CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Board of Education members want the public to know that there won't be a change in the starting time at Chatham High School for at least 18 months, perhaps as long as two years, it was announced at the regular meeting of the BOE on Monday night.
Although Chatham Superintendent Michael LaSusa presented six options at the Nov. 5 BOE meeting for moving the CHS start time to 8:30 a.m. or later, it was only the beginning of the discussion. Board president Jill Critchley Weber said it was the "first of many, many discussions to come."
Board member Michelle Clark, while making her report on the curriculum, encouraged people to make themselves heard on the issue of a later starting time (see video below).
"The best way for people to share their input is to come to a meeting," Clark said. "If they can't come to a meeting, send us an email so we can get your input. Social media is not the best place because we don't all consistently see it. If you have something to share, share it with us so we can make an informed decision and have stakeholders' input in a meaningful way.
The board has estimated that with all the redevelopment in Chatham Township between Dixiedale, the skate park and the municipal building, and the redevelopment in Chatham Borough on River Road and Post Office Plaza, there are 640 new housing units going up in the two communities.
Weber said that the district has asked its own demographer to report on the student impact of these redevelopments
The board has set up a meeting with the Borough of Chatham Council in early December to see if they can work out a commitment from the proposed PILOT - Payment in Lieu of Taxes - being proposed to offset the costs of new students being added to the district.
"What's nice is that in the borough they're a little further along and they've also talked about if they do a PILOT, which stands for Payment in Lieu of Taxes, they are allowed to vote to say we will give the school district a certain dollar amount of the payment the developer gives them," Weber said. "We're going to meet with the borough early in December to talk about, if they do a pilot, can the school district expect any relief based on the school children expected from that facility."
See Weber's full remarks on the PILOT below