Closter Public Schools

A Message from Our Superintendent

Dear Closter Community,

At the board of education meeting on June 12, 2023, the Finance and Physical Plant Committee presented information about a bond referendum to upgrade our school facilities. Here is an overview of this bond referendum, which will go to vote on September 26, 2023:

  • A bond referendum is an election held to allow the residents of a school district to vote yes or no to a district's request to borrow money for building new schools, renovating existing schools, and/or acquiring/improving other long-term assets.
  • We are proposing a bond referendum vote to borrow money for necessary projects to replace roofs in specific areas of Hillside Elementary School and Tenakill Middle School; to replace windows at Tenakill Middle School; to replace old boilers at Hillside Elementary School and Tenakill Middle School; and for a new HVAC unit for the Tenakill Middle School gymnasium. The total cost of the projects is $6,489,700.
  • All of these facility projects are eligible for Debt Service Aid from the state of New Jersey. The state will pay $2,206,498 toward the costs if funded through a bond referendum, reducing the actual district cost to $4,283,202.
  • We are timing this project to coincide with the expiration date of the previous bond referendum, thereby keeping taxes at a steady level.
  • These projects are necessary and will occur with or without the bond referendum. Without a bond referendum, we will pay the full cost because we will not be eligible for the $2.2 million in Debt Service Aid!
  • The estimated tax impact of the bond is less than $21 per year for the average home in Closter ($758,910), assuming an interest rate of 5.5%.

You can find more information at the Closter Referendum website.

Separately, the board and administration also have been working to increase the number of classroom spaces at Hillside Elementary School, where space has been at a premium. I am happy to report that we have found a solution that does not involve incurring additional debt to taxpayers. This project is not part of the bond referendum. We will use capital reserve funds to add five rooms using a modular building to be built in the existing courtyard. The new rooms will be ready for use in September 2024.

Our board has been diligent in their planning to maintain our school facilities and add classroom space at Hillside Elementary School while being fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. If you have questions about the bond referendum or the new rooms at Hillside Elementary School, please email

I wish you a wonderful summer!


Vincent McHale

Vincent McHale
Superintendent of Schools
(201) 768-3001