Special-services and vocational districts prepare for budget

Education boards also award teachers and staff

Education boards from the Gloucester County Special Services School and the Gloucester County Vocational Technical School districts had their last regular meeting of 2021 on Dec. 15.

After the approval of minutes from the Nov. 17 session, financial business such as student-activity fund reports, bill lists, secretary reports and treasurer reports were all reviewed to ensure no major account or fund had been over extended in either district.

The districts then approached the expected timeline for the 2022-2023 school year’s preliminary budget and preparation before numbers are released. State aid figures are not expected to be announced until late February, but until then, the districts plan to discuss budget considerations and release tuition rates to sending districts.

Once the state aid amount is known, a special meeting will be held on March 3 for tentative budgets to be approved. Budgets will be officially approved by the end of the current academic year.

The Vocational Technical School District accepted the Secure Our Children’s Bond Act grant that was announced in September. The $12 million grant allows construction on a new educational and technical training center on Rowan College of South Jersey’s campus in partnership with the district.

Bus evacuation drills conducted on school property in October were reported to be successful.

Toward the end of the meeting, both districts honored teachers, educational services professionals (ESP) and paraprofessionals from each school. Teacher, ESP, and paraprofessional awards went to the following staff members:

Gloucester County Special Services School District

Bankbridge Regional School: Teacher Amanda Darpino, ESP Katie McKenna and paraprofessional Eric DelGrande
Bankbridge Elementary School: Teacher Nadia Liguori, ESP Jen Ford and paraprofessional Cecilia Lettieri
Bankbridge Development Center: Teacher Shanell Principato, ESP Leanne Bauman and paraprofessional Danielle Woods
District-wide support staff: Jennifer Pio
Nonpublic programs: Nurse Valerie Mallon
Center for Regional Education Support Services: Physical therapist Ellen Bleidorn

Gloucester County Vocational Technical School District

Teacher of the Year: Suzanne Belding
ESP of the Year: Sarah Nagle
District Support Staff of the Year: Darren O’Brien

The next board of education meeting for the districts is set for Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m., in GCIT’s theater.