district, and providing said training may require
travel expenses, and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board authorize employee and Board
Member attendance in informational programs directly related to, and within the
scope of the listed job title’s current responsibilities, and/or training opportunities
as follows with payment of expenses, if applicable, based on the federal travel
regulations provided that such expenses are within the annual maximum travel
DATE EMPLOYEE WORKSHOP Costs Not
4/29/10 Dauria, Lauren Classroom Suite 4/Bergen County ETTC $60.00
3/11/10 Overgaard, Kate The 101 Best Books for Teens $209.66
3/9/10 Halder, Janet Scoliosis Workshop $35.00
3/15/10 Fasano, Nina I&RS Training $11.39
5/7/10 Levi, Audrey Autistic students in the inclusive classroom $106.94
3/12/10 Polak, Megan Improving NJ ASK scores $179.00
3/12/10 Myhre, Donna Improving NJ ASK scores $179.00
3/4/10 Escoffery, Educating the Creative Mind $270.97
thru Tenley Thurs. 3/4, ½ day; Fri., 3/5, full day
3/6/10 Sat. 3/6, full day
3/3/10 Acosta, Belia Building Deeper Reading Comprehension $120.11
Motion RESOLVED, that there be approved payment of compensation to Lois Hejna and
7.8 Amy Miller for preparation and presentation of a Grade 1 Reading Workshop for
EIS parents and students for up to 3 hours each with remuneration at $35 per
Regular Business Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2010 – Page 4
Mr. Campana introduced motions 8.1 and 8.2 as follows, which motions were
seconded by Mrs. Gifas. On a roll call vote, all members present voted aye.
Motion RESOLVED, that there be approved/ratified for payment vouchers in the total
8.1 amount of $831,846.13 as follows:
Appendix “B” Wire Transfers for January 29th $567,631.93
Payroll and State Health Benefits
Appendix “B-1” Checks #6450-6524 $262,080.09
Appendix “B-2” Void Check #6435 (- $500.00)
Student Activities Fund
Appendix “B-3” Checks #1776-1785 $2,634.11
Motion RESOLVED, that pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:23-2.11 [c]4, the Montvale Board of
8.2 Education certifies that as of January 31, 2010, after review of the Board
Secretary's monthly financial reports [appropriations section], and upon
consultation with the appropriate district official, to the best of our knowledge, no
major account or fund has been over-expended in violation N.J.A.C. 6A:23-2.11(b)
and that sufficient funds are available to meet the district's financial obligations for
the remainder of the fiscal year.
The reports of the Board Secretary, the Treasurer of School Monies, including cash
receipts, and the report of the student activities fund for the month of January 2010
are attached as appendix "C" to the minutes of this meeting.
Mrs. Gifas introduced motions 9.1 and 9.2 as follows, which motions were seconded
by Mrs. Baviello and passed unanimously.
FIRST READING OF BOARD POLICY
Motion RESOLVED, that there be approved on first reading the following new and/or
9.1 revised Board of Education Policies/By-Laws:
5131.5 Vandalism and Violence
5145.12 Search and Seizure
9250 Travel Expenditures for Board Members
SECOND READING OF BOARD POLICY
Motion RESOLVED, that there be approved on second reading the following new and/or
9.2 revised Board of Education Policies/By-Laws:
5131 Conduct and Discipline
9270 Conflict of Interest
Regular Business Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2010 – Page 5
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS/COMMENTS
Facilities/Transportation - Mr. Hallowell reported that MAL has requested permission to install
new and replacement fencing on the fields at Memorial School at no cost to the district. The plan
has been reviewed and there are no objections. Some of the fencing is also on the Borough owned
portion of the field.
Montvale Education Foundation - Mrs. Gifas advised TD Bank contributed $11,000 as part of
their program based on tagged accounts. Individuals are being sought for the positions of
President and Treasurer. Sponsors are being sought for the March 13th Challenge.
PTO -Mrs. Gifas reported on upcoming events including the Ice Cream Social and International
Day. Individuals are being sought to chair committees and for President.
Mayor & Council – Mrs. Marchetti advised that she will be attending tomorrow night’s meeting.
Governor’s Teacher Recognition – Mrs. Marchetti will also be attending the committee meeting
scheduled for March 4th to select this year’s honorees.
Public Relations – Mrs. Baviello noted that a flashing speed sign is in place on Spring Valley Rd.
School Elections –Board Candidate petitions are due no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, March 1st.
2010-2011 School Calendar – Board Members stated their preference to have students start after
Labor Day and have school end as early as possible in June.
2010-11 Proposed Budget - Mr. Campana, Mrs. Gifas, and Mr. Funesti reported on the
committee meeting held to discuss the proposed 2010-11 school year budget. Health care
premiums rose 25% on January 1, 2010 and are expected to increase another 10% on January 1,
2011, resulting in a 35% increase overall. Another bus is needed to meet rising enrollment. Costs
such as these add to the challenge of submitting a reasonable budget. The committee will be
meeting again to continue their review of requested items.
Change in Meeting Dates for March - The State aid numbers will not be available until after the
Governor’s message on March 16, therefore the Board authorized a change in the Public Meeting
date from March 15th to March 22. After polling Board members for their availability, the public
hearing date is tentatively scheduled for March 26 at 6 p.m.
Mr. Campana introduced motion 12.1 as follows, which motion was seconded by Mrs.
Gifas. On a roll call vote, all members present voted aye.
Motion RESOLVED, that the Board of Education enter into an agreement with Marian
12.1 Latz as Board Secretary/School Business Administrator for the period July 1, 2009
through June 30, 2010, under the terms and conditions outlined in the employment
agreement, which has been reviewed and approved by the State Department of
Education/Bergen County Executive Superintendent.
Regular Business Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2010 – Page 6
HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC
Mrs. DiCairano noted that when calendars differ between the elementary district and high school,
some children are taken out of school; sometimes this can affect the program for the students who
remain in school. Others present also commented on the calendar.
Mrs. Harris commented that the supplemental agenda items should be available to the public prior
to the meeting. Mrs. Latz explained that introduction of those items is at the Board’s discretion as
they had not been previously presented.
In answer to a question about making a decision whether or not to out-source, Mr. Belluzzi
advised that although it is unfortunate for the individuals involved to not have a decision, the
Board must be respectful to the community and is reviewing many items as part of the budget
In answer to a question from Mr. Kron, Mrs. Muller-Noonan advised that all Board policies are on
the web site. Those that were updated will be posted on the web-site this week.
Mrs. Skoog noted that the website does not have the recent Board highlights. Mr. Belluzzi noted
that he has been writing them; he will investigate why they are not accessible.
Mrs. Skoog asked that as the Board considers reductions to the budget that they make sure that
they have the least impact on the children.
Mrs. Forcellati stated that in the tough economy, she did not think that replacing the gym lights
was a priority. Mr. Hallowell advised that grants funds are being sought and the district expects to
save money in the long run by completing this energy efficiency project. She also commented on
the custodial study, noting some deficiencies she has experienced in the school.
Mrs. Gifas introduced motion 15.1 as follows, which motion was seconded
by Mrs. Baviello and approved unanimously.
Motion RESOLVED, that at 10:15 p.m. the Board convene in Private Executive Meeting
15.1 Session for discussion of items, including personnel, excluded under the Open
Public Meetings Act, which items, as appropriate will subsequently be made
The Board returned to public session at 10:52 p.m.
MOTION TO ADJOURN
Mrs. Baviello introduced motion 17.1 as follows, which motion was seconded
by Gifas and approved unanimously.
Motion RESOLVED, that this meeting be adjourned at 10:52 p.m.
Regular Business Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2010 – Page 7