Education

Class of 2029 to Benefit from Smallest Kindergarten Class Sizes in Years

d8e79f21b50683a5a12f_IMG_0624.jpg
d8e79f21b50683a5a12f_IMG_0624.jpg

LIVINGSTON, NJ – Thanks to a referendum passed several years ago by the Livingston Board of Education (LBOE), the 321 students entering the school system as kindergarteners this fall will benefit from smaller class sizes in 2016-2017 school year.

According to LBOE Business Administrator and Board Secretary Steven K. Robinson’s report at the May 23 LBOE meeting, the Livingston Public Schools (LPS) district will be able to deliver on the inherent promise that the referendum makes to parents and taxpayers by reducing soft bordering and class sizes, while simultaneously coming in under budget for the 2016-17 school year. 

In fact, very few children have been soft boarded for the upcoming school year and many class sizes are hovering around the 17-18 students-per-classroom mark – well under the guidelines, which set class limits at a maximum of 22 students per class.

Sign Up for E-News

Some of the LPS district’s recommendations recently discussed and agreed upon by principals at the affected schools include adding a first-grade section at Burnet Hill Elementary School, a second-grade section at Harrison Elementary School and a fifth-grade section at Collins Elementary School.

Following a thorough analysis, Robinson and his team have recommended a total of 116 new sections—one section less than the number originally projected and budgeted for prior to the start of the current school year.

Some movement is still anticipated over the next few months, when as many as 60 more students may need to be placed due to those relocating into the area or those moving from neighborhood to neighborhood within the township. However, this movement is considered nominal when compared to other years, according to the LBOE.

The Livingston district looks at several factors before making well-thought-out placement determinations. For instance, every attempt to keep siblings in the same school is consistently made. Special consideration is also given to children already involved in activities and special programs at certain schools. 

According to the LBOE, the LPS district prides itself on getting to know the needs of individual students as well as possible so that, once placed, future decisions regarding class size and placement of students entering any post-kindergarten class can be weighed against the available resources and existing student-body needs.  

Robinson noted that “home resales” is the item that most impacts, which schools will have the greatest demand, though this changes from year to year. 

“A couple of years ago, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School was the hot school,” he said. “Burnet Hill has been the most popular for the last few years. But communities are always turning over so right now it’s Collins Elementary that’s the most in demand and we’re not sure which section of the township will be next.”

As movement occurs and neighborhoods with school-aged children turn over, schools that were once filled to capacity may open up and spots may become available. If spots do open up, the LPS uses the prior year’s lottery lineup as a guide to offer those on that list the opportunity to move their child to the school closest to their residence, if they choose to do so.

“I honestly think the soft border policy is a good policy,” said Robinson. “Although it’s painful to some people, overall people don’t argue about it. Again, the ultimate goal is to keep class sizes at a reasonable level and this policy accomplishes that.”

Letters regarding placement of students for the 2016-17 school year are expected to be sent out sometime this week to parents of students entering the LPS system.

For questions on student placement, please contact Registrar Amy Ennis at 973-535-8000 ext. 8002 or at aennis@livingston.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Register Now to Save Over $200 at West Essex Cheer and Tumble Academy

July 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Essex Cheer & Tumble Academy is now offering $75 off per month for your first three months. Register now at wecheeracademy.com/explorer-academy, use Code TAP to receive $75 off per month for your first three months. 

Children who take the after-school classes also qualify to receive a $40 per month discount on any of the gyms All ...

Save $2.50 on Next Visit to Livingston Car Wash

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Drivers can save $2.50 the next time they get their vehicle cleaned at Livingston Car Wash.

Come to Livingston Car Wash at 111 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue for a car wash and $2.50 will be discounted from the regular price.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_79d791602b5680d23c85_original

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Meet the Author: Lucy Tan

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_0e3e9edb72bd75ae1c80_bobbyvalli_par440_3_dates__11x17

Sat, August 4, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Man Stabbed in Valley Section of West Orange

July 18, 2018

WEST ORANGE – A West Orange man was stabbed Sunday evening during an attack in The Valley section of the township, according to officials.

Police were called the 300 block of Valley Road around 5:45 p.m. on a report of an aggravated assault. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed during an attack by a group of individuals who later fled the scene, according to township spokeswoman Susan ...

Livingston Town-Wide Campout, Movie Under the Stars Postponed

July 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — ​Due to rain in the forecast, Livingston's Town-Wide Campout and Movie Under the Stars has been rescheduled from July 21 to Saturday, Aug. 18.

Tent setup will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by games, a campfire, and Disney-Pixar's Coco at dusk!

More information about this annual event, part of Livingston's Youth Appreciation Celebration, can be ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors this week approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, ...

Bitcoin Scam Targets Livingston Residents

July 22, 2018

Dear Editor:

As I frequently write, scammers are becoming more sophisticated each day.

A resident called to advise me of the latest scam, somewhat obvious from the contents of the letter received, but with the many scandals being reported on in various media, a possible reality, depending upon the recipient, but certainly not this resident.

The letter only provided a possible email ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?

 

Enough already.  

 

I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.

 

“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...

Summer Storm Checklist

New Jersey gets its share of severe weather – and those closest to the coast are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and high winds. Here are some things you can do to help improve the safety of your family and home before a storm hits:

·       Be informed. Find out where the nearest shelter is, and map out different routes you can take ...