CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Superintendent Michael LaSusa announced that the tuition-based lottery kindergarten program will include a section at Southern Boulevard School next year.

The Board of Education also began to discuss the five calendar options proposed for the 2021-2022 school year at its regular meeting held Monday night. LaSusa suggested that there are advantages to a school year that starts in August and ends earlier in June. One of the options would be an Aug. 23 start date with the last day of school on June 7.

The tuition-based lottery kindergarten program has sections at Milton Avenue and Washington Avenue, and the addition of Southern Boulevard would put one section at each of the district's three elementary schools. There are 24 students in each of the classes this year and there will be 23 or 24 in each of the three classes. The tuition cost is $7,000 per student.

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The BOE will be advertising for applications for the kindergarten lottery this month and will hold the lottery in March.

LaSusa talks about the expansion of the full-day kindergarten lottery 

Chatham resident Bill Heap objected to what he called a "bargain price" for the full-day tuition-based kindergarten program and gave his reasons in the video below.

LaSusa responded to Heap's public comments about the tuition charged to parents for the full-day kindergarten program in the video below.

In regard to a possible August start to the school year, LaSusa spoke with Michael Ben-David, the superintendent for the West Morris Regional District, which includes two high schools - Mendham High and West Morris Central. He related that when West Morris switched to an August start there was opposition from parents, but once it was done, no one wanted to return to a later start because it worked out so well.

BOE President Jill Critchley Weber asked if LaSusa could get Ben-David to come speak at a Chatham BOE meeting about the August start. LaSusa mentions some of the advantages of the August start in the video below.