NUTLEY, NJ - Shifting demographics and a change in state mandated curriculum have stretched Nutley Public Schools to the point that there just isn't any more space. Trailers at Washington and Yantacaw school are semi-permanent features at those schools, and families moving in the Lincoln school area may find that their children may be redistricted to another elementary school depending on the grade level.
In each of the past several years, hundreds of single family homes in Nutley have been sold. Some of the sales are the result of families relocating elsewhere, others are the result of long time residents passing away. The very thing that kept these homeowners in Nutley for so long, the public school system, is the same thing that makes the community so attractive to new buyers.
Unlike buying trends of the 1960's through 1990's, many of the new families are arriving with children - they start their families in places like Brooklyn, Hoboken, and Jersey City, then move to 'the country' with little ones in tow.
Nutley public schools have changed dramatically in the last several years. Classroom space for special education, occupational therapy, speech therapy all require space. Nutley public schools also have programs for students who are not performing at grade level with the goal of bringing those students up to grade level. The school system also added all-day kindergarten which not only takes a childcare burden off of working families, but better prepares the youngest students for primary education.
Dr. Julie Glazer, Superintendent of Nutley Public Schools, has referred to Nutley's 'overcrowding' issues as not one related to fire code, but rather one of programs space. By going from half-day to full day kindergarten, the amount of class space needed for those students doubled. Nutley Public Schools and the Board of Education have been aware of the situation facing the school system for several years and proposed a construction plan to alleviate the current situation and set the framework for the future.
TAPinto Nutley has been following the story since the very first town hall meeting in January. Links to all of our coverage to date follows in chronological order:
TAPinto Nutley also received two letters to the editor on the subject of proposed school construction.
TAPinto Nutley will continue to follow the school construction story.
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