Special PTA Meeting Tonight Addresses “Asbestosgate”

Tonight, there’s a special PTA meeting for parents at 7pm in Montclair’s BOE building at 22 Valley Road, second floor. Dana Sullivan is expected to show up with the asbestos testing results; Renaissance principal Dr. Cobb will attend, environmental consultants, a public health nurse, and a pediatrician have also been invited.
“Attendance at Renaissance today is better than expected,” says PTA prez Mary Ann Cucci. Yesterday, we heard from parents who were deliberating whether they could trust the BOE’s clean school statement and send their kids to school, or if they should boycott classes to send a message to the school board.
Principal Dr. Charles Cobb estimates that 25% of sixth and seventh graders did not return today. Eighth graders are on a D.C. field trip.

“No more construction will be allowed in this building, period,” says Cobb, “until after the school year ends.” “I’ll only allow simple maintenance.” “Policies and procedures are now being put in place to notify parents, students, and teachers – way ahead of time – when construction projects are planned, so they can give us feedback,” he says. This morning, Cobb went around to all the homerooms to answer lots of questions from the students, who he described as “very happy.”

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  1. “period”
    Great news that you’re closing the gate, Dr. Cobb, now that the horses have left. Where was that decisiveness when it counted?
    “very happy”
    That may describe the kids, but they’re not the ones who’ll be attending tonight’s meeting.

  2. Will the bearded wonder show his face?
    He’s an embarrassment and must be held accountable for his lack of leadership during this entire episode.
    I’m not saying he’s the blame. But his lack of communication and leadership cannot be forgotten or forgiven.

  3. “Policies and procedures are now being put in place to notify parents, students, and teachers – way ahead of time – when construction projects are planned, so they can give us feedback,”

  4. They should have a fishbowl at the entrance into which plaintiff’s attorneys can deposit their business cards on the way in.

  5. “Will the bearded wonder show his face?”
    Don’t knock Dr. Alvarez. He’s a very busy man:
    At its Centennial Commencement, which will take place on May 23 at the Izod Center (formerly known as the Continental Airlines Arena) in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Montclair State will grant 3,561 degrees in science and mathematics, humanities and the social sciences, business, the arts, and education. Centennial Commencement speakers and recipients of honorary degrees will include Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Hon. Jon S. Corzine, and Jane Holl Lute. Additional honorary degrees at 2008 graduation and convocation ceremonies will be presented to Frank Alvarez, Superintendent, Montclair Public Schools and Montclair State University alumnus (honorary Doctor of Letters)

  6. Baristas: Is this an open PTA meeting for all parents everywhere, or just for Renaissance? It’s hard to tell from this article; right now it sounds like an open meeting for anyone in the district who might be wondering about their own kids’ schools.

  7. Well I hope he brings his honorary a*s to the meeting and decides to show some leadership here.
    Too late in my book.
    He’s a bum. How much more failure of leadership can one school district take?
    (But I’m sure he’s continue to blame D. Sullivan, Dr. Cobb, Immaculate and everyone else but him.)
    The bucks stops…. over there. Not here. Right Alvarez?

  8. Rennaisance kids have always known the degree of care from the BOE and have fondly called their school
    “Rent a School” for years.

  9. Funny, when I saw the article titled “Crimes Against Baristaville Kids,” I thought that was going to be about Asbestos-gate!

  10. Alvarez must be terrific.
    After all, your non-elected school board voted him a fat new contract fairly recently.
    Any problems with the Montclair schools must be somebody else’s fault.

  11. Your neighbor: The meeting was set up for Renaissance parents, but I don’t think anyone will be turned away.

  12. I think this would be a good time for all schools in the district to be checked and also to make sure their asbestos abatement and maintenance plans are up to date.
    Although tonights meeting was set up for Renaissance parents, if it is at 22 Valley Road, you can’t deny anyone access to a meeting held in a public building.

  13. Does anyone know definitively whether/ when the fire door construction was completed? I assume that it was last week, but I just haven’t heard the words.

  14. “Fire door construction WAS NOT competed – it was halted by the BOE!”
    If this is true, it’s totally irresponsible.

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