Jackson BOE Hears School Violence/Bullying & Food Service Reports

Jackson School District Director of Buildings and Grounds Edward Ostroff recently reported to Board of Educaiton members that the district’s $5 million facility will supplement spacing needs of its current facility on Don Conner Blvd. Ground was broken earlier this summer. (Photo Provided by Jackson School District)

  JACKSON – The tally for incidents of vandalism and the sales totals for items on the lunch menu were among the subjects discussed during the Board of Education’s July meeting.

  Board members heard the details of two PowerPoint presentations related to food service and anti-bullying/violence reports.

  Raymond Milewski, the district’s director of security presented his latest report concerning all incidents of violence, bullying and vandalism in the district’s 10 schools in the last six months.

  The data collected will be reported to the state. The objective is to collect incident data concerning any serious student misconduct in the areas of vandalism, hate based incidents, weapons and substance abuse.

  The report centered on reported incidents from the period of January to June 2019 and noted 22 incidents of violence, nine incidents of vandalism, 19 HIB incidents and one incident involving a weapon. Thirty-nine substance abuse incidents were recorded.

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  There were 17 drug paraphernalia incidents, three incidents involving alcohol and 17 involving use of marijuana, two involving prescription drugs and seven involving unauthorized prescription drugs.

  Police were notified regarding 25 incidents though no complaints were filed according to the presentation. Sixteen students received a suspension as a result of incidents and 61 out of school suspensions were also issued by school officials. There were six student victims and 85 student offenders.

  It was noted that 58 investigations involving some form of bias were performed with 19 being confirmed.

  Milewski said that the district would continue to bring school/district safety teams together to review data and to use the collected data to plan programs and inform practices, approaches and curriculum and partner with the Jackson Police Department.

  Superintendent Dr. Stephen Genco said that “being we’re a large district we’re going to look high” in comparison to some other districts within the state and county.

  Genco added that district officials will also provide refresher training for school administrators and educate all stakeholders.

  “We are very similar to what we saw last year at this time,” Genco said.

  Milewski said that during the week of Oct. 1-5, students in the district observed a week of respect as an overall theme as a means to promote racial, gender, gender identification and religious harmony.

  The classification of an HIB incident is any incident that involves an act that is deemed to have involved an action that is demeaning, offensive text messages, name calling, offensive comments, taunting, or teasing by one student or students to another student.    

  Assistant Superintendent Nicole Pormilli said “it is a three-tier approach in developing social emotional skills.” Student offenders are counseled and in repeat cases receive “one on one sessions with a counselor. It is not a let’s try one approach.”

  District Food Service Director Joseph Immordino also reviewed the district’s food service providing data from the recently completed school year.

  District sales totals in al a carte sale of food items increased by 3.37 percent from last year. In 2018 the total was $601,183 and it increased to $621,413 this year.

  The district’s elementary schools noted a decrease. Last year’s total was $201,683 while this year’s total was $200,121 representing a decrease of 0.77 percent.

  Middle Schools in the district saw a 7.60 percent increase from 2018’s $165,356 to this year’s $177,919.

  That trend continued with the district’s two high schools whose total grew by 3.94 percent rising from $234,144 in 2018 to $243,373 this year.

  Immordino included various photos within his PowerPoint presentation showing displays of food served at several school awards programs during the school year as well as the daily menu showing healthy choices for students.

  Board members also received some good news from Edward Ostroff, the district’s director of Buildings and Grounds during the session. Ostroff reported on the progress of construction of the district’s $5 million satellite transportation project.

  “Work is underway and we are actually ahead of schedule. We are hoping to occupy it by March,” Ostroff said.

  The district’s current transportation facility is falling short on space for its bus and vehicle storage and work areas. Board members have been examining expanding the transportation facility for more than two years now and the project broke ground earlier this summer.

  Funding for the project will come from surplus funds and was not part of this year’s adopted spending plan. Genco previously said facility to be located on district owned property near Jackson Liberty High School will be paid with capital reserve money.