The following is an update from Board of Education President, Mr. Daniel Carnicella, at the September 17th Board meeting.
“Our goal this evening is to bring the public an update since the last Board of Education meeting on August 27, 2018. We have updated the referendum portion of our website to include new information regarding the upcoming November 6th vote.
On September 4, 2018 The Nutley Board of Education held a special meeting to approve the ballot questions and the county has received our request to include the questions on the ballot. These ballot questions are available on our website. This November, the Nutley community will have the opportunity to provide the Nutley Board of Education direction on the long term needs of the district.
The December 2017 referendum was presented as single question to cover all the district’s needs in expanding its footprint. As we discussed through many of the town halls and on our website and social media platforms, we provided the community a 15 to 20 year solution, which would create additional classroom space and remove trailers from the elementary schools. This would have allowed three very important advances for our children.
- It would have provided the safest learning environment for our youngest learners at the elementary level. The additional classroom space would reduce the pressure on overall class size which we are encountering districtwide .
- With the expansion of the middle school, we would further reduce spacing pressure at the elementary schools by bringing sixth grade to the middle school. Our sixth grade team modeling pilot at our elementary schools last year and this year, show benefits to our students academically.
- The multi-purpose spaces at both Washington and Yantacaw would provide the much need open space for lunch sessions, physical education, and large group learning areas.
The 2018 Referendum has been revised to allow the community two considerations when they vote on November 6th. Question one would allow the district to bond for the funding needed to provide only instructional space. That would include classrooms at both Washington and Yantacaw. This addition will eliminate trailers and bring students back into the main buildings, providing the safest educational environment for our students.
As many are aware, since 2004, the district has invested in our infrastructure to provide secure entrances at all of our district schools. Question 1 will also provide funding to expand the middle school and increase the educational experience of our sixth grade and provide physical education space which cannot be supported in the current facility once the sixth grade matriculates to the middle school. Last, the funding will also support renovations to the high school to create additional STEAM classes, as well as small group instruction areas for students.
Those community members who vote in favor of Question 1 on November 6th will also have the opportunity to vote Question 2 which would allow the funding to complete the multi-purpose spaces at the both Washington and Yantacaw and fund a new Media Center at the front of the High School.
After two demographer reports, several years of planning and reviews by two superintendents, we continue to see evidence supporting the solutions we have brought forward to the Nutley Community. We still believe that all the components of the 2017 referendum strengthen our ability to shape well-educated students, enhance the culture and traditions of this community, increase the overall value of Nutley, and continue to provide opportunities for future families to enjoy all this community has to offer.”