By Leigh Anne Hubbs
Gloucester City News
The Mount Ephraim Board of Education (BOE) voted to reinstate full day kindergarten beginning in September 2012 during its recent meeting.
The School District has not had a full-day kindergarten program since the 2009-10 school year.
Superintendent Joseph Rafferty said the full day kindergarten improves students’ readiness for the primary grades.
Another positive is not only will it attract “school choice” families, but will also help to retain in-district families who are seeking a full-day program for their children, he said.
Although the change back to full day will require a second kindergarten teacher, it will not cost residents any additional taxes because the position will be created by dissolving the Behavior Disabilities (BD) classroom.
The two students currently in the BD program will be accommodated accordingly, Rafferty said.
In other news, School Board members proudly announced that the district has been recognized with three monetary awards from the Burlington County Insurance Pool - Joint Insurance Fund.
The awards include: $1,000 for the Safety Incentive Program; $1,000 for Financial Excellence – Most Improved Loss Ratio; and $500 for Financial
Excellence – Maintaining a Loss Ratio Below 90 percent.
Business Administrator Melissa Raywood said the district was notified by the state that it would be receiving an additional $3,904 from the Federal Supplemental Education Jobs Fund for this school year.
Board President Dominick Cipolone said the BOE will be discussing the 2012-13 budget in sections over the next couple of meetings.
Raywood said the Board is looking to streamline non-classroom costs. For example, the increase in recycling by the district has resulted in savings because now only one trash pick up per week is needed.
Board members decided to accept Beneficial Bank’s proposal to continue serving the district and other members of the Camden County Consortium beyond the end of this year.
Effective January 1 the interest rate on all accounts is decreasing from 1.25 percent down to .60 percent, but the bank will continue not to charge any fees to the consortium, Ms. Raywood said that “no fees” is important.
The district has approved the following substitutes:
Jennifer Kennedy as teacher for $80 per day; Dawn Salamone as paraprofessional for $60 per day; Timothy McAndrew for teacher and paraprofessional; Angeliki Kappatos as nurse for $125 per day; Alison Meriowsky and Catherine Gorman as Shining Star lead staff for $20 per hour; and Glen Geserick as custodian for $10 per hour.
October’s Student of the Month winners included; 1st Scott Lynch, 2nd Phaedra Rabeau, 3rd Lauren Fitzgerald, 4th Mia Lapp, 5th Joshua Pizzillo, 6th Andrew Romano, 7th Zachary Pacetti and 8th William Verzilli.
The next BOE meeting will be Monday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Kershaw Middle School’s Media Center.