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Students Are Choosing to Return to Hopatcong Schools, Superintendent Says

'You can always come home,' said Cynthia Randina, following news that some School Choice students have decided to return to their home district.

File Photo
File Photo
Hopatcong Borough Schools' growing stature as a place for educational excellence is bringing School Choice and Sussex County Technical School students back to the local school district, according to Superintendent of Schools Cynthia Randina.

These are teens who went to Hopatcong schools as young children but decided to try a different route for their high school years, she said. 

“Apparently, students are happier to attend their resident district school, as evidenced by the numerous students who have returned to us this year,” said Randina.

The superintendent chalked the news up to "parents and students learning about the 'New Hopatcong'" and its efforts to raise standards and boost academic performance.

HBS Director of Guidance Gina Cinotti is equally upbeat when discussing the district.

“Hopatcong offers individual attention found nowhere else,” she said. “I grew 
up in Hopatcong and am a product of the schools. The relationships I have created with friends, teachers and community members are experiences you won’t find anywhere else.”

She said the district supports students trying other educational options, but in the end, Hopatcong stacks up with them, said Cinotti. 

She added that students attending a choice school who want to return to Hopatcong may do so, without penalty, at any time during the school year. The first step is to contact the guidance office at 973-770-8861.

"Home is where the heart is, and Hopatcong’s heart is its students," said Superintendent Randina. "You can always come home."
Observer December 01, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Sounds like good news but I would like to know exactly how many have elected to return. It would also be helpful to know how many new students have applied for the NJ Choice School Program. It may be a wash.
Natalie Davis (Editor) December 01, 2013 at 11:01 PM
I actually have those questions in front of the superintendent. Hopefully we shall find out tomorrow.
Peter James December 02, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Cynthia has run a great blitz campaign thus far, let's see if the results stand up to the hype. Saying it's so only goes so far......
Emily December 02, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Honestly, with those flowery phrases. For the 85% of our taxes we need more then that. Show us test scores and that we have passed Camden in the rankings. Please stop with handing us a line of bolony, I for one do not appreciate you talking like we are a bunch of brainless individuals. Pretty words do no get the job done. Remember we pay 85% of our taxes to the school system. . I don't believe we have a lot of students returning, maybe one or two. Not exactly a stampede. You sound desperate not strong.
Roll Back Our Tax December 02, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Emily I think it's 53% NOT 85% that goes towards the school taxes. In any event, I agree....show us the numbers. One can't correct a problem like this in one semester. It may take her whole contract before she can demonstrate a difference vs Camden.
Emily December 02, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Roll back, I meant to write 53 (still way to much) and now having to be talked down to just got my goat. Hey, maybe the sun will come out tomorrow, and we can pick daisies in the field of dreams, and good things come to those who wait,yadayadayada.Can't wait to hear another phrase. Please results and figures and test scores. That's the reality of this situation. Maybe we can all sip hot chocolate with little marshmellows at the next board meeting. This is how I feel we are being treated. Hope that bubble doesn't burst.
Ask Questions December 02, 2013 at 10:36 AM
its strange they choose to come back to a under-performing school system. Why? could they not cut it at a more demanding program? Are their grades dropping? test scores?. There are s many reasons they could be coming back but please list them. As for the "individual attention you can get nowhere else" what does that translate to from an educational standpoint for students? Too many questions and "too much" fluff" coming from our school system....we need results.
David DiChiara December 02, 2013 at 12:25 PM
My question is some schools like morris knolls have a b and c grades and do not have D as an actual passing grade. Are they back do to not being up to par of other schools. Nobody tries that hard to go to another school to come right back.
Ask Questions December 02, 2013 at 12:30 PM
David...I totally agree, there is more to this transition back to Hopatcong than meets the eye.
Emily December 02, 2013 at 12:59 PM
ask questions has a great point. how come we can see the writing on the wall, but the people we pay the big bucks to can't or won't. I guess you have to have both feet planted on the ground and focus on the situation.
Natalie Davis (Editor) December 02, 2013 at 01:38 PM
This answer to my questions came from Hopatcong Borough Schools today: "To date, three students who have returned from choice schools and six students returned from Sussex Tech. Additionally, each January Sussex Tech students tend to return at this point in the year. The number of applications submitted to choice schools does not matter; just because a student applies for a choice school does not mean they will be accepted or will attend. Thus, a better question will be in June of how many students have elected to attend a choice school."
Tammy December 02, 2013 at 03:15 PM
“Apparently, students are happier to attend their resident district school, as evidenced by the numerous students who have returned to us this year,” said Randina." First off, of course kids are happier to attend school where they live with their friends. The bus ride is shorter, they don't have to get up as early and they get home earlier. That is a no brainer. Secondly, 9 is numerous? I suppose by definition it is, however, you would think when somebody uses the word numerous it would be in regards to far more than 9. In closing, 9 out of how many? 9 out of 10, impressive. 9 out of 50, meh.
Emily December 02, 2013 at 03:40 PM
how many have left and stayed in choice schools. That number does not impress me at all. so what your saying about Sussex tech students this a normal return, and only 2 from choice schools. This is so not a return to normal for Hopatcong this road to success will be bumpy and long. I believe Anthony Fasano when he said at least five years. I hope Cynthia doesn't run out of useless phrases.
Eyeballs December 02, 2013 at 04:06 PM
schools in the united states are failing... communist china's students are smarter by leaps and bounds... perhaps we should adopt their model... thank you...
David DiChiara December 02, 2013 at 04:21 PM
I am not slightly impressed with Hopatcong after seeing the other choice schools. Hands down on another level and alot more to offer at tech and morris knolls for success in life and college
Observer December 02, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Back in Hop Hi’s heyday, the 9-12 enrollment exceeded 950. Classes were being held in any nook that could accommodate some desks and a portable chalkboard. Now the 9-12 enrollment is south of 600. To be honest, some of that decrease can be attributed to cyclical changes in student population but in reality, “the writing’s on the wall” Hopatcong has not been a “choice” venue for new locating new families. Some may be in denial about the reasons but to most, it’s obvious. I wish a miracle would occur that would change things for the better. I commend those who give of themselves in efforts to make positive change and maybe 2014 will be the long awaited turning point. Let’s hope so.
Eyeballs December 02, 2013 at 07:53 PM
please eliminate all extra curricular activities, advance placement classes, art, music etc. in addition, turn off the heat in the buildings... heck. too many students get a" free lunch" that's my tax money... close down these failing schools now... more money for me to shop at walmart and buy beer... do it "for the children" together we can and will succeed... thank you in advance for your efforts to SHS... Shutter Hopatcong Schools...
Roll Back Our Tax December 04, 2013 at 06:51 AM
Here's the stats for 2013.... http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-jersey/districts/hopatcong-borough/hopatcong-high-school-12586 .... Hopatcong didn't even make ranking in NJ. There are 715 students enrolled 9th - 12th grade. Proficient in language 83%. Proficient in math 65%. Student to teacher ratio 16:1. Here's the kicker "The AP® participation rate at Hopatcong High School is 8 percent".
Eyeballs December 04, 2013 at 01:05 PM
duh... can't participate in what does not exist... taxpayers were clear the they wanted the budget cut... most AP classes went out the window... hopefully, we succeed in SHS... Shuttering Hopatcong Schools... thank you... let's continue to push property values down...
Clay Thomas December 04, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Thanks to Chris Christie, Hopatcong and other districts are guaranteed a 2% increase without voter approval. For Hopatcong, that means nearly $750,000 extra to spend in the next budget. Get your checkbooks out, taxes are going up!
Eyeballs December 04, 2013 at 04:02 PM
i know!... and I was so looking forward to cutting more programs within the district... couldn't wait to teach the FAILING students in hopatcong a lesson... cutting football, cheerleading and the marching band top my "wish list" of cuts... thank you...

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