Monday, May 20, 2013
2014 event may be held at arena to accommodate larger number of grads, relatives.
In 2014, the Hillsborough High School graduation may not be in Hillsborough. Instead, commencement may be 24 miles away in Trenton at the Sun National Bank Arena. That’s the recommendation of the school board’s operations committee which had studied the possibility of alternate sites for graduation for two years, board member Greg Gillette said at Monday’s meeting. In recent years, the school district has been cursed with inclement and extreme weather conditions, Gillette said. But the district could not accommodate moving the ceremony inside because of the size of the graduating class (about 600 students) and the number of relatives and friends, he added. Gillette said the district explored multiple options to try and keep the graduation …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Companies must bid to advertise on school property, website.
The Hillsborough Board of Education OK'd a new policy on advertising for school property at Monday's meeting — but don't look for ads from Abercrombie and Fitch or the next Avengers movie: neither would likely meet the district's guidelines. The policy will enable the board to approve contracts with advertisers for signs or sponsorships on school property and buses, as well as on the district website or in newsletters. The policy notes the board "will not allow any advertising on school property to become a public forum for dissemination, debate, or discussion of public issues." Also, advertising deemed "false, misleading, deceptive, disrespectful, fraudulent, or libelous" or is obscene, profane, vulgar, offensive, or reasonably determined…
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
School board awards new contracts with substantial savings.
When the Hillsborough Board of Education discussed the possible savings that could come from a change in school starting times for the middle school, after a study by Transporation Supervisor Debra Espinoza, many were skeptical. The study projected possible savings of more than $950,000 by opening the middle school earlier, thanks to more efficient bus route schedules that would eliminate the need—and costs—for some routes. Board members happily approved a set of new transportation contracts Monday that reduce the costs of busing by more than $900,000, board member Greg Gillette said. The contracts also included requirements that the buses be upgraded with GPS and video camera systems, as well as an additional level of liability …
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Possible change in testing discussed at April 8 meeting.
When the Hillsborough Board of Education meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday, board members will be discussing several policy change proposals and may discuss putting the district's random drug testing policy on hold. The topic was hinted at briefly at the end of the board's April 8 meeting, when member Greg Gillette said he may push for the suspension of the testing. "I can't say much about it in a public meeting, but I'd like to ask the administration to suspend random drug testing," he said. Gillette's concerns may have stemmed from a specific issue or concern with the program, however, neither he nor any of the other board members provided any additional comments. But Superintendent Jorden Schiff said the board's Education Committee would …
Monday, April 15, 2013
Superintendent says requirements of state and federal mandates are placing "a lot on our teachers' plates."
Mandated changes instituted in this school year are putting burdens on teachers' time, and members of the Hillsborough Board of Education and teacher representatives are working on trying to find ways to make the changes less burdensome. Most of the problem stems from recents changes to teacher evaluations and new subject curricula required by state and federal mandates, which have added as much as five hours or more to teachers' work week outside of classroom time. The evaluations include peer reviews, which require are "hours and hours of forms," according to Hillsborough Education Association President Barbara Parker. "The teachers also have an online lesson planning program that requires four or five hours a week to complete," she …
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Township to honor three residents honored by the county.
The final decision on the proposed $114.58 million Hillsborough school budget will be made Thursday after a board of education meeting where residents will weigh in on the plan. Ahead of the hearing (scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Auten Road Intermediate School), Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff has been visiting community and school HSA groups to breakdown the numbers and share the district's plans. Tuesday night, he'll be appearing at the Township Committee meeting—along with Dianne Leoni, Donna York and Viktoria Wargo, fresh from the annual Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women dinner, where they were feted as "Outstanding Women of the Year." Look for our coverage of these stories and other Hillsborough news this week.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Investigation of charges against Jeffrey Kampf finds no cause for further action.
The lawyer representing Hillsborough High School teacher Jeffrey Kampf, who was suspended with pay at Monday's Board of Education meeting pending an investigation, said Friday Kampf has been cleared and is able to return to work Monday. "The fact is that the administration completed its investigation some time yesterday afternoon, and, based upon that investigation, the Superintendent reinstated Mr. Kampf in less than 24 hours," attorney Paul Barger said. "That sums up the strength of the administration’s alleged charges against Mr. Kampf. Once the administration interviewed Mr. Kampf, there was no choice but to allow him to get back in front of his students. "There is a great deal of speculation about the substance of the charges. Mr. …
Monday, February 25, 2013
Local school officials keeping an eye on developments.
The Hillsborough school district faces the deadline to submit the 2013-14 budget to the county next week with uncertainty as to whether $85 billion in federal "sequestration" spending cuts will be stopped by Congress before Friday. And while districts will learn their state aid figures this week after Gov. Chris Christie delivers his fiscal year 2014 budget address Tuesday afternoon, the Friday deadline for avoiding some impacts of sequestration is also weighing on budget plans. "Obviously, we can use every penny from the federal government we can get, so it is on the radar," Hillsborough Business Administrator Aiman Mahmoud said Monday. He noted the district doesn't receive a lot of federal aid—about $1.8 million in the district's $130 …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Board changes March meeting dates to accomodate meeting schedule.
There's a bit of absurdity in the state-set calendar for school districts to set their annual budgets—especially for districts who changed to November voting as Hillsborough recently did. "A budget that doesn't go to a vote, that doesn't go into effect until July, and we have to have it turned in (to the county) in the beginning of March," board member Greg Gillette noted at Monday's meeting, as board members wrestled with the compressed schedule requiring school districts to file annual budgets within days of receiving state aid figures. The board is required to submit a budget to the county superintendent by March 7, one week after receiving state aid figures. Between the end of February and the March 7 deadline, the board must calculate…
Sunday, February 10, 2013
School board meets Monday night, Township Committee meets Tuesday.
When the Hillsborough Board of Education meets Monday night, board members will discuss calendars—the school calendar and the budget calendar. During his report to the board, Superintendent Jorden Schiff also will update the board on possible changes to general elections before reviewing the schedule for the upcoming budget process (which is somewhat altered after the board's decision to move the school election to November). Schiff also will discuss the need to possibly change the school calendar, after Woodfern School was forced to close for a day after a wind storm knocked out electricity to the school. The week in Hillsborough continues with Tuesday's Township Committee meeting, which will feature an update on the repairs to the …