LAKE COMO/BELMAR, NJ — Of the seven sending districts to Manasquan High School, Belmar shares a seat with Spring Lake Heights on the Manasquan Board of Education, while Brielle has its own seat.

However, there is currently no direct representation on the Manasquan school board from the other four smaller districts that send students to Manasquan High School — Lake Como, Avon-by-the-Sea, Sea Girt and Spring Lake.

Monmouth County Executive Superintendent of Schools Lester Richens is looking to change that, particularly since state law allows the seven districts to have three seats on the Manasquan school board.

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And since all four smaller districts meet the 10 percent minimum threshold — and have enough students attending MHS combined to have a seat on the Manasquan school board — Richens wants all seven districts to decide how to fill the third seat ensuring representation from that group.

“Manasquan is in a unique situation where there are seven sending districts: three districts with over 10 percent of students attending Manasquan High School and four sending districts with an aggregate of 15 percent of students attending Manasquan High School,” according to the letter sent by Richens to the Lake Como Board of Education.

 “Therefore, the seven districts will have to meet to develop a rotation schedule mutually agreed to by the sending districts to determine what districts will take the three seats on the Manasquan Board of Education,” wrote Richens, who served as Belmar’s superintendent for 28 years until 2007.

During Lake Como’s school board meeting on January 9, Richens’ letter was read into the record, with its members acknowledging Richens’ recommendation to develop a rotation schedule.

At Belmar’s board of education meeting also held on January 9, Superintendent of Schools/Principal David Hallman said Richens’ request will be reviewed, but he does not expect any changes will be made until the next school year. “This is a board decision,” Hallman said. “We’ll see how this can be done fairly to everyone.”

With nearly 67 percent of MHS students coming from these seven districts, the percentage breakdown, provided by Belmar Board of Education Business Administrator/Board Secretary Loretta Hill, is as follows:

  • Brielle, 24 percent.
  • Belmar, 12.2 percent and Spring Lake Heights, 13.08 percent — for a combined total of 25.28 percent.
  • Spring Lake, 5.27 percent, Lake Como, 5.17 percent, Avon-by-the-Sea, 3.61 percent and Sea Girt, 3.23 percent — for a combined total of 17.28 percent.

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