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Referendum: What You Need to Know

On October 10, the Nutley Public School district began to publish Frequently Asked Questions, weekly, on their Facebook page. @NutleySchoolsNJ. They are listed below and will be updated here weekly.

Q: Will the proposed construction happen at the same time?

A: We would hope to break ground on these projects in June 2018. The projects would start around the same time, with portions of the work happening in phases. The middle school project will take the longest. We would hope for students to be in their new spaces by September 2020.

Q: Can we just do the Middle School project?

A: By just adding to the middle school, we will not solve our overcrowding issues. Our increase of elementary school-age children will require more space at Yantacaw and Washington, both of which are currently overcrowded. We would have to add more trailers at both elementary schools if we just built onto the middle school. 
#NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture #Referendum2017

 

Q: What is the benefit of moving the sixth graders to the middle school?

A: Beyond the obvious space issues, by moving the sixth graders out of a traditional elementary school structure, we will gain a number of educational, social and emotional benefits.

  • Our current structure shortchanges students in preparation for intermediate curriculum requirements. 
  • With targeted instruction, the rigor of instruction is enhanced. 
  • Placing sixth grade in middle school allows sixth graders more independence. 
  • Teaming and advisory can be used to focus on individual student needs. 
  • Students’ ages in a 6-8 school more closely parallel the period of human growth and development. 
  • Students in a 6-8 school are at an academic age where they need reinforcement and extension of skills through application 
  • Pupils will be exposed to various areas of specialization at an earlier age on an exploratory basis. 
  • Sixth graders will be provided the opportunity to use specialized facilities such as science labs.

#NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture #Referendum2017

 

Q: What happens if we do not build onto our schools?

A: Based on the demographer’s report, overcrowding, aging buildings, usage space shrinking due to educational programs requirements, and an increase in school-aged children, our Nutley schools are currently at educational capacity. By not adding onto our buildings, we face several realities: 

  • We will remain overcrowded and it will only worsen. 
  • Our class sizes will continue to increase.
  • The trailers at Yantacaw and Washington will remain as permanent structures. More trailers will be added, as soon as 2021. 
  • The district will face a moderate redistricting initiative involving Washington, Yantacaw and Spring Garden to accommodate all our elementary students. 
  • New registrants may need to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. This would continue, even with increased class size. 
  • Our academics will suffer.

 #NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture #Referendum2017

 

Q: Why is the referendum on December 12th and not on the November 7th election day?

A: The state has deadlines and predetermined dates for school referendums. The November 7th election required submission 60 days in advance. We were not able to meet the requirements for a September or November vote, based on when we received information from the NJ Department of Education and then presented it to the community. This left us the option of December 12th as the next possible date. Our goal was to be transparent and communicative to the community and the December option allowed us to do so. #NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture #Referendum2017

 

Election Advisory Timelines for District Referenda

 

Q: What is the impact to the Nutley taxpayers for these construction projects?

A: The cost of the projects is $70.4M. The district is contributing $2.4M from capital reserve. The cost to bond is $68M. The NJ Department of Education has given the projects 13.75% in debt service aid, which will lower the taxpayers’ liability to $58.6M.

The average assessed home ($317,057) will see an increase in taxes of: $133 in year one, $174 in year two and $51 in year three. These three years will phase in the capped, average tax increase of $358 per year; less than $1 per day.

 

Average Residential Tax Levy

 

Q: What is the cost for the renovations at NHS?

A: At Nutley High School, there is a need for additional physical education/multi-purpose space, and a renovation of the media center/TV studio space. The current media center will be renovated, producing four additional classrooms and common learning areas. Additionally, a new media center will be developed to include the TV studio.

Cost = $9.58 million.

#NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture #NoMorePhysEdinHallways

 

Q: What is the cost for the expansion at Washington?

A: The expansion at Washington includes a multi-purpose room, three-story addition of six classrooms, toilet facilities, an elevator, elimination of the trailers, built-in fixtures, loose furniture.

Cost = $9.6 million.

#NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture #NoMoreTrailers

 

Q: What is the cost for the expansion at Yantacaw?

A: The expansion at Yantacaw includes six classrooms, a multi-purpose room, additional toilet facilities, relocation of main office and a secure entrance. These additions and the removal of the sixth grade, will eliminate the trailers.

Cost = $14.5 million. 

#NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture #NoMoreTrailers

 

Q: What is the cost for the expansion at John H Walker Middle School?

A: The middle school expansion is the largest project. It will include the addition of 20 classrooms, cafeteria and service kitchen, multipurpose room, toilet facilities. 

Cost = $36.7 million.

#NutleyNow #BuildingfortheFuture

 





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