Education

Interim Superintendent Proposes Two Alternative School Calendars For 17-18 at Board Of Ed Meeting

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MADISON, NJ - During this weeks Board of Education meeting, Interim Superintendent Richard Noonan shared two potential calendars for the 2017-2018 school year.  Noonan labeled them maroon and gold, which he said was appropriate for the school colors. He would like a calendar adoption date on Feb. 7. Both calendars have similarities, including 187 staff days and 183 student days, including three snow days. Teachers would start before Labor Day, on August 29, 30 and 31. Classes would begin Sept. 5. School would end on June 15. “Many schools end later in June, but it’s less productive,” he said.

The calendars differ on Spring break, with the maroon calendar on Mach 26 through March 30. The gold calendar would be April 2 through April 6. Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 15 would be one-half day on the gold calendar and school closed on the maroon calendar.

Board member Debra Coen said she thought March was too early for spring break and would prefer the first or second week in April. She also questioned teachers coming in the last week in August. “When would teachers have time to set up classrooms?” she said. She also noted that some teachers take jobs in the summer and would not be finished until the end of August. Noonan said that time would be built in to prepare classrooms as well as orientation for new teachers. He said he will meet with teachers and is open to other dates and considerations.

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Coen also reported on the buildings and grounds committee, saying there will be a presentation on Feb. 7. The committee has been meeting with the cafeteria vendor regarding nutrition and menus.

Resident Robert Jennings asked the board about selling the Board of Education building on Woodland Road, a suggestion he had made at the Madison Council meeting the night before. He encouraged a move to the east wing of the Hartley Dodge Municipal Building. Board member Johanna Habib said the current location works well for the board’s needs in terms of parking, school buses and low upkeep.  “It doesn’t make financial sense to sell it,” she said.

Board President Lisa Ellis said the shared services committee will meet on Feb. 9, when the matter will be discussed again. “We’re not in a position to invest in someone else’s property,” she said.  “It wouldn’t work for either party.”

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