20 Aug 2014
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Choice School Requests, Task Force to Be Discussed

Board of Education regular session scheduled for for Monday night.

Choice School Requests, Task Force to Be Discussed

The 21 requests the school board has received from eighth grade students looking to attend Lenape Valley Regional High School instead of Hopatcong High School next September is one of the topics scheduled to be discussed Monday at its regular session.

The public portion is scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. at the administration building at Windsor Avenue.

The board said at its work session last Mondy that that it had received the requests from local students. The newly expanded school choice program allows any school which applies to be allowed to accept students from other districts. 

There is no tuition payment to any choice school. Students leave Hopatcong and are placed on the enrollment roles of the choice school and the choice school receives the state aid for that student. The student’s home district must attempt to provide transportation at a cost not to exceed $884 per student. Should that figure be exceeded, the student’s home district must provide $884 as aid in lieu of transportation to the parent/guardian. The parent/guardian must provide their own transportation.

Business Administrator Theresa Sierchio said the 21 requests to attend the Stanhope high school exceeds the Hopatcong district’s self imposed limit of 15 choice students.

In addition, Superintendent Charles Mananzano said that Lenape Valley can only accept 10 percent of a given class as choice students. With an eighth grade of approximately 170 students, only 17 choice students could be accepted in the 2013 freshman class.

Also to be discussed at Monday's meeting is the formation of the High School of the Future task force, and the beginning of a search for the replacement for Maranzano, who will retire in 2013 at the end of the current school year.

The creation of the task force was brought up at the Aug. 27 BOE meeting, which followed the release of New Jersey Monthly's latest high school rankings, which had Hopatcong ranked No. 289. The board had said the task force would include members of the public, school board, administrators, principals and students. 

“I want this to be as inclusive as we possibly can,” Board President Cliff Lundin said at that meeting. “And I challenge the people who berate us daily on the Internet to come out and be part of the process, or to stop berating us."

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