Weehawken school board repeals school employee vaccination requirements

Recently, a new trustee was seated and the superintendent's contract was extended

The Weehawken school district no longer requires school employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Board of Education approved a resolution making the change at its August 29 meeting.

According to the resolution, the move came at the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Eric Crespo and follows an executive order signed by Governor Phil Murphy earlier this month loosening COVID-19 restrictions when it comes to the unvaccinated. The Weehawken school board’s resolution repealed and abolished Policy 1648.13, which is entitled “School Employee Vaccination Requirements.”

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There were no public comments on the matter at the meeting by either the board or the public. The meeting, which was held in person but also live-streamed on YouTube, was concluded in roughly five minutes.

New school board trustee

This was the first full meeting for new trustee Linda Vivin Cabrera. Cabrera replaces former Trustee Noelberto Sanchez.

Sanchez resigned effective July 1, having been on the board since first elected in 2014. He was also re-elected with no opposition in 2020 for a three-year term, but has now opted to resign in 2022.

The board held an executive session for interviews of two candidates out of five applicants that had applied to fill the seat at its July 19 meeting. At the meeting, officials said the interviews were being held that way because the board has the discretion to hold them in executive session and has opted to do so. Crespo recused himself from that part of the meeting.

Cabrera was voted onto the board at the August 16 meeting. The five trustees present at the meeting voted unanimously for her over the other candidate, Tara Vassallo.

Trustees Gio Ahmad, Board President John Cannata, Meg Carson, Julian Brian Mere, and Richard Pinal voted for Cabrera. Trustees Ildefonso Acosta, Marissa Dennis, and Vice President Jennifer Bolcar were absent. Subsequently, she was sworn in to the board at the same meeting.

The special board seat does not last for even a full year however. Cabrera’s term will expire in 2023, meaning she will have to run for the next school board election in April of next year.

Superintendent’s contract extended

Also at the August 16 meeting, the contract for Superintendent Crespo was rescinded. However, it was replaced with a longer contract.

Crespo was tapped as superintendent in 2019, with a term set to expire on June 30, 2023. Now his new contract will run from July 1, 2022 until June 30, 2027.

The next meeting is slated for September 20 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to weehawkenschools.net.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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