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, February 27, 2011

BOE meeting Monday night.

There’s a lot going on at tomorrow’s Board of Ed meeting. We haven’t met for three weeks, so the agenda’s a little more full than typical. Full agenda here. A few highlights:

The Ridgewood Education Foundation will be presenting its Spring 2011 grant awards. The grants total $12,905 and the recipients are programs at RHS, Willard, Travell, Hawes, Ridge and Somerville.

Dr. Fishbein will update the Board on the 2009-10 Audit Report and Corrective Action Plan. Presumably we’ll hear how the software corrections are coming to correct the reporting glitches.

We’ll get a report on the Community Planning event that was held last month. That was such an interesting experience, I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas and suggestions put together into a report, and using the findings to inform our priorities for the coming few years.

The 2011-12 budget will be updated. Hopefully you saw Dr. Fishbein’s column in last Friday’s Ridgewood News, where he outlined the upcoming budget process, including opportunities for public input. (The online story (see link) includes a chart showing Ridgewood's financial efficiency compared to other districts.) Tomorrow night, the Board will be asked to approve the Preliminary Budget, which we must do in order to make the deadline for submitting to the Executive County Superintendent. The Preliminary budget is just that – not set in stone. I’m sure you heard about the approx. $850,000 in state aid coming to Ridgewood for next year. Before you start dreaming about where to spend this “windfall,” keep in mind that our initial budget showed a $650,000 deficit, so we’ll have to fill that hole first. Not sure what the administration is going to recommend with the rest. We’ll see tomorrow night.

We’ll have some more discussion on the updated Fields Use Policy, talking about questions and feedback we have and which we’ve received from the public.

Those are the meeting highlights. (You can watch live online by clicking here.) In terms of my personal BOE activity this week, I’ll be at Monday’s meeting, an Executive Session to discuss negotiations, Fields Committee meeting Wednesday morning, a webinar on social media in schools, and Federated HSA meeting on Thursday.

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