Bedminster Township School Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Koos was absent from Thursday’s school board meeting because she is currently out on sick leave.
Board president Louis Casella announced at the beginning of the meeting that, because of the protections in the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), he could not disclose the reason for Koos’s leave.
“We hope to have her back shortly,” he said.
Koos’s absence comes at a critical time. The district faces a March 7 deadline to submit a preliminary 2013-2014 budget to the Somerset County Superintendent of Schools.
Koos had been scheduled to present an overview of the budget at Thursday’s board meeting, but Casella delivered it instead. The budget may be increasing by 10 percent because of increased special education and other costs.
Koos was recently at the center of a controversy over possible plagiarism charges. The board discussed the allegations against Koos, and has expressed the belief that last month.
In other personnel news, the school board accepted the resignation of longtime teacher Patricia Kowalski, effective July 1.
Kowalski, a teacher of the handicapped who started work in the school district in 1975, said in her letter of resignation that she was retiring with “mixed emotions.”
“My students made every day worthwhile,” she wrote.