Revised 2018-2019 Budget…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Last night, the Board of Education re-approved the 2018-2019 school budget with a reduction of $816,489. Below is a brief summary of events:

  1. During October and November of 2017, the District Administration met to craft a budget for each school and department.
  2. During January and February of 2018, the Board of Education worked in committee to develop a fiscally conservative budget.
  3. On February 20, 2018, the Board of Education held a special meeting to discuss the budget.
  4. On March 15, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Education informed us that our state aid for the 2018-2019 school year would be $15,012,248.
  5. On March 20, 2018, the Board of Education approved the Preliminary 2018-2019 Budget. This budget was sent to the Passaic County Executive County Superintendent’s Office.
  6. On April 10, 2018, the Preliminary Budget was approved by the County Office.
  7. The District then published copies of our budget in local newspapers including The Record, The Trends, and The West Milford Messenger and advertised for our Public Hearing on the Budget.
  8. On April 24, 2018, the Board of Education held its annual Public Hearing on the Budget and the budget was approved by the Board of Education. This budget included staff layoffs in multiple categories including administration, teachers, secretaries, custodians, etc.
  9. Prior to the statutory deadline of May 15, the Board of Education rehired staff for the 2018-2019 school year. These hires were based, in large part, on the state aid figure of $15,012,248.
  10. On July 11, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Education, notified the West Milford Township Public Schools that our state aid for 2018-2019 will be lowered to $14,195,759, a reduction of $816,489.
  11. On July 24, 2018, the Board of Education re-approved the adjusted 2018-2019 school budget in the lower amount.

 

Although we do not yet have specific numbers, we are anticipating additional – and larger – cuts in state aid over the next six budget years.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Macopin School – May 25…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Last night, the Macopin School administration was made aware of an inappropriate social media post made by a Macopin student. We are working with the West Milford Police Department and other professionals to manage this situation and are unable to comment beyond the brief notifications that have been sent home already.

We opened our schools today without incident and with very few students absent. We would like to thank all the students who came forward and shared this post with our staff members. We instruct our students that, “if you hear or see something, say something” and they all informed a trusted adult. Lastly, I would also like to thank the WMPD for their efforts last night and again today. They are truly “all in” for our children.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Student Safety…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Recent events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas have required us to rethink our District visitor policy. In addition to being reviewed at School Safety Meetings and Administrative Council Meetings, this was discussed at a recent PTA/PTSO meeting in your child’s school this spring. Our schools have received black and gold containers that will be placed outside of the front door of each school. Parents wishing to drop off forgotten items such as lunch, phys. ed. clothes, musical instrument, etc. will be asked to leave the item (labeled with child’s name) in the container. The item will be delivered to the student at our earliest convenience. This change is designed to reduce the number of visitors in our buildings and make our schools safer. Moreover, parents wishing to visit a school for a conference are asked to make an appointment not less than 24 hours in advance. This, too, will help us manage our buildings in a safer and more transparent manner. We understand that emergency situations arise and these will be dealt with on a case by case basis. We appreciate your anticipated cooperation in this matter. This new policy will be effective on Tuesday, May 29.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Bus Safety…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

The tragic Paramus bus accident last week has left us all a bit unsettled. I would like to reassure our parents that, although accidents by their very nature can happen anytime and anywhere, our bus drivers have an outstanding safety record. We transport approximately 3,300 students to/from school daily and handle countless athletic and field trips. Our busses undergo semi-annual inspections and safety checks are performed daily, before and after every trip. Our Transportation Supervisor has recently met with our drivers and aides and reviewed all of our safety protocols and procedures. We stress to our drivers that safety is our primary concern and arriving safe to the destination is more critical than arriving on time. Moreover, our drivers have the ability to communicate with our Transportation Department Dispatcher and Supervisor at all times.

 

If you have any questions about bus safety, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

New WMHS Principal…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Last night, the Board of Education approved the hiring of Matthew Strianse as the Principal of West Milford High School, effective July 1. Mr. Strianse began his tenure in West Milford as a teacher at Upper Greenwood Lake School in 2000. His efforts at that school culminated in 2006-2007 when he was named the Governor’s Educator of the Year. After completing his Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Caldwell University, Mr. Strianse was hired as Assistant Principal at WMHS and subsequent to that also served as Acting Principal at UGL and for the last three years, he has worked at Macopin Middle School as Assistant Principal. In addition, Mr. Strianse is a community member who volunteers in multiple youth sports leagues. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Strianse to his new position.

 

Best,

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2018-2019 Budget…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

Last night, the Board of Education passed the 2018-2019 budget. This budget is fiscally conservative and has increased by only 1.21%. I am happy to report that all of the Board of Education’s Budget Guidelines have been met. Specifically, this budget was crafted using zero-based budgeting principles and also stayed within the confines of the tax levy cap, per State law.  Moreover, the Board met last week to discuss five District goals for the 2018-2019 school year. These goals will be approved by the Board in May and this budget will support the implementation of these goals.

 

If you would like to discuss this in greater detail, please do not hesitate to contact me,

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2017-2018 School Calendar…

Dear WMTPS Community,

 

The 2017-2018 school calendar, approved last year, had 181 “student days” built in; the State requires only 180 days. As a result, the snow day used on Monday, April 2 (day 181) will not be rescheduled into our calendar. Our District will remain compliant with State requirements and have the necessary 180 student days in this school year. There will, however, be two minor changes to the current calendar. The Macopin School graduation has been moved to Monday, June 25, 2018 and the WMHS graduation and Project Graduation have been moved to Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Lastly, I wish you all a restful and happy spring break.

 

Best,

 

Alex Anemone, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools