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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Board of Education


 Notes from the Bogota Board of Education meeting from Tuesday 20-October. The Board had two candidates to fill the vacant seat from when Gloria Clark resigned. Ms Clark was one of two candidates who applied for the seat. The other candidates was Amanda Montgomery.  After both candidates addressed the Board Members   There was the roll call for the Board Members to vote. After the votes were cast Amanda Montgomery was appointed, then sworn in to become a member of the Board of Education. Ms. Montgomery's term will be for one year and will be subject to a special election in November 2016.  The Board them took a moment to recognize Janet Behrman for her service to the Bogota Board of Education.
    After the regular Board meeting had ended the next meeting of the Strategic Planing session began. This meeting was again hosted by Al Annunziata and Robynn Meehan of the New Jersey School Boards Association. This was the second part of a three part series of meeting to help determine the goals for the Bogota School District over the next five years. The first meeting in September was to highlight the strengths and achievements of the current state of the district. This  second meeting focused on the ideal programs that the Board of  Education could strive to. This session had an attendance of over 30 resident include members of the Board. There was enough participants to form five small groups. Each group was consisted of at least 5 members. The make up of these groups include at least one Board member in each.  A number of teachers, and Administrators in attendance where also distributed into each group  along with Parents, and Residents, some of whom did not have any children in the Public School system. The goal of these meeting was to come up with suggestions they would like to see implemented over the next five years.  The groups were instructed to have no limitations on their ideas, and to cover as many subjects as they wanted. The groups were isolated into separate rooms in order to work only by themselves. After 45 minutes all the participants reassembled in the cafeteria to share their ideas with the rest of the participants. Some groups had large plans for the district, while most stated a number of common themes that they arrived at separately.
   One of the more agreed on ideas was that of fully moving into the digital age. This would not necessarily eliminate all books, but to supply every Student with an electronic devises which would lessen the amount of paper used by the district, and the weight of a Students back pack.  Another common idea was to make the school environment as secure as possible. Also mentioned was to grow the involvement of the whole Community in the educational process. Some ideas on this was to partner with local businesses to allow real world experiences, or to open the learning process to the Parents of the Students. There was also some agreement on bring more College level course into the district, and starting them as early as possible. Some classes even available to 5th or 6st Grade Student.  Some of the more grander ideas was the replacement of the physical structure themselves.  One is to have the schools become self sustaining units.
    After all the groups submitted their ideas to the the audience, Ms Meeham of the NJSBA  condensed all the ideas into four major points. The main ideas were:
 - Academic excellence.
 -Facility improvement and Sustainability
 -Culture and Community Partnerships
 -Technology with Global Learning.
    At the next meeting, on Tuesday 10-November, these point will be discussed by individual groups.  Each group will be given one point to discuss then report to the whole audience at the end of the evening.
   The next Strategic Planing will be held on Tuesday 10-November starting scheduled to start at 6:30p. It will again be held in the Bogota High School Cafeteria located on the second floor at 2 Henry Luthin Pl. Bogota, NJ  This will be held after the regular Board of Education Meeting, and is open to the public. Any resident of Bogota is encourage to be apart of  this Strategic Planning meeting even if they had not attend the previous two.

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