Gloucester City School Superintendent, Joe Rafferty, is giving $12,600 of his $15,000 merit bonus back to the district. He made the announcement at Tuesday’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting and asked that the money go toward the opening of the new middle school.
In accordance with the terms of his contract, Rafferty said he had the opportunity to obtain $15,000 worth of merit pay, but with the opening of the middle school and many other things, he told the BOE that he would like to give back $12,600 because “I feel that it is so important.”
Rafferty explained that he discussed this matter with his wife, Barbara. “It is something that we feel should be done from our side of the family to the family that I serve here.” The announcement was met with applause.
In other matters, Rafferty thanked the Gloucester City Fire Department, the Gloucester City Police Department and the Camden County Sheriff’s Department for demonstrating to district staff what would happen if a serious event took place at school. “It really empowered our staff to see how that was done. It was an eye-opening event and it was greatly appreciated,” he said.
The Director of the Early Childhood Center, Norrell Gurcsik, gave a presentation regarding the self-assessment for determining HIB (Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying) grades.
Gurcsik said that each school year, the school safety team at each building has to complete a self-assessment that is submitted to the State of New Jersey. She gave the results of the district’s self-assessment for the end of last year.
Gurcsik, said: “For Cold Springs School, we scored a 69 out of a possible 75. For Mary Ethel Costello, we scored a 68 out of a possible 70 and for the Gloucester City Junior-Senior High School, we scored a 67 out of a 78.”
Board member, Jackie Borger, asked for clarification.
Gurcsik responded: “For each category, we rate ourselves as far as training HIB personnel and procedures, so we total up those scores and look at those areas and try to improve for the following year.”
Amy Francis, the Director of Special Services, added: “Based on those scores, we are in good shape, but as far as those scores and the State, it does not specify a descriptor at this time. What happens is these scores have to be posted on the State website.”
Superintendent Rafferty offered clarification: “For example, if I send a team for HIB training, they will fill out that assessment, get a higher score, and that would be an area where we have training.”
GCSD To Undergo Civil Rights Review
The Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Elizabeth Curry, was asked to explain the civil rights review that the district will undergo in October.
Dr. Curry said that the district was selected by the Federal Government and the State for a civil rights review. “They will be here for two days in October to make sure we are an equal access employer and to make sure we have equal access for male and female. Do we have an equal amount of sports teams? They will look at our hiring practices and our counseling.”
Agenda Items Approved
On the business side, the Board approved various items on their meeting agenda.
- Bill payment in the amount of $1,632,346.98.
- A change order in the amount of $589 to Gaudelli Brothers, Inc. for the Cold Springs School fan coil project per bid dated April 29, 2016 and Board approved on June 9, 2016. The change order was requested to secure block walls to meet fire code. The revised contract in the total amount of $474,789.
- Non-public technology purchases for the 2016-17 school year for Gloucester Catholic for textbook purchases from Houghlin Mifflin in the amount of $3,629.81 and for 13 Dell work stations and a USB charging station in the amount of $11,177.83.
- A contract with Kennedy Health Systems for the 2016-17 school year for drug testing.
Additional contract approvals for the 2016-17 school year:
- PSE&G to install four light poles for the new middle school in the amount of $7,873.75. Jackie Border clarified by saying these are light poles for Market Street.
- Dell Compellent SAN (Storage Area Network) under the SCA State Contract in the amount of $212,277.42 to replace the end-of-life Dell Compellent SAN unit that serves as the virtual server and switch main hub for the district.
- School Messenger (West Interactive Services Corporation) in the amount of $3,000 for the period of October 1, 2016-October 31, 2017 and funded by NCLB (No Child Left Behind).
- IXL site license renewal contract in the amount of $23,340 for the period of September 5, 2016-September 5, 2019 and funded by NCLB.
Finally, as for the status of the teachers’ contract, Mediation is scheduled for November 21. As for the progress of the new middle school, Facilities Director, John Kenney, provided an outline in the meeting agenda that details all of the ongoing work.
The BOE will meet next on Thursday, October 6 for its caucus session and on Tuesday, October 11 for its regular meeting. Meetings take place at 7:00 p.m. in the GHS Media Center.