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Princeton Plan: Nyack Schools Seek Parent Input

Upcoming public meetings on this—Valley Cottage School Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Nyack Center Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. A Facebook page was founded called "Princeton Plan Parents Forum for Nyack Elementary Schools"

 

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There have been two open forums to discuss the possible reconfiguration of the Nyack elementaries. 

“It’s extremely important to hear from … parents,” said Nyack Board President Claudette Jimerson. “We are concerned with students’ education. Know that four of us are here and we want to hear from parents because these are important decisions being made that affect everyone. I want to thank all the parents who attended the meetings.”

From the parent feedback, Montesano is looking into organizing a meeting during the daytime for parents to come and learn and talk about the Princeton Plan at the elementaries. 

At Tuesday's Nyack School Board meeting, other members echoed what Jimerson said, urging parents to give feedback on the Princeton Plan.

“I’d encourage everyone to come (to the public meetings) and give their feedback. This is not something that is figured. It’s not a done deal. It would be irresponsible for any board member to act without significant input for something like this. We need everybody’s input,” said Board Vice President Michael Mark.

“It’s exciting to see community involvement even on a controversial issue,” said Board Member Dan Kaplan. “Whatever happens, whatever the district decides to do with the Princeton Plan, it is forcing us as a district … to think about tough decisions that we have to make in the future because of the ongoing recession, the property tax cap, budgeting increases from heath costs. We’re going to have to make some tough decisions and this may or may not be one of them … We do need to have these … hard decisions. What are the alternatives if we don’t’ do this? If we do do this, how are we going to cut costs.”

“This is a discovery process,” said Board Member Karen Hughes. “This is a discussion we ‘re learning as much as the community is as we go along. It needs to be an open and honest communication between the board and the community so we can get to the correct decision at the end.”

The Nyack Board of Education is contemplating a shift to the Princeton Plan, which would divide the current K-through-fifth-grade experience into smaller segments across the elementary school buildings. Currently, the elementry schools are under the common neighborhood school plan, which uses geographic district lines to assign students to schools.

Under the Princeton Plan, grades would be assigned to specific schools. Instead of the three schools—Valley Cottage Elementary, Liberty Elementary and Upper Nyack Elementary—housing children from all grades, they would house children from just two grades.

  • K-1: Valley Cottage Elementary
  • 2-3: Liberty Elementary
  • 4-5: Upper Nyack Elementary

A Facebook page was founded by people in the community called "Princeton Plan Parents Forum for Nyack Elementary Schools" on Oct. 3 as a reaction to the public meetings.

It's a landing "page for parents to voice their concerns about proposed Princeton Plan. Let's keep the neighborhoods in our schools."

According to the page, contact with board members have been positive. Here are some posts from the Facebook Page:

Just came back from the meeting at Liberty. They seems very open to listening to us and this is not a done deal. PLEASE send emails to Dr. Montesano and the board members (email addresses in earlier post). Just a few lines of how you feel about the proposed plan will do!

OUR LETTERS ARE BEING READ! I just got my third personal (not form) response to my letter from a school board member. Keep 'em coming!

 

 

 

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Upper Nyack October 07, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I sent a letter to the Board on Oct. 2 and only heard from four board members acknowledging the note. On an issue like this, I want to hear from everyone! Even if they are receiving tons of letters/emails, I would hope they every member could send a one sentence note in response, just to make you feel like your comments didn't go into a black hole!

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