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Guest Concern Parent

Board of Education Strikes again

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Guest Concern Parent at Lincoln

I see a number of valid points for making a combined middle school. Specifically that teachers will need to drive less, all middle school will get computers and swimming pool, and bigger classes (not sure this is a good thing in this case). Many of the other sides focus on the distance increase that will be a change and will undoubtly affect their lives. I'd like to offer a few other points that seem to have been missed.

On the plus side:
* now is a good time to buy properties in the current market - of course assuming we have the money to spend. Considering KHS & Midland & the extra Supers, I sure hope they are going for a balanced budget.
* A combined middle school should allow the town to lay off some teachers and increase class sizes (not good for teachers or kids but will cut costs)

On the other side:
* I'm not convinced the teachers unions will allow the teachers to be crossing guards - this seems well outside their role and the increase in their responsibility and likelihood for being sued for kids crossing a very busy Midland Avenue right by a fire station, seems likely an accident waiting to happen.
* Current projects should be completed - or at least well on track before we over commit ourselves and force tax increases - I would be very concerned on the budget side.
* As in the article in the paper - there is no room in the other schools. Trailers will be used to house younger children whom are more at risk to certain condtions versus middle schoolers.
* The increase in traffic that will come with the changes as parents on one side of town now need to pass parents going to the other side increasing not only traffic and chances of grid lock but also chances of accidents. This is even worse for parents who are forced to rush from school to another if they have more than 1 child.
* Many people buy houses based on the schools & their locations. They have choosen to buy near Lincoln for the school and it's distance. A commitment of $100,000's that is undermined with little notice or consultation.

My final 2 points require even more detailed discussion as they are likely the majority of the backlash for the plan which completely ignores these items and causes people to consider the plan unfair. If it is to be successful it needs the parents understanding and involvement and shows that their kids are at the center of the plan - not the money.

First ...Community, schools are the center of our childs and families lives. They spend much of their time there and truely concerned parents spend much of their time shaping those environments through the PTA & direct meetings with the teachers. They build support groups & friendships with the other parents that allow their kids to flourish and grow both in their education and socially. These friendships start in Pre-K and includes the parents and children. This a major flaw in the plan that it will pull this community at Lincoln apart for these people.

The other is the child's education. As I am sure we can all agree the start of a childs educational experience is key to their future success. Keeping this stable environment is paramount to on going success. All those children whom are pre 5th grade will now suffer a major change in school, teachers, friends, and environment. Joining schools where other kids have already made their groups of friends and cliques causing them to be outsiders. Some will adapt, many as they will by definition, be the outsiders and will have a harder time integrating which will hold back their development or worse reverse it.

In summary this plan is not good for the children but does have merits in the longer term for the BOE bank (assuming it hits budget). If the plan were to work it should take into account the children currently in the school and allow them to grow through a stable environment. A phased approach may therefore be a better more agreeable approach.

As a parting word, to all those saying we should just follow the board and it's decision. This isnt how it works, people are entitled to their opinions and encouraged to take part in local politics and decision makings - even if this is through raising their concerns on this board. Please constructively allow them to air those opinions even if you don't agree, you shouldnt call them names or 'whiney', they just havent managed to put their point across well enough for you.

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Guest Wreckless Spending

For years there has been debate regarding having (3) Vice Principals at the High School. VP Mike Barbone is retiring this June. This is now the perfect opportunity not to replace a VP and save the $160,000.00 salary plus benefits for a position that is not needed. Unfortunately this Board has advertised for a New VP to replace Barbone, My guess is a reward coming for the Board majority's friend, as usual. Let's see who gets this job. Once again the only one who really gets it is the Taxpayer.

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Guest Guest

No one here has said that we should just follow the BOE and its decisions, only that whining because a policy inconveniences someone personally is not enough of a reason to change that policy. "Concerned Parent at Lincoln," you've put up an excellent and thoughtful post, but you did mis-state the content of the push-back.

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Guest Concern Taxpayer

In any organization or board there is always a review of the budget. This the time to cut cost.

The board needs to cut where they can.

They need to consider the children and citizen taxpayer when giving jobs away.

But, $160,000 is a drop in a bucket when you consider the money wasted.

Only if this board do the right thing.

Our school district would be the best in NJ.

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Guest Guest

For years there has been debate regarding having (3) Vice Principals at the High School. VP Mike Barbone is retiring this June. This is now the perfect opportunity not to replace a VP and save the $160,000.00 salary plus benefits for a position that is not needed. Unfortunately this Board has advertised for a New VP to replace Barbone, My guess is a reward coming for the Board majority's friend, as usual. Let's see who gets this job. Once again the only one who really gets it is the Taxpayer.

For years there has been debate regarding having (3) Vice Principals at the High School. VP Mike Barbone is retiring this June. This is now the perfect opportunity not to replace a VP and save the $160,000.00 salary plus benefits for a position that is not needed. Unfortunately this Board has advertised for a New VP to replace Barbone, My guess is a reward coming for the Board majority's friend, as usual. Let's see who gets this job. Once again the only one who really gets it is the Taxpayer.

"Wreckless" ?? Good grief man, the word is "Reckless". I hope you didn't go through the Kearny school system.

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Guest Guest

I see a number of valid points for making a combined middle school. Specifically that teachers will need to drive less, all middle school will get computers and swimming pool, and bigger classes (not sure this is a good thing in this case). Many of the other sides focus on the distance increase that will be a change and will undoubtly affect their lives. I'd like to offer a few other points that seem to have been missed.

On the plus side:

* now is a good time to buy properties in the current market - of course assuming we have the money to spend. Considering KHS & Midland & the extra Supers, I sure hope they are going for a balanced budget.

* A combined middle school should allow the town to lay off some teachers and increase class sizes (not good for teachers or kids but will cut costs)

On the other side:

* I'm not convinced the teachers unions will allow the teachers to be crossing guards - this seems well outside their role and the increase in their responsibility and likelihood for being sued for kids crossing a very busy Midland Avenue right by a fire station, seems likely an accident waiting to happen.

* Current projects should be completed - or at least well on track before we over commit ourselves and force tax increases - I would be very concerned on the budget side.

* As in the article in the paper - there is no room in the other schools. Trailers will be used to house younger children whom are more at risk to certain condtions versus middle schoolers.

* The increase in traffic that will come with the changes as parents on one side of town now need to pass parents going to the other side increasing not only traffic and chances of grid lock but also chances of accidents. This is even worse for parents who are forced to rush from school to another if they have more than 1 child.

* Many people buy houses based on the schools & their locations. They have choosen to buy near Lincoln for the school and it's distance. A commitment of $100,000's that is undermined with little notice or consultation.

My final 2 points require even more detailed discussion as they are likely the majority of the backlash for the plan which completely ignores these items and causes people to consider the plan unfair. If it is to be successful it needs the parents understanding and involvement and shows that their kids are at the center of the plan - not the money.

First ...Community, schools are the center of our childs and families lives. They spend much of their time there and truely concerned parents spend much of their time shaping those environments through the PTA & direct meetings with the teachers. They build support groups & friendships with the other parents that allow their kids to flourish and grow both in their education and socially. These friendships start in Pre-K and includes the parents and children. This a major flaw in the plan that it will pull this community at Lincoln apart for these people.

The other is the child's education. As I am sure we can all agree the start of a childs educational experience is key to their future success. Keeping this stable environment is paramount to on going success. All those children whom are pre 5th grade will now suffer a major change in school, teachers, friends, and environment. Joining schools where other kids have already made their groups of friends and cliques causing them to be outsiders. Some will adapt, many as they will by definition, be the outsiders and will have a harder time integrating which will hold back their development or worse reverse it.

In summary this plan is not good for the children but does have merits in the longer term for the BOE bank (assuming it hits budget). If the plan were to work it should take into account the children currently in the school and allow them to grow through a stable environment. A phased approach may therefore be a better more agreeable approach.

As a parting word, to all those saying we should just follow the board and it's decision. This isnt how it works, people are entitled to their opinions and encouraged to take part in local politics and decision makings - even if this is through raising their concerns on this board. Please constructively allow them to air those opinions even if you don't agree, you shouldnt call them names or 'whiney', they just havent managed to put their point across well enough for you.

Wtf are you talking about!

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Guest Nothing on the Plus Side

You made 2 points on the plus side. I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but:

1- The BOE is not buying any property, they are going to lease the building at a cost of about $400,000.00 a year, so no plus for point 1

2- The "Town", I assume you mean the BOE, since the teachers don't work for the Town, is not going to layoff any teachers, in fact they are going to add more Principals, VP's, custodians, nurse, utility bills, more construction, etc, etc,......, so no plus to point 2.

I guess this is economically a bad plan.

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Guest Fran

Never mind stopping the board with this plan, get petitions to recall the entire board. Get them out before Kearny becomes a ghost town. just see the homes up for sale. Parents, time to change .

By the way, are board members really concern for our children or out for what they can get.

YES board members are REALLY concerned about the children......so KNOW the answer before you write this BULL----

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Guest Charlie Brown

"Wreckless" ?? Good grief man, the word is "Reckless". I hope you didn't go through the Kearny school system.

Unfortunately I'm in the school system now, that is why this district needs an enema.

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Guest Guest

So "Concerned Taxpayer" thinks we would have the best school district in the state if only the BOE did the right thing. Give us a break.

If the BOE did everything right, Kearny would still be populated by many, many good people but also too many parents who let their kids wander the streets instead of studying, a large group of people who barely have a clue what a good education means in today's world, and some over-opinionated knuckleheads who think everyone is wrong but them.

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Guest Guest

It's interesting that nothing brings out more posts on here than anything to do with the Board of Education and the schools, yet the numbers of citizens who actually vote in school board elections and on school budgets was so pitifully low that the state now allows districts to save money on that election and move it to the November elections. It really hasn't made that much difference in voter count.

There is a board meeting every month yet most months the room is scattered with a few onlookers and possibly a representative from the KEA will ask for some clarification of something that might affect her constituency.

Now if you got off your computers for an hour or two and went to a BOE meeting, you might be able to have some real input, make some real change.

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Guest Concerned Taxpayer

The Kearny School District needs strong leaders to raise up our scores and standards. What we don't need is a BOE that functions as the town employment agency. The board is responsible for making sure the schools are run well. Not to run the schools.

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Guest Taxpayer

It's interesting that nothing brings out more posts on here than anything to do with the Board of Education and the schools, yet the numbers of citizens who actually vote in school board elections and on school budgets was so pitifully low that the state now allows districts to save money on that election and move it to the November elections. It really hasn't made that much difference in voter count.

There is a board meeting every month yet most months the room is scattered with a few onlookers and possibly a representative from the KEA will ask for some clarification of something that might affect her constituency.

Now if you got off your computers for an hour or two and went to a BOE meeting, you might be able to have some real input, make some real change.

They don't allow you to ask a questions, it's in their rules... no questions.

So why don't you go for us poor taxpayers with no town job or board of education job and read the KOTW complaints.

The rest of us are too busy working our asses off to make the meeting.

If we went they wouldn't answer any of our questions, and we would get even more frustrated. They won't even answer Mayor Santos' questions you think they are going to answer our questions.

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Guest guest

IF, There's a big word. If only the BOE did their job. And not let politics cloud their judgement.

If the BOE understood every action has a counter action. If the BOE had some understanding of business management there would be no deficit.

If the BOE would allow the professional educators to do their job maybe we would see better test scores. If only, dream on Kearny, because you are about to be awaken by a nightmare.

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Guest Guest

They don't allow you to ask a questions, it's in their rules... no questions.

So why don't you go for us poor taxpayers with no town job or board of education job and read the KOTW complaints.

The rest of us are too busy working our asses off to make the meeting.

If we went they wouldn't answer any of our questions, and we would get even more frustrated. They won't even answer Mayor Santos' questions you think they are going to answer our questions.

They do allow questions/observations - you just can't ask questions about individual employees in an open forum. There is a sign up sheet available before every meeting to sign up to have your time to speak. Even if you don't sign up, they open the floor to the public.

I do go to almost every meeting, that why I know there are so few people there - and I ask questions and ask for clarification of items on the agenda and things that were discussed in the open meeting if I want more information.

You're not working too hard to spend time here.

Finally, bodies do make a difference. The BOE sees that most of the time no one cares enough about what they're doing to bother to show up. When people show up in large groups - i.e. when the meetings would be forced to be moved from the board room to an auditorium - it tells them that people are watching and people do care. (BTW that doesn't happen anymore since the BOE meetings float from school to school because the board room in Franklin School is being used as a classroom to try to alleviate some of the over crowding down there.)

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Guest Full of Bologna

YES board members are REALLY concerned about the children......so KNOW the answer before you write this BULL----

Unfortunately you don't know the answers. You have no idea what you're talking about, nor do you even have a clue about the cool aid you drank. Matter of fact one of the board members couldn't do what was right with an employee matter because the person in dispute has a relative who works for her mom. Try abstaining next time or better yet, stay out of discussions which you are too close to. Now that had nothing to do with kids !!!! Just adults continuing the friends and family plan without doing what is RIGHT for our KIDS.

So until you have run with the BULLS, hold back with your $hit.

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Guest concern parent

It's always about who works for the school system.

We all know the BOE is the Kearny Employment Agency. Let's talk about the overcrowding in the schools, the poor performance in the district , the lack of support to our teachers.

Election Day is coming, Let's hope there is someone who really cares about the district, and not concern with getting a job for someone.

It's said we have no room for a new middle school.

Why not build on Bunny Hill.

It's close to the high school.

We have money for everything else. Float some bonds and apply for grants.

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Guest meetings

The moving of meetings from school to school was started by the last Board. They wanted to move to a different school each month so that the PTA's could schedule their meetings the same night and more people would be at meetings and more information would get out. The Board Room at Franklin is being used now for staff meetings and training, not a classroom because of overcrowding.

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Guest Guest

The moving of meetings from school to school was started by the last Board. They wanted to move to a different school each month so that the PTA's could schedule their meetings the same night and more people would be at meetings and more information would get out. The Board Room at Franklin is being used now for staff meetings and training, not a classroom because of overcrowding.

Sorry, you're wrong about training. Training has been moved all over the district - even the basement of the public library. If the board room was being used for meetings and training, there would be no reason not to have BOE meetings at night - staff training and meetings take place during the school day.

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Guest Guest2

Rumor has it that the plan for a middle school has changed some, now just 7 & 8 in Lincoln. With a town wide redistricting (to solve overcrowding) along with staggering school start times to deal with siblings in other schools (ie. drive one kid here, the other kid over there). Word has it that 24 teachers are retiring this year too; unsure if they will be replaced. A person is supposed to start this redistricting study and if it all pans out, Lincoln Pre-K through 6 will be elsewhere as of September of this year (versus next per the original article in the Observer from last meeting).

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Guest Guest

It's not a rumor - it was discussed and voted and passed at the BOE meeting on Tuesday night.

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Guest Guest

Overcrowding can be solved by checking addresses of all students. legal students pay the price. The district needs to go to cap to pay for each student. There is a board member that promised he solve this problem. Yet, today we have students who are enrolled who should be in other school districts. Let the study start there.

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Guest Guest

At Tuesday's BOE meeting, there was a reading of the number of investigations done regarding residency and the number of students removed from Kearny Schools due to failure to prove Kearny residency. The number of investigations was impressive - more than 100 with about 25 or less students removed.

I guess you weren't there.

That's 2 postings in a row where the answer was given at Tuesday's board meeting - some of you really need to get out and attend so that you know what you're posting.

Have a great day! ;)

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Guest guest

Did anyone on this discussion board actually attend the Board meeting on Tuesday night? Were there many parents there? Was there any discussion or was it a done/surprise deal? Why couldn't this have been delayed for, at least one year, so that the present students and their parents could have time to prepare for it both mentally and physically? Why the big rush? What about the youngsters who will enter 8th grade in September and were looking forward to graduating with the class they were with since pre-k? Why cut back on teachers and not on expensive administrators? What about discipline problems involved in running a huge (I presume next year the 6th graders will be transferred to Lincoln, as well) Middle School? Why not two Middle Schools, so that the youngsters won't have to travel so far? What are the additional services and subjects the children attending the new Junior School will be receiving over and above what they are already receiving? Thanks for any input anyone can give.

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