Blairstown Elementary School Board of Education
WHO IS ON THE BOARD? The Blairstown Township Board of Education has 9 elected members and the Business Administrator and Superintendent are non-voting members.
WHEN ARE THE BOARD MEETINGS? Generally, the Blairstown Board of Education meets on the third Thursday of the month. There are times, however, where, due to a particular circumstance or time constraint the Board will hold special meetings at other times to conduct business that is of an urgent or time-sensitive nature. All Board meetings, regular or special, are and must be advertised in the New Jersey Herald and The Press prior to the meeting date and published on our Board website.
WHERE ARE THE BOARD MEETINGS CONDUCTED? The Blairstown Board of Education holds their meetings in the Blairstown Elementary School Library, One Sunset Hill Road, Blairstown, NJ. Occasionally, due to a conflict or expectations of a large turnout, the meeting may be moved to the gym or another location but such a change is always noted in the atrium of the school.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE BOARD MEETINGS? School Board meetings are working sessions where the Board conducts its business in view of the public. It is important to understand that according to statute these meetings are “NOT public meetings but meetings held in public”. This is to assure the public that they will have access to and transparency in the activities of the Board. The meetings will typically begin with simple action items such as approval of previous minutes followed by the Superintendent’s Report wherein the Superintendent presents the Board with information regarding recent events at the school. This is typically followed by a public comment session. Public comment is typically limited to agenda items but non-agenda items may be discussed at the Board’s discretion. The Board has the right to implement reasonable limits on time, content and nature of public comment. The purpose of public comment is for the Board to hear from the stakeholders: parents, students, residents and staff. Public comment is generally followed by an executive session (if such a session is necessary) then the remainder of the business of the school such as approval of financial expenditures etc.
WHAT IS THE EXECUTIVE SESSION AND WHAT OCCURS THERE? The laws of New Jersey specify only certain things that may/must be discussed in Executive Session (closed session). Those items include:
1. Any matter considered confidential by federal law, state statute, or court rule;
2. Any matter in which the release of information would impair the receipt of federal funds;
3. Any material which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of individual privacy if disclosed;
4. Any collective bargaining agreements or other discussion of the terms and conditions of a collective bargaining agreement, including negotiations leading up to such an agreement.
5. Any matter involving the purchase, lease or acquisition of real property with public funds, the setting of banking rates or investment of public funds where disclosure of such matter could adversely affect the public interest.
6. Any tactics and techniques used in protecting the safety and property of the public and investigations of violations or possible violations of the law.
7. Any pending or anticipated litigation or contract negotiations in which the public body is or may become a party, and any matter falling within the attorney-client privilege, to the extent that confidentiality is required to preserve the attorney-client relationship.
8. Personnel matters related to the employment, appointment or termination of current or prospective employees, unless all individuals who could be adversely affected request, in writing, that the matter be discussed at a public meeting.
9. Any deliberations of a public body occurring after a public hearing that may result in the imposition of a fine upon an individual or the suspension or the loss of license or permit belonging to an individual. The New Jersey courts have recognized the potential for misuse of the closed session exceptions by public bodies and have, therefore, strictly construed these exceptions in an effort to further the legislative intent of providing open public meetings in most instances. These are the mandated items for executive session; however, the majority of executive session meetings for the School Board are due to personnel issues as noted in #8. All items that the Board takes action (votes) on must be in public session and this includes any items discussed during executive session.
IF I HAVE A CONCERN, HOW CAN I BEST COMMUNICATE IT?
The Blairstown Township Board of Education welcomes hearing your concerns and suggestions. To better help you resolve them, however, the following guidelines are the best way to resolve such issues: Issues concerning your child’s class or teacher. We are all involved in our school because we want the best for the children of Blairstown Elementary School. Towards that end, any issue concerning your child, their class, their teacher or their particular program should first be addressed with the classroom teacher. If you cannot satisfactorily resolve the issue at that level then you should contact the building principal. In the event that you cannot find resolution at the building level or if your concern is more of a district-wide concern then you should contact the Superintendent. Individual matters are generally only referred to the Board of Education after these channels have been exhausted. The Board of Education is charged with decisions related to policy matters and the majority of issues which do not have policy implications are managed and decided at the building level in collaboration with the Principal, Superintendent, and central office staff.
HOW DO I CONTACT THE BOARD? You may contact the Board and its members at the email addresses listed beside their name in the Board Members Section.
Matthew P. Herzer - Business Administrator - 908-362-6111 Ext. 106
* Substitutes and Paraprofessionals needed
- Mr. Jeremy Cook, President email@example.com
- Mrs. Shanna Sikkes, Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mrs. Jennifer McElroy email@example.com
- Mrs. Erinn Allison firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Kevin Doell email@example.com
- Mrs. Sotie Hambos firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mrs. Kate Hawkswell email@example.com
- Mrs. Karen Klein firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Brad Van Valkenburg email@example.com
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