Washington Twp. Schools Behind NJ Average in Computers

Schools official maintains kids are still making global connections.

are below the state average when it comes to providing enough computers per student as a district, according to the recently released school report cards.

Of the four schools in the district–, , , and –only LVMS was ahead of the state average with 3.3 students per computer. New Jersey’s average, according to the 2009-10 school year report cards, was 3.6 students per computer.

2009-10 Student to Computer Ratio 2009-10 New Jersey Student to Computer Ratio Long Valley Middle School 3.3 3.6 Benedict A. Cucinella School 4.7 3.6 Old Farmers Road School 7.5 3.6 Flocktown-Kossmann Elementary School 5.1 3.6

"Do we need more computers?" asked Washington Township Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Papera. "Of course we do, but it is a large expense."

Papera said the district is maintaining what it has and expanding resources. "We are exploring all the options that are out there to continue to be a cutting edge, 21st century learning environment," Papera said.

"Are students using the computers as the 21st century learning tool that they are?" Papera asked.  "Are they tapping into the vast resources that are out there? Are they making global connections? Here in Washington Township they are."

The Washington Township School district is currently constructing its budget for the 2011-12 school year. What technological advancements take place during the next school year will be largely budget-based.

Thomas Lotito February 10, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Hey Jason, maybe if the BOE considered closing the Flocktown School, saving millions in overhead and administrative costs, we could afford more computers.
Eileen Kelly February 13, 2011 at 01:49 PM
My property taxes are ridiculously high for practically no services but a good school district. To hear that we are behind other school districts with the number of computers in a time where the job market is technology based is a disgrace. Where are all our taxes going?
Kevin Nedd February 13, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Eileen, Here are links to the 2010 - 2011 school and muncipal budgets. What specifically would you cut so that your taxes are no longer "ridiculously high"? WT School District - http://www.wtschools.org/file/acf5c2de.pdf West Morris Regional - http://www.wmrhsd.org/WWW_FILES/75/LINK_DOCS_75/USERFR(2).HTM WT Municipal - http://www.wtmorris.org/committee/budget.html Reply
Beach Mover February 15, 2011 at 11:30 PM
Eileen just sent this to BOE and curious what you think. These are the enrollment figures on the school website. BOE and Administration, I do think if your projection (I know it is only a projection ) is correct, of down 109 students, it is time for this Administration and BOE to consider doing something with a school. Think of how it looks from when I was on BOE. My last year we had about 3100 students entering the year without BAC (BENEDICT A. CUCINELLA)! You now have, with your projection, almost 550 less students with BAC BENEDICT A. CUCINELLA) open! I think any person looking at those numbers would say it is time to start to look at a new direction. I think the BOE and Administration can deliver much more for the education dollar if they can find a way to use one of the schools in a different way. How about being really bold and offering whatever school fits to a charter school. We can make money on the lease and I am sure some of our students would go to the "new school". Less students and better education for the dollar spent. Just a thought. I am sure there are Administration and BOE members who have additional ideas. Eileen just one idea.
Kevin Nedd February 15, 2011 at 11:56 PM
Jeff's simpleminded analysis is flawed in that it only speaks to demand (enrolled students) while saying nothing about supply (available classrooms). You can't make a definitive statement about closing a school unless you make the case supply greatly exceeds demand. What Jeff also fails to mention is the severe overcrowding that existed in our schools prior to BAC being built. Even with a loss of students – what proof is there that we have an abundance of idle capacity to warrant closing a school? None! Any rational person would be wise to consider both demand and supply before coming to a conclusion that a school must be closed or used for another purpose. Perhaps this is why the BOE has thus far rejected those who subscribe to Jeff's false argument.
Beach Mover February 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM
http://www.wtschools.org/file/4ff838af.pdf Eileen Thanks again for info. According to the Super of Schools we had at least 1 empty classroom las year. (other school people said more) and he indicates in his presentation we will have at least 2 more (slide 7) thats 3 that we are told of. It is a start. With an average class size of 20 109 less children sounds like 5 classrooms to me. Eileen hope to chat.
Kevin Nedd February 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Page 7 of the document Jeff referenced does show a loss of 109 students. But the DISTRIBUTION of those students across grades 1-5 only allows for the reduction of TWO sections, which equates to two classrooms. The fact Jeff thinks this equates to 5 classrooms is another example of his simplemindedness.
Beach Mover February 16, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Eileen, I am sure the BOE and Administration are looking at things. There are 260 children in K-2 at Kossman today according to BOE. 84 of the student are in ½ K. That means at any one time there are only 218 students in the school . In 2004 Kossman had 566 students in it! K 163, 1st grade 213 2nd grade 190. If there are going to be 109 less students next year ( only about 10 less in K) there will be about 100 less students full time across 3 schools. There are options for BOE. Find additional space in other schools (we know it is there because there were 550 more students at one time) Go from 20.3 students per class to 22. Does not sound like much and with 15% of our students needing special services most classes never have that many students in them because of pull outs. Even without them, I do not think 22 in a class is excessive. However, that is for public and BOE to decide. It is great time for a talk about it. I still think it would be very proactive to see if a charter school would like to rent one of our schools. Everybody could win!!
Kevin Nedd February 16, 2011 at 03:14 PM
More simpleminded drivel from Jeff, who still hasn't addressed the capacity issue mentioned above. Jeff had his time on the WTBOE. A tenure (2004-2005) marked by the largest one time property tax increase in the history of the township!
Beach Mover February 16, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Thank you for information Eileen!!
Beach Mover February 16, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Eileen here is info from local BOE site that was emailed to me awhile ago. BAC K 78, 1 95, 2 90, 3 100 , 4 140, 5 92 TOTAL BAC 595 OFRS K 37, 1 46, 2 85, 3 53, 4 83, 5 93 Total OFRS 397 Kossman K 78, 1 100, 2 72 Total Kossman 250 Flocktown 3 105, 4 88, 5 104 Total Flok 297. Total at BAC 595 Referendum said capacity 770 extra capacity at BAC 185. OFRS 397 Capacity 485 extra capacity 88, Kossman 250 capacity 310 extra capacity 60 Flocktown 297 Capacity 365 extra capacity 68. Total extra capacity 401. The distribution of the K students is a guess because the school does not break down yet but the number is correct. The only number that is solid is BAC because that was advertised. The other numbers were set much lower than many BOE members thought when I was on BOE. 3000 was a number Administration liked but we were told we had capacity for the then projected 3400 students without much crowding. Hope that answers some of your thoughts as to why we might be paying too much in taxes Eileeen. The idea is to talk and see what is best for students and taxypayers. Maybe more teachers, less adminstration, and less space.
Kevin Nedd February 16, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Ok Jeff. Which school would you suggest we close and where would you put the students (by grade) ?


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