Thursday, May 19, 2011

UNOFFICIALLY WINSLOW RECEIVED A LETTER

On May 18, 2011, I addressed the Winslow Board of Education in regards to a few items that came to my attention within the last week. Below is a copy of the public comments that I made.

The first item I would like to bring to your attention is the projected reduction in medical staff at the schools.

According to the 2011-2012 budget presentation the nursing staff/medical assistants are to be reduced by 4 individuals. I have been looking at the 2010-2011 School Nursing Services Plan and I noticed that there is one Nurse at schools 1-5 and the RDS, and two each at school 6, Middle School, and High School. I have a daughter at the High School, and in the event of a medical emergency involving one student, I am concerned that there will not be a medical professional to take care of her or any other student. I can (almost) see the need for only one medical professional at the lower elementary schools with enrollment under 400. I find it difficult to justify only one medical professional at schools with twice the enrollment… or in the case of the High School, more than 3 times the amount of students. I would like to recommend the reinstatement of all of the medical professionals as they were missed on last week’s “Appointment” list.

I would like to also address the issue of the privatization company of Aramark (privatization company) that was brought up last week and their contract. I don’t know if the solicitor was finally able to give the Board an answer to the question so I investigated it myself. I found on page 7 of the contract with Aramark the clause titled “Termination: Force Majeure.” It states the terms that the contract can be terminated and can be put into effect within 90 days from the initial written notice for termination.

I was also looking over the Bill Lists for Aramark for the months of January to April and it shows that there are many additional bills over and above the contracted amount which lowers the saving substantially from the $1.3 million that was shown during the Board’s presentation of the budget from having worker’s employed by the district. One of those bills includes mowing the repairs, asphalt, and mos lawns ($37,544.78) while another includes the cleaning of ducts, hoods, fans, and filters at various schools ($3,420.00). There are others in that four month period totaling over $90,000.

My final comment has to do with a recent listing the available position of Principal of the High School. I am sorry that Mr. Jackson will not be there next year as my daughter still will be there. He is a hard-working, respected and dedicated professional. I don’t think the changing of the Principal at the High School will change much in the demeanor in the High School unless you make additional changes as well. I would recommend bringing back a “Twelfth” grade Assistant Principal to alleviate some of the time constraints that are being put on the principal by doing both roles; Principal and Twelfth Grade Assistant Principal. Additionally, I recommend bringing back (4) Hall Monitors to assist in reducing the traffic in the corridors during classes and this will also reduce the amount of “incidents” and discipline referrals that are very time consuming for the Assistant Principals to handle.

While considering Hall Monitors, I would suggest including the Middle School in that recommendation. If the Middle School had hall monitors, it may even alleviate some difficulties later in the H.S.

I hope my suggestions are helpful.

Ellery Karl
Winslow Township Resident since 1982

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