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Lazar Middle School Day Could End Earlier

Montville BOE to research whether beginning and ending the school day earlier would be beneficial to students, faculty members.

Based on the suggestions of the public and a taskforce of school district leaders and parents, the will be exploring whether moving up the hours students attend the would better suit the students.

The suggestion to make the school day begin and end earlier was made last year during board of education meetings. It was also included in the that considered ways to improve the way the district gives homework to make it more conducive to student productivity.

As the board of education has been developing its goals for the upcoming year over the past several meetings, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Fried said conducting the research on the Lazar school time change is one of the priorities of this year.

Currently, Fried said the school day is from 8:50 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. for students.

"It's a burden on the middle school kids to get out so late and to then have, oftentimes, an activity or sport to go to and then have to do homework after that," Fried said.

Research will consider whether changing to a 7:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. school day would be more beneficial for students, although those times could also be adjusted. Fried said the high school operates under those hours and if both the middle school and hours were the same, teachers and administrators would be on similar schedules and be able to meet together more often.

"Instructionally, the benefit to have our high school and middle school with the same starting and ending times would mean that we could easily bring together our departments," he said.

Fried said this would help with professional development opportunities and also for educators in both buildings to be able to share ideas more easily.

"It's a way for us to better coordinate instruction and curriculum across both buildings," he said.

In the future, Fried said adjusting the time to end the Lazar school day earlier could also open up the possibility to create a middle school sports program.

"We would end earlier in the afternoon when many other middle schools end and we could be part of a scheduled league," Fried said. "It gives you the option to consider it."

But Fried said the consideration of middle school sports is much further down the road, as the costs of implementing such a program would also need to be addressed.

Board of Education President Dr. Karen Cortellino said she feels that the time change for Lazar is an issue that has been in the minds of community members and board members for several years.

"I believe most would agree that an earlier dismissal would benefit the middle school students," she said. "Suggested solutions that involve altering the times at other school levels have been met with mixed community support."

Cortellino noted that the costs associated with the school times and changing them is an important factor in the decision.

"This year, we have devoted a district goal to studying solutions that can be supported by the community and maintain fiscal responsibly," she said.

What do you think? Should the Lazar school day end earlier? Participate in our poll below and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Cynthia September 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Dear Max, speak of not checking facts!!! Because of your constant berating of our town I just had to do a little research, which apparently you don't seem to do. Your tireless rants about how bad our town government, teachers, and schools are can be offensive to people that actually LIKE it here. So, I found some (and I know it will be hard for you to appreciate),.... FACTS! You commented: "...the amount of taxes BoE milks out of homeowners, I'd expect it to be at least top ten". From RESEARCH on the NJ STATE website: http://www.nj.gov/cgi-bin/education/csg/dist.pl you can read about every school system in Morris County and their spending habits. After doing MY RESEARCH (and not just taking aim after looking at my tax bill), we don't nearly spend as much as others, and are right in line with many. The logical focus should be on 'cost per pupil, actual', which, I believe it says is '53'd within group'. So, if we are number 53 in costs, why would you expect us to be in the top 10? To undress your response further, (and I said top "30's', not 'inside the top 30') if you look at the top 10 on that NJ Monthly list, ALL of them have a per pupil cost higher than ours (in most cases much), even the vocational schools that SELECT their own students. So, what's your point? Mine Hill, Dover, Jefferson, or Denville all have costs LOWER than ours. Let's not even consider comparing them to what we have in our community.
Maxim Sapozhnikov September 09, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Cynthia, your link works about as well as your brain - which means it doesn't. As soon as you muster your intelligence and supply an actual link, I'll be happy to verify your statement.
Cynthia September 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Max, I believe this one will work. This should be a link to all the counties in the state and then you can go to Morris. http://www.nj.gov/education/guide/2012/district.shtml Max, is there any reason you need to be so deliberately mean? We are all neighbors. We may feel differently but it doesn't mean we can't respect each other's opinions.
Maxim Sapozhnikov September 09, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Thanks, Cynthia, that link works. See, statistics is my actual job, so I'll make good use of those numbers. and by the way, regarding me being mean - the person starting her posts with "Thank you for the comical relief!!!" and "What planet are you from?" should not be complaining about others' behavior. I can be as nice as a guinea pig but I need to see reciprocation. Now, to the actual numbers. You, of course, are aware that only half of the expenses (the instructional part) are proportional to the number of enrolled students, whereas the other half is fixed. You may also know that Montville is a relatively large district for NJ suburbia. So, when accounting for INSTRUCTIONAL expenses per pupil, we're not doing quite so well - and that was before the union-pleasing scum-suckers on the Board upped the budget by 4.5% (with lower enrollment) while lying to the public about "the lowest increase in years". Also, take Asian students (who are so dedicated and industrious that will do fine regardless of teaching level) out of statistics and we'll do even worse.
alex September 19, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I would welcome a time change to the Lazar Middle School, even if it were the same time as the high school or swop with the Elementary School. As I am a new parent to the LMS, I can already see the pressure that is being placed on my children (and me). All children would benefit from getting home earlier to properly afford them the time to do their home work, indulge in extra-curricular activities (sports, tutors, civic work, be a kid, etc.), get to bed earlier and also give us some family time, creating healthier, well-rounded individuals. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Benjamin Franklin. Importance of the Family Meal… http://children.webmd.com/guide/family-dinners-are-important.

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