15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by nrdavispeace
Patch Instagram photo by nrdavispeace
Patch Instagram photo by nrdavispeace
Patch Instagram photo by nrdavispeace

Overcrowding an Issue at Two Parsippany Schools

Concerns raised for large amounts of students in lower grades at Lake Parsippany, Mt. Tabor.

Overcrowding an Issue at Two Parsippany Schools

The Parsippany held its first meeting of the new school year Thursday night at the Parsippany Road administration buiding.

Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz described the first day of school as "uneventful... smooth and effective."

"Buses ran on time and for the most part on the correct routes," he said. "There were only minor glitches and minimal conflicts."

A group of third-grade parents from were on hand to address a situation that they didn't consider minor.

A few of them arose to tell the board the school has two third-grade classes with 28 students each. They stated a concern that because of the , changes might not be made until after Oct. 1.

Seitz said he didn't think it would be necessary to wait.

"I interpreted that we would split classes after the first full week of school and then deal with additional situations that require splitting classes by Oct. 1," he said.

"If we're already at [more than the policy-mandated 25-student limit], why wait?" asked Board Vice President Frank Neglia, who received a round of applause from the Lake Parsippany parents.

The superintendent asked Policy Committee Chairwoman Fran Orthwein to clarify what the new policy actually says.

"The final decisions must be determined no later than Oct. 1," she said. "It does say that the process starts on the Friday of the first full week of school. Oct. 1 would start the end of the process."

"Enrollments fluctuate, so historically the board has waited until Friday of the first full week of school," Seitz said. "That's fine, we're ready to do address the situation [at Lake Parsippany School] when we get back Tuesday, because school is closed Monday."

The superintendent said the district is prepared to handle creating a new third-grade class at Lake Parsippany school.

"We are ready," he said. "We have spoken to principals. We have plans in place to split those classes. We have teachers, furniture, resource material, etc., so we can split those classes by Wednesday."

He added that the district is also looking at possible overcrowding at 's kindergarten, first and second grade classes.

Board President Frank Calabria asked where the money comes from to pay for new teachers brought in to instruct new grade sections created.

"We provided money within the budget to fund them [in the event the need occurred]," Seitz explained.

President Calabria asked the Policy Committee to review the class size policy to ensure that the language is clear.

Near the meeting's end, resident Judy Mayer stood to speak about the forthcoming depature of school board member Deborah Orme, who announced recently that she is not seeking re-election once her term expires after the November election.

"You have served the board with your heart and soul and made decisions for the benefit of the taxpayers, the children and the educational staf," she said. "We are sorry to see you go."

Orme received a large round of applause from those assembled.

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