Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Board of Education

    On Tuesday-30-April the Bogota Board of Education held their second meeting for the month of April. At this meeting Superintendent Damien Kennedy presented the district’s 2019-2020 budget. In his address Mr. Kennedy said that the main goal of this budget was to maintain, and improve the current state of the Bogota Public Schools. Some of these items was to maintain to have a small class size, continuing to educated special needs Students within the district, and to increase the safety of the Students and Staff using the Bogota Schools.
  Other goals of this budget are to start to plan for the future of the district. Mr. Kennedy hopes that in two years 90% of that eligible Student will be able to attend Pre-School in Bogota. Also he foresees a need of more class space in the coming years. Not only from the River Club development, but other houses being built in the Borough. Security has also been budgeted for. From the “One Button” alert system, increase visual monitoring in the building, the hiring of SLEO 3 personal, and updating electronic and other cyber security.
  To improve education Mr. Kennedy says some of the curriculum will be changed to keep the continuity from grade to grade, and School to School. This will include an internal committee to suggest any improvement to be made. One major new program is to expand the cooperation with Bergen Community College. This will allow Juniors, as well Seniors, to take college course there in the afternoon. The goal is to have any Student attending in both the 11th & 12th grade to earn an associate college degree as well as the High School diploma.
  With these and other programs and expenses there will be a 2% increase in the school taxes or $121.00 per property valued at $262,000.  Mr. Kennedy explained that because of using the capital budget on structural improvement no money had to be borrowed to pay for them, and no new interest payment need to be paid. Other sources including increase in State and Federal aid increased funds from grant that have been awarded to the district and the use of shared services has allowed the total budget to increase by 3.2% 
   At the end of the presentation Board President Lisa Kohles made a special acknowledgement of Mr. Samuel Chiang would now also serves as a Grant Writer for the district. Mr. Chang’s most notable success is the funding that has allowed Bogota to offer Pre-School to its youngest Students. When the Board opened the meeting to public comment one Parent asked that  since Bixby is now receiving new windows as part of this budget. Can they be the type that will allow each room to have its own Air Conditioning unit. Mr. Kennedy said that will be part of the bid process.
  On agenda items the 2019-20 Calendar was adopted. Some highlights of this are the 2019 school year will start on  Wednesday-4-September-2019. The first three day will be half days with a full day schedule starting on Monday-9-September. All Schools will be closed on Tuesday-5-November for Election Day, and Thursday & Friday 7 &8-November for the Teachers Convention. Christmas break will be a half day on Friday-20-December-2019, resuming with a full day on Thursday-2-January-2020. Spring  break will be a half day on Friday-3-April, resuming with a full day on Monday-13-April.  Schools will be closed on Tuesday-2-June for the Primary Elections. The last official day of classes will be a half day on Monday-22-June. The Elementary Schools will hold their Graduations on Wednesday & Thursday-17&18-June, And the Bogota High School Class of 2020 will hold their Commencement Ceremony on Friday 19-June-2020. Other days off are schedule throughout the year.
To see a user friendly copy of the 2019-20 Budget please go to: 2019-20 budget 
  The Next Board of Education meeting will be on Tuesday-14-May. The meeting will be held in the High School Cafeteria  located on the second floor of 2 Henry Luthin Pl.  Bogota, NJ. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:00p. The Public is invited to attend. 

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