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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Community Referendum Meeting at GW tonight; Principal will lead a tour after

The Community Meeting on the Referendum is tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium at GW Middle School. I just learned that after the meeting, GW Principal Katie Kashmanian will lead a tour to showcase some of the needs at her school.

This is a good chance to find out everything you need to know in order to make a decision. Don't rely on assumptions or rumors. Get the facts...you are being asked to vote on a detailed question with important implications for our district and our Village. After this meeting, whether you vote "yes" or "no," at least you'll know you made an educated choice.

If you can't make it tonight, a repeat meeting will be held on Monday, November 30 at GW. These meetings were especially set-up for voters who do not have children in the schools or parents who do not attend HSA meetings.

You can also find lots of Referendum documents, including drawings of proposed school additions, detailed spreadsheets of renovation costs, bond financing information, and much more, at the District website click here.


Craig Hueneke said...

I still can not understand why the "carpeting" of the football field is on the same referendum as providing for adequate classroom space. Don't you feel that by putting something as unnecessary as a pretty green football field in the middle of January, on the same level as proper teaching facilities will sandbag the whole deal?
It just seems like a "we want all or nothing" approach which is never a good approach when it comes to education.

Anonymous said...


Did you attend the meeting and ask that specific question? Did you use those dripping-with-cynicism terms, "carpeting...the football field" and "pretty green football field" when you asked the questions of the adults?

Didn't think so.

Laurie said...

Hi, Craig. Obviously the Board does not feel that improving three of our athletic fields is "unnecessary." Quite the contrary. In my opinion, the fields have needed attention for years. The fact is, from a wellness education (fancy 21st century word for PE) standpoint, the high school does not have adequate outdoor space for gym classes. That's not just our wishful thinking, that's according to the state. And that's why they've awarded debt service aid, because they agree it's necessary.

The fact is, it is a crime (in my opinion) that the RHS Stadium Field sits empty and unused 360 days per year. It is wrong that Stevens Field, which is an even larger area, is virtually never used by organized sports. The Village of Ridgewood has made it clear that youth sports are important to its residents. They aren't going away. We are woefully short of field space (again, according to state averages and recommendations). Since we can't create any NEW space, we have to make the most of what we have. Improving the fields at RHS will be like adding new fields to the rotation. This will lessen the impact on the other fields. And "lessening impact" means protecting and preserving these valuable assets. (When the turfed Maple was added into the mix, grass fields such as Somerville became even healthier.)

To answer your question, no I do not think the athletic portion (don't forget this isn't just fields but also a track facility and larger, safer bleachers) will sandbag the whole deal. This is not "all or nothing" because "nothing" is simply not an option. "Nothing" would be irresponsible.