Nutley BOE Seeks to End Texting During Meetings

Rules being refined to take into account new technologies

The Nutley school board Monday discused rule changes that would prohibit text messaging and other forms of electronic communications among members while board meetings are in progress.

Officials also want to stay ahead on establishing clear rules on the use of new technologies, especially computer tablets like the iPad.

After officials began discussing policy changes, board trustee Debbie Russo said she supports the district "going somewhat more paperless," but was concerned that rules about using electronic devices are not spelled out well enough.

"We need to be clear about texting other board members during meetings," Russo said.

Board trustee Charles Kucinski, who chairs the policy committee, agreed.

"Ethically, we need to clean this up, and stress that texting is not being done," Kucinski said.

Board Trustee Vicky Flynn said she was concerned that the use of iPads is clearly allowed.

"My interpretation is that the policy allows us to use or iPads," Flynn said. "I thought the language was in place, but maybe the policy needs to be doctored a little."

Board President James Kuchta said, "The policy has a structure in place to use all these new technologies."

Superintendent of Schools Russell Lazovick talked generally about the district's focus on updating all school policies.

"We need to make sure we are updating as we go," Lazovick said. "We are getting templates from other districts, but they are not as specific."

Also at the meeting, Board Vice President Thomas Sposato said said the district's custodians union has agreed to a new, two-year contract that includes a two percent salary increase retroactive to Sept. 1, 2012, and a two percent increase again for the 2013-14 school year.


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