Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Sunday, December 5, 2010

On my BOE radar this week.

Sorry I’ve been posting a little less frequently than normal…it’s been a busy time around Thanksgiving, I had my mother and her husband visiting for 10 days, and my workload for clients has been extremely heavy. But just because I haven’t been blogging much, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been consumed by Board of Ed business as well. There’s always plenty to do in that area!

Tomorrow night the Board will have a regular public meeting (7:30 p.m., Ed Center, 3rd floor; streaming live click here). A few highlights from the agenda:

• Sheila Brogan and I will present a report on the Facilities Committee meeting which we held last Monday at Ridgewood High School, to listen to concerns from the RHS neighbors regarding the fields and lights. The Board will discuss neighborhood concerns and consider next steps.

• Asst. Superintendent Regina Botsford will present the Districtwide Testing Report for 09-10.

• Dr. Fishbein will give us an update on referendum construction projects

• We’ll get an update on meetings to develop the 11-12 district budget

• The Board will review and approve some course changes at RHS.

• As always, there will be two opportunities for public comment.

Other than tomorrow’s BOE meeting, I have some other Board business I’ll be taking care of this week:

• Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be watching the film Race to Nowhere along with the RHS faculty. The movie, sponsored by the RHS Home & School Association, is being presented to Ridgewood parents at 7:00 p.m. at GW Middle School, but since we have a BOE meeting, some of us will be watching with the faculty. I wonder if it will be a different experience to watch with teachers vs. parents?

• Tuesday night I will join a couple of other Board members and Human Resources Manager Gary Hall at a presentation of the New Jersey School Boards Association, titled “Negotiations and the Toolkit.” This is a roundtable discussion about “negotiations, superintendent contracts, and other employee relations issues in this changing legislative environment.” Supposedly, we’ll learn how the governor’s proposed "toolkit" of bills can affect our negotiations efforts with the REA.

• Wednesday morning I’ll be at the Fields Committee at 7:00 AM – I suffer through these early morning meetings but I have to admit – it’s kind of cool how much time I still have left in the day to get things accomplished.

• Thursday I’ll be at the “You Make a Difference” Breakfast at RHS at 7:15 (another early day!). This breakfast is hosted by Principal Jack Lorenz to recognize students who normally may not receive accolades but who have accomplished small victories at school. After the breakfast I’ll attend the Federated HSA meeting with the presidents of all the schools’ Home & School Associations. Then after that I’ll go to the Somerville Holiday House Tour fundraiser. Whew…busy day Thursday!

I’m telling you my BOE schedule this week just to report on what I’m doing. I’m sure some of you wonder…what does she do anyway, besides attend those boring meetings twice a month? Now you know. As a BOE member, there’s a lot more to do than I originally understood. I truly love being around the schools, though, so when I can, I’m eager to take part in activities that get me into school buildings and that give me a good view of what goes on every day. (My clients aren't quite so enthusiastic about our schools, so sometimes I have to play a little hooky...fortunately as a freelancer I have the flexibility to catch up on work later...sometimes much later...like a few minutes from now.)

After tomorrow night’s BOE meeting – maybe by Tuesday or Wednesday – I’ll write something about the Board’s discussion about the fields and lights (one of the more popular topics in my inbox lately!). Have a great week!

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