Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A little clarity #1: GW student population

Let's clear-up part of the story in Friday's Ridgewood News about the upcoming school bond referendum: The reason the proposed addition to GW middle school does not qualify for state aid is because the district doesn't show any "unhoused" middle school students, not because GW doesn't have unhoused students. (Unhoused students are calculated by subtracting projected enrollment from the buildings' functional capacity.) When awarding aid for expansion, the state evaluates population by district, not by school. Our total number of middle school students is 1,362, split roughly evenly between BF and GW. But GW is a much smaller building than BF. At GW, students are packed. Teaching is taking place in hallways and in the principal's office. Space is needed for regular education, special education and health/wellness classes.

The important thing to remember is that quite a lot of the proposed projects DID qualify for state aid, and the state has awarded (what I think is a remarkable) $9.8 million in grants and $2.1 million in debt service aid. This will be a big help and who knows when the state will be in a position to offer this type of aid again?

Watch your mailbox in the next few days for a letter from the district, outlining all the projects included in the referendum. There will also be many meetings where Dr. Fishbein, Mr. DeSimone or Board members will answer your questions.

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