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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. "ItĀ 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 schoolĀ 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.

Liz Kril September 07, 2012 at 12:56 PM
In Newark, one particular school has extended the hours and days. On Saturday, it's a college prep day. Montville needs to the same. It seems that sports take on a priority over education in Montville. The school system here should be ashamed of themselves.
Maxim Sapozhnikov September 07, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Can we just shorten the school day, instead of being forced to wake kids up so early? I'm sure kids would be willing to give up on all the Affirmative Action month projects. Oh wait, can't have that, teachers' union would have less paid hours.
Rosie September 07, 2012 at 02:03 PM
You are talking about this NOW when school has already began, parents have made schedules; especially working parents, and the children have gotten into a routine? What were you guys doing this summer? Vacationing? This things should be handled when school is out AND in time to let parents know what is going on. You do not do these things once the school year begins. What ARE you thinking????
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Rosie, the change would likely not take effect until the following school year at the earliest.
Cynthia September 07, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Pardon me, but thank you for the comical relief!! Liz. Hmm...good point!! People move here to come to our schools. Anybody moving to Newark for their schools? Take a look at the colleges our seniors got into this year, Ivy league on down. Kids from our town get into the colleges they want. That says something!! NJ Monthly just ranked our high school somewhere in the top 30's of the WHOLE state, for what that's worth. Sports a priority?? Even more comical!! Not that it's a source of pride, but did our football team win a game playing in the mud pit it plays on last year? When was our basketball team last a state champion?? Uh..oh..never?? Yes, involvement in extracurricular activities AND sports makes a more whole person. Do you really have a problem with that? Speak of uninformed. Rosie and Naga, what planet are you from? Do you follow anything that goes on in the schools BEFORE complaining? Do you REALLY think the powers that be (administration and board) would mull over an idea like this, study it, listen to the parents, students, staff, and make the change without proper notification? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem they would have to change bus routes, which, just for that, would mean re-bidding. Do you know how long that would take of and by itself???? This just proves some people in our town NEED to complain about something. Very sad. Thanks for the comical relief.
Rosie September 07, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Proper notification???? This is the first I am hearing of this. Comical Relief???? Happy to know that I have made your day. Now make mine and go away!!!!!
Louise September 07, 2012 at 06:18 PM
This is such old news! We paid a third party several years ago to evaluate leveling and scheduling and the #1 recommendation was to flip the grammar school and middle school schedules ASAP!!! I want to say this was done at least three years ago!! Why did the board pay for this study only to shelf the overwhelming recommendation for so long!!! Remember the study the tax payers paid for??? Take a look at it. I remember seeing it on the BOE website several years ago in Power Point.
Louise September 07, 2012 at 06:32 PM
And regarding the disruption for working parents, chill out. I am a workin parent too. There is MEDLC before and after school, all the way through eighth grade if you need it, and it's very affordable.
Maxim Sapozhnikov September 07, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Cynthia, please remove your head out your rear and get your facts straight prior to the next screeching bout. According to NJ Monthly, Montville High is only 39th, which is *not* top 30. By the amount of taxes BoE milks out of homeowners, I'd expect it to be at least in top ten. Moreover, sane parents - that obviously excludes you - prefer their children to be mentally healthy first and successful in studies second, with sports coming far down the list. Waking up before 7am will interfere with the first two goals, and yes I have scientific research to prove it.
Liz Kril September 07, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Cynthia- What a relief. You just proved my point. Thank you for that. You are a comedian.
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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