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Westfield School Superintendent Proposes Using Subscription Busing for ‘Gardens’

By Anna Murray

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

Superintendent of Schools Dr. William J. Foley introduced the idea, Tuesday night, of opening up subscription busing to "Gardens" residents. This issue includes Highland Avenue down to Mountainview Circle and proceeding to Dudley Avenue.

Subscription busing policy does not allow for route expansion; seats of existing routes are distributed via lottery. However, prior to bidding routes out for the 1997-1998 school year, administrators will ask for a fixed Gardens route. All the regular conditions pertaining to subscription busing will apply.

Board member Keith S. Hertell complimented Assistant Superintendent in Charge of Business, Dr. Robert C. Rader, and board Vice President Darielle M. Walsh on the smooth progression of the newly constructed additions to Jefferson and Wilson Elementary Schools.

"I know how much time they've spent at the sites and, to their credit, they do not come to these meetings with continuous problems and issues concerning construction," said Mr. Hertell.

Board members unanimously agreed with his sentiment.

In other business, board members fine-tuned much of the language contained in the Weapons and Dangerous Instruments Policy. Much of the policy is directly drafted from mandated federal guidelines. The mission underway by board members is to bring the language in the guidelines into accordance with existing district practices.

As the final policy draft is near completion, board President Susan Jacobson took the opportunity to compliment the board by stating, "I am so impressed with this board's commitment to thorough research and detailed input on this and other issues."

Also discussed was the district policy for fund-raising by Parent-Teacher Associations and Parent-Teacher Organizations. Board members will review both policies and vote on them at the Tuesday, May 20 Board of Education meeting.

Lastly, the board approved school staff appointments. Among the full-time and part-time positions are: 383 faculty members, 28 administrators and department heads, 34 paraprofessionals, 54 secretaries, and 47 custodians/maintenance staff members.

Of the 383 faculty members, 73 are non-tenured teachers, 10 are returning from leaves of absence and one full-time teaching position will be modified to a four-fifths position.

Administrators, teachers and secretaries attain tenure after having worked in Westfield for three years and one day, and after having received positive evaluations.

"Each year, staffing decisions are based on projected student needs, on financial resources, on staff evaluations and on state laws regarding tenure and seniority.

"We are fortunate in Westfield to attract and keep competent and dedicated staff members, and we look forward to a 'banner' academic year," said Mrs. Walsh.

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