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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

FAQ #4: Why don't we just re-open Glen School?

Occasionally someone will ask, "We already have an entire school just sitting across Route 17...why don't we re-open Glen School and solve our overcrowding problem?" Here's why that doesn't work:

Glen School has 15 classrooms. Five are used by our RED special-needs preschool program (which we are required to offer), and the remainder are rented out to a childcare program. The current set-up is ideal, because our RED students are able to interact with the daycare students, thus meeting our obligation and desire to educate the RED students in the most inclusive environment possible. If Glen were converted to a regular elementary school, we would lose the income from the childcare rental, and we would still need a place to house our RED students.

Glen School does not have a cafeteria, nor a library. Nor is it up to current code. If we wanted to re-open it as an elementary school, we would need to do costly construction to fix those deficiencies.

Glen School also does not have a staff. If we were to open it, even if there were some way to re-deploy teachers throughout the district, we would still need to hire a principal, secretary, nurse -- and these would become recurring additional costs in our budget.

On top of all this, re-opening Glen would not address the space needs at GW, nor the very real renovations needed at RHS, nor the roofs at Travell & Hawes, nor the asbestos at Willard, nor the electrical issues at Ridge and GW...and not the athletic/wellness facilities, either. So all those expenses would still exist, on top of the cost to renovate Glen and then staff it.

So as attractive as it might seem, re-opening Glen would not be cost-free and would actually impact our budget year after year going forward.


Anonymous said...

Would it be more cost effective to sell Glen, and then lease back the classrooms we need?

Laurie said...

Well, first I'm not sure who would buy Glen and keep it's current facility. I could see someone being interested in the property to build houses (theoretically, and maybe after the economy improves), but if that happened we would have no where to house our RED students. Also, don't forget we receive revenue from the classrooms we rent out at Glen.

So...I would have to say that it would not make sense to sell Glen and lease the classrooms. In my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Will the proposed additions keep with the current architectural styles of the buildings?

Laurie said...