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Official: Enrollment Issue Making Progress

Community Advisory Committee set to meet again on June 12.

Progress is being made in potential changes that could affect the district due to projected enrollment drops, according to Community Advisory Committee chairperson and board of education member Michelle Munley.

The committee was and has been meeting every few weeks. Discussions have centered around the district continuing its education standards while considering changes in facilities, .

The group’s most recent meeting, held on May 17, went over the current districts assigned to each school, and what the positive and negative of those currently are, and how they may be changed.

“We’ve been looking at short term opportunities and long-term opportunities in this process,” Munley said. “We’re looking at different district models and different ways of doing things.”

A new districting model, for example, could allocate individual schools for individual grades, i.e. Kossman for all the township’s kindergarten and first grade students, with holding all the township’s second and third grade students, and so on.

Munley said the process is being looked at in a pro and con fashion, and the list of cons is currently longer than the plus side.

“We’ve discussed a lot of options so far, and nothing has been thrown out yet,” she said.

Munley said about 20 to 25 of the committee’s original 40 or so members have been consistently attending the meetings and giving input.

“We’ve been able to maintain the diversity of residents involved in this process,” Munley said. “We have empty-nesters, retired residents, teachers and parents of pre-schoolers and school-aged children working on this.”

As for changes to the new school year beginning in Sept. 2012, Munley said it might be too soon for anything to be put into place just yet.

The committee next meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12 at . Residents are welcomed to attend. 

PatienceWorth May 28, 2012 at 03:40 PM
With all due respect, if one of the "options" being discussed after all these months is busing 2nd graders from the far southwest corner of the town to Cucinella in the far northwest of twon, more than 10 miles, with stops, during rush hours, with gas where it is, maybe it is time to wrap up this exercise in butt covering? We have a representative elected BOE and financial and engineering and academic expert professionals on the payroll. All the moms and seniors have had their meetings -- what happens at the end of this? Is there a show of hands and by a layman count of 12-11 it is decided not to mothball a school? This is basic resource administration, get off the stick. Mothball Kossman or Flocktown. If enrollment keeps dropping mothball the other one. Use some of the savings for academics and return some of the savings to the taxpayer. Wrap it up.
Hookerman May 28, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I agree! A districting model based on grade rather than geography in a township this large is sheer lunacy! Imagine the family who purposely bought a house in an Old Farmer's neighborhood so they could be close to the school there, and would now have to drive all the way up the mountain to Kossman to pick their kid up from aftercare. That'll go over like a lead balloon.
Valley Mom May 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM
They need to add SPELLING to the schools. If you want to boost enrollment...offer the best eduction in the area. Without teaching spelling or basic math we are showing people that we do not care what the kids learn..and basically school is just there for daily babysitting. TEACH SPELLING AND BASIC MATH..and stop wasting money on things like re-organizing the schools. It does not matter where the kids got o school..if we do not have a great education set up for them people will not want to send their kids to any of our schools. Splitting up the schools all crazy will not fix the real problem.
Scott Wright May 29, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Is closing a school considered a option? Education should be left to administration with BOE approval. The original discussion was not about the "500" students that might not be here is a few years, who knows, but the 500 to 700 that already are not here since a new school opened. Close 2 schools (Kossman Flocktown) put 5th grade back in middle school (250 less students then were there 7 years ago) and save $$$$$$$. This will make all houses much more valuable in LV and let more special teachers ( music, language and so on) be with all students all the time
PatienceWorth May 30, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Besides "duh" the response to your comment is to say "why isn't this simply done already?" Reason Number One: The nine Washington Township Board of Education members are exclusively or near exclusively made up of K-8 parents with children who are "hostage" in the current system (a few may be beyond 8th grade now but they are all parents). None of them want to go to Back To School Night and sit across from a teacher when a fellow union member got cut because of right-sizing. Reasons Number Two through 100: See Reason One. There are no contested BOE races. Nobody gets a gold star for cutting taxes in 2012 in Washington Township. They tried to do the wave for "achieving" a flat budget with plunging enrollment in a zero inflation economy. What is left for BOE members is their personal concern about their kids. So a Group Hug Stall Committee is formed to drag things out until BOE member, Jr., III gets out of reach of union retribution. Straight up.
Elizabeth June 01, 2012 at 03:12 AM
This exercise is complete lunacy. Close Flocktown or Kossman. I can not believe these people have the nerve to float the idea of bussing kids accross the town as a solution to the projected school population decrease. Really? And what will that do?
MTSO June 01, 2012 at 05:13 AM
What a joke of a a committee. Everyone just loves coming up with new ideas and opportunities to keep them open. Stop ignoring the taxpayers and close one or more schools and lower our taxes. Where are the comments supporting this committee?
LVMom June 01, 2012 at 07:27 PM
okay here's the thing.. as the WMC is no longer welcome in WM district.. lets start with creating a k-12 district then WE can look at how to bolster our home values with GREAT schools. -- magnets, lower taxes through combined resources (admin/boe/etc) unique offerings, and dropping IB for AP (saves money and gives our students more options and meet the needs of 90+% of our students). best of all we can really look at what works and implement it. (rather then each school per grade how about 'specialty' math/science, eng/history, arts... or use part of one (flocktown or kosman would work) as magnet for gifted - only in area we'd get people moving here for that... let's take back our schools. --
Claire June 01, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Lvmom aka La Quin, how can wt not be welcome in their own district. Do you let a small group of medham township people bully you? Most in chesters and mend boro do not feel that way so first let's not group everyone from WMM into that small group. The way the WT BOE and school admin has directed our k-8 in the past 12 years, there is no way I would vote to let them ruin this school district even more than has already happened. Wmc is a good school, since your a homeschooler, you may not realize the opportunities it opens up for students. Let's keep it that way.
Just Sayin' June 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I would not want our K-8 administrators in charge of a K-12. They still didn't restore our gifted and talented program to the level it was and is way behind Chester/Mendham programs for these children. Our K-8 administrators are all about providing the red carpet for those with special needs and have lost focus on all the rest. The current House and Class structure at the middle school also helps them spread out classroom use as to deceive those looking in and also limits their ability to offer more world languages, as one example. There was a time when LVMS offered 3 languages, and I don't think the school population was much smaller, heck I think they did have 5th grade there when they had more offerings!!! Go figure. Close a school and bring the resources back directly to the students. I am sorry that jobs may be lost, but this is a regular occurance in the corporate world, and those who may be let go will make it just like everyone else who has had a set back in their life!

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