BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- Bernards Township school leaders have an early idea how to expand Ridge High School.
Board member Timothy Salmon said May 6 the idea of a two-story addition behind the 700 wing was preferred option described by architect Anthony Catana at an April 17 facilities committee meeting.
The addition might yield three to five classrooms, Salmon said. The project would take two summers to complete, so the earliest it could be used is the fall of 2021.
In the suggested location, an addition would not take any field or parking lot space, and could conceivably use an existing stairwell, sparing some expense, Salmon said. Another plus is that the site is adjacent to a parking lot for deliveries, he said.
Superintendent Nick Markarian said this week that the architect might come to one of the board meetings in June, but not this week's meeting on Monday, May 13.
The district is looking for ways to create room to be able to change the high school day schedule.
Markarian said in April it might be possible to add space without a referendum to authorize new borrowing, but to achieve the goal by using capital reserves, state aid programs and other ways.
“The architect has conceptualized additional classroom space and a food production facility, all of which would be part of an expansion to the existing building footprint,” Markarian wrote in an April email. “No formal decisions to go beyond this conceptualization have been made at this time.”
Elliot Merenbloom, an expert in school scheduling, said in December that Ridge High lacks the classroom and cafeteria space to allow a block schedule to be implemented now.
The school is investigating some sort of schedule with fewer, but longer, class periods per day. Classes would be rotated so students wouldn’t take every subject every day.
The school currently runs on nine 42-minute periods.
In one possible school day model, students would attend four classes of 80 minutes each per day and take each subject every other day. In this “Day One, Day Two” schedule with an eight-period day, a student would have four classes on one day and a different four classes on the alternate day.
In the other model, called a “rotating drop” schedule, students would take six subject classes each day for 55-60 minutes, with a study hall and lunch in the other two periods. Each class would meet three of four days.
In both models, all students eat lunch at the same time, opposed to Ridge, where lunch for 1,800-plus students and about 250 staffers is spread over five 42-minute periods