21 Students Seek Lenape as High School Alternative

Currently the Stanhope school would only be able to accept 17 choice students.

The borough’s school district has received 21 requests from local students who wish to attend Lenape Valley Regional High School starting next September.

The Board of Education will discuss these requests at the next public meeting after reviewing the item in the work session Monday.

The work session allows board members to preview and discuss items that will be on the public meeting agenda. The next meeting is scheduled for next Monday.

The requests were made by parents of current eighth graders who would attend Hopatcong High School in September 2013. 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. They 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.

Board member Susan Madar said she had spoken to some of the parents of the students seeking the transfer and they indicated they were seeking to ensure they had the opportunity to transfer if that became their final decision.

The board pondered why students would seek to attend another high school.

“Public opinion is that Lenape has better programs,” said board member Joanne Passerini. “But I tell parents that if students are willing to do the work, we will help them get wherever they want.”

Lenape is seen as a richer school, Maranzano said, with more elective programs,  and it does not have the history of repeatedly failing to pass annual school budgets.

Other items to be discussed at the public meeting are 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.

Correction: A previous version of this story contained incorrect information regarding tuition payments to the choice school. The story has been changed to reflect the correct information.

Clay Thomas September 18, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Choice is a good thing. I hope they're all successful at LVHS.
Dario September 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Wow. Tough school! I bet my essays from www.bestessay.com won't pass here :p
The Watcher September 18, 2012 at 05:21 PM
$800 for transportation but what is the actual cost to send a student
Hopatcong Mom of Two September 18, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Dr. Maranzano... Most parents in Hopatcong are not looking for a "Richer School" in the financial aspect you are referring too. Please get a clue. They are however, looking for a school that is "Richer" in Education. Most people I speak to say they would like to send their kids to Hopatcong HS but wish it were better. Money has nothing to do with it from a Hopatcong parent’s perspective, and if it did, we would be sending our kids to Private Schools with the highest ratings. The people in Hopatcong are simply looking to provide their kids with the best education possible, which Hopatcong’s Administration clearly has not set out to do for its children. Priorities are screwed up in your Administration.....
Hopatcong Mom of Two September 18, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Listen to the people and start building an Educational Plan that suits all students, on every level of learning. We are not interested in supporting a Plan that just lines the pockets of the administration. Show us a curriculum that is not below average, a financial plan that allocates more money towards Education and Elective Programs and Honors Classes; Education of its teachers, mandating they follow IEP's for their students, a safe and clean environment and maybe, just maybe a budget will get passed. Can't wait til you are gone.. 2013 can't come soon enough and the other Administrators all need to go too... Parents just a reminder: Hopatcong High School's new ranking of No. 289, down from 200 last year, places it two points under Camden.. how pathetic and sad... ?
Ziggy Comet September 18, 2012 at 07:35 PM
"The board pondered why students would seek to attend another high school." Hmm, yes...real head-scratcher.
The Watcher September 18, 2012 at 09:45 PM
AMEN !!! Hope "Hopatcong Mom of Two" is running for school board.
Clay Thomas September 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM
If the Board of Education can't figure out why parents/students are jumping ship, then there's no hope! To their credit, although several years too late, they did recognize the administrative failure at the high school.
Hopatcong Mom of Two September 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Watcher, there is now a bus route since so many students from Hopatcong are attending Lenape. No more rebate for transportation.
In The Woods September 19, 2012 at 09:58 AM
Couldn't have said it better Hopatcong Mom. As a teacher, I am truly fearful my kids will have to one day attend this high school and will also be seeking alternate attendance for them at Lenape Valley unless major changes occur.
Clay Thomas September 19, 2012 at 10:50 AM
To their credit, they did make necessary administrative changes.
Jason Lee September 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Totally agree with Hopatcong mom, well put. We need people in DOE who are passionate about what our schools can become and the future success of our children.
Hopatcong Mom of Two September 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM
@The Watcher, I am considering it...
HHS grad September 19, 2012 at 01:13 PM
As a HHS graduate, I have to disagree with many comments about HHS. Mr. Pierson in my opinon should be the Principa of HHS and they have many great teachers to go above and beyond to help many of the students, its a matter of getting their programs back instead of taking them away. Many of the great teachers that I had the honor to attent their classes retired. I'd like to know these kids actually reasoning for choosing Lenape. Every school district has their pros and cons and its up to the kids themselves to make sur e they succeed and anything they need I know that HHS is more than willing to make sure they get what they need to succeed.
Jessica September 19, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Did they really ponder why parents would rather send their kids the Lenape instead of the 289th placed school in NJ? Because if the school board couldn't figured that one out that might be where our schools issue start.
Concernedmom September 19, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Right on hopatcong mom of two!! My daughter spent five short months (five too many) in the hopatcong school system before I pulled her out and put her in charter school. There are many misconceptions about charter schools but her experience was unbeatable, she went on to honors classes at Sussex tech and she's a confident, brilliant young lady.. Hopatcong's administration needs to be cleaned up. What a sad shame, down to 289 and theyre not deeply embarrassed. Wake up.
Tara September 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I have two daughters that attended HHS. My first daughter had problems with the guidance counselor who lost her entire package/profile she worked weeks on putting together for college. My second daughter was falling behind quickly and when I questioned why I wasn't being notified, the response I got was that I had been emailed. Turns out it wasn't even my email address. Ah, yet I could receive phone calls for the simplest of things all year long but not a phone call to let me know she was slipping through the cracks. I felt and still feel that they are incapable of handling the different issues of each student. Some of the stories my girls and their friends have told me about teachers and faculty was simply frightening. I am very glad to say that both of my girls are out of that school and off to college, with very little help from HHS.
Mike September 20, 2012 at 09:25 AM
i myself am also a HHS grad and i completely agree with you all they need is to get back the programs that were taken away. Over the past few years they have let go some of the best teachers the school had to offer they were very well educated and they wanted the best for the students and did what ever it took to get them to exceed. I also would like to see the reasons why they are choosing to go there.
Hopatcongpop September 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Both of my children have done very well in the Elementery and middle schools. However, in the next few years they will be going to a differant HS as well. Its a shame. But when a HS does not offer AP courses among other things, you have to start making other arrangements.
GreenHills411 September 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Students can now attend Green Hills School, a k-8 school, in Green Twp. It is a wonderful school that has recently been accepted as a school choice school for the 2013-2014 school year. Go to www.greenhills.org and under quick links is the school choice info.
Hopatcong Mom of Two September 21, 2012 at 01:19 PM
To the HHS Grad who had a good experience... I am so glad that HHS worked out for you and your educational experience was a good one. I am not sure what year you graduated or what type of student you were. What I know, is from my personal experiences. I attend Board Meetings, and I have interaction with Staff and Administration. The simple fact that HHS dropped 89 points and sits next to one of the Highest Crime Rated towns in NJ is one reason students are leaving. The second biggest reason is the fact that more and more, classes, electives and other opportunites are being deleted from the HHS Curriculum. For many students, these types of classes are important and necessary. Even if it's Photography or Cooking. Especially the AP classes or kids who may need a little extra help like Tara's Kids. In a school like Lenape there are 5 Levels of learning.... In HHS.. you get 3... That means... many students are not being challenged to meet thier full potential and many students are being left by the wayside... A "D" is sufficient.... It's passing. I would suspect you did well and are an average or above average student. Just imagine your possibilities if you had other choices when you were in HS.. Choices that challenged you to do better... Or opportunites to choose something that maybe you didnt think would interest you? HHS does not have Every Type of Student in mind. It's sad.. But it's the truth... I hope I have answered your question about why students are leaving.
Edubb September 21, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Wow...21 kids in 2 weeks of school open. The deadline is Nov 16th for all applications. This number will grow. Lucky for Chuckles that they will only allow 10% or you might see 25% jump off his sinking ship. As is usually the case too little, too late. No AP classes, electives slashed, good teachers fired, Sports cut, the list can go on and on. Maybe we should move to Camden and attend a better school.
The "Original" Hopatcong Mom September 21, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Hmmm.....why would a teenager to choose to leave (not a parent)...PROGRAMS!! If our children want to get into a good college they need to "expand their horizons" and show a variety of course.....HOPATCONG OFFERS NOTHING!!! GONE are the days of wood shop, metal shop, photography, family living, child care, sewing and even HOME EC (really?) is GONE!!! Our kids have no "specials" to choose from.....Chorus used to be for those that wanted to sing, now its one of only a handful of electives! PATHETIC!! If my child wasn't already established in her friends and sports, we would've picked LVRHS too!! Fortunately, I have a child who works hard and makes honor roll and enjoys the few activities offered, my middle school son, however has already expressed an interest in other High Schools....SAD! SAD! SAD!
Sal Bartilotta September 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I graduated from HHS in '81. Back then, the school was respected for both it's academic and sports programs. From what I read in this "online newspaper" the boro has really taken a nose dive since then. The crime I read about on a daily basis, and the breakdown of the school system is heartbreaking. In my day, there was pride in the school from both the students and teachers/coaches. Seems like that is all a distant memory. So sad.
Mark Batty September 24, 2012 at 01:57 PM
You hit the nail on the head, and if these families can not get what they want, I would not be so sure these families will even stay in town. Next thing you will see people leaving because of the school system.
Russ October 01, 2012 at 11:27 AM
My five children went to charter and Tech, it was our best decision ever... Hopatcong schools are no good...


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