HomeShamong NewsBoard of Education shared updated goals for this school year

Board of Education shared updated goals for this school year

The board underwent ethics training and reviewed this school year’s board goals at this week’s meeting.

At this week’s Shamong Board of Education meeting, the board underwent its annual requirement of completing ethics training, led by Jessie Adams, a field service representative from the New Jersey School Boards Association.

New board members must participate in orientation their first year, finance training their second year and student achievement their third year.

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Adams began his presentation by reviewing the school ethics act that has been effective since 1992, stating it is essential the conduct of members of local boards of education and local administration hold the respect and confidence of the people. These board members and administrators must avoid conduct that is in violation of their public trust.

Through this act, the School Ethics Commission was established, which is made up of nine board members (no more of five from any one political party). SEC is made up of five non-school officials, two school board members and two school administrators.

SEC is available to give advisory opinions to determine if certain activity is deemed a violation of the act, as well as review ethics complaints and give penalties to those who have violated the act. The penalties range from reprimand, censure, suspension and removal.

Adams also reviewed potential conflicts of interest for the board to be aware of, including business interests; use of position to secure unwarranted privileges, advantages or employment; financial involvement; gift or favor offered with the intent to influence; personal involvement that creates a benefit and service or employment that may prejudice independent judgment.

As far as board members volunteering in the district, Adams said generally board members may volunteer for activities that support their children. Members should refrain from certain activities based on the degree of involvement with students/staff and the degree to which the member has authority to give and receive directions to staff. Board members who volunteer in the schools should advise the superintendent and relevant staff.

Adams said the NJSBA recommends the board of education develop a list of board members and administrators who have a conflict and review it regularly, to consult with the board attorney to identify conflicted members/administrators and to continue to check school board notes to be aware of newly released advisories.

Following Adams’ presentation, Superintendent Christine Vespe shared updates to this schools year’s board goals.

By June 30, the district anticipates focusing on improving the climate, culture and communication through initiatives such as superintendent quarterly updates, principal newsletters, expanded parent engagement opportunities, school-based climate initiatives and an increased social media presence.

Another goal is the implementation of the “Go Math” program. By June 30, the “Go Math” program will be implemented in kindergarten through sixth grades. This will be done through training, alignment and communication.

“Go Math” will be applied to the classrooms through activities such as math program experience nights, professional development, observations, class walkthroughs and lesson plans.

Lastly, Vespe anticipates the technology department to continue to support district initiatives through enhanced technology, assistance and training. Related initiatives include future ready schools, electronic communication and the completion and review of security vulnerability assistance.

The next board of education meeting will be held on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at Indian Mills Memorial School.


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