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Choice School Requests, Task Force to Be Discussed

Board of Education regular session scheduled for for Monday night.

The 21 requests the school board has received from eighth grade students looking to attend Lenape Valley Regional High School instead of Hopatcong High School next September is one of the topics scheduled to be discussed Monday at its regular session.

The public portion is scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. at the administration building at Windsor Avenue.

The board said at its work session last Mondy that that it had received the requests from local students. The newly expanded school choice program allows any school which applies to be allowed to accept students from other districts. 

There is no tuition payment to any choice school. Students leave Hopatcong and are placed on the enrollment roles of the choice school and the choice school receives the state aid for that student. The student’s home district must attempt to provide transportation at a cost not to exceed $884 per student. Should that figure be exceeded, the student’s home district must provide $884 as aid in lieu of transportation to the parent/guardian. The parent/guardian must provide their own transportation.

Business Administrator Theresa Sierchio said the 21 requests to attend the Stanhope high school exceeds the Hopatcong district’s self imposed limit of 15 choice students.

In addition, Superintendent Charles Mananzano said that Lenape Valley can only accept 10 percent of a given class as choice students. With an eighth grade of approximately 170 students, only 17 choice students could be accepted in the 2013 freshman class.

Also to be discussed at Monday's meeting is the formation of the High School of the Future task force, and the beginning of a search for the replacement for Maranzano, who will retire in 2013 at the end of the current school year.

The creation of the task force was brought up at the Aug. 27 BOE meeting, which followed the release of New Jersey Monthly's latest high school rankings, which had Hopatcong ranked No. 289. The board had said the task force would include members of the public, school board, administrators, principals and students. 

“I want this to be as inclusive as we possibly can,” Board President Cliff Lundin said at that meeting. “And I challenge the people who berate us daily on the Internet to come out and be part of the process, or to stop berating us."

Hopatcong Mom of Two September 24, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Mr. Lundin, our school rating is at 289. As Board President, you take no responsibility in this complete and utter failure? Stop whining about parents on the internet and "YOU" take some action. Obviously, we are taking the necessary action as you can see by the influx of "Letters of Intent" that are coming into the administration building. I doubt it's going to stop at 21... So get your rubber stamps inked up and ready to use...
Nicolas September 24, 2012 at 01:39 PM
<<“I want this to be as inclusive as we possibly can,” Board President Cliff Lundin said at that meeting. “And I challenge the people who berate us daily on the Internet to come out and be part of the process, or to stop berating us.">> Intersting. Isn't the school board a "task force"? Aren't our taxes that pay your salary 'part of the process'? Are you saying that the Hopatcong Board of Education cannot solve the problem of being one of the lowest ranked schools in NJ (currently 292 out of 381). Do your job and I'll praise you publicly. Keep the low rating and I'll berate you on the internet.
Edubb September 24, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Tough words Clifford...
Tammy September 25, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Mr. Lundin if you can't stand the heat get out of the school system. This is the 2nd time (that I have come across) that you have had a snarky comment about the people who express dissatisfaction with you and your fellow board members on the internet. You seem to have a problem with people commenting on the internet. Welcome to 2012. It's called progress, move with it or get left behind. Although judging from our school system's rankings being left behind is something you don't seem to mind, too bad it's our children that are paying the price. Every report that rates the state's school systems give us dismal ratings. More than 10 per cent of students who should be going on to our High School are requesting to go to another school. Still you sit there and give us attitude because we as taxpayers demand improvement. I'm sure you are also getting letters, phone calls, and e-mails. Could the internet comments bother you so much because the public can actually see how many others are fed up?
Jessica September 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Mr. Lundin do not insult the people online who are concerned about the state of our school system. The reason a lot of us are online instead of part of the process is that we have full time jobs. You also have a job. Just like everyone in their jobs, as the Board President you need to take more responsibility in your job. You need own up to your actions that led Hopatcong to the 289th spot in NJ. No one is saying that it is all the BOE's fault. However I think everyone is tired of the blame game. I would like to hear just one person take a little responsibility for the state of the school system. Instead it is everyone else's fault.

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