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Westfield School Redistricting Changes
Measures Told For School Crossings
While students throughout Westfield spent the last few days of summer purchasing pencils, notebooks and back-to-school clothes, the Westfield public schools prepared for the new school year with plumbing, paint and flashing lights.
A total of 60 maintenance projects are nearing completion in an ambitious effort to rebuild, maintain or improve safety conditions for an estimated 4,800 Westfield public school children, according to district spokeswoman, Lorre Korecky.
Among the most noticeable of the physical changes are the additions of six classrooms each to Jefferson and Wilson Elementary Schools. To alleviate overcrowding at the elementary level, these additional classrooms will provide needed space to maintain class sizes at a maximum of 25 elementary students.
In order to achieve this class size in all six elementary schools, officials determined redistricting of approximately 75 students from Tamaques to Jefferson and 80 students from Franklin to Wilson was necessary.
To provide the safe crossing of these children to and from school, and with the cooperation and direction of the Westfield Police Department, these steps have been taken:
· A police officer has been assigned with a marked police car with flashing lights at the crossing of Mountain Avenue and North Chestnut Street (the preferred crossing by the district) three times a day.
· Footprints have been painted on the sidewalks leading to this school crossing.
· The Mountain Avenue/North Chestnut Street crossing has been painted. Orange cones will be in place approaching the Mountain Avenue/North Chestnut Street crossing.
· A request has been made for state approval of the installation of flashing lights and a 25 miles-per-hour speed limit at the Mountain Avenue/North Chestnut crossing.
· A crossing guard has been assigned to the Mountain and Dudley Avenues intersection.
· A speed trailer with flashing lights will be placed at school crossing areas. "No left turn" signs have been posted on Mountain Avenue to prevent cars from turning into the "Gardens" area.
· "No left turn" signs have been installed at Dudley Court and Highland Avenue.
· Stop signs have been installed on Summit Court.
· Cross walks at all locations of crossing guards have been repainted.
Westfield Board of Education Vice President and Facilities Committee Chairwoman Darielle M. Walsh reported that interior and exterior improvements to the nine schools also have been underway or are completed, including bathroom renovations have been made at Westfield High School and re-roofing is being completed at the school, as well. The track at Gary Kehler Stadium is being repaired and re-lined.
There are re-roofing plans for Edison Intermediate School and the boys locker room is undergoing renovation. Electrical work has been accomplished to provide for new computers in the science rooms. Library automation electrical work also has been completed.
Exterior lighting been installed at Roosevelt, bids have been adjusted and requested for the renovation of the athletic field and the creation of a fitness track, and a school sign has been placed on the property. Bathrooms have been renovated on the second floor and plans are being developed for the third floor. Electrical work needed for library automation at Roosevelt and for the new science and geography computers also has been finished.
Electrical work for the library automation in all six elementary schools has been completed and the boiler room mechanical renovation are occurring at all the schools.
The Franklin School roof has been replaced. Other projects include landscaping, floor tile removal, and first floor bathroom renovation.
In addition to Wilson and Jefferson Schools newly constructed classrooms, new file alarm and building security systems have been installed and landscaping for the new additions completed.
Plans are being developed to complete the renovation of Wilson School gutters. Asbestos floor tile has been removed from the hallways of Jefferson School while interior renovation is almost complete at McKinley, Westfield's oldest elementary school. A renew alarm also has been installed.
Tamaques School's improvements include window replacements a new lawn tractor and plans to blacktop the rear play area.
A classroom trailer has been installed at Washington School, where enrollment is increasing steadily, according to Mrs. Korecky. A handicapped entrance for the trailer is also in place. A dividing wall has been removed in a classroom and the removal of asbestos floor tile has been completed. A new lawn tractor also has been provided for the school.
"On behalf of the Facilities Committee and the board, I am extremely pleased by the progress of the facilities projects and safety measures in place for the start of the new school year. We appreciate the efforts of the administration, our police department, Town Council, parents and community who have shared in these accomplishments," said Mrs. Walsh.
Town School Board Ratifies Deal With Administrators
The Westfield Board of Education approved a three-year contract between the Board and the Westfield Association of Administrators and Supervisors (WAAS) at its public meeting on Tuesday, August 19.
Effective July 1 of this year through June 30, 2000, the WAAS contract includes average salary increments of 3 percent for each year. The WAAS represents 31 administrators and department heads in the Westfield Public School district.
Chairwoman of the Board of Education's negotiating team, Board President Susan Jacobson, commented, "I am extremely pleased that negotiations were completed in a positive and timely manner, resulting in fairness to our employees and demonstrating fiscal responsibility to taxpayers."
Also serving on the Board's negotiating team with Mrs. Jacobson were Ginger L. Hardwick, Darielle M. Walsh and Thomas Taylor. The WAAS negotiating team members included Dr. Robert G. Petix, Richard Konet, Stewart Carey and Connie Odell.
The last multiple-year contract was negotiated for 1993-1995, which included average salary increases of 4 percent. The WAAS 1995-1997 contracts included a decrease in health insurance costs. The new 1997-2000 agreement further controls long-term costs to the school district with the elimination of payments for longevity, previously granted after 15 years of employment, according to district spokeswoman Lorre Korecky.
The Board of Education is continuing to negotiate with the Westfield Association of Educational Secretaries (WAES) to reach a settlement on their impending contract. A tentative settlement has been reached with the Westfield Instructional Support Staff Association (WISSA), with ratification of that contract expected this fall.
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